Toughie 1013

Toughie No 1013 by Osmosis

Another Sleepy Day in Gotham City

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

A Boy Wonder writes:-

Greetings from the Batcave! Zonk! Crash!! Pow!!! Holy Wobblybits! Something is wrong today, Batman. Normally I find today’s setter hangs out with the other nefarious villains like Evil Elgar The Enigmatist and Malevolent Myops, the Caledonian Crusher, but he’s come over all fluffy, Maybe he’s lulling us into a false sense of security, Batman!

A Caped Crusader writes:-

All had been quiet in Gotham City for the last nine months, suddenly an urgent call came from Commissioner Dave.  Bleeding Gums Tilsit was unable to review today’s Toughie.  Alfred rushed down to the Batcave and readied the Batmobile, and the Boy Wonder and I arrived just in time to rescue the day.

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 Sporting event seen in spring more than once (6,4)
{TRIPLE JUMP} We start with a double definition clue, where one of the definitions is cryptic. You are looking for a type of athletic event where Jonathan Edwards and Phillips Idowu excelled.

6a Backing increased in very good musical piece (4)
{OPUS} A word describing a musical composition is made up of a short word meaning increased inside a comparative word meaning very good, all reversed.

9a Transport journeys returning include one cuppa? (5,5)
{SEDAN CHAIR} Inside the reversal (returning ) of a word meaning trips or journeys goes the indefinite article (one) and a short word for tea.

10a Flipping, some do catch pancake (4)
{TACO} A hidden answer reversed. Inside (indicated by some) and reversed do catch you will find the name of a savoury Mexican pancake.


12a Ageing Glaswegian oddly rejected casual dress at first (4)
{AULD} This is how that Caledonian Crusher, Myops the Malevolent, described Batman in a recent tussle. [Pause while Batman cuffs Robin!]

13a After opening, drink scarily fast (9)
{BREAKNECK} A word sum. A word meaning opening as in the start of the day is added to a slang word meaning to drink and gives a description of the speed of a car being driven very fast.

15a See appended part of play with animation (8)
{ACTIVELY} See in a crossword doesn’t always mean look. It’s the name of the district governed by a Bishop and when in a cryptic puzzle it usually means the See that is based in East Anglia.

16a Plant bent in a storm around middle of Cromer (6)
{ENTOMB} A typical Osmosis clue. Inside an anagram (in a storm) of BENT goes OM (the middle of CROMER) to give a verb meaning to plant inside something else.

18a Drive Triumph, disheartened by corrosion (6)
{THRUST} And another… A word meaning drive is revealed by taking TH (triumph disheartened) and placing it alongside a word for corrosion.

20a Hairstyle 25 pounds — join queue (8)
{PONYTAIL} A type of hairstyle associated with teenage girls and aging hippies (can’t think of anyone or I’ll get thumped again) is the slang word for £25 added to one meaning to get in a queue or line.

23a Reach lowest point with repellent slogan during fight (6,3)
{BOTTOM OUT} The reverse of a word for a slogan or something that drops out of a Christmas cracker is placed inside the name for a boxing match to give an expression meaning to reach the nadir of something.

24a Burning pine (4)
{ITCH} A double definition meaning to long for something and a burning niggling sensation.

26a Ford reversed in close (4)
{AKIN} A model of Ford vehicle (their small one!) is reversed and added to the word IN to give something that mean relative or close to.

27a Partly capable of having some beer, getting round in (2,2,1,5)
{UP TO A POINT} – a phrase meaning capable of and ready for (2,2) followed by some beer with the round letter inserted (getting round in)

28a Seaside town traffic (4)
{DEAL} The Kent resort where my Aunt Mildred and Uncle Cecil lived (not much of a clue I know!) is also a word meaning to trade, as in some boxes, Noel Tidybeard and a Banker. Incidentally you should note she was an Aunt not an Auntie – the difference according to Keith Waterhouse was that Aunts sit at the piano and play “Come in to the Garden, Maud”; Aunties sit at the piano playing “Don’t Go Down the Coalmine, Dad, there’s Enough Slack in Your Trousers”!

29a Meeting party joins monarch inside barrier (10)
{CONFERENCE} The name of a meeting (often associated with politics) is found by taking the short name of one of the political parties and adding it to a word for a barrier or hedge that includes the abbreviation for our monarch.

I’m handing over to the boss now….. Ow! My head hurts….


1d    Tense runner seeing part of boar (4)
{TUSK} – T(ense) followed by a Welsh river

2d    Ambiguous soundbite endlessly dissected (2,5)
{IN DOUBT} – an anagram (dissected) of (S)OUNDBIT(E) without its outer letters (endlessly)

3d    Extensive calculating needed to create pine border (4,8)
{LONG DIVISION} – a charade of a verb meaning to pine and a border or partition

4d    Can investor become a symbol of Britain? (4,4)
{JOHN BULL} – a charade of a can, which is a slang word for a toilet, and an investor who speculates on a rise in the price

5d    Horse charity disturbs soldiers (6)
{MAIDEN} – a horse that has never won a race is derived by putting some charity inside (disturbs) some soldiers

7d    Perhaps tablet computer winning the European award’s revolutionary (7)
{PLACEBO} – a two-letter word for a computer around the French feminine definite article (the European)and followed by the reversal (revolutionary) of an award

8d    Wading birds attracted to circular geranium-like flower (10)
{STORKSBILL} – some wading birds followed by (attracted to) a circular or poster gives a plant, closely related to the geraniums, having elongated beaked fruits and small flowers

11d    Swimmer barely sees captain around pub with yard (6-6)
{SKINNY-DIPPER} – a captain of a team or a ship around a pub and Y(ar)D

14d    Sheets of paper spread round engrossed in Shakespeare (10)
{PASTEBOARD} – a product made from sheets of paper glued together is derived from a something that is spread on, say, toast followed by the round letter inside (engrossed in) Shakespeare’s nickname

17d    Boast coming from first-class in aeroplane departing (5,3)
{MOUTH OFF} – put the single-letter word for first or upper class inside a light aeroplane and follow it with a word meaning departing

19d    Observer’s section covers Southern wine (7)
{RETSINA} – a part of the eye around (covers) S(outhern) gives an aromatic Greek wine

21d    Lots here from university involved in lawsuit (7)
{AUCTION} – to get this place where lots are put up for sale insert U(niversity) inside (involved in) a lawsuit

22d    Scoff at quiet centre of wood repeatedly (3-3)
{POO-POO} – the musical notation for quiet followed by the inner letters (centre) of wOOd, then the same again (repeatedly)

25d    Complaint made using pen name at the end (4)
{STYE} – a pen for pigs followed by the final letter (at the end) of namE


  1. crypticsue
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Sadly I try not to comment on my solving experiences any more, but have put fingers to keyboard to commend the double act for an excellent review.

    Thanks to Osmosis and The Caped Crusaders

    • Bakesi
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      WhY CS? I don’t always get to this site everyday so may have missed something…I’m always intrigued by what problems people found and equally why they found things easy etc-isn’t that what this Blog is about?

      thanks to all contributors as always…

    • Expat Chris
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      I made a comment a while back that, although not directed at any one person (and certainly not you), I fear might have something to do with your decision. I admire you greatly, and if this is so, then I would rather leave the blog altogether than cause you any distress.

  2. Skeeter Lewis
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised at the three-star rating. I found it pretty tough and very ingenious.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Osmosis for an enjoyable crossword but not really a toughie, took me less time than the backpager today, thanks also to the Dynamic Duo for a highly amusing review, more of the same please.

  4. Only fools
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Really pleasant puzzle ,Last one in 17d (yep) ,favourites 23a ,11d and others although many years ago I did have a Triumph that was very prone to corrosion !
    Thanks to Osmosis and the duo for the amusement .

  5. Pegasus
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Pretty gentle for a Friday but most entertaining, favourites were 4d 13a and 14d thanks to Osmosis and the duo.

  6. Bellerophon
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The first Friday Toughie that I’ve ever completed unaided!

    Others obviously found it rather easy, but I’m still chuffed to bits!

    • pycoed
      Posted July 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Me too Bellerophon! Did it today sat under an oak tree on the lawn listening to the Test.
      Normally if I get two or three in the Toughie I feel proud, but didn’t get a paper today so decided to give Friday’s a go. I didn’t feel confident because I needed hints for the backpager, but away we went! Another three Aussie wicket by stumps & it’ll be a pretty good day, eh?

      • gazza
        Posted July 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        Hi pycoed – you’ve changed your alias since your previous comment last year so this required moderation. Both aliases should work from now on.

  7. boltonbabs
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Managed most of this, but shot myself in the foot by putting in another bird for the first part of 8d. This made three across clues undoable. Enjoyed it all the same. Thanks to setter and reviewers.

  8. KiwiColin
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    1d took overnight cogitation to come to the possibility that Usk might be one of those obscure piddling little creeks that get called rivers where most of you are. A quick peek at Mrs B confirmed this to be so. Had remembered 28a from a previous puzzle so OK with that one. A really good fun puzzle with just the right level of difficulty for a (largely) solo flight by me.
    Thanks Osmosis and the duo.