Toughie 1173 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1173

Toughie No 1173 by Osmosis

It’s a Cracker!

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

Tilsit is unavailable today and I have spent most of the morning sorting out the site, including a raft of problems (at the blogging end) introduced by the WordPress upgrade and a rogue plugin (the Guestbook one, now disabled) that used up over 5gb of the 6gb available. The hints are here, albeit a little late.

As is usual with Osmosis it took longer to fully resolve the wordplay than it did to complete the puzzle.

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1a & 28a Nick regularly bribed horse moving near Scottish actor (6,8)
{ROBBIE COLTRANE} – a three-letter verb meaning to nick followed by the odd letters (regularly) of BrIbEd, a young horse and an anagram (moving) of NEAR

4a & 29a Composer‘s no.7 involves cut after director interrupts unconfinedly (8,6)
{FREDERIC CHOPIN} – the answer to 7 down around (involves) a four-letter cut and preceded by a word meaning unconfinedly or without physical restraint around D(irector)

9a Some pirates embarked, having turned over Spanish land (6)
{MESETA} – hidden (Some) and reversed (having turned over) inside the clue

10a Fruit crop in headland one hundred in total (8)
{CAPSICUM} – a most of (crop in ???) a headland followed by I (one) and the Roman numeral for a hundred inside a three-letter total

11a Religious movement that expresses love all round? (8)
{LOLLARDY} – textspeak for Laugh Out Loud, thought by many, including Chambers dictionary, our Prime Minister and our setter, to stand for Lots Of Love followed by an adjective meaning all round or overweight – I was looking for an explanation involving O (love) and the reversal of ALL but couldn’t find one

13a Vegan food, one of five consumed daily, in seconds (6)
{QUINOA} – one of five all born at the same time followed by the second letters of cOnsumed and dAily

15a Inn with vin de table available, drunk in shade (8,5)
{VENETIAN BLIND} – an anagram (drunk) of INN with VIN DE TABLE

18a Plant and Jagger perhaps right to engage in punk rock? (9,4)
{MILLSTONE GRIT} – a plant or factory followed by a word that describes Mick Jagger as a member of a pop group and R(ight) inside a punk or fool

22a Decorate in French and German Empire style, finally getting scrubbed (6)
{ENRICH} – the French for in followed by a German Empire without (getting scrubbed) the final letter of stylE

24a New arrival caught short in aircraft — it’s not a problem (2,6)
{NO OBJECT} – a new arrival or raw recruit followed by the abbreviation (short) for C(aught) inside a three-letter aircraft

26a Unrefined brownie low in calories, having nothing filling (8)
{IMPOLITE} – a brownie or sprite and the adjective meaning low in calories around (having … filling) O (nothing)

27a Go crazy in US as evidence of hair loss becomes public? (3,3)
{WIG OUT} – an item worn by some who suffer from hair loss followed by an adjective meaning public or in the open

28a See 1 Across

29a See 4 Across


1d Odd British outsiders in Lodge uncover secrecy perhaps (6)
{RUMBLE} – an adjective meaning odd followed by B(ritish) and the outer letters (outsiders) of LodgE

2d Key exam covers last part of the term in geology (4-5)
{BASE-LEVEL} – a musical key and a GCE exam (2,5) around (covers) the final letter (last part) of thE

3d Separated from where rail passengers sit, according to Jonathan Ross? (2,5)
{IN TWAIN} – how Jonathan Ross, who is unable to pronounce his Rs, might describe where rail passengers sit

5d ‘Beef’ not opened, when revealed as horse (4)
{ROAN} – a beef or complaint without its initial letter (not opened0

6d Policeman’s headwear not an inconvenience (7)
{DISTURB} – a senior police detective, the S from ‘S and some Muslim or Sikh headwear without the final AN

7d Main officers circulating chemical company find bioweapon (5)
{RICIN} – the nautical (main) service (officers) around (circulating) a chemical company

8d Kilt-wearer might go this way to act after short interval (8)
{COMMANDO} – to go this means to forgo the use of underpants, as some kilt wearers might – a way or direction and a two-letter word meaning to act following a five-letter short interval

12d Extremes of traffic contribute to ruin Web business (3-3)
{DOT-COM} – the outer letters (extremes) of TraffiC inside ruin or disaster

14d Manage to take middle out of Japanese fencing with relative (4,2)
{MAKE DO} – drop the middle letter from the Japanese art of swordsmanship, practised with bamboo staves, then precede what’s left with the two-letter word for a female relative

16d Where peer is quietly briefed? (2,3,4)
{IN THE LOOP} – someone having a pee (not necessarily a member of the nobility) could be found here followed by the musical notation for quietly – it took a while for the penny to drop with this agent noun!

17d One can’t remember adult cinemas being widespread (8)
{AMNESIAC} – A(dult) followed by an anagram (being widespread) of CINEMAS

19d Swaggering adventurer not having wash basin, initially — pig? (7)
{SUCKLER} – drop (not having) WASH and B (Basin, initially) from a swaggering adventurer of the kind that used to be played by Errol Flynn

20d Refuse to wipe clean his pants — black’s ingrained (7)
{RUBBISH} – a verb meaning to wipe clean and an anagram (pants) of HIS around (ingrained) B(lack)

21d 20 accessing evil drug (6)
{STATIN} – some 20 down inside one of seven deadly evils

23d Drive off from training in Reliant, declining one six-footer (5)
{REPEL} – some physical training inside REL(IANT) without (declining) I (one) and ANT (six-footer / insect)

25d Bowl over bananas lifted (4)
{STUN} – the reversal (lifted in a down clue) of an adjective meaning bananas or mad

Thanks for waiting patiently for the hints.

8 comments on “Toughie 1173

  1. Sorry to hear about your troubles my friend, hope you are all sorted out. I enjoyed this toughie by Osmosis but thought it one of his lighter ones, my thanks to him.

  2. Just finished it but not sure how I reached it especially 24 across? Sorry to hear of your problems.

    1. Welcome to the blog Hazybelle

      From the soon-to-be-published hints:

      24a New arrival caught short in aircraft — it’s not a problem (2,6)
      A new arrival or raw recruit followed by the abbreviation (short) for C(aught) inside a three-letter aircraft

  3. As with the back-pager, it was the NE corner that was the last to yield. Done in bits and pieces and took quite a long time. Got 16d as one of earliest answers but still chuckling about it. Good challenge, good fun.
    Thanks Osmosis and BD.

  4. Thanks for explaining 11a BD – I was initially thinking along the same lines as you [O and ALL reversed]. Didn’t think much of 10a either – the word “in” seems to be there to preserve the rather tenuous surface. However, these were more than made up for by 8d and the wonderful 16d, which has to be my LOL [original meaning] clue of the month.

    Thanks Osmosis and BD.

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