Toughie No 1853 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
When you see Osmosis’s name on a Toughie you know you’re going to get a lot of detailed wordplay and that’s what we’ve got. There are no complaints from me on that score though some of the constructs are repeated quite a lot (e.g. the disembowelling of words using empty, gutted, hollow and extremely). Thanks to Osmosis for the entertainment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Empty Sunday penning paper on bridge rule (11)
SQUIREARCHY – inside the outer letters of Sunday put 25 sheets of paper and a curved supporting structure.
7a Bread eaten by old teacher all the time (2,3,2)
ON AND ON – a type of bread is contained between the abbreviation for old and a university teacher.
8a Did work up in Channel Islands start to trouble newsman? (7)
INCITED – string together IN, the abbreviation for the Channel Islands, the first letter of trouble and our usual newspaper boss.
10a Religious person having spiritual class in remote surroundings (5)
FRIAR – insert the abbreviation for religious indoctrination into an adjective meaning remote.
11a Crusher Bailey perhaps having first spell inside? (5,4)
WATER MILL – this is a mechanism for crushing or grinding (wheat, for example). What a bailey was in an old castle contains the first spell or period of time (4,1).
12a I run downhill then left through track in a hazardous manner (7)
RISKILY – I and a verb to run or slide downhill plus the abbreviation for left go into the abbreviation for a railway line.
14a Bypass repairers maybe wanting settlement — and more (7)
ROADMEN – an anagram (wanting settlement) of AND MORE.
15a Exhaust Classical character with constant type of poetry (7)
SAPPHIC – cobble together a verb to exhaust or deplete, a Greek letter and the constant used to represent the speed of light.
18a Jack sorry when speaking about God (7)
JEHOVAH – assemble the abbreviation for jack (the playing card), an interjection meaning ‘sorry?’ or ‘what did you say?’ and a homophone (hmm) of a preposition meaning about or concerning.
20a Cruise with Ann abroad creating this charge? (9)
INSURANCE – an anagram (abroad) of CRUISE and ANN.
21a Hooker’s part of this low life hanging around edge of road (5)
SCRUM – contrary to the deceptive surface reading hooker here is not a lady of the night but a sportsperson. Put an informal word meaning low life or contemptible people round the first letter of road.
22a Blight overthrowing English flower gutted Yvonne (7)
EYESORE – knit together an abbreviation for English, a fragrant flower and Yvonne without her insides. Now reverse it all.
23a Order, I sense, is threatening (7)
OMINOUS – concatenate the abbreviation for a distinguished order, I and an informal word for common sense.
24a Watch display by pioneering German rock band (3,8)
LED ZEPPELIN – start with a type of display seen on a digital watch and add the surname of a German who pioneered a form of air transport.
1d Positions over having quit drugs (7)
STATINS – another verb meaning positions without the abbreviation for over.
2d Missing one or two bits at the top, shake organ (5)
UDDER – think of two different verbs meaning to shake and remove one letter from the start of one and two letters from the start of the other.
3d Overwhelming sunlight stifles pale superior in retreat (7)
RUNAWAY – overwhelming as in ‘overwhelming success’. A beam of sunlight contains the reversal of an adjective meaning pale or ashen and the letter standing for superior or posh.
4d Celebrity secrets I lampoon, somewhat upsetting (1-6)
A-LISTER – hidden in reverse.
5d Pest played rock in train (9)
COCKROACH – an anagram (played) of ROCK goes inside a verb to train.
6d Hollow Yorkist victory without local element (7)
YTTRIUM – the outer letters of Yorkist followed by a victory without the abbreviation for a local or watering hole.
7d Farm animal crossing his building on area in England (11)
OXFORDSHIRE – cement together a bovine farm animal, a river crossing, an anagram (building) of HIS and a preposition meaning on or concerning.
9d Poet, industrious being at home, shaved amidst junk sadly (5,6)
DYLAN THOMAS – put an industrious six-legged being and the word ‘home’ without its last letter (shaved) inside an anagram (junk) of SADLY.
My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
13d English novelist lives with that woman? Hazel possibly (9)
ISHERWOOD – concatenate a verb meaning lives or exists, a pronoun meaning that woman and what hazel is an example of. This writer’s works were adapted for the musical Cabaret.
16d Dated extremely unusual figure in ballet (3,4)
PAS SEUL – an adjective meaning dated or ‘old hat’ followed by the outer letters of ‘unusual’. I didn’t know this ballet term but the wordplay is clear.
17d Criminal, caught with readies regularly, to give up (7)
CONCEDE – join together an informal word for a prisoner, a cricket abbreviation meaning caught and regular letters from ‘readies’.
18d Heartless tricks on pensioner, a scapegoat (3,4)
JOE SOAP – remove the middle letter from a word meaning tricks or pranks then add the abbreviation for a senior citizen.
19d Gavin and Roz endlessly planned to get one delivered in September? (7)
VIRGOAN – an anagram (planned) of GAVIN and RO[z].
21d Son is going to drink (5)
SWILL – the abbreviation for son followed by a verb meaning ‘is going to’.
The clues I liked best were the suggestive 2d and the excellent 21a. Which one(s) appealed to you?