Toughie 3028 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3028

Toughie No 3028 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A lovely puzzle from Osmosis with the usual cleverly-disguised definitions. And another near pangram, this time the Z is missing.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    He gets on with neurology, principally, barrier broken (5,9)
ROGER BANNISTER: A reference to the neurologist who broke the 4-minute mile barrier. I’m guessing ‘he gets (on with)’ suggests a communications word meaning ok, understood, will do (please comment if you have other ideas), then we have the first letter (principally) of neurology inserted (broken) into a barrier, e.g., a stair rail.

NOOO! It’s an anagram! See comment number 1  – thanks Stephen L

10a    Painting as seen in half of arts magazine (9)
AQUARELLE: A Latin word meaning as goes in the first half of ARTS from the clue, then the name of a woman’s magazine

11a    Some ripped off, returning to Graceland for merchandise? (5)
CARGO: Reverse hidden (Some ripped off returning … )

12 a    Recalled in butcher’s: large tender food items (7)
EDIBLES: A reversal (recalled) of the abbreviation for large and another word for a tender in a word for which the rhyming slang is butcher’s

13a    One might have previous partner followed home (6)
INMATE: A partner follows a word meaning home

15a    Ordinary writing fluid creating noise from pen? (4)
OINK: The abbreviation for ordinary plus some writing fluid

17a    Booming Shakespearean character pauses, taking centre stage (10)
PROSPEROUS: A character from The Tempest plus the central (taking centre stage) letters of pauses

18a    Prosecutors outside shed attire (10)
SUSPENDERS: Some claimants go outside a word that can mean to shed

20a    Island‘s bubbly jet-setter’s heading for clubs (4)
JAVA: Some Spanish bubbly with the first letter (heading) of jet-setter replacing the abbreviation for clubs

22a    So long, some might say, learning regulatory lines? (3-3)
BYE-LAW: A word meaning ‘so long’ and a homophone (some might say) of a 4-letter word meaning learning

23a    Ancient character, head down, did rumba, possibly with subtle differences (7)
NUANCED: A Greek character (ancient? I guess. Also the oldest Egyptian god, but?), plus a word for ‘did rumba, for example’ without the first letter (head down)

26a    Lots of paper bags left department (5)
REALM: A quantity of paper contains (bags) the abbreviation for left

27a    At intervals, Harlem loafer perhaps accepts US charity here? (9)
ALMSHOUSES: The even (at intervals) letters in Harlem, then what a loafer exemplifies containing (accepts) US from the clue

28a    Best bank, prioritising you, extremely remiss thereafter (5,9)
YOURS SINCERELY: A 4-letter word meaning to bank (on), but first (prioritising) YOU from the clue, the outer letters (extremely) of remiss, and a word meaning thereafter


2d    More than one opening in Milan, the upmarket business soared (5)
OCULI: A reversal (soared) of the Italian (in Milan) for ‘the’, a single letter meaning upmarket or posh, and an abbreviation for a business

3d    Career family evenly divided, in a strange way (6)
EERILY: Take the second halves (evenly divided) of the first two words

4d    New Airbus dealt with one missing safety feature on flight (10)
BALUSTRADE: An anagram (new) of A(i)RBUS DEALT (with one missing)

5d    Frankenstein tale — huge money-spinner ultimately? Not for Shelley (4)
NE’ER: Last letters ( … ultimately). Shelley the poet, not Mary!

6d    Attending faculty, picked up bug (7)
INCENSE: A preposition that can mean attending (not at) plus a homophone (picked up) of a word for faculty

7d    American going under leaves European region (9)
TARRAGONA: The abbreviation for American going under a leafy herb

8d    Crossing road, hen’s linked with riddle — this type? (5,6,3)
RHODE ISLAND RED: An anagram (crossing) of ROAD HEN’S RIDDLE

9d    Person covering trespasser getting fruit (4,10)
CAPE GOOSEBERRY: A ‘person covering’ that goes around the shoulders, plus a trespasser when two’s company but three’s a crowd

14d    Massive of belly, having put away gallons (10)
ASTRONOMIC: An 11-letter word meaning ‘of belly’ without (having put away) the abbreviation for gallons

16d    Horror film stirring fears inside not for everyone (9)
NOSFERATU: An anagram (stirring) of FEARS goes inside NOT from the clue plus a cinema classification meaning ‘for everyone’

19d    Theologian‘s important date with university filling in text (7)
ERASMUS: An important date or time period, then the abbreviation for university goes inside (filling) an abbreviation for a text message

21d    Dancer’s teammate curses leaders in early round (6)
DASHER: An exclamation meaning ‘curses!’ plus the first letters (leaders) in ‘early round’

24d    Raw cold food Oliver’s presented not good (5)
CRUEL: The abbreviation for cold plus the food Oliver was presented without (not) the abbreviation for good

25d    One’s hailed old reserve team (4)
TAXI: The abbreviation for an old army reserve plus a Roman numeral indicating a team

I liked the Frankenstein story and the massive belly. Which clues were your favourites?

13 comments on “Toughie 3028

  1. Dutch, I think 1a is an anagram (broken) of GETS ON plus N(eurology) plus BARRIER

    1. Yes, excellent, well spotted. It didn’t seem quite right! I’ll amend, many thanks.

  2. Very enjoyable and by some distance the hardest of the week. I had a full grid though I had to resort to some electrons to get there. I also needed Dutch’s expertise to parse 28a too.
    I’ll choose the very clever 1a plus 12,13&20a along with 4,14(lol)&25d, (where it’s nice to see the setter has correctly used old) as my winners.
    Many thanks to Osmosis and to Dutch for his usual excellent blog.

  3. I really enjoyed this puzzle and, very unusually for an Osmosis, did not find it anywhere near as brain-mangling as usual. For me 1a doesn’t quite work however the first word is derived, simply because RB is dead and so the tense of the surface reading of the clue is wrong – like the utterly ghastly historical present tense so much in vogue these days.

    10a & 2d my “new words of the day” – should I remember them I shall be surprised – and thank you Gazza for explaining the parsing of my answers to 2d & 25d – I groaned audibly when I saw that I’d forgotten one of the oldest chestnuts in crossword land! I thought the second word of 9d rather tenuous but it confirmed a couple of tentative answers elsewhere and with it 28a then fell. Some great clues though, and brilliantly hidden. For me special mentions to 17a, 20a & 28a; 5d, 14d & 21d.

    Many thanks to Osmosis & to Gazza

    (ps re 1a, now noting the anagram, but still disliking the tense!)

    1. My thanks are of course owed to Dutch – I am so sorry for misdirecting my gratitude!

  4. A proper Toughie that took an age to complete but left me with a great sense of satisfaction. I even got all the parsings in the end, although the usual Friday unparsed bung ins were in evidence for a while. The anagrams were beautifully constructed, but my favourite clue was 14d.

    My thanks to Osmosis for the considerable challenge and to Dutch for a comprehensive review.

  5. Very enjoyable, it took a few electrons and quite a while to get there. Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  6. Quite a challenge but we did persevere and eventually got there. Lots of clever wordplay so very satisfying to solve.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  7. A real head-scratcher but got there with patience and a few hints along the way. Very satisfying nonetheless to get pretty close even if it was officially a DNF. 1a was I think the most devious anagram I’ve ever met, but my COTD has to be 8d – superb

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch for the top-notch hints

  8. I would like to choose a clue of the day but there were just so many. A joy from beginning to end.

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