Toughie 492

Toughie No 492 by Osmosis

Wheels within Wheels

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

Osmosis provides his usual complicated wordplay (though with fewer reversals than usual) but we have a full complement of x within y within z type clues. Apart from a suspect homophone I thought that it was very enjoyable.
I see that we’re approaching Toughie No. 500 which should appear on a Wednesday (lucky me!) – I wonder whether we’ll get an anniversary “special”.

Across Clues

1a  Rubbish song covered repeatedly by one like Kylie (10)
{ANTIPODEAN} – one like Kylie is the definition and my first thought was Australian but I held off. In fact it’s a place full of rubbish followed by a poetic song which go inside (covered by) two indefinite articles (one .. repeatedly).

6a  Wound was bleeding, initially needing this? (4)
{SWAB} – a semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (wound) of WAS flowed by the first letter (initially) of B(leeding).

9a  Militant fired reactionary having socks on the outside (7)
{HOSTILE} – this synonym for militant is formed from a verb meaning fired or ignited which is reversed (reactionary) and has socks around it (on the outside).

10a  Secretary and clerk discussed some of 23 (7)
{PATELLA} – the abbreviation for an up-market secretary is followed by a (horrible) homophone (discussed) of a clerk, especially one working in a bank, to make part of 23d.

12a  Punished hoodlum, in empty backstreet ransacking boot, with fine (7,2,4)
{BROUGHT TO BOOK} – this phrase means given a formal punishment. It’s a hoodlum inside the outer letters (empty) of B(ackstree)T followed by an anagram (ransacking) of BOOT and finishing with an abbreviation meaning fine or satisfactory.

14a  Eradicate overly posh accent (upper-class rearing) (6)
{UPROOT} – rearing here means going backwards so we need to reverse an adverb meaning overly or excessively, the abbreviation for received pronunciation (posh accent) and the letter standing for upper-class.

15a  Left afar, ultimately amidst environment that’s beach-like? (8)
{STRANDED} – this is an all-in-one clue. Put the last letters (ultimately) of lefT and afaR inside how you might describe a beach.

17a  Woman, alongside husband by mirror, rejected confectionery? (8)
{MISSHAPE} – Chambers doesn’t specifically mention confectionery in the definition of this word, but the Oxford Dictionary of English relates it to a chocolate or other item of food which is sold cheaply. It’s a deformity and it’s a charade of a woman’s title, H(usband) and a verb meaning to mirror or imitate.

19a  Disorder in sheep, as one’s missing graze (6)
{SCRAPE} – a disease of sheep, similar to BSE in cattle, has its I (one) removed to leave a graze.

22a  Injured PE teacher, around hospital, stops to look for special treatment (6,7)
{SPEECH THERAPY} – an anagram (injured) of PE TEACHER goes around H(ospital) and all that goes inside (stops) a verb to look.

24a  Pie last seen at his workplace? (7)
{COBBLER} – double definition – a fruit pie with a thick crunchy topping and the sort of workman who would use a last.

25a  Once a pauper, active coxswain ditched hard drug (4-3)
{ALMS-MAN} – an old term for a pauper is A(ctive) followed by a synonym for coxswain without (ditched) H(ard) and E(cstasy).

26a  Rag-and-bone man’s centre parting? (2-2)
{TA-TA} – a word meaning odds and ends of little value (rag-and-bone) is followed by the central letter of mAn to make a childish farewell (parting).

27a  Outside in elements, chaplain defends wrong footwear (10)
{ESPADRILLE} – this footwear is made from the outer letters (outside) of E(lement)S followed by a chaplain in the armed forces containing (defends) a synonym for wrong.

Down Clues

1d  Child in casualty hurt (4)
{ACHE} – put the abbreviation for child inside the abbreviation for the casualty department in a hospital.

2d  PC displays this part of medal after duty (7)
{TASKBAR} – something that is displayed on a PC screen is a strip of metal below the clasp of a medal preceded by a piece of work (duty).

3d  Dispassionate Greek character, later seen again in local, so drunk (13)
{PHILOSOPHICAL} – an adjective meaning not too bothered either way (dispassionate) starts with the twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet, and the same letter appears again, this time inside LOCAL, with SO also inserted (drunk).

4d  Heading for dentist, Reginald heard instrument excavating canal? (6)
{DREDGE} – a machine used to excavate a canal is the first letter (heading) of D(entist) followed by a homophone (heard) of the diminutive form of Reginald.

5d  Remove member from team, up at ground (8)
{AMPUTATE} – an anagram (ground) of TEAM UP AT.

7d  Legal expert upheld properties of soap? (7)
{WALFORD} – I’m not well up on soaps so this was the last answer I got. If you reverse (upheld) a doctor of law (legal expert) you get the name of a fictitious borough in East London in which Eastenders is set and where its properties theoretically exist.

8d  Miss gets overawed by more evil TV series (10)
{BLACKADDER} – a verb meaning to be without or miss is surrounded (overawed) by a comparative meaning more evil to make the title of a sitcom.

11d  A Tudor manor matches building contractor’s extreme character (6,7)
{THOMAS CRANMER} – the definition here is a Tudor. We want the name of the cleric who supported Henry VIII in the split with Rome, was made Archbishop of Canterbury but later came to a grisly end during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary. It’s an anagram (building) of MANOR MATCHES followed by the last (extreme) letter of (contracto)R.

13d  Pet Rescue arranged to collect money, to feed protected animal (7,3)
{BURMESE CAT} – this is an anagram (arranged) of RESCUE with M(oney) inside it, then all that goes inside (to feed) a protected species. The whole thing is a short-haired feline pet.

16d  American obtains celebrity through training egotistic new kids on the block (8)
{UPSTARTS} – the definition is egotistic new kids on the block. Working from the inside out, it’s a synonym for a celebrity inside the abbreviation for physical training, all inside American.

18d  Drink and sex perhaps priorities for Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (7)
{SHERBET} – Very amusing. A pronoun which relates to only one gender (sex perhaps) precedes the first letters (priorities) of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to make a flavoured sweet drink.

20d  Terrible samba dancing curbed close to halfway line (7)
{ABYSMAL} – an anagram (dancing) of SAMBA goes around (curbed) the last letter (close) of (halfwa)Y, then finish with L(ine).

21d  The one setting levy on a spirit abroad (6)
{METAXA} – this spirit abroad is a Greek blend of brandy and wine. Start with the objective form of a pronoun identifying the setter (the one setting) and add a financial levy and A.

23d  Eager to shift latest joint (4)
{KNEE} – an adjective meaning eager has its last letter (latest) shifted back to make a joint.

I liked 24a, 3d and 7d today, but my favourite clue was 18d. Let us know what you liked in a comment!

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20 Comments

  1. Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    18d was definitely my favourite. I couldnt work out the wordplay for the cat or the Tudor – crypticsue helped on the former. The only reason that I got the tudor was because he features in a recent Times puzzle and the name leapt out from checking letters. Thanks for the Bladder clip – one of my favourites!

    • Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Ah! – It appears that one cannot watch it in embedded format due to restrictions!

      • gazza
        Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Drat – I’ve replaced it with another clip which can be embedded.

  2. Prolixic
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Now that’s what I call fun. Many thanks to Osmosis for an highly enjoyable crossword. Favourite clue was 7d. Thanks too to Gazza for the review.

  3. crypticsue
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    A lovely proper Toughie – had to work quite hard to get the last few which were proper D’Oh moments when the penny dropped, although I did need Gazza’s hint for 11d – I had tried lots of different anagrams etc but not the right letters! I got him from the checking letters. Thanks to Osmosis for the fun and Gazza for the hints.

  4. Qix
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Hard work for me today.

    I agree about the homophone in 10A, which works particularly poorly in these parts.

  5. Jezza
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable puzzle. I found most of it fairly straightforward, but spent forever on the last two; In the end I had to use 2 hints on Cluedup to solve 7d. 21d also caused me a problem, which considering the obvious wordplay, I should have solved sooner.
    Thanks very much to Osmosis, and to Gazza for the notes.

  6. honestjohn
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Terrific puzzle today with so many clever clues it was difficult to pick any favourites but I particularly liked 22a, 24a and 5d. I did struggle for a while on 25a mainly because I was trying to fit ‘geneva’ in at 21d but it all came right in the end.

    Well done Osmosis and Gazza for the review.

  7. BigBoab
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Could not get 7d to save my soul and needed your assistance with 11d but a cracker of a crossword. Loved the picture of Kylie, favourite clue was 13d. Thanks osmosis for stretching me beyond my limit and Gazza for a great review.

  8. Pembo
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Very pleased with myself as I finished this one with no help from anything although I still find myself having to “reverse engineer” too many of the clues as the wordplay is so complex

    Ps is it me or is the ordinary crossword becoming too easy? I finished both yesterdays and todays in about xx minutes flat!!!

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      I have edited your post as we are not supposed to put minutes taken to solve in our posts. The cryptic varies daily and seems mostly, but not always, to get harder incrementally on a daily basis Monday to Friday.

  9. Digby
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your help, Gazza, which was needed when Osmosis didn’t work for me! Is 7d a fair clue, given that the “place” doesn’t actually exist, and is therefore difficult to check?

    • gazza
      Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      7d has an entry on Wikipedia so it’s not that difficult to check (follow the link from the hint).

  10. pommers
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well, a bit like pulling teeth today but, looking back, I did quite enjoy the tussle!
    Favourites were 18d and 3d.
    I had no problem with the 10a homophone but I’m from Manchester where we talk funny!
    Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

  11. pegasus
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Cracking Toughie today from Osmosis. Loads of excellent clues,no favourites just a great all-round puzzle thanks to Gazza for the review.

  12. Posted January 13, 2011 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Boy, that was hard! Thanks for all the help – and the pic of Kylie Minogue!

  13. Cathy
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Please could someone help me with a ‘Dur’ moment?
    8d – I thought more evil = ‘blacker’, but I don’t see ‘add’ as meaning ‘miss’.
    Help!

    • gazza
      Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Miss is LACK and more evil is BADDER.

    • Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      I fell into the same trap Cathy.

      • Cathy
        Posted January 19, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Ha ha!
        I’m so pleased with this (in retrospect)
        And Big Dave spoke to me! And he made the same Dur too!