Toughie 3103 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3103

Toughie No 3103 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Beam is being pretty gentle with us today – thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Travellers in shire avoiding universal argument (11)
CONTROVERSY: insert a word for travellers or wanderers into a synonym for a shire in England without the abbreviation for universal.

10a Beak welcomes ordinary method of execution (5)
NOOSE: beak is an informal word for a facial feature. It contains the abbreviation for ordinary.

11a Knight with endless sound in fanfare (9)
CHEVALIER: an adjective meaning sound or credible without its last letter goes inside a verb meaning to fanfare or acclaim.

12a Old boy’s attacks without heart blockages (9)
OBSTACLES: the abbreviation for old boy and a verb meaning attacks without its central letter.

13a European tax detailed before check (5)
DUTCH: a type of tax without its last letter precedes the chess abbreviation for check.

14a It contains discharge dropping penultimate explosive (6)
SEMTEX: what ‘it’ is a slang word for contains a verb to discharge without its penultimate letter.

16a Guts involves taking on Republican (8)
ENTRAILS: a verb meaning involves or requires contains the abbreviation for Republican.

18a Powerless detective’s exhausted after pinching adult (8)
DISABLED: the abbreviation for a senior CID officer plus the S and a verb meaning exhausted or drained contain the abbreviation for adult.

20a Cornier story in Sun’s first, right? (6)
STALER: the first letter of sun and an abbreviation for right contain a synonym of story.

23a Dish found over in Gujarati area (5)
RAITA: hidden in reverse.

24a Ungainly slice from fine leg antagonises (9)
INELEGANT: hidden.

26a Fleeting time hastened international sports broadcast (9)
TRANSIENT: assemble the physics abbreviation for time, a verb meaning hastened and the abbreviation for international wearing (sports) a verb meaning broadcast or transmitted.

27a Don Quixote’s sidekick? (5)
AMIGO: Don Quixote was Spanish so what would his mate be called?

28a Daring passage oddly stormier on river (11)
VENTURESOME: start with a passage or opening and add the odd letters of ‘stormier’ after a river in North Yorkshire.

Down Clues

2d Gongs comprising orchestra’s earliest instruments (5)
OBOES: examples of the gongs handed out to worthy individuals contain the first letter of orchestra.

3d Young support English protecting badger (7)
TEENAGE: a support on the golf course and an abbreviation for English contain a verb to badger or pester.

4d Magic Circle clubs in fashion (6)
OCCULT: start with the circular letter and then insert the abbreviation for the card suit clubs into a word for a fashion or craze.

5d Occasion for plainchant or plain chant? (8)
EVENSONG: synonyms for plain and chant.

6d Vocally attack solo occasionally with Queen (7)
SLANDER: glue together the odd letters of solo, a conjunction meaning with and our late Queen’s cipher.

7d Careless criminal’s banged up without charge (13)
INCONSIDERATE: an informal word for a criminal has an adverb meaning banged up around it (without). Finish with a synonym of charge.

8d Dodgy case of wind gripping one (8)
MISTRIAL: the name of a cold wind in France contains the Roman numeral for one.

9d After gold box, share score (13)
ORCHESTRATION: after our usual tincture of gold we need nounal synonyms for box and share.

15d Obscure daughter of Mr. Tickle, reportedly? (8)
MYSTICAL: this sounds like the daughter of Mr Tickle in the creation of Roger Hargreaves.

17d Grounds sailors, say, in rising currents (8)
SEDIMENT: insert a word for ordinary sailors into the reversal of currents in the sea.

19d Smiles unevenly supporting supporter’s club (7)
BRASSIE: the odd letters of ‘smiles’ follow a supporting garment to make an old word for a golf club.

21d Digital security providers? (7)
TOECAPS: cryptic definition of what provide protection for your tootsies.

22d Rubbish church resistance over clergyman (6)
RECTOR: join together a word meaning rubbish, the abbreviation for the established church in England and the abbreviation for electrical resistance. Now reverse it all.

25d Saw small island following a cross (5)
AXIOM: the abbreviation for a small island in the Irish sea follows A and the letter resembling a St Andrew’s cross.

For my podium I’ve selected 24a, 26a and 8d. Which one(s) gripped you?

16 comments on “Toughie 3103

  1. Really enjoyed this one – knowing there are almost certainly no anagrams makes it an interesting challenge, trying to ignore what else-puzzle might be anagram indicators and working out what Beam actually means! As you say, Gazza, reasonably gentle – though I was held up for a goodly while with 16a trying to find a 7-letter word for “involves” starting with an I. In my case I was for Idiot …

    So many excellent clues, where to start? Narrowing the list to three was nigh-on impossible but I’ll go for 24a, 28a & 21d.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to RayT/Beam & to Gazza

  2. Fortunately, my podium is big enough to hold more than Mustafa’s so I’m populating it with 15&26a plus 7,8&15d.
    Splendid puzzle as always from our ray of sunshine with just the ‘sound’ in 11a that held me up for a while on the parsing front.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review and cartoons – I did like Mr Means Well!

  3. I really enjoyed this. I love a Beam Thursday (and a RayT Thursday). My favourite crossword day of the week. This one was great fun. I finished and parsed it all. I can’t choose a favourite as they were all winners for me. Many thanks to Beam for the fun and to Gazza for confirming my solve.

  4. Definitely on the gentler side but some clues took a bit of teasing out. I needed the hint to parse 14a. Great fun as always with lots of contenders for favourite but 15d just shades it. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. Certainly on the mild side but with 3 outstanding clues at 24a, 26a [sports is v clever] and 7d [without ditto – held me up for quite a while].
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  6. Top quality entertainment from one of my favourite setters that was not too difficult but had very high entertainment value. I think 26a just takes top spot, but it could well have been many others.

    Many thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  7. I enjoyed this far more than the back pager. I did need help with a couple but, on the whole, most enjoyable with some satisfying clues. I put “obstructs” in at 12a, which held things up a bit. I did like 8d having remembered the wind from school geography lessons. It took me ages to get away from “innards`’ at 16a until the penny dropped. 15d gave me a huge smile but my COTD is 14a.

    Many thanks, Beam for restoring my confidence and thank you, Gazza for explaining a few for me.

  8. Evening all. My thanks to Gazza for the decryption and to all for your comments.


  9. A fine Beam of Sunlight but I had a bit of help from Elgar himself, I had Don Quixote’s horse Rocinante and sidekick Sancho Panza but couldn’t see the more obvious Spanish pal until John H pointed it out. If ever you are in York for one of Elgar’s periodical get togethers they are a great excuse for beers and crosswords.
    Thanks to Gazza and Beam 16a gives a new meaning to putting the words to “lights”

  10. This was third excellent Toughie in a row this week, all very different in style but all very enjoyable indeed.

    I’m not overly keen on 27a which seems to me to be barely cryptic, just needing to know the Spanish translation for friend. Everything else was a potential podium candidate.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza,

  11. Shame more of the back-page detractors didn’t heed our reviewer’s advice & come here instead. Lovely stuff. Top 3 – 14&26a plus 8d.
    Thanks all

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