Toughie 3087 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3087

Toughie No 3087 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

There are some very amusing clues here – many thanks to Beam for the entertainment.

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

Across Clues

1a Unmatched interest, say, about detailed story (12)
INCOMPARABLE: the interest you might get from a bank account for example goes around a Biblical story without its last letter.

9a Reduces colour employing old rock (9)
SOAPSTONE: a verb meaning reduces or weakens and a synonym of colour with the abbreviation for old inserted.

10a Line the same following carbon copy (5)
CLONE: assemble the chemical symbol for carbon, the abbreviation for line and a synonym for ‘the same’.

11a Take stock of others? (6)
RUSTLE: stock here means livestock. An old chestnut but neatly worded.

12a Drink before work showing conscience? (8)
SUPEREGO: join together a verb to drink, a poetic synonym of before and a verb to work or function.

13a Ceased heartlessly turning over stores (6)
DEPOTS: reverse a verb meaning ceased without its middle letter.

15a Figures restricting Parliament’s latest laws (8)
STATUTES: life-size figures containing the final letter of Parliament.

18a Wizard angrier about Church resistance (8)
SORCERER: a comparative meaning angrier contains abbreviations for Church and electrical resistance.

19a Church section dropping hard ban (6)
CANCEL: the section at one end of a church without the pencil abbreviation for hard.

21a Caribou were predominant here, ‘Arry reported (8)
REINDEER: homophones of a verb meaning ‘were predominant’ and ‘here’ without its first letter – REIGNED ‘ERE.

23a Slope of a nose (6)
ASCENT: A and a synonym of nose or bouquet.

26a Muse partly under a toga (5)
ERATO: the Muse who was the goddess of lyric poetry is hiding in the clue.

27a State again reversing English bank charge (9)
REITERATE: stick together an abbreviation for English and a bank or layer. Now reverse that and append a noun meaning charge.

28a She gives complaint purchasing new ham? (12)
BENEFACTRESS: an informal word for a complaint or whinge contains the abbreviation for new. Add a person who may ham it up.

Down Clues

1d Protected shell’s opening with hardened exterior (7)
INSURED: insert the opening letter of shell into a verb meaning hardened or accustomed.

2d Men in leather trousers displaying rear (5)
CHAPS: double definition. LOL.

3d Plant kiss under it? (9)
MISTLETOE: is this a cryptic definition or a double definition? You decide.

4d Initially avid, getting overly giddy (4)
AGOG: a ‘first letters’ clue.

5d OK a meeting including sweetheart queen (8)
ADEQUATE: A and a romantic meeting contain Beam’s swEetheart and an abbreviation for queen.

6d Caught going into draw for cash (5)
LUCRE: the crickety abbreviation for caught goes inside a verb to draw or tempt.

7d Endless criticism follows head of household (8)
DOMESTIC: an informal word for criticism without its final K follows a word for the head.

8d Striated planet going round, round (6)
VENOUS: one of the planets in our solar system contains the round letter.

14d Irregular operative supports Q’s predecessor (8)
PARTISAN: Q’s predecessor is nothing to do with James Bond – we have to think alphabetically. Add a word for an operative or skilled worker.

16d Passing time, one in performed broadcast (9)
TRANSIENT: start with the physics abbreviation for time and add verbs meaning performed (like a car, say) and broadcast with the Roman numeral for one inserted.

17d Train about leading stiff carriage? (8)
REHEARSE: a preposition meaning about followed by a carriage used to carry a stiff. LOL again.

18d Ices, or better, eating water ice (6)
SORBET: hidden.

20d Culture perhaps found in V&A? (7)
LETTERS: culture as in ‘a woman of *******’. V and A are examples of the answer.

22d Crowd is controlled (5)
DROVE: double definition, the first a noun and the second a verb.

24d Delete Times and Express, firstly (5)
ERASE: periods of history (times) and the first letter of Express.

25d Singer keen on promotion (4)
DIVA: reverse an adjective meaning keen.

I liked 21a, 27a and 17d but my favourite has to be the amusing 2d. Which one(s) cut the mustard for you?

12 comments on “Toughie 3087

  1. This was nicely challenging and huge fun to solve with 11a, 2d & 24d making it onto my podium.

    The perfect Thursday Toughie combination – Beam and Gazza! Many thanks to both of them.

  2. What a cracking puzzle, an absolutel delight. All done and dusted, parsed and thoroughly enjoyed. I guess knowing there won’t be any anagrams and so not looking for them helps, on the other hand the brevity and precision of the clueing means you don’t notice their absence. Good to see sweetheart & queen on display – my POI, with a clang when the penny dropped. Laughed out loud at 2d, but enjoyed so many others, too – 10a, 11a, 21a, 5d, 7d, 14d. I could go on.

    I’ll concur with a Toughie 2* & 4* rating.

    Great cartoons/illustrations, thank you Gazza, and thank you too MrT, for a super challenge.

  3. Dream team of setters and the bonus of Gazza – a 1a day and no mistake!
    Over-filled podium here hosting 11&21a plus 2,3&17d.

    Devotions as usual to Mr T/Beam and applause for Gazza’s review and cartoons.

  4. I thought this was a step up in difficulty from recent Beam puzzles but very enjoyable indeed with some amusing and devious clueing.
    I particularly liked 21,27,&28a plus 5&24d.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. That kept me occupied for a while. I try to reduce the electronic assistance I use for the Toughie each day but had to give in quite soon today.

    Favourites 21a, 2d and 17d for raising a smile each time I worked out the answer.

    Thanks to Beam for a puzzling puzzle and to Gazza for explanations and cartoons.

  6. Agree with SL about the difficulty. I had to go all the way round to deal with the NW corner, despite having 1a. Several chuckles, especially 11a [as you say Gazza – a new twist on an old favourite] and 17d [altho the overall surface is a bit rubbish “stiff carriage” is a gem].
    Thanks to Beam for a fun puzzle and to Gazza for a fun blog [I hate to think what murky depths of the internet you got the pic at 2d from!]

  7. Yes, thanks Gazza for putting me off my late lunch with 2D. Not one from the family album I hope! Top puzzle from the master. Preferred this to the back-pager, to be honest. Certainly no harder and, arguably, more fun. Ta lots to Beam, and Gazza, of course.

  8. Bunging sandstone in at 9a caused a problem for last in 2d but realised the error when I eventually remembered what the leather trousers are called. I too thought it quite tough though no more so than the back-pager & needless to say very enjoyable indeed. We’ve certainly been spoilt rotten today. Fav a tight photo finish between 21a& 17d with an enlarged print needed to separate them
    Thanks to Beam/Ray T & to Gazza whose review I’ll leave for a bit of pre lights out reading as pushed for time

  9. I also spent far too long trying to justify sandstone before the penny dropped. I she with the step up in difficulty but very satisfying to solve. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  10. Beam at his best. Tremendous fun. Agree with 2d for favourite.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

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