NTSPP – 226 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 226

NTSPP – 226

A Puzzle by Wiglaf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Many thank to Wiglaf for our Saturday afternoon entertainment with an enjoyable puzzle.  The title alerted us to the fact that one letter had been clued in six different ways.  All is revealed below.


9 Eager to play and harmonise (5)
AGREE – An anagram (to play) of EAGER.

10 A top jazz vocalist, without piano, without instrumental accompaniment (1,8)
A CAPPELLA – The A from the clue followed by a word meaning a top and the first name of the jazz singer whose surname is Fitzgerald all around (without) the abbreviation for piano.

11 Clare Short disciplined after firing fifty musicians (9)
ORCHESTRA – An anagram (disciplined) of CLARE SHORT after removing the L (after firing fifty).

12 Del Shannon – a blast after being sampled (5)
NABLA – The answer is hidden in the words SHANNON A BLAST.  Del is another word for the mathematical symbol ∇.

13 A good time girl suffering from athlete’s foot? (6)
FUNGAL – Split 3, 3 this could be a good time girl.

14 23 to close tour after taking in Luxembourg? (8)
COSTELLO – … another singer with the first name being the answer to 23a.  An anagram (tour) of TO CLOSE including (after taking in) the IVR code for Luxembourg.

16 A line from Genesis number about Tesla, the revolutionary behind electrical inductance (3,5,2,5)
LET THERE BE LIGHT – A number goes around the abbreviation for Tesla, the “the” from the clue and another word for a revolutionary.  All of these follow (behind) the abbreviation for electrical inductance.

19 Cuts away the outer layers restricting escape (8)
RESCINDS – A word for the outer layers of fruit goes around (restricting) the abbreviation for escape used on computer keyboards.

21 A French Catholic boy with nothing on (6)
UNCLAD – The French masculine form of A followed by the abbreviation for Catholic and another word for a boy.

23 One so-named singer died – another lives (5)
ELVIS – An anagram (another) of LIVES.  The living singer is the answer to 14a

25 ‘Twist and Shout’ on the radio? That’s odd (9)
SCREWBALL – A word meaning twist followed by a homophone (on the radio) of another word for shout.

27 Draw attention to minor hiding drug (9)
SPOTLIGHT – A word meaning minor includes another word for cannabis.

28 French composer is to compose symphony at last (5)
LULLY – A verb meaning to compose or quieten followed by the final letter (at last) of symphony.


1 A break in which you get to remove clothing? Yes (3,3)
DAY OFF – A two letter word meaning “yes” goes inside (in which you get) a word meaning to remove clothing.

2 Cricketer observes embellishments to score (5,5)
GRACE NOTES – The surname of the famous 19th century cricketer (William Gilbert) followed by a word meaning observes.

3 Clairvoyant left the tape running (8)
TELEPATH – An anagram (running) of L (left) THE TAPE.

4 Oscar finally received by top lyricist (4)
HART – The final letter of Oscar goes inside (received by) a word for a top.  The original version of this clue had BART as the answer leaving us to wonder how bat was synonymous with top.

5 Tatty coat found in Cambridge burial-place (8)
CATACOMB – An anagram (tatty) of COAT goes inside the abbreviation for Cambridge.

6 Old keyboard work performed by a Spider from Mars? (6)
SPINET – What a spider does to make a web followed by the abbreviation for extra-terrestrial (from Mars?).  I would have thought that the work performed by a spider is spinning rather than spin.

7 Sing ‘Bachelor Boy’ when daughter’s born (4)
BLAB – The abbreviation for Bachelor followed by a word for a boy (the same word as in 21a) with the final D (daughter) replaced by the abbreviation for born.

8 Song of a loafer (8)
LAYABOUT  – A three letter word for a song followed by a word meaning “of”.

15 Set up with a student high-flyer for a lawyer (5,5)
LEGAL EAGLE – A word meaning set or solidify is reversed (up) followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for a student or learner and a bird known to soar high in the heavens.

16 Big ship getting close to the Bounty (8)
LARGESSE – A word meaning big followed by the abbreviation for a steamship and the final letter (close to) of the.

17 Perhaps make improvements to colourful English house (8)
REDESIGN – A primary colour followed by the abbreviation for English and another word for an astrological house.

18 Lambert encounters an Austrian composer who has no close friends (4,4)
LONE WOLF – The abbreviation for Lambert followed by another word for “an” and the surname of an Austrian composer.

20 Slight crunching of unopened oilnuts (6)
INSULT – An anagram (crunching of) OILNUTS after removing the O (unopened).

22 Suspensions in song covered by O’Connor? (6)
DELAYS – Another word for a song (the same as in 8d!) goes inside the first name of Mr O’Connor.

24 One of the old strings taken from a cello I’ve picked up (4)
VIOL – The answer is hidden and reversed in CELLO IVE.

26 Topless German may be crackers (4)
RITZ – Remove the first letter (topless) of German boy’s name.

The letter L is clued in this crossword in six different ways:

L = Fifty

L = Luxembourg

L = Unit of electrical inductance

L = Left

L = Learner

L = Lambert



19 comments on “NTSPP – 226

  1. Thanks to Wiglaf for the very entertaining puzzle. I worked out the letter referred to in the heading too late to help in the solving. Top clue for me is the excellent 16a, where it took me some time to decipher the wordplay because I started off convinced that the number was an anaesthetic. I also liked 25a and 1d.

  2. Did 4d change somewhere along the way? I was surprised to find that it didn’t begin with an H when I pressed Check, because the clue works much better the way I understood it.

    1. That makes much more sense said the reviewer removing his comment on this clue!

  3. I completed, but not without resorting to revealing the first two letters of 2D, which also helped me solve 9A (D’oh! Swift kick administered to self) . I had 1D early but it wasn’t until the end that I worked out the wordplay. Very clever. I also checked the 1st and 3rd letter for 7D because I couldn’t justify my answer and still can’t. 12A was a new word and when I googled to check the meaning I saw what a brilliant clue it was. 16A went in quickly also, but took quite some unraveling. Learned a new-to-me composer in 28A.

    Altogether very satisfying…but I have a couple of songs from my misspent youth banging around in my head now. Many thanks to Wiglaf. I am looking forward to review (and maybe some video of those songs?)

  4. Good fun after Sunday morning breakfast. 12a had us scratching our heads and searching for confirmation once we had sorted out what it probably was. Thought 2d was very clever. Have sorted out the letter that is clued in different ways and will look more closely after our beach walk to be sure that we have found all the variants. Really good stuff.
    Thanks Wiglaf (and Prolixic in anticipation).

  5. I had not given the letter clued in six different ways a second thought because more often than not I’m stumped by those puzzles within a puzzle, but I’ve now taken a look and I do believe I have the letter and all six ways.

  6. I’m about two-thirds of the way through – a tough solve but with some superb clues. But what’s all this about a heading referring to a letter?

      1. Just noticed it’s on the pdf but not the on-line version. It reads “A letter is clued in six different ways in the puzzle.”

  7. Got there after a break! NE corner and the unfamiliar 28a were last in. I thought the cluing was wonderfully inventive – top for me was the remarkable 16a, but lots more cracking clues like 14a, 16d, and 25a. All this while keeping to a musical theme. Thanks Wiglaf for a stretching but really top-notch puzzle.

  8. Thanks Wiglaf ,no heading in my version but now I know I have spotted but would not have helped in the solving process in any event ,but clever nontheless .
    28a totally new to me (not for the first time with composers) ,Favourite16a by quite a margin .
    Prolixic need your help to fully parse two answers so thanks in advance .

  9. Thanks Prolixic for a super review! Loved the videos. I laughed all the way through Morecombe and Wise. I would never have unraveled 7D without the hint, but I did find all six of the clued letters. Thanks again to Wiglaf for a smashing puzzle.

  10. Thanks for all the comments and Prolixic for the great review.

    Here’s another video for you to enjoy.

  11. Tried to do this one yesterday having done the back page cryptic and the MPP – I found it really difficult so decided that I was all “cross worded out”!
    I still found it difficult today so I think it’s just me being dim.
    There were lots of answers that I really just couldn’t do so thanks to Prolixic for sorting me out.
    I liked 10 and 25a and the clip of Elvis Costello and Oliver’s Army.
    With thanks to Wiglaf and Prolixic.

  12. Bit late to the party due to a busy weekend, but wanted to say thanks to Wiglaf for an enjoyable XWD and to Prolixic for the review.

Comments are closed.