Toughie 605 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 605

Toughie 605 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I found this one a bit of a struggle but got there in the end. I’ll be interested to see if others struggled or whether it was just me having an off day

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


6a    Limousines monarch requires at sporting activity (6-7)
{ROLLER SKATING} An informal name for cars of a particular make that are often used as limousines is followed by a monarch going round AT to give a sporting activity

8a    African country loses lake and peninsula northwards (6)
{IBERIA} Remove L (lake) from the name of an African country and you get the name of a peninsula to be found north of Africa across the Med

9a    Runner falls over, drinking maritime spirit (8)
{POSEIDON} It took me some time to justify this answer. The runner is an Italian river. This is followed by a reversal of a word meaning “falls” then by a 2-letter word meaning “drinking” (as in “What are you on?”). The answer is the Greek god of the sea

10a    Hire out Alpine house, neglecting tea (3)
{LET} “To hire out” is obtained by removing CHA (tea) from an alpine house

11a    Tiny bird briefly hides behind fish (6)
{WRASSE} A small bird with the last letter removed goes round an American’s behind to give a fish

12a    Type of statement from record company — it’s peripherally edited (8)
{ITEMISED} A word that may describe a statement (financial record) is derived from the name of a record company inside ITS followed by ED (edited)

14a    Authorise energy company to get name replaced by mid-November (7)
{EMPOWER} Take the name of a UK-based electricity and gas supply generation company and change N (name) to EM (the middle two letters of November). This gives “to authorise”

16a    Crown controls rifle certificate (7)
{PROBATE} The crown (top of the head) goes round “to rifle” to give a certificate showing that a will has been proved

20a    Retired hooker, say, probes extremely shady tactics (8)
{STRATEGY} A reversal of a hooker + EG (say) goes inside SY (first and last letters of shady) to give tactics

23a    Groom exhausted by end of honeymoon (6)
{NEATEN} “To groom” = N (last letter of honeymoon) + “exhausted”

24a    Leo caught both sides of argument (3)
{CAT} Leo = C (caught) + the first and last letters of ArgumenT

25a    Lady’s OK residing on cloudy river in Midlands (8)
{CHERWELL} “Lady’s” (a possessive pronoun) + “OK” follows C (cloudy) to give a major tributary of the Thames that flows through the English Midlands

26a    Janitor regularly assumes leather for self-protection (6)
{AIKIDO} Alternate letters of jAnItOr go round leather to give a Japanese martial art

27a    ‘Actress: My Role in Norma’s Split’ (7,6)
{MARILYN MONROE} An anagram (split) of MY ROLE IN NORMA gives an actress originally named Norma


1d    Clipped Alfa Romeo key ring outside (8)
{ALFRESCO} ALF (Alfa with the last letter removed) + R (Romeo) + a key on a computer keyboard + O (ring) gives “outside”

2d    Nadal latterly storms through Eastbourne’s outsiders, creating talk around court (8)
{LEGALESE} L (the last letter of Nadal) + storms (high winds) inside EE (first and last letters of Eastbourne) gives jargon used in courts

3d    One month in first-class college, germ-free (7)
{ASEPTIC} An abbreviated form of one of the 12 months goes inside first-class then C (college) to give “germ-free”

4d    Fabulous dog, porky around backside (6)
{LASSIE} A fictional collie dog is formed from a porky (pie) round an American’s backside (cf 11 across)

5d    Swinging family, one seen in minimal clothing (6)
{BIKINI} Swinging (in a sexual sense) + family + I (one) gives skimpy beachwear

6d    Dress right, with German mate (film actor) (6,7)
{ROBERT MITCHUM} Dress + RT (right) + the German word for “with” + a mate gives an American film actor (1917-1997)

7d    Sticky stuff on green? Notice golf executives initially become furious (2,4,3,4)
{GO OVER THE EDGE} Sticky stuff + green + “to notice” + GE (first letters of Golf Executives) gives “become furious”

13d    Quack by duck or noise by animal? (3)
{MOO} A quack (doctor) + O (duck) gives an animal noise

15d    How backstroke contestant ends (3)
{WET} Take the last letters of hoW backstrokE contestanT

17d    Security guard on night patrol primarily eats Mexican food (4-1-3)
{RENT-A-COP} A security guard (probably hired for a specific occasion) is formed from “on” + NP (first letters of Night Patrol) round a Mexican pancake

18d    Awful spelling? Deficiency in graduate report’s disheartening (5,3)
{BLACK ART} Awful spelling (as in casting a spell) is given by a graduate + RT (first and last letters of report) round a deficiency

19d    Unoccupied City lecturer invited in once to play twister (7)
{CYCLONE} CY (first and last letters of City) + L in an anagram (to play) of ONCE gives a twister

21d    Dawn gets two golds, the second in Argentina (6)
{AURORA} The dawn is formed from the atomic symbol for gold + another word for gold inside the IVR for Argentina

22d    Musical brothers see conducting minister uplifted (6)
{EVERLY} The surname of a pair of musical brothers who had many hits in the 50’s and 60’s is formed from a see containing a reversal of a minister

[Here’s one of the all-time classic Rock’n’Roll records.   BD]

ARVE Error: need id and provider

It was OK but not the greatest puzzle I have ever solved

10 comments on “Toughie 605

  1. I didn’t struggle with this one at all much but would give it 2.5* difficulty as I have two solutions where Tippex came into play. I did enjoy it so thank you to Osmosis. I did like 13d and 15d. Thanks to Bufo for the review too.

  2. I quite enjoyed this one – I was not totally convinced I’d parsed 9a correctly (I had the river, and the reversal, but I was not sure about the last 2 letters), however the rest of the puzzle fell into place without too much of a struggle.
    Thanks to Osmosis for the puzzle, and one or two smiles along the way, and to Bufo for the review.

  3. Thanks to Osmosis for an enjoyable toughie and to Bufo for an enjoyable review. ( the whole word has been left in the brackets at10a instead of the 3 letter answer )

  4. Thanks to Osmosis for an enjoyable crossword. Favoutie clues were 18d and 27a. As the final clue fell into place just before hitting my desk, I would say about 3* for difficultly for me. Thanks also to Bufo for the review

  5. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from a master of his craft, some wonderful clues of which my favourites were 11a 1d 17d and 18d thanks to Osmosis and to Bufo for the review.

  6. We seem to have had a run of not-so-Toughies [famous last words]. Re 9a, surely a God is vastly superior to a mere spirit?

  7. Thanks to Osmosis for a very difficult but entertaining puzzle. Thanks to Bufo for the hints, I had to use 14 of them, 5 of which I still couldn’t solve. However, I was pleased to have got the ring of 13’s myself, and enjoyed seeing how the rest were constructed. I’m sure I’ve learnt something, and was certainly entertained.

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