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Toughie 1082

Toughie No 1082 by Dada


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

Perhaps not as difficult as some puzzles by Paul, Dada’s alter ego, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


7a    The end of the day, when setter’s miserable (7)
{SUNDOWN} – split as (3,4) this could mean that this celestial body that sets every day is miserable

8a    Battle to fill outer parts of Christmas tree (7)
{CYPRESS} – a First Worl War battle site inside the outer letters of ChristmaS

10a    Maintain wriggling snake finally is dead (9)
{INANIMATE} – an anagram (wriggling) of MAINTAIN followed by the final letter of snakE

11a    African king certainly requiring a translator, as African (5)
{TUTSI} – The colloquial name for an Egyptian pharaoh followed by an affirmative (certainly) in a foreign language (requiring a translator)

12a    Kill some viper, a serpent (5)
{ERASE} – hidden (some) inside the clue

13a    Instrument‘s pulse (9)
{FLAGEOLET} – two definitions – a small high-pitched flute (Instrument) and a small pale green bean (pulse)

15a    Bowels of hell by which old crone chains Irish setter (4,3)
{HAIR GEL} – the inner letters (bowels) of hELl preceded by an old crone around IR(ish)

17a    Develop, say, back — and say forth? (7)
{GESTATE} – the Latin abbreviation for say/for example reversed (back) and followed by a verb meaning to say

18a    Female bird in front of bar, sweet thing (5,4)
{LAYER CAKE} – an egg-producing (female) bird followed by a bar, in the sense of a bar or lump of soap

20a    Then perhaps I return in the afternoon to see friend (5)
{AMIGO} – split this as (2,1,2) and it could be what precedes PM I RETURN (I return in the afternoon)

21a    Dunce with one mark, I gathered (5)
{IDIOT} –I (one) and a small mark around (gathered) the I from the clue

23a    Insult encapsulating corporation’s focus (9)
{SPOTLIGHT} – an insult around a corporation or stomach

24a    Vacant girl with love for sophisticated style (7)
{GLAMOUR} – drop the inner letters (vacant) from GirL and follow what’s left with love or romance

25a    Silence required during winter event in a number of cases (7)
{LUGGAGE} – a verb meaning to silence inside (during) a winter sports event


1d    Disability of old man in Machu Picchu, say? (10)
{INCAPACITY} – put a two-letter word for the old man inside the type of large South American town (4,4) of which Machu Picchu is an example (say)

2d    Force insects under river (6)
{POLICE} – some insects after (under in a down clue) Gnomethang’s famous Chinese river (I know it’s in Italy, but I’m not letting him off the hook that easily!)

3d    Every second in tunnel ghastly, not right (8)
{UNLAWFUL} – the even letters of (every second in) tUnNeL followed by an adjective meaning ghastly

4d    Bit of a looker clears off (6)
{SCLERA} – this outermost membrane of the eyeball is an anagram (off) of CLEARS

5d    Perfect start in snooker, then unable to sink a ball? (8)
{SPOTLESS} – the initial letter (start) of Snooker followed by a word meaning unable to sink a ball (in snooker)

6d    One side remaining (4)
{LEFT} – two definitions

7d    Scary wood in old money (5-8)
{SPIN-CHILLING} – a type of wood inside the former currency of Austria

9d    She gulps beer with courage in drinking game (4,3,6)
{SPIN THE BOTTLE} – SHE around (gulps) a quantity of beer and followed by a word meaning courage

14d    Protagonist maligned, an oddball (7,3)
{LEADING MAN} – an anagram (oddball) of MALIGNED AN

16d    Turning grey at the fringes, how much can one take? (8)
{GYRATION} – the outer letters (fringes) of GreY followed by how much one is allowed to take

17d    French city Foreign Office abandons before long, after an exchange (8)
{GRENOBLE} – an anagram (after an exchange) of BE(FO)RE LONG after the abbreviation for the Foreign Office has been removed (abandons)

19d    Ridiculous muscles on west Asian going topless (6)
{ABSURD} – the shortened form of some muscles followed by someone from West Asia without his initial letter (topless)

20d    Member engaged in bitter claim (6)
{ALLEGE} – a member or limb inside some bitter or beer

22d    Yours truly is a superior character in mosque (4)
{IMAM} – the abbreviated form of yours truly is (1’1) followed by the A from the clue and the initial letter (superior character) of Mosque

What a great start to the Toughie week!

31 comments on “Toughie 1082

  1. I’m feeling very encouraged by BD’s 3* difficulty rating as, because I could do it, I was expecting a 1* or maximum 2*.
    I did need the hint to explain the 11a African.
    My favourite, and last, was 15a although there were loads of others that I also liked.
    With thanks to Dada and BD.

  2. Good start to the Toughie week, favourites were 1d 8a and 15a thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the comments.

  3. I don’t want to upset Kath but this was IMHO a very easy toughie. I did wonder who we were going to get today so thank you to Dada for my splendid birthday treat I have dots by more clues that I liked than clues I didn’t. Thanks to BD for the explanations too.

    1. Damn – how did I guess that someone would say something like that!
      Wishing you a very happy birthday, anyway. I hope you’re having a good day and are going to be taken out for dinner this evening. Here’s a little birthday flower from me. I simply don’t care how much I spend!

    2. Thank you everyone. Not being taken out tonight. It is Mr CS’s birthday next week so we usually have one meal between two birthdays!

    3. Very happy Birthday Sue, from me too. (Am studiously avoiding looking at the hints as I haven’t had a chance to look at this yet. Just dropped in to add my greeting.)

  4. Heartened by finishing the back pager, I chanced my arm with the Toughie. I floundered a bit but managed to complete with the help of BD’s excellent clues and a couple of doh moments along the way.

  5. Loved it…even the one I couldn’t solve (3D) and the one where I had the correct answer in my my mind but just wasn’t sure (13A).
    Plenty of check marks beisde the clues I particularly liked. Many thanks to Dada/Paul and to BD.

    BTW, in my young days, 9D was a kissing game!

  6. Thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the review and hints. A minor miracle for me, a Toughie completion. I knew someone would say it was easy, as did crypticSue, but it must have been, because I managed to do it. I would, like Kath, like to agree with BD’s rating, but I must give it as 2*/4*, I just needed the hints to parse 7&11a. Favourite was 15a, with 25a a close second.

  7. Hello to The Toughie Club. Nice puzzle today and not too tough. I wanted Hale And Hearty at 9d but could not make HY be female. 17ac is lovely clue. happy Birthday to CrypticSue. I hope you get lots and lots of whatever it is you need.

  8. This setter never fails to keep us chuckling right through the solving process and today’s offering is no exception. Good fun from go to whoa.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

      1. Myops lives in Glasgow and his puzzles have a strong Scottish influence. Personally I love them, but they are not to everyone’s taste.

        1. Thanks for your replies BD and gazza – this sounds like one that I might just have a tiny peep at, if I feel brave.

      2. Slight trepidation because I have to blog it and I usually find Myops the most difficult of the Toughie setters (even including the hob-nailed one). But since he’s appearing on a Wednesday rather than a Friday tomorrow’s may be more gentle and be light on the obscure Scottish words.

  9. “Paul” is better than “Dada”? Discuss.

    Of course, it’s subjective, but Paul’s Guardian puzzles always seem to be more entertaining!

    1. I agree. Even though Dada’s puzzles are always enjoyable I generally feel a bit short-changed because they’re missing some of the Paul magic. I’ve no idea why (it surely can’t be because the Guardian pays better?).
      Talking of magic, I thought the Arachne in the Guardian today was wonderful.

    2. He’s different again when he is Mudd in the FT. Interesting how these setters change their style between their multiple aliases.

  10. No, I did not find this ‘easy’. First time I’ve tried a Dada Toughie, and I only managed to complete half on my own. I relied heavily on Big Dave’s excellent hints for the rest. (Incidentally, shouldn’t the first word in the answer to 7d have a final ‘e’? (This was one I managed!)) I’ve never heard of 9d! In spite of floundering, I did enjoy what I could do.
    Thanks to both Dada and Big Dave.

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