Toughie No 1609 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is a fairly typical Osmosis puzzle with some enjoyable clues but lots of ‘fiddly’ bits in the wordplay including a great number of abbreviations. On the whole I enjoy solving this type of puzzle but the constant need to add, insert or subtract individual letters can make writing the hints a bit wearisome.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Excessively cook duck, using mostly number 2 ring (6)
OVERDO – the letter that resembles a duck and the remarkably similar letter that’s a ring or circle with almost all of the 2d answer between them.
5a Doctor, dressing for his job, has no time in the main for afters (8)
SEMOLINA – put one of the abbreviations for doctor and the dressing that a doctor might use to treat a wound without the abbreviation for time into ‘the main’.
9a Branches gave loan to husband, securing good type of business deal (4-6)
ARM’S-LENGTH – a word for branches or sections is followed by a verb meaning ‘gave loan’ and H(usband) with the abbreviation for good inserted.
10a Wife’s consumed by depression, having Benedictine habit? (4)
COWL – the abbreviation for wife is contained inside a geographical depression.
11a Reconstruction of atrium captivates son on current course in Rome (8)
TIRAMISU – an anagram (reconstruction) of ATRIUM contains the abbreviation for son following the symbol for electric current.
12a Nutter regularly inside obtained dodgy booze (6)
GUTROT – regular letters from ‘nutter’ go inside a verb meaning obtained.
13a Nuts choke American (4)
GAGA – a verb to choke or retch and A(merican).
15a Sister a long time nursing at Midlands site (8)
NUNEATON – a religious sister and a very long period of time containing AT.
18a Help surgery when returning sample for medical department (8)
PODIATRY – join together a word for help and the abbreviation for a surgical procedure then reverse that and add a verb to sample.
19a Stir also around edge to dissolve (2-2)
TO-DO – a synonym for ‘also’ contains the first letter of dissolve.
21a Hold Lowry maybe in particular light (6)
NELSON – Mr Lowry’s initials go inside a bright type of light.
23a Government official negligent, failing to initiate a transport system (8)
EMISSARY – an adjective meaning negligent without its first letter is followed by A and the abbreviation for a type of transport.
25a Vague illustration partly reflected place (4)
LIEU – hidden backwards in the clue.
26a Female continually yearning after Prince’s autobiography (5,5)
FEVER PITCH – this is the title of an autobiography (later made into a film) by Nick Hornby. String together the abbreviation for female, an adverb meaning continually or eternally, the single-letter abbreviation for prince and a yearning or urge.
27a Cook perhaps displays food with brand on the outside (8)
SEAFARER – a word for food or provisions has a verb to brand or burn around it.
28a Animated character‘s given negative reply – not a sausage left in butcher’s (6)
SNOOPY – put a negative reply and the letter resembling zero (not a sausage) into a
verb noun that can mean “a butcher’s” (i.e. a look) in Cockney rhyming slang.
2d He produced notes from papers minister passed over (5)
VERDI – join together the abbreviation for papers and the abbreviated title of a clergyman and reverse the lot.
3d Emperor‘s time in expedition led by artist (3,6)
RAS TAFARI – this is one of the titles of the African emperor who was also known as ‘King of kings’ and ‘Lion of Judah’. Insert the abbreviation for time into an expedition and precede that by the usual abbreviation for artist. This is the second time that the abbreviation for time has been used.
4d Fancy seeing monstrous creature — swimmer’s heading off in full-body suit (6)
ONESIE – although the answer was obvious from the checkers it took me some time to parse this as I got hung up on trying to construct it using an anagram of ‘seeing’. In fact we have to start with a single letter exclamation of surprise (fancy!) and add a Scottish monster without the first letter of swimmer.
5d Film actress lifted soldiers on trip, removing top, we affirm (9,6)
SIGOURNEY WEAVER – string together the reversal of American ordinary soldiers, a trip without its top letter, WE and a verb to affirm or attest.
6d Wood lands old golfer in thorny shrub (8)
MAHOGANY – put the surname of Ben, the old American golfer, into another word for hawthorn.
7d Authorised army man circulates here in France (5)
LICIT – the abbreviation for a junior army officer goes round the French word for ‘here’.
8d Type of insurance Theo switched to then, applying thus? (3,3,3)
NEW FOR OLD – the answer is the change you have to make to turn ‘Theo’ into ‘then’.
14d A&E admitting character, little man, earlier (2,3,4)
AT ONE TIME – A and E contain a word for character or quality and the forename of tiny Master Cratchit.
16d Tail winds on ship I reckon to be very high (9)
ALTISSIMO – an anagram (winds) of TAIL is followed by the usual abbreviation for ship and a 3-letter abbreviation meaning ‘I reckon’.
17d Reduced weight with pro champion (5,3)
STAND FOR – string together the abbreviation (reduced) for a non-metric unit of weight, a conjunction meaning ‘with’ and a preposition meaning pro.
20d Orange, say, extremely clear about technology with you and me (6)
CITRUS – the outer letters of clear contain the abbreviation for technology. Finish with a pronoun meaning ‘you and me’.
22d Play’s over and fellow leaves, inspired (5)
SNUFF – reverse a word for play or enjoyment (not forgetting the ‘S) and append the abbreviation for fellow. A very well disguised definition.
24d Summing up, one shifted into standard English (5)
RECAP – reverse a word meaning one in various games and insert it into the abbreviation for standard or ‘posh’ English.
I liked 28a and 8d but my favourite, for the brilliantly disguised definition, is 22d. Which ones had you applauding?