NTSPP – 249
A Puzzle by Alchemi
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.
A crossword at the easier end of the Alchemi spectrum – he’s already pointed out why the eight letter solutions are split 2, 2, 4 thus ruining my original draft prologue, but as this is the first of two reviews I have to sort out today, in addition to making large batches of mince pies for the freezer, I haven’t got time to think of anything new to say!
1a Certainly tense, you are caught in fat (2,2,4)
TO BE SURE The abbreviation for Tense, followed by a word meaning very fat into which is inserted ‘you are’ in ‘text speak’
5a Compelling mother to get a ruler (6)
MAKING Follow an informal name for a mother with a male ruler.
9a Among gracious black ducks the king, as I see it (2,2,4)
IN MY BOOK An adverb meaning among, an interjection of surprise (gracious), the abbreviation for black, two letters that look like noughts (ducks in a game of cricket) and the abbreviation for King.
10a Show half-dead old northerner (6)
DEPICT The first half of DE
AD and a member of an ancient tribe living in NE Scotland.
12a Taking steps here leads to swimming through a northern river (9)
STAIRWELL The ‘leads’ of Swimming Through, A from the clue) and a river found in NW England.
13a Prepared to follow when it’s advantageous (5)
ASSET A conjunction meaning when is followed by an adjective meaning prepared.
14a Amateur on about sort of tennis court (4)
CLAY The abbreviation for the Latin word meaning about, followed by a word meaning non-professional, amateur.
16a Papa about to compete with trailer (7)
PREVIEW The letter represented by Papa in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, the preposition meaning concerning, about; a verb meaning to compete and the abbreviation for with.
19a Presumably against short stretch (7)
PROLONG If you are against something short, you are presumably for something lengthy!
21a Time Robin and Doris were seen on screen (4)
DAYS The surname of TV’s Robin and film’s Doris.
24a After midday, leader of extra-terrestrials reveals who lives on Jupiter (5)
NOONE My test solve piece of paper has “?? Ah!” and then a hyphenated version of the solution. Had I pointed out more clearly that the enumeration ought to be 2, 3, it might have been possible to solve this one much earlier. Simply put the leader of extra after midday.
25a Castor oil mixed with iodine not a legal agent (9)
SOLICITOR is an anagram of CASTOR OIL and the chemical symbol for Iodine, once you have removed the A (not A) from CASTOR.
27a Grim character to copy ringleader again (6)
REAPER The two letters you use if you say you are doing something again, a verb meaning to copy, and the ‘leader’ of ring.
28a Never turn into meat! (2,2,4)
AT NO TIME An anagram (turn) of INTO MEAT.
29a Snack sales assistant starts playing order back (6)
SAMOSA – The ‘starts’ of Sales Assistant followed by a reversal of a word meaning (playing)in the role of a particular character (eg ‘starring Daniel Radcliffe xx Harry Potter’) and the abbreviation for the Order of Merit
30d You might say wire seat is uncomfortable (2,2,4)
AS IT WERE An ‘uncomfortable’ anagram of WIRE SEAT.
1d Need to drink? Hand in this ticket (either end) (6)
THIRST Put the abbreviation for one of your hands into THIS from the clue and then finish with one of the letters at either end of TickeT – as Alchemi implies, it doesn’t matter which.
2d Deplore Belgium putting extinct bird into space (6)
BEMOAN The abbreviation for Belgium and a printer’s space the width of a letter N, the latter having an extinct giant bird from the home of the 2Kiwis inserted into it.
3d Be in pain, almost, when not drunk (5)
SOBER Insert BE (from the clue) into a word meaning in pain or discomfort.
4d Many birdies to be had here, possibly, as McIlroy swallows endless Cokes (7)
ROOKERY Take the end letters from
cOKE s and insert what’s left into Mr McIlroy the golfer’s Christian name.
6d American Forces’ Sweetheart drops notes but receives rousing applause finally in a routine way (9)
AVERAGELY The abbreviation for American, the singer who was (probably still is) the Forces’ Sweetheart – you need to remove the two Ns from her surname (drops a couple of Notes) – and then put the final letters of rousing and applause between her Christian name and surname.
7d Reportedly India needs help to replace a third of soft paper (2,2,4)
IT IS SAID The letter represented by India in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet followed by some soft paper from which you remove the last third (two letters) and replace with a word meaning help.
8d Film dog wearing a dress will get on with things very enthusiastically (2,2,4)
GO TO TOWN Put Dorothy’s dog from the Wizard of Oz into a posh dress.
11d Key circuit causes panic (4)
FLAP A musical key and a circuit of a racetrack.
15d Ladies possibly sense wild inaccuracy (9)
LOOSENESS An informal way of referring to Ladies toilets followed by an anagram (wild)of SENSE.
17d Needle active marines imprisoned in America – they’re very angry! (2,2,4)
UP IN ARMS Take something sharp and pointed (needle), A (active) and the abbreviation for the Royal Marines and imprison them in the abbreviation for the United States.
18d Refusal to enter note on weapon which will be ineffective? (2,2,4)
DO NO HARM Insert a simple refusal into the first note of the tonic sol-fa scale and finish with a weapon.
20d Breathe noisily or talk quietly! (4)
GASP An informal way of saying talk followed by the musical abbreviation instructing you to play quietly.
21d Weakens and papers over instruments (7)
DILUTES A reversal of an abbreviation for identity paper followed by some stringed musical instruments.
22d To take big steps is a way to go on (6)
STRIDE The abbreviation for street (way) followed by a verb meaning to go on (a bus, bicycle, etc).
23d To stop moving is liberating 7 (6)
FREEZE A homophone (7 referring to the solution of 7d which many compilers would use in a clue to indicate a homophone) of part of a verb meaning liberates.
26d Look into edited hit (5
CLOUT A word meaning look inserted into a verb meaning edited.