Toughie 3068 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3068

Toughie No 3068 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Just over 3* today. Nice puzzle. A near pangram again – I think V is missing.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Party respecting local boss (10)
REPUBLICAN: A short word meaning respecting or concerning and a ‘local boss’

6a    Combatant’s heading here in The Colosseum, perhaps, with it (4)
CHIC: The first letter (heading) of combatant plus the Latin (in The Colosseum, perhaps) for ‘here’

9a    Zeppelin crewman, say, knocked back sauce with band in resting place (2-5)
CO-PILOT: A reversal (knocked back) of a 3-letter word for sauce or impudence plus the letter that looks like a ring or band go inside a 3-letter resting place for infants

10a    Fancy dress business spread (7)
COSPLAY: An abbreviation for business plus a word meaning to spread

12a    As gull might upset boat, hire site tense (4,2,3,4)

RISE TO THE BAIT: An anagram (upset) of BOAT HIRE SITE T(ense)

14a    One usually going along with right player (3-3)
YES-MAN: A word meaning right or affirmative and a piece on a chess board, say

15a    John and Penny pull, coupling (4,4)
JACK PLUG: A nickname for John, abbreviation for penny and a word meaning to pull

17a    After performing meets resistance, I’m daft reciting poems (8)
RONDEAUX: After a short word meaning ‘performing’ with (meets) the abbreviation for resistance, we have a homophone (reciting) of an expression that means “I’m daft” (think Homer)

19a    Angles seen here in mosaic remain reflex (6)
MERCIA: Reverse hidden (in … reflex)

22a    Person only qualified to work on single-deckers in part of circuit? (13)
SEMICONDUCTOR: A whimsical reference for a ticket collector on half a double decker bus

24a    Supplements tot with Scotch and soda finally (7)
ADDENDA: A word meaning to tot up, a word meaning scotch or scrap, and the last letter (finally) in soda

25a    Period piece central in Thirsk on decline (4,3)
IRON AGE: The middle two letters (piece central in … ) in ‘Thirsk’, ON from the clue, and a word meaning to decline

26a    Continuing in the same way, Hearts score (4)
ETCH:    A Latin abbreviation for ‘continuing in the same way’ or ‘and so on’, and the cards abbreviation for hearts

27a    Riveted into ground with much puff, outhouse exhausts husband (10)
HYPNOTISED: An anagram (ground) of INTO follows (with) a 4-letter word meaning puff or overexcitement but without the last letter (much), then a 4-letter outhouse without (exhausts) the abbreviation for husband


1d    Swing, an alternative to jazz (4)
ROCK: Two meanings, a motion and a type of music

2d    Drivel Yankee’s written about game. Tut having read this before? (7)
PAPYRUS: A 3-letter word for drivel, then the letter with radio code Yankee plus the ‘S containing (written about) an abbreviation for a game

3d    Crossing road, help Sheila with babe, unruly kid (7,6)
BELISHA BEACON: An anagram (unruly) of SHEILA + BABE, then a word meaning to kid or deceive

4d    One Native American moving north, without reservation (2,4)
IN TOTO: The Roman numeral for one, then a Native American accompanying the lone ranger with the abbreviation for north moving two spaces

5d    Secure site royal lady erected to house large pet? (8)
ALCATRAZ: A granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth is reversed (erected) and contains (to house) the abbreviation for large and a common pet

7d    Henry the Eighth in difficulty maintaining former grip (7)
HOLDALL: An alternative name for Henry plus the Eighth letter in ‘difficulty’ contain (maintaining) a 3-letter word meaning ‘former’

8d    Keen on parking, to spread upturned treasure hunt, say (10)
CRYPTOGRAM: To keen or wail, the abbreviation for parking, TO from the clue and the reversal (upturned) of a spread

11d    Mark on light bag identifying fish (8,5)
SPECKLED TROUT: A mark or spot, a kind of lightbulb, and a bag or unpleasant old woman

13d    Conceal line that’s caught species on great oceans etc (10)
HYDROSPACE: A homophone (that’s caught) of words meaning ‘conceal’ and ‘line’, the abbreviation for species and a word meaning ‘great!’

16d    Having drawn out edges, square yard joiner’s cutting causes dilemma (8)
QUANDARY: ‘sQUARe’ without the outer letters (having drawn out edges) plus the abbreviation for yard is split by (cutting) a conjunction (joiner)

18d    Fanatical individual in blue, head over heels as Rovers appear (7)
NOMADIC: A 3-letter word meaning fanatical plus the letter that looks like one or individual goes inside the reversal (head over heels) of a political party normally designated blue

20d    Shell mechanic’s last mug seen under vehicle (7)
CARCASS: The last letter in mechanic plus a mug or idiot go under a 3-letter vehicle

21d    Help key recruits from America cooking certain cuisine (6)
FUSION: The ‘help key’ on your laptop contains (recruits) an abbreviation that can be read as ‘from America’, then a preposition that can mean cooking (dinner is **)

23d    Vulgar regulars in already drinking whiskey (4)
LEWD: The even (regular) letters in ‘already’ containing (drinking) the letter with radio code whiskey

Quite a few laughs today – the bag, I like the vulgar regulars starting to drink early, the unruly kid, the native American and my favourite is the busman. Which clues did you like?

6 comments on “Toughie 3068

  1. This was fun. Better for me than an Elgar. At least with application and several visits I can finish it. Didn’t help that for 15a I insisted that John was loo so with the penny I had loop. Took me a while to abandon that theory. Like Dutch I enjoyed the flirtation with the vulgar. Many smiles. Come back soon Osmosis. Many thanks to him and Dutch

  2. The “I’m daft” bit of 17a didn’t really work for me as I’ve never seen the cartoon prog in Q – but it was fair enough. I did like 8d and 16d [fine examples of Osmosis wordplay] the help key at 21d and I chuckled at 22a. Overall a fun Friday puzzle.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  3. It seemed to take me an absolute age to get from the first few to half the grid, but then it all started coming in a rush – though I freely admit I had the BRB next to me so I could keep checking my answers! Unusually I just couldn’t get the upset boat anagram until I had all seven checkers – just couldn’t see the 4-letter words. SW the final corner – I’d pencilled in an unparsable -oscopy quite early, and when the penny finally dropped on the supplements I realised it had to be something else, though I’d never heard of the final answer. The poems were my LOI but my favourite was Tut’s reading matter, with the grip and vulgar drinkers close behind.

    Still a 5* Toughie for me!

    Many thanks to Osmosis and Dutch

  4. Great puzzle although the homophones of 13d and 17a held me up a bit at the end. Favourites were 7d and 16d.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  5. Found that a really tough start but eventually got down to five left with three new (to me) words included. Good challenge and more enjoyable than Elgar. Favourite by far was 22A. Thanks to setter

  6. Terrific puzzle with lots of penny-drop moments and chuckles for us.
    Far too many good ones for us to pick a favourite.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

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