Toughie 1089 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1089

Toughie No 1089 by Osmosis

‘Why don’t you come up some time, and see me’

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

You never quite know what to expect from an Osmosis puzzle, but, as this one was published on a Friday, I did expect a tougher challenge than this.

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    Family fireplace contains old fruit (5,6)
{BLOOD ORANGE} – family and a fireplace around O(ld)

7a    Latest indication of plant bug is fungus (7)
{TRUFFLE} – the final letter (latest indication) of plant followed by a verb meaning to bug or annoy

8a    Trees bearing apples perhaps yellow, brown and red, at the end (7)
{ORCHARD} – the heraldic term for gold (yellow) followed by a verb meaning to brown and the final letter (at the end) of reD

10a    High-flier showing outside of luggage label (5)
{TITLE} – a small bird (flier) followed by the outer letters of LuggagE

11a    Inferior carafe irritated master (9)
{SUBJUGATE} – a charade of a prefix meaning inferior, a carafe and a verb meaning irritated

12a    One hears female friend returning ski gear? (7)
{EARFLAP} – the organ that is used for hearing followed by F(emale) and the reversal (returning) of a friend

14a    English ex-boxer briefly at perimeter in neighbourhood fight (7)
{CONTEND} – most of the surname of an English boxer who was world light-heavyweight boxing champion followed by the outer letters (perimeter) of NeighbourhooD

15a    Smashed some of locks breaking into empty study (7)
{SQUIFFY} – this adjective meaning smashed or intoxicated is derived by putting a lock of hair inside StudY without its inner letters (empty)

18a    Fellow outside plays stirring ballad (7)
{CALYPSO} – a two-letter adjective meaning fellow or mutual around an anagram (stirring) of PLAYS

ARVE Error: need id and provider

20a    Continue with a type of hat which eventually overburdens you? (4,5)
{LAST STRAW} – a charade of a verb meaning to continue or persist and a type of hat

21a    Specialist postman’s Nottingham branch (5)
{PRONG} – a specialist followed by the postcode for Nottingham

22a    Battled, getting nothing out of dodgy investor (7)
{STRIVEN} – an anagram (dodgy) of INVEST(O)R without (getting out of) the O (nothing)

23a    Flash uniform, one for army officer (7)
{INSTANT} – to get this flash or brief period of time, start with an adjective meaning uniform or unvarying
and insert I (one) in place of the CO (Commanding Officer)

24a    He cries out actively about Anglican power being reduced? (11)
{EUROSCEPTIC} – an anagram (actively) of CRIES OUT around Anglican or Church of England and the abbreviated form (being reduced) of P(ower)


1d    Show off staircase feature when area’s cleared (7)
{BLUSTER} – start with a small pillar supporting a stair rail and drop (cleared) the A(rea)

2d    Charlie leaves workplace to find source of booze (5)
{OFFIE} – start with a workplace and drop (leaves) the C(harlie) to get a slang term for a shop that sells booze

3d    Adorn middle of Andrea’s cat when lifted (5,2)
{DRESS UP} – the middle three letters of AnDREa’s followed by the reversal (lifted in a down clue) of an affection term for a cat – funny how a similar construct appeared in today’s back-page puzzle

4d    Extremely rich writer receives award that’s diamond-shaped (7)
{RHOMBIC} – the outer letters () of RicH and a make of ballpoint pen (writer) around (receives) an award

5d    Heard rap performance, an element occurring at night (9)
{NOCTURNAL} – what sounds like (heard) a rap followed by a performance and the chemical symbol for an element

6d    Spring and summer in France engrosses chap close to Jura (7)
{EMANATE} – the French for summer around a chap and the final letter of (close to) JurA

7d    Everybody’s with torn-up tickets, say, here at racecourse? (11)
{TATTERSALL’S} – a three-letter word meaning everybody, the apostrophe and the S from the clue preceded by what might be torn-up tickets gives an enclosure at a racecourse offering cheaper admission than the Members’ Enclosure

9d    Vessel Dean frantically filled in water shortage (11)
{DREADNOUGHT} – an anagram (frantically) of DEAN inside (filled) a water shortage

13d    Mae West perhaps flies around state (4-5)
{LIFE-SAVER} – an anagram (around) of FLIES followed by a verb meaning to state

16d    Excited by government that’s going through definite growth (7)
{UPSURGE} – a two-letter adjective meaning excited followed by G(overnment) inside (that’s going through) an adjective meaning definite

17d    Stony broke, pinching father’s clothing (1-6)
{Y-FRONTS} – an anagram (broke) of STONY around the abbreviation of father in a religious context

18d    Leather business extended around hospital (7)
{COWHIDE} – a two-letter business or firm followed by an adjective meaning extended around H(ospital)

19d    Army in charge following expert routine (7)
{PROSAIC} – the abbreviations for an army that spreads religion among the poor and In Charge after (following) an expert (like the specialist in 21 across)

21d    Current Italian model put in place (5)
{POSIT} – an Italian river (current) followed by a verb meaning to model

Tilsit is unavailable today, but hopes to be back next week.

12 comments on “Toughie 1089

  1. Not particularly tough but enjoyable. Thank you to Osmosis and BD

    In my determination to not mention Gnomey’s favourite Chinese river and having finally remembered about the single letter abbreviations for current, it did take a Gnoment to realise what the solution to 21d was

  2. I was expecting a themed puzzle today due to the date and all the anniversaries, instead we get what was possibly the gentlest Friday Toughie I can recall, however it was enjoyable, thanks to Osmosis and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. Don’t usually have time for the toughie but did today and really enjoyed it, assumed that the rating would be about **, as I tend to struggle higher than that ,with an associated decrease in the enjoyment factor;thanks for the ‘ pics the one for 18a seems particularly apposite and ironic today, no midnight oil tonight!

  4. Everything slotted into place very smoothly with the only hold-ups being with the parsing of 7a and 23a. Guessed that the last part of 23a was a post code although unfamiliar to us. We were going to suggest that there was a mistake in the clue for 21d and the second word should be Chinese, but then decided that would be unfair to Gnomey. Fun puzzle.
    Thanks Osmosis and BD.

  5. I really enjoyed this – found it less tricky than the (inside) back page crossword.
    I needed the hints to explain why my answers to 21a and 21d were right. I didn’t think of post codes with 21a and got into all kinds of a muddle trying to understand 21d. I nearly had the wrong ending, the last two letters, with 4d.
    I liked 12 and 24a and 17d. My favourite was 15a.
    With thanks to Osmosis and BD.
    I think CS and 2Kiwis are being really unkind to Gnomey!

  6. It may be 2* difficulty for you BD but I stared at 21 a and d for ages without twigging either postman’s Nottingham or current Italian. Also, having decided that the cat in 3d was a puma I spent another age trying to make “dream up” mean “adorn”. So [pace Myops] that’s two defeats in a row – to Excalibur and Osmosis. Who’d a thought it!

    Thanks Osmosis and BD.

  7. Very enjoyable and sorry I couldn’t blog it. Presume I’d better get the armour ready for a battle next Friday with the Impaler.

  8. The Telegraph Puzzles website hasn’t been working, at least for me, today, so I haven’t been able to try this puzzle.

    I do like Osmosis’ crosswords, so I’ve avoided reading the hints and will try it when the DT gets itself together.

  9. Telegraph Puzzles website was still down just now when I tried it. Fortunately, I printed off this puzzle yesterday before the hiatus began.
    I don’t think I have attempted an Osmosis Toughie before. I did enjoy it and completed it. I am most grateful to Big Dave for these hints. I needed explanations of my answers to several clues — 7a; 12a (for the first three letters of the answer); 23a; 5d; 19d (for the meaning of the initials SA; and 21d (for ‘current’ = Gnomey’s favourite Chinese river!).
    Many thanks to both Osmosis and Big Dave.

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