Toughie 466 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 466

Toughie No 466 by Osmosis

Something fishy!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This was a struggle – but well worth the effort.  A true Toughie from Osmosis with many of those penny-drop moments.

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1a    Tea without milk and sugar, reverend? (8)
{CHAPLAIN} – A charade of another word for tea with how that drink might be described if served without milk and sugar gives a reverend attached to a regiment or other organisation

6a    Medic’s overwhelmed by repeated morning theatre (2-4)
{AM-DRAM} – put a medic between (overwhelmed by) two instances of the abbreviation for morning to get this form of local theatre

9a    During 5 out of 6 deliveries, enclose batsman (6)
{OPENER} – inside (during) a set of six deliveries in cricket without the V (5 in Roman numerals) put a word meaning to enclose to get either of the first two batsmen

10a    Cases for transporting mirror and painting (8)
{SEASCAPE} – an anagram (transporting) of CASES is followed by a word meaning to mirror or copy to get this type of painting

11a    Energy used by medium in bar, regressing behaviour in US (8)
{DEMEANOR} – put E(nergy) and medium or average inside a bar which is reversed (regressing) to get the American (in US) spelling of a word meaning behaviour or conduct

12a    Old Vic actor (6)
{MATURE} – a word meaning old is the surname of actor Victor

13a    A dip around the Aegean islands? (12)
{TARAMASALATA} – a cryptic definition of a pink creamy Greek dip made of smoked cod’s roe with olive oil and garlic

16a    Roger’s in mess with almond, cooking meal (6,6)
{SMOKED SALMON} – put OK (Roger in signalling) inside an anagram (cooking) of MESS and ALMOND to get this fishy meal

19a    Inheritance netted nurses close to five grand (6)
{LEGACY} – an inheritance is constructed by putting a word meaning netted around (nurses) E (close to fivE) and G(rand)

21a    Lots of GB society bare torsos, some getting reaction (8)
{TERABYTE} – a unit of storage capacity equal to 1,024gb (lots) is hidden (some) and reversed (getting reaction) in the clue

23a    With tenor replacing contralto, camp pianist let loose (8)
{LIBERATE} – start with a camp pianist, the one who loved chandeliers, and replace the C (contralto) in his name with a T (tenor) to get a verb meaning to let loose

24a    Echo censors true German woman? (6)
{RENATE} – take a synonym for to echo and drop (censors) SO (true, as in “is that so?”) to get a German woman’s name

25a    Muscle Beach — regulars seen in endless strut, rippling (6)
{RECTUS} – a muscle is constructed by putting the even (regular) letters of bEaCh inside an anagram (rippling) of an endless STRU(T)

26a    Star Trek character heading off to obtain separate clothing — like this? (4,4)
{POLO NECK} – drop the initial letter (heading off) the Vulcan in Star Trek and then put it around (clothing) a word meaning separate or isolated to get an item of clothing with a particular collar


2d    Endless publicity stunt by bird that’s in T-shirt and G-string (6)
{HYPHEN} – drop the last letter from a publicity stunt, add a bird and you get something that is common to T-shirt and G-string

3d    Food package peripherally bears E numbers (5)
{PENNE} – this pasta in the form of short thick tubes is built from PE (PackagE peripherally) around (bears) E and NN (Numbers)

4d    Lawrence’s work staff (6,3)
{AARON’S ROD} – a double definition – a book by DH Lawrence and a staff carried by Moses’ brother

5d    Drug break indicated to guitarist? (7)
{NOSTRUM} – a medicine prepared by an unqualified person, especially one that is not considered effective, if split (2,5) could indicate to a guitarist that he should take a break

6d    Panic like a seaman (5)
{ALARM} – this panic is a charade of an originally French word for like or “in the style of” and a Royal Marine

7d    Sports event proving men can multi-task? (9)
{DECATHLON} – a cryptic definition of a sporting contest that consists of ten different events

8d    It’s omitted by some Cockneys – like Jack Sparrow? (8)
{ASPIRATE} – the “H” sound, which is omitted by some Cockneys, when split as (2,6), could mean like Jack Sparrow, a character portrayed by Johnny Depp in a well-known series of movies

13d    Force retailer, not starting car, to recharge batteries? (4,1,4)
{TAKE A SEAT} – a charade of a volunteer force, a Swedish retailer without its first letter (not starting) and a Spanish make of car gives a word meaning to sit down in order to recharge one’s batteries

14d    Record company occupies banks of Stour river in Green Belt? (4-5)
{SEMI-RURAL} – put a record company inside SR (banks of StouR) and follow it with a river that flows through Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea to get a word meaning in the Green Belt

15d    Cretin upset priest with a measure of obesity, after church (8)
{IMBECILE} – a cretin is constructed by reversing (upset) all of a priest and a measure of obesity with a church in the middle

17d    Port not available (flipping 15) (7)
{ANTWERP} – this port in northern Belgium is constructed by reversing () the abbreviation for Not Available and following it with yet another cretin (15 down)

18d    Still blissful, having abandoned the city (6)
{STATIC} – a word meaning still or motionless is a synonym for blissful without (having abandoned) EC (the postcode of the City of London)

20d    Old training scheme attracts each writer from Ireland (5)
{YEATS} – put an old training scheme for unemployed school-leavers around (attracts) the abbreviation for each to get an Irish poet and dramatist

22d    Shoe size perhaps rising here in Africa (5)
{BENIN} – reverse a possible shoe size (including the width) to get a country in West Africa

That makes it two Friday puzzles in a row for me – and both superb.  Tilsit hopes to be back next week (he was planning to escape from hospital today).

15 comments on “Toughie 466

  1. I found this really difficult but amazed myself by finishing it with help just from the dictionary. 21a was new to me and took a long time to find as I didn’t appreciate the significance of the word ‘reaction’. And I made life difficult for a long time by trying to fit ‘irenic’ in at 18d. However, it all came out in the wash.

    A really enjoyable puzzle with many nice clues.

  2. I found this very difficult but very enjoyable, 25a is wrong in your clue Dave though the explanation is correct (typo?). Thanks Osmosis and BD for a grand end to the week. Loved 13a.

  3. Not the most difficult Osmosis puzzle but by far one of the most enjoyable and fun crosswords to solve. The number of clues that brought a smile to the lips when the wordplay dawned was high. There were only three I had to put to one side and cogitate on and the final one (where I had the answer but had the wrong wordplay) CrypticSue put me right on!

    Many thanks to Osmosis for a storming end to the Toughie week and to BD for the notes.

  4. I’m shattered now, but glad perservated, half went in fairly straightforward, and then, oh dear, but got there in the end. 13a favourite, as a frequent visitor to Samos I suppose it should be, followed by 23a! Thanks Osmosis and BD, Time now to hit the caffeine

  5. Very suitable toughness for a Friday. Took a lot of cogitation and a little checking for myself and my PinC but virtually every answer held an aha moment. I can’t tell you the images going through my mind for 2-down, before the well-delayed d’oh moment when I spotted the definition-by-example.

    The 24a and 18d crossing clues held us up for quite a while until I realised the words to be reduced into the answers.

    We also got 21a wrong and couldn’t see the wordplay, though we thought it hade something to do with S(ociety) after BARE< and TIT! D'oh! As you may have realised, we had the plural of the version meaning one-eight of the amount represented by the correct answer.

    I guess it'll be a long time, if ever, before kibibyte, mebibyte, gibibyte… etc. or their abbreviations (KiB, MiB, GiB, TiB, PiB EiB) start appearing (though the abbreviations could be so handy in wordplay) as they’re not in OED online or Chambers online, even though they’re in EU standards that also reinforce the true decimal meaning of kilo (k), mega (M), giga (G) etc so you can’t sue a hard disk maker in the EU for providing a 1.0 TB hard disk if they provide a least 1,000,000,000,000 bytes of capacity. This is more necessary as sizes get larger because the once small difference at 1 kB is about 10% for a TB versus a TiB and will get worse as Peta/Pebi and Exa/Exbi prefixes become useful to consumers in future decades.

    Many thanks, Osmosis and Big Dave for painstakingly putting the parsing into words & HTML.

  6. Lovely crossword from Osmosis. I found it reasonably straightforward until the South East corner with some great penny drops.
    I have asterisks against 9a, 13a, 23a and 8d for enjoyment.
    Many thanks to BD for explaining 24a and thanks to Osmosis for a great puzzle.

  7. A long, hard (but very enjoyable) struggle throughout the afternoon. Finally, capitulated and referred to BD’s excellent blog to finish off the SE corner. Lots of very clever and amusing clues (some far too clever for me!). Favourite: “the Aegean dip”.

    Many thanks to Osmosis & BD!

  8. A good crossword with some great clues but why does he have to include a name, as in 24. Whilst it was easily solvable it was unnecessary. The rest was most enjoyable but had to look up 21 as this is newspeak. Best clue was 12 which made me laugh. Other favs 1 8 9 10 13 and 23. A really good end to the Toughie week.

  9. Late posting as new boss has forbidden non-lunch hour interweb use – harrumph – and then I went with Son No 2 to see the new Harry Potter so only just home. I got on really well until I got to the SE corner – there is a lot of Tippex marking my struggle – I needed the full assistance of my fellow Advanced CC members today – the law of the Gnome and the hint of Prolixic. Thanks to both of them, to Osmosis for the terrific Friday Toughie and to BD for the explanations.

  10. I found this crossword really hard and only managed to finish half of it! have only done a few of the Toughies before, some are ok but others a lot trickier. I think this blog is excellent though, it gives just enough info for solving without giving the actual answer.

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