Toughie No 3039 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Beam has given us an enjoyable but not too tricky Toughie – thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Crumbling bone found in tumulus? (8)
MORIBUND: a protective bone is found inside a tumulus or place of burial.
5a Goes around in women’s clothes (6)
SKIRTS: double definition.
9a Backing dogs concerning Manx cat legend (9)
SUPERSTAR: string together a word meaning dogs or scumbags, a preposition meaning concerning and an informal name for a cat without its tail letter. Now reverse the lot.
11a Drink before detailed pole dance (5)
RUMBA: an alcoholic drink and a pole without its last letter.
12a Seek, perhaps, Valentine’s dates (6)
TRYSTS: a verb to seek or attempt and what Valentine is an example of (with the ‘S).
13a Pick fruit eating each tart, oddly (8)
PLECTRUM: a fleshy fruit containing the odd letters of ‘each tart’.
15a Sell-off with one put into poverty (13)
PRIVATISATION: this is the sort of sell-off which we had lots of towards the end of the last century (leading to largely foreign-owned water companies now polluting our waterways with tons of untreated sewage). Insert the Roman numeral for one and a verb meaning put or placed into a synonym of poverty.
18a Man in command at Waterloo? (13)
STATIONMASTER: cryptic definition. This Waterloo is not in Belgium.
22a Man’s man? (8)
ISLANDER: another cryptic definition. The first Man has to be capitalised.
23a Image captures burning of light (6)
PHOTIC: an abbreviated image contains an adjective meaning burning.
26a Extract largely employed making ink initially (5)
ELEMI: a ‘first letters’ clue. The answer is a fragrant substance which, my research has shown, is used in certain inks.
27a Stop insect consuming banana’s insides (9)
TERMINATE: a colonial insect contains the central letters of banana. I’m not sure that ‘insides’ adequately clues just the two central letters rather than all four.
28a Confirm a teetotaller holds name back (6)
ATTEST: A and our usual abbreviated teetotaller contain the reversal of a verb to name or appoint.
29a Section of trestle’s stood on edge (8)
1d Disregard sweetheart, upset with small boobs (8)
MISSTEPS: assemble a verb to disregard or overlook, the reversal of a sweetheart and the clothing abbreviation for small.
2d Counter in bank accepting payment’s principal (5)
REPLY: a verb to bank or depend contains the first letter of payment.
3d Covering for Roman Catholic clergy? (7)
BIRETTA: a mildly cryptic definition of what some RC clergy wear on their heads.
4d Prestige of school raised (4)
NOTE: reverse the usual Berkshire public school.
6d Ankara chiefly includes former capital (7)
KARACHI: hidden in the clue.
7d Rock group make time for artist (9)
REMBRANDT: paste together a US rock band, a make or trade name and the physics abbreviation for time.
8d Fawning host supporting sadomasochism (6)
SMARMY: a host or throng follows the abbreviation for sadomasochism.
10d Orderly periodically gets masters again (8)
RELEARNS: regular letters from orderly and a verb meaning gets from paid employment.
14d Raising hat, single chap is earnest (8)
DILIGENT: reverse a slang term for a hat and add the Roman numeral for a single and a posh chap.
16d Audacious pinching head of Venus bust (9)
INSOLVENT: an adjective meaning audacious or lippy contains the first letter of Venus.
17d After credit money’s not all there (8)
CRACKERS: the abbreviation for credit and an informal word for money (probably derived from small Egyptian coins used by British troops in Egypt in WWI).
19d Family members like housing free (7)
AUNTIES: a conjunction meaning like contains a verb to free or loosen.
20d One doubts participating in robbery? (7)
ATHEIST: split your answer 2,5 to understand the last three words.
21d Movies with spies tackling flipping army (6)
CINEMA: US spies containing the reversal of troops.
24d Craft in East River capsized (5)
TRADE: the abbreviation for East and a picturesque Devon river all reversed.
25d Cheese being runny is enjoyable, primarily (4)
BRIE: the initial letters of four words in the clue.
I smiled at 5a and 1d and I also liked 22a and 25d. Which one(s) did you appreciate?
16 comments on “Toughie 3039”
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I thought Ray T in blistering form today with a puzzle full of cleverness and wit.
Slightly held up in the NW corner but after a break to wash the car it appeared.
Had the same thoughts as our reviewer on 27a though.
I thought the DD at 5a was superb, the “Manx cat” was clever in 9a but he’s used this device before so my podium is the previously mentioned 5d along with 1(brilliant),8&17d (even though ackers for money is ancient).
Many thanks Beam and Gazza.
I always get confused between essential and principal so that in 2d , I wrote the m of payment inside a tier giving me timer as the answer.
Took a while to see my mistake until I had to dismiss tibia as the bone in 1a.
The rest of the puzzle didn’t put much of a fight.
Thanks to Beam and to Gazza.
A typically concise, witty and elegant puzzle from one of our favourites. 22a was my top clue although it could have been any one from a dozen or so. Top entertainment.
My thanks to Beam and Gazza.
I did find this much tougher than Gazza suggests. In fact, I think it is the toughest Beam Toughie we have had for quite a while, with 12a my last one in. However, it was utterly brilliant, despite three (very small) quibbles.
As has been mentioned, is “insides” really OK to select just two letters of a six letter word? Also, unlike an agnostic, I don’t think that a 20d has any doubts. Finally, I am not convinced that “set” is a synonym for “name” – can anyone suggest an example sentence that demonstrates equivalence?
With ticks aplenty, 22a is at the top of the pile for me, closely followed by 5a.
Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.
Re: 22a. How about – they decided to name/set a date for the wedding?
That will do nicely. Thank you, Jane. 👍
Had a bit of trouble sorting out the valentine’s date and the anonymous teetotaller but otherwise a clear run through this delightful puzzle from the maestro.
Rosettes here going to 1&22a plus 7d.
Devotions, of course, to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review and the always enjoyable selection of cartoons.
Who else but Beam? I found it quite tricky to start and had to work all the way round the NW corner with 12a last in. Some chuckle worthy and also rather clever clues – 1d, 9a and 12a – so these take my award for the day.
Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for a blog with as many laughs as the puzzle.
What a brilliant and witty crossword which had me hooting with laughter. It’s a long while since I’ve heard money referred to as that in 17d but I got it straight away. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 1d with a number coming a close second. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.
Took me a while to untangle the NE although when I did get 1d I promoted it to my favourite. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.
As is often the case, I found today’s Beam right up my alley (partly because I don’t have to worry about anagrams), and except for 1d and 15a (my last two in), I fairly breezed through this delightful Toughie. I’ll settle for 17d as my COTD (among many contenders) because it made me laugh. I somehow remember the money from a previous puzzle but thanks to Gazza for further enlightening us about its origin and for his review. What a joy to solve this one so thanks to Mr T / Beam for the pleasure.
Took longer in the NW than expected but eventually it all came together.
9a with its Manx cat gets our vote today.
Thanks Beam and Gazza.
What a shame there are so few comments for this. An excellent puzzle. Tick after tick – 1,5,9,13,15&22a plus 1,7,8&17d. Now back to The Masters coverage.
Thanks to Beam & Gazza
Beam – came to your lovely puzzle late last night – just wanted to tell you belatedly it was sheer delight. I didn’t finish it last night and this morning I had the flash as light dawned – loved 13a and 8d when the penny dropped. I’ll look at the hints later today, I should have resorted to them earlier. Many thanks
Oops! My belated thanks to Gazza and to all who left a comment.
Thanks, Ray. Your visits to the blog are much appreciated.