NTSPP – 022 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 022 (Review)

NTSPP – 022 (Review)

First Offence by Radler

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A fine puzzle by Radler for a hot Saturday afternoon. There were some looser definitions but this did not detract from the enjoyment of the challenge.

There is a theme to the puzzle indicated by 14d / 24d. I did wonder about sampling each of the theme words but tried 20a first and could not be bothered with the rest!

If you try hard enough, you can also link 17a, 12a and 17d in to the general theme. I shall leave this as a gentle exercise for the reader!


1a Intemperance? Not guilty, I skipped round! (8)
{GLUTTONY} – The definition is intemperance. The word play is an anagram (round) of “not guilty” without the letter I (skipped). This is one of the theme words in the puzzle.

5a Lynam flipped by misplaced cue for score (7)
{SEDUCE} – Another word for score (with sexual overtones) is found by reversing the first name of Mr Lynham (the sports presenter) and adding an anagram of “cue” (misplaced) on the end. I like the surface reading of this clue.

10a Ran out (of breath?) (7)
{EXPIRED} – A double definition. The answer is a word that describes what has happened when something has run out and also describes the state of a person who is no longer breathing.

11a Sweet nothing involving a bishop and cardinal (7)
{LOVABLE} – The definition is sweet. The wordplay requires another word for nothing (think tennis scores) around (involving) the letters A, an abbreviation for Bishop and a cardinal (number) (using Roman numerals). What do people think about using “cardinal” to indicate a Roman number? It is a little like “note” for any of the letters A to G which some frown upon.

12a Demonic power that’s not seen universally (4,6)
{DARK ENERGY} – The answer is a word describing something that many physicists think makes up the missing mass of the universe. The wordplay is a charade of alternative words for “dark” and “energy”.

13a See 17a

15a Scottish head who won’t stop imprisoning traitor (5)
{WRATH} – The definition is a Scottish cape or headland. The answer comes from placing another word for traitor inside (imprisoning) the first two letters of “who” (the words “won’t stop” tell us to remove the final letter). This is another of the theme clues.

17a,13a Mother’s drunk, having merry time without me! (3,6,4)
{THE VIRGIN MARY} – The answer is a famous biblical mother, wife of Joseph. The wordplay is an anagram (drunk) of “having merry time” after removing (without) “me”.

19a Nothing better? (3,1,5)
{NOT A SCRAP} – Double definition. A phrase meaning nothing could also mean better if the phrase were split (3,2,4)!

20a I eat leaves to get hospital appointment first (5)
{SLOTH} – The answer is an animal that eat leaves. The wordplay requires an abbreviation for hospital with another word for an appointment before it. This is the third of the theme words. I thought that the definition here was too vague – the number of animals that eat leaves is huge. Had I not been on the look out for the theme words, this would have been harder to solve.

21a Make out pronunciation of Roman and Greek letters (4)
{ESPY} – The definition is “make out”. The wordplay requires us to use homophones (pronunciation) of Roman and Greek letters (S and P).

23a Note steel construction shaped the prosthetics (5,5)
{FALSE TEETH} – The answer another word for “prosthetics” used by those who have lost their natural chompers. It is made up from a two letter word for a musical note followed by an anagram (construction) of “steel” and another anagram (shaped) of “the”.

28a If a rule’s broken? (7)
{FAILURE} – An all in one clue that describes what the breaking of a rule may entail. It is an anagram (broken) of “if a rule”.

29a Scrolls around instrument being very very large (7)
{VOLUTES} – The definition is “scrolls”. The wordplay is a type of musical instrument with abbreviations for “very” and “very large” around it.

30a Delivers story, faces the wind and keeps very still (4,2)
{LIES TO} – Double definition. A phrase meaning to deliver a story (or falsehood) is the same as a nautical expression for a ship at rest facing the wind.

31a In French, a “tour de force” followed by “le break-up” (8)
{UNCOUPLE} – You need to ignore the quotation marks in this clue and lift and separate the words carefully. The answer is a word meaning break-up (as in separate). It is made up from a charade of the French for “a”, a word meaning a tour de force” and “le”.


1d All right, not a selfish desire (5)
{GREED} – The answer is a selfish desire. It is the fourth of the theme words. The wordplay requires a word meaning “all right”, as is assenting to something after removing the initial “a”.

2d Double 20 in Devon? (5,4)
{UPPER DART} – The answer a dodgy double definition. Think of the location of the double 20 on a dart board. It describes an area of Devon noted for white water canoeing. I have never heard the Double 20 described as this before and I think that “in Devon” is rather vague when there is no indication of whether it is a town, city, area, river, etc that you are supposed to find.

3d Fit cast, appreciated by the audience (5)
{THROE} – The answer is another word for “fit” (as in tremors or shakes). It is a homophone (appreciated by the audience) of “cast” (as in to fling something).

4d Such as khaki, around elbow (5)
{NUDGE} – The definition here is “elbow”. To find the answer we take words for “such” (as in an example) and “khaki” and reverse them (around).

6d Green party activity: minister gives nothing away (4)
{ENVY} – This is the fifth of the theme words. A word describing the activity of someone (a party) who is “green” (as in jealousy) is made up from a word meaning a minister (or messenger) removing the letter O.

7d Hesitation and support where the light won’t shine (5)
{UMBRA} – The wordplay is a charade of a hesitation and a two cupped supported. It gives another word for “shadows” where the light won’t shine.

8d Wholly appropriate in niche manufacture (5,4)
{EVERY INCH} – The answer is a word meaning “wholly”. It is made up from a word meaning “appropriate” inside (in) an anagram (manufacture) of “niche”.

9d Refuse to fall behind in building phase (4,4)
{SLAG HEAP} – The definition is “refuse” (as in rubbish, not as the clue wants you to think as a denial). Put a word meaning to fall behind inside an anagram (building) of “phase”.

14d Radler’s Insolvable: manifestly breaks rules (4)
{SINS} – A hidden word (manifestly) gives us part of the theme for this crossword. The answer means “breaks rules”. I wonder if this describes the first draft of the crossword!

15d Great puzzle, 75% complete (9)
{WONDERFUL} – A word meaning great (as in fantastic). It is made up from a word meaning puzzle and 3 out of the four letters for a word meaning complete.

16d Shoe’s off, stocking too (4)
{HOSE} – A simple anagram (off) of “shoe” gives us a word for a stocking.

17d Houses and patios (8)
{TERRACES} – Double definition. One word means both “houses” and “patios”.

18d Fondles back after poke in the buttocks affected gait (5-4)
{GOOSE-STEP} – An affected gait (a style of marching used by Hitler’s army) is made up from a word meaning “fondles” is reversed (back) and placed after a word meaning poke (or more usually pinch) in the buttocks.

22d Cats showed curiosity, so the saying goes (5)
{PRIDE}. The sixth of our theme words. A word for a group of cats (lions particularly) is a homophone (so the saying goes) of “showed curiosity”. I think that “cats” on its own is not precise enough to indicate that the answer is the collective noun for a group of some cats. What do you think?

24d It’s odd, but not so after Sunday (5)
{SEVEN} – The answer is an odd number. Take an abbreviation for “Sabbath” (Sunday) and, after it, put a word describing a number that is not odd (not so). This with answer to 14d gives us the theme words throughout the puzzle.

25d Missing a service – locate service provider! (5)
{TELCO} – The answer is a service provider. This was a new word for me but easily found from the wordplay. From the letters of “locate” remove the “a” (missing a) and make an anagram (service) of the remaining letters to get a word that is used to describe a telecommunications company.

26d Expedition wherein hitch is followed by leisurely repentance (5)
{HASTE} – The answer is a word meaning “expedition” (in the sense of speed or urgency, not an trip or journey). Think of the expression, “Marry (hitch in the clue) in *****, repent at leisure” and the answer should be obvious.

27d Turn on road after long drive (4)
{LUST} – The answer here is “drive” as in sex drive. Take an abbreviation for “long” followed by a type of turn and an abbreviation for a street (road) to find the answer.

5 comments on “NTSPP – 022 (Review)

  1. As is often the way, posting a comment to say you are stuck is a bit like emailing Gnomethang for help – as soon as you press send, the words all fall into place, apart from 29a for which I needed the hint. Thanks to Prolixic for the helpful explanations and to Radler for a very good reason to keep me in a shady deckchair all this very long hot afternoon

  2. 26d Hitch is surely a verb meaning to marry? The expression that I’m aware of is “Marry in *****, repent at leisure”.

    1. Quite right – my church background got the better of me when I wad typing up the notes!

  3. Thank you Prolixic for the very well written review, as always.
    Apologies for some slightly loose definitions; I wanted, where possible, to use non-theme definitions for the theme words. (Though I’d probably have gone with the clue 22d in any case, for its surface reading.) My plea for mitigation for 22a is that this particular creature does very little apart from eat leaves (and is a member of the suborder Folivora, which means leaf eater).

  4. I’m getting better at Radler’s puzzles – there were some lovely clues here. I will tug him on 2d and 22d though for the reasons that Prolixic stated.
    31a was fun as well as 9d (and a few more!)
    Thanks Radler and thanks to Prolixic – BTW why the problem with ‘note’ for A to G?

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