NTSPP – 177 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 177

NTSPP – 177

Heroes by Radler

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 177

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Congratulations to Radler, the latest setter to progress from this site to the national press.
His Inquisitor puzzle can be found in today’s Independent.

A review of this puzzle follows.


6 / 2d: Heroine’s outspoken request for spy chief (4)
{EMMA PEEL} – One of the heroines in the Avengers is a homophone (outspoken) of M APPEAL (request for spy chief).

8 Grip handle and pull together restricting pressure (9)
{SPELLBIND} – … as in entrance. A word meaning handle or trade and a word meaning pull together (and tie) includes (restricting) the abbreviation for pressure.

9 Third age (6)
{BRONZE} – A double definition of the medal the person in third place receives and a historical period of time.

10 /13a: Heroine’s gear primarily titillating in kinky bra and heels too (7)
{LEATEHR BOOTS} – The trademark clothing of 6a 2ds is an anagram (kinky) of T BRA HEELS TOO (the T coming from the first letter (primarily) of titillating.

11 Troops guarding king’s Canadian vehicle storage (8)
{PARKADES} – The abbreviation for King (in chess notation) goes inside a word meaning troops (as a verb) or shows.

13 See 10 Across

15 Heroine’s farewell (4)
{TARA} – A double definition the first name of Ms King in the Avengers and a word meaning farewell.

16 Goddess Frigga essentially? (5)
{DIANA} – The Roman name of the goddess of hunting is the same as the first name of the actress (Ms RIGG (Frigga essentially)) who played 6a 2d in the Avengers.

17 Greek and American cut receives Merkel’s approval (4)
{AJAX} – … the name of a Greek hero. The German for “yes” (Merkel’s approval) goes inside the American spelling of a word meaning cut.

18 Square with square cut through base line (5)
{EQUAL} – … as in level or make equal. A four letter word for a square or courtyard has its final letter removed (cut) and the remaining letters go inside E (a number base used in logarithms) and L (line).

20 All-encompassing hero’s gear (8)
{UMBRELLA} – A double definition of one of the trademark items worn by 8d and a word meaning all-encompassing (as in a … organisation).

22 New hero’s opening moves (7)
{GAMBITS} – A double definition of the opening moves used in chess, for example, and the name of the character Mike …. (played by Gareth Hunt) in the New Avengers with the ‘S maintained in the answer.

24 Heroine trailing on charm (6)
{REGALE} – The name of the heroine in the Avengers played by Honor Blackman (Cathy ….) follows a word meaning on or about.

25 Week in hotel bar working to provide cover for hero (6,3)
{BOWLER HAT} – Another of the trademark items worn by 8d in the Avengers comes from an anagram (working) of W (week) HOTEL BAR.

26 Club providing Burgundy and Claret perhaps (4)
{REDS} – Two examples of this type of wine may also by the informal name of a football club.


1 Model houses an Italian above a former Hawaiian smoker (5,3)
{MAUNA KEA} – … the name of a dormant volcano. One of the indefinite articles in Italian goes inside (houses) a word meaning model or create and is followed by (above) the A from the clue.

2 See 6 Across (4)

3 Palace presenting Abraham Lincoln’s first amendment (8)
{ALHAMBRA} – An anagram (amendment) of ABRAHAM L (Lincoln’s first).

4 Roger’s doctor hard to follow (6)
{RIGHTO} – … as in OK (used in radio transmissions). A word meaning doctor or tamper with is followed by the abbreviation for hard and the TO from the clue.

5 European runner hared over uphill section (4)
{ODER} – … a river in Europe. The answer is hidden (section) and reversed (uphill) in HARED OVER.

7 Alarm went off, went in, made breakfast (9)
{MARMALADE} – … part of the breakfast menu. An anagram (went off) of ALARM inside (in) MADE.

8 Hero’s mount (5)
{STEED} – A double definition of one of the heroes in the Avengers and a horse (mount).

12 United supporters set about causing chaos as usual (5)
{SNAFU} – … short for “situation normal all fouled up” (in the polite version). Reverse (set about) the abbreviation for United and word meaning supporters.

14 Ed Balls’ constituents receive thanks and helping hand for 8 (6,3)
{STABLE LAD} – A help for the horse (not the character in the Avengers). An two letter word for thanks goes inside an anagram (constituents) of ED BALLS.

16 Not a drum, Alice hammered percussion instrument (8)
{DULCIMER} – An anagram (hammered) of DRUM ALICE without the A.

17 Protests taking in English hero and heroine (8)
{AVENGERS} – … the eponymous TV program featuring 6a 2d and 8d (among others). A word meaning protests includes (taking in) the three letter abbreviation for English.

19 Every third cousin and second wife: a large number wanting a cut (6)
{UNMOWN} – … as an untidy lawn might be. The third and final letters of COUSIN followed by a word meaning second and the abbreviation for wife.

21 Lid lifted by state rebels (5)
{BERET} – … as a hat. Hidden and reversed inside STATE REBELS.

22 Pass the fish (4)
{GOBY} – A phrase (2,2) when put together makes the name of a fish.

23 District hospital cuts before long losing point (4)
{SOHO} – … a famous district in London. The abbreviation for Hospital goes inside (cuts) a word meaning before long with the final N removed (losing point).

16 comments on “NTSPP – 177

  1. Marvellous stuff and congrats to Radler on his Inquisitor debut. I am still (despite yesterday’s milestone) too young to remember seeing the heroes and heroines on TV but was able to remember the characters and their attributes. A review will be up at 3:00 pm.

  2. Many congratulations to Radler on the well-deserved promotion and thanks for the great puzzle which brought back a lot of fond memories. My favourite (both clue and heroine) was 6a/2d.

  3. Fine puzzle. What a relief after last week’s disaster area. Bit disappointing that the shotgun woman didn’t appear, but you can’t always get what you want.

      1. I don’t like the idea of anyone feeling ignored but would rather leave the answer to your question to someone else. I’m sure that someone will.

        1. Kath, I totally agree with you. The same thing applied when you made your original comment about NTSPP 176 before you had had time to attempt it and i didn’t know then how to reply to you. Similarly, ever since I saw Stan’s question, I have been struggling with what to say to him, and I’m still not sure.

          I think it has to be for each individual to make up their own mind, but I will just say that several of the clues for that particular puzzle were in very poor taste in my personal opinion.

  4. I admit defeat – this was too clever for me. That is not in any way a criticism of the crossword but more an acknowledgement of knowing when I’m beaten.
    I always know that I’m going to be in trouble when I don’t really understand the bit at the top, and I didn’t today.
    Thought that I was going to get absolutely nowhere but did, eventually, manage about a quarter of it before running for help.
    I really enjoyed trying and will learn from the hints. One day I will manage these beasts!
    With thanks and congratulations to Radler and thanks (and belated birthday good wishes) to Prolixic.

    1. Kath, I am on your wavelength again. I really struggled but I did enjoy the effort! I felt it was tougher than the few toughies I have attempted.

      Nevertheless many thanks to Radler, and to Mr. Ron for the review.

  5. Quality puzzle ,but testing for me .Fave 9a .
    Pangram as well.don’t usually spot them .
    Congrats and thanks to Radler and Prolixic .

  6. Thanks to Radler and the reviewer. I remember the Avengers, but this was totally beyond comprehension for me.

    1. Travelling indeed ,3 hrs on the runway and 3hrs at gate 56 in Barcelona airport , does give one plenty of time for as you say a wow puzzle . Hope to revisit UK weather soon !!! (Latest bulletin hopeful although still not airside again owing to faulty something too complicated for a mortal to comprehend )

  7. It took a lot of hard work and electronic assistance for the last few, but got there eventually. A very clever puzzle indeed.
    Thanks Radler and Prolixic.

  8. Thank you for the kind comments and for the review. A belated Happy Birthday to Prolixic.

    I wrote this puzzle last year at the time the film about the Marvel Comics super-heroes was in the cinemas, but these heroes are the ones I still associate with The Avengers.

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