Toughie 2572 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2572

Toughie No 2572 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A very nice puzzle, I thought, with a good variety of clues and, of course, precise as always

A pangram but for the K. Hm. I bet Osmosis is chuckling. After Cryptic Sue’s comment yesterday about X’s possibly being hidden in the grid pattern, I wondered if something similar might be happening here. For example, we have QUE in the grid (think Fawlty Towers). I haven’t yet looked to see if we have a CHE for example (as in the Argentinian revolutionary) in past grids with a missing J (no Dutch accent comments please!)

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

1a    Occupying, say, junk yard with Yankee knocked out by a stink (6)
ABOARD: (y)ARD (with Yankee knocked out) comes after (by) A from the clue and an unpleasant bodily smell (thanks for the correction Gazza)

4a    Bird hurt right wing in flight entering this ground (5,3)
MARSH TIT: A 3-letter word meaning hurt or damage, then the rightmost letter (right wing) in flight goes inside (entering) an anagram (ground) of THIS

9a    Fit entertainer wearing gold suit on vacation (6)
ADJUST: The abbreviation for an entertainer who plays records goes inside (wearing) the chemical symbol for gold, plus S(ui)T without the inside letters (on vacation)

10a    Did fell runner in SW start to drop chasing European? (8)
POLEAXED: A river (‘runner’) in SW UK plus the first letter (start) to drop, following (chasing) a European national, from Warsaw perhaps. I had a checker, and tried rather hard to put in the wrong river

12a    Karl’s route perhaps about to change, Aachen regularly avoided (8)
AUTOBAHN: An anagram (to change) of ABOUT then the odd letters (regularly avoided) of Aachen

13a    Walter applies switchblade that’s repeatedly gutted fish (6)
WRASSE: The first 3 words of the clue with the inside letters removed (that’s repeatedly gutted)

15a    American high-flyer stimulated both ears with Tamla hit, endlessly (6,7)
AMELIA EARHART: An anagram (stimulated) of EAR EAR TAMLA HI(t), without the last letter (endlessly). Not convinced that “both” works as well cryptically as, for example, “two”

18a    Basin where group of local schoolchildren dwell (9,4)
CATCHMENT AREA: Two meanings, the first is geographical, referring to an area that collects rainfall to feed a river or reservoir; the second is well known to parents of school children

22a    Active hospital joiner available (2,4)
ON HAND: A short word meaning active or working, the abbreviation for hospital, and a joiner or conjunction

24a    Inside pottery, Len employed cloth (8)
TERYLENE: Hidden (inside …)

26a    Wet course at La Manga where old spoon used? (8)
GAZPACHO: A cryptic definition of a Spanish soup. The old spoon is part of the golfing surface

27a    Sunbathe reported, revealing foreign language (6)
BASQUE: A homophone of a verb that could mean to lie in the sun

28a    Oliver Twist’s first disturbing term as workhouse cleaner? (5,3)
DOLLY TUB: A nickname for Oliver and the first letter of Twist go inside (disturbing) a 3-letter verb meaning to term or to name. Impressive surface

29a    Tennis star rubbing shoulders with learners? Absolutely (2,4)
AS HELL: An American tennis star plus (rubbing shoulders with) two (plural) abbreviations for Learner


1d    Revolutionary artist thanks museum exhibiting cyber-image (6)
AVATAR: Reversal (revolutionary) of the abbreviation for an artist, a short words for thanks, and a London museum

2d    Spray, where two rivers meet, is an aesthetic thing (5,1’3)
OBJET D’ART: A Russian river and an English river are separated by a 3-letter word for spray or spout. (The online version seems to have taken to including apostrophes in the enumeration – not the normal convention, but quite helpful!)

3d    Leader quits authority after teacher promoted — it’s ludicrous (7)
RISIBLE: The authority here is a religious book. We have the reversed (promoted) address used for a male teacher, then said book without the first letter (leader quits)

5d    Agreed about shindig’s second round: Jack’s shout (4)
AHOY: An alternative spelling for another word for yes (agreed) goes around (about) the second letter in shindig and the letter that looks like a round or circle

6d    Small judge who features in agricultural show? (7)
SHEARER: The abbreviation for small, and if a judge presides over a hearing, (s)he is a ******

7d    Here’s Austin Ten, with original seat covering (5)
TEXAS: AN anagram (original) of SEAT covers the Roman numeral for ten

8d    Sort of talk on characteristic of Hampstead politician (3,5)
TED HEATH: An inspirational talk series plus a feature of Hampstead

11d    Fitting more singers around church (7)
CHOICER: A group of singers goes around an abbreviation for a church

14d    Optician using eye-test chart gave this instruction and went up the wall? (7)
SEETHED: Split (3,3,1), this could be an optician’s instruction

16d    Held posture, square bashing around Lincoln (9)
ARABESQUE: An anagram (bashing) of SQUARE goes around the informal first name of President Lincoln

17d    Clash of cat and dog outside related to squall? (3,2,3)
ACT OF GOD: Squall is a definition by example here, hence the question mark. An anagram (clash) of CAT+ DOG goes outside a preposition meaning ‘related to’

19d    Pest in this state who once roamed over half of garden yard (7)
HUNGARY: An unpleasant individual from a tribe who once roamed around Europe covers (over) the first half of garden plus the abbreviation for yard

20d    Maybe Illingworth put on Boycott’s sunscreen? (3-4)
RAY BANS: First name of cricketer Illingworth, a verb meaning boycott and the ‘S

21d    Happened to live on upland tract (6)
BEFELL: A short verb meaning to live, plus an upland tract or hill

23d    Film loch, light-brown colour (5)
HAZEL: A 4-letter film or mist plus the abbreviation for loch

25d    You score fifty times, succeeded and left (4)
THOU: A number represented by score times fifty, where the abbreviation for succeeded and AND from the clue have been removed (left)

There was a lot to like. I enjoyed Karl’s route (12a), the fish (13a), the basin (18a) and the sunscreen (20d) to name just a few. Which clues were your favourites?

31 comments on “Toughie 2572

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch for the review (and for his interesting theory on the missing K. I suppose K could also represent 25d).

    The workhouse cleaner (28a) was new for me.

    My ticks went to 1a, 12a, 7d and 21d.

    There’s no anagram in 1a. ‘junk’ is the third word of the definition.

    1. hi ash!

      ah – that works for the anagram, just don’t know what the ‘outside’ would mean then

  2. Very enjoyable. I struggled to parse the first part of 8d & also had to check definitions of 13a and 28a. Not my quickest but having come up short on a few Osmosis offerings, I was pleased to make it through. Thanks to Dutch and Osmosis.

  3. Enjoyable and not that tricky, especially on a Friday. My favourite was 20d. I agree with ashcooper’s parsing of 17d

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch

  4. I beg to disagree with those who have commented ahead of me but I found this quite tricky. Not Elgar impenetrably so, but a genuine Toughie. Thoroughly enjoyable for all that, with some excellent smooth clueing throughout. 20d was my favourite, along with 1 and 12a.

    Thanks to Osmosis for the battle and to Dutch.

  5. Defeated by five in the SW corner
    Needed help to understand Ted in 8d – never heard of those talks, but that’s part of why I enjoy these crosswords and this site – you learn a lot.
    I parsed 17d as Dutch did, otherwise “outside related to” is superfluous
    Nevertheless hugely enjoyed the tussle
    With thanks to Osmosis and Dutch

    1. TED talks (originally technology, entertainment design) are 18 minute inspirational talks intended to leave you feeling impressed. It’s a big organisation, plenty of TED talks on youtube, worth checking out!

      1. Wow! Just googled TED talks and watched one of the most popular: Bill Gates in 2015 on need to get ready for virus. Prophetic!

        1. excellent – i’m so happy that a crossword opened your door here. There are loads, loads more. I aspire to giving a TED talk.

          1. I don’t know how to set up links, but this TED talk entitled “in search of little green men” (on utube) is pretty good on the theme of bugs, nasty or otherwise. I have to declare an interest, the presenter is an old school friend of mine. As for the crossword, I was stuck for ages in the SW before the soup finally unlocked it. I should have seen the workhouse cleaner though, my grandmother used to use them. The implement being used is a possing stick.

  6. I fell three short of completion, all intersecting in the central to SE quadrant. Firstly, I am kicking myself for failing to invoke Gazza’s ‘If all else fails, look for something hidden’ protocol in 24a – there was the cloth so cleverly hidden in plain sight. However, I knew neither the cricketer nor the particular sunscreen in 20d. Even with the extra checker, I doubt I would have been able to unravel the ‘up the wall’ in 14d. I thought this was a very nicely crafted puzzle, and I enjoyed it, but disappointed not to be able to finish. Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  7. Didn’t know the SW river in 10a nor the sort of talk in 8d but the answers had to be correct.
    Went for “retention area” first in 18a but was proved wrong soon enough.
    Second time we have the “stink” this week (RayT yesterday). Is it a sign of confinement when daily washing is surplus to requirement?
    Used a calculator for 20×50 in 25d. Was too lazy.
    Thanks to Osmosis for the great crossword and to Dutch for the review.

  8. Thanks Osmosis, I really enjoyed it. I still don’t understand 26a, but it was inevitable once I had found the z. I loved 15a. More power to your elbow

  9. With a lot of concentration and the odd bit of luck, I often manage reasonably well with a puzzle from Osmosis, but today was not destined to be one of those days. Couldn’t even sort out the parsing of 4a, despite having guessed the answer from the enumeration!
    Some really nice clues here – I particularly liked 7,20&21d.

    Thanks to Osmosis – sorry I wasn’t up to the challenge – and thanks to Dutch for guiding me through the maze.
    By the way, 2d in the dead tree version also has the apostrophe marked, very helpful as you said!

  10. Quite challenging enough for us but we did get it all sorted in reasonable time. The device in 28a was new to us but confirmed by BRB.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  11. Thanks to electronic help, google, arcane knowledge and inspiration, I finished this but, as in TED, I needed a lot of Dutch’s explanations. I really don’t like 26 a ….just there to get a “z”? but I did enjoy hearing “autobahn” which went nicely with the “Telstar” we were treated to the other day.
    It’s nice to see Arthur Ashe mentioned. The only black man to win Wimbledon. A pity he died so young.

  12. That apostrophe in the 2d enumeration–bless its little heart!–enabled me to begin solving this hugely clever Osmosis Toughie, but no ‘deus ex machina’ came down from the heavens to enable me to finish. I fell seven short of doing so. But what probing fun was had along the way! Never heard of 18 or 28a (terra incognita over here), but loved 15 and 29a (very ‘cognita’ in our honourable world). Thanks to Dutch and to Osmosis.

    I kept thinking that half of the capital city of 19d (the ‘Pest’ of the clue) must figure somehow in the definition but apparently not–not even in a punning way, I guess?

    1. ah! interesting, didn’t think of the capital – not sure how you account for the BUDA. though they are meant to be opposite sides of the river. A great city, by the way, I enjoyed a long conference there which was enhanced by several hungarian friends i have in uk who insisted on showing me the delights

      1. I presume that the definition is ‘Pest in this state’ with ‘who once roamed’ being the nomadic Hun.

        1. could be, but quite devious in terms of GK – not sure most people know you can split BUDAPEST, and “who once roamed” is very broad. But, it would indeed place the definition at the start (conventional but not essential)

          There seems to be controversy whether Hun has anything to do with the name of the country, just as a matter of interest

  13. By ‘eck – Osmosis goes Elgar. I’m with YS [5 above] on toughness and think it’s at least 4.5, altho I started it after supper so my brain may be a little tired. Like others above I hadn’t come across TED talks and thought that Pest in 19d must be part of the definition. I remain underwhelmed by 26a. I get “wet course” but what’s the rest all about? Is La Manga a golf course and also a restaurant? I’m with you Dutch on the parsing of 17d but think squall is pretty feeble as a definition.
    On the positive side this is a stupendous example of Osmosis’ complex and/or contextual wordplay – e.g. 4a “right wing in flight’, 7d “here’s Austin ten” 20d “Illingworth and Boycott”. But my favourite is 25d, just 4 letters with so much going on!
    Thanks to Osmosis for the masterclass and to Dutch for the blog.

  14. Hats off to those able to tackle this beast of almost Elgarish proportions. Managed 17 on my own over 2 visits then had a final stab but sneaked a peek at the hints for 15&26a, both of which were driving me bonkers. Those enabled me to get a few more but still required the hints for 2d, 4a & 28a. An excellent crossword but simply too tough for me sadly.
    Thanks Osmosis & to Dutch for the explanations.
    Ps The La Manga golf misdirection revived unhappy memories of a woeful performance on the South Course where at least 6 of my balls were very wet.

  15. I didn’t like 26a at all although, having got the G and the Z, it couldn’t be anything else. Knowing nothing about golf, I assumed that La Manga just meant that we were looking for a Spanish soup (‘wet course’). ‘Where old spoon used’ added nothing to the clue and, frankly, without the checkers I can’t see anything that leads to the answer, unless the Spaniards have only one sort of soup. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

  16. Not my most successful attempt .. The bottom half yielded readily but I made a mess of the top half. I too had not heard of Ted as a talk of any sort but it was the obvious answer.
    Never the less a good exercise for the brain . so thanks to Osmosis for that and to Dutch who clarified my omissions. Mfc was 12a.

  17. Enjoyed working through this with the aid of the hints, for which Thanks !
    Liked 14D “optician using eye-test chart gave this instruction and went up the wall? (7)”

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