Toughie No 1641 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
I’ve been having intermittent Internet problems all morning so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can publish this. This is a typical Osmosis offering with lots of detailed wordplay (though with more proper names than usual) and it’s what Kitty might call a Goldilocks Toughie – not too soft, not too hard. It’s also a pangram.
Toughieland is a very sombre place today following the announcement this morning of the death of John Pidgeon (Petitjean). Through his puzzles here and on the back page he brought us a great deal of fun and he will be sadly missed.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a One takes in how US pop idol introduces himself? First European’s ignored (7)
IMBIBER – this pop idol might introduce himself as 1’1,6 – then we have to remove the first E(uropean). I thought that this character was from Canada rather than the US but perhaps Canada has disowned him (who could blame them?).
5a Perform as a group supporting? (7)
BEARING – split the answer 2,1,4 for ‘perform as a group’.
9a Note found near half a crown (5)
TIARA – a charade of a note from tonic sol-fa, half of the word near and A.
10a Country‘s fifty-one day frenzy, as money disappears (9)
LITHUANIA – string together the Roman numeral for fifty-one, an abbreviated day of the week and a synonym for frenzy or hysteria without the abbreviation for money.
11a Musical character felt laid back about awkward celeb on right (6,4)
TREBLE CLEF – reverse the word felt and insert an anagram (awkward) of CELEB following R(ight).
12a Religious book for kids (4)
ACTS – double definition, the second a verb meaning pretends.
14a Poet‘s deep sentimentality regularly detains you, when reflecting (6,6)
SEAMUS HEANEY – string together what ‘the deep’ means poetically, a word for cloying sentimentality, regular letters from ‘detains’ and the reversal of an old word for ‘you’.
18a Dark film? How you might fix picture in short advert, adjusting (8,3,1)
WITHNAIL AND I – start with how you might fix a picture (4,4) and add an anagram (adjusting) of IN and AD[vert].
21a Someone in authority reformed financial centre (4)
EXEC – as 2,2 this could be a one-time financial centre. I’m not sure that former necessarily means reformed.
22a Unbalanced novice climbers might fall thus (3,3,4)
OFF THE WALL – double definition. Think of a facility where novices may learn to climb without being exposed to a real mountain.
25a Author and publicist teach criminal tons over time (9)
PRATCHETT – a publicist is a ** person. Add an anagram (criminal) of TEACH and the abbreviation for tons then insert T(ime).
26a Yellow jumper perhaps put back — it might be loud in church (5)
ORGAN – a word for yellow or gold is followed by the reversal of an animal which may be trained as a jumper.
27a Definitive book by old rocker on Queen turned aside (7)
AVERTED – the abbreviation for an English translation of the Bible is followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher and a rocker of the 1950s.
28a Expert describes type of music centre in range sceptically (7)
ASKANCE – an expert contains a type of music which originated in Jamaica and the central letter of range.
1d Completely enthusiastic about tango after vacation (2,4)
IN TOTO – a preposition meaning ‘enthusiastic about’ followed by tango without its core letters.
2d Unashamed style of meditation, having underwear on (6)
BRAZEN – a style of meditation preceded by an item of underwear.
3d Part of cricket averages will include Yorkshire’s opener, certainly (2,3,5)
BY ALL MEANS – what could, cryptically as (4,5), be the average strike rates achieved by a bowler (i.e. the frequency of taking wickets) contains the opening letter of Yorkshire.
4d Memorial of antiquity council erected partially, in hindsight (5)
RELIC – hidden in reverse.
5d Picked up ticket over Easter, travelling somewhere in London (9)
BATTERSEA – reverse a ticket or label and add an anagram (travelling) of EASTER.
6d Blue Plaque’s taking centre stage on front of apartment (4)
AQUA – the middle letters (taking central stage) of “plaque’s” followed by the front letter of apartment.
7d Honest pub, old and beamed, we hear (8)
INNOCENT – join together another word for pub, the abbreviation for old and what sounds like a verb meaning beamed or transmitted.
8d Patch might hide this new ball (5,3)
GLASS EYE – cryptic definition of a replacement orb.
13d Piece of sewer complex lowered kilometres beneath Tyneside (10)
NEEDLEWORK – an anagram (complex) of LOWERED and the abbreviation for kilometres follow the abbreviation for the region of England where Tyneside is found. I love ‘piece of sewer’.
15d Vilification besets one having abused rifle in site full of bunkers (9)
MUIRFIELD – a word for vilification or slander contains the Roman numeral for one and an anagram (abused) of RIFLE. This site full of bunkers is also, according to a recent vote there, a site full of misogynists.
16d It’s a relief to intercept pest damaging a plant (5,3)
SWEET PEA – what offers relief if one’s bursting goes inside an anagram (damaging) of PEST then we finish with A.
17d Resting place includes endlessly strange accommodation on board (8)
STEERAGE – a resting place on a journey contains an adjective meaning strange or frightening without its last letter.
19d Japanese gas, using vernacular (6)
JARGON – the abbreviation for Japanese followed by an inert gas. I did try to discover if letters 2-4 of the answer were an abbreviation for a gas so that I could use the last two letters to mean ‘using’. However, I was unsuccessful so I have to assume that ‘using’ here is just a link word.
20d With recording over, start to go inside a French dive (6)
PLUNGE – reverse a recording then insert the first letter of ‘go’ into a French word for ‘a’.
23d The hollow craft picked up swimmer (5)
TETRA – ‘The’ without its middle letter is followed by the reversal of a craft or skill.
24d Make a bolt one day securing club’s entrance (4)
SCAT – ‘make a bolt’ here means ‘leg it’. An abbreviated day of the week contains the first letter of club.
I liked 16d but my favourite clue today is 13d for the cryptic definition. Which one(s) grabbed you?