Toughie 2066 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2066

Toughie No 2066 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I thoroughly enjoyed this one once I got started on it (having once again failed to appreciate that it was Thursday). It was a puzzle with very few gimmes but which was solvable with enough thought. There may have been a few obscurities in it but I’d heard of most of them. The pangram helped because I needed to fit a Z somewhere

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Jump off bus, excitedly touring railway and dock (7,4)
FOSBURY FLOP: A method of high-jumping = an anagram (excitedly) of OFF BUS round an abbreviation for ‘railway’ + ‘to dock’

7a    Rob, on road, redirected motorists with flag (7)
CARJACK: ‘To rob the occupants of a road vehicle’ = a reversal of an organisation providing roadside assistance + a small flag flown by a ship

8a    Carnivore managed to devour joint in company (7)
RACCOON: A smallish American carnivorous animal = ‘managed’ round a prefix denoting ‘joint’ or ‘together’ inside the abbreviation for ‘company’

10a    Flew high in the air, called for landing zone once (5)
SWORD: A homophone of ‘flew high in the air’ gives the name of one of the D-Day landing beaches

11a    Some of rigging crew returned to land in vessel familiarly (9)
MAINSHEET: Part of a ship’s rigging = a reversal of a crew round IN and the personal pronoun used when referring to a ship. This was the penultimate one in and the last one to be parsed

12a    Current bill in chain store’s erroneous (7)
INEXACT: The symbol for electric current + an abbreviation denoting a bill inside the name of a British clothes retailer

14a    Son, for second time on social media site, creates a storm (7)
TWISTER: Take the name of a social media site and replace the second occurrence of the letter T (time) by S (son)

15a    Imagined circle of servicemen accompanying Queen during lunch, say (7)
EQUATOR: An imaginary circle round the Earth = an abbreviation for Queen inside ‘to lunch, say’ + soldiers (not commissioned officers)

18a    Cries broadcast around pub, as football shown? (7)
SPHERIC: An anagram (broadcast) of CRIES round the abbreviation for a public house = a word describing the shape of a soccer ball

20a    Relocated residents, concerned with drugs, end westernmost (9)
OVERSPILL: ‘Concerned with’ + balls or discs of drugs with the last letter moved to the front

21a    Designer label man’s displayed around posh clubs repeatedly (5)
GUCCI: A designer label founded in Florence in 1921 = an American soldier (man) round the letter that denotes ‘posh’ and two occurrences of the letter denoting ‘clubs’

22a    Seaside entertainment venue with rubbish clown (7)
PIERROT: A seaside structure that is often used as an entertainment venue + rubbish

23a    Skirting unknown circuit following learner, stick fuel in Capri? (7)
CALZONE: L (learner), a letter denoting an unknown quantity and a letter shaped like a circle all go inside a stick to give a folded over pizza (fuel in Capri?)

24a    Film attempt on sporting range using wood initially (5,6)
ELMER GANTRY: The title of a 1960 film based on a Sinclair Lewis novel = a type of wood + an anagram (sporting) of RANGE + an attempt


1d    Travel north tucking into food well past its sell-by date? (3,4)
FAR GONE: ‘To travel’ and N (north) inside food = well advanced in time, progress, decline, etc.

2d    Shade obscures edge of Great Bear (5)
STAND: A light yellowish-brown colour goes round the last letter of GREAT to give ‘to bear’

3d    Male, with neglected clothing, is this? (7)
UNKEMPT: M (male) inside ‘neglected’ gives ‘scruffy’. The whole clue provides the definition

4d    See one’s trellis primarily supporting white rose (7)
YORKIST: A see or bishopric (or in this case an archbishopric) + ‘one’ + the possessive S + the first letter of TRELLIS = ‘supporting the white rose rather than the red rose’

5d    Security expert‘s hair thing that’s not real, by all accounts (9)
LOCKSMITH: ‘Hair’ + a homophone of a commonly-held belief that is untrue

6d    Penniless in the extreme — money from abroad’s in the mail (7)
POOREST: ‘Having the least money’ = a Scandinavian coin inside the mail. This was the last one in

7d    Spanish cleaner directed false lies against pensioner (7,4)
CASTILE SOAP: A hard soap made with olive oil and soda originating in a region of Spain = ‘directed’ + an anagram (false) of LIES + an abbreviation for a pensioner. I’d never heard of it

9d    Night-watchman might do such training in IT? (3,8)
NET PRACTICE: Here the night watchman is a batsman in a cricket game. This term for cricket training could also denote training on the World Wide Web

13d    With one getting bitten, mate runs for restoring immunising agent (9)
ANTISERUM: I (one) inside an anagram (for restoring) of MATE RUNS

16d    Leslie Allen regularly supports this country music player, alternatively (7)
UKELELE: The country where most of Big Dave’s followers live + alternate letters of LESLIE ALLEN = an alternative spelling of the name of a musical instrument. This spelling gets 12 million hits on Google, the more usual spelling gets 85 million hits

17d    French king and queen welcoming street party (7)
ROISTER: The French word for ‘king’ + our Queen round the abbreviation for ‘street’

18d    Island capital with unorthodox religion’s rebuffed (2,5)
ST LUCIA: An island country in the Caribbean Sea is a reversal of two letters denoting ‘capital’ or ‘first class’ , an unorthodox religion and ‘S

19d    Clergyman’s residence having play area on the right (7)
RECTORY: An abbreviated form of a word for an open area for games + ‘on the right politically’

21d    Flicking up cigarette lighter reveals a habit (5)
GILET: A sleeveless jacket resembling a waistcoat or blouse is hidden in reverse in CIGARETTE LIGHTER

Very nice


17 comments on “Toughie 2066

  1. Very nice indeed but I found it 3* Toughie difficulty

    Thanks to Osmosis and Bufo

  2. Really enjoyable and a proper Toughie – thanks to Osmosis and Bufo. Not for the first time the fact that it was a pangram completely passed me by. I’d never heard of the Spanish cleaner but otherwise it was good to get a real Toughie where the toughness was based on clever wordplay and well disguised definitions rather than obscurities,
    On the podium for me were 1a, 14a and 23a.

    1. Lovely puzzle , don’t you remember the Knights Castile adverts in the 60 s ?
      Thanks to Osmosis and Bufo

      1. Vaguely – but I assumed that Knights Castile was the name of the manufacturer or brand (like Palmolive or Lux which were also advertised heavily at the time). I never knew that Castile was a specific type of soap.

  3. Oh dear, just me then?

    I found this extremely hard-going and reached for the solving aids once I was about 2/3 through (after quite a long time). Some really good and really clever stuff here, so it’s a shame I was too overheated and slow-witted to enjoy it more.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Bufo.

    1. Not just you, Kitty; you did twice as well as I did!! Eleven answers in 5* (for me) time so not a high level of enjoyment either. Finished the first two this week but just not on this wave length, I’m afraid.

  4. A most enjoyable struggle!

    My favourite was the “night-watchman” one. Understood the cricket reference, but to my shame missed the significance of “IT”. D’oh!

    Thanks to Bufo and Osmosis.

  5. Hard but enjoyable, 4*/4*. Needed aids for last in 6d, which was ironic as I grew up in Sweden. COD was 1a. Thanks to all.

  6. Far too difficult for me , starting with that jump .
    Well done to all of you who could do it .

  7. Goodness, I found that one tough! The last four – 10a/2d combo & 23a/21d combo – took ages and only came to me when I looked at Bufo’s intro and realised this was a pangram.

    No problem with 7d as my Mum always bought Knights Castile when I was young – I can clearly remember the packaging.

    Top spots went to 1a & 9d.

    Thanks to Osmosis for the challenge and to Bufo for the blog and the comment about the pangram!

  8. Phew! That was a slog.
    Did nt know 13 +’ 24.
    1 + 7 + 23 a. took far too long, even though I knew what direction they were going in! Duh!
    But excellently constructed clues meant a great challenge.
    Half the clues are faves.
    PS. Listening to England doing their best to avoid winning a test!

  9. We got stuck in the NW with 2d and 10a both staring blankly at us. We did a pangram check at this stage and were delighted to find that we were one letter, D, short. This was a big help and enabled us to recall from distant memory the landing zone for 10a. We then guessed 2d from the definition at the end of the clue but still could not see how the wordplay worked.
    This all took us quite some time but dogged determination to finish kept us going,
    Thanks Osmosis and Bufo.

  10. More like a **** for difficulty here. I didn’t know the jump, the soap, or the film, which may not have helped matters… Missed the pangram, needless to say. An absorbing, enjoyable solve overall.

  11. Worked my way up in this tougher than tougher crossword.
    Didn’t finish it as my brain is getting sooo soft due to the extremely long heatwave we are currently experiencing.
    Tried to justify Frogman Leap in 1a as the M was a sensible checker for 3d.
    Never got 3,4,5d as a result. 10 and 11a totally eluided me.
    The soap in 7d was new to me and the charlatan in 24a was deduced from the parsing.
    Thanks to Osmosis and to Bufo.

  12. r.e. 7d Thursday. I’m older than I’d care to admit and remember Knight’s Castile soap very well. It was considered ‘posher’ than it’s main rival Lifebuoy. Apparently it can still be bought on Amazon.

  13. Here I am, last as usual, finished over breakfast. Got off to a good start last night then got stuck. IDID know Castile soap but perhaps I am older than you. Knight’s Castile soap? Classy. Thanks Dave for your hints this morning- has to hit the button for 1a never heard of it. But I don’t suppose anyone reads this the next day!

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