NTSPP – 028 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 028 (Review)

NTSPP – 028 (Review)

A puzzle by Bufo

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A warm welcome back to Bufo with his second puzzle. This was an enjoyable puzzle to solve and, writing the review made me appreciate the skill and hard work that had been put into producing fair clues with some excellent surface readings. My favourite clues are shown in blue. Let us know what you liked and disliked. Please feel free to add comments below.


1a English dynamiters working to disturb limestone perhaps (11,4)
{SEDIMENTARY ROCK} –Limestone is an example of this geological formation. It is an anagram of E(nglish) DYNAMITERS (working) plus a synonym for “disturb”.

9a Composer has a bit of good fortune (5)
{GLUCK} – This composer is found from a charade of G (a bit of good) plus a synonym for fortune. Although good fortune on its own would have sufficed, a bit of good is an alternative indicator for the letter G and aids the surface reading.

10a With a sword whirling around both sides, such caused many deaths (5,4)
{WORLD WARS} – Two global conflicts provides the answer to what caused many deaths.  It is found from W (for with) and an anagram of A SWORD (whirling) around abbreviations for right and left (both sides).

11a El Dorado? Over in America it’s associated with Disney (7)
{ORLANDO} – El Dorado is the fabled land of gold. The equivalent city name in America (gold + land + O for over) is home to one of Disney’s theme parks.

13a Book made up of distinct main sections? (4)
{ACTS} – This book of the bible is also the term used for the main sections of plays.

14a Being under the _________, uncle is in fine mess (9)
{INFLUENCE} – An anagram (mess) of “Uncle” and “Fine” gives the answer that replaces the _______, with which he might be charged if drinking and driving.

19a With dismay boos a non-starting horse (9)
{APPALOOSA} – This was a new word for me. A type of horse is made up from a word meaning dismay plus the phrase “boos a” without the initial letter (not starting).

22a Vigorously attack a butter and milk producer (4)
{GOAT} – A phase (2,2) meaning vigorously attack gives the name of an animal that may cryptically be described as a butter and which also produces milk.

27a Solvent of excellent quality (7)
{ACETONE} – A simple charade of words for excellent and quality gives a type of solvent.

28a Company processed a lichen to produce a red dye (9)
{COCHINEAL} – Take an abbreviation for company and add an anagram (processed) of “a lichen” to give the name of a type of red dye.

29a How you might travel between Libya and Iran (2,3)
{BY AIR} – Put together the words Libya Iran and hidden inside you will find the means by which you may travel between the two countries. I am slightly dubious about splitting a hidden word in this way. What do you think?

30a Wife in taking the main part in an opera possibly is shirking her duty (8,3,4)
{SWINGING THE LEAD} – Add an abbreviation for wife inside a phrase that describes someone taking the main part in an opera {singing the lead} to give a phase that describes someone who is shirking their duty.


1d Skirt-like garment is taken up for some continental women (8)
{SIGNORAS} – Reverse (taken up) a type of skirt-like garment {sarong} and the word “is” to give a continental term for women.

2d Forty old pence found under jacket (6,3)
{DOUBLE TOP} – Another term of having scored 40 in darts is found from the name of an old type of jacket (worn with hose) plus abbreviations for old and pence.

3d Dare arch-enemy to be seen by source of Ganges River (6)
{MEKONG} – Take the name of the arch-enemy of Dan Dare and add a G (source of the Ganges) to find the name of a river that flows through China.

5d A painful back? See about a spray (7)
{AEROSOL} – The answer is a spray. Take the letter A, add a word for “painful” that is reversed (back) and a word for “See” which is also reversed (about).

6d Sang and last part of melody echoed (not half!) round the valley (8)
{YODELLED} – This type of singing, beloved of the Swiss, is found from the final letter of melody, and half of the word “echoed” placed around a synonym for a valley.

I make no apologies for including the following clip. Any complaints should be addressed to Bufo for selecting the word as one of the answers in this puzzle.

8d Once one soprano has left a musical, it’s time for Catherine to produce another musical (6)
{KISMET} – This musical is found by taking the musical Kiss Me Kate and removing from it abbreviations for a soprano and then replacing a diminutive for “Catherine” with the letter T for time.

15d Andy’s wife is always seen in flip-flops (3)
{FLO} – Andy Capp’s wife is found hidden in the word “flip-flops”.

16d Drink – cold fizzy one consumed by sweaty European (9)
{CHOCOLATE} – This drink is made up from an abbreviation for cold, a synonym for sweaty and an abbreviate for European. Inside (consumed) add a name of a type of fizzy drink (the one in the clue referring back to the definition) to find the answer. Wonderful wordplay and surface reading here.

17d Catching girl going topless (8)
{LASSOING} – The answer is a word for catching, as cowboys caught their cattle. Take a word for a girl and add going without the initial letter (topless).

18d King once styled “The Elder” (8)
{ETHELRED} – This king, nicknamed the unready, is found from an anagram (styled) of “the elder”.

20d A blonde corrupted my dear friend! (3,4)
{OLD BEAN} – An term for “my dear friend” of a Bertie Woosterish type (though I don’t know if he ever used the term) is found from an anagram (corrupted) of “a blonde”.

21d Young actress from Red Dwarf and Rent? (7)
{STARLET} – A term for a young actress can be found from a charade of the astronomical body that describes a red dwarf together with synonym for rent.

23d These wild cats apparently weigh very little (6)
{OUNCES} – These small wild cats share a name with an imperial measure of weight, 16 of which make up a pound.

24d Girl has to decline taking part in brief weight-loss programme (6)
{DEBBIE} – The answer here is a girl’s name. Take a word for a weight-loss programme and remove the last letter (brief) and inside put a word meaning decline (as the tide might when it is going out).

26d Plants needing a constant temperature in Jersey, etc. (5)
{CACTI} – The answer is a prickly plant. Take an abbreviation for the islands of which Jersey forms a part and inside add “a” plus abbreviations for constant and temperature.

12 comments on “NTSPP – 028 (Review)

  1. Thanks to Bufo. Very enjoyable and satisfactory as on the first scan I had very few ideas. Think I’ve completed it but not sure of exactly how for 10a and 13a – which do not appear in the review. Best clue for me was 8d which I solved but relied upon Prolixic for full explanation.

    1. Apologies for 10a / 13a – they vanished when I inserted the graphics – I must have overwritten some of the HTML tags and sent them into oblivion. I have reinstated them.

  2. 10a is an anagram – whirling – of A SWORD and the two sides L (left) and R (right).
    El Dorado is the land of gold searched for by the conquistadors – so OR (gold) LAND and O (for over)??

    1. Perhaps I have got this completely wrong – I entered WORLD WARS – where is the 2nd “W” to complete the anagram?

        1. BD, Thank you. Thought I’d found a compiler error – will never be so presumptuous again!

            1. Sorry but I don’t understand this cryptic reply. I worked in IT as a programmer for many years – am I getting warm?

            2. Think I understand now. Presumably all published Crosswords are tested by established solvers and fellow compilers before publication. Never realised this before.

        2. Sorry I missed the W – its been a very long damp day, complete with electric shocks from the dishwasher!!

  3. Did 25a go awol too…?

    Super crossword – and thanks for the hints. But that’s twice ‘ounce’ has cropped up lately and i’m still not learning!

    1. Old Bill, I can’t see 7d either. I’ve got the answers but don’t know how I got them! Sorry yes I do when I looked again.

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