NTSPP – 017 Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 017 Review

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 017

“Dedication” by Radler

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

Radler has produced a fine crossword in memory of his mother Anne. There are lots of violin and violin music related clues throughout the puzzle. It holds together very nicely and is not too stretching. Personally, I think it is his best crossword to date. A few minor quibbles do not detract from an enjoyable crossword. Many thanks to Radler for entertaining us this week.


1a Miniature violinist (6)
{LITTLE} – Double definition. A word for miniature is also the surname of a noted violinist, first name Tasmin.

4a Lady with piano degree (6)
{GRANDMA} – Word sum. A kind of piano is added to a second degree earned after a BA to give the title of a lady whose children have their own children.

9a Simple essay written about a start to minor scale (4,2,3)
{EASY AS ABC} – Anagram plus word sum. An anagram of essay (written about) + the first three notes in the scale of A minor gives a phrase meaning simple.

10a Harriet went off without instruction for mother (5)
{EARTH} – Anagram following deletion. Take the abbreviation for religious instruction from Harriet and make an anagram (went off) from the result to give a word synonymous with Mother in planetary terms.

11a Limits cut back over variable term (7)
{EXTREMA} – Reversal, container and anagram. Place an anagram of term (variable) inside a reversal of a word meaning cut to find a word meaning limits.

12a Require frock (6)
{ORDAIN} – Double definition. A word meaning require shares meaning with the word frock (as in elevate to the priesthood.

14a, 30a When many stop in, playing music by Vaughan Williams (4,9)
{LARK ASCENDING} – Container with word sum. Take a word for playing (as in messing around) and put inside three words meaning “when”, “many” (a one letter abbreviation) and stop. The result is a lovely piece of music by Vaughn Williams for the violin. One of my favourite clues.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a Play the violin (6)
{FIDDLE} – Double definition. A word meaning play is also another, slightly derogatory, word for the violin.

18 Bottom string! (3)
{GEE} – Cryptic definition. A remarkably narrow piece of material worn on the bottom is also one of the strings of the violin. Do I give you another piece of music “Air on a ? String” or a picture. No contest.

20a Dicky bird’s unopened beak (3)
{ILL} – Subtraction clue. Take a word meaning a bird’s beak and take away the first letter (unopened) for a word meaning dicky (as in poorly).

21a Concerned with part of eye lid when irritated with air (6)
{IRIDAL} – Anagram. A word concerning part of the eye is an anagram (irritated) of lid + air. Lovely wordplay here with a nice split in the anagram fodder and anagram indicator.

22a Head soprano, initially sticks with violin (4)
{BOWS} – Word sum. A word for head plus the first letter of the word soprano gives the more usual term for the sticks that violinists use to play their instruments.

24a Can set position (6)
{STANCE} – The only clue over which I have a quibble. A word for position seems to be an anagram of can + set but there is no anagram indicator unless position does double duty here.

26 Announcement interrupts congratulations for 6 (7)
{BRAVADO} – Container clue. A word for congratulations (which may be shouted after a particularly fine violin solo) contains (interrupts) a word for an announcement (such as those that we get in commercial breaks). This gives another word meaning courage or bottle, as is 6 down.

29 Perhaps Victoria’s upset (5)
{CROSS} – Double definition. A word meaning upset is also a type of medal preceded by the word Victoria.

30a see 14a

31a Meets us for a change, that’s not to be missed (4-3)
{MUST SEE} – Anagram. A word implying that something is not be missed is made up from an anagram (for a change) of meets us.

32a Pair currently performing for a pound (6)
{PRISON} – Word sum. Take an abbreviation for pair and add words for currently and performing to give a word for pound (as in a compound or jail where inmates a locked away).


1d Kreisler’s composition, a song capturing form on enchanted isle (10)
{LIEBESLIED} – Container with word sum and anagram. Take a German word for song and put inside this (capturing) a word meaning form plus an anagram (enchanted – does this work for you as an anagram indicator?). The result is a famous piece of music by Fritz Kreisler for the violin.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d Box of t-shirt, top and vest jumble (2,3)

{TV SET} – Anagram. Take the first letter (top) of t-shirt and the letters of vest. Jumble them for another word for the box many of us goggle at of an evening.

3d Sound of music from top violinist in orchestra (6)
{LEADER} – A homophone of a German word for music (the same as in 1d) sounds like the position occupied by a top violinist in an orchestra.

4d Green light caught by illustration of climbing lizard (5)
{GECKO} – Word sum and reversal. The definition is lizard. Take words meaning green light, caught and by illustration (exampli gratia) and then reverse them (climbing).

5d Wild bear! Have to return to city (8)
{ABERDEEN} – Anagram plus word sum reversal. Take an anagram of bear (wild) and add a word meaning have and reverse it to give a city in Scotland.

6d Bottle 16 bearing Wagner’s creation (7-2)
{DERRING DO} – Word sum. Take another word meaning 16 (as in cheat) which supports (goes underneath – this is a down clue) a word for Wagner’s magnum opus (which standing on its own is 3, 4).

7d Urge Rachel not to take sides (4)
{ACHE} – Subtraction clue. Take the right and left side from Rachel to leave a word meaning an urge or longing.

8d Heathen writer following popular violinist (8)
{PAGANINI} – Word sum. A violinist (and composer) is made up from words for heathen, popular and the writer (setter of the crossword in the first person).

13d Means to appreciate instrument? (5,5)
{SENSE ORGAN} – All in one clue. To appreciate music played on an instrument, you will need to use part of the body. Generically this is described by words meaning appreciate and instrument.

15d Family dealings (9)
{RELATIONS} – Double definition. A word meaning family can also mean dealings (commercial or amorous).

17d Handicap ward? (8)
{DRAWBACK} – Cryptic wordplay. A word meaning handicap is literally what you have to do to ward to get the answer.

19d Violinists’ companions first parting, playing in spa (8)
{PIANISTS} – Container and anagram. Those who may accompany violinists on stage are made up from an anagram of “in spa” (playing) containing (parting) and abbreviation for first.

23d Mother on vacation accommodating my mother’s fashion (6)
{MANNER} – Container and anagram. Take the outer letters of mother (on vacation) and put inside Anne (Radler’s mother – given in the preamble to the puzzle) to give a word meaning fashion.

25d Remove Christopher, as equitable measure (5)
{ERASE} – Hidden word. A word meaning remove is hidden inside Christopher, as equitable. I’m not sure that measure works as a hidden word indicator here.

27d Mother returned with Larissa, after Lara left confused (5)
{AMISS} – Reversal, anagram and subtraction. Reverse a two letter word for mother and add an anagram (confused) of Larissa after removing the letters of the word Lara.

28d 16 PCs booted up (4)
{SCAM} – Reversal. Another word for 16 (in the sense of a con or cheat) is made by reversing the type of PCs made by Apple.

7 comments on “NTSPP – 017 Review

  1. One minor point, Prolixic. re 23d – I understand the container, but it isn’t an anagram of Anne but the word itself.

  2. Thank you to Prolixic for such a well written and complimentary review.
    24a I’d intended as an all-in-one, but I can see it was a bit weak.

    The particular violin pieces featured had a special significance to the family and the names of the six grandchildren (who miss their 1a 4a) are to be found among the clues.

  3. A lovely puzzle and fitting tribute Radler.
    I needed some help here (this theme not being my strongest!) so thanks Prolixic.

    1. Sarah

      All of the puzzles can be accessed from the Crosswords page – see the top of the blog or the pages widget in the sidebar.

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