Toughie 3071 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3071

Toughie No 3071 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A typically enjoyable Beam Toughie (though there’s no Queen or sweetheart). Many thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Burned hugging lover, firstly separated (7)
SINGLED: a verb meaning burned or scorched containing the first letter of lover.

5a Born scoundrel’s tops (7)
BLOUSES: the genealogical abbreviation for born and a word for a scoundrel plus the ‘S.

9a Unrefined vulgarity heard getting strident (7)
RAUCOUS: homophones of a) unrefined and b) something vulgar or offensive spoken.

10a Sea squall about yielded periodically (7)
GALILEE: a squall or storm contains the even letters of ‘yielded’.

11a Get round gutted, eviscerated policy (9)
PROCEDURE: a verb to get or obtain contains the outer letters of eviscerated.

12a Discover divas covering composer (5)
VERDI: hidden.

13a Low points from career retrospective (5)
DEEPS: reverse a verb meaning to career.

15a Like a record, in a sense (9)
ANALOGOUS: A and an official record go inside A and a word for common sense.

17a Borgias ticklish about being debauched (9)
ORGIASTIC: hidden.

19a Someone Abraham regarded as his, initially (5)
SARAH: initial letters give us the first wife of the Old Testament character Abraham (and also his half-sister apparently – these were obviously incestuous times!).

22a Stars single babes, one left out (5)
IDOLS: the Roman numeral for a single and an informal word for babes or attractive young women with one of the abbreviations for left omitted.

23a Protection for future monarch? (9)
CHRYSALIS: cryptic definition. This monarch is not a human.

25a United almost start to get hard (7)
ONEROUS: a synonym for united and a verb to start or stir up without its last letter.

26a Run over, steaming around empty thoroughfare (7)
ITERATE: an adjective meaning steaming or angry contains the outer letters of thoroughfare.

27a Hesitatingly pay out for swing (7)
SUSPEND: hesitatingly (or with a stutter) could mean that the first letter of a verb to pay out has its first letter duplicated (s-spend). This sounds like the answer but does the clue need a homophone indicator?

28a Divine, unusual for universal divinity (7)
GODDESS: start with a verb to divine and replace the abbreviation for universal with an adjective meaning unusual.

Down Clues

1d Undressed, dropping one quietly, then barred (7)
STRIPED: a verb meaning undressed loses one of its abbreviations for quietly.

2d News covering green energy cell (7)
NEURONE: green is a slang term for money so we need a currency between two occurrences of the abbreviation for new. Finish with the physics abbreviation for energy.

3d Unattached base supporting toilets (5)
LOOSE: the letter used for the base in logarithms follows an informal word for toilets. Beam evidently didn’t want to use sweetheart here.

4d Policeman’s set on worker, one argues (9)
DISPUTANT: string together the abbreviation for a senior police officer (not all such officers are men) plus the ‘S, a verb meaning set or placed and our usual working insect.

5d Irritate the French? It’s instrumental! (5)
BUGLE: an informal verb to irritate and one of the French definite articles.

6d Unaware of endless falsehood in open (9)
OBLIVIOUS: insert a falsehood without its last letter into an adjective meaning open or overt.

7d Italian city market oddly random (7)
SALERNO: a synonym for market and the odd letters of random.

8d Type that is wearing glasses (7)
SPECIES: the abbreviation for ‘that is’ contained in an informal word for glasses (the type you wear, not the things you drink from).

14d Reduces sound including old rock (9)
SOAPSTONE: glue together a verb meaning reduces or weakens and a nounal synonym of sound. Now insert the abbreviation for old.

16d Agreeing instrument is missing nothing grand (9)
ACCORDING: a musical instrument with a keyboard loses one of its zero-resembling letters. Finish with the abbreviation for grand.

17d Unlucky in love without taking over (7)
OMINOUS: start with the letter that looks like love or zero and add a preposition meaning ‘without’ containing the cricket abbreviation for over.

18d Fawns gambol finally in woods (7)
GROVELS: insert the final letter of gambol into woods or thickets.

20d Issue concerning large facility (7)
RELEASE: assemble a preposition meaning concerning, the clothing abbreviation for large and a synonym of facility.

21d Sexy curvy character embracing small geisha? (7)
HOSTESS: an adjective meaning sexy and how you’d spell our curviest letter contain the clothing abbreviation for small.

23d Examined chap’s head, occasionally (5)
CASED: occasional letters from the middle two words.

24d Haggard woman on road provoking scrap (5)
SHERD: the woman about whom Rider Haggard wrote and the abbreviation for road.

My ticks today went to 13a, 23a and 21d. Which one(s) sang out to you?

19 comments on “Toughie 3071

  1. Plain sailing, similar thoughts on the homophone in 27a. 28a was my favourite when the penny finally dropped.

    Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  2. Enjoyable and took us the same amount of time as the cryptic on the back page. Not heard of 24d which threw us for a while. Last in was 2d – forgotten the “green” synonym. Favourite misdirection 23a. Thanks to all concerned.

  3. I thought this was very good, and I preferred it to today’s back-pager.

    My last couple in were 13a and 2d; not because they were difficult to get, but I was hoping there would be a better answer (in other words I did not like either of them). That said, the puzzle still gets 4* for enjoyment.

    23a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  4. I had forgotten the green synonym in 2d too tho the solution was clear enough. I also failed to spot the lack of any homophone indicator in 27a and thought it was a fine clue [yet another senior moment?]. I thought 22a was clever, tho the surface isn’t up to much and 23a [my last in] was a real “aargh…” moment. “Haggard woman” was cunning too.
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. Puzzle of two halves for me, top went in quicker than the bottom but overall very enjoyable.
    I particularly liked 23a plus 21d but my runaway favourite was the cheeky 1d where I took the surface read (dropping one quietly) to be a reference to breaking wind as well as a deletion indicator. Good fun.
    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza too.

      1. Well – I’m disgusted with the pair of you, that interpretation never occurred to me!

  6. Afternoon all. I thought that I’d get in early for a change! Thanks to Gazza for the illumination and to everybody else for your comments.


    1. Afternoon, Ray. Thanks for the fine puzzle.
      Could you expand on 27a? I thought that a homophone indicator was needed to get from s-spend to suspend.

    2. Good afternoon, Mr T, your early appearance has quite thrown me off balance. Thank you for another great puzzle and you still have my devotions despite your ‘schoolboys behind the bike shed’ admission regarding 1d!

  7. I found this mostly very enjoyable but I did think it was very tough indeed, much harder than Beam’s normal fare.

    I couldn’t parse either 27a or 2d. Reading the review, the former appears to be a faulty clue, and I thought “greens” needed to be in the plural and is slang for dollars not money in general. I also didn’t know the unusual spelling of “shard” in 24d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

    1. The BRB agrees with you re. green but Collins gives the singular as a slang term for money.

  8. Had a couple of tricky moments when it came to accepting 1a without the addition of ‘out’ and the definition of ‘unlucky’ in 17d but I’ve no doubt our setter checked his facts thoroughly.
    Outright winner for me was 23a and its joined on the podium by 1,8,18&21d.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and to Gazza for the review and cartoon selection – always a Thursday highlight!

  9. Really enjoyed this somewhat testing Toughie – tackled clockwise from the NE though LOI was 15a. Some of the PDMs had me groaning and even laughing out loud – a tremendously witty puzzle. Hon Mentions to 17a, 19a & 1d, with COTD for me the inspired 23a.

    3 / 4

    Many thanks to Mr T, and of course also to Gazza – some wonderful cartoons!

  10. Like RD I thought this tougher than the usual Beam guzzle. Doubt I’d have parsed 2d this side of Christmas as euro for green didn’t register but kicking myself for a failure to parse 28a which along with 23a made it into my top two. 24a also unfamiliar & requiring confirmation.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Gazza

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