Toughie No 1565 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
Osmosis has given us a pangram which is full of his usual complicated wordplay. I do enjoy unravelling his type of clue but it does make the hints a bit long-winded. I completed most of the puzzle at a decent pace then slowed to a crawl in the SE corner.
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1a Sole group perhaps put on file in error for academy (4,6)
LIFE SCHOOL – a word for a group of sole (or other fish) follows an anagram (in error) of FILE.
6a Fit beer bottles rearmost in pub (4)
ABLE – a type of beer contains the rearmost letter of pub.
9a Island community intercepting navy chief westwards (7)
RÉUNION – the community which we may, or may not, be leaving soon goes inside the abbreviation for our navy. After that we have to reverse an abbreviated way of writing an adjectival phrase meaning chief or most important (2,1).
10a Remove some pests, escorted over river (7)
DELOUSE – reverse a verb meaning escorted and add a river in North Yorkshire.
12a Head injured in try at match, causing legal proceedings (9,4)
PATERNITY SUIT – string together an old word for one’s head, an anagram (injured) of IN TRY and a verb to match or complement.
14a Poles in international alliance taking a gamble (2,4)
ON SPEC – the abbreviations for the two geographical poles go inside the acronym for an international alliance of crude exporters.
15a I am controlling canoe to avoid the odd aquatic creature (3,5)
SEA OTTER – I here is Osmosis, or rather his job. Put that around the even letters of canoe.
17a Stomach pain apparent eating at hotel that’s all-inclusive (8)
CATHOLIC – a type of stomach pain suffered by babies contains AT and the letter that hotel is used for in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.
19a Lay out bread occupying church room, having cut lines (6)
INVEST – a preposition meaning occupying is followed by a church room without the abbreviation for lines or tracks. I identified the correct abbreviation but then spent some time trying to remove it from ‘crypt’. The surface doesn’t mean a great deal.
22a Sauce from vessel finished on flooring, also outside (6,7)
TOMATO KETCHUP – a two-masted vessel and an adverb meaning finished follow a type of flooring which is contained inside a synonym for also.
24a Expert about to contribute to spring forecast (7)
PROJECT – start with the abbreviated form of a word for an expert, then insert an abbreviation for about or approximately into a verb to spring or spray.
25a Gents or ladies around Lazio regularly start to eat this? (7)
CALZONE – put a slang term (mainly North American) for a gents or ladies convenience around regular letters from Lazio, then finish with the starting letter of eat.
26a An element swapping sides in transaction (4)
DEAL – swap the outer letters of a metallic element.
27a What’s swimming in open river? Such a fish (10)
FRESHWATER – insert an anagram (swimming) of WHAT’S into an adjective meaning open or frank, then finish with the abbreviation for river.
1d One shortens bottom of jumper owned by youngster (4)
LARD – shortens here means to make pastry soft and crumbly by adding fat. The bottom letter of jumper is contained inside a young male. I don’t like this much – the answer is an uncountable noun so you can’t say ‘one ****’.
2d Adversary mentioned entrance of slug under annual bloomer (4,3)
FAUX PAS – start with what sounds like an adversary or enemy then put the initial letter of slug after the Latin abbreviation for yearly.
3d Game woman guzzles alcoholic drink (Courage) (4-3-6)
SPIN-THE-BOTTLE – a feminine pronoun contains a measure of beer. That’s followed by an informal word for courage.
4d Poor country’s declining acres (6)
HUNGRY – remove the abbreviation for acres from the name of a European country. I wasn’t convinced that the answer means poor but it’s in the BRB.
5d Initially Daily Telegraph setter’s filling role arranged for veteran (3-5)
OLD-TIMER – the initial letters of Daily Telegraph and the contracted form of ‘the setter is’ put into the first person go inside an anagram (arranged) of ROLE.
7d Smell from Pierre that is evident during fight (7)
BOUQUET – how Pierre (or Jean-Luc) might say ‘that’ goes inside a fight or contest.
8d Rolls may include this tripe served up and consumed by the Spanish city (10)
ELECTORATE – having discounted the posh car and the bread we’re left with the sort of rolls which are kept up to date by your local council. The reversal of another word for tripe or rubbish and a verb meaning consumed follow a Spanish definite article and the postal area of the City of London.
11d Amateur, depressed by judicial system, to give a lecture? (3,4,3,3)
LAY DOWN THE LAW – string together an adjective meaning amateur, an adjective meaning depressed and ‘judicial system’ (3,3).
13d PA routinely did this petty wrangling with director, that hurt inside (5-5)
TOUCH-TYPED – an anagram (wrangling) of PETTY and D(irector) have an exclamation of pain inserted. Crypticsue would like to point out that some PAs can still do this.
16d Labour contender? Preference always keeping close to chest (8)
PICKETER – a word meaning preference or choice is followed by a poetical adverb meaning always containing the closing letter of chest.
18d In which a drum roll might produce a number one? (7)
TOMBOLA – cryptic definition of an attraction at a fête, say, at which you may win a prize.
20d Milk round one operates at 33, moving over in retirement (7)
EXPLOIT – put together the round letter and the thing that works at (approximately) 33 rpm. Now reverse that and insert it in a word for retirement or departure,
21d Head to toe engulfed by hose, as punishment (6)
STOCKS – the first letter of toe is contained in hose.
23d Tackle Northern runner (4)
WEAR – double definition. The first means tackle or kit and the second is a river which is Northern if you live in London (but Southern if you live in Edinburgh).
I liked the semi-all-in-one 27a and 7d (which made me laugh). Which one(s) appealed to you?