Toughie 931

Toughie No 931 by Osmosis

Hurricane? What hurricane?

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

Today we have a fairly straightforward puzzle (although I appreciate that some references may have non-UK residents scratching their heads). As usual with Osmosis there are lots of clues where we have to add or subtract individual letters.
Do let us know how you got on and please add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across Clues

1a  Test going without a jumper over hilly area of Britain (6)
{EXMOOR} – fairly easy for me because I live quite near this hilly area. A test without its A is followed by the reversal (over) of a jumper from down under.

4a  Poles who work in pubs (3,5)
{BAR STAFF} – two words meaning pole.

9a  Monkey centre in Miami getting through Carl’s bananas (6)
{RASCAL} – the central letter of Miami is inserted (getting through) in an anagram (bananas) of CARL’S.

10a  Fancy troubled Coalition dismissing leader (8)
{ILLUSION} – an adjective meaning troubled or suffering is followed by a coalition or merging without its leading F.

12a  Harry documents motorists in reverse gear (8)
{CARDIGAN} – this is a charade of a verb to harry or badger, the abbreviation for documents proving who you are and a motoring organisation. Having worked it out you then need to turn it round (in reverse).

13a  Authoress‘s book title ultimately coming from East London area (6)
{BLYTON} – the abbreviation for book is followed by an area of East London (probably best known outside the capital for its football team) with the ultimate letter of (titl)E removed.

15a  Like new band, fronted by some comical character (4,9)
{ALAN PARTRIDGE} – Steve Coogan’s alter ego. A preposition, from French, meaning like or in the manner of (1,2) and N(ew) are followed by a band or strip after (by) another word for some.


18a  Fish perhaps remote, swimming round chunk of wood first (13)
{METEOROLOGIST} – this is the job of the Fish who is mainly remembered for a single duff forecast in October 1987. An anagram (swimming round) of REMOTE is followed by a) the round letter, b) a chunk of wood and c) a way of writing ‘first’.


22a  One working hard gets bug (6)
{TROJAN} – double definition, the second being the sort of bug that infects your PC.

24a  They might read the Beano  issue (8)
{CHILDREN} – unlike its stablemate the Dandy the Beano can still be bought by young readers at the newsagent’s (but for how much longer?). This clue seems weak to me.

26a  Tough players confront press (4-4)
{CAST-IRON} – the players in a theatre followed by a verb to press or smooth.

27a  Check  hamper (6)
{IMPEDE} – although the answer seemed obvious from the start I deferred writing it in until I had checking letters because I couldn’t believe it was that simple. It’s a double definition, supposedly, but really the same definition twice.

28a  Prying seaman’s among rogue number joining ship (8)
{NOSINESS} – insert the abbreviation for an ordinary seaman in a number and finish with the usual abbreviation for ship. Why is this number described as rogue? Well it may be because ‘rogue ****’ was the call-sign used by some fighter pilots in Star Wars (since I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars films I can’t help much more on this). On the other hand you may have a better explanation.

29a  Tradesperson refurbished Escort (6)
{COSTER} – this is a dated term for a barrow boy selling fruit and vegetables. It’s an anagram (refurbished) of ESCORT.

Down Clues

1d  Improve wealth of child after Matisse original is disposed of (6)
{ENRICH} – the abbreviation for children comes after the forename of the French painter without its first (original) letter.

2d  Is one organising crimes with worker? (9)
{MISCREANT} – this is a sort of semi-all-in-one. It’s an anagram (organising) of CRIMES followed by the usual working insect.

3d  Polo car, in advert, conveying musical instrument (7)
{OCARINA} – hidden (conveying) in the clue.

5d  Mate‘s friendly, but not soft (4)
{ALLY} – an adjective meaning friendly dropping the musical abbreviation for soft.

6d  See, in piazza, endless filth (7)
{SQUALOR} – the feature of a town for which the Italian word piazza is used loses its final E (endless) and has an interjection meaning see or behold inserted.

7d  Pragmatic person not concerned with status of celebrity (1-4)
{A-LIST} – start with a pragmatic person and take away (not) the 2-letter preposition meaning about or concerning.

8d  Groom-to-be’s accepting new monetary situation (8)
{FINANCES} – an engaged man plus the ‘S has N(ew) inserted.

11d  Barb from Groucho’s brother performing (7)
{HARPOON} – another of the Marx brothers (the one who didn’t speak) is followed by an adverb meaning performing.

14d  Scotsman’s cry of surprise when tucking into cheese roll (7)
{BRIOCHE} – a word, from French, for a small roll (the sort that Marie Antoinette is supposed to have advised her fellow countrymen to eat) comes from inserting a Scottish exclamation of surprise into a type of cheese (also French).

16d  Covered in musk perhaps, tense fellow’s purifying (9)
{DETERGENT} – the abbreviation for T(ense) is contained (covered) in the type of animal of which musk is an example. Finish with an upmarket fellow.

17d  Facial expression of cohabitees, primarily involved in earth movement (8)
{EMOTICON} – the abbreviation for earth (the electrical connection) is followed by a synonym for movement then the primary letter of C(ohabitees) is inserted. The surface is presumably meant to be a bit suggestive and humorous.

19d  Speech from ‘ornblower before Navy (7)
{ORATION} – this clue is similar to 1d in that we have to remove the initial letter from the forename of the named person, but here we’re told to do that by the dropping of the initial letter from Hornblower. Conclude with the abbreviation for N(avy).

20d  Popular car has black interior — that’s neither here nor there (2,5)
{IN LIMBO} – an informal adjective meaning popular or fashionable is followed by a posh car with B(lack) inside.

21d  Suggest keeping front of apartment alarmed (2,4)
{IN FEAR} – a verb meaning to suggest or imply (Chambers says of this usage: often condemned as a misuse, but generally accepted for over four centuries) containing (keeping)  the first (front) letter of A(partment).

23d  Old mug passed round one watering-hole (5)
{OASIS} – O(ld) is followed by a mug or fool containing I (one).

25d  Brewery’s filled with such  parties (4)
{HOPS} – double definition. These parties involve dancing.

My favourite clues were 4a, 18a and 20d. Which ones did you like?

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8 Comments

  1. Big Boab
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable but not very tough toughie today, many thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the usual great review.

  2. pommers
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this one despite a couple of dodgy definitions – ‘comical character’ for example :smile:
    I think 3d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

    BTW, to be pedantic Mr Fish was correct. There was no hurricane. Hurricane force winds indeed (>F12) but not an actual hurricane which is a particular type of weather system.

  3. Only fools
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    As a UK resident took longer to justify 13a than perhaps I should .Not enough smiles for me but not unenjoyable .
    No particular faves .

    Thanks very much .

  4. crypticsue
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Not particularly tough (took less time than the back page) but quite enjoyable. Favourites the same as Gazza’s (now there’s a surprise). Thanks to him for the explanations and Osmosis for the puzzle.

  5. jezza
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed solving this one, and had to think quite hard on a couple. I spent ages trying to work out how ‘rogue’ fitted into 28a, and without Gazza’s explanation, I would never have understood it.
    3*/4* for me. Thanks to Osmosis, and to Gazza.

    • gazza
      Posted February 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the explanation of rogue in 28a (if it’s correct) should be directed at Mr Google, not me.

  6. Pegasus
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this one, favourites for me were 4a 13a 17d and 18a thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the comments.

  7. KiwiColin
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Short of opportunity to really work on this one as heaps of guests at present, so left with a few blank squares. 13a and 18a both rather challenging from this part of the world and accounted for most of the gaps. However, guess that these puzzles are not syndicated throughout the world to the same extent as the back-pager so fair enough to have these sort of clues in the Toughie.
    Thanks Osmosis and Gazza.