Toughie 3183 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3183

Toughie No 3183 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

With no clue containing more than six words our setter has given us another masterclass in how to write succinct and amusing clues.

Thanks to Beam for the entertainment.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you liked about the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a Walking out? (12)
SOMNAMBULISM: cryptic definition where ‘out’ means in the land of Nod.

9a Battery is run down in motorway (9)
ARTILLERY: insert an adjective meaning run down or poorly into a motorway or major route.

10a Largely unclean cash revenue earned, initially (5)
LUCRE: initial letters.

11a Unseated from chair of state, reportedly (6)
THROWN: this sounds like what a head of state may sit on.

12a Beaming female using whip (8)
FLASHING: the abbreviation for female and a present participle meaning using a whip.

13a Embarrassed taking pleasure for payback (6)
REFUND: a synonym for embarrassed contains a word for pleasure or amusement.

15a Somewhat outclasses sorry judge (8)
ASSESSOR: hidden in the clue.

18a Matured, perhaps seeing force reduced (8)
FLOWERED: the abbreviation for force and a verb meaning reduced.

19a Part of girl is somewhat flexible (6)
LISSOM: our second hidden word.

21a Control straddling old time cycle (8)
ROTATION: a verb to control or restrict contains the abbreviations for old and time.

23a Fearful person audibly cringed in fear (6)
COWARD: this sounds like a verb meaning cringed in fear or quailed.

26a Collect last item on shopping list (5)
GLEAN: the last letter of shopping and a verb to list or heel over.

27a Dull prisoner concealing a nail, oddly (9)
INANIMATE: another word for a prisoner contains A and the odd letters of ‘nail’.

28a Holds, catching batsman, showing guts (12)
CHITTERLINGS: a verb meaning holds or grasps contains a batsman or striker of the ball to make an edible dish.

Down Clues

1d Appetiser is more pungent after seconds (7)
STARTER: a comparative meaning more pungent follows the abbreviation for seconds.

2d Men supporting annual check for car (5)
MOTOR: the abbreviation for rank-and-file men follows an annual check that a vehicle is roadworthy.

3d Alimony’s first cut admitting mean payment (9)
ALLOWANCE: join the first letter of alimony and a verb to cut or pierce and insert an adjective meaning mean or base.

4d Meat from grouse (4)
BEEF: double definition, the second an informal verb to grouse.

5d Patriot confused about one set up (8)
LOYALIST: an adjective meaning confused or disorientated contains the reversal of the Roman numeral for one and a verb to set (the table perhaps).

6d Little alternative on board for sailors (5)
SALTS: an abbreviation for alternative goes inside our usual abbreviated ship.

7d Catch up taking catches in covers (8)
ECLIPSES: the reversal of a verb to catch or notice contains a verb meaning catches or strikes.

8d Bum support around horse, some say (6)
BEGGAR: a verb to support contains what sounds like how some (especially children) may refer to a horse.

14d French row, gripping about border (8)
FRONTIER: an abbreviation for France and a synonym for row or rank contain a preposition meaning ‘about’.

16d Revolting retreat over current leader (9)
EDITORIAL: assemble an animal’s retreat, the cricket abbreviation for over and a marine current then reverse the lot.

17d Playboy fellow caught in burglary (8)
HEDONIST: a university fellow is contained inside an informal word for a burglary.

18d Hunt enemy welcoming scrap (6)
FORAGE: a synonym of enemy contains a word for a scrap or small portion.

20d Passion occasionally ardent in pretty pass (7)
MADNESS: the odd letters of ardent go inside a ‘pretty pass’ or bad state of affairs.

22d Smell cutting head off fish (5)
TENCH: cut the first letter off a bad smell.

24d Once more putting ace over net (5)
AGAIN: put the card abbreviation for ace ahead of a verb to net or acquire.

25d Worry about Queen being upset (4)
CARE: an abbreviation meaning about or approximately and the reversal of our late Queen’s cipher.

My ticks today were awarded to 26a, 8d and 16d with my favourite being 1a. Which one(s) did you cheer?


18 comments on “Toughie 3183
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  1. 1a went in straight away and remained my favourite throughout the solving process. I also liked 1d. You have to be impressed by a six word maximum cluefest: quite remarkable.

    My thanks to Beam for an entertaining puzzle and to Gazza for the cartoons.

  2. It seems I picked a great week to start my introduction to the toughie! Today’s was another accessible puzzle that all fell happily into place for me.
    I am definitely due my comeuppance and will doubtless share my woes when normal service is resumed…
    In the meantime I really enjoyed 17D and 28A, but my favourite by a head, shoulders and midriff was 1A (whose penny did not drop until I had some very handy checkers)

  3. Great fun – light for a Toughie, but more than a backpager, and Mr T’s genius in concise clue construction clearly on show. I do hope it gets more of an audience among those who don’t normally tackle the “inside pager” puzzle. Special mentions to 10a (superb combined surface and extra connection with answer) and 28a.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza (good cartoons, as ever!)

  4. The second top-notch puzzle of the day! Like YS @1, as soon as I started I solved 1a instantly but unfortunately I chose the wrong last three letters (which is still a valid answer as that alternative can be used as a noun as well as an adjective). However that meant that 6d needed to start with an N, rendering it impossible to solve until I realised the error of my ways.

    That hiccough aside, this was not difficult but, like today’s back-pager, it was great fun from start to finish. One can only marvel at the quality of the clueing and the smoothness of the surfaces using so few words.

    Despite the ambiguity, I will still pick 1a as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

    1. The ambivalence of 1a was a little frustrating. In my view the answer could as validly have ended -ant, -ate (my first choice), or -ist as -ism, and even with the answer to 6d beginning with an S, one is left with a choice.

  5. Pretty much back-page difficulty without anagrams but great fun. Another vote for 1a as pick of the bunch – I had a girlfriend who occasionally did it & the first time it happened in my company it was really quite alarming even though I’d been forewarned.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Gazza.

  6. What a very succinct and enjoyable puzzle, albeit a little gentle for a Thursday. Only problem I had was parsing 20D. I Hadn’t come across the meaning for “pretty pass” before. I liked 9 and 28A, but my favourite by a country mile was 1A.
    Many thanks to Gazza for the enlightenment and humour and to Beam for the enjoyment.

  7. Did most of this on my phone in the barbers early doors…not whilst actually in the chair, I’m far too fussy about my hair for that, but whilst waiting.
    Was surprised to see “somewhat” repeated as part of a lurker, albeit as indicator and fodder (a deliberate ploy?) so close together in 15&19a.
    Lots to like as ever with this setter, I cheered for
    9a plus 16&17d with top spot going to the lol 8d.
    Many thanks to Gazza and Beam.

    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  8. I loved this, as usual, and just about managed it, not completely but did most of it – great for the morale!!
    I liked 11 and 15a and 2 and 8d.
    My favourite has to be 1a – I also used to do it, and still do occasionally if worn out or anxious about anything – it’s really quite frightening to do it. When I was about four my parents found me wandering around and told them I was going to see the tadpoles – we didn’t have any tadpoles and, actually, we didn’t even have a pond!! Weird or what!!
    Thank you to Beam for the crossword and to Gazza for the hints (and a couple of answers too) and the cartoons.

  9. For some reason that eludes us now we had trouble with 7d that took a while to get sorted.
    Great fun to solve and we agree that 1a deserves top billing.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  10. Needed the hints to parse 9a, 5d, 7d and 20d obvious when pointed out of course. Lots to like all over the oche. Favourite was 1a. I am one of those people who suffer from that and have done all my life. It can be dangerous, I’ve fallen down the stairs more than once, that wakes you up, and embarrassing like when I sleepwalked out of my house with no clothes on and met my next door neighbours arriving back after a night out and they said ‘shouldn’t you be inside? ‘ I turned round and went back in, they told me about it the next day, and the time I was stopping in a hotel in Ireland and walked out of my room, naked again, and wandered around the corridors (for who knows how long?) all caught on cctv of course, until I woke up, found my way back to my room only to find it locked so I had to go to the reception and get them to make me another key. I said ‘I’ve been sleepwalking’ and she said ‘I know I’ve been watching you’, I could go on. Any road up thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  11. So late in after a long day spent playing ‘Granny’. Love the pair of them to pieces but it does start to wear a bit thin at times!
    Relieved to see that someone else admitted to having trouble nailing 7d, that was my final entry by quite a margin.
    Rosettes awarded to 11,12&26a plus 8&17d.

    Devotions as always to MrT/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review and another brilliant selection of cartoons.

  12. Thanks to Gazza and Beam, I found that quite tough but fair For me the SW was stubborn but a couple of nudges from the blog got me over the line
    I too had a plethora of endings for 1a that even with the salty checker wasn’t totally resolved
    28a was a great clue but a lousy meal IMO

    (There is a comment on the other blog about accessing the blog via the email. I think peeps who don’t have BD bookmarked rely on the read more of this post link and I notice that both Shabbo’s and your blog appear to have lost this – please delete if you already are aware)

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, John. I’ve no idea what’s different about Shabbo’s (and my) posts but I’ll try to find out.

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