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Toughie 1767

Toughie No 1767 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

[I don’t know what’s happened to today’s Toughie blog or who’s meant to be providing it, but in the meantime I’m putting up this stub so that people can post comments and queries about it without using the back-page blog. Gazza]

Thank you to Gazza – what follows has been bashed out at speed and more than likely contains multiple errors but I’m working on the better something than nothing theory.

Proper Friday toughness – thank you Osmosis – but I’ve removed half an enjoyment star for some repetition of devices in clues


1a           Most undernourished, unprepared to bite into dodgy insects (10)
SCRAWNIEST  Unprepared (in its natural state) inserted into an anagram (dodgy) of INSECTS

6a           Character following VW in final immediately after (4)
NEXT  The character coming after V and W inserted into an adjective meaning final or conclusive

9a           Posh conservationists, next to shop reflecting, like some roofs (7)
UNTILED  The letter meaning ‘posh’, the abbreviation for the National Trust (conservationists) goes next to a reversal (reflecting) of an abbreviated specialist food shop.

10a         Massive music fan around London area gradually assimilated (7)
OSMOSED The abbreviation used to indicate outsize (massive), a particular type of 1960s music fan, the latter ‘going around’  the abbreviation for the area of the country in which London can be found

12a         Vanguard in shock by image of offender potentially on peak bonus (6,7)
FRINGE BENEFIT  The front part of a hairstyle (vanguard in shock) and a Scottish peak followed by an e-image of an offender

14a         Injured nurses first to receive award (6)
GRAMMY  A word for injured which I for some mad reason always association with a xxxxx leg ‘nurses’ the first of Receive

15a         Sandwich, say? Members can have a round here (4,4)
GOLF CLUB  A cryptic definition of a sports venue just down the road a bit from me where the Open Championships are often held

17a         Help old boy with computer around Asian location (8)
CAMBODIA  An Asian location our Gnome will be visiting in the next couple of weeks – a reversal (around) of a word meaning help, the abbreviation for Old Boy and a particular type of computer

19a         Smiled periodically, going after joke contracts for wimp in Glasgow (6)
JESSIE The odd letters (periodically) of SmIlE go after almost all of a joke spoken in fun

22a         Mum and Audrey, with stove sorted, getting time to eat cake? (6,7)
SHROVE TUESDAY A way of telling someone to be quiet (mum) and an anagram (sorted) of AUDREY and STOVE

24a         Colour taking over current marine habitats (7)
AQUARIA  A particular shade of blue followed by a reversal (over) of a current (wind rather than electricity)

25a         Ex-Beatle’s record that is capturing return of morning spirit (7)
IMAGINE The abbreviated way of saying ‘that is’ capturing the return of the Latin abbreviation for morning and an alcoholic spirit

26d         Perhaps Euro disco smash repeatedly soulless? (4)
DOSH An informal term for money (perhaps Euro) is obtained from the outside letters (soulless) of DiscO and SmasH

27a         Resurgent Kew area spoiled by Scottish hooligan (10)
REAWAKENED  An anagram (spoiled) of KEW AREA goes by a Scottish slang word for a hooligan


1d           True, game served up is off (4)
SOUR  SO (true) followed by a reversal (up in  a Down clue) of an abbreviation for a game currently being played by six nations

2d           Cordial rogue with criminal gang needing no introduction (7)
RATAFIA  A rogue (3) and a criminal gang without its first letter (needing no introduction) gives a cordial made with the essential oil of almonds

3d           Industrialist has legal document taken to house, interjecting ‘I’m finished’ (7,6)
 WILLIAM HOOVER  So how many other people googled the man who gave us vacuum cleaners to check his Christian name?   A legal document and the abbreviation for House, between which is inserted the full way of saying I’m, the whole thing finished over with another way of saying finished

4d           Stain mum gets out of party frock, in the middle (6)
INDIGO Another use of the two letter word meaning be quiet (mum) this time it is removed from an informal term for a lively celebration, and the middle letter of frOck is added at the end

5d           Climber may possess this smell — earlier, wife overcome by the nose (8)
SNOWBOOT A slang term for the nose ‘overcomes’ the abbreviation for wife, and the abbreviation for a bodily smell, earlier telling you that the wife goes before the smell

7d           Quiet one displays painting attracting female class (7)
EASEFUL   The abbreviation for Female and (more repetition) the letter representing upper class go inside a stand for displaying a painting

8d           Jack may use these, picking up bound pieces of furniture (4,6)
TIDE TABLES A homophone (picking up) of a way of saying bound followed by some pieces of furniture

11d         Two green spaces are the basis for chap’s novel (9,4)
MANSFIELD PARK  Two separate green spaces go after (are the basis for) a chap’s

13d         Sweet mendicant, heading off, absorbs copper on street by day (3,7)
EGG CUSTARD  Remove the first letter (heading off) of a mendicant, insert the chemical symbol for copper and the abbreviation for street, and finish the result with the abbreviation for Day gives us one of my least favourite puddings

16d         Restaurant briefly in papers, showing strain (8)
FILTRATE Insert the short form of an Italian restaurant into a set of papers

18d         Nobleman is pursuing decorative craft without energy and effort (7)
MARQUIS IS (from the clue) follows a particular form of wooden decorative work without the E for energy and a synonym for effort

20d         Gloomy animal enclosure with tailless jumbo (7)
STYGIAN  An animal enclosure and a word meaning jumbo without its last letter or tail

21d         Survey wicket under former England manager (6)
REVIEW The abbreviation for Wicket goes under a former England football manager.  I wonder how many younger solvers would know him?

23d         Charge daughter for big meal? (4)
FEED A charge followed by the abbreviation for Daughter

47 comments on “Toughie 1767

  1. My first run through produced very few answers but things then gradually started to fall into place with some electronic help. So finally finished in **** time. Also **** for enjoyment.
    Thanks to Osmosis for the puzzle.

  2. Every clue had to be turned and turned around until the penny dropped.
    What a joy.
    Great construction in 18d. And in 17a.
    Liked the pancake day story in 22a.
    Was totally 10a.
    Job well done.
    Thanks to osmosis and to Gazza for opening the platform.
    Ps: I can help with all the clues except 16d which I still don’t have. :smile:

    1. I think that CS is producing a quick review even as we communicate.
      For 16d the brief restaurant is Italian!

    2. I think the short restaurant in 16d is ‘trat’ . Put this inside ‘file’ for papers. Hope this helps.

  3. Delighted to finish an Osmosis puzzle. Bit of homework needed for 2&20d and I’m embarrassed to report which was my last answer (by a long way). Obviously that was some homework I should have done a long time ago!
    Looking forward to the review to check up on a couple of bits of parsing but my favourite has to be 8d.

    Thanks to Osmosis for giving me a chance today!

  4. It was a good thing that we knew that Osmosis uses some strange Scottish words so we were on the look-out for these and were able to look up in BRB the answer for 19a and part of the clue in 27a. Certainly a significant challenge but we got there in the end, 5d being the last one to fall. Having found some of the more obscure letters early on we were expecting a possible pangram but it was not to be.
    Thanks Osmosis and CS for coming to the rescue with the blog.

    1. And not to forget the third Scottish ref in 12a.
      Never noticed that Osmosis had a penchant for old Ecosse.
      Mind you, I always get my York stuff out when solving Elgar but last time he took us round East London on a bus!

  5. I don’t know what a ‘stub’ is but thanks to Gazza for putting whatever it is up so that we can post comments and queries.
    I normally avoid Friday Toughies like the plague but decided to have a go today – finished, sort of, but loads of questions so here goes.
    10, 12 and 14a are my main problems – I have answers for all of them but why?
    My first answer for 6a was Xray – thought we were talking about the NATO alphabet – oh dear and seriously not helpful.
    I’ve really enjoyed this but it was one hell of a struggle.
    I liked 1a and 8d. My favourite was 11a – loved it.
    With thanks to Gazza for coming to the rescue and, in advance, to CS – hope she doesn’t mind her Friday evening being hijacked.

  6. 10a I thought it was OS = massive. Then “mod” – music fan, around SE, London area.

  7. 12a Vanguard = fringe. fit = image of potential offender (as in photofit). Peak is “ben”. Don’t understand the e I have left over. Au secours, Jean-Luc!

  8. 14a. Injured = gammy. “Nurses” indicates that it encloses the letter R (first to receive).

      1. 5d completed it for me. Once I had the Body Odour as reference to ‘smell’ the penny dropped.

    1. shock is hair and the vanguard or foremost part of it is the first part of the solution to 12a

  9. Thanks to CS for coming to the rescue.
    I admit to googling the first name of Mr Hoover.

  10. I’m going back down to the warm sitting room (even with a fan heater the ‘office’ is very chilly this time of year. I’ll keep an eye on the blog via my tablet while watching Mastermind and Only Connect and pop back and correct any more of my ‘Captain Mainwaring’ moments after 9 pm.

  11. A fair bit of head scratching with this one.
    Bottom half of the grid sailed in. But, Oh My God! did I have to work on the top section.
    Feeling of great satisfaction when completed mid afternoon.
    2d – good flex of the brain neurons.
    10a – love the self reference.
    19a – nice colloquial touch.
    22a – very aptly timed.
    Overall, if yesterday’s fare was a 4* difficulty, so should this be rated. 4* enjoyment.
    Thanks again Gazza and Osmosis for a tricky test.

  12. Many thanks for stepping into the breach, CS – where would we be without you!
    I hadn’t gone far enough with the parsing of 24a – only used the one letter abb for current – and was totally lost with the parsing of 4d.
    Not sure about 5d – surely a climber would need a pair? A little weak perhaps.
    Still laughing over how long it took me to get 10a!

    Oh yes – I’m another one who had to look up the first name of the industrialist.

    If you have time, the answer for 9a needs revisiting and the street slotting into 13d. Not a complaint, CS – you’ve gone well above and beyond on our behalf today.

  13. I completed in 3* time but l’m afraid l lost patience and resorted to a couple of hints, so call it 4* difficulty. 3* for enjoyment, though. 22a and 20d were my favourites. Thanks to Osmosis, and to CrypticSue.

  14. Phew. Agree with 4*/4*. Very enjoyable. Finished it but needed the hint to understand fringe as vanguard. We had two ticks against each of 4d and 18d with the latter just the best.

    For a long time we were on pangram alert but no z turned up

    Thanks to CS and Osmosis.

  15. A proper Toughie. Many thanks to CS and Osmosis. Glad to find another Only Connect fan. Just going to watch the recording now.

  16. Thanks so much CS – I hope what remains of your Friday evening is quieter and more relaxing than it’s been up until now. :smile:

  17. Apologies for any blogging confusion – I thought i was legally away on a skiing holiday with my family (btw, it had to happen, but i think it is pretty much official now – not that it makes it easier to accept – but I think it is now clear that my kids can outski me)

    I have to thank CS for her amazing stand-in.

    Anyway, i’m back now – for now –

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