Toughie No 104

Toughie No 104 by Osmosis

A typical Toughie with some tricky wordplay

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Several clues in this puzzle left me scratching my head for the wordplay, especially 1 down.  One or two lesser known words, and an artist whose name is not  particularly well known made for an awkward puzzle.


1a Loot’s bound to excite British swimmer (11)
{STICKLEBACK} – SACK (to loot) around (bound) TICKLE (to excite) and  B(ritish) to give a fish (swimmer)

9a Item on breakfast table, perhaps rolled oats, eaten by dog (5,4)
{TOAST RACK} – an anagram (perhaps rolled) of OATS inside (eaten by) TRACK (follow / dog)

10a State aid distributed by hand outs, initially (5)
{IDAHO} – an anagram (distributed) of AID followed by H O (Hand Outs initially) – what would these setters do without American states?

11a Feverish man, cold, twitching (6)
{HECTIC} – HE (man) C(old) TIC (twitching) giving a synonym for feverish

12a Fast train disrupted by frost (2,1,5)
{IN A TRICE} – an anagram (disrupted) of TRAIN followed by a sort of synonym for frost

13a Archaic language disgusted daily newspaper’s chief (6)
{LYDIAN) – an anagram (disgusted) of DAILY then N (Newspaper’s chief / first letter – not the editor this time!) gives a language so archaic that most people have never heard of it

15a Ballet movement, somewhere in South America, screened by digital TV (8)
{CABRIOLE} – RIO (somewhere in South America) inside (screened by) CABLE (digital TV) gives a leap with one leg outstretched and the other struck against it (ballet movement)

18a Attempt to obtain adult underwear for burlesque (8)
{TRAVESTY}  – TRY (attempt) around  (to obtain) A (adult – movie rating, now PG) then VEST (underwear) giving a synonym for burlesque – but not for the American entertainment show!

19a Value two letters written about Terence when evacuated (6)
{ESTEEM} – a bit convoluted – ES (S) and EM (M) around TE (Terence when evacuated / the outside letters)

21a Emperor, right away, foretells time allied to America (8)
{AUGUSTUS} – AUGU(r)S (foretells, Right away) T(ime) then US (America) giving a Roman Emperor  – he is mentioned in The Mine

23a Ice hockey team squeezes into some foreign cinema (6)
{MOVIES} – VI (ice hockey is six a side) inside (squeezes into) an anagram (foreign) of SOME giving a name for the cinema (or a channel on Sky!)

26a Extravagant part of accoutrement (5)
{OUTRE} – hidden (part of) in accOUTREment

27a Margaret receives ruling to sever foot on ambulance (4,5)
{MEAT WAGON} – MEG (an affectionate shortening of Margaret) around (receives) (F)ATWA (ruling to sever Foot) the ON to give a colloquial name for an ambulance – this one was especially for you, Dr B

28a For good royal chap, hospital department induced good condition (11)
{PERMANENTLY} – ER (Elizabeth Regina / Royal) MAN (chap) ENT (hospital department) all inside (induced) PLY (good condition – especially in Scotland)


1d Case flung about with feet in British infant school? (7)
{SATCHEL} – An anagram (flung) of CASE with H T L (feet / last letters of BritisH infanT schooL)  giving a case that might be carried by an infant – a near-miss attempt at an &lit that is a bit too contrived, or maybe that’s sour grapes because Libellule had to point out to me where the H, T & L came from

2d Patriarch funds promotion of accountant (5)
{ISAAC} – ISA (Individual Savings Account / funds) then CA (Chartered Accountant) reversed (promotion – works only for down clues) giving a Patriarch

3d Pot poured out to rouse bird (9)
{KITTIWAKE} – kitty (pot) becomes KITTI (poured out / recounted / sounds like – I’ve not seen this one before) WAKE (rouse) giving a bird, and a flying boat

4d Story elevating European and other people (2,2)
{ET AL} – nifty construct – TALE (story) with the E (European) moved from last to first (elevating – once again, only works for down clues) to give a Latin phrase meaning and other people

5d Head of army breaking ranks when somewhere in US (8)
{ARKANSAS} – A (head of Army) then an anagram (breaking) of RANKS then AS (when) giving a US state  – the second one in this puzzle

6d Artist style boosted by gap in market (5)
{KLIMT} – ILK (style / of that ilk) reversed (boosted) with MT (gap in MarkeT) giving an artist but not one that I particularly like

7d Dig around green, reviewing ancient period (7)
{MIOCENE} – MINE (dig) around ECO (green) reversed (reviewing) giving an
ancient period

8d Note unusual tracks Manilow sung – in this voice? (8)
{BARITONE} – an anagram (unusual) of NOTE follows (tracks) BARI (sung / sounds like Barry Manilow) giving a deep-toned male voice between bass and tenor

14d Air currents cause diversion on board (8)
{DRAUGHTS} – a double definition – annoying air currents; a board game known in the US as checkers

16d Disgraced broadcaster craftily won over the quaint English town (4-2-3)
{ROSS-ON-WYE} – (Jonathan) ROSS (disgraced broadcaster – I loved that!) with an anagram  (craftily) of WON then (over – down clues only!) YE (the, quaint / old ) giving an English towneasy for me, as this beautiful place is not far from where I live

17d Split gutted increasingly odd musician? (8)
{STRUMMER} – S(pli)T (split gutted / centre removed) RUMMER (increasingly odd) giving someone who plays the guitar (musician) or especially the front man of
The Clash
I hope the double pun was intentional, if so it was excellent!

18d Company meeting as yet to be fixed – is it appointed by 9? (3,4)
{TEA COSY} – an anagram (to be fixed) of CO (company) and (meeting) AS YET – an item on the breakfast table with 9 across

20d Fellowship disciple enthralled by religious icon (7)
{MASONRY} – SON (disciple) inside (enthralled by) MARY (religious icon) giving a fellowship associated with rolled-up trouser legs!

22d Excessive energy impedes stride (5)
{STEEP) – E(nergy) inside (impedes) STEP (stride) giving a synonym for excessive

24d Tongue skimmed by dentist’s latest piece of metal (5)
{INGOT} – (L)INGO (tongue / language skimmed / without the first letter) then T (dentisT’s latest letter) giving a valuable piece of metal

25d Georgia repeatedly out to lunch (4)
{GAGA} – GA (Georgia) twice (repeatedly) giving a word meaning in senile dotage (out to lunch) and reminiscent of this hit by QueenI was going to post a link to the original video, but I couldn’t resist this one of the inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines dancing to Queen’s music!

All comments, observations and experiences are always welcome.


  1. BigNig
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really grateful for the blog. Always have enjoyed doing cryptics with varying success, but now I see a different perspective and times have plummeted.

  2. Posted March 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Permalink | Reply


    I’m glad you enjoy it.

    That’s the aim of this blog – to enable people like you to understand the clues in a way that was not possible a few short years ago.

  3. Posted March 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Most of this was challenging in the right kind of way. At 7D it took quite a bit of, er, digging to find the MINE to go outside the ECO. A good chunk of the reason was the double unchecked letter at the start of an answer with just 3 of 7 letters checked. Apart from this word and its “symmetry partner” at 18, the grid is very sound, so this feels like a cheap way of making the clue difficult.

    Barry Manilow and Wosser were much better. I also missed the “feet” in 1D, but with that extra checking letter, it didn’t matter.

Leave a Reply, but please read the Comment Etiquette (under Comment on the menu) first. If you are asking a question, please check if it is already answered in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *