NTSPP – 257 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 257

NTSPP – 257

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.

The return of Hieroglyph to Saturday afternoon makes us work to find a very long title of a cleverly clued “work of art”.


1a           See 29

9a           See 29

10a         Membrane in shell solved a murder (7)
EARDRUM   An anagram (solved) of A MURDER, shell-like being an informal expression for the organ of the body where this membrane can be found.

11a         Presenter said to get 1,100, classically? (5)
EMCEE   A homophone (said) of the Roman numerals (classically?) which represent 1,100 – M C.

12a         Constituent of psyche finally stirs up before game (8)
SUPEREGO   The final letter of stirs, UP from the clue, a word meaning before, and a game of skill for two players

14a         Score of 10 over? (3)
NET A reversal (over) of the number 10 when it is written as a word.

15a         Southern boat landing hammerhead, for one (5)
SHARK   The abbreviation for southern and a large floating boat  into which (landing) is inserted the ‘head’ of hammer.

16a         Bores a Welsh lecturer before the start of school (4)
AWLS   A (from the clue), the abbreviations for Welsh and lecturer and the ‘start’ of school.


19a         Song about Dutch woman (4)
LADY The abbreviation for Dutch inserted into a song.

20a         Nuts dry in recess (5)
BATTY   The abbreviation for teetotal (dry) put into a recess.

21a         Nick-name “sailor” (3)
NAB   An informal word meaning to seize (as is nick here) is obtained from  the abbreviation for name followed by one of the ways we refer to a sailor, especially in crosswords.

23a         Transport chopped chives around the centre of Charleston (8)
VEHICLES   An anagram (chopped) of CHIVES with the middle two letters (centre of) Charleston inserted.


25a         Perfect C.V. for the croupier? (5)
IDEAL   Split 1,4, this synonym for perfect could  be how a croupier might describe his day job.

27a         Tyneside river’s agitated – increasingly agitated (7)
NERVIER   The abbreviation for the region of England where Tyneside is situated followed by an anagram (agitated) of RIVER.

28a         Profit from fine mistake in punt? (7)
BENEFIT   An anagram (mistake) of FINE inserted into a punt or wager.

29/8/9/1A/7 24’s C15H2O? (3,8,13,2,5,2,3,4,2,7,6)
THE PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY OF DEATH IN THE MIND OF SOMEONE LIVING –   This work by 24d is the solution to 15a preserved in CH2Oprobably better known to us as  formaldehyde.

The impossibility

1d           Pointed out Charlie dressed in country tweed, oddly (9)
INDICATED   The letter that Charlie represents in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet is put inside (dressed in) a country and followed by the odd letters of tweed.

2d           Cross over picture poetry (8)
TRAVERSE   A reversal (over) of the skill of which picture-making is an example, followed by some poetry.

3d           At last, Hieroglyph’s wearing green (wearing green) (4)
ECHO   The last letter of Hieroglyph inserted into a combining form denoting concern for the environment.    The last four words of the clue are an example of the solution!

4d           Posh and Becks, etc. – I prepared receptacles to keep the bubbly in (3,7)
ICE BUCKETS   The letter used to mean posh or upper-class is added to the letters BECKS ETC I, and then rearranged (prepared).

ice bucket

5d           Moved quickly, having ventured taking time (6)
DARTED The abbreviation for time inserted into a word meaning having ventured.

6d           Keep key gift (5)
FORTE   A gift or thing at which one excels.   A keep or small castle followed by a musical key.

7d           See 29

8d           See 29

13d         A rambler wanders before church just off Oxford Street (6,4)
MARBLE ARCH   An anagram (wanders) of A RAMBLER followed by one of the abbreviations for church.

Marble Arch

17d         Flounder with sauce is magnificent (9)
WONDERFUL An anagram (sauce) of FLOUNDER W(ith).

18d         Clean broken hinge – one beginning to catch outside yard (8)
HYGIENIC   An anagram (broken) of HINGE into which is inserted Y (yard) and the result followed with I (one) and the beginning of catch.

22d         Writer‘s bed in the outskirts of Stevenage (6)
SCRIBE   A child’s bed inserted into the ‘outskirts’ of Stevenage.

24d         Artist needing a drink, having discarded outer layers (5)
HIRST   Take the outside letters from an adjective meaning needing a drink.

26d         Bird served in Cincinnati bistro (4)
IBIS Hidden in Cincinnati bistro.



24 comments on “NTSPP – 257

  1. Thanks to Hieroglyph for the enjoyable puzzle. I got the long answer from the reference to 24d without understanding the chemistry bit. Favourite clue, producing a d’oh, was 3d.

  2. Enjoyed it but if you don’t know the long one it must be well-nigh impossible.

    Like Gazza I didn’t understand the clue but the answer just leapt out from the enumeration – belay that, I’ve just twigged it and very clever it is http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    Thanks Hieroglyph for a most entertaing puzzle..

    1. It’s nowhere near impossible if you don’t know the long one, which I only twigged late on. I’d got 29 and 8 from some of the crossers, and I’d got about three letters into 1a when I got 1d, and that’s when I filled the rest of it in.

  3. I got 24D and then 29A from the checking letters, and then Googled the three words and the answer popped up. I’ve seen images of the exhibit (I won’t call it art) but did not know the name. The ‘chemical formula’ is nothing to do with chemistry but indicates one should ‘see’ a related across clue, does it not? All very clever. Like Gazza, I thought 3D was terrific, and my favorite today. Thanks, Hieroglyph.

    Cryptic’s done, Quickie’s done, this one’s done, and it’s only 8:30 am. Now what can I do to while away a cold morning in Maryland?

          1. Yes, that’s what I thought, and mentioned above, though didn’t specify the clue, but Pommers says chemistry is involved and I don’t see that.

  4. Great fun.
    As soon as I got 24 the rest fell into place quite easily.
    I remember when Quo Vadis reopened in Soho, you had to eat watching his work.
    Quite a revolution at the time.
    I still haven’t found 11a but I will either wait until tomorrow or maybe some hint will come my way on this great blog.
    Don’t feel like revealing letters and anyway can’t do it from Windows phone.
    Thanks to Hieroglyph for the fun.

      1. Thanks Franco: “I see” and at the same time I don’t. Oh well. Sure it will come to me before midnight.

          1. Thanks. I got it now. A bit far fetched but a lot of rap artists came back to mind.

  5. Thanks Hieroglyph.

    A crossword editor once said to me that very long answers were not very attractive because either you knew them and it was a write-in or you didn’t and it became very frustrating. I did, however, like the clue for this one, which was very clever. I did use Google as I didn’t know the phrase, just the 15.

    My favourites were 2,3 & 4.

  6. Thanks to Hieroglyph for this week’s NTSPP. My knowledge of chemistry has now gone from zero to minus 1.

    I’ve heard of this bit of art? but never it’s title. Managed enough checkers to be able to consult Google!

    My only quibble is the “Dutch” in 19a? Shouldn’t it be German?

    1. According to the BRB, ‘Dutch’ is the last definition in the list for the required letter.

    2. No. D = Germany but not German. G = German and D = Dutch. An error which I used to make frequently.

    3. 19a – Oops just looked up “D” in Chambers. There it is at the very end of the queue of abbreviations!

  7. I found that putting in a few fairly straightforward answers gave sufficient checkers to complete the remainder of the puzzle backwards – the words required became obvious and the parsing followed. Made for an easy solve but was probably not what was intended!

    Thanks, Hieroglyph – I thought the cluing of the artwork (?) was brilliantly constructed even though the horses were off and galloping at first glance.

  8. Well it was possible to solve it without ever having heard of the artwork. But we did have to check with Google when we had enough checkers to guess what most of the words might be. Good fun sorting it all out.
    Thanks Hieroglyph.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS – I think you deserve a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif for achieving such a succinct explanation for the artwork clue!!!

  10. I found this quite enjoyable. As soon as I saw who who the artist was in 24a, I’m afraid I looked up the formula and the title of the work. I thought the reference to 15a in the formula very clever. My fave, though, was 3d, although it took a while for the penny to drop!

    Many thanks to Hieroglyph.

    Many thanks, too, to Crypticsue for a super, clear review. I had a spot of bother with 12a and 5d, so was very appreciative of the explanations. I had no other real problems.

  11. Thanks to your comments and to Cryptic Sue for the review. I should say this puzzle is not an endorsement of 24d’s “art.” Hope to be back here anon ;-)

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