Toughie 3156 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3156

Toughie No 3156 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Argh. I finished the blog then somehow deleted it and had to redo the lot, sorry I’m late. Osmosis makes it harder for us with broad definitions. Help with 5a please, I think Shaft’s case is quiver but not sure of first bit.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    What to put on pasty’s crust? Pickle for instance (7)
PYJAMAS: Outer letters of pastry, a pickle or difficulty, and a short word that can mean for instance

5a    Excited by hot stuff, wanting John Shaft’s jacket (7)

9a    Playing the field, lying about smacker (5)
ONCER: A preposition meaning playing and a reversal (lying about) of a field or park

10a    Chill last eggs inside research institution (4,5)
STAY LOOSE: A word meaning last then two round letters go inside a London University

11a    Battle‘s dubious result that divides extremist characters (10)
AUSTERLITZ: An anagram (dubious) of RESULT plus a pronoun meaning ‘that’ goes inside the extremes of the alphabet

12a    Advanced kid rejected jelly (4)
AGAR: The abbreviation of advanced and a reversal of to kid or tease

14a    Who’s recording muscle power in a heroin freak (12)
QUADROPHENIA: A leg muscle, then the abbreviation for power goes inside ana anagram (freak) of A HEROIN

18a    Device used to play or stop TV (4-2-3-3)
JACK-IN-THE-BOX: A slang (4,2) expression for stop or desist plus a (3,3) description of TV

21a    Drill  carried (4)
BORE: Two meanings

22a    Unemotional photo capturing husband on rug (10)
PHLEGMATIC: A word for photo contains (capturing) the abbreviation for husband, the cricket side ON and a rug

25a    Style of door with superior knock somewhere in the South East (2-3-4)
UP-AND-OVER: The abbreviation for superior or upper class, to knock or criticise, and a SE port

26a    Woman‘s digit trapped in zip (5)
NADIA: The Roman numeral for one is trapped by the Spanish word for nothinh

27a    Sports event‘s press piece (7)
IRONMAN: To press and a chess piece

28a    Scoff Angelo’s sirloin, rebuffing some (7)
RISSOLE: Reverse hidden


1d    What’s prescribed for Zulu with a cold (6)
PROZAC: “for”, the letter with radio code zulu, a from the clue and the abbreviation for cold

2d    Regular guy drinking leaves merry (6)
JOCOSE: Your regular or average guy contains (drinking) a kind of lettuce

3d    Frenchwoman hurt by dog in centre of Amiens repeatedly (5,5)
MARIE CURIE: To hurt or harm, then a dog goes inside a repeat of the central letters of Amiens

4d    Sort of grass facing north, length unaltered (5)
SISAL: A reversal (facing north) of the abbreviation for length plus a (2,2) unaltered

5d    With one blow Martha oddly banished butterfly perhaps (2,1,6)
AT A STROKE: The even letters (oddly banished) of Martha, then a swimming term exemplified by butterfly

6d    Displaying horror film for all, Welshman stopped early (4)
UGLY: The film classification ‘for all’, and a 4-letter welsh name without the last letter (stopped early)

7d    Mean to convert fellers involved with this online activity (8)
VLOGGING: The central letter (mean) of convert plus the activity of fellers or lumberjacks

8d    The elderly British entering studied selection at bakery? (8)
RYEBREAD: An old word for the plus 2-letter abbreviation for British go inside a word meaning studied

13d    Those fans nuts when front two leave pop band (3,7)
THE OSMONDS: An anagram (fans) of THOSE plus some nuts without the first two letters

15d    Language possibly Scandinavian on new cooking pot (5,4)
DUTCH OVEN: A language(!) plus a Scandinavian name and the abbreviation for new

16d    Country music one plays on stint between internationals (8)
DJIBOUTI: A record spinner, the a 4-letter stint goes in between two abbreviations for international

17d    Crumbs mounting a little bit during very good grating (8)
SCORDATO: A music term. An interjection meaning crumbs or my plus a reversal of a little bit go inside a 2-letter word for very

19d    Card game on satellite channel broadcasting from here? (6)
STUDIO: A type of poker and a moon

20d    View instrument one’s heard that mountaineers use (3,3)
ICE AXE: A homophone (one’s heard) of a word meaning to view and a reed instrument

23d    Slip English egg among the essentials (5)
ERROR: The abbreviation for English, then a round letter (egg) goes inside your educational basics

24d    Tuck end of cable on Hoover maybe (4)
EDAM: The last letter (end) of cable and a construction exemplified by Hoover

I think I liked 2d the most. Which were your favourite clues?

10 comments on “Toughie 3156
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  1. Yes, lava prob since aloo can be but needn’t be spicy. Thanks. I was thinking loo can didn’t get to lab. Hell of a way to clue “a”

  2. Thanks Osmosis and Dutch. The parsing of 5a foxed me, too. Nice challenge for a Friday without being too frustrating. Younger solvers may not be familiar with the pop band in 13d, although they are very much from my era! Favourite clue was 18a.

  3. 5a was my only bung in today, otherwise it was relatively plain sailing. 18a and 13d were my co-favourites. Highly entertaining and thoughtful.

    My thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  4. sorry chaps, being a tad dense. Can you explain how from ‘hot stuff’ you get to curries, lava and where John comes in? I get wanting John means leave J out but could some light be shed.

    1. As Dutch said, it’s a long way round just to get “a”.

      Lava (hot stuff) remove (wanting) lav (short word for lavatory aka a John).

  5. Very late as usual with toughies, but felt I had to comment, certainly a tad easier from Mr O than usual, he is on a par with the enigmatic gent in difficulty standard and likewise gets the Nocando treatment.
    Like those above, not surprisingly, I could only bung in 5a, but with plenty of electronic help plus the BRB (for 17d) I got there in forever time.
    Thanks to the setter and Dutch for the review, great stuff

  6. A small DNF for me, but foxed only by 5a, so I’m not alone. ****/****. I wonder what Brian would have made of this puzzle – a nice one, at that !

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