Toughie 2210 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2210

Toughie No 2210 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very pleasant and precise puzzle today. We have learnt that we can expect a pangram from Osmosis, but today he sets the bar higher: using fairly normal grid entries, we have a double pangram! Very clever. I found it interesting to see where the X’s, J’s, Q’s and Z’s were.

The definitions are underlined as usual. The hints and tips are intended to help you unravel the wordplay, and you can reveal the answer by clicking on the been to see grandson – now walking! buttons


1a    Poet, residing around Kew or itinerant, who doesn’t commute (10)

HOMEWORKER: An ancient Greek poet goes around an anagram (itinerant) of KEW OR

6a    Desert still lacking moisture on the east side (4)
QUIT: A 5-letter word for still is lacking the rightmost (on the east side) letter of moisture

9a    Plant trellis relocated during home improvements (10)
DISTILLERY: An anagram (relocated) of TRELLIS goes inside (during) a 3-letter abbreviation for home improvements

10a    Landing area reached using guide over the airwaves (4)
QUAY: A homophone (over the airwaves) of a word meaning guide or legend

12a    Judge the writer’s style of music (4)
JIVE: The abbreviation for Judge and how the setter might say “the writer’s” (where the ‘S is a contraction for has)

13a    Ace Italian boss? (6,3)
NUMERO UNO: Two meanings, expert and Italian for the top man (in the mafia perhaps)

15a    Again introduce the Ibizan with skimpy lewd clothing (8)
RELAUNCH: The Spanish (Ibizan) word for the is covered by (with … clothing) a 7-letter word for lewd without the last letter (skimpy)

16a    Legendary sports chiefs close to club watch display (6)
FABLED: An organisation in charge of football, the last letter in (close to) club, plus the electronic display you might have on a digital watch

18a    Salvation Army with good person holding case for flute that makes most sound (6)
SAFEST: The abbreviation for Salvation Army and the 2-letter abbreviation for a good person contain (holding) the outer letters (case) of flute

20a    Local worker stopped by copper gets a grilling (8)
BARBECUE: A local or pub plus a buzzing worker containing (stopped by) the chemical symbol for copper

23a    Main energy supplied by electrical company once going to Welsh city (not SW) (6,3)
AEGEAN SEA: The abbreviation for energy comes after (supplied by) and old German electrical company, then a 7-letter Welsh city without the initial SW (not SW)

24a    Football team back keeps live animal (4)
IBEX: A reversal (back) of the Roman numeral corresponding to a football teams contains (keeps) a 2-letter verb meaning live

26a    In the past, one worshipped around African city (4)
SUEZ: The reversal (around) of an ancient Greek god

27a    I could break mum’s heart, suffering ailment (10)
RHEUMATISM: I from the clue is inserted into (could break) an anagram (suffering) of MUM’S HEART

28a    Regulars inside crazy about one-time posh venue (4)
RITZ: The even letters (regulars) of crazy contain (about) the Roman numeral for one plus the abbreviation for time

29a    Miss appearing before head for reckless behaviour (10)
WANTONNESS: A verb meaning miss or long for, a 2-letter word meaning appearing or happening (what’s ** tonight?), and a word for head or promontory


1d    Spiritual journey made by Juliet in the wake of husband Bill (4)
HADJ: The letter encoded by the international radio communication Juliet follows (in the wake of) The abbreviation for husband and a 2-letter poster or bill

2d    Press the wrong buttons at first, mocking one’s face (7)
MISDIAL: The first letter (at first) of mocking, the Roman numeral one, the ‘S, and another word for face (e.g. of a clock)

3d    Cocktail with rum certain to lift Welshwoman (5,7)
WHITE RUSSIAN: An anagram (rum) of WITH, the reversal (to lift) of another word for certain, and the first name of my Welsh wife.

4d    What may drop crumbs down pullover? (4-4)
ROLL-NECK: A small round bread plus a word meaning down or drink rapidly

5d    Politician‘s superior memory apparent during recording (4-2)
EURO-MP: The letter meaning superior or upper-class plus a type of computer memory go inside (during) a vinyl recording typically with 4 tracks

7d    Odd students with university residing in squalor, centrally (7)
UNUSUAL: A 3-letter abbreviation of a student organisation plus the abbreviation for university go inside (residing in) the central 3-letters (centrally) of squalor

8d    Recollected story about ancient plaything (3,7)
TOY SOLDIER: An anagram (re-collected) of STORY goes around (about) an ancient (person or song)

11d    Bulldog can stand for this new trainer with bait (edge of gammon) (5,7)
GREAT BRITAIN: An anagram (new) of TRAINER + BAIT + G(ammon: edge of gammon=G)

14d    One poaches, say, very French old-fashioned starter in restaurant (10)
TRESPASSER: The French word for very, a 5-letter word meaning old-fashioned or no longer in fashion, plus the first letter (starter) in restauarant

17d    Kitty and Paul arranged basement for secret fling (8)
CATAPULT: Another word for kitty, an anagram (arranged) of PAUL, and the last letter (basement) of secret

19d    Fancy fruit conveyed when rambling? (7)
FIGMENT: A 3-letter fruit plus a homophone (when rambling) of a 5-letter word meaning conveyed

21d    Opening reading perhaps in church on sin (7)
CREVICE: Reading is one of the 3 *’s, so we place that letter inside (in) an abbreviation for church, all sitting on a word meaning sin

22d    Insular offshore location‘s funds protecting Greek character (6)
ISCHIA: A 3-letter abbreviation for a type of savings account goes around (protecting) a Greek letter

25d    Kiss by mistletoe’s primarily when? (4)
XMAS: And we finish with a cute all-in-one. The letter used to denote a kiss, the first letter (primarily) of mistletoe, and a short word meaning when

The clues that made me smile were the cute all-in-one in 25d, the Welshwoman with the cocktail (3d), and the fling involving Kitty (17d). Which were your favourites?



13 comments on “Toughie 2210

  1. It was only the fact that the 2xJs, 2xQs, 2xXs and 2xZs were very close to each other in the grid that made me suspect (and check for) a double pangram, because normally I don’t notice such things. How clever of Osmosis not only to compose a double pangram but to do so without the need for any obscurities at all. Many thanks to him and to Dutch for the blog.
    My ticks went to 15a, 29a, 1d and 25d.

  2. Was going to complain that 3D was made with vodka until I realised rum was the anagram hint!

  3. Needless to say, I missed the pangram – let alone the double!
    Couple of the 4-letter ones held me up towards the end along with the funds in 22d.

    Favourite was 17d – must remember to ask Kitty about these secret flings with Paul!

    Thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch for the well-illustrated blog. in my experience, toddling grandchildren are best viewed occasionally and in their own homes!

  4. Oh my – how clever. I am ashamed to admit that I did not notice a single pangram, let alone a double. I enormously enjoyed the puzzle nonetheless. I didn’t know the funds or the isle in 22d. I think 26a is my favourite. Many thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  5. Thanks, both Osmosis and Dutch, especially for the double-pangram hint.

    The ‘secret fling’ was my favourite, too.

    7d also featured in last Saturday’s prize crossword (as 18d), which Gnomethang reviewed this morning — and possibly sprang to my mind more easily because of that.

    I don’t think I’ve encountered anybody using 5d, but it is the preferred term in The Telegraph‘s style guide, which decrees “Avoid MEP.

    Has anybody got a watch which uses the display technology mentioned in 16a? I have other appliances with those, but all of my digital watches have been LCD-based (which makes the answer a little hard to pronounce).

    1. Gah, apologies everyone for that runaway link — and for failing to spot it before the ‘edit’ cut-off cut off. Sorry.

  6. Suspected there was something going on with the grid construct. Am in awe that no obscurities needed and such great surfaces. As Jane said my last in the were a couple of four letter answers, which is a common occurence. My favourites are the same as Gazza’s. Many thanks to Osmosis and Dutch

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable solve. One of the things that helped us was the placement of the high scoring Scrabble letters which helped with some of the short words in the corners. We had noticed the double pangram. Last one to parse was 15a where we tried to make the dog breed part of the wordplay.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  8. For once i (almost) completed an Osmosis toughie on the day it was posted! 22D defeated me, I’m afraid. Never mind. I’m just happy to almost get there unaided. Thanks Osmosis. .

  9. Just finished this after a heavily alcoholic weekend. Dutch, isn’t the picture for 21d a crevasse rather than a crevice?

    Belated thanks to Dutch and Osmosis.

    1. yes it is, but not sure about “rather than”. A crevice is a narrow crack or split. A crevasse is a narrow crack or split, especially in a glacier.

      But I agree, you would normally associate the picture with a crevasse, sorry if that was confusing.

  10. Thanks for the hints-managed to complete this very entertaining puzzle without actually looking up any answers !
    Liked 17D (Kitty and Paul arranged basement for secret fling) amongst others.

Comments are closed.