NTSPP – 247 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 247

NTSPP – 247

An Alphabetical Puzzle by Hieroglyph

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

If you like Hieroglyph’s Alphabetical Puzzles, as many of you do, here is his latest offering.  Enjoy!

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.


Hieroglyph continues in his quest to make me a fan of alphabetical puzzles – I quite like the solving process but in our house, Mr CS does the jigsaws!    Looking at my solved grid, I didn’t seem to have much trouble filling in the squares this time, with only one major ‘rubbing out’ for one of the 10 letter words.

If you can’t work out which word goes where, all is revealed at the end of this review.

1 Sailor causes uproar counting frames (8)
ABACUSES   An abbreviation for sailor followed by an anagram (uproar) of CAUSES.


2 Disreputable tabloids on evidence of crime, perhaps (10)
BLOODSTAIN Disreputable indicates that we are looking for another anagram, this time of TABLOIDS ON.

3 Businessman, quiet on the way to work (7)
COMMUTE   Abbreviations for a business and man are followed by a word meaning silent, unable to make a sound.


4 Went over in the outfield at Lords? (4)
DEEP   A reversal of an informal term for urinated (went) gives us another name for the outfield of a cricket pitch (at Lords).

5 Destination once tides in sea away? (4,6)
EAST INDIES An anagram (away) of TIDES IN SEA.

6 Gender equality advocate Tracey is wrapped in pink paper (8)
FEMINIST   The surname of Tracey the artist plus IS (from the clue) are wrapped in, or inserted between the two letter abbreviation for the daily newspaper printed on pink paper.

7 Traced German army pressman (7)
GHOSTED   The abbreviation for German plus  an army or great multitude, and the abbreviation for the top pressman.

8 Most overly-theatrical mimes performed in headgear (8)
HAMMIEST   Insert an anagram (performed) of MIMES into a piece of headgear.

9 On high, I disturbed silence outside Times Square (2,8)
IN EXCELSIS  Start with I (from the clue) and then insert the letter you use when multiplying numbers (times) into an anagram (disturbed) of SILENCE and finish with the abbreviation for Square.

10 Fool’s derisive remark about saint (6)
JESTER   The abbreviation for saint inserted into a derisive remark.


11 Political entities king abhors harbouring a knight (8)
KHANATES   K (king) followed by a word meaning abhors into which is inserted A (from the clue) and the chess abbreviation for knight.

12 Latin individual – a right fibber (4)
LIAR   The abbreviation for Latin, the number representing one (individual) A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Right.

13 Model, having taken the old solver back, moves along slowly (6)
MOSEYS   Insert a reversal (back) of the old way of saying you (old solver) into the surname of Kate the Supermodel.

14 Intellectual recalling quote regarding… (6)
NOETIC An adjective meaning purely intellectual is obtained by reversing (recalling) a verb meaning to quote and a preposition meaning regarding.

15 … personal meeting in the Queen’s autobiography? (3-2- 3)
ONE-ON-ONE   A phrase describing a meeting between two people might be how Her Majesty might describe her autobiography.

16 Native American child and father sit around circle (7)
PAPOOSE    An infomal word for father  and a word meaning sit with an O (circle) inserted.


17 Resign entirely? Not entirely! (4)
QUIT   A verb meaning to resign is almost all (not entirely) of a word meaning entirely!

18 Once again send on through Cambridge University (10)
RETRANSMIT   The two letters used when you are doing something again followed by a prefix meaning through and the university found in Cambridge,  Massachusetts.

19 Drunk, having drunk fizzy beer after devouring eastern dessert (6)
SORBET   Take a word meaning a habitual drunkard and insert an anagram (fizzy) of BEER once you have removed one of the Es (devouring Eastern),


20 Fixed English notice in pen (6)
STEADY   Abbreviations for English and advertisement (notice) inserted into a pig pen.

21 When camping, old Resident Magistrate originally started troubles (8)
TORMENTS The abbreviation for Old, and the initial (originally started) letters of Resident and Magistrate inserted into canvas shelters used when camping.

22 Take cloak off Ban Ki-moon, say, and let loose (8)
UNMANTLE   A way of describing Ban Ki-moon followed by an anagram (loose) of LET.

23 Italian region‘s embargo protecting European nationalist (6)
VENETO Abbreviations for European and Nationalist are protected by or inserted into a verb meaning embargo or prohibition.

24 Steps taken before an engagement? (3,5)
WAR DANCE The sort of dance that might be done before a battle.

war dance

25 Perhaps Big Dave’s Crossword Blog shows up in puzzle – ‘tis bewildering! (7)
WEBSITE Hidden and reversed (shows up) in puzzlE TIS BEWildering.

26 Radiograph crossbeam (1-3)
X-RAY   The letter that looks like a cross and a beam.

27 Party’s ending? That is, Liberal Democrat section gives up (6)
YIELDS   The final (ending) letter of party, the Latin abbreviation meaning that is, the abbreviation for Liberal Democrat and the abbreviation for Section.

28 High point: Heinz soup with temperature injected (6)
ZENITH   An anagram (soup) of HEINZ with the abbreviation for Temperature inserted.

When you’ve finished, your grid should look like this


18 comments on “NTSPP – 247

  1. I do enjoy a touch of the Alphabeticals – thanks Hieroglyph. With this one I found getting the answers a lot easier than fixing them in the grid (which is not particularly helpful with a minority of initial letters being checked) – I had to abandon one attempt and print out a new clean grid to start again. I did eventually manage it. Very enjoyable – my favourite clues were 15 and 24.

  2. Yes, alphabeticals are great fun. I’ll restate Alberich’s view of alphabeticals: ‘ There are usually 28 clues, with two clues for two of the letters, and the important thing is that the answers for these pairs of clues intersect at their first letters. This gives 26 starting points in the grid, one for each letter.’ As gazza said, the lack of intersection at the first letters made the insertion into the grid quite tricky.

    For those unfamiliar with the strategy, it is best to start with listing the number of clues with the same length answers. In this case, answers containing 4, 7 & 10 letters have only four possibilities and these are good to start with.

    11 is a bit of a so-and-so, but there are usually one or two difficult words in alphabeticals to make the thing work. Like gazza, I particularly enjoyed 24, and nice to see the Big Dave plug in 25. 13 was good because of the misdirection but I had a bit of a problem at first with 9.

    1. So glad to read your input. First time I’ve had a try at one of these – going along quite well until I realised a) there’s more than 26 clues and b) there is no answer that has a different number of letters to any of the others!

      Could be a lot of time and much use of printer involved over this weekend. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  3. I’m setting myself the challenge of working out the answers from the clues alone before trying to fit them in the grid where I would benefit from checking letters. Nine down, 19 to go. It may be a very long night!

    1. Tried that theory – couldn’t come up with anything other – but still haven’t found a way to be sufficiently sure to commit any answer to paper. Boy – this is some new learning curve! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

      1. Print off the pdf version. Read through the clues, some of which are easier to solve than others. The instructions tell you that they are in alphabetical order, so the solution to clue 1 must start with a .. and the solution to clue 28 with a … I wrote the solution after each clue, but that was mainly to help me parse the clues while test solving and subsequently drafting the review.

        Take a separate sheet of blank paper and write 8 then leave a space big enough to write down the 5 solutions that have 8 letters, then do the same with 6, 4, 7 and 10. I solved 19 clues before I started writing them in the grid. You will eventually find you have words with a letter in that is only in one other solution so they must link together in some way.

        The most important thing to note is that it is essential to use a pencil to fill in the grid and to have a rubber handy.

        Good luck. The review will be up in the morning. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

        1. OK. Paper, pencil, rubber and print-out at the ready. Only 15 answers so far – will try for a few more before I start on the grid.

          Not going to be beaten. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

        2. Just one more question. Can I assume that there’s at least one answer for every letter of the alphabet?

  4. Yikes ! I got there but only with extensive use letter check. The clues were solvable , and I did enjoy the challenge but not everyweek I hope.

  5. Very late getting to this one as we have been away for the weekend. Really good fun to solve. At first glance it seemed totally impossible and then little by little it all fell into place. Good fun.
    Thanks Hieroglyph.

  6. Great Fun. Managed it using just one sheet of A4 – both sides of it, however.

    Thanks to Hieroglyph.

  7. Decided that the only way was to get all the answers first. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifEasier said than done – needed Mr. Google for a couple of words that were new to me and CS’s parsing to justify another two.
    With all the words in front of me, it was easy enough to fill in the grid (only one minor hiccup) – but then I guess it would be! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif Many thanks to Hieroglyph for a new challenge and to all of you who set me out on the right track!

  8. Morning all! Well done, you lot! I’m finding this a challenge. Still plugging away so avoiding the hints for now. I have 18 answers so far, and I’m having the devil of a job fitting them in. Not giving up though. Our clocks went back last night, but my body clock didn’t get the memo, so I have an extra hour to play. Back later…

  9. Hats off to Cryptic Sue and all of you who managed to complete this. I ended up with 20 correct answers, which should have been more than enough to get a leg up on the others once they were fitted in the grid. I had put the first few in and they linked nicely. “Ho ho,” sez I, ” On a roll here!” And I was rolling, but it was all downhill. I couldn’t get anything else to fit and eventually gave up A look at the completed grid and I saw that my initial entries were all in the wrong places! Not a total loss though. I enjoyed the fight and I did learn a couple of new words. Next time an Alphabetical comes along, I will remember to do a war dance first.

    I bow to the fiendishly clever Hieroglyph. Now, onward and, I hope, upward! The Rookie Corner beckons….

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