Toughie 945 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 945

Toughie No 945 by Osmosis

A stimulating puzzle!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

You know what you are going to get with an Osmosis puzzle. Very few high points but no groan-inducing clues.

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6a    Plate of bread that includes soldiers designed to absorb egg primarily (9,4)
{CASSEROLE DISH} – some bread or money around (that includes) an anagram (designed) of SOLDIERS and the initial letter (primarily) of Egg

8a    Animal from China used in pie meat regularly (6)
{IMPALA} – put a china or mate inside the even letters (regularly) of pIe MeAt

9a    Losing head, Henry’s wrongly storing pasty where cobs go? (8)
{SWANNERY} – an anagram (wrongly) of (H)ENRY’S without its initial letter (losing head) around an adjective meaning pasty or pale – the cobs go to this place with their pens!

10a    Sound of bird first seen in crop circles (3)
{COO} – the initial letter (first) of Crop followed by two circular letters

11a    German federation blew unlimited amount of money (6)
{BUNDLE} – a German word for a federation followed by (B)LE(W) without its outer letters (unlimited)

12a    Mum joins group of women in Scottish town for a nag (8)
{FISHWIFE} – an exhortation to keep mum or quiet and an organisation for women inside a Scottish town – the definition is a coarse, loud-mouthed woman

14a    Energetic supporter not disheartened after contest curtailed (7)
{VIBRANT} – a woman’s support garment and N(O)T without its inner letter (disheartened) after a contest without its final letter (curtailed)

16a    Nimble player quick to sidestep fellow runner (7)
{ASTAIRE} – a word meaning quick without its initial F (sidestep Fellow) followed by the runner or river that, coincidentally, appeared in today’s back-page puzzle

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20a    Sports meeting, close to fifty km, running over in African country (8)
{GYMKHANA} – the final letter (close) of fiftY followed by KM reversed (running over) inside an African country

23a    Fruit  jam (6)
{SQUASH} – a not-very-original double definition

24a    Fuzziness? It contains some zeds (3)
{NAP} – two definitions – a woolly surface on cloth and a short sleep

25a    Seafood from French port trimmed to hide damage (8)
{CALAMARI} – most (trimmed) of a French port around (to hide) a verb meaning to damage

26a    Bring out memento without opening it (6)
{ELICIT} – a memento without its initial (opening) letter followed by IT

27a    Area for nibbles before congress? (9,4)
{EROGENOUS ZONE} – a schoolboyish cryptic definition of one of a number of areas of the body that are sensitive to sexual stimulation


1d    Daniel’s arranged Roger to bring liver in Capri? (8)
{ISLANDER} – an anagram (arranged) of DANIEL’S followed by the letter represented by Roger in the US Army Phonetic Code gives a description of someone who lives in Capri, or Sicily, or Corsica or the Shetlands, or …

2d    Part of school’s religious group attending service in shade (8)
{CETACEAN} – this creature lives in a school or pod – the main English religious group followed by a type of tennis service inside a yellowish-brown shade

3d    Dismisses bad smell rising thus amongst females (4,3)
{FOBS OFF} – a two-letter abbreviation for a bad smell reversed (rising in a down clue) followed by a two-letter word meaning thus inside three F(emale)s

4d    Learner with unusual name succeeded where driving’s tested (2,4)
{LE MANS} – L(earner) followed by an anagram (unusual) of NAME and S(ucceeded) gives a French motor-racing circuit

5d    Little person cut grass outside pub (6)
{MINNOW} – a m to cut grass around (outside) another word for a pub

6d    Domestic help, as in France, retaining one vehicle (9,4)
{COMMUNITY CARE} – the provision of social and welfare services by local organizations is derived by putting the French for as around a word for the number one and a motor vehicle

7d    Present for daughter and other heirs — place on border (13)
{HEREFORDSHIRE} – a word meaning present at this place followed by FOR, D(aughter) and an anagram (other) of HEIRS gives an English county that borders Wales

13d    Hot single, number five in charts? (3)
{HIT} – H(ot) followed by I (single) and the fifth letter of charTs – an &Lit/all-in-one clue

15d    Wood so hard (3)
{ASH} – a word meaning so followed by H(ard)

17d    Foremost of story writers introduced to employ tension (8)
{SUSPENSE} – the initial letter (Foremost) of Story followed by some writing implements inside a verb meaning to employ

18d    Plant container rolled over in an oil messily (8)
{ABUTILON} – a container, perhaps one for a plant, reversed (rolled over) inside an anagram (messily) of an oil – how many plants are crossword solvers expected to know?

19d    Doorman gathered up last of disco money in pot (7)
{JANITOR} – the final letter (last) of discO and a slang word for money all reversed (gathered up) inside a pot

21d    Backmarker in gridlock careless about horn (6)
{KLAXON} – the final letter (backmarker) of gridlocK followed by an adjective meaning careless or casual and a preposition meaning about

22d    Relaxed cricketer, opener for England, in poster (6)
{ABATED} – a cricketer and the initial letter (opener) of England inside a poster

A fine end to a traumatic week.

11 comments on “Toughie 945

  1. Typical Osmosis, very enjoyable without too much head scratching. My thanks to him and to BD for the usual extensive and useful review. Chin up Big Man.

  2. AGAPANTHUS one day and now ABUTILON on another. Where’s my Dad now I need him? Plants are always his strengths when it comes to the family crosswords. That and the word MAHOUT was another one only he knew.

    Thanks to Osmosis & to BD as per & without whose hints this particular solver would have been back doing word searches & dot to dots years ago.

    Weekend looms with the possibility of a Grand Slam plus a Cephas & a Virgilius together with the NTSPP – life doesn’t get much better.

  3. I struggled with this one but finally got there, I think once I’d twigged it was a pangram it helped with 27a. Favourites for me were 2d 16a and 17d thanks to Osmosis and to Big Dave for the review.

  4. Really battled to get on the right wavelength here. Had to use a couple of hints today and then flowed nicely. Thought the cryptic was great fun. Many thanks to BD and setter.

  5. Spotted the pangram when about three quarters done but sadly, already had the whole alphabet covered, so the knowledge of no assistance to us. Quite a struggle for us and resorted to using electronic help for the last couple, but did get there in the end. Really enjoyed it too.
    Thanks Osmosis and BD.

  6. One of my quicker Friday solves, which would imply it wasn’t too tough today! Very enjoyable though…
    Thanks to Osmosis, and to BD for the review and hard work.

  7. I must be getting better at the toughie because I finished without hints, though I confess to getting some electronic help for 2D. As usual, though I did need your help, BD, to unravel why my answer was correct for 6A, 8A, and 21D, so many thanks once again. Thanks to the setter, also, for some very enjoyable clues.

  8. When “Part of school’s” becomes accepted as a synonym for any and all fish, then I shall accept that this is a valid clue! Discuss.

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