Toughie 3148 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3148

Toughie No 3148 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

“F” is missing today. The two long clues have strong hints in their first few letters, and once they are in place the rest of the puzzle follows nicely

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Put a couple of stitches in fleece? (4,2)
CAST ON: A knitting term. I think the intention is a cryptic definition with fleece suggesting wool, but I may be missing something

4a    Bipartisan broadcast about firing current Democrat (3-5)
TWO-SIDED: Reversal (about) of a word meaning broadcast going inside (firing) A 4-letter sea current plus the abbreviation for democrat

10a    Bedtime books about shape-shifting ghost universal (6,3)
LIGHTS OUT: A word for books etc goes about an anagram (shape-shifting) of GHOST plus the abbreviation for universal

11a    What’s picked up amid litter? Farrow and Ball wallpaper primarily (5)
MIAOW: The first name of actress Farrow, the letter that looks like a ball, and the first letter (primarily) of wallpaper

12a    Sort of humour watered-down? (7)
AQUEOUS: Two meanings, the first referring to a fluid in the eye

13a    Directly after observing regulars in Cornish crew, energy dropped (2,5)
ON SIGHT: The even letters (regulars) in ‘Cornish’, then a rowing crew but without (dropped) the abbreviation for energy

14a    Religious adherent‘s pleasant to listen to (5)
SUNNI: A homophone (to listen to) of a word meaning pleasant

15a    Allegedly spy French husband drinking — a nightcap, maybe, knocked back (4,4)
MATAHARI: The French word for husband contains (drinking) A from the clue and the reversal (knocked back) of something a nightcap exemplifies (maybe)

18a    Runner bypasses Rhys lost somewhere in Scotland (8)
AYRSHIRE: A river contains (bypasses) an anagram (lost) of RHYS

19a    Massaging text in wiki, error’s brought about (5)
REIKI: Reverse hidden (text in … brought about)

21a    Identity of nurse stopping runny noses (7)
ONENESS: An abbreviation for a nurse goes inside (stopping) and anagram (runny) of NOSES

23a    Saw red spot that marks snooker table (7)
SEETHED: A 3-letter word meaning to spot, then a (3,1) mark on the snooker table

24a    Bank overseas ready with electronics (5)
LEVEE: Some Bulgarian currency and two times the abbreviation for electronic

25a    Rt Hon Wild soon issuing a bitter blast? (9)
NORTHERLY: An anagram (wild) of RT HON plus a 5-letter word for soon missing (issuing) the A

26a    Drink mostly nothing after race, with rehydration ultimately ignored (8)
SPRITZER: A 4-letter word for nothing without the last letter (almost) comes after a short running race without the last letter (ultimately ignored) in rehydration

27a    Outdid graduate gaining first in sociology, note (6)
BESTED: A graduate in education contains (gaining) the first letter in sociology plus a musical note


1d    The Full Monty reviewed in Nick’s Echo: flop (8)
COLLAPSE: The reversal (reviewed) of a 3-letter word meaning ‘The Full Monty’ goes inside a word meaning to nick (with the ‘S) plus the letter with radio code Echo

2d    Actress with soldiers northbound on trip skimmed river (9,6)
SIGOURNEY WEAVER: The reversal (northbound) of some American soldiers, a 7-letter trip without the first letter (skimmed), and a river in Cheshire

3d    Medical science Chris repeated to invalid (9)
ORTHOTICS: An anagram (invalid) of CHRIS TO TO

5d    Casual joiner might work so extravagantly (7,7)
WITHOUT MEASURE: Two meanings, the first  ‘by eye’

6d    American uncle on huge island (5)
SAMOS: The uncle that is a symbol for US plus an abbreviation for very large

7d    Guitarist who spins records generated another one grand (6,9)
DJANGO REINHARDT: A person who spins records plus an anagram (generated) of ANOTHER I GRAND

8d    The fault of period drama on TV’s inconclusive (4,2)
DOWN TO: The name of an Abbey on TV without the last letter (that’s inconclusive)

9d    Daily small joint causes complaint (10,4)
HOUSEMAID’S KNEE: A cleaning lady, the abbreviation for small, and a  joint

16d    Plate of rough cabbage delivered (9)
HORSESHOE: A homophone (delivered) of a both a 6-letter word meaning rough (as in voice) and word for cabbage

17d    Glaringly savage wit you had once (4-4)
WILD-EYED: An Irish wit and a (2’1) old-fashioned (once) way of saying ‘you had’

20d    Game‘s body divided over regulations after polling (6)
BOULES: Half (divided) of ‘BODY’ plus a 5-letter word for regulations without the first letter (after polling)

22d    Leave obsolete hoover? (5)
EXEAT: A 2-letter word meaning obsolete and a word meaning to hoover or take in

I liked the two long clues but my biggest smile came from “What’s picked up amid litter?” (11a). Which clues were your favourites?

11 comments on “Toughie 3148
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  1. I took 1a as put “a” and the first two of “STitches” inside “Con” as in to fleece someone. Making it an all in one.

  2. Excellent. All clues came together very well with some great surfaces. I had to spend a bit of time looking for the name of some dosh beginning with an L. The checkers made it possible to get 16d, but I still don’t understand the homophone for cabbage? Some nicely misdirecting words actually indicating an anagram – like invalid.

    11a, 18a and 23a for the podium.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  3. Great fun and definitely not as brain mangling as Friday toughies can be. 11a gets my vote, ahead of 20 & 21d.

    Thanks to Dutch and Osmosis.

  4. This took me a while to get going, with only 18 from the acrosses, but then the actress and the guitarist went in and it all began to come together. Some top clueing as usual from Osmosis with great surfaces – faves were the brilliant 1a, the amusing 11a, the clever 3d and the wicked definition at 8d.
    Thanks to Dutch and Osmosis.

  5. I really enjoyed solving this, especially the long anagrams which, once in, helped the rest of the grid. 11a just about came out on top of the pile.

    My thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  6. After three days with only three answers, I gave up. Despite all my ‘A-Levels’, whilst recalling my excellent and ferocious English teacher years ago, this was beyond me – even after reading the answers. On a graph – when the Difficulty line exceeds the Enjoyment line, it is time to move on.
    With recognition of Osmosis and Dutch for their efforts.

  7. in keeping with my dabbles into the toughie world, this came up somehow. As you can see it took me a while and nowhere near finishing without the hints. Struggled badly . too good for me. Must try harder

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