Toughie 1075

Toughie No 1075 by Osmosis

A Nice Cuppa Tea

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is a decent midweek Toughie (and for once I’ve noticed that it’s a pangram). I’m pleased to be able to echo BD’s comment of yesterday that there are mercifully few anagrams.

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.

Across Clues

1a  Jack adopts necktie, as temperature shifts — it’s hot (7)
{TABASCO} – an abbreviation for a sailor (Jack tar) is followed by a type of necktie, but the T(emperature) shifts from the back right to the front.

5a  Man on horseback who investigates rogue soldiers (7)
{PICADOR} – a charade of the abbreviation for a private detective, a rogue or scoundrel and the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers.

9a  Depart by bronze steps (5)
{TANGO} – a verb to depart following a verb to bronze.

10a  Not easily influenced, but not very autocratic (9)
{IMPERIOUS} – an adjective meaning not easily influenced or immune without its V(ery).

11a  One nearest a certain phase of sleep is at the point of death (2,8)
{IN EXTREMIS} – string together I (one), a synonym for nearest, the abbreviation for a phase of sleep when one is said to have vivid dreams and IS (from the clue).

12a  Ancient slave might be partial to pastures new (4)
{ESNE} – hidden (partial) in the clue is an Anglo-Saxon slave or labourer.

14a  Dilapidated area illuminated by Australian falling over in wind (8,4)
{TWILIGHT ZONE} – inside a verb to wind or coil insert a) an adjective meaning illuminated or bright and b) a slang word for Australian reversed (falling over).

18a  Dentist perhaps starts to fret about new air-conditioning (9,3)
{EXTRACTOR FAN} – how a dentist might be described cryptically followed by the initial letters (starts) of three words in the clue.

21a  Spoof runner, backmarker in sprint (4)
{SKIT} – a winter runner is followed by the last letter (backmarker) of (sprin)T.

22a  Suffering illness alongside career that’s involved in graphic art (10)
{PAINTBRUSH} – string together a word meaning suffering or discomfort, the abbreviation for an infectious illness affecting the lungs and a verb to career or go wildly.

25a  Inevitable accidents caused by cat and dog scuffling around settee mostly (4,2,3)
{ACTS OF GOD} – an anagram (scuffling) of CAT and DOG containing all but the final letter of a settee.

26a  Theatrical show always attracts university backing (5)
{REVUE} – a word meaning always contains U(niversity), then it all gets reversed (backing).

27a  Spiritual film hides empty Sunday church (7)
{PSYCHIC} – an abbreviation for a film containing (hides) S(unda)Y and an abbreviation for church.

28a  Such a haircut needs trimming regularly? Brickie goes first (7)
{LAYERED} – take away (trimming) the odd letters of (n)E(e)D(s) and put what remains after a cryptic description of a brickie.

Down Clues

1d  Piece of gossip from bird had an impact (6)
{TITBIT} – a charade of a small songbird and a verb meaning had an impact or made an impression.

2d  Standard  member of the censorship board? (6)
{BANNER} – definition and cryptic definition.

3d  Polo, say, left aboard ship on campaign around East (10)
{SPORTSWEAR} – polo here is a type of jersey which is an example of the answer. Insert the nautical term for left inside (aboard) the usual abbreviation for ship, then add a military campaign containing E(ast). You’re meant, of course, to think that Polo is the Venetian explorer.

4d  Suppose ID’s needed when extremely offensive outside (5)
{OPINE} – an ID needed at an ATM, for example, has the outer (extremely) letters of O(ffensiv)E placed outside it.

5d  George Michael perhaps enters with Ginger Spice, briefly (3,6)
{POP SINGER} – a phrasal verb meaning enters (4,2) is followed by the first name of Ginger Spice without the final letter (briefly).

6d  Restrict where some cars are parked, reportedly (4)
{CURB} – this sounds like (reportedly) where cars may be parked (though where I live lots of them get parked on it, rather than by it, which causes problems for pedestrians, especially those who are blind).

7d  Kitty’s cross about check on entry (8)
{DOORSTOP} – string together a word for kitty (a pool of money in a gambling game) plus the ‘S and a type of cross or crucifix, then reverse the lot (about).

8d  Tea taken with EastEnders? Or else switching over that is (5,3)
{ROSIE LEE} – this is the Cockney rhyming slang for tea (although a true Cockney would normally only use the first word). It’s an anagram (switching) of OR ELSE containing the abbreviation for ‘that is’.

13d  Pepper was associated with such fields in the 60s (10)
{STRAWBERRY} – not terribly cryptic reference to the number which was intended to be included on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album but didn’t make it and was actually released as a single.

15d  Allow head of Geography to occupy rocking chair like a sloth (9)
{LETHARGIC} – a verb meaning to allow followed by G(eography) inside an anagram (rocking) of CHAIR.

16d  Jack laid down by players in card game — clever! I’m to play (4-4)
{JEWS’-HARP} – J(ack) followed by bridge partners and an adjective meaning clever or quick-witted.

17d  Devious guards reportedly cheated with rigour (8)
{STRICTLY} – an adjective meaning devious or artful contains (guarding) what sounds like (reportedly, again) a verb meaning cheated or deceived.

19d  Shake bedspread? Not left time before vicar’s turning up (6)
{QUIVER} – start with a bedspread without the abbreviations for left and time, then reverse (turning up) the abbreviated title given to a vicar.

20d  Cast includes lead in laughable piece of armour (6)
{SHIELD} – a verb meaning cast or threw contains the leading letter of L(aughable).

23d  Prosecutor implicated in perverse network a man familiar with courts (5)
{NADAL} – the abbreviation for a state prosecutor in the US goes inside the reversal (perverse) of a computer network (in an office building, for example).

24d  Brand used by mum and kid (4)
{JOSH} – the forename of Ms. Brand the comedienne is followed by an injunction to keep mum.

My preferred clues today were 3d, 5d and 7d. Which ones appealed to you?

 

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16 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Not very tough but enjoyable. Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

    With regard to 3d, given the solution, I think polo here is more of a shirt than a jumper

    • gazza
      Posted October 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      The hint says jersey rather than jumper. I think polo jersey is a term that’s used and it has sporting connotations.

  2. Jezza
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I liked this one; just about the right level of difficulty for me today.
    Many thanks to Osmosis, and to Gazza for the comments.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle with some nice charades. favourites were 5a 7d and 22a thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the review.

  4. the dodger
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Very satisfactory for a Wednesday toughie, some lovely word-play,only needed the explanation for 23dn-inevitably it involved a ruddy computing term, BAH !!
    Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

  5. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    We could not find out who the setter was when we solved this but did guess correctly. Spotted the pangram. Took us exactly the same time as the Jay back-pager. A really good fun offering again from this setter, with lots to chuckle over.
    Thanks Osmosis and Gazza.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted October 30, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      It looks as if we did not guess correctly after all. Have just checked to DT website and they attribute Toughie 1075 to Messinae. (Or perhaps they have it wrong and it is Messinae coming up next).

      • gazza
        Posted October 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Today was definitely Osmosis (according to the paper). I imagine that Messinae is tomorrow and the DT website has managed to leave out today’s completely.

        • crypticsue
          Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          My info from someone who met Osmosis last Saturday was that his toughie would definitely be on Wednesday so I think the site must have had a moment of amnesia.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted October 30, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Thanks both of you. Suspected that might have been what happened.

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted October 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

          I see that now the DT site has been corrected.

  6. Kath
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I did try – it was so far beyond me that it might have put me off Toughies for ever, particularly as no-one else seems to think that it was difficult. I managed about ten answers. :sad:

    • Kath
      Posted October 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      PS Apologies for the lack of manners as well as the lack of little grey cells – thanks to Osmosis and gazza.

  7. steve_the_beard
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Respect to those of you who found it less than four-star hard! I got there in the end, but only because I could afford the time to see it through.

    The necktie in 1A came to me from who-knows-where (Jeeves, possibly?), 12A was a new word and 16D was impossible until I stopped trying to include all four card players!

  8. Outnumbered
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Managed to finish this one, must have been into **** time for me. The clues certainly seemed toughie-like, even if CS didn’t find it too tough!

  9. Only fools
    Posted October 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Gazza ,another puzzle that I thoroughly enjoyed so thanks very much to Osmosis too .
    12a was new to me too and personal favourite 5a ..
    I gave up difficuly assessment some time ago and just stutter along did enjoy the cryptic as well and think Jay is remarkably consistent in quality of setting .