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Toughie 700

Toughie 700 by Osmosis

All Together Now: Tum-Te-Tum-Te-Tum-Te-Tum

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

Osmosis has produced a great puzzle for us today with a lovely mixture of clues (and it’s a pangram). There are a few easy clues sprinkled round the puzzle to provide footholds for the assault on the trickier ones (where the doh moments are to be found).
Please let us know how you got on and rate the puzzle for enjoyment by clicking on one of the stars below.

Across Clues
1a  Here, Brits’ earliest of soap operas is broadcast (11)
{BORSETSHIRE} – a super all-in-one to start. An anagram (is broadcast) of HERE BRITS and the earliest letters of S(oap) and O(peras) gives us the fictional county where the world’s longest-running soap opera is based, giving us a daily dose of the life of Dan and Doris’s descendants and their neighbours.

10a  Striking tune embodies Minnelli’s latest release (5)
{UNTIE} – an anagram (striking) of TUNE with the last letter of (Minell)I inside (embodies).

11a  Cat I’m displaying in shop window perhaps: Puss in Boots? (9)
{PANTOMIME} – Puss in Boots is an example of this seasonal art form. Put a male cat and I’M inside (displaying in) what a shop window may be made of.

12a  Stroke insect (9)
{BUTTERFLY} – double definition.

13a  Till conceals key chain (5)
{TESCO} – a synonym for till or until contains (conceals) the key found at top-left of most computer keyboards to make a large chain.

14a  Yorkshire division on horseback (6)
{RIDING} – double definition.

16a  Person with bins agreed to follow warning about untidiness, initially (4-4)
{FOUR-EYES} – bins is an abbreviated form of binoculars or, as here, an informal term for spectacles. So what we want is a somewhat derogatory slang term for a spectacle-wearer. An affirmative answer (agreed) follows a warning on the golf course containing the initial letter of U(ntidiness).

18a  English policeman during intercourse, falling back, bursts a blood vessel? (8)
{EXPLODES} – the definition is bursts a blood vessel. Start with E(nglish) then add the unkind name applied to a slow-witted PC inside a reversal (falling back) of intercourse of a particularly intimate nature.

20a  Roughly-speaking, are you familiar with overseas capital? (6)
{JUNEAU} – a rough homophone of “do you know?” (are you familiar?) produces the state capital of Alaska.

23a  Strip emptied tiny pool (5)
{KITTY} – join together the strip worn by your favourite football team and the outer letters only (emptied) of T(in)Y.

24a  Energy forces inhabit Blaine magic? It’s beyond words (9)
{INEFFABLE} – an adjective illustrating something that’s too difficult to describe (beyond words) comes from inserting E(nergy), F(orce) and F(orce) again inside an anagram (magic) of BLAINE.

26a  Relative entertains foreign brass, retrieving some of glasses (4,5)
{NOSE PIECE} – a part of the glasses worn by a 16a is a female relative containing (entertains) the monetary unit of several Latin American countries reversed (retrieving, in the sense of pulling back).

27a  Shelled Brazil nuts, heading for export somewhere abroad, recalled? (5)
{ZAIRE} – an anagram (nuts) of (B)RAZI(L) (shelled, i.e. without its outer letters) is followed by the first letter (heading) of E(xport) to make the previous (which is why it has to be recalled) name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

28a  Max keeps painting beach with defects showing (5,3,3)
{WARTS AND ALL} – this is a phrase meaning with all defects visible and nothing hidden. Put the surname of Max, the music hall comedian with the funny walk, around synonyms for painting and beach.

Down Clues

2d  Period on jetty ignoring the odd rowing team? (5)
{OCTET} – this is a word for a group of people corresponding to the number of oarsmen in a crew (at the University boat race, for example). A short form of a month (period) precedes what’s left of jetty if you ignore the odd letters.

3d  Boozer extremely brave to interrupt actor (7)
{SHEBEEN} – an unlicensed place that sells alcohol comes from inserting the outside letters of B(rav)E inside the surname of an American film and TV actor (or it might be his troubled son, also an actor).

4d  Whistleblower gives this ultimately — drop ball — in case of squabble (3-3)
{TIP-OFF} – this is what’s given by a whistleblower. Insert the ultimate letter of (dro)P and the ball-shaped letter inside (in case of) a minor squabble. I don’t remember seeing ‘in case of’ used as an insertion indicator before.

5d  Mecca cash bingo latterly raised money prize (8)
{HONEYPOT} – start with the trailing (latterly) letters of (cas)H (bing)O, then add some Japanese money reversed (raised) and a synonym for prize or trophy. The result is somewhere which attracts a lot of visitors (a Mecca).

6d  Chicken, not a sausage, served in roll (7)
{ROOSTER} – the letter signifying nada, zilch, not a sausage goes inside a roll or list.

7d  Masseur down in basement of building on guided tour? (13)
{RUBBERNECKING} – this is a slang description of tourists who are told by their guide to look first one way then the other. String together another word for a masseur, an informal verb to down or drink, IN and the bottom (basement) letter of (buildin)G.

8d  Train-robber on part of roof whispered very much (3,5)
{BIG STYLE} – this is a slang phrase (not to be found in my version of Chambers) meaning very much or greatly. It’s formed by homophones (whispered) of the surname of Ronnie the train-robber and one of the slabs on a roof.

9d  Partner stops mongrel heartlessly breaking kitchen utensil (5,8)
{LEMON SQUEEZER} – an informal (mainly North American) term for one’s current girlfriend or boyfriend (partner) goes inside (stops) an anagram (breaking) of MON(g)REL (heartlessly) to make a kitchen utensil.

15d  Stand in river to conduct flipping exercise (8)
{DEPUTISE} – the definition here is the phrasal verb to stand in or understudy. A common Crosswordland river contains (to conduct?) a reversal (flipping) of a physical exercise (3-2) designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Presumably conduct is being used as a container indicator in the electrical sense, i.e. allowing something to pass through.

17d  Deposit cash in dog-eared tens (8)
{SEDIMENT} – this deposit is formed by inserting a small transatlantic coin inside an anagram (dog-eared?) of TENS.

19d  Toppings of Luigi’s Italian pizza dressed with mayo — or plain? (7)
{OLYMPIA} – this is a plain, the site of the famous games, in ancient Greece. It’s an anagram (dressed) of the leading letters of L(uigi’s) I(talian) P(izza) and MAYO.

21d  Fellow extremists in nude, stirred, but not shaken (7)
{UNFAZED} – there’s some nice misdirection here – extremists in nude are not the letters N and E. Put F(ellow) and the two letters at the extreme ends of the alphabet inside an anagram (stirred) of NUDE.

22d  Vincent museum here in central Europe (6)
{GENEVA} – the forename of Mr Vincent (an early rock’n’roll singer) precedes the abbreviation for a London museum to make a city in central Europe.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25d  Fish most common in babbling brook (5)
{BRILL} – the most common (letter) in babbling is followed by a brook or small stream to form a flatfish similar to a turbot.

My favourites today were 1a, 18a, 7d and 21d. Let us know what hit the spot for you.

24 comments on “Toughie 700

  1. This was too tough for me today. I was defeated by more than one clue, and needed the wisdom of Gazza to complete the puzzle.
    Thanks to Osmosis, for producing what I thought was an excellent crossword, and thanks to Gazza for the help and explanations.

  2. Wow. That was a Toughie. Many thanks to Osmosis for stretching the brain cells and to Gazza for the review. Favourite clue was 1a. 21d was clearly so good Gazza has named it twice as one of his favourites!

  3. A proper ‘where’s the darkened room now I have finished’ Toughie. Thanks to Osmosis for pummelling the brain cells and to Gazza for the review. My favourite has to be the d’oh of the week/month?/year? 1a.

  4. Even after a spell in the sedation suite my head still hurts, but I did get there unaided so feeling quite pleased with myself today. Not normally a fan of homophones but did enjoy 20a. Fav 1a. Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

  5. Tough or what!!! My brain hurts!

    Got there in the end but it will take more than a lie down in a darkened room for me to recover. Only got 9d because the word for partner came up in a puzzle quite recently. Last in was 20a, I was trying to fit a national capital in until I got all the checkers.

    Like others favourite is 1a and agree with CS that it’s the D’OH to beat this year!

    Many thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for explaining a couple I couldn’t fully parse.

  6. I enjoyed this very much but I did need assistance with a couple. I loved 1a 20a and 22d. Thanks to Osmosis for again stretching me beyond my meagre limits and to Gazza for a wonderful review.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable experience with many d’oh moments favourites of many were 1a 8d 20a and 21d thanks to Osmosis for a smashing puzzle and to Gazza for the great review.

  8. Got about 3/4 done and then followed Gazza’s tips. Some nice stuff with unusual devices, mostly fair, I thought. I liked battling through the twisty turny 5d, a little too many heartless/emptied/cases of type clues. Decent enough difficulty for a Toughie. Surprise surprise the music hall comedian and rock n roll refs went right over my head.

  9. A superb puzzle, very much enjoyed. Too many favourites to mention but 13a and 22d gave me the biggest ‘doh’ moments. Thanks Osmosis and Gazza.

  10. Thanks to Osmosis,& to Big Dave for the review and hints. Way too tough for me, I got one answer on the initial read-through.Then used Dave’s excellent hints, which actually enabled me to solve another eight. I largely found this impenetrable. Having said that, the skill of the setter is fantastic.

        1. If you have today’s paper, would you please be so kind as to divulge the Toughie setter today? The online site doesn’t say.

          1. IIt is a Warbler and is recommended to all those new to Toughies, if you see what I mean. Especially those who are struggling to get the back page done.

          2. Crypticsue informs me that it’s by Warbler – and we are agreed that the Toughie and back-page are the wrong way round!

    1. Heno, I used to find Osmosis impenetrable too, but if you stick at them you’ll get there, and as you say the skill level is superb

  11. I know we shouldn’t mention solving times but at 24 hours this took some doing. Very enjoyable nevertheless so thanks to Osmosis & to Gazza for the review – which recently seem to have been watered down a tad in photographic terms at least….a result of the recent spat between you know who maybe?

  12. Having watched the Reds stuff City I then fell asleep so I had to finish this fine puzzle today. After the furure last week about Jim Reeves, the setter seems to have got away with 2 more legends of my youth, Messrs Wall and Vincent. Favourite was 1a which I last heard of about the same period. Also liked 7 9 11 20 and 28. Great stuff!!

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