Toughie 2892 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2892

Toughie No 2892 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

We are again missing 12 letters of the alphabet in the grid. A tricky and nicely-crafted puzzle. I managed to complete the grid in just under 5* time but still had some parsing to do when writing up the blog! I seem to have lost some pictures. My internet playing up again.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Showed Yank Giants in action (10)
DESIGNATED: An anagram (yank, imperitive) of GIANTS goes in another word for an action

6a    Language student leaves school carrier? (4)
CREE: Remove the L (student leaves) from a fishing basket (‘school carrier’)

9a    Unduly rouse Scandinavian king by name (10)
OVEREXCITE: A 3-letter male Scandinavian name, the Latin for king, and a verb meaning to name or quote

10a    In eager anticipation since seven in morning (4)
AGOG: A 3-letter word meaning since or past, plus letter seven in ‘morning’

12a    Dash perhaps part of GP’s email address? (4)
DRAT: Split this mild curse (2,2) and you may see part of GP’s email address

13a    Italian carvery worker cooked hogs at length, see? (9)
DONATELLO: A word meaning cooked or ready contains (hogs) AT from the clue, then the abbreviation for length plus a 2-letter word meaning see

15a    Large shower during journey obscuring the odd area of France (8)
LORRAINE: The abbreviation for Large and some wet weather inside the even (obscuring the odd) letters of ‘journey’

16a    Fibre content lacking in supermarket bread (6)
STRAND: The outer letters of (content lacking in) ‘supermarket’, plus some South African currency

18a    Found cold apple, for example, when cycling (6)
CREATE: The abbreviation for cold, then a type of apple with the last letter cycled to the front (of the apple)

20a    Shelley’s time opening cards amid cheers essentially (8)
EVENTIDE: An opening or air outlet and a 2-letter abbreviation for cards that might be used as door-passes go inside (amid) the central two letters (essentially) of ‘cheers’. The definition just refers to a poetic word for a time period

23a    Jazzy types with skirts to embroider for textile worker (3-6)
RAG-TRADER: Two types of jazz (3,4) plus the outer letters (skirts) of ’embroider’

24a    Walk covered whole length of Siena? (4)
STOA: To cover the whole of Siena, you need to look at letters * TO *

26a    Pet‘s fizzy drinks reported (4)
COAX: A homophone (reported) for an informal word for a brand of popular fizzy drinks

27a    Prima donna, to keep popular, moved into clairvoyance (10)
DIVINATION: Another word for prima donna contains a short word meaning popular, plus an anagram (moved) of INTO

28a    Song  told story (4)
LIED: Two meanings, the first a German song

29a    Visiting PM’s house, perhaps tap gate (10)
ATTENDANCE: A (2,3) phrase that would mean visiting PM’s house, and a rhythmic movement usually for couples exemplified by ‘tap’


1d    Appearing in studio: record label boss (4)
DIOR: Hidden (appearing in …)

2d    One scoffs continually, holding up tin emptied earlier (7)
SNEERER: A poetic word for continually is underneath (supporting) the chemical symbol for tin, plus E(arlie)R without the inner letters (emptied)

3d    Girder occasionally corroded behind ship (5,7)
GREAT EASTERN: The odd letters (occasionally) of ‘girder’, a 3 letter verb meaning corroded, and the nautical word for rear


4d       Police force on part of hospital after current pile-up (8)

ACCIDENT: A police department and a hospital department follow a 2-letter type of electrical current

5d    Delighted to bypass middle of Hull still remaining (6)
EXTANT: An 8-letter word meaning delighted without (to bypass) the middle letters of Hull

7d    What’s on plate a worry if tipped over finery (7)
REGALIA: What’s on your car plate, A from the clue, and the reversal (if tipped over) of a worry or trouble

8d    Culinary device that might be poached given copyright Walkers (just) uncovered (3,7)
EGG CODDLER: Something that might be poached, the abbreviation for copyright, and some young folk who have just learned to walk without their outer letters (uncovered)

11d    Outliers in southwest land seat in rotten borough (6,6)
STATEN ISLAND: The outer letters (outliers) in ‘southwest’, then an anagram (rotten) of LAND SEAT IS

14d    Type of engineer chosen by Clair when renovating (10)
ELECTRICAL: A word meaning chosen and an anagram (when renovating) of CLAIR

17d    States supported by fourth estate latterly showing hostility (8)
AVERSIVE: A verb meaning states or declares, the Roman letter meaning fourth (as in Henry fourth), and the last letter (latterly) in estate

19d    Festivities at Glastonbury, say, make a deep impression (7)
ENGRAVE: Split (3,4), the answer could refer to festivities in e.g. Glastonbury. The first bit is an abbreviation of the host country

21d    Welshman meets Scotsman coming from Africa (7)
IVORIAN: Two first names (3,4) give you a West African

22d    Current period on dictionary mostly spent getting someone familiar with Es? (6)
ADDICT: The abbreviation for the last 2000 years plus a shortened form (mostly
spent) of the word ‘dictionary’

25d    Sovereign here equivalent to sixpence, as edging eroded (4)
ANNE: A Queen is also and informal word for sixpence without the outer letters (as edging eroded)

I liked the Italian carvery worker, the supermarket bread and the Jazzy types. Which clues did you like?

16 comments on “Toughie 2892

  1. I made steady rather than speedy progress through this enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

    I’m confused (4d) by the use of ‘police force’ to clue CID. The CID, as Dutch correctly says is a department of a police force just like the Traffic Department, say, not the force itself.

    I enjoyed a number of the clever definitions such as ‘Italian carvery worker’, ‘label boss’ and ‘someone familiar with Es’.

  2. A proper Toughie to end the week and no mistake. It took me well into 5* time to complete and parse, but it was so worth the time spent. And all this only using 14 letters of the alphabet. Quite brilliant. 19d didn’t quite work for me, but the rest was excellent, especially 3d, my favourite.

    Thanks to Osmosis for a great fight, and to Dutch for his unravelling of the clues.

  3. I suppose the CID might loosely be described as a ‘force’ (within the police). But then, OTOH!

  4. Yes, a real Toughie – lovely stuff for a Friday, kept me busy for a goodish while. So clever. Bravo – and bravo to Dutch for getting it all blogged in good time. Thanks v much to him and Osmosis.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this tussle, though felt it more straightforward than usual for a Friday, indeed it fell into place remarkably swiftly … which serves me right because my bung-in answer to 6a (& coincidentally the only one I did not parse) was incorrect. Annoying, that, because **** has appeared relatively recently either in the DT or Times.

    A very classy crossword, with a whole shoal of red herring, and I loved it. Ticks appeared everywhere, like a rash – 12a, 13a. 23a, 24a, 11d, 21d to name just a few, and I think 6a would have joined the list had I got it right! My COTD went to 20a, quite brilliant.

    4* (albeit with an error) / 4.5*

    Many thanks to Osmosis & to Dutch

  6. Finally finished, but need hint for 4a. Nice hard puzzle but all clues fair enough. My favourites were 13a, 15a and 3d. Thanks all

  7. We had IN for ‘current’ as the first bit of 4d which gave us all sorts of trouble in the NW. Eventually got everything sorted with the assistance of a few letters.
    13a gets our vote for top clue but plenty of others in the running.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous comment five years ago. Both will work from now on.

  8. A busy day and this required 3 sessions, the last whilst Sweden were making heavy weather of beating Belgium, but it eventually yielded. Osmosis, with his intricate wordplay, in fiendish form [eg 13a]. I particularly liked the 2 types of jazz [23a] and the neat little 24a.
    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  9. Thanks Osmosis and Dutch – I made heavy weather of this but enjoyed it immensely. Had same trouble as the 2Ks with “in” for current in 4d. 6a LOI by some distance, took me forever. 3d my fave from a strong field. Thanks again!

  10. Loved this from start to finish – and there was quite some time between start and finish! Very clever cluing and I feel rather pleased with myself for finishing a Friday Toughie. So many great clues, but 13a and 23a take pride of place for me. Thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch. Great start to the weekend.

  11. I found this very difficult which was no surprise for a Friday toughie and appreciated the explanations as always. But I am not convinced that PETS = COAX and SHOWED = DESIGNATED. Dubious to say the least and suggests the setter was using tenuous definitions just for added difficulty.

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