NTSPP – 006 Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 006 Review

NTSPP – 006 Review

Air Travel by Radler

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

I found this puzzle to be entertaining in spite of the use of some difficult constructs. My advice to Radler would be twofold. First, try to avoid the use of words that are not in common usage. Second, look very carefully at the solvers ability to progress from the synonym to the answer.


8a    Have on state location (4)
{WEAR} – to have (clothes) on sounds like (state) WHERE (a location)

9a    Rhetoric with nothing much put out by Spain after article there (9)
{ELOQUENCE} – a word meaning rhetoric comes from a word sum – O (nothing) QUENC(H) (much of to put out) and E (the IVR code for Spain) all after EL (the, Spanish / article there i.e. in Spain)

10a    Make sure, scratching heads and shaking until… got it! (6)
{EUREKA} – start with (M)AKE (S)URE, then remove the initial letters (scratching heads) and final find an anagram (shaking) of what is left – as Archimedes said when he was arrested for streaking in Syracuse “I have found it”

11a    Opiate could be nice little earner? (8)
{NARCEINE} – this narcotic alkaloid found in small quantities in opium is an anagram (could be) of NICE and EARN(ER) (little earner) – the setter knew that some might regard “earn” = “little earner” as slightly unfair, but risked it in because of the surface reading; was he right?

12a    Projection left out relatively unimportant part (8)
{SIDESHOW} – take the projection of enlarged images onto a screen and remove the L (left out) to get a subordinate or incidental activity (unimportant part) – I felt that both main and subsidiary definitions were a bit tricky without the checking letters

14a    Money for pop by Jove! (6)
{EUROPA} – combine the currency that replaced the franc, peseta and mark with an even shorter form of father than pop to get sixth moon of the planet Jupiter – although the wordplay is comparatively easy, by Jove as a definition of a moon of Jupiter is rather unfair

16a    Under pressure to remove drug for pain relief (4)
{TENS} – remove the final E (drug) from a word meaning under pressure to get Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, a method of pain relief in which electrodes are placed on the skin near the source of pain and a small electric current passed through

17a    13’s a result of pressure change (5)
{BENDS} – a double definition – the answer to 13 down (but a homonym of that in the other clue) or decompression sickness (result of pressure change) – the latter definition is usually preceded by the definite article

18a    See 4d

19a    Land Rover? (6)
{ESTATE} – another double definition – land and a reference to a Rover car, the second reference giving rise to the question mark

21a    Glimpse of having warmth after cold periods (8)
{SNAPSHOT} – an instant record of an event (glimpse) is generated from HOT (having warmth) after sudden cold spells

23a    Bones joined at the middle? (8)
{RADIUSES} – the outer bones of the forearms in humans or lines from the centre of a circle to the circumference (they meet in the centre / middle)

26a    Spring one plugged? (6)
{BUNGEE} – a strong rubber rope (spring) or (possibly, hence the question mark) someone into whom a plug has been placed

27a    Logical choice among those who break and those who fix things (9)
{RESTORERS} – put OR (a logical choice – Boolean logic is based on AND and OR) inside those who are taking a break to get those who fix things when they are broken

28a    See 7d


1d    Medication providers, doctor, nurses and mobile medic departed (10)
{NEBULISERS} – these devices with a mouthpiece or face mask through which a drug is administered as a fine mist are an anagram, indicated by doctor, of NURSES (MO)BILE without the MO (medic departed)

2d    Those in command of rank and file? (8)
{ORDERERS} – a part-cryptic double definition – I found the leap from rank or file to the singular of the answer difficult, to say the least

3d    New arrangement as theatre has Hollywood feature (6)
{REHASH} – a new arrangement is hidden (feature) inside theatre has Hollywood

4d ,18d    13 rocks, boxes rocky and round (8)
{TORNADOS} – a trick that Elgar and others have used, but not in the Telegraph as far as I can remember – the two clues together form a word which can be split into two separate words; the answer to 13 down is the definition, and you get there by putting TORS (rocks) around (boxes) an anagram (rocky) of AND followed by O (round)

5d    They expedite 13 when queen replaces punishment (8)
{HURRIERS} – the people go faster (expedite) – start with a kind of 13 down and put ER (queen) instead of CANE (punishment)

6d    Please stop at the middle, for example (6)
{ENDEAR} – a word meaning to please is a charade of a word meaning to stop followed by EAR (middle ear for example) – I’m not at all in favour of a noun like ear being clued by an adjective that can be applied to it

7d, 28d    Nick’s team (8)
{REINDEER} – cryptic definition of the team that pull Santa’s sleigh

13d    Appearing top, bottom, left and right, currently heads or tails perhaps (5)
{WINDS} – top, bottom, left and right are references to the Nina which appears in the unchecked letters on the outside edges of the grid –head or tail can describe this current, leading to the key answer and theme of the puzzle – as with 6d, we have a noun clued by adjectives that can be applied to it

15d    Swirling elements to promote the intensity of light shower (10)
{PHOTOMETER} – an anagram, unusually indicated by swirling elements, of PROMOTE THE gives a device that shows the intensity of light

17d    Reflex response from Belgium, missing one being addressed (5,3)
{BLESS YOU} – a reflex response when someone near you sneezes is a charade of B(elgium), LESS (missing) and YOU (one being addressed)

18d    Need 24 components put together as compound (8)
{ARSENIDE} – an anagram (components put together) of NEED with the answer to 24 down gives a compound of arsenic (As compound) – giving the base element for the compound by using its chemical symbol is very clever, but putting it in lower case is a tad unfair

20d    Lyrical manner needs 24 compounded with good heart (6)
{ARIOSO} – a musical term meaning in a melodious manner is derived from an anagram (compounded) of the answer to 24 down with OO (gOOd heart) – I did like the final construct but I’m nervous about its use to provide anagram fodder

22d    Surprise with early growth (6)
{AMBUSH} – a surprise attack is a charade of AM (morning / early) and BUSH (growth)

24d    Show off when put on 13 (4)
{AIRS} – putting on these is to show off – 13 down is the definition

25d    Creator of Adrian M’s pudding? (4)
{SUET} – express the name of the creator of Adrian Mole as first name and initial to get a type of pudding – we finish with one of my favourite clues

Radler has a few puzzles under his belt now, but I’m sure he would very much appreciate any feedback that you can give, especially if it is constructive.

3 comments on “NTSPP – 006 Review

  1. I really enjoyed it. The two that I didn’t like much were 11a (I can’t see how “little” can mean two-thirds of) and 2d (which I still don’t really understand). Apart from these niggles there were some cracking clues, my favourites being 10a, 5d and 25d.

  2. Thanks for the review, BD.
    I shall certainly take on board your advice about the definitions and my use of adjectives in particular.
    I do try to avoid obscure words, but having placed the four winds in their appropriate positions around the perimeter and slotted in a few theme words, I wasn’t sufficiently skilled to avoid inclusion of one or two less-well known answers. (Unless I’d reduced the ratio of checked letters or the amount of linkage between the four corners, which I didn’t want to do.)
    Gazza – thank you for the kind comments.
    2d An “orderer” is “one in command”, and if you “rank and file” things, you place them in order. Hence the clue was my attempt at a cryptic definition. I hope that explains my thinking, even if it doesn’t improve the clue.
    11a I agree that “little earner” was taking a liberty, though I don’t think “little” has to mean less than half. Someone who is 90% of the average height could be described as “little”. Similarly, I hope it may describe something that has been truncated or reduced by any amount.
    10a – Glad you liked that one. It was a word I struggled to clue and it finally came to me in a eureka moment.

    1. Radler

      Your clue at 2d demonstrates how difficult it can be to successfully clue certain agent nouns in crosswords – yes, i could see it when i got the answer; no, I don’t think I could get there from the definition in the clue. Similarly with 5d (hurrier).

      In 26a.the cryptic use of bungee as “one plugged” is very different, especially with the presence of the question mark, as there is a separate definition.

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