Toughie 1108

Toughie No 1108 by Myops

Boxing clever

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A genuine Toughie and a very pleasant solve for Boxing Day morning. I made steady progress throughout although it needed a bit of thought to understand some of the wordplay. My only real difficulty was caused by my entering an incorrect answer at 26 down and then wondering why 28 across wouldn’t fit with it.

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    I’m feeling sorry for wordplay in cryptic not comic setting (11)
{COMPUNCTION} Wordplay (3) inside an anagram (cryptic) of NOT COMIC

9a    Brush sheepdogs with one leg but no energy (9)
{COLLISION} Remove E (energy) from sheepdogs + I (one) + leg (as a cricketing term)

10a    Riders’ exhibition and what they did with 23 finally (5)
{RODEO} What riders did + the last letter of the answer to 23 down. The whole clue provides the definition

11a    Historic ball game, holding another over, precedes Physical Education: Union in popular parlance? (6)
{EUROPE} A mid-eighteenth century gambling game in which a ball falls into slots marked with one of two letters (2) goes round a reversal of the initials denoting a ball game (2). This is followed by PE (Physical Education)

13a    Giving information involving cheese and fruit’s nitrogen content (8)
{BRIEFING} A French cheese + a fruit round N (nitrogen)

14a    Retroverted uterus nurse regarded as somewhat precarious (6)
{UNSURE} Hidden in reverse in utERUS NUrse

16a    Is not Revelation 1-3 about angel? (8)
{INVESTOR} An anagram (about) of IS NOR REV (the first three letters of Revelation)

19a    Powder for the first curries cooked for son getting married (8)
{TURMERIC} T (first letter of the) + an anagram of CURRIEM, i.e CURRIES with S (son) replaced by M (married)

20a    Returning knight had placed statue in temple (6)
{BUDDHA} A reversal of ‘to knight’ + an anagram (placed) of HAD

22a    Playful satire about Republican I really roasted (8)
{RAILLERY} R (Republican) inside an anagram (roasted) of I REALLY

24a    Firin’ lots of bullets? Take year out for injury (6)
{SPRAIN} Remove Y (year) from “firin’ lots of bullets” to give the wrenching of a joint

27a    Takes out second-hand Homer reader (5)
{KEATS} An anagram (out) of TAKES gives the author of On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer

28a    Roman virgin once going round Italy with American soldier is not completely developed (9)
{VESTIGIAL} A Roman virgin goes round I (Italy) GI (American soldier)

30a    Odder verses in revue (given audience’s perception) may be too saucy (11)
{OVERDRESSED} ‘In revue’ as perceived by the audience is ‘in review’. This acts as an anagram indicator and the answer is an anagram of ODDER VERSES


1d    Novelist and film-maker combined operations with a cute disposition (7)
{COCTEAU} The abbreviation for ‘combined operations’ + an anagram (disposition) of A CUTE gives the surname of a French novelist and film-maker

2d    Molybdenum covers both hands holding a grinder (5)
{MOLAR} The atomic symbol of molybdenum + the abbreviations for left and right (both hands) round A

3d    What made others in Suez die? (3)
{UZI} Alternate letters in Suez die gives an Israeli sub-machine gun

4d    Sea-urchins’ core feature (4)
{CHIN} Hidden in sea-urCHINs

5d    Unaware Italian gentleman has no need of Southern worker (8)
{IGNORANT} An Italian gentleman with the letter S (Southern) removed + a worker (insect)

6d    Facing cuts before putting on new face (5)
{NERVE} A letter meaning facing (like football teams) inside ‘before’ goes after N (new) to give face (boldness)

7d    One who mooches will be no good in prose composition (7)
{SPONGER} NG (no good) in an anagram (composition) of PROSE gives someone who mooches (cadges)

8d    Commercial college in Cambridge Time editor owned (8)
{ADMITTED} A commercial + a college in Cambridge, Massachusetts + T (time) + ED (editor)

12d    Bag / a prize (5)
{PURSE} 2 meanings: a small bag for carrying money/a sum offered as a prize

15d    Lecturer rolling cigar gets you and me up, to be precise (8)
{SURGICAL} a reversal (up) of L (lecturer) + an anagram (rolling) of CIGAR + ‘you and me’

17d    Supply one-liner using network? (5)
{EQUIP} If split (1-4) this could conceivably be a one-liner disseminated over the Internet

18d    Fit Scots put Queen Victoria up in western isle (8)
{TIRRIVEE} It wouldn’t be a Myops puzzle without a Scottish word. A Scottish word for a fit (tantrum) = a reversal of an abbreviation denoting ‘Victoria, Empress and Queen’ inside the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides

19d    Gaoler‘s name in film that flopped in US (7)
{TURNKEY} N (name) inside a mostly American term for a film that is a complete failure

21d    Worm if old and lined wriggles (7)
{ANNELID} An archaic word for ‘if’ + an anagram (wriggles) of LINED

23d    Rope for throwing. Hopalong Cassidy almost might be chap doing it (5)
{LASSO} HOPALONG CASSID (Cassidy almost) is an anagram of CHAP DOING ***** (where ***** is the answer)

25d    In opening in Adelaide — and Melbourne and Sydney — is batsman / out of order? (5)
{AMISS} IS goes inside the first letters of Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney to give the surname of Dennis, a former England batsman. The answer also means ‘out of order’

26d    American Democrat having circled earth is not fresh (4)
{USED} US (American) + D (Democrat) round E (earth). I was being too clever at first and had this as A (American) + D (Democrat) round GE (form of Gaea or Gaia) meaning Earth giving AGED

29d    Reserve victims for farmer’s wife? Presumably not (3)
{ICE} Take the animals that had their tails cut off by the farmer’s wife and instead remove the head (first letter)

That’s me done for 2013. Here’s to some great puzzles in 2014!


  1. BigBoab
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Really enjoyable toughiie from Myops and a super review from Bufo, many thanks to both.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Apart from the Scottish tantrum (which required an investigoogle) I thought this reasonably straightforward for a Myops.

    Thanks to Myops and Bufo too.

  3. Pegasus
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff I also had trouble with the Scottish tantrum, favourites for me were 6d and 19d thanks to Myops and to Bufo for the review.

  4. alan
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


    IS NOR REV – should this not be IS NOT REV?

  5. KiwiColin
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Found this one tough work on my own. Took some time to sort out the scottish tantrum as even the western isle did not come to mind readily. Really enjoyed 27a, a poem that erroneously mentions “stout Cortez”, I seem to remember, from schooldays. A very satisfying challenge.
    Thanks Myops and Bufo.

  6. neveracrossword
    Posted December 26, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m delighted that I managed to finish one that’s rated 4 stars for difficulty. Thanks to Google for 18d. 4* for enjoyment. Something to exercise my brain while my daughter watches Harry Potter.

  7. Only fools
    Posted December 27, 2013 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Cheers Bufo and thanks once again ,really enjoyable puzzle from My ops favourite 19d .Satisfying solve where the last few took ages!