NTSPP – 186

NTSPP – 186

A Puzzle by Radler

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 186

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Thank you to Radler for our afternoon’s entertainment. It helped considerably having spotted the theme (see 11a) very early on in the solving process which gave me a lot of assistance with the answers around the outside of the crossword.


8a Praise, but not on time (4)
{HOUR} – Remove the ON from a word meaning praise or an award.

9a Situation of faceless man in contact with unknown somewhat cautious person? (9)
{ANONYMOUS} – A semi-&lit clue. Remove the M (faceless) from MAN and follow this with a word meaning in contact with (or touching) and the abbreviation for unknown. Follow this with a word for a cautious or timorous person with the final letter removed (somewhat).

10a Drones exploded right side and left (6)
{IDLERS} – An anagram (exploded) of R SIDE L.

11a Completely outside of the puzzle (4,1,2,1)
{FROM A TO Z} – A word meaning completely describes the arrangement of the letters around the outside of the crossword.

12a Hamburger’s okay roasted and given black coating (8)
{JAPANNED} – … a form of lacquering. The word meaning “yes” in Germany (Hamburger’s okay) followed by a word meaning roasted or criticised.

14a Out of tune as you wound up (6)
{UNEASY} – The answer is hidden in (out of) TUNE AS YOU

16a Asian’s out of it, gone North from the East (4)
{KURD} – Remove the N (gone North) from a word meaning out of it or inebriated and reverse the remaining letters (from the East).

17a In a manner of speaking (or by mistake) cause disrespect (5)
{SAUCE} – The whole clue provide a sort of definition of the answer which is also an anagram (by mistake) of CAUSE.

18a Have on second of the substitutes opening to win over (4)
{HOAX} – A word meaning to encourage or win over has its opening letter replaced by the second letter of tHe.

19a Minor Royal stalks Society featured in Parisian article (6)
{LESSER} – Put the abbreviation for society inside (featured in) the French plural for the and follow this (stalks) by the abbreviation for the Queen.

21a Israeli speech blocks order for amateur product (8)
{HOMEBREW} – … such as beer or wine. The language spoken in Israel goes around (blocks) an award or order that can be bestowed on someone.

23a I am rich, playing with a group of street musicians (8)
{MARIACHI} – An anagram (playing) of I AM RICH A.

26a Guide reversed vehicle, getting parked first (6)
{SATNAV} – A word meaning parked (as in placed your bum on something) is followed by a type of vehicle reversed.

27a Train journey through space and time (9)
{ENTOURAGE} – A word for a journey or outing goes inside (through) a word for a printer’s space and a word meaning time.

28a Hearts of steel, women crews evacuated non-flier (4)
{EMEU} – The middle letters (hearts of) stEel, woMen, crEws, evacUated. The answer is an alternative spelling of the bird’s name.


1d Disposition of outraged? No (4,6)
{GOOD HEARTED} – An anagram (disposition) of OUTRAGED NO.

2d Blank cheque for unemployed. Bananas! (4,4)
{FREE HAND} – A word meaning unemployed is followed by another word describing a bunch of bananas.

3d Scoffs at digs, trouble with pride perhaps (4,2)
{EATS IN} – … a meal at home. A word meaning trouble or worry is followed by a word of which pride is an example.

4d Tip-off after trace of drugs found (4)
{DOFF} – Put the OFF in the clue after the first letter (trace) of drugs.

5d It serves to guide around old state capital of course (8)
{CYNOSURE} – … the name of the constellation containing the North Star. Reverse (around) the abbreviations for Old and a state capital in the USA and follow all of this be a word meaning of course.

6d Salt giving frequency of hum… (6)
{BORATE} – Split 2,4 the answer might describe how often your armpits stink to high heaven.

7d … the same underlying metallic element actions restriction (4)
{ASBO} – … on juvenile delinquents. The same word for hum from the previous clue (nice to see the … being used in this way) goes after (underlying) the chemical symbol for arsenic (metallic element).

13d Half-cut old bird called for money (5)
{DOUGH} – Take the name of the eponymous extinct bird and cut it in half and make a homophone (called) for the answer.

15d Person aiming to get high (and usually is) (5,5)
{SPACE CADET} – A double definition.

17d Decorate Christmas tree when ready (6,2)
{SPRUCE UP} – A species of tree followed by a word meaning ready.

18d Shades worn by somewhat routine visitors (8)
{HABITUES} – Another word for shades or colours goes around (worn by) a phrase (1,3) meaning somewhat.

20d Japanese cult member’s part reflected religious writings (6)
{SHINTO} – Part of the leg (member) is followed by a reversal (reflected) of the abbreviation for Old Testament (religious writings).

22d A gent filming agent? (6)
{MISTER} – A double definition.

24d Request termination using false name (4)
{AMEN} – An anagram (false) of NAME.

25d Republicans query republic (4)
{IRAQ} – … in the Middle East. The abbreviation for Irish republicans followed by the abbreviation for query.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    A tricky Radler for sure, but I like it for two reasons – firstly I saw the Nina very early on -usually one of my creche will say to me ‘and did you see the Nina?’ and the answer usually is ‘of course not’! Secondly this crossword has what is literally the best d’oh moment of all time.

    Thanks to Radler and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  2. Alchemi
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I thought this remarkably easy for a Radler puzzle, but none the worse for that. I’ve no idea what the best d’oh moment of all time is, though.

  3. stanXYZ
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    No pattern has emerged yet.

    Probably because that most of the White Squares are still White! Too hard for me! But thanks, anyway!

    • crypticsue
      Posted August 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      See if revisiting 11a does anything to help!

      • Posted August 31, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        The enumeration also helps a lot!

  4. gazza
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Radler for the entertainment (the emergence of the pattern was very helpful) and to Prolixic for the review.
    I assumed that 17a was saying that ‘source’ (i.e. cause) was a homophone of the answer in addition to the anagram – rather clever.
    I am a bit confused by 5d – as far as I’m aware New York City is not a state capital.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted August 31, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Reckon that the state is NY. C is the capital (first letter) of ‘course’.

      • crypticsue
        Posted August 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        I have checked Radler’s notes and it would appear that he did think NYC was a state capital when he set the puzzle.

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted August 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Ah, that clears it up. Our explanation would have ‘of course’ doing double duty.

  5. Heno
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to all. Too difficult, couldn’t get a single answer.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    We got the NE corner fairly quickly and from that, guessed the NINA which was very helpful. The two crossing words in the centre were the ones that delayed completion somewhat.
    All good fun.
    Thanks Radler and Prolixic.

  7. Only fools
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Radler ,fortunately “twigged” early which helped a lot,would never have got 5d without the starter.Still smiling about 6d .
    Exactly the same as 2Kiwis with the last 2 in .
    Much appreciated and thanks to Prolixic too ..

  8. Radler
    Posted August 31, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    My thanks to you all for the comments and to Prolixic for the review.
    @Alchemi – I expect CrypticSue’s d’oh moment is a punning reference to 13d
    Gazza’s explanation for 17a is correct.
    Sorry about my mistake with New York City!