NTSPP – 003 Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 003 Review

NTSPP – 003 Review

Home in the North West by Radler

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The following notes were written by Radler.

This isn’t a review as that’s not for me to provide!   However, I write explanatory notes during the compilation process and it makes sense for me to make these available instead of somebody else undertaking the work.  Please do comment to let me know what you liked or hated and which were the easier and harder clues.  I do have my own favourites, but I’ll resist the temptation to say which they are; it’s your opinions that count.

As it was my first crossword on the site, (and only my third to appear anywhere), I’ll take the opportunity to begin with a brief introduction…

I began dabbling with compositions in the latter part of last year.  The enjoyment I get from the mental workout is very much like that which I suspect all of us experience when solving a puzzle, though I would rarely persevere as a solver for even a tenth of the time a compilation requires.  My chosen pseudonym, Radler, is German for cyclist (cycling being one of my pastimes and learning German, another).  It also sounds (to me) like a combination of riddler and addler, and has another German meaning, shandy, so an old chestnut of an anagram indicator too.

Compiling crosswords has made me aware of the many difficulties it presents and I therefore completely concurred when Prolixic remarked how he stood in awe of the setters who produce stunning crosswords week after week.  Thank you to Big Dave and Tilsit for their pre-publication help, to Prolixic for the interactive version, and to all of you for your interest.  I’m told it was it was on the difficult side, but I hope all of you will nevertheless have had some enjoyment from it and maybe the explanation below will help you tune into my wavelength.

The theme…

The two-part answers are all people whose surname is (or was) a Lancashire town; i.e. each is “name place” (27, 29) and Lancaster (32) was the county town or seat (31) for each place.

The clues for those people comprise only wordplay, though one also provides an “all in one” definition and two others provide a hint to the person’s profession, (which is why I stated “mostly lack further definition” in the preamble).

The potential cast was not particularly extensive, but among those who didn’t make it into the puzzle were Paul Ince, Rick Astley, Bing Crosby and Horatio Nelson.

(My own home, incidentally, is in Cheshire, close to Manchester airport. So not a very long way from Lancashire.)

Solutions are emboldened and theme answers are CAPITALISED. “>>>” separates the definition from the explanation of the wordplay. (XXX)* indicates an anagram


6    Open just for a beer (4)
Ajar = Open just >>> A JAR (a beer)

10    Hint of accusation directed at Adam in text? (9)
Insinuate = Hint >>> IN SIN U ATE (accusation directed at Adam in text?)

11    Bloodsucker turned unnamed wild man (5)
Lamia = Bloodsucker >>> [AnIMAL (wild man, unnamed)] reversed (turned)

12,32    Nevertheless, about right at Henry’s house (4,9)
BURT LANCASTER >>> BUT (nevertheless) about R (right) at LANCASTER (Henry’s house)

13,17    Run-out fairly with high score on sound equipment (4,8)
MIKE ATHERTON >>> rATHER (run-out fairly) + TON (high score) on MIKE (sound equipment)

14    Note on your glands (5)
Thymi = Glands >>> MI (note) on THY (your)

16,21    Stream through following pilot (6)
GEORGE FORMBY >>> FORM (stream) BY (through) on GEORGE (pilot – name of automatic pilot)

20    Ran at full speed calling journalist (8)
Careered = Ran at full speed >>> CAREER (calling) ED (journalist)

26,1    Remember a comic without mega-bucks? (4,9)
ERIC MORECAMBE >>> (REMEmBER A COMIC)*(without mega & anagrind=”bucks”)

29,27    Spot identity of female body part with no time for setter (5-4)
PLACE-NAME = Spot identity >>> PLACENtA (female body part with no time) + ME (setter)

30    Having scattered drips in every direction initially? (4,5)
Spin dried = [&lit / all in one] >>> (having scattered)(DRIPS IN)* + ED (every direction initially)

31    One among members (4)
SEAT = [&lit / all in one] >>> A (one) among SET (members)
The “all in one” reading of the clue refers to an MP’s seat.


1    Letters pronounced “scrotum”? (7)
Mailbag = Letters >>> homophone (pronounced) “MALE BAG”
I admit that “letters” is not an exact definition, but hope it was worth it for the surface reading.

2    River rose flowing into pool (9)
Reservoir = Pool >>> (RIVER ROSE)*(flowing into)

3    Flog older brother when reported (4)
Cane = Flog >>> homophone (when reported) “CAIN” (older brother)

4    Unpleasant person possibly providing one with enema (6)
Meanie = Unpleasant person >>> (I + ENEMA)*(possibly providing)

5    Parts of set idiomatically given like right arm (3, 5)
Eye teeth = Parts of set >>> Idiomatically given like right arm, as in “I’d give my eye teeth / right arm to …”

7,9    Dealt with the recoil after American wrecking bar (5,9)
JIMMY CLITHEROE >>> (dealt with)(THE RECOIL)* after JIMMY (American wrecking bar – a US version of Jemmy)

8    Make new arrangement in large tidy letters (7)
Realign = Make new arrangement >>> (IN LARGE)*(tidy letters)

15    Sir Andrew’s turn caught by season on bottom half (9)
Aguecheek = Sir Andrew >>> U (turn) caught by AGE (season) on CHEEK (bottom half)

18    Drummer boy with hammer: it’s unusual (9)
Timpanist = Drummer >>> TIM (boy) with PAN (hammer – as in criticise, slate) + (ITS)*(unusual)

19    One side’s like the other, always retrospective policy change (8)
Reversal = Policy change >>> [L AS R (one side’s like the other) EVER (always)] reversed (retrospective)

20    Shut up God-fearing apprentice by account arising from religious leaders (7)
Caliphs = Religious leaders >>> [SH (shut up) PI (God-fearing) L (apprentice) by AC (account)] reversed (arising)

22    One who gives year to the first wise man (7)
Yielder = One who gives >>> Y (year) to I (the first) ELDER (wise man)

23,24    Smitten, given Olivier’s heart, got husband (6,5)
VIVIEN LEIGH >>> smitten(GIVEN oLIVIEr)* + H (husband)
This is a literal definition too, because Vivien Leigh did marry Laurence Olivier!

25    Trump with ace, having 4:1 lead (5)
Ivana = Trump >>> A (ace) having [IV (4) AN (1)] lead

28    Clue oddly omitted middle way (4)
Idea = Clue >>> (oddly omitted) mIdDlE wAy

1 comment on “NTSPP – 003 Review

  1. Thanks Radler for this puzzle and the comments. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t get the theme, so I struggled with this.
    It’s great to see the answers and your explanations.
    I learned a lot from this. A really clever one – thanks again!

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