Toughie 882 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 882

Toughie No 882 by Osmosis

Hat’s off to Larry!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Tilsit is off to chat up the nurses at the hospital again!  The online Telegraph Puzzles site originally announced that this was an Elgar puzzle, but it didn’t take long to realise that Vlad is taking a prolonged sabbatical and this one is from the hand of Osmosis.

The subheading is an additional hint for 12 across!

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    Degree attached to apprentice painter (6)
{CUBIST} – not BA or MA, but an abbreviated classification of degree follows an apprentice reporter

4a    Psychic regularly with jumper outlines repeatedly cold weather feature (8)
{SCIROCCO} – the even letters of pSyChIc are followed by an Australian jumper around C(old) and C(old) to get an alternative spelling of this weather feature

10a    State graduate accepted in Eton’s ground (9)
{MINNESOTA} – a graduate around (accepted) an anagram (ground) of IN ETON’S

11a    In India, cricketers reacted roughly (5)
{CIRCA} – hidden (in) and reversed (reacted) inside the clue

12a    Del Boy embraces hot woman (7)
{SHANNON} – the stage name of Charles Westover, a singer of yesteryear, comes from a male boy around H(ot) and a woman’s name

ARVE Error: need id and provider
ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a    Bird left, taking off sandwiches first to work (7)
{LAPWING} – L(eft) followed by a verb meaning taking off or imitating around (sandwiches) the initial letter (first) of Work

14a    Cook  sweet (5)
{FUDGE} – a double definition – to cook or falsify and a soft sweet made from butter, cream and sugar

15a    Huge pool overseas, notes accountant, doubled (8)
{TITICACA} – the highest large lake in the world comes from the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation and a Chartered Accountatnt, both repeated (doubled)

18a    Ex-footballer from York attacked article about drugs? On the contrary (3,5)
{ROY KEANE} – an anagram (attacked) of YORK followed by the two-letter indefinite article inside, not outside (about … on the contrary), two of Crosswordland’s most popular drugs

20a    Top-class puzzle. Wow! (5)
{AMAZE} – the letter which usually indicated top-class followed by a puzzle through which one has to find a way

23a    Passage that’s taken right into bar (7)
{EXCERPT} – R(ight) inside a word meaning bar or not including

25a    Novel for Mediterranean voyager (7)
{ULYSSES} – a double definition – a novel by James Joyce and the Roman name of the hero of a saga by Homer

26a    Big hairy creature, as church unavailable, unlawfully occupied building (5)
{SQUAT} – start with another name for Bigfoot and dop the AS from the middle and the CH(urch) from the end – note that for the clue to work the definition has to be taken as a noun

27a    One with common sense skirts two-thirds of railway track — potentially harmful (9)
{INSIDIOUS} – I (one) and a word for common sense around (skirts) two-thirds of a short railway track used for shunting

28a    Attention shown by the Italian probing teetotal in depressed mood (8)
{DREARILY} – a three-letter word meaning attention followed by the Italian definite article all inside an adjective meaning teetotal

29a    Reviewing, in the main criticise particular lines of Hamlet? (6)
{ASIDES} – put another word for main, as in Spanish Main, around a modern slang verb meaning to criticise and reverse the lot to get a dramatic device in which a character, say Hamlet, speaks to the audience


1d    Some loony in business, very loud, succeeds (5,3)
{COMES OFF} – an anagram (loony) of SOME inside a two-letter abbreviation for a business followed by the musical notation for very loud

2d    At bar, Beckham dismisses Victoria’s original musical group (4,3)
{BAND AID} – a bar or prohibition is followed by Beckam’s first name without (dismisses) the initial letter (original) of Victoria

3d    US writer that’s used to drink emptied bottle, then cask (9)
{STEINBECK} – the surname of one of the better US writers comes from a container used to drink lager in Germany followed by BottlE and CasK without their inner letters

5d    For afters, tart’s covered by crest Sue designed (9,5)
{CHARLOTTE RUSSE} – a dessert of custard or cream enclosed in a kind of sponge-cake comes from a tart or loose woman inside (covered by) an anagram (designed) of CREST SUE

6d    Summarise harvest over century (5)
{RECAP} – a verb meaning to harvest around )over) C(entury)

7d    Type of arrest which leads to collapse in the cells? (7)
{CARDIAC} – a cryptic definition of a heart attack

8d    Limited actor might display this tone (6)
{ORANGE} – split as (1,5) this could be what is displayed by an actor of limited ability

9d    Philosopher putting can by house plant (4,6,4)
{JOHN STUART MILL} – the full name of an English philosopher and economist who is well-known in Crosswordland comes from a charade of a slang word for a can or toilet, a royal house that reigned in Britain from 1603 to 1714 and a plant or factory

16d    Hard to avoid a wrecking with Biscay, a legendary shipping hazard (9)
{CHARYBDIS} – an anagram (wrecking) of H(A)RD without (to avoid) the A and BISCAY

17d    Rung up about relative tracking earliest of Roman remains (8)
{PERSISTS} – reverse a rung on a ladder around an abbreviated female relative preceded by the initial letter (earliest) of Roman

19d    Jam company lifted what’s left of damsons into tip (7)
{OCCLUDE} – reverse (lifted) CO(mpany) followed by the initial letter (left) of Damsons inside a tip or hint

21d    Leave quickly from Belgium in a trice, not East (7)
{ABSCOND} – the IVR code for Belgium inside the A from the clue and a trice or short period of time without the E(ast)

22d    Knowledgeable composer bobbed around London area (6)
{VERSED} – an Italian composer without his final letter (bobbed) around the area of the UK containing London and the Home Counties

24d    Soldiers following break down engine section (5)
{ROTOR} – soldiers who are not officers after a verb meaning to break down or decay

I find Osmosis puzzles to be full of fragmented clues, many of which can only be resolved from the answer instead of the other way around.

12 comments on “Toughie 882

  1. I enjoyed this pangram from todays setter favourites were 12a 18a and 26a thanks to Osmosis and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. I was pleased to read BD’s postscript as I did wonder whether it was the fact that I am recovering from a bout of the office bug that was befuddling my solving of this puzzle. Smile of the solving process was 12a as I knew BD wouldn’t be able to resist a music clip for that one. Thanks to him for the explanations and Osmosis for the crossword.

  3. We felt very pleased with ourselves for completing an Elgar, only to find out this morning that he was not the setter. Never mind, it was still a very good challenge for us that we enjoyed working through. Picked the pangram in time to help us in SW corner where we knew we had to fit in a Q and V which made it a doddle.
    Thanks Osmosis and BD.

  4. Found this very hard. Needed the hint for about 4, but managed to struggle through the rest with a little help from my electronic friend. Many thanks to BigD.

    Such a contrast to today’s Cryptic.

  5. I never use the hints for the cryptic but this toughie was beyond me .I had three choices 1) give up,2)ring the Samaritans or 3)use the hints .I opted for 3 and finished but still with a struggle .
    Thanks a lot from myself and I’m sure the Samaritans.

  6. Thanks to Osmosis and to Big Dave for the hints. Was 5*/4* for me. Only managed to solve 12 clues, but enjoyed trying to get the rest from the hints. Used 18 of them and had to look up 6. I hope one day to be able to do better, but don’t hold your breath :-) I knew that some were anagrams, but couldn’t identify the fodder. Had never heard of the philosopher or the dessert, a couple for the memory banks. I truly am in awe of the setter, to be able to construct such brilliant clues. Also missed the fact it was a pangram, doh !

  7. thrown by 16d, investigoogle needed, luckily knew 12a before I incur Cryptic Sue wrath!! . Thanks to Osmosis and BD

  8. Only managed to finish this with BDs help. Got misled by trying to think of a football player who used to grace the grounds of Bootham Crescent when I was a lad!

    Thanks to setter & to BD as per.

  9. I had to sleep on this one as bogged down in SE corner. Woke up in the middle of the night and 25 shouted at me. Had to use Onelook to get 16 but it did ring a bell when I got it. Favourite was 12 and also rated 1a 3 18 20 21 [ another of 12’s] 25 26 and 27. Always nice to crack a Friday toughie!

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