Toughie No 1925 by Osmosis
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is a typical Osmosis puzzle (and it’s a pangram) with lots of detailed wordplay although it’s somewhat easier than he can sometimes be. I enjoy deciphering his clues but the large number of insertion/containment constructs in this one did get a bit wearing after a while and became more apparent when I was writing the hints – so I’ve docked one star from my original intention for the enjoyment rating.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Heading west, note actor Jack visiting famous monument (3,5)
TAJ MAHAL: string together a note from tonic sol-fa, a derogatory term for an actor, the abbreviation for a jack in cards and a preposition meaning visiting or attending. Now reverse it all.
6a Whole hip pinned, reportedly (6)
INTACT: charade of an adjective meaning hip or fashionable and what sounds like a verb meaning pinned or fixed in place.
9a Ancient character describes current story’s setting (6)
MILIEU: a Greek letter contains the symbol for electric current and a fabricated story.
10a Give ground when framing final character sketch (8)
VIGNETTE: an anagram (ground) of GIVE contains an adjective meaning final (after all deductions have been taken into account).
11a Marion’s content outside training horse said to make rhythmical jumps? (8)
ARPEGGIO: the inner letters of Marion go round an abbreviation for physical training and what sounds like a child’s word for a horse.
12a Jasmine may occupy this river probing mammal’s characteristic (6)
TEAPOT: the name of an Italian river goes inside what female mammals have at least two (and in some cases up to eighteen) of.
13a Forgetful type possibly delivering in bar (12)
SCATTERBRAIN: split the answer 7,5 and treat it as a reverse anagram to get IN BAR.
16a Insects break forth inside while somewhere in Australia (5,7)
ALICE SPRINGS: put some parasitic insects and a verb to break forth or burst out into a conjunction meaning while.
19a Literary device from this author bringing sign of amusement all round (6)
SIMILE: the subjective pronoun used by the author is surrounded by a facial sign of amusement.
21a Mark, loveless dandy, wearing clothing accessory (5-3)
SCARF-PIN: concatenate a mark or blemish, another word for a dandy without the letter resembling ‘love’ and a preposition meaning ‘wearing’.
23a Utterly calm Parisian who takes exam online? (8)
QUIETEST: the French word for ‘who’ followed by what could be an online exam (1-4).
24a After retirement, regret regular spells of weekday bingo? (6)
EUREKA: reverse a verb to regret and add regular letters from weekday.
25a Whistler kept in bank that’s robbed? (6)
BEREFT: an abbreviated whistler on a sports field goes inside a verb to bank (in the sense of count or rely).
26a Witness gents perhaps with grand in gambling city, making comeback (8)
ONLOOKER: an informal name for facilities, of which ‘gents’ is an example, and an abbreviation for a grand or thousand go inside the reversal of a US city known for its gambling.
2d Assistant lifted up skimmed log where workers gather (6)
APIARY: reverse the abbreviation for a top manager’s assistant and add a log or journal without its top (skimmed).
3d Grass in springtime’s picked up (5)
MAIZE: this sounds like what belongs to a springtime month.
4d Timekeeper in corner absorbing game upset girl (9)
HOURGLASS: a verb to corner or monopolise contains the reversal of a 15-a-side sport. Finally, append a synonym for girl.
5d Charged in error for lodge away from campus (4,3)
LIVE OUT: an adjective meaning charged with electricity is followed by a word meaning ‘in error’ or wrong.
6d Switching parts, entered bar (5)
INGOT: start with a phrasal verb (3,2) meaning entered and swap the order of the words.
7d Man’s employed by group of stars, being a treasury of knowledge (9)
THESAURUS: a male pronoun and the ‘S are contained (employed by or enrolled by) in a constellation.
8d Broad-minded person with craving for lions, tigers etc? (8)
CATHOLIC: cryptically this (3,5) could be someone with an addiction to felines (does one of our bloggers spring to mind?) . I’m not convinced that this works – I think it needs an A between the third and fourth letters.
13d Wise to restrain cleric endlessly broadcasting profanity (9)
SACRILEGE: an adjective meaning wise contains an anagram (broadcasting) of CLERI[c].
14d Encircle US president midway through Dallas. Sound familiar? (4,1,4)
RING A BELL: cement together a verb to encircle, the familiar forename of a 19th century US president and the middle letters of Dallas.
15d Key single by jazzy duet getting high position (8)
ALTITUDE: assemble the legend normally visible on a key on your keyboard, the Roman numeral for a single and an anagram (jazzy) of DUET.
17d Gentleman brought round oil, essential for dish (7)
RISOTTO: reverse the title used for a gentleman and add a fragrant essential oil.
18d Land, having hoofed one back, edible shellfish (6)
WINKLE: start with a verb to land or obtain and add the reversal of an animal with hooves.
20d Formal leave of absence down under once (5)
EXEAT: a verb to down or swallow comes after a prefix meaning once.
22d Metalworkers seen here, lacking energy and old, give up (5)
FORGO: start with a traditional metalworker’s workshop, drop the E(nergy) and add O(ld).
I ticked 14d and 20d but my favourite was 24a for the excellent surface and well-disguised definition. Which one(s) had you in stitches?
If you’re not all puzzled out Brendan (aka our Sunday maestro, Virgilius) is in the Guardian with a puzzle which is not too tricky but brilliantly put together.