Toughie 3151 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3151

Toughie No 3151 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

An enjoyable and amusing puzzle which is fairly gentle and only really differentiated from a Ray T back-pager by the lack of anagrams. Thanks to Beam.

Across Clues

1a Crack team in event’s covering tackle (9)
EQUIPMENT: a crack or gag and a synonym of team come between the outer letters of event.

6a Decant from spout’s interior, right? (4)
POUR: the interior of spout and the abbreviation for right.

10a Refrain from argument embracing sweetheart (5)
CEASE: a word meaning argument or claim contains Beam’s favourite swEetheart.

11a Fundamentalist error is made about menace (9)
TERRORISM: hidden word.

12a Drink with pork pie swallowing drink (7)
LIMEADE: what pork pie is rhyming slang for contains a honey-based drink.

13a Characters having inclination to the right? (7)
ITALICS: an old chestnut.

14a Drink somewhat hotter, amazingly, knocked back (8)
AMARETTO: hidden in reverse.

16a Gets close to new listeners? (5)
NEARS: the abbreviation for new and listeners which usually come in pairs.

19a Foliage possibly without large overhangs (5)
EAVES: a type of foliage losing its leading letter (the clothing abbreviation for large).

21a Greek god subsequently inspires old temple (8)
PANTHEON: stick together the Greek god of flocks and herds and an adverb meaning subsequently then insert the abbreviation for old.

24a Dressing reportedly forbidden before date (7)
BANDAGE: what sounds like forbidden precedes a verb to determine the date of something.

25a Divorce overdue, after one’s ring (7)
ISOLATE: an adjective meaning overdue follows the Roman numeral for one, ‘S and the ring-shaped letter.

27a Marine‘s a force in extreme surroundings (9)
SEAFARING: insert A and the physics abbreviation for force into an adjective meaning extreme with regard to heat.

28a Picture this compiler’s senility (5)
IMAGE: the contracted way Beam would say that he is and a synonym of senility.

29a Call for anger ends occasionally (4)
NEED: occasional letters from two words in the clue.

30a Active agent holding Tory line (9)
SPRIGHTLY: a secret agent contains an adjective describing Tory and the abbreviation for line.

Down Clues

1d Pardon former copper, past imprisoning copper (9)
EXCULPATE: assemble a prefix meaning former, the chemical symbol for copper and an adjective meaning past or erstwhile then insert the abbreviation for a copper coin.

2d Utterly negate and remove military, initially (5)
UNARM: initial letters.

3d Nobility of courtier protecting English Queen (7)
PEERAGE: a youth providing services at court contains an abbreviation for English and the cipher of our late Queen.

4d Cry wolf, perhaps in account (8)
ENTREATY: a verb to wolf is contained in an account or item in a written record.

5d Fix furrow in rotation for vegetable (6)
TURNIP: join together a verb to fix or attach and a furrow then reverse it all.

7d One American soldier wearing decorated issue (9)
ORIGINATE: the Roman numeral for one and the abbreviation for a US soldier go inside an adjective meaning decorated.

8d Peculiar case of pants revealing bottoms (5)
RUMPS: an adjective meaning peculiar and the outer letters of pants.

9d World head follows cheat (6)
DOMAIN: an adjective meaning head or principal follows a verb to cheat.

15d Pro saw catching leaders takes time (9)
ADVANTAGE: a word meaning saw or proverb contains a short word for leaders and the abbreviation for time.

17d Transgression count gripping church in earnest (9)
SINCERELY: a moral transgression and a verb to count or depend bracket one of our usual abbreviations for church.

18d Stay mum initially and avoid working (8)
MALINGER: a verb to stay or hang around with an affectionate word for one’s mum preceding it.

20d Stone a criminal in prison facility (6)
STALAG: string together the abbreviation for a stone in weight, A and an informal word for an (often old) criminal to get a German word which you’ll have come across if you watch WWII POW films.

22d Honking excessively can start to grate (7)
TOOTING: concatenate an adverb meaning excessively, a synonym for a can and the starting letter of grate.

23d Intellectual sort acquiring source of intel (6)
GENIUS: a sort or category in biology containing the first letter of intel.

24d Bowl while protected by box? (5)
BASIN: a conjunction meaning while is put inside a container which could be a box.

26d Fit in plug to the point (5)
ADAPT: an abbreviated word for a plug or promotion and an adjective meaning ‘to the point’ or relevant.

For my podium I’ve selected 4d, 8d (which made me laugh) and 15d. Which one(s) hit the mark for you?

16 comments on “Toughie 3151
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  1. Encouraged by the many recommendations in the back pager blog, I took on the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I did not know that Ray T’s alter ego was Beam, but the sweetheart in 10a confirms it.
    Lots of ticks, but top of the pile for me was the clever 22d.
    Many thanks to Ray/Beam and to Gazza.

  2. Very enjoyable and not overly difficult, I actually found it easier than his last RayT and more fun too.
    I thought 13a was a bit weak but that’s always a danger with a cryptic definition, one doesn’t always know how “cryptic” it actually is and 2d was a bit obvious given this setter’s penchant for them.
    11a was a superb example of its clue type, very well hidden and I liked 21&30a but my podium is 4,8&18d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  3. Always look forward to a Beam puzzle and this was certainly one of his ‘soft pedal’ variety which suited my mood.
    So many clues that I enjoyed but eventually handed out the rosettes to 30a along with 4&18d.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review and cartoons – bet you enjoyed hunting for the 8d illustration!

  4. Super puzzle with enough head scratchers in the south to make it interesting. LOI was 23d just because it was. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. Good fun if all over a bit too quickly. Mind you that have me time to return to yesterday’s Robyn Toughie which needed 4 visits to solve. Top 3 for me – 1,4&18d.
    Thanks to Beam & to Gazza – great Blackadder recall to remember that scene to illustrate 5d

  6. I have been out all day meeting a very old friend (in both senses), and having reminisced at length and enjoyed several drinks together, I can now post late in the day regarding today’s two magnificent Telegraph crosswords.

    This was very different to the back-pager, but equally enjoyable. Not an easy choice to pick a favourite here, but I’ll nominate 30a.

    Many thanks to Beam, whose puzzle is brilliantly complemented by Gazza’s excellent review.

  7. I found this a bit confusing. 9d escaped me even with the hint. Not too difficult but not too much fun either. Can’t quite put my finger on why

  8. As with the backpager this was completed mid morning and I have only just round to commenting on both. Crossword heaven pretty much sums up today, with Mr T on cracking form, if not from the most difficult end of his setting spectrum. Terrific entertainment.

    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  9. For some reason that makes no sense at all now we were very slow to twig both 9d and 23d. A bit of head-scratching and they did yield to complete what was an enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

    1. Good afternoon, Mr T. This tardiness is becoming a habit, sir, anyone would think you have other things to do!
      Hope your son is continuing to thrive – he must be quite the young man by now.

  10. I printed this off and saved it for later. Lovely! I thoroughly enjoyed it. My fave was 8d. I also particularly liked 1d with its play on ‘copper’, 18d, the superb 11a (to echo Stephen L, a clue-type of which Beam/RayT is pastmaster), and 30a.
    Many appreciative thanks to Beam. And many appreciative thanks to Gazza for an excellent review with delightful illustrations that made me laugh. What a fitting companion to the puzzle!

  11. Only four days (tbf, only on and off) to complete this rather nice puzzle. ***/****. 15d was a stinker to solve, I am reaching for the Rennies!

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