Toughie 3292 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 3292

Toughie No 3292 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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


Apologies for minimalist version, I’m not doing very well. I didn’t see 8d. We have a pangram, possibly a double judging by the pairs of letters in the centre.


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.



1a           Arm slips eating sandwich on counter (11)
BLUNDEBUSS: Some 7-letter slips or errors around the reversal of type of sandwich

10a         Career occasionally spent filing daily post (5)
AFTER: The even letters of career contain a newspaper

11a         Father tours college following light (3,2,4)
SET ON FIRE: To father goes around a school plus F

12a         Basic deli’s content with cheese Mike dismissed (9)
ELEMENTAL: The central letters of deli then a cheese without the M

13a         Stay and live in London district (1-4)
H-BEAM: a word meaning to live or exist goes inside a London district

14a         Second hotel fitted with power shower (6)
SPRITZ: S(econd) plus a luxury hotel containing P(ower)

16a         Rees-Mogg and nob sharing British archaic clothing style? (8)
JACOBEAN: REES-Mogg (5) plus a nob (4) sharing the B

18a         Set buffet led by nana (5,4)

IDIOT BOX: To buffet (3) but first a nana or fool

20a         Fruit Charlie fed to horse that’s a non-starter (6)
QUINCE: A horse without the first letter contains C

23a         Maybe loon who’s behind wheel disregarding second (5)
DIVER:  A 6-letter person behind a wheel without the second letter

24a         I don’t agree – that’s dreadful clothing, period! (9)
NOUGHTIES: A negative answer, expression of disgust and neckwear

26a         Slalom calamity, touching pole, broadcast? (9)
WINDBLOWN: To slalom, a calamity and a 1-letterpole

27a         Head of government shifting leftward in Red Terror (5)
ROGUE: Another word for red (French) with G moved to the left

28a         One diverts fledgling aerial carrier near delivery (4-7)
BABY-BOUNCER: The answer can be read a something that diverts (2nd word) a fledgling (1st word). The answer is enjoyed by young infants.




2d           Stern of cook to probe previous pancake (5)
LATKE: Last letter in cook goes inside ‘previous’

3d           Current punishment for the wicked thieves warder’s topping? (3-4)
NORWEST: the punishment for the wicked (2,4) contains (thieves) first letter of warder

4d           Final trio of climbers attending Franz’s Base Camp for coffee? (6)
ERSATZ: Last 3 letters of climbers, A(ttending), last letter in Franz

5d           She dominates baseball club on field in Texas (6-2)
BATTLE-AX: What you hit a baseball with, then a field goes inside the abbr. for Texas

6d           Abridged aquatic sport‘s lower tier discussed (7)
SYNCHRO: Homophones of words meaning to lower and tier

7d           Tears perhaps in blue book (9,4)
WATERSHIP DOWN: some tears (6), in, (3) and blue (4)

8d           Reserve divine, on vacancy, occupying lead (4-4)
VICE-DEAN: not sure how ‘on vacancy’ works but it goes inside a 3-letter lead.

9d           Rash language Miles moderates around student (6,7)
GERMAN MEASLES: A European language, M + moderates (5) around a student

15d         Trump up again with Republican harangue, ultimately hot air (8)
REINVENT: R, last letter in harangue, hot or trendy, and to air

17d         Marine resident can take the wheel in TT (4,4)
JOHN DORY: A can, then a round letter inside a 3-letter word meaning TT

19d         Before trains, previously you shouldn’t have collected boring thing (7)
TEREBRA: Before (3), a train company, goes inside an expression of gratitude

21d         Introduce peace commonly over Ireland once (5,2)
USHER IN: A contraction of HUSH(?) plus an old word for Ireland

22d         Mini designer briefly on energy committee (6)
QUANGO:  The 5 letter mini-designer Mary without the last letter, and a word for energy

25d         Nothing left, having limited fire (5)
INGLE:  Hidden


14 comments on “Toughie 3292
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    1. That’s what I concluded although it seems something was missing to make it an all in one?

      Re 21d – hush in Yorkshire or Lancashire maybe; commonly.

      A real mix for me. Ignoring some of the unknowns like the boring sea snail or whatever it is, I think he let himself down with a few of the surfaces perhaps, such as 17a and 22a, but on reflection those are both great clues! Not sure that a shower is a fizzy, squirts thing.

      Award to the rabbit book.

  1. An enjoyable time spent on this crossword along with my music (Eric Clapton- Slow hand at 70),but for some reason I cannot explain I fared much better with this crossword rather then the Friday Cryptic,

    Thank you to Osmosis and Dutch.

  2. Beaten by 8d and 19d, otherwise all good clean fun. Spotting the double pangram certainly helped with the solving process. 7d my favourite.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  3. Good grief that was a stinker! Osmosis is becoming more Elgar-like with every puzzle. In evidence I give you 17 and 19d – “take the wheel” for “o” and “you shouldn’t have” for “ta”. But it was great fun, with some great clues – the all in one at 8d, the aforementioned 19d [before trains indeed] but the winner is the archetypal Osmosis charade at 15d.
    Thanks to him and to Dutch for having to blog it!

  4. An interesting pattern of the least common letters in the centre of the grid. If we had noticed this earlier we might not have struggled quite so much.
    Got most of it done but gave up with 8d unsorted and a couple of gaps in the SW.
    Favourite was the rabbit book.
    Thanks Osmosis and Dutch.

  5. Very challenging. I eventually got it all except for 8d and a spelling mistake at 24a. Slowed down by initially trying “hot seat” ie electric chair=current punishment for 3d 😬. Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch.

  6. Phew! Very hard going which took ages. Not the hardest clue, but I ended up failing on 10a. Never heard of 19d before. I think it’s been clarified in the blog and comments above, but I parsed 28a as ‘One diverts fledgling’ as the (v. original) def, with the rest as wordplay as per Ian’s comment.

    It was interesting to see the Z, J, X and Q pairs around the centre. I didn’t know Osmosis’ true identity but strongly suspected it was going to be Mike Warburton, aka Aardvark in the FT and Breadman in The Times Quick Cryptic. He’s been using this trick quite often in these other guises recently, usually with one or two letters short of the expected pangram. Today’s variation on the theme is that we are one letter – a K – short of a double pangram.

    Thanks to Osmosis and Dutch

      1. Thank you for the welcome.

        I note halcyon’s comment above that Osmosis has become more Elgar-like in the degree of difficulty of his puzzles. The same thing has been happening recently with his Aardvark puzzles in the FT, so to me anyway he’s now Haardvark. Last month as Breadman he also set a very difficult Times Quick Cryptic which, even though it was only a 13×13 grid, wouldn’t have been out of place as an at least moderately hard full cryptic puzzle.

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