Toughie 3119 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3119

Toughie No 3119 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A fairly straightforward Beam puzzle with all his usual trademark features – thanks to him.
I suspect there’s an error in the 12a clue. The answer which the wordplay points to was not accepted by the online puzzles site which wanted a different (though related) game.

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

Across Clues

1a Veil some lovers had owned (10)
OVERSHADOW: hidden in the clue.

6a Dock, reversing into berth (4)
ROOM: reverse a verb to dock to get a word meaning berth in the sense of space to manoeuvre (as in ‘give a wide berth to’).

10a Carried on guzzling, primarily getting drunk (7)
GLUGGED: a verb meaning carried follows the primary letter of guzzling.

11a Crowds seeing run in skimpy underwear (7)
THRONGS: insert the abbreviation for a cricket run into skimpy items of underwear.

12a Basketball team fixes game (8)
NINEPINS: the number of players in a basketball team and a verb meaning fixes or attaches. The number of players in a basketball team can definitely be counted on one hand but the online puzzles site wants the answer to correspond to the number of players in a baseball team??
STOP PRESS: The clue has now been updated on the Online Puzzles Site to: Baseball team fixes game (8)

13a Slice of food approaching empty cakehole (5)
PIECE: an item of baked food and the outer letters of cakehole.

15a Training after meal firstly causing injury (7)
MAIMING: a present participle meaning training (a rifle perhaps) follows the first letter of meal.

17a Performance is physical including cold sex (7)
RECITAL: an adjective meaning physical (as opposed to imaginary) contains the abbreviation for cold and an informal word for sex.

19a Oddball left a French garret gutted (7)
LUNATIC: assemble the abbreviation for left, a French word meaning ‘a’ and a synonym of garret without its middle letter.

21a Male sort meeting alimentary need initially (7)
MILKMAN: the abbreviation for mail, a synonym of sort or type and the initial letters of ‘meeting alimentary need’.

22a Planter, we hear, for tree (5)
CEDAR: this sounds like someone planting or sowing.

24a Return of Queen meaning Queen record (8)
REGISTER: our late Majesty makes two appearances here, the first reversed. Between the two we need a synonym of meaning or substance.

27a Boasting supporter with volume trouble (7)
BRAVADO: string together our usual female supporting garment, the abbreviation for volume and a noun meaning trouble.

28a Mean state facing decline (7)
AVERAGE: a verb to state and a verb to decline or become less sprightly.

29a Starts to examine, yearningly examine, sometimes (4)
EYES: a ‘first letters’ clue.

30a Hamlet possibly finding resolution (10)
SETTLEMENT: double definition. Hamlet here is not the Danish prince.

Down Clues

1d Sorry guys dropping odds for bacchanalia (4)
ORGY: drop the odd letters from the first two words.

2d Learning of fraud occasionally in publication (9)
ERUDITION: insert the even letters of fraud into a publication or issue.

3d Follow on, say, caught by appeal (5)
SEGUE: the abbreviation for ‘say’ goes inside a verb to appeal or plead (for peace perhaps).

4d Rowing, losing head, turning rotten (7)
ADDLING: a present particle meaning rowing (rhyming with mowing rather than cowing) without its first letter.

5d Stink over consumer admitting time’s slower (7)
OBTUSER: the reversal of the abbreviation for personal stink and a synonym for consumer bracket the physics abbreviation for time.

7d Cat springs, abandoning cover (5)
OUNCE: a verb meaning springs or lunges without its outer letters.

8d Mix with lots around one’s cubicle (10)
MISCELLANY: a word meaning lots or a large number contains the Roman numeral for one, its ‘S and a cubicle or small room.

9d Current carrying resistance gets hot (8)
TROPICAL: an adjective meaning current or newsworthy containing the physics abbreviation for resistance.

14d Ruthless rogue, the French guy (10)
IMPLACABLE: bolt together a rogue, a French definite article and a guy or rope.

16d Painter valiantly covering gap (8)
INTERVAL: hidden.

18d Restrained allure with sweetheart taking time (9)
TEMPERATE: a verb to allure or entice and Beam’s usual swEetheart contain a period of historic time.

20d Destroy putting stick through heart (7)
CORRODE: insert a stick or cane into a synonym of heart.

21d Plane tirade for asylum seeker, perhaps (7)
MIGRANT: charade of a Soviet fighter plane and a tirade.

23d Bird beginning to display comb (5)
DRAKE: the first letter of display and a verb to rake or search through.

25d Panorama is reportedly viewed (5)
SCENE: this sounds like a past participle meaning viewed.

26d Attend club (4)
BEAT: split the answer 2,2 to get a phrasal verb meaning to attend.

I liked 15a, 3d and 14d. Which one(s) got a ‘thumbs up’ from you?

15 comments on “Toughie 3119

  1. I spent ages on 12a, fretting about maybe the other nine players on the court or the numbers of substitutes. I suspect it should be baseball though as when i tried 5 it rejected my answer. I don’t know if it has been updated as mine was downloaded in the wee small hours by a sleepless night. My fitful sleep would have been better withought dreams of beer, baskets and skittles
    Thanks to Gazza and Beam

    1. And now i learn there are variants with just about any number of skittles you can think of!

  2. Flew through this from the bottom up until I hit the buffers in the NW. The 10a penny took an embarrassingly long time to drop as I initially thought the definition was at the front which left 3d&12a. Ought to have pegged the latter despite not knowing how many players made up a team but in the end only got it after I’d cheated & looked up synonyms for appeal at 3d (could only think of 🆘) & the additional checker gave the game away. 8d my fav as it’s such a lovely word I always think & I rather liked the surface at 13a – something I’m resolved to do less of.
    Thanks to Beam & Gazza – great cartoons & loved the puss pic with the parent’s expression of pride.

  3. 12a aside, this was fairly straightforward Toughie that was as concise as always. 7d was quite elegant, I thought, and my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  4. Shame about 12a but though not perhaps quite vintage Beam still a lot to admire and like, foremost of which for me were the excellent 24a along with 3d.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. Typical Beam – concise and very enjoyable with 14d my favourite. i found this one very much at the easier end of the Toughie scale.

    I didn’t know there was a game called “fivepins” but it’s in the BRB, and when you solve the puzzle on paper there is nothing to tell you if you are right or wrong.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Gazza.

  6. Quite a gentle offering from our setter although as concise and amusing as ever. 12a didn’t cause me any problems – just wrote in the game I knew of and assumed I’d wrongly guessed the number of players involved! Top three for me were 11a plus 7&14d.

    Devotions of course to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review, cartoons and lovely illustration of Mum and cub at 7d.

  7. I was [and remain] perfectly happy with the basketball team. The usual from Beam – 21a and 27a get my votes.
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  8. I too put fivepins having found out that there is actually a game called that and my paper didn’t tell me I was wrong so I’m not counting that as a dnf, I’ve had two of those already this week. The usual enjoyable excellence from Rayt. Favourite was 8d. Thanks to Rayt and Gazza.

  9. Solid fare, but some way off RayT’s usually high standard for a Beam Toughie, I thought. There was quite a lot of repetition in the clueing (add a letter, remove a letter, use a one- or two-letter abbreviation) and I felt 12a was something of a let down, even before reading here of the basketball/baseball problem, not being a great fan of using this type of indicator for a particular number. OTOH, the 1a lurker read beautifully, and other podium positions were filled by 21a, 2d, and 26d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Gazza (great cartoons, as ever!)

    1. Totally agree on the clueing, a bit too much Lego and letter swapping/removal. I hadn’t even clocked it was a Beam puzzle, although in my defence I was half asleep when I started it!

      Needed a couple of hints, so thanks for those.

  10. I managed all but two clues unaided, 12a and 3d. The new puzzles site still has basketball team in 12a and I have only heard 3d spoken, so didn’t know how it is spelled. Enjoyable, more so than the back pager. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  11. Think we were helped by not knowing how many players in a basketball team and quite happily wrote in the correct answer for 12a.
    All the usual fun of a Beam puzzle and much appreciated.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  12. I have avoided the Toughie until now, as I have lacked confidence in my ability. Today I decided to give it a try and was pleased to find a familiar setter. That certainly helped.
    Thank you Gazza for providing explanations and solutions to the five clues that had stumped me – including the number of players in a certain team. The answer fell like, well like themselves.
    And thank you Beam.

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