Toughie 1267

Toughie No 1267 by Osmosis

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is the kind of Toughie I like – no very obscure words with the ‘toughness’ being in the wordplay and the clever camouflaging of many of the definitions. Thanks to Osmosis.

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 Which camouflaged soldiers ardently seek hideout, sounding rough? (6,5)
WOODEN HORSE – a verb to seek a mate in a romantic way is followed by a hideout and what sounds like rough or croaky.

7a Food illness making two bits go the wrong way (7)
ALIMENT – start with a word meaning illness and reverse two of the internal letters.

8a Heading from highland, look over ancient territory (7)
ILLYRIA – remove the initial H from an adjective meaning highland then reverse (over) a look or mien to get an ancient region along the eastern shores of the Adriatic.

10a Postponed recall of some exec in office (2,3)
ON ICE – hidden (some) and reversed (recall) in the clue.

11a Scientific pioneer, 50, appearing in long film (9)
ALCHEMIST – insert the Roman numeral for 50 in a verb to long or yearn and a film or haze.

12a Clown catches nose removing old clothes (7)
TWINSET – put a clown or fool round N[o]SE without the O(ld).

14a Primate and a member of the flock reflected, breaking bread (7)
TAMARIN – A and the reversal (reflected) of a horned member of a flock go inside (breaking) a rectangular loaf.

15a Oriental leaves China, moving back north during depression (7)
LAPSANG – reverse (moving back) what china means in rhyming slang then insert N(orth) in a depression.

18a One house member is driven to husband’s shed to get painting (7)
IMPASTO – string together the Roman numeral for one, a member of a house (one in Westminster in the case of the UK) and a phrasal verb (3,2) meaning ‘is driven to’ with the H(usband) removed.

20a When American class gets history or geography results? (9)
AFTERMATH – the short form which we use for the word mathematics is even shorter in the USA (four letters rather than five) so split the answer (5,4) for the wordplay.

21a Take a breather before beginning to erect some fencing (5)
LUNGE – one of a pair used for breathing precedes the first letter of E(rect).

22a Artistic trade folded in Manila? (7)
ORIGAMI – cryptic definition. Manila here is not the capital of the Philippines but strong brown paper.

23a Vehicle skirts round middle of suburb (7)
MINIBUS – types of skirt go round the middle two letters of suburb.

24a One lays piece on part of staircase for scary plot architect (7,4)
STEPHEN KING – a creature that lays and a chess piece follow part of a staircase.

Down Clues

1d Sweatin’ regularly, half-kilo repeatedly shed somewhere in Pacific (7)
WAIKIKI – this is a Hawaiian beach resort. The even letters of sweatin’ are followed by the word kilo repeated but with half of it omitted (shed).

2d Animal definitely spat out plant (2-3)
OX-EYE – the usual neat animal followed by what sounds like (spat out) AYE (definitely).

3d One’s admitted tirade supporting hospital department (7)
ENTRANT – a tirade follows the only hospital department recognised in Crosswordland.

4d Bob perhaps broadcast Latin number in booth (7)
HAIRCUT – a verb to broadcast and a Roman numeral go inside a booth or cabin.

5d 3-D chart to remain in warped frame on piano (6,3)
RELIEF MAP – insert a verb to remain or stay put in today’s only anagram (warped) of FRAME then add P(iano).

6d One hears tale by Harrow’s third or fourth former (7)
EARLIER – a charade of something that hears, an untrue tale and either the third or fourth letter of Harrow. The definition is brilliantly disguised.

7d At Boxing Day, there’s commotion following dodgy sherry (11)
AMONTILLADO – AT contains (boxing) an abbreviated day of the week, then a commotion or fuss follows an adjective meaning dodgy or grotty.

9d Transform son, being dragged inside amusement park (5,6)
ALTON TOWERS – a verb meaning transforms and S(on) contain a phrase (2,3) meaning being dragged.

13d Stuffing’s knocked out of servant bearing luggage for flight (9)
STAIRCASE – take the inner letters (stuffing) out of servant then add a word meaning bearing or appearance and a piece of luggage.

16d Bakery food hampers supplied with a little butter (7)
PATTIES – the little butter is not a tiny goat but a small moulded bit of the yellow stuff. Follow this with a verb meaning hampers or shackles.

17d Lustful place in India, joining hot model in retreat (7)
GOATISH – a state on the west coast of India is followed by the reversal (in retreat) of H(ot) and a verb to model.

18d Brutal throbbing advanced, nursed by local (7)
INHUMAN – a throbbing or droning and the abbreviation for advanced go inside a local or hostelry.

19d Son replaces front of portable accessory that checks tide (7)
SANDBAG – start with a portable accessory (brilliantly described as ‘temporary Worthing home’ in Giovanni’s Toughie last week) and replace the first letter with S(on) to make a (pretty useless) form of flood defence.

21d Fast intro to intense musical passages (5)
LENTI – a period of fasting and the introductory letter of intense.

Clues getting the medals from me were 1a, 6d and 7d. Let us know which one(s) you liked.



  1. crypticsue
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable as usual from Osmosis, but sadly solved in a time more suited to a back page puzzle.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza too. 1a was my favourite today.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Extremely enjoyable toughie from Osmosis today, not as fiendish as some but great fun, many thanks to him and to Gazza for the usual superb review.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I found this one pretty tough but very enjoyable, favourites were 1a 9d and 24a thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the review.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the “very enjoyable” camp. I didn’t find it difficult, but it was a lot of fun, and I even understood all the wordplay!

  5. JonP
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Needed a couple of hints (thanks Gazza) but enjoyed this one very much. Thanks also to Osmosis.

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Very hard to concentrate on this one as I had to go out and about all day. Managed to sit down and finish it apart from a few in SW corner. I hat nut for the piece of butter so impossible to get 15a. An ending in th for 17d (I always assume that model is t from the Ford motorcar) that prevented me from finding the answer. I didn’t know 8a either. Thanks to gazza for being my al manar. And to osmosis for the clues.

  7. Kath
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    This was more than difficult enough for me – it’s taken ages. I really enjoyed it very much but needed the hints to understand four of my answers.
    8a and 9d were my last ones.
    I liked 12 and 23a and 6 and 17d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Osmosis for the crossword and to gazza for the very necessary and very clear explanations.

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    We managed to find time to do this one last evening, and very glad that we did. Thought it was a lot of fun, just as Gazza describes it. Got held up with 9d for a while as we had never heard of it but our daughter, at who’s house we spent the night, came to our rescue so thanks Fiona.
    Thanks also Osmosis and Gazza.

    • Kath
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      I think that 9d might be something that you’re better off not having heard of unless you like that kind of thing!

  9. Dutch
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m not as fast as cryptic use, this took me an enjoyable while. I didn’t know the ancient territory in 8a, which stopped me getting 6d which I should have seen. I liked many clues, in particular 1a and 11a, and 24a as well. Been promising 9d to the kids for ages, am taking them oct 24 for their combined birthdays ( on the 16th and 25th of this month, which I sadly remember as squares)

    Thanks osmosis, still remember our train journey home together, and thanks gazza for quality review as always

    • Kath
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Reminder to me – read all comments through before replying to one! I’m sure you’ll love 9d!

  10. halcyon
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    A fun puzzle with some lovely clues. Favourites were 11a, 18a [husband’s shed indeed!] and 7d [for Boxing Day].
    Many thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the analysis.

  11. andy
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Gazza said it all, I agree with his favourites, my downfall in terms of parsing was the primate. Thanks to Osmosis and Gazza

  12. gazza
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    proXimal tomorrow.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Uh oh…

  13. Heno
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Osmosis and to Gazza for the review and hints. A very enjoyable, but very difficult puzzle for me. I should have left this for tomorrow. It was taking too long, I just couldn’t see most of the definitions, needed 7 hints and three look ups to finish. Was 4*/3* for me. Favourite was 9d.

  14. NJoy
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    What a brilliant puzzle! Well crafted. Thank you Osmosis. I got about half of them before resorting to hints. Thank you Gazza for giving just enough info to get me some more answers without giving it all away. I liked 23a and 6d. Spent some time trying to make 3d into patient which made 1a impossible! Never heard of 8a – I was given a good education but obviously didn’t pay enough attention – I seem to remember that in my reports! 7d was my mother’s favourite tipple – needed at 6 o’clock to get her through to children’s bedtime – she was very strict with herself on the time! Must do some work before tackling Friday’s.