Toughie 2047 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2047

Toughie No 2047 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Another great puzzle from Osmosis, full of precise clueing, clever surfaces and intriguing definitions, and definitely a toughie. I filled the grid before the school run but some of the parsing only came later so I added a half star. I needed Chambers for a few. Osmosis has delighted us once again with a pangram – I should have remembered to look out for it, it would have helped me in SE

Definitions are underlined and the hints are intended to help you unscramble the wordplay. You can reveal the answers if you want by clicking on the CLICK HERE buttons. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Perhaps Band Aid record brought back tears when broadcast (7)
PLASTER: The reversal (brought back) of a 33rpm vinyl record plus an anagram (when broadcast) of TEARS

5a    Giant pig bites dog back (7)
GOLIATH: The reversal (back) of a 3-letter pig or boar containing a verb meaning to dog or follow

9a    River shown on street-map in blue (5)
AZURE: A Yorkshire river follows (shown on) a popular street-atlas

10a    Lord’s position found — second row, not innermost, amongst others (6,3)
SQUARE LEG: The abbreviation for second, a 7-letter row or argument without the central letter (not innermost), and the Latin abbreviation for ‘for example’

11a    US city informally joins race to develop cheese (10)
CAERPHILLY: An informal word for the largest city in Pennsylvania follows (joins) an anagram (to develop) of RACE

12a    Tips found in Sunday tabloid’s online agony columns (4)
STOA: First letters (Tips found in …)

14a    Half of Brummie FC players wearing this spoilt surprise (12)
ASTONISHMENT: The first half of the name of the Birmingham football team followed by some players (chess pieces perhaps) inside an anagram (spoilt) of THIS

18a    Activity of chip-shop crowd that’s used to buffet (9-3)
BATTERING-RAM: A process for preparing fish in a chippie plus a verb meaning to crowd or pack

21a    Long time to grasp German pronoun? On the contrary (4)
ITCH: On the contrary suggests that instead of ‘time to grasp German pronoun’, we have a German pronoun (first person) grasping the abbreviation for Time

22a    Garden of Eden Charlie wanted over time, with grass in abundance (10)
CORNUCOPIA: Another word for a Garden of Eden, as in a paradise, with the T replaced by a C (Charlie wanted over time) comes after (with) a particular grass or cereal

25a    Visiting Balliol regularly with old captain in poor spirits (2,1,3,3)
AT A LOW EBB: A preposition meaning visiting, the even letters (regularly) off Balliol, and the name of a captain who was the first person to swim the English Channel in 1875 (hence old)

26a    Maybe no ball skill’s brought about by English number ten (5)
EXTRA: More cricket. The reversal (‘s brought about) of a 3-letter word for skill follows (by) the abbreviation for English and the Roman numeral ten

27a    Eating away, European crew gets through wine (7)
EROSIVE: The abbreviation for European, then a team of rowers perhaps expressed in Roman numerals goes inside (gets through) a type of wine

28a    Dog‘s half-finished relishes seen in bowl mostly (7)
BASENJI: Take the first half (half-finished) of a 6-letter verb meaning relishes and insert into (in) a 5-letter word for a bowl without the last letter (mostly)


1d    One might get hooked ascending mountain rocks (6)
PLAICE: A reversal (ascending, in a down clue) of a mountain plus a word meaning rocks, as in bourbon on the rocks

2d    Bill the setter is captivated by an Alsatian’s sharpness (6)
ACUMEN: A 2-letter abbreviation for a bill or account, a pronoun that would refer to the setter captivated by the French (Alsatian) for ‘an’

3d    Committed a sin in health resort, sweet knocked back outside (10)
TRESPASSED: A reversal (knocked back) of a sweet or afters goes outside a 3-letter health resort

4d    Poet, sort of, visits religious class (5)
RISHI: A suffix meaning sort of goes inside (visits) the school abbreviation for religious instruction

5d    Posh lass catches game fish — it’s arduous (9)
GRUELLING: A posh way of saying girl contains (catches) the abbreviation for a game with funny-shaped balls, followed by a fish

6d    Music player‘s turned up in every lughole (4)
LYRE: Reverse hidden (turned up in ….)

7d    Refuse to touch silver that’s sparkling (8)
AGLITTER: Refuse or dropped trash follows (to touch) the chemical symbol for silver

8d    Fabulous school they monopolise maintains growth (8)
HOGWARTS: People who monopolise, especially on the road, containing (maintains) a skin growth.

13d    In periphery of Tours, try dear French soap (3,7)
THE ARCHERS: Into (in) the outer letters (periphery) of Tours, place another word for try and the French for dear

15d    Cooling liquid infused with Eastern energy from an ancient time (9)
OLIGOCENE: An anagram (liquid) of COOLING contains (infused with) the abbreviation for Eastern, all followed by the abbreviation for Energy

16d    Seaman, having fall around sailing boat, is to give up (8)
ABDICATE: An abbreviation for a seaman, then a 3-letter word for fall or perish goes around a two-hulled sailing boat

17d    Disconnected scanner during station business (8)
STACCATO: A type of medical scanner goes inside (during) the 3-letter abbreviation for station and an abbreviation for business or company

19d    Perfect golf club used, skirting front of trap (4-2)
SPOT-ON: An old-fashioned (used) golf club goes around (skirting) the first letter (front) of Trap

20d    Indian restaurant might make this soul artist welcome (6)
KARAHI: A 2-letter word for soul, the abbreviation for artist and a welcome or greeting

23d    VIP raised stink after arrest (5)
NABOB: Reversal (raised, in a down clue) of the abbreviation of a personal problem following (after) a verb meaning to arrest

24d    Inferior type of driver from Italy (2-2)
LO-FI: The type of driver who is just beginning, a preposition meaning from and the abbreviation for Italy

I think my favourite today was 8d. It took me a while to parse – the answer contains the letters of GROWTH, which confused me for a while! I’m also fond of 1a and 9a and, well, quite a few more. Which clues did you like?

21 comments on “Toughie 2047

  1. Definitely a puzzle of two halves – the top half went in with no great problems but the bottom half (especially the SE corner) was a different matter requiring much sucking of pen and use of the BRB (especially to verify 15d and 20d).
    I thought it slightly odd that the grunting creature appeared twice in the NE corner and the purring one twice in the SW.
    Thanks to Osmosis and Bufo.
    Top clues for me were 1a, 11a and 8d.

  2. Splendid offering from Osmosis and I was really disappointed to fall at the last fence courtesy of the Indian restaurant and the Italian driver. I seem to recall that we’ve met the latter before, the old grey matter obviously didn’t absorb it! As for the Indian – I didn’t know either the ‘soul’ or the item on the menu.
    A couple of other things I had to check with the BRB but the wordplay had led me to the answer.

    Not to worry, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and gave top billing to 1a & 8d with several others hard on their heels.

    Many thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch – particularly for the explanations of my two sticking points.

  3. I thought this was a wonderfully constructed puzzle. Progress was mighty slow, but steady – until the very end. I had not heard of the ancient time in 15d, but the anagram ingredients and checkers made it accessible. However, like Jane, I fell at 24d and 20d. Again, like her, I had heard of neither the soul nor the menu item in 20d, and the checkers weren’t enough to lead me to the answer. In retrospect, I think I should have been able to unravel (the clever) 24d. This was yet another case of my missing a potential pangram – and perhaps if I had noticed, it may just have made the difference. I did enjoy this, but I was left disappointed in being so close, but not able to finish it. Many thanks to all.

  4. I had wild guesses, inspired guesses, threw letters up randomly into the air to be caught by my electronic dictionary and to my surprise completed this all but 20d. Parsing most of them was impossible, especially 28a so I am overcome with admiration for Dutch’s ability to do so.
    A thank you to him and Osmosis

  5. Having a no-brain-day or something. I cheated on, *cough*, a number of these. For me this was this setter with his sting at (or near) maximum strength.

    Very clever stuff though. My favourites were among the ones which I got more readily (but not for that reason): 1a, 3d and 7d.

    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  6. I surprised myself by only having to seek electronic help on 4D and 20D, and wait for the blog for the 24D solution and parsing. Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  7. Failed on 20d and 28a.
    Spent the week in pangram overdose and didn’t even notice this one.
    Thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch.

  8. Thanks to all. Unknown, or more likely forgotten: curry, dog and poets did for me. Lovely puzzle and super hints.
    Thanks again.

  9. This was one occasion when the puzzle being a pangram was of real assistance for us. Our last one was 20d. We worked out that we were one letter short for the pangram, so assuming that it was in this answer we went searching. BRB was no help as the answer is not listed in our 12th Edition. ( Wonder if it is in 13th Ed.) A further on-line search did eventually track it down for us and find that it closely relates to Balti which we blogged in a Jay puzzle recently.
    The GK for 14a (we’d heard of the FC but had no idea where it is based) and the 25a captain both taxed us somewhat, as did sorting out the wordplay for 17d and 22a.
    Definitely a challenge for us and very satisfying to get it all sorted.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

    1. I can confirm that 20d is in the 13th edition of the BRB (which is where I found it this morning).

      1. Trouble is, if like me you didn’t know the ‘soul’ you had no starting point to work from!

        1. Indeed, I failed on that one and only in the “friday night after work crossword club, aka beer o’clock club ” did I discover they all knew the soul but I didn’t. Many thanks to Dutch and Osmosis

  10. Funny how the mind works.
    Was ** for me ( apart from 4d..?).
    Whereas a ** last week I took ages to finish.
    Don’t get what a panagram is though? ‘

    1. When the completed grid contains at least one of each of the 26 letters of the alphabet we call it a pangram. Yesterday’s Toughie was a double pangram (i.e. there were at least two instances of each letter present).

    2. Re pangram check Big Daves faq here


      4d if something is sort of it might be (-ish) within the abbreviation RI (Religious instruction ) religious class

  11. Good fun and I agree with Gazza – top half went in fairly quickly – but the bottom half proved to be less accommodating. I was left with 2 clues to answer (20 & 24d) when I had 2 light bulb moments – remembering Dennis Wheatley’s ‘The Ka of Gifford Hilary’ helped for 20d and from somewhere deep inside what can be called my brain – 20d was answered but checked in BRB.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  12. I hadn’t come across “Ka” meaning “soul” before (20d), but a Google search for “Kara” led to the discovery of the Swedish soul artist Jasmine Kara – a happy coincidence I presume.

      1. Thanks! I’ve been a lurker for a while but I hope to post more from now on. Thanks for the excellent website.

  13. Totally failed in SW and didn’t know the Indian dish in 20d.

    Thanks to all and the reminder of what a pangram is!

  14. Hi ALL, this for me was pretty terrible. Got stuck with 10a due to the following: 4d, sort of = ilk, I thought, and to me RI is nowadays RE, which led to the poet RILKE. The r from 1a was already there, I had not done 11a, (nor was I likely to!), so 10a was going to be impossible, especially as for some stupid reason I had missed the obvious cricket link.

    I too was surprised at the “pig” mention in two touching clues.

    Loved 13d, especially as swmbo was listening to it at the time!

    Used no dictionaries etc so, 12a was lucky, 20d impossible, 24d likewise, the apostrophe in 28a threw me completely. Even without it, I doubt I’d have got it. As for 2d, I never knew this word to mean sharpness, was thinking of “acuity” but could not get it to parse.

    This was a tough toughie, for me, a “learner driver” of toughies, but was pleased with what I got.

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