Toughie 3055 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3055

Toughie No 3055 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Beam has given us an enjoyable puzzle though a few of his ‘standards’ are absent (no queen, no sweetheart and no ‘first letters clue’). Many thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Exaggerated this compiler’s style and class (10)
IMMODERATE: string together the contracted way of saying ‘this compiler is’ and synonyms for style and class.

6a Paddle round top of ocean? (4)
BOAT: a paddle or club contains the top letter of ocean. The answer is a verb.

9a Learner, more or less idlest, periodically (5)
CADET: an abbreviation meaning ‘more or less’ and regular letters from idlest.

10a Conduct of French, more common reportedly (9)
DEMEANOUR: the French word for ‘of’ and what sounds like a comparative meaning more common.

12a My face is friendly! (7)
CORDIAL: an exclamation meaning ‘my!’ and the face of a watch, say.

13a Fabric edge with middle to edge (5)
CREPE: start with a verb to edge or sidle and move its middle letter to the end.

15a More irritable sailor rolling over deck (7)
RATTIER: reverse an informal word for a sailor and add a synonym of deck or level.

16a Most inane dirt repelled star (7)
DUMBEST: reverse a type of dirt and add a superlative meaning star.

18a Old lady’s detailed minding a cosmetic (7)
MASCARA: assemble an affectionate term for one’s old lady, what minding (as a gerund) means without its last letter and A.

20a Delight seeing good boy study (7)
GLADDEN: the abbreviation for good and synonyms of boy and study.

21a Isaiah’s first lament about Biblical character (5)
NAOMI: bring together the first letter of Isaiah and a synonym of lament or wail then reverse the lot.

23a Less robust rule a king rejected (7)
RANGIER: a verb to rule as a monarch is followed by A and an abbreviation for king. Reverse what you now have.

25a Charge could be shocking (9)
OFFENSIVE: double definition, the second in the sense of disgusting.

26a Tedium being buttonholed by drunken nuisance (5)
ENNUI: hidden.

27a Israelite occasionally seeing Dead Sea’s content? (4)
SALT: occasional letters from the first word.

28a Light wife without hourglass figure? (10)
WEIGHTLESS: the genealogical abbreviation for wife followed by what could cryptically mean lacking the number that resembles an hourglass.

Down Clues

1d Desire of topless enchantress! (4)
ITCH: an enchantress without her first letter.

2d Treats moderates surrounding Conservative (9)
MEDICATES: a verb meaning moderates (like ACAS perhaps) contains an abbreviation for Conservative. The word moderates in the clue is slightly odd since most of it appears in a crossing answer.

3d Will check state when artery clogs (13)
DETERMINATION: paste together a verb to check or discourage and another word for a state then insert the identity of a North-South artery in England.

4d Right milk producer? One bottled fresher (7)
RUDDIER: the abbreviation for right and a source of milk containing the Roman numeral for one.

5d Drained after stomach lurched (7)
TUMBLED: a verb meaning drained (a radiator, perhaps) follows a child’s word for stomach.

7d Bracing air over area (5)
OZONE: the cricket abbreviation for over and an area.

8d Make point about exercise, getting thinner (10)
TURPENTINE: a verb to make or convert and a point or prong contain the abbreviation for exercise at school.

11d Backing account, criticise Independent in remark (13)
ACCOMPANIMENT: start with the abbreviation for account and then insert a verb to criticise or slam and an abbreviation for independent into a remark.

14d Dreadful time fire briefly engulfed polish (10)
TREMENDOUS: the physics abbreviation for time and a truncated verb to fire or enthuse contain a verb to polish or revise.

17d Final United competition acquiring new stamina (9)
ENDURANCE: rivet together a synonym for final (as an adjective), an abbreviation for united and a competition containing the abbreviation for new.

19d Some jumbos maybe fine without leader (7)
AIRLINE: a synonym for fine (as a fracture may be) without its first letter.

20d Root of pidgin’s English (7)
GINSENG: hidden.

22d Rotten, almost entirely inedible meat (5)
OFFAL: an adjective meaning rotten and a word meaning entirely without its final letter.

24d Express and Sun primarily showing arrogance (4)
AIRS: a verb to express and the primary letter of sun.

The highlights for me were 28a, 3d and 19d. Which one(s) made a favourable impression on you?

15 comments on “Toughie 3055
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  1. I found this really rather tough, but it is a Thursday Toughie so no complaints on that score. The important thing is that it was great fun and rewarding to solve, with 28a and 3d in a photo-finish for favourite.

    A splendid puzzle made even better by Gazza’s cartoons!

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  2. Reasonably straightforward after a slowish start, and (despite the absence of a few markers) very Beam-ish. A most enjoyable and very satisfying solve even if rather harrumphed to find that my answer for 24d was not what Mr T was after – I had forced my overly optimistic parsing much as one forces 7 wine bottles into a 6-bottle case, the result in both being that neither bears much scrutiny or holds up for long.

    Did feel 6a (my LOI) was rather oddly expressed/clued, but otherwise what a splendid puzzle. HMs to 21a, 26a, 27a, 5d & 22d (I do like kidneys & liver!).

    Many thanks to MrT and of course to Gazza.

  3. Had to scratch around for a couple of the synonyms in this one, but there were more than enough gems to add cheer.
    Podium places given to 1,10&28a plus 3&11d.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and a round of applause for Gazza’s cartoons, especially the vegan witches and the sommelier!

  4. Cracking fun from one of our favourite compilers, beautifully and concisely clued as ever. Tough but fair, and one can ask no more of a puzzle, especially when it was so entertaining and rewarding to solve.

    My thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. I found this quite gentle but 24d held me up a bit.
    6a was my joint favourite with 19d. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  6. One or two clues were a touch loose I thought [ 9a 10a15a 18a 14d ] but they were offset by some very good ones , although i think we have seen 8d only recently ? I have to confess the lurker in 20d beat me though , 12a my fave .

    Thanks to both .

  7. I’m really quite happy with my cruciverbal day now that I’ve set a personal best record for a Thursday solve, but I was on Mr T’s wavelength from the get-go last night and almost wanted to let out a shout when my last one in, 24d, fell, having first toyed with several consonants as the alpha vowel sat there just beckoning me. Favourites: 3d, 21a, 19d, & 23a. Terrific puzzle. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  8. Very enjoyable indeed and for me not overly tough as I always seemed to have just enough checkers (and inspiration) to prevent a stall.
    I thought 1a got us off to an excellent start, 12a made me smile, I thought the DD at 25a very good too. The misdirection in 3d was smart and 4d was comical but probably just sneaking top spot was the imaginative and very Beamish 28a.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  9. Took a while to get into this puzzle, last in was 6a, thanks Gazza for confirmation of the verb and chambers for the bat/paddle.
    Enjoyable afternoon after the excellent back pager over breakfast,
    Thanks to our setter, is it Elgar tommorow? might have a go!

  10. Ultimately defeated by 6a and I’m not sure I really understand it now. That apart the the rest fairly gentle, I’m sure someone will put me right. I did 95% of this before going to vote and then called in the pub on my way home, well it’s next to the polling station. Favourite was 11d. Thanks to Rayt and Gazza. Now for the back pager.

    1. 6a The whole clue is the definition – to boat means to sail around. The wordplay is BAT (paddle, as used in some sports) containing the first letter of ocean.

  11. As is so often the case, the last couple to fall were the pesky little four letter words at 6a and 24d.
    An absolute delight as we can always expect from this setter.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

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