Toughie 1098

Toughie No 1098 by Dada

The Buckeye Bullet

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Just a bit tougher than the average Tuesday Toughie, but a pleasure, as always, to solve a puzzle from Paul’s fluffier alter ego.

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.


1a    Newspaper that is welcoming publication’s reflection (6,5)
{MIRROR IMAGE} – the name of one of the red-top newspapers followed by the Latin abbreviation for that is around an abbreviated word for a publication

10a    Earliest of Olympians reaching all four corners of the globe as inspiring athlete (5)
{OWENS} – the initial letter (earliest) of Olympians is followed by all points of the compass (corners of the globe) to give the surname of a pre-war athlete who inspired many

11a    Poisonous gas enveloping one, cooker filled with a little smoke (9)
{CIGARILLO} – the chemical formula for a poisonous gas around (enveloping) I (one) and a cooker, itself around (filled with) the A from the clue

12a    Person saving eight shillings initially per hour, broke (9)
{SUPERHERO} – any of a number of fictional characters who save people who are in distress is derived from an anagram (broke) of ES (Eight Shillings initially) with PER HOUR

13a    Flier in Basque almost translated (5)
{SQUAB] – this young pigeon or rook comes from an anagram (translated) of most of BASQU(E)

14a    Urge upright character to gatecrash parties (6)
{LIBIDO} – this sexual urge is derived by putting an upright letter (character) inside (to gatecrash) two parties, one political and the other social

16a    Shift is left, to avoid dresses (8)
{DISLODGE} – IS L(eft) with a verb meaning to avoid around (dresses)

18a    Muscle from flipped-over eggs – a hundred possibly eaten? (8)
{EXTENSOR} – reverse (flipped-over) some fish eggs around (eaten) a formula (1.4) consisting of a Roman numeral and some numbers in English which can (possibly) result in a hundred

20a    Nepalese turn of phrase (6)
{SHERPA} – an anagram (turn) of PHRASE

23a    Ace among red cards (5)
{TAROT} – A(CE) inside (among) a red or left-winger

24a    Dark lover – man, say, getting belligerent (9)
{NIGHTHAWK} – what sounds like (say) a chessman followed by a person who advocates war, aggressiveness or confrontation rather than peace and conciliation (belligerent as a noun)

26a    Macho row almost breaking US state (9)
{MASCULINE} – most of a verb meaning to row a boat inside (breaking) a US state

27a    Austrian musician viewing grass skirts on dustmen! (5)
{HAYDN} – some dry grass followed by the outer letters (skirts) of DustmeN

28a    Series of brief meetings badly designed with half-finished patter? (5,6)
{SPEED DATING} – an anagram (badly) of DESIGNED with PAT (half-finished PATter)


2d    I put last of minestrone in vessel to freeze (3,2)
{ICE UP} – I followed by the final letter (last) of minestronE inside a drinking vessel

3d    Girl appearing sunburnt in the shade (4-3)
{ROSE-RED} – a girl’s name followed by an adjective meaning appearing sunburnt gives a shade of colour

4d    Salad ingredient that should take off? (6)
{ROCKET} – two definitions

5d    Wild animal? Go for a plant (8)
{MAGNOLIA} – an anagram (wild) of ANIMAL GO

6d    Lass holding a very luminescent stone (7)
{GIRASOL} – a lass around the A from the clue and a two-letter word meaning very gives a fire opal that seems to send a firelike glow from within – I didn’t know this one, but it was reasonably easy to derive from the wordplay once I has the checking letters

7d    Operation as many sick etc, poorly – zero well! (13)
{TONSILLECTOMY} – a large number (many) followed by an adjective meaning sick, an anagram (poorly) of ETC, O (zero) and an interjection meaning well!

8d    Struggle to find  fish (8)
{FLOUNDER} – a roasted chestnut of a double definition

9d    Action of a thoughtless motorist that copper takes to heart? (6-7)
{DOUBLE-PARKING} – cryptically expand the middle letters (heart) of copper

15d    Supporting structure merely locks (8)
{BUTTRESS} – an adverb meaning merely followed by some locks of hair

17d    Sailors into dance record, I stood up for their dance? (8)
{HORNPIPE} – the sailors’ armed force inside a dance followed by the reversal (stood up) of a four-track vinyl record and I combine to give a sailors’ dance

19d    Bid far from behind (2-5)
{NO-TRUMP} – this bid, when preceded by a number in the range 1-7, in bridge, when split (3,4) could mean far away from the behind

21d    Cold’s cold then for a successful type? (7)
{HOTSHOT} – if cold’s cold then ***’s ***!

22d    A selfish thing ratified (6)
{AGREED} – the A from the clue followed by the deadly sin of being selfish

25d    Somewhat unnecessary, another Nazi ideal (5)
{ARYAN} – hidden (somewhat) inside the clue

Many thanks to Alan Connor for this plug on his Guardian blog: yesterday:

News of the clues

The Telegraph blesses its solvers with two tricky puzzles – but not on Saturdays. That’s why the solvers’ blog Big Dave commissions its own unofficial second Saturday puzzle for those who feel bereft after a single solve. It’s become an established puzzle series in its own right, with challenges from established setters; it has also become a little academy for newer setters and has reached the 200 milestone with a joint-effort by “Hydra” – as good a place as any to start with this hidden gem.


  1. Pegasus
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this one, my favourites were 9d 18a 21d and 28a thanks to Dada and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. Jezza
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Some really good stuff in this one! 3*/4* for me, and in my opinion a perfect level of difficulty for a toughie at the beginning of the week.
    Many thanks to Dada, and to Big Dave.

  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Just spotting the name Dada at the top of a puzzle is enough to bring smiles to our faces in anticipation of what is to come. We certainly were not disappointed. Several of them, eg 9d, 14a, took a little while to parse but a good chuckle when we did sort them out.
    Thanks Dada and BD.

  4. Kath
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this very much and wasn’t expecting as much as 3* for difficulty from BD, mainly because I could just about do it.
    I needed the hints to explain a few – 24a and 7, 9, and 17d.
    Joint favourites 27a and 21d.
    With thanks to Dada and BD.

  5. Only fools
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Smashing puzzle ,difficulty irrelevant ,joint favourites 21d and 28a .Thanks Dada and BD .

  6. BigBoab
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I got to this late and finished it quickly, a very enjoyable puzzle but hardly a toughie. My thanks to Dada and BD.

  7. Brendan
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    An Excellent puzzle by Dada and thanks also to BD, for some great commentary – especially 14a. which, although obvious from the definition and checkers, I just could not parse.