Toughie 758(8)

Toughie No 758(8) by Osmosis

Well there’s a surprise!!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Due to a Daily Telegraph Bank Holiday ‘problem’  meaning that the printed version in the paper was the Osomosis due next week, we have the treat of two Toughies in one day.   This one was slightly  tougher than the Warbler but just as entertaining.

[This puzzle was published in the newspaper as Toughie 758 on the day that Toughie 751 should have appeared.  It is available online as GK 7588.  BD]

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.


1a Gold-digger needs these two to spread gossip? (4,3,4)
{DISH THE DIRT} – Two items that a gold-digger might need when panning for gold create a phrase meaning to spread gossip.

7a 4×4 spotted carrying baseball team heading for tournament (7)
{SIXTEEN}  The answer is the number you get when you multiply four by four.  The wordplay gives you a word meaning spotted around the number of people in a baseball team expressed in Roman numerals and the first letter (heading for) tournament.

8a Diamonds brought over – it’s tense in your old financial district (3,4)
{THE CITY} – London’s financial district is derived from the old English for you,  inside which you reverse a word for diamonds and include the abbreviation for tense.

10a Complaint against individual almost certain to be retracted (5)
{VIRUS} – This medical complaint comes from the abbreviation for against used in describing football matches or court cases followed by an I (individual) and a word meaning certain minus the final letter (almost) reversed (to be retracted).

11a Feel bad about ordering main + starters for lunch occasionally – fatty stuff (6,3)
{ANIMAL OIL} – This fatty stuff comes from a word meaning feel bad put around an anagram (ordering) of MAIN and the initial letters (starters for) Lunch Occasionally.

12a Obscure TV excerpts shown in early evening primarily (7)
{ECLIPSE} – A word meaning obscure comes from a word for excerpts of TV programs inside the initial letters (primarily) of Early Evening.

14a Use up last of cheese – a shade old (3,4)
{EAT INTO} – A phrase meaning use up comes from the last letter of cheese followed by the A in the clue,  another word for shade or colour and the abbreviation for old.

15a On edge, excited, at 08:00 casualty’s released (7)
{UPTIGHT} – A word meaning on edge comes from a word meaning high or excited,  the AT in the clue followed by EIGHT from which you remove the abbreviation for Accident and Emergency (casualty’s released).

18a A bluebottle infiltrates prune beverage (7)
{ALCOPOP} – This beverage comes from the A in the clue and a word meaning prune (or cut) inside which (infiltrates) is a word for a policeman (bluebottle).

20a Top French film-maker joins motorway the wrong way – dummy (9)
{IMITATION} – A word for dummy comes from reversing (the wrong way) the whole of the following:  An abbreviated form of number one (top), the name of a French film maker and the usual abbreviation for the first motorway.

21a Flash used with cloth by Scotswoman? (5)
{MORAG} – A Scottish girl’s name comes from the abbreviation for a moment or second (flash) followed by another word for a cloth.

22a Carp one caught close to bank after pint drunk (7)
{NITPICK} – A word meaning carp comes from an anagram (drunk) of PINT followed by an I (one), the abbreviation for caught and the final letter (close to) of bank.

23a Architect craving pine, succeeded relocating (7)
{LUTYENS} – This famous architect comes from a word meaning craving (in a sexual way) and a word meaning pine (as in an itch or yearning).  You then move the S to the end (succeeded relocating).

24a Dessert, pineapple platter, rejected in part (6,5)
{BANANA SPLIT} – This dessert comes from a three letter word for part,  inside which you put another word for a pineapple and (reversed) the abbreviation for a record (platter).


1d Backmarkers in Grand National keep further to the right (7)
{DEXTRAL} – A word meaning to the right comes from the final letters (backmarkers) of Grand National inside which (keep) is a word meaning further.

2d After spouse’s initial training, Chris emptied bins (5)
{SPECS} – Another word for glasses or bins comes from the first letter (initial) of spouse, an abbreviation for training and the outside letters (emptied) of Chris.

3d Ordered a gent to stand outside on duty (7)
{TONNAGE} –  A word for duty (as in the amount of tax payable calculated by the weight of something) comes from an anagram (ordered) of A GENT around (to stand outside) the ON in the clue.

4d Ravel went composing in Spain (7)
{ENTWINE} =  A word meaning ravel (usually encountered in the opposite sense of unravel) comes from an anagram (composing) of WENT followed by the IN in the clue and the abbreviation for Spain.

5d Static home market raised nervous reaction (9)
{INELASTIC} – A word meaning static comes from a word meaning home, a word meaning market reversed (raised) following by a word for a nervous reaction.

6d Advice to vegetarian, citing lid (7)
{TRICORN} – A word for a hat (lid) sounds like (citing) advice that might be given to a vegetarian to try a type of grain.

7d Vote is cast by college, regarding political association (6,5)
{SOVIET UNION} – This political association comes from an anagram (cast) of VOTE IS followed by another word for a college.

9d A catalogue of tradespeople frightened errand boys (6,5)
{YELLOW PAGES} – A word meaning frightened or cowardly followed by another word for errand boys gives you the name of a trade directory where businesses list their telephone numbers.

13d Tiny tailless cat after a play (9)
{PYGMALION} – This play by George Bernard Shaw from a word meaning tiny with the final letter removed (tailless) followed by the A in the clue and the name of a big cat.

16d Women’s (not half) pain in the backside loading up domestic appliance (4-3)
{TWIN-TUB} – This domestic appliance comes from reversing (loading up) another words for the backside and including (in) the abbreviation for women and one half of the word PAIN.

17d Poultry needs another ingredient foremost – add egg? (7)
{THICKEN} – A word for a type of poultry with the first letter changed (another ingredient foremost) gives a word that describes what might happened to a mixture in a recipe if you add an egg.

18d Ring university lecturer involved in Latin for the year (7)
{ANNULUS} – Put the abbreviations for university and lecturer inside the Latin word for the year to give a word meaning a ring.

19d Ideal computer allowing utilisation of free time (7)
{PERFECT} – A word meaning ideal comes from an anagram of FREE  inside (allowing) the abbreviation for computer followed by the abbreviation for time.

21d What’s produced by leader of Motorhead and others (5)
{METAL} – The type of music produced by Motorhead comes from the first letter of that group followed by the Latin phase meaning and others.

Explanations and star ratings by Prolixic; introduction, proof reading and technological wizardry by crypticsue.    Thanks to Osmosis and to the DT for giving us twice the fun.

The following message was sent to all Telegraph Puzzles subscribers :

Dear subscribers

You may have noticed that today’s Toughie on the website differs to the one in the newspaper.

Today’s offering should of course be Toughie 751 (by Warbler). However Toughie 758 (by Osmosis) was erroneously published in the newspaper, due to a Bank Holiday production problem beyond the Puzzles Department’s control.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused, and we will make sure that website subscribers get a chance to do the Osmosis Toughie as an added extra. I can’t arrange that today, as I am typing this at an airport while awaiting a flight, but I’ll sort it out as soon as possible later this week.

Best wishes,
Phil McNeill


  1. Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t attempt the Toughie but I see that in the paper we have the solution to Toughie 757 which I guess has yet to be printed.

    I wonder how our Crossword editor is going to sort this one out!

    • andy
      Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Tonyp17 I’m sure you could complete todays Toughie by Warbler 751, BD / peeps can you forward a PDF to tonyp17 ?

      • Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        It’s on its way!

        • Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

          PDF safely received thank you. Will take a look but it will not be this evening as busy with some work for a meeting tomorrow.

          • andy
            Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            That’s fine, but do look at the toughies, they are not always so fearsome

  2. andy
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Prolixic, despite the confusion I almost got there, had 3d but couldn’t parse, rather liked 7a. Thanks Osmosis and C Sue I see from the small print.!!

  3. michaelswanston
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Rather enjoyed this unexpected bonus finishing it in the wee hours. Will things ever get back to normal? Thanks Prolixiic for confirming and enlarging upon some of my doubtful reasoning.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted April 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I have no idea what’s going on here. The Toughie 758 in my paper (today) is by Ozymandias and is completely different to that above.

  5. Jezza
    Posted April 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I knew there was a puzzle I had not done…
    I liked this one, very enjoyable! Thanks to Osmosis, and to Prolixic.

    Re 7d, I thought the second word was constructed by UNI(college)ON(regarding)?