NTSPP – 001 Review

NTSPP – 001 Review

An Independent Puzzle by Anax

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

I didn’t have much difficulty nor did I take much time with this puzzle. For me this was a ‘toughie’ in the sense that in some four or five instances the annotation didn’t come immediately upon getting the answer from all or part of wordplay. As for 1d, I had to go looking for the confirmation of the definition ‘useless’.  So my engagement with the crossword extended for a while after completing the puzzle in fully interpreting the stubborn clues.

I got a toehold in the grid with 13a WAG. The first to fall was bottom-half, then top right. Top-left was the last quadrant. One or two answers such as 17a had to be revised in the course of solving. The penultimate clue was 1dn; the  last one was 10a.

Very well-crafted clues giving the utmost satisfaction to the solver.

I am fascinated by the use of CHIP AND PIN. My version of TEA doesn’t return a match.  The Modern Crossword Dictionary or The Crossword Phrase Dictionary or crossword lists do not have it. It’s a phrase that the compiler discovers and puts it down in the scrapbook for opportune use.

Finally, re 13d WONDERBRA. Why should we use brand names of products? Also, while certain composers routinely revel in lighthearted clues such as this, I think we should by and large resist this temptation of trying to get into Victoria’s Secrets. That is not really Lovable.

1 DERIVES –  D(ER)IVES[t] – ER (short for ‘Emergency Room’, title of a TV serial described here as hospital soap)  in DIVES, after deleting the last letter T from DIVEST (mostly strip nurses). Def: gets
5 HACKS IT – HACK SIT – HACK (reporter) + SIT (manage settlement).  Def: manages
9 ME TARZAN YOU JANE –  “Handles” we have to take in the sense of “names”. I had to look up to understand that John Clayton was the real name of Tarzan. Cryptic definition.
10 CHIP AND PIN – CHI(P AND P I)N – P AND P (packaging and post) + I (one) in CHIN (feature). Def: Credit card security. Chip is the integrated circuit and PIN is personal identification number.
11 KILN – L (line) in KILN (blood). Def: where firing takes place
13 WAG – W[atch] + A (a) + G (good).  Def: comedian
14 LINE DRAWING – LINE D RA(W IN)G – W (whiskey) + IN (in) in LINED (wrinkly) + RAG (paper) Def: Perhaps rough
15 NICKELODEON – NICK ELO DEON – NICK (cooler, prison) + ELO (70s group known as) + anagram of DONE.  Def: old records.  I remember that  this is a brand name of vinyl 78rpm records.
17 DOR – “door” – homophone. of “door” (entrance). Def: buzzer, insect
18 ETCH – ETC H – ETC (all that) + H (hard).
19 CAPITALIST –  CA(PIT A L I) ST – PIT (mine)+ A (a) L (large) I (one) in CAST (company, i.e., company of actors).
22 BROAD-MINDEDNESS – Anag. of BRAND’S DEMONISED. Def: tolerance. Anagram indicator: abusing
23 ABSTAIN – ABS T(A)IN – ABS  (abbr. for ‘anti-lock braking system’ indicated by brakes) + A (acceleration)  in TIN (can)
24 ERRANCY – Anagram of RCENARY after deleting ME from MERCENARY. Def: Sinner’s bent, that is, bent of mind, or inclination.


1 DEMIC – D(EM) IC< –  EM in DIC (reversal of CID, detectives). Def: useless
2 ROTTING – R(OTT)ING – OTT (abbr. for ‘over the top’, too much)  in RING (society). Def: corrupt
3 VERSAILLES – VERS(A ILL) ES –  A (a), ILL (grotty) in VERSES (poetry). Def: royal palace
4 STANDING OVATION – STANDING OVATION –  S (second) + TAN (wallop) + DING OVATION, anag of NOT AVOIDING, ‘sadly’ being the anagram indicator. – Def: raised hand.
5 HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE – HE Y DIDLE DIDDLE –  HE (man) + Y (boY, finally) + DIDDLE + DIDDLE (do as double act). Def: nursery rhyme.
6 CRUX – CRU X –  CRU (vintage) + X (times as in 5×4 = 20, five times 4 are 20). Def: puzzle
7 SWAHILI – SWAHILI – SWA (anagram of WAS, ‘damaged’ being the anagram indicator) + HILI, removing C (cold) from CHILI (hot food). Def: tongue, meaning language.
8 TWEENAGER –  Anag of GREET A NEW. Def: child. A tweenager is a youngster who is yet to get into the teens, ‘tween being short for between, a stage when one is neither a child nor a teenager.
12 MAINLANDER – MAIN (-s)LANDER –  MAIN (pipe) + [s]LANDER (lead, or the first letter, removed from slander), mud. Def: one on home soil
13 WONDERBRA – WON DERB RA <  –  Reversal of AR (deleting e from ‘are’, indicated by ‘mostly’) + BRED (raised) + NOW (immediately). Def: Reread the whole clue if you are still on the earth.
16 COCOONS – COCO(ON)S – ON (available) in COCO’S (Chanel’s), ‘bottles’ being the inserticator. Def: natural bags – I knew Chanel as a fashion designer but to understand how Coco comes in, I had to google his name. I think it’s a nickname.
17 DRIVE-IN – (DR I) < VEIN  – reversal of I (one)+ RD (road) + VEIN (tube). Def: with no separate car park
20 TASTY – TA(ST)Y –  ST(stone, abbr. for weight)  in TAY (river) . Def: Nice
21 IDEA – I(D)E A –  D (start of Down) in IE (abbr. of id es, that is to say) + A (answer). Def: Clue

One Comment

  1. Mark
    Posted March 27, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Rishi, Thanks very much for this commentary. I found this puzzle very hard. I only solved a few myself, and I enjoyed reading your explanation.