Toughie 2628 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2628

Toughie No 2628 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Osmosis may be teasing us again. We would have a double pangram, except that we have only one V. An enjoyable puzzle today – I always appreciate the accuracy and attention to detail, e.g., conventions for across vs down clues.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    As Wolves are promoted, business rakes it in (6)
LUPINE: A 2-letter word meaning promoted or in a higher place that an other word for business covers (rakes it in)

4a    Witty lines from church worker pruned by hack (8)
CLERIHEW: A 6-letter church worker with the last letter removed (pruned) and a verb meaning to hack or cut

9a    Committee‘s suspect, passing allowance that disregards volunteers (6)
QUORUM: A 3-letter word meaning odd or suspect follows (passing) a 5-letter word for allowance without (that disregards) the abbreviation for a volunteer army at the end

10a    Sun maybe one newspaper seen by quiet workers (3,5)
DAY SHIFT: A period of time such as Sun (or Mon or Tue), then the roman numeral for one and a pink newspaper follows (seen by) a 2-letter interjection meaning quiet

11a    Some celebrities being so scatty lose ID repeatedly (8)
IDOLISED: An anagram (scatty) of LOSE+ID+ID

13a    Unknown tucks in regularly on promo for this bean (6)
ADZUKI: An algebraic unknown plus the even letters in ‘tucks in’ follow (on, in an across clue) a 2-letter promo

15a/18a Frank describes unidentified film (2,3,8,6,7)
ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE: A postage frank contains (describes) a word meaning unidentified

22a    New cracks in the lead — pull and disconnect! (6)
UNPLUG: The abbreviation for new splits (cracks) a 2-letter word meaning in the lead, plus a word meaning to pull

24a    Old relative embraces exercise class that’s brought back leotard? (3-5)
ONE-PIECE: The abbreviation for old plus a relative containing (embraces) the reversal (that’s brought back) of an abbreviation for an exercise class

26a    Help students with half-spilt beer that’s picked up at last orders? (8)
HANDBELL: A 4-letter person who helps, then twice the abbreviation for learner (studentS, plural) following (with) the first two letters (half-spilt) of ‘beer’

27a    Small growth in hernia’s no bother after receding (6)
BONSAI: Reverse hidden (in … after receding). Miffipops tells me he had a friend with a shop growing these things. He was so successful he moved to smaller premises

28a    Chopper accidentally set on fire (5,3)
STONE AXE: An anagram (accidentally) of SET ON plus a verb meaning to fire or dismiss

29a    Musical group departed with cover of Let It Be? (6)
SEXTET: A 2-letter word for departed or no longer existant is covered by (with cover of) a proof-reading instruction meaning ‘let it be’, or don’t change


1d    Parisian who probes top lunch where food’s lacking (6)
LIQUID: The French (Parisian) for ‘who’ goes inside (probes) a word meaning top or cover

2d    Expert reformed zoo in little time, shortly relating to primitive life (9)
PROTOZOIC: A 3-letter expert, then an anagram (reformed) of ZOO inside a 4-letter word for a little time, without the last letter (shortly)

3d    One who toyed with spoon, breaking food to feed baby? (7)
NOURISH: First name of a spoon-bending illusionist goes inside (breaking) a slang word for food

5d    Day that’s added to spring (4)
LEAP: An added day in February might be a bit early for spring, else this would be even more clever.

6d    What’s left side when cycling into Champs Elysees? (7)
RESIDUE: SIDE from the clue with the last letter cycling to the front goes into a French word for street (the question mark suggests Champs Elysees might be an example)

7d    Three lines husband put on road margins finally to park Daihatsu (5)
HAIKU: The abbreviation for husband, a road, and the last letters (margins finally) to ‘park’ and ‘Daihatsu’

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8d    Back-to-back vermouths consumed by card player — most droll (8)
WITTIEST: Vermouth, as an additive to gin, goes back-to-back inside the opening player in Bridge

12d    Exit needed for one unopened lock (6)
EGRESS: A Latin abbreviation meaning ‘for one’ plus a hair lock without the first letter (unopened)

14d    Game at home here arranged during recent erecting (6)
WARREN: The 3-letter abbreviation for arranged goes inside (during) the reversal (erecting, in a down clue) of a 3-letter word meaning recent


16d    Travellers loaded black box below particular article (3,3,3)
THE JET SET: A word for black plus a word for box (as in tv) are below a definite article

17d    Although getting married in USA, perversely Dave’s partner comes later (2,4,2)
AS MUCH AS: The abbreviation for married goes in an anagram (perversely) of USA , followed by Dave’s partner (not Mrs BigDave)

19d    Acting brethren, given top half, fit uniform (7)
EQUABLE: The first half of the trade union for the British acting profession plus a word meaning fit or competent

20d    Monkey learning to beg (7)
IMPLORE: A 3-letter monkey and some learning

21d    Get rid of ancient Scot perhaps in show (6)
DEPICT: Split (2-4), the answer could whimsically mean to get rid of some ancient Scot

23d    Buttons might be in this receptacle, closed (5)
PANTO: A receptacle for cooking and a 2-letter word that can mean closed

25d    Copy clothing line that’s in linen (4)
FLAX: A copy or facsimile contains (clothing) the abbreviation for line

My favourite today was Let It Be. Which clues did you like?

20 comments on “Toughie 2628

  1. An excellent beginning to the day. Nicely sorted in a reasonable Toughie Time. Missed the pangrams as usual. Don’t understand why some answers are what they are, as usual. For instance the film opened the puzzle up nicely but I hadn’t got a scooby doo what it had to do with the clue. Thanks to Dutch for the help and thanks to Osmosis for the fun.

  2. I’m enjoying Osmosis’s puzzles more and more and I thought that this one was great. Thanks to him and to Dutch.

    I always thought that 9a was a number rather than an assembled body of people.

    My ticks went to 15/18a, 29a, 1d and 17d.

  3. The second Toughie of the week was provided by Osmosis on top form – like Gazza I always thought 9a was a number – it was when I was dealing with attendance at meetings anyway. I did notice the missing V for the double pangram. My clues I really liked were 10a, the brilliant 29a, 1d and 23d.

    Thanks very much to Osmosis and Dutch

  4. This was an enjoyable and amusing lunchtime diversion, solved in one sitting – for me, quite a novelty for a Friday Toughie. Sped through from NW to SE, slowing from NE to SW with 26a the LOI. Spent a little time trying to squeeze ‘hot pants’ into 24a (o and pt backwards) until the appearance of checking letters forced a new approach.

    So many good clues- where to start, when the surfaces were generally so smooth? Contenders included 11a, 27a, 29a, 1d, 3d, 8d and 16d, but for me 21d raised a laugh that sets it apart on the top step.

    Many thanks to Osmosis for a great puzzle, and to Dutch for the review.


  5. Excellent thanks Osmosis.
    Thanks as usual to Dutch for parsing help especially with the franking film.

  6. Very enjoyable. Took a while to get going but then it all came together quite nicely.

    10a, 21d and 23d were on my podium today.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  7. Almost made it – just defeated by the 14d ‘game’, so frustrating.
    Top three for me were the 15/18 combo plus 1&3d.

    Thanks to Osmosis for the challenge and to Dutch for the review.

  8. Where to start? What a brilliant puzzle and a very good double act with Silvanus’ back pager. We have been royally spoilt today. Picking a favourite was impossible, so I shall simply thank Osmosis for the rewarding and enjoyable solve and Dutch for his excellent review.

  9. Excellent puzzle, definitely *** for difficulty but I give it ***** for enjoyment. Hint for 9a needs a little tweak IMHO

    1. Indeed it does – weird, I was pretty sure I had more text there – anyway, now fixed, thank you for that

  10. For me this was the most difficult toughie for a while an Elgar plus! I really struggled to parse the clues, not on my wavelength today. nothing wrong with the puzzle I may add.
    Many excellent clues and a sigh of relief when last in 14a was solved.
    Hard to pick a favourite ,going for 11a Thanks to Dutch for the pics..

  11. The clues seem to vary from relatively easy to impenetrable to downright unacceptable!
    I think I understand the concept of a Pangram is, without either getting the point of them or the ability to recognise them.

  12. Enjoyed the solve and then spent quite some time going back through all the answers to try to find the missing V.
    SW was last to get sorted, partly because the Dave and **** partnership was one we did not know.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  13. Managed the east this morning & saved the west for pre bed. Like Jane fell 1 shy & needed the hint for 14d. Yes Osmosis is playing games because like CS I clocked a V was needed for the double pangram & was therefore convinced 14d had to begin with it. Much to my surprise having read the review all were parsed ok other than the Bond movie where the right franking didn’t remotely register. Thought this a real cracker & a super finish to an extremely high quality Toughie week. My favourite today was 2d simply because (for a change) I worked it out from the wordplay not knowing the word. 29a plus 3&17d were other big ticks.
    Many thanks Osmosis & to Dutch.

  14. With three-quarters complete after 2 or 3 hours last night I gave up and went to bed, leaving 5 in the SW to do. Sorted this morning, but can’t really see why they stumped me yesterday. 25a LOI, 15 and 18a COTD. I was helped with these with some comments in the backpager blog earlier. Didn’t see the relevance of them at the time. Although the printing instruction in 29a is clear enough, I thought it was Latin for ‘let it stand’. Kept wanting to put Beatle in!
    Thank you Osmosis and Dutch

  15. My only problem was trying to parse 15/18a.
    Done now thanks to Dutch.
    Thanks also to Osmosis for the good head scratcher.

  16. Excellent toughie evidenced by the fact that at first I was somewhat intimidated but once I stuck with it, the answers started to come (very slowly). Could not for the life of me parse ‘Frank’ in 15a and also felt quorum was not a great definiton for committee. But finished with plenty of satisfaction and a little more confidence.

  17. This was a real toughie. the cluing was very clever. I liked 29a , 2d and 3d. It took some time for the penny to drop on 15/18a. OHMS is not seen often these days on ones general post. Thanks to Osmosis for teasing the brain and to Dutch for his erudite explanations.

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