Toughie 2812 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2812

Toughie No 2812 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Again, Osmosis omits 11 letters from the alphabet, mostly those with high scores in scrabble. The odd one out today is a vowel, for the first time. There is no U. Perhaps Osmosis will slowly decrease the number of vowels. Or maybe he just has a faulty keyboard. I’m baffled. I found today’s puzzle a little easier than recent Osmosis puzzles.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Pans’ edges outside appear regularly overlooked; they’re worn inside (6-8)
CARPET SLIPPERS: A word mean pans or criticises, then a word meaning edges or rims that goes around (overlooked) the even letters (regularly) of ‘appear’

10a    Food soaked by Charlie in pickle’s Greek (9)
SOPHOCLES: A 3-letter word for ‘food soaked’, then the letter with code Charlie goes inside (in) a pickle or difficult situation, and add the ‘S

11a    A bit thick, Pierre’s negative about sacred books (3,2)
NOT ON: The way Pierre (a Frenchman) would say ‘negative’ goes about some biblical books

12a    Scarlet frock with intersecting diamonds set right (7)
REDRESS: A word mean scarlet and a word meaning frock share (with intersecting) the abbreviation for diamonds

13a    Sitcom screened — I didn’t catch that one (2-2-2)
HI-DE-HI: A 3-letter word meaning screened, an interjection meaning ‘I didn’t catch that’ and the Roman numeral for one

15a    Spread rug to cover this? (4)
PATE: Two meanings, the second refers to a hairpiece

17a    Rider may feel that puzzles on small journey occasionally needed (6-4)
SADDLE-SORE: A word meaning puzzles or confuses follows (on) the abbreviation for small, then the even letters (occasionally needed) of journey

18a    Islander living here welcomes keyboard one forwarded (10)
HISPANIOLA: A 3-letter word that would be the plural of some welcomes or greetings, then a self-playing keyboard in which the ‘I’ is moved two spaces towards the end (forwarded)

20a    Commentator’s inclined to be fast (4)
LENT: A homophone (commentator’s) of a word meaning inclined

22a    Supplies more stilettos, say, behind woman’s address (6)
REARMS: A word meaning behind, plus the address or title of a woman

23a    Shackle males disrupting later broadcast (7)
TRAMMEL: Two abbreviations for male go inside (disrupting) an anagram (broadcast) of LATER

26a    River sample from retired bacteriologist (5)
LOIRE: Reverse hidden (sample from retired …)

27a    They curtailed training in outhouse, stretching back and bottom (3,6)
THE DEPTHS: THE(y) from the clue without the last letter (curtailed), then an abbreviation for a training or sports lesson goes inside (in) a reversal (stretching back) of another word for outhouse

28a    Stashed aspirin all around — you might want to swallow them (6,8)
DANISH PASTRIES: An anagram (all around) of STASHED ASPIRIN


2d    Primate conducting Mass departs energised (5)
AMPED: A 3-letter primate containing (conducting) the physics abbreviation for mass, then the abbreviation for departs

3d    Drive forward, changing direction at end? That’s correct (6)
PROPER: A word meaning ‘drive forward’ in which the last letter (at the end) is changing direction between the abbreviations for right and left

4d    Swayed A-list bloke in charge like a charm (10)
TALISMANIC: An anagram (swayed) of A-LIST, another word for bloke, and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’

5d    Missing link’s first love gutted scientist (4)
LOST: The first letter of link, the score of love in tennis, and ‘S(cientis)T’ without the internal letters (gutted)

6d    Element of roof illuminated, looking up through window (7)
PANTILE: A word meaning illuminated is reversed (looking up) inside (through) another word for window

7d    Kipper evident here in dish which vegetarian declines? (9)
ENTRECOTE: A place where a ‘kipper’ might be seen goes inside a course of a meal

8d    Romantic enraptured by single medium (14)
SENTAMENTALIST: A 4-letter word meaning enraptured or transported, a 1-letter word that can mean one or single, and a medium or psychic

9d    Original parish has older collection of poems (1,10,3)
A SHROPSHIRE LAD: An anagram (original) of PARISH HAS OLDER

14d    Rising boxer with long hair entertains party — she’s besotted (10)
IDOLATRESS: A reversal of the greatest boxer, followed by a lock of hair, contains (entertains) a 2-letter party

16d    Sort of devil that Errol Flynn is (9)
TASMANIAN: Two meanings

19d    Sterling left in disarray, without a goal (7)
AIMLESS: A 2-character expression for sterling, then the abbreviation for left goes inside (in) a word meaning disarray

21d    Coach, according to linesman, always calling (6)
CAREER: A coach according to a railwayman, plus a poetic form of ‘always’. Oh wait – thanks to Gazza in comment 1, I realise that ‘according to linesman’ probably refers to the poetic form of ‘aways’ rather than a railway coach

24d    See uniform of US academy soldiers (5)
MITRE: A Boston university plus some soldiers

25d    Betting rings to stay (4)
STOP: An abbreviation for a betting term goes around (rings) TO from the clue

I liked the 9d poem collection because the anagram worked so smoothly in the surface. I also enjoyed 16d, after having to check the obvious. Which were your favourite clues?

19 comments on “Toughie 2812

  1. I thought that Osmosis was being uncharacteristically gentle today – thanks to him for an enjoyable puzzle and to Dutch for the review.

    I wasn’t keen on 16d which seemed to be mainly GK rather than cryptic.

    For my podium I’ve selected 13a, 21d (I took the linesman to be a poet rather than a railwayman) and 24d.

      1. I wouldn’t be too sure about that – although it’s a perfectly acceptable analysis. But an American railwayman is a linesman and he calls a coach a car.

  2. Altho it didn’t take that long it did seem very tough – how does that work? Possibly because it was harder to parse the clues than to solve them in the first place – and I still failed on finding the kipper’s place in 7d, which is obvious in retrospect. Typically fiendish Osmosis wordplay coupled with more than usually devious definitions, of which 24d [see uniform] was the highlight. I also loved 15a even tho we may have seen something similar before.
    Thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch for the blog.

  3. Can scarcely believe it. A completed Osmosis grid in about the same time as the back-pager so it must be on the gentler side. Needless to say I’ve a number still to parse so will doubtless need the review later. The 4 peripheral long ones helped enormously. 17a, which came up recently somewhere, made me smile & learnt where Errol Flynn was born.
    Thanks to Osmosis & in advance to Dutch.

  4. Unusually swift completion today for a Friday back-pager and some odd surface reads – but enjoyable nonetheless, and thank you Osmosis: it felt more like a Times puzzle than DT. Coming here afterwards helped with a couple for which the parsing had eluded me – thank you Dutch.

    Really disliked the slang in 2d – my first and hopefully last encounter with the term; felt that ‘stretching’ was unnecessary filler in 27a, a repeat instruction used just to improve the surface. Rightly or wrongly I took “linesman” in 21d as an instruction to use the American form of railway coach.

    COTD 24d, with runner-up the wonderful 26a.

  5. Thanks to Dutch for help parsing 10ac 7d and 19d which all make sense when explained.
    Enjoyed this a lot and completing a Friday Toughie is good for morale when current affairs are so bleak.
    Thanks to Osmosis for an excellent puzzle to finish a week of great Toughies.

  6. I can’t believe I’ve completed a Friday Toughie by mid-afternoon and after finishing yesterday’s as well.

    No particular favourite: I liked them all, except possibly 2d.

    Thanks to Dutch for the blog and to Osmosis.

  7. In recent times, I’ve scored a DNF by a long way with this setter’s puzzles but I made an inspired guess with 1a and that spurred me on to completion in a time that didn’t cause embarrassment.
    Plenty of smiles along the way and I guess I should nominate 1a as my favourite simply because of the encouragement it gave me!

    Thanks to Osmosis for an approachable puzzle and to Dutch for the review and the scrumptious looking steak!

  8. Yes, certainly uncharacteristically gentle for Osmosis, with the two long anagrams certainly helping, but no less delightful than usual. 15a made me smile, but my gold medal goes to 24d which made me laugh out loud. ‘See uniform’ – brilliant.

  9. I don’t usually attempt Friday puzzles but I thought this was easier than yesterday’s and great fun.
    Lots to like, I laughed at 15a (amazing that some men still wear the hideous things) and liked 13&17a plus 4d (lovely word) and the clever 24d too (where the university makes another appearance).
    Many thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

    I don’t know about slippers at 1a but here’s some carpet crawlers.

  10. If I had had just a bit more patience very late last night, I like to think I could have worked out the sitcom at 12a, which of course I’d never heard of. As it was, I sought a letter reveal, got the first ‘h’, and finished the puzzle. Shucks. Anyway, it’s the closest I’ve ever come to finishing a Friday or an Osmosis puzzle. Solving the perimeter clues, as Huntsman has said, helped me considerably. ‘See uniform’ was my next-to-last solve, and a great clue, but my big favourite has to be 9d, as I have always loved Housman, and enjoyed teaching him. Thanks to Dutch for helping me parse quite a few, and many thanks to Osmosis.

  11. Well, thank you Osmosis for yet another great work-out. And if I may, more thanks to Dutch for parsing the five or six (!) which fell, I knew not how or why. But I do now. Never heard of 2d, a bung-in but obvious – if one may use such a word when battling a Toughie – from the wordplay. Looking forward to 24hrs respite from Toughieland!

  12. Ha…I knew when I finished this Friday Toughie unaided fairly quickly, that it was: a) not an Elgar and b) would be found to be on the gentle side by others. But it was right up my street. Thanks to Osmosis for the puzzle and Dutch for the blog.

  13. Watch too many soaps and crime dramas so had drug in 15a which threw me but otherwise a gentle solve. Liked 18a once the welcomes explained.

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