Toughie 1147 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1147

Toughie No 1147 by Osmosis

Is It Friday Already?

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

On first reading through the clues I wondered whether we’d been given a Friday Toughie by mistake but I gradually worked my way into it and thereafter progress was steady rather than spectacular. It was the stiffest Wednesday Toughie I’ve blogged for some time, so thanks to Osmosis for the enjoyment.

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  Academic formerly with Hull partner’s going over tax returns (8)
{EMERITUS} – Rod Hull’s puppet plus the ‘S contains the reversal of a verb to tax or exhaust.

6a  Mobile salesman‘s amazing deal available with present casing (6)
{PEDLAR} – an anagram (amazing) of DEAL with the abbreviation for present going round it (casing).

9a  Respect HQ contains a head of Galloway (6)
{HOMAGE} – one’s base or headquarters containing A and the first letter of G(alloway). I wonder if the Respect Party really do have a bust of George at their HQ.

10a  A helpless victim maybe leaving Britain to work in the Orient (4,4)
{EASY MEAT} – an anagram (to work) of MAY(b)E without B(ritain) goes inside another word for Orient.

11a  Squeaky-clean when abroad, but coming back, overcome by bug (8)
{VIRTUOUS} – an adverb meaning abroad or away from home gets reversed (coming back) inside a bug or infection.

12a  Bogus scientists disturb swallow — that’s unknown (6)
{ERSATZ} – the abbreviation for the body to which eminent scientists belong (so, by derivation, scientists) goes inside (disturb) a verb to swallow or consume. Then we finish with the third algebraic unknown or variable.

13a  Actor departed, as current pay cuts announced (5,7)
{RIVER PHOENIX} – this is an American actor who died, aged 23, from a drug overdose in 1993. Start with a current or stream and add what sounds like fee (pay) and nicks (cuts).

16a  School cleaner managed other employment (12)
{CHARTERHOUSE} – string together a cleaner, an anagram (managed) of OTHER and a word for employment or utilisation.

19a  Correct club’s picked up heading for tee (4-2)
{SPOT-ON} – an old golf club containing (picked up) the first letter of T(ee).

21a  High-flier eagerly heading off, always takes in race meeting (2-6)
{GO-GETTER} – an adverb meaning eagerly without its initial A (heading off) is followed by a poetic word for always containing the abbreviation for the motorcycle race meeting held annually on the Isle of Man.

23a  Shade extensive area in design for retirement (8)
{MAGNOLIA} – insert an adjective meaning extensive or lengthy and A(rea) inside a design or target then reverse it all (for retirement).

24a  Card used to obtain credit primarily, draining shoppers? (6)
{ACCESS} – this is an excellent all-in-one clue. Insert the primary letter of C(redit) inside a top playing card, then finish with the outer (draining) letters of S(hopper)S. This was a brand of credit card issued by several UK banks and known as ‘your flexible friend’. The name was no longer used after 1996.

25a  Rambling section’s leader tucks into local fish (6)
{PHRASY} – I didn’t know this adjective and it was my last in as I needed all the checking letters. The abbreviation, as seen on maps, for a local hostelry is followed by a flatfish with S(ection) inside it.

26a  Panic when the Yaris breaks down (8)
{HYSTERIA} – an anagram (breaks down) of THE YARIS.

Down Clues

2d  Second person to welcome current adherent (6)
{MOONIE} – this is the derogatory term for an adherent of the Unification Church. Start with the abbreviation for a second or instant and follow this with the pronoun used for an unspecified person containing the symbol for electric current.

3d  Criticise tripe, served outside for one (5)
{ROAST} – a word for tripe or nonsense containing a conjunction meaning ‘for one’ or ‘to give an example’.

4d  French landmark hotel’s fantastic with light on (3,6)
{THE LOUVRE} – string together an anagram (fantastic) of HOTEL, the abbreviation for a form of light outside the visible spectrum and a preposition meaning on or concerning.

5d  Poet writes in margins of some recipe (7)
{SPENSER} – a verb meaning writes goes inside the outer letters (margins) of S(om)E with R(ecipe) to finish.

6d  I’m in outskirts of the shop, ordering strip of fencing (5)
{PISTE} – make an anagram (ordering) of the outside letters of ‘the’ and ‘shop’ then insert I to make the strip on which fencers compete.

7d  Middle Eastern bananas restored energy after endless climb (9)
{DAMASCENE} – start with the reversal (restored) of an adjective meaning bananas or nuts, then add a climb without its last letter and E(nergy).

8d  Seaman rejected debauchery with soldiers, 10 half-cut seen here? (8)
{ABATTOIR} – reverse a word for debauchery or wild revelry and follow it with the abbreviation for our part-time soldiers. Then reverse (rejected) it all and put an abbreviation for a seaman in front of it. The answer is where you’d find half of 10a.

13d  Game lady meeting Ian arranged romantic situation (9)
{RURITANIA} – this is the fictional place where Anthony Hope based his romantic novels. It’s a charade of the abbreviation for a team game, a woman’s name and an anagram (arranged) of IAN.

14d  Girl after certain time getting 1,000 dollars, an enviable figure? (9)
{HOURGLASS} – another word for a girl follows a fixed period of time and the abbreviation for 1,000 dollars.

15d  Weight pressing on joint remains following learner’s injury (8)
{WHIPLASH} – W(eight) precedes (pressing on, in a down clue) a bodily joint, then we add the remains of a fire after L(earner).

17d  Bunk in corner used to be hard (7)
{HOGWASH} – string together a verb to corner or monopolise, a verb meaning used to be and the abbreviation for a hard grade of pencil.

18d  Craft centre in Stockport where postman delivers after spring (3,3)
{JET SKI} – luckily for me I used to live in Greater Manchester so I was aware of the codes for the postal districts in Stockport. We want what looks like the postal area covering the central part of Stockport – precede that with a spring or outflow of water.

20d  Fool‘s itching to win fifty pounds back (5)
{NELLY} – reverse (back) an itching or longing containing (to win) the Roman numeral for fifty and the  abbreviation for pounds.

22d  Facial hair getting long after time (5)
{TACHE} – a verb to long follows T(ime).

I enjoyed 9a and 6d but my favourite today, by some distance, was 24a. Let us know which ones made you smile.

9 comments on “Toughie 1147

  1. I found this the trickiest Toughie for some time – not helped by the fact that it was four separate crosswords in one grid – and would give it 5*/3*. Had it not been for Gnome’s Law, it would probably have taken me far longer than it did, and that was long enough!

    Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

  2. Wow this was hard!
    Thanks for the hints which were needed for right upper corner.
    The rest was accessible but made the brain ache.

  3. Very enjoyable fare on offer today, favourites for me were 2d 13a and 24a thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the comments.

  4. Great crossword and teriffic review, more of the same please, many thanks to Osmosis and Gazza.

  5. We really enjoyed it. Tough though. We got 18d by an interesting route. We looked at Stockport and decided that the centre was ‘K’ and together with jet for spring got the right answer. However this left us with an unemployed postman and two undelivered letters ‘S’ and ‘I’. Mr Google was needed to sort the problem for us, so eventually, everything solved and parsed. Lots of fun.
    Thanks Osmosis and Gazza.

  6. I am halfway through. Top left and bottom right quadrants completed, but oh so slowly. Avoiding looking at the hints and hoping to get a block of time later to attempt to improve my solve rate.

  7. This was a definite 5* difficulty for me but only 1* for enjoyment. In fact I would say this is the most difficult Toughie I’ve encountered to date. Thanks to Osmosis and a big thank you to Gazza for some much needed explanations.

  8. More like 5* for me as regards difficulty, and l needed 7 of Gazza’s hints (for which many thanks) to complete. My dictionary doesn’t list “phrasy” even though l suspected that was the solution to 25a. A tough Toughie indeed, but l managed enough of it unaided to gain at least some satisfaction. Thank you Osmosis for the test.

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