Toughie 1468 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1468

Toughie No 1468 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Hearty congratulations to Osmosis for his 100th Telegraph Toughie!! On this centenary Osmosis gives us a delightful pangram with plenty of nice surprises. As always, Osmosis has tight clues and accurate definitions making his puzzles a joy to solve. I thought this was 3 or 4* for difficulty, just right, and, having relished all the clues again on writing the review, a 5* for enjoyment.

Thanks CS for pointing out that the on-line version of the puzzle mistakenly had for 14d “see 11 across” instead of “see 11 down” (I had read straight past it). This had now been corrected. I hope this didn’t affect your enjoyment of the puzzle.

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 Smoother on a horse, contrary timid creatures (6)
PUMICE: Reversal (contrary) of a 2-letter preposition suggesting on a horse, or riding, followed by timid creatures with whiskers

4a Holy man avoids London area collecting electronic organ (8)
PANCREAS: Remove (avoids) a two-letter abbreviation for a holy man from a London area with a station close to Euston, and insert (collecting) the abbreviation for e(lectronic).

9a On cruiser perhaps overseas, Roger relocated (6)
ABOARD: Move the position of R (=Roger, used in radio-communication to indicate R for received or understood) within a word meaning overseas.

10a Bubbly, full of sex appeal. No? Yes, he is (8)
CASANOVA: One of our female commenters thought “No, he isn’t!” when his picture appeared in a previous review. Take the word for Spanish bubbly, and insert (full of) the abbreviation for S(ex) A(ppeal) and NO from the clue. A semi-all-in-one.

12a Section of upper storey park over east Birmingham (8)
CEREBRUM: Reverse (over) a 3-letter word for park or recreation area, add E and an informal word fro Birmingham.

13a Clobber clown with it (6)
JERKIN: Clobber here means clothing. A four letter word for clown or an annoyingly stupid person is followed by a preposition meaning “with it” or fashionable.

15a Arm joint more grubby when one’s fallen (13)
KNUCKLEDUSTER: A joint in the hand plus a word meaning more grubby or filthy without the “I” (one’s fallen)

18a Footwear favoured by one stumbling on vehicle (6-7)
CARPET-SLIPPER: a 3-letter word meaning favourite together with (by) a word describing someone who stumbles or loses their footing, all following (on) a three-letter vehicle.

22a Socialist that is 29 (6)
LEFTIE: The political inclination of a socialist followed by the abbreviation for that is.

24a Rather dim husband stops to check off his bananas (8)
THICKISH: The abbreviation for H(usband) is placed inside (stops) a 4-letter word meaning to check off (as you might items in a list) followed by an anagram (bananas) of HIS.

26a Welshman joins Parisian who knocked back Irish cocktail (8)
DAIQUIRI: A 3-letter We lsh name, French (Parisian) for who, and a reversal (knocked back) of an abbreviation for IR(ish).

27a They may be trained to fetch  underwear (6)
BOXERS: A double definition, dogs of a particular breed and a type of men’s underwear

28a Regularly reunite with drinker around storehouse (8)
ENTREPÔT: The even letters (regularly) in rEuNiTe followed by the reversal (around) of a person who drinks regularly

29a Unco-operative dance company, sacking old one, end in disunity (6)
BOLSHY: Take the name of a famous Russian ballet company and remove OI (sacking old one), then add the last letter (end) of disunitY


1d Quietly start off country walk with swagger (6)
PRANCE: The musical abbreviation for quietly plus a European country with it’s first letter removed (start off)

2d Bond seen in this  part of canvas (9)
MOONRAKER: Another double definition: The name of a Bond movie and a sail.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

3d Heard bear taunt another animal (7)
CARIBOU: A homophone (heard) of bear or shoulder and taunt or heckle

5d Continuously saw jay nibbling tops (4)
AWAY: Remove the first letters (nibbling tops) of words 2 and 3 in the clue

6d Headwear page needed for time in villa (7)
CHAPEAU: Replace T(ime) with P(age) in a word meaning villa or large country house, esp. in France.

7d Honour revolutionary agreement that’s read on PC (1-4)
E-BOOK: Reversal (revolutionary) of a British honour and a 2-letter word for agreement (as in “we have the ** to go ahead”)

8d New pair with hesitation occupying rock where some birds breed (8)
SWANNERY: Take a pair of the abbreviation for N(ew), add a 2-letter expression of hesitation, and insert all into a 4-letter verb meaning to rock or swing

11d & 14d People replace the lid to seal good confectionery (7,7)
TURKISH DELIGHT: A nationality (people) plus an anagram (replace) of THE LID in which the abbreviation for G(ood) is contained (to seal).

14d See 11 Down

16d Doctor’s vehicle is touring cut-off headland – it means being late (9)
TARDINESS: This doctor is a time lord. Take his vehicle (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) and put it around (is touring) a 4-letter word for headland or cape from which the last letter is missing (cut-off)

17d The writer traverses frozen expanse, for report here in Arctic? (3-5)
ICE-LEDGE: This is a homophone (for report) of two words (1,6): the first personal pronoun (the writer) and how this person may travel across snow or ice

19d Connoisseur gets enjoyment ultimately out of online drawing? (7)
EPICURE: Remove the T (enjoyment ultimately) from what might be described as an electronic (online) drawing or image

20d Cricket chiefs probing game one’s played (7)
PICCOLO: Abbreviation for International Cricket Council goes inside (probing) a game usually played on horseback

21d Moustache styled only partly, having a wheeze? (6)
CHESTY: Lurking (only partly) in Moustache style

23d Mild and stout available around empty pub (5)
FAINT: An adjective for stout or obese goes around (available around) another word for pub with the central letter removed (empty)

25d Russian wolfhound unwrapped pasta (4)
ORZO: Remove the outer letters (unwrapped) from a 6-letter dog breed also known as a Russian wolfhound.

My favourite was 20d because of the clever disguise of the definition. How did you enjoy the puzzle and which were your favourites?

25 comments on “Toughie 1468

  1. I thought really hard about the pangram which helped me get the last two clues ( 17d and 25d) but I couldn’t parse them.
    So I completed the grid with 2 bung ins unfortunately.
    1d made me laugh.
    Thanks to osmosis and to Dutch for the explanations.
    Still haven’t looked at RayT and the Don. It’s going to be a busy weekend.

    1. Hi JL,
      The Ray T steers into Beam territory but the DG shouldn’t give you much trouble (no BRB required!).
      Wondered how you felt about today’s Matt cartoon? Amusing, or too close to the bone?

  2. That was a fair old work-out for me – Dutch’s ratings look good as far as I’m concerned.
    New word for me at 28a and I guessed the 25d pasta just through knowing the dog.
    Also didn’t know that 2d was a sail – apologies to all our sailors on the blog!

    12a fooled me for a while – having given up on getting cranium to fit, I moved on without realising how close I’d come.
    17a – started out with ice skate (which gave me Stalin for 22a and thereby caused a whole heap of trouble!).

    Needed Dutch’s help to fully parse 8d – never thought of that pair.
    Podium places go to 12a & 16d.

    Many thanks and congratulations to Osmosis – a great anniversary pangram.
    Thanks also to Dutch – those 27s were an eye-opener but would probably be extremely uncomfortable.
    Notice that you slipped in the 21a pic so as not to be left behind by Gazza and Falcon – bit of a stretch in more ways than one!

  3. I will have to tackle this one later on as I have some cooking duties to fulfil to cover this weekend. So have a nice weekend all.

  4. Congratulations Osmosis.

    And what a way to mark your centenary. I agree with Dutch’s ratings.

    Never heard of 25d but couldn’t see what else it could be. Also had to check 13a. Got too many little asterisk to name a favourite. Brilliant stuff.

    The picture for 27a is just wrong.

    Many thanks again to Osmosis and to Dutch for your usual great blog. Always a pleasure to read.

    Is there a Nina? I only ask as setters have been known to with their 100th publication.

    1. Hi Hanni,
      Line three of your comment ensures that you will not be leaving the loopy corner any time soon.

      1. I’ve just edited it. In my defence I’m on enough cold medication to tranquilize a horse.

        And I’ve just had to edit this post. :-(

  5. Similar to yesterday’s Micawber, with the top half much easier than the bottom. I thought 22a was a bit feeble and “available” in 23d a bit redundant but otherwise perfectly formed. I loved the image conjured up by 24a and often see him in Waitrose.

    Thanks and congrats to Osmosis and thanks to Dutch for the blog.

  6. Managed to finish this challenging puzzle, but am a bit confused by the comments. What is the BRB and where does the panagram come into it? I thought that was a sentence using all the letters of the alphabet.

    1. The answers are in the frequently asked questions. See tab at top of page

      BRB Chambers dictionary – a big red book

      Pangram is also crossword with all letters of the alphabet

  7. Many thanks to Dutch for a brilliantly illustrated blog! Your help was much needed in the NE. corner.

    When I got the “Q” I said to myself “pangram” … but then forgot all about it … it would have helped.

    Congrats to Osmosis … I think I have tackled most of the 1,468 Toughies, but I’m sure that I haven’t solved 100 of them unaided.

    5d – Being dimmer than dim … how does “away” equate to “continuously”?

    ps. I have checked the BRB and it’s the second definition as an adverb,

  8. Managed to complete without actually clicking on any of the answers, but much use of the hints.

    Very enjoyable

    Thanks to Dutch and Osmosis

  9. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, so congratulations on reaching your 100th toughie milestone Osmosis – well done.

    Too many good clues to mention so I’ll leave it like that.

    Thanks again Osmosis and thanks to Dutch for his humorous review – loving the art work

    Right – rugby time, have a good weekend all.

  10. Congratulations on your century Osmosis.
    We spotted the pangram, but only after we had finished the puzzle. Must confess to trying to squeeze ‘shaggery’ into 8d, but as well as having slightly off-colour connotations, it is not in BRB.
    An excellent puzzle, quite a challenge for us and totally enjoyed.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  11. I don’t often manage a Friday Toughie but with a couple of hints from Dutch I thoroughly enjoyed working out this excellent puzzle. Osmosis marked his century with some style!

  12. Thanks and congratulations Osmosis ,as usual this took me ages ,but I only persist if enjoying the process .Decent review too so thanks Dutch .

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