Toughie 2991 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2991

Toughie No 2991 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

Last Thursday we had eleven anagrams in the Firefly Toughie, this week Beam has given us his usual ration of zero. Variety is the spice of life.
I thought that Beam was being rather gentle with us today with only the wader being a new word for me. Thanks to him for the enjoyable challenge.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a Training for unruly canines? (12)
ORTHODONTICS: cryptic definition. These canines are not the four-legged sort.

9a Rival offer pursuing deception (9)
CONTENDER: an offer follows a deception or hoax.

10a Cult rabidly possessive of extremist (5)
ULTRA: our first hidden answer.

11a Following a hush, beat retreat (6)
ASHRAM: A, an instruction to hush and a verb to beat or strike.

12a Key of father’s Golf, say (8)
PASSPORT: a short word for father plus the ‘S and what (uncapitalised) golf is an example of give us a key or means of access.

13a Wader is brown with detailed stripe (6)
DUNLIN: join together a greyish-brown colour and a stripe or band without its last letter.

15a Shy/ going to bed (8)
RETIRING: double definition, the first meaning shy or unassertive.

18a With care, sandy lady after vacation (8)
GINGERLY: somewhat to my surprise the BRB does give sandy as a meaning for this hair colour. Append the outer letters of lady.

19a Zealous Republican in advanced depression (6)
ARDENT: insert the abbreviation for Republican between the abbreviation for advanced and a depression.

21a Stake bound for fast runner (8)
ANTELOPE: charade of a stake (in a card game) and a verb to bound.

23a Plain sweetheart’s rejected exercise (6)
STEPPE: reverse an endearment (sweetheart) plus the ‘S and append the abbreviation for exercise at school.

26a Underprivileged born desperately empty (5)
NEEDY: a word meaning born (usually preceding a woman’s surname at birth) and the outer letters of desperately.

27a Allotments outside turning to cycles (9)
ROTATIONS: a word meaning allotments or allocations contains the reversal of the word TO.

28a Anticipation having already shaved head? (12)
PREPAREDNESS: start with a past participle which could mean ‘shaved in advance’ and add a geographical head or cape.

Down Clues

1d Where to find fruit or veg (7)
ORCHARD: OR and a type of beet.

2d Smell cutting small fish (5)
TENCH: remove the clothing abbreviation for small from a strong smell.

3d Plump compiler’s taking time for working (9)
OPERATIVE: a verb to plump or choose and the contracted form of ‘the compiler has’ from his viewpoint contain a distinct time or period of history.

4d Probability of overdoses ingesting drug’s source (4)
ODDS: the abbreviation for overdose is pluralised and contains the first letter of drug.

5d Drama with Right promoted new bully (8)
THREATEN: a word for drama (and the place where you might see it) has the abbreviation for right moved upwards. Append the abbreviation for new.

6d Embraces inferior to constant drinks (5)
CHUGS: a verb meaning embraces follows the abbreviation for constant in maths. The resulting verb is a slang usage meaning to drink in large gulps.

7d Drug left over stopping boundless hurt (8)
ATROPINE: the word for left at sea is reversed and contained inside the inner letters of a verb meaning hurt or caused discomfort.

8d Occasionally trial got large crowd (6)
RAGTAG: occasional letters from three words in the clue. Who remembers this children’s TV programme from the 1950s?

14d Close to a score? (8)
NINETEEN: cryptic definition. How many is a score?

16d Cross discontented imbiber judged about sex (9)
IRRITATED: the outer letters of imbiber and a verb meaning judged containing a short informal word for sex or ‘the other’.

17d Break china overturned after cold rhubarb (8)
CLAPTRAP: paste together a verb to break or split and what china is in rhyming slang. Reverse that lot and precede it with the tap abbreviation for cold.

18d Rough, beginning to get wet (6)
GRAINY: the first letter of get and an adjective meaning wet (like the weather we’ve been getting here for weeks).

20d Temptress escapes clutching locks of hair (7)
TRESSES: our second hidden word.

22d Non-professional Queen cover (5)
LAYER: an adjective meaning non-professional and our late Queen’s regnal cipher.

24d Test end of zip on dress (5)
PROBE: the last letter of zip and a dress or gown.

25d Someone taking ace roles primarily (4)
STAR: a ‘first letters’ clue.

For my podium I’m choosing the two cryptic definitions (1a and 14d) plus 28a. Which clue(s) did you think were the bee’s knees?

12 comments on “Toughie 2991
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  1. Very enjoyable indeed. 7d took a while before the lightbulb moment of “left over” and the parsing of 3d took a bit of staring at otherwise plain sailing.
    My “bee’s knees” are 1a plus 1,3,6&22d but top spot has to be (like the back-pager) the final across clue, the excellent 28a.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza for a top puzzle and blog.

  2. This was a perfect partner for the well-received backpager, full of Beam’s usual conciseness, wit, trademarks and lack of anagrams. It was not up to his normal level of difficulty but scored very highly for fun and enjoyment. Using my trusty pin, 13a came out on top.

    Thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  3. What an absolute joy. The second top-notch puzzle with a top-notch review today.

    My podium choice is 1a, 19a & 28a.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  4. Top & bottom long ‘uns my joint favourites in a lovely gentle puzzle. The bird required confirmation but it was an otherwise problem free solve. Couldn’t decide whether I thought 14d a good clue or not but see Gazza has it as one of his picks so it must be.
    Thanks to RT & G

  5. 14d wins the day for me, along with just about everything else in this lovely Beam not-so-Toughie. The bird was new to me but it had to be what it was. Thanks to Gazza and Beam. With NYDK and Mr T going mano-a-mano, what a great day!

  6. Yes, I’m sure Beam’s been getting gentler of late: maybe he’s saving something for us later. 1a has to be the easiest 1a for some considerable time and as for 14d, I couldn’t believe it until I had some checkers. But I particularly liked 28a and 3d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the blog.

  7. The 7d drug caused something of an issue as I’d convinced myself that I needed to put L(eft) O(ver) inside a boundless hurt and I was also somewhat concerned to discover that our setter has ditched his regular sweetheart in favour of a new flame! Actually, I think this latest one has made an appearance previously so perhaps he’s torn between the two?
    Excellent fare as we’ve come to expect from Beam and my top three were 1&23a plus 14d.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Gazza for the review and witticisms – yes, I remember the hedgerow trio – Bobtail and all – but we didn’t have a TV set back then so I only actually saw them if I was round at a friend’s house at the optimum time.

  8. I enjoyed Beam’s usual array of mind-benders and humour, and alongside an excellent back-pager I feel indulged today. As others have pointed out, some almost non-cryptic clues here, like 1d, 14a but I found some fairly complex clues mixed in too which needed much more thought! I didn’t know the drug of 7d or the retreat of 11a but got them from the wordplay. Regarding 18a, I’ve never seen a ginger-coloured beach either but one for the memory banks.

    Ty to Beam and Gazza for the help with parsing

  9. The answer to 14d came to me straight away but had to wait to solve everything around before writing it in as I thought I was just being silly.
    As Steve, I had to check the wader in 13a.
    The rest fell in quite smoothly.
    I think 1d is the chestnut of all chestnuts.
    Thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  10. Just seeing who the setter is bring smiles to our faces and they always stay there right through the solve.
    Good fun.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

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