NTSPP – 192 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 192

NTSPP – 192

A Puzzle by Alchemi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 192

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Crypticsue follows.

Alchemi returns with a themed crossword just right for the Saturday afternoon slot.


1a   Underground experiment precedes what’s needed in the lab (4,4)
{TEST TUBE}  A simple experiment precedes  the informal way we refer to the London Underground.

5a   Hotel welcomes policeman with a hot meal (6)
{INDIAN}   Insert the abbreviation for a detective inspector (policeman) and A from the clue into a small  hotel .


9a  Sort of constant girl providing happy ending (8)
{CLASSIFY}   The abbreviation for constant, a girl, a conjunction meaning providing that and the ‘ending’ or last letter of happy.

10a  Figurative 23 getting no return on vehicles (6)
{CARSON}    Follow some motor vehicles with a reversal (return) of NO.


11a  Man hugs soft tree (5)
{MAPLE}   Insert the letter  used in musical notation to mean ‘soft’ into a masculine person (man).

12a  Guarantee working for old city which sounds similar (9)
{ASSONANCE}  Remove the two-lettered Biblical city so helpful to crossword setters from a synonym of guarantee and replace with the two letters which signify that something is working.

14a  Pressure to replace nobleman’s line coming from figurative 23 (4)
{EARP}  Remove the L for line from the end of a nobleman’s title and replace with P (pressure).

15a  Chemist stocking drug for stars (6)
{BOOTES}   A constellation beside the Great Bear, containing the bright star Arcturus,  is obtained by inserting the single letter by which  the drug Ecstasy is known into a well-known chain of chemists.

19a  Magic potion for short golfer with 9-iron not working (6)
{ELIXIR}  The first two letters of the surname of Ernie the golfer (short tells you  not to include the third letter) ,  the Roman numeral for nine and then part of IRON, once you have removed  the ‘working’ bit.   [This may assist you with solving 12a, or vice-versa!]

20a/3d  Drink expert brews teas during cold weather (4,6)
{WINE TASTER}   Insert an anagram (brews) of TEAS into the season of cold weather, split the result 4,6 and write it in the correct places in the grid.

24a Newscaster having setback in race’s final stage (6,3)
{ANCHOR LEG}   The last stage of a relay race.   The abbreviated way of referring to a newscaster or someone who keeps dialogue running smoothly on television, followed by a reversal of a verb meaning to set.  [I am aware that the picture doesn’t fit the definition, but just wanted to share my amusement at what turns up when you put those two words in a on-line image search engine :) ]

anchor leg

25a  Regulator has grain covering empty furrow (5)
{OFWAT}  The body that regulates our water services.   Insert the outside letters (empty) of FurroW into a  grain used to make porridge.

26a  One in business follows sister to be a messenger (6)
{NUNCIO}  A messenger or ambassador from the Pope.   Follow a religious sister with the abbreviation for company (business) into which has been inserted I (one).

27a  Relaxed man eating awful bun to get browned off? (8)
{SUNBATHE}  Insert an anagram (awful) of BUN into part of a verb meaning relaxed (in a chair) and finish with the  masculine form of the third person singular (man).


28a  Country rube gets the green light from 23 (6)
{HICKOK}  Rube and the first part of the solution are both derogatory ways of referring to an unsophisticated person from the country.   The final two  letters signify that you have the green light and can go ahead and do something.

29a  One sharing toys puts Winehouse back in the picture (8)
{PLAYMATE}  A reversal of the late Ms WInehouse’s Christian name is inserted into a term for an illustration (picture) in a book.


1d  Edge up to the heartless copper concealing small 5 (8)
{TECUMSEH}  Start by removing the middle letter (heartless) of THE, add the chemical symbol for copper and finish with a reversal (up in a down clue)  of an edge or border into which has been inserted the abbreviation for Small.

2d Normal beginning for Spooner in leading role (4,4)
{STAR PART}  Take a word for normal or standard and a synonym for beginning and transpose the initial sounds in the manner of Reverend Spooner.

star part

4d  23‘s cattle invoice (7,4)
{BUFFALO BILL}  Follow an example of large American  cattle with an invoice.

6d  Good order for head of cattle? (8)
{NEATNESS}    An archaic term for cattle followed by a headland.

7d Hospitalised European is bonkers (6)
{INSANE}    The first five letters of this solution if split 2, 3, might imply one was in a convalescent hospital.   The final letter is the abbreviation for European.

8d  Breton city‘s new workers have a point (6)
{NANTES}   N (new) insects known as workers, particularly in crosswordland, with the compass point E (east) inserted.

13d 5 left shortly after subtitling went awry (7,4)
{SITTING BULL}   An anagram (went awry) of SUBTITLING followed by the abbreviation (shortly) for Left.

16d  5 found hiding up in Sierra del Palomino region (8)
{GERONIMO}   Well hidden in  PalOMINO REGion.

17d Reportedly employ revolting peasant, having arranged initially for 5 (8)
{HIAWATHA}  A homophone (reportedly) of a  verb meaning to employ for wages, the Christian name of Mr Tyler, the leader of the Peasants’  Revolt,  and the initial letters of Having Arranged.

18d  Mischievously tease the sensitive fellow (8)
{AESTHETE}  A person who expresses an extravagant love of art is an anagram (mischievously) of TEASE THE.

21d  Small dose of arrowroot in mixed drink will make you fat (6)
{PAUNCH}   Fat in the tummy area!   Insert A (small dose of arrowroot) into a drink made from spirits, water, sugar, lemon juice and spice.

22d Third-rate police station said to be very pretty (6)
{SCENIC}   A homophone of both  the letter used to indicate something is third-rate (A being first rate…) and an informal way of referring to a police station.

23d  Builder taking dangerous short-cuts will scare child (6)
{COWBOY}  A verb meaning to lower the spirits of (scare) and a male child.


15 comments on “NTSPP – 192

  1. Well struggled a bit with this one multi, references to google and BRB, but got there in the end, not helped by the link clues eluding me for quite a while.

    All in all good stuff and a few usages and words filed away, to be forgotten no doubt.

    1d………….how many people know this without looking it up, a spellchecker proof/brb proof word.

    Thanks CS for the review which I needed to clarify word play.

    Thanks to Alchemi for a fun puzzle with just enough stretch to make it a challenge.

  2. Thanks Alchemi & crypticsue.

    Nice straightforward puzzle (except for 1d, but the wordplay was fine) with a good range of themed words.

    I particularly liked 12a.

  3. Defeatred by 1D and 8D (because I blithely put the wrong word in for 12A and didn’t pause to check the wordplay). Thoroughly enjoyed it, nevertheless. I am beginning to warm to themed puzzles. Thanks CS, for the review and the hints. Thanks to Alcemi for a fun puzzle on a dank and dreary day.

  4. The second great crossword that I’ve (almost) done today.
    As always with themed puzzles you’re a bit stuffed if you can’t do the vital clues (obviously 5a and 23d today) and I couldn’t, for ages. I was just at the stage of getting grumpy with it when I saw 17d – don’t know how – all I had was .i.w…. – which took me to 5a etc etc. I was completely defeated by 1d and would never have got that if I’d sat here till Christmas.
    I really enjoyed doing this. Far too many good clues to pick out any of them in particular except 4d which I loved.
    With thanks to Alchemi and CS.

  5. An enjoyable puzzle. I liked the image and the play on “hot” in 5d. “Rube” in the clue for 28a was a new word for me, as were a couple of the solutions, though they were gettable. Thanks Alchemi and CS.

  6. Thanks to CS for the blog and the kind comments from others. It’s probably true that 1D is less well-known than the rest, but he was how the puzzle got started. And in a sense, not even him. I was actually looking up Gen.William T Sherman to find out how he got his uncommon middle name. (According to Sherman,”I guess my pa had a lot of respect for the old Shawnee”, as it happens.)

    It then struck me that it looked like a word one could make some interesting word play from, and I also realised that 4D was likely to yield a nice;pun for a clue, and the rest followed.

  7. Very enjoyable. A couple of new words for me but both getable from the word play. I quite like the odd google check as I know I’m learning something! Thanks to Alchemi (I wouldn’t have known the short golfer if it wasn’t for you) for the puzzle and Cryptic Sue for the review.

  8. Good Sunday morning entertainment for us. Strangely, picked up the theme from 14a, which certainly made progress more straightforward. Carol had actually heard of 1d too. Lots of fun.
    Thanks Alchemi and CS.

  9. Took a while to start n my first attempt at the NTSPP but once I got going I loved it. Loved the cowboys and Indians theme with some really clever clues esp 26a and the spoonerism (always fun).
    Will def try again.
    Thx to all concerned.

  10. Thanks to Alchemi and to crypticSue for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one a lot, once I got 5a & 23d, quite a few fell into place. Still needed 5 hints to finish. Was 3*/4* for for me. Favourite was 4d.

  11. Just finished this. What good fun it was, too! :grin: Not that I found it very easy. Like Kath, I took a while to get 5a and 23d, and it was 4d’s answer which put me onto the theme. 1d took me ages, and in the end I had to look it up to make sure I had the right name. Also needed to look up ‘rube’ in the dictionary. A nice new word to add to one’s vocab. All in all, **** for enjoyment.
    Well done, Alchemi, and thank you very much. :smile:
    Thank you very much, too, Crypticsue for your super clear review. :smile: I did need your explanation of part of 17d where I didn’t make the connection with Mr Tyler — this despite talking about the Peasant’s Revolt with Mr Catnap! Really! :oops:

Comments are closed.