NTSPP – 228 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 228


NTSPP – 228

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Another teaser from Radler to entertain us.  Either Radler is mellowing (I found this about mid-range for his difficulty level) or I was on the right wavelength when solving it.  This crossword has a hidden message (NINA) around the perimeter – read clockwise starting at the bottom of the left-hand side of the grid.  I am pleased to report that when test solving, she did!  All is revealed below.




8 All right once you got a husband (4)
YEAH – The old English form of you followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for husband.

9 Warm to Kent, commuting to Canterbury? (6,4)
MARKET TOWN – An anagram (commuting) of WARM TO KENT.

10 Fisher pursuing river rat (6)
ROTTER – The abbreviation for river followed by an animal that catches fish.

11 Strong drink and drug then admits reports (8)
ESPRESSO – The abbreviation for ecstasy followed by a two letter word meaning “then” inside which (admits) you put another word for media reports.

12 Change colour, primarily grey (4)
CASH – The first letter (primarily) of colour followed by a word meaning grey.

13 One’s in trouble, is modelling onesie at work (6,4)
BOILER SUIT – An anagram (modelling) of TROUBLE IS inside which you include and I (one).

17 Song sung through one’s teeth? (4)
LIED – A word for a German song also means what you might have done through your teeth if you told and untruth.

18 Emotional outburst before starting to relax (5)
BLAZE – The first letter (starting) of before followed by a word meaning to relax.

19 Monkey tree (it’s back again) (4)
TITI – A word meaning both a type of monkey and a type of tree.  Reverse the it from the clue twice.

20 Legal feint misconstrued in provision of bills (10)
LEAFLETING – An anagram (misconstrued) of LEGAL FEINT.

22 Sign of flaw in Common Market administration (4)
EXEC – The sign used to indicate something is wrong or flawed inside the abbreviation for the European Economic Union.

23 People from East of Thames stopped nonsense writer put about (8)
ISRAELIS – Reverse the name of the writer of nonsense poetry and put it inside the name of the River Thames at Oxford.

27 Parked inside, given a bleedin’ permit (6)
ENABLE – The answer is hidden (parking inside) GIVEN A BLEEDIN.

28 Weird scene edited out for television format (4-6)
WIDE-SCREEN – An anagram (edited out) of WEIRD SCENE.

29 Brown bread outside, sliced (4)
RUST – Remove the first letter (sliced) of the outside of a loaf of bread.


1 Outwardly Pope Joseph Ratzinger not a fast mover, I’ve needed to be uncomplimentary (10)
PEJORATIVE – The outside letter of pope followed by a diminutive form of the name Joseph, the first three letters of Ratzinger (not a fast mover – zinger) and the IVE from the clue.

2 With a good head of hair, at last Bert came out of shell (8)
THATCHED – The last letter of Bert followed by a word meaning came out of shell.

3 Hard to believe monkey could be dressed as a judge? (10)
IMPROBABLE – A three letter word for a monkey or pest followed by a word meaning could be dressed as a judge.

4 American people move very slowly, losing power (4)
CREE – Remove the P (losing power) from a word meaning move very slowly.

5 Trickle of water flows upwards (4)
SEEP – A word meaning water flows is reversed (upwards).

6 Puts out and out and out, interminably so (6)
UTTERS – A word meaning “out and out” or complete followed by the first letter (interminably) of so.

7 Reportedly take liberties with females (4)
EWES – A homophone of use (take liberties with).

14 Middle Eastern nationalists’ first question (5)
IRAQI – The abbreviation for the Irish Republican Army (nationalists) followed by QI (question 1)

15 Always popular, Bob, Ivy and Holly make good examples (10)
EVERGREENS – A word meaning always popular followed by the abbreviation for shilling (bob).

16 Actually naked (2,3,5)
IN THE FLESH – A double definition of someone with no clothes on or actually present.

19 Having nothing to lose, authorise reprinted lists (8)
THESAURI – An anagram (reprinted) of AUTHORISE without the O (nothing to lose).

21 Sandy lowland borders lacking precision (6)
FLAXEN – A word for a low lying area of land goes around (borders) a word meaning lacking precision.

24 Muslim girl given a voice (4)
SHIA – A homophone of SHE A.

25 Places semicolons around brackets (4)
LOCI – The answer is hidden (brackets) and reversed (around) inside SEMICOLONS

26 Got it noticed (4)
SEEN – A double definition (both a very similar) of having realised something and having noticed something.

At the beginning of the year Crypticsue made a New Year’s resolution to try and spot any Nina or theme hidden in the crossword.  The outer letters of the crossword read WILL CRYPTICSUE NOTICE THIS NINA.




14 comments on “NTSPP – 228

  1. With hedgehog grids (ones where the perimeter has single squares rather than whole words), I always suspect that there’s going to be one, which made the customarily tricky Radler offering rather easier. Nice stuff.

  2. After a bit of time floundering around, got onto wavelength, and had an enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Radler for an enjoyable diversion.

    Sorry only rated one star, fat finger syndrome, meant 4+.

    The MPP still work in progress.

    Noticed CS comment and had another look, clever stuff!

  3. Blasted Nina – I’m fed-up with her!
    I did spot her in time to help with several answers that I would probably not have got without her http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif but now she’s been and messed up what I thought was a perfectly good answer for 24d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Anyway, I enjoyed this very much and apart from 14 and 24d I’ve finished it – a few others I can’t explain so will have to be patient until tomorrow.
    Loads of good clues but my favourite is 3d – wonderful mental picture.
    With thanks to Radler.

    1. PS Finished! Not sure that I’ve ever managed to completely finish a Radler crossword before – maybe once.
      Until Nina screwed things up I had “said” for 24d – alternative spelling of sayyid or sayid – an honorary title given to some Muslims and said, as in given a voice. Oh well – you can’t win ’em all.

  4. I still have a few left, almost all in the bottom right corner. I’m finding it slow going but hopefully I will have crossed the finish line before tomorrow’s review.

  5. We are away from home so the solving process had lots of grandchildren interruptions today. Eventually got it finished with lots of cursing of four-letter answers along the way. We had noticed the pangram but totally missed the NINA. The other way around might have been more helpful for us. Quite a tricky challenge we thought.
    Thanks Radler.

  6. Lovely stuff, mostly. Thought 5D was a bit iffy, though, and for me sandy is quite different from flaxen. Many thanks to Rader and to Prolixic for the review.

  7. Thank you all for the comments. Your feedback is both useful and very much appreciated.

    I provide full notes on the solutions when I send my puzzles to Big Dave, so I’m always pleased that Prolixic still takes the time to solve them before writing his excellent reviews. Many thanks to him too.

    1. I always make a point of solving a crossword before writing the review. It often makes for an interesting time when I am looking at the answer and then thinking how on earth did Radler construct that one! It is often only when writing the review that the penny drops!

  8. I found this difficult but nonetheless very enjoyable. I did find the delightful Nina, too. Clues I particularly liked were 8a, 17a, 23a, 1d, 3d, and 24d.

    This has taken rather an age but I did manage to complete without hints. I started on Saturday, and had 1d almost immediately. I managed to solve another six clues, and that was it! Feeling rather despondent, I thought I’d leave it on ice and returned to it yesterday. And very glad I am that I did persevere. I think I’ve only managed to solve one (or maybe two?) of Radler’s puzzles in the past. Add to that, four-letter clues — hard!

    I needed Prolixic’s explanation for part of my answer to 6d — the ‘s’ was clear but wasn’t sure how ‘utter’ worked. Oh dear! The rest of the clues were all parsed correctly.

    Thank you very much, Radler, for this challenging and very enjoyable crossword. Thank you very much too, Prolixic, for your most excellent review. I find these reviews invaluable and have learned a huge amount from them. Much appreciation.

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