NTSPP – 291
Surgeons? by Shark
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Shark is a surgeon who has set barred puzzles in the Listener, Enigmatic Variations and Inquisitor series and we are fortunate that he has chosen the NTSPP series for this venture into the world of blocked puzzles. This is by no means an easy puzzle, but it is worth persevering, if only for the penny-drop moment when you realise why there is a question mark in the title.
A review of this puzzle follows:
Surgeons and consultant doctors drop the appellation doctor from their title and are simply known as Mr …. Surgeons might, therefore, be known fancifully, as Mister Men. Six of the across answers contain the name of Mr Men in the children’s book series by the author whose name appears in the diagonal from top left to bottom right. The two blue highlighted parts of the grid are rotated versions of the letter M which also alludes to Mister Men.
1 Welsh Mr interrupts her hysterectomy (4)
RHYS – The answer is hidden (interrupts) in HER HYSTERECTOMY
4 Caught one who repairs pillboxes with coffin (10)
CHATTERBOX – The abbreviation for caught followed by a person who might repair pillboxes or other types of headwear and a general description of what a coffin is.
9 Keen shortening upper limb, bowel and earlobe to begin with (6)
ARGUTE – Remove the final letter (shortening) from an upper limb of the body and follow this with another word for the bowel and the initial letter (to begin with) of earlobe.
10 To be sure catches doctor separating blockage (8)
DAYDREAM – Word meaning to be sure or yes includes (catches) a two letter abbreviation for doctor and the resulting letters go inside (separating) a word for a blockage or obstruction on a river.
11 Hormonal sign of growing up: males reach out (8)
MENARCHE – A three letter word for males followed by an anagram (out) of REACH.
13 Without doctors due, blood finally oozed out of the body (6)
EXUDED – A two letter abbreviation meaning without (as in ex-dividend) followed by an anagram (doctors) of DUE and the final letter of blood.
14 Silly removing tip of crushed radius (primarily left) (4)
LAZY – A five letter word meaning silly or mad removing the CR (tip of crushed and the abbreviation for radius) with an initial L (primarily left).
15 Messy GI reaction induced by surgeon? (10)
IATROGENIC – An anagram (messy) of GI REACTION.
18 It measures over 1.435 metres from opening of back passage to first part of gut (area bulgier in places) (5-5)
BROAD-GAUGE – The initial letter (opening of) back followed by another word for a passage or street, the initial letter (first part of) of gut, the abbreviation for area and the even letters (in places) of bUlGiEr.
20 Medicine man extracts heart – four times! (4)
MEAN – Remove the central letters from MEDICINE MAN four times.
21 Is operation connected with overdose – it may give the creepy-crawlies? (6)
ISOPOD – The IS from the clue followed by the abbreviation for operation and the abbreviation for overdose.
24 Cheese found in Italy‘s army applied to lower limb – soldier skins toe (8)
TALEGGIO – An old abbreviation for volunteer soldiers followed by the name of the lower limb, a private American soldier and the inner letter (skins) of TOE.
25 At last, reconstruction without breaking nose (8)
NONSENSE – The final letter (at last) of reconstruction and a word meaning without go inside (breaking) the NOSE from the clue.
27 Severe upset passes through any hole (6)
REEVES – An anagram (upset) of SEVERE.
28 Monkey’s bone is pointing the wrong way … almost haemorrhaged (10)
IMPOSSIBLE – A three letter word for a monkey or pest followed by a reversal (pointing the wrong way) for a two lettered bone and the IS from the clue and a word meaning haemorrhaged with the final letter removed (almost).
29 Ventilates American first without limits (4)
AIRS – An abbreviation for American and the inner letters (without limits) of first.
2 Perhaps Arab’s shock from sore hands – dizzy and in need of air (9)
HORSEHAIR – An anagram (dizzy) of SORE and the abbreviation for hands (HH) followed by the AIR from the clue.
3 Almost complain medical lubricant is grating (7)
SQUEAKY – A six letter word meaning complain with the final letter removed (almost) followed by a type of lubricating jelly used for medicinal (and other) purposes.
4 Holding new facial feature splitting canine part (9)
CLENCHING – The abbreviation for new and a facial feature for which Bruce Forsyth is famous inside (splitting) the abbreviation for canine and a word for a part or stage or something.
5 Relief uttered when start of surgery cancelled (3)
AID – Remove (cancelled) the first letter (start of) surgery from a word meaning uttered or spoken.
6 Labiate gland retaining only 66% energy (5)
THYME – Remove on-third of another word from a gland of the body and follow this with the abbreviation for energy.
7 Divert blood network around beaten body – dropping temperature! (7)
REROUTE – RETE, a blood network, around ROU[T], a beaten or defeated body without (dropping) T(emperature).
8 In short, US operating room’s worried talk (5)
ORATE – The abbreviation for an American operating room followed by a word meaning worried.
12 Confide in nurse in front of local hospital’s governing body (7)
ENTRUST – A two letter word for a nurse in front of the generic name for an NHS hospital’s governing body.
16 Far from skinny admirer is cycling prior to changing gear (9)
OVERLARGE – A word for an admirer or beau has the first letter moved the end (cycling) and this is followed by an anagram (changing) of GEAR.
17 Designer of new technology shifts migraine swallowing drug (9)
IMAGINEER – An anagram (shifts) of MIGRAINE includes (swallowing) the abbreviation for ecstasy (drug).
19 Tradename is expunged from this postnatal repair according to a fixed rate, (7, two words)
AL PASTO – Remove the abbreviation for tradename from POSTNATAL and make an anagram (repair) of the remaining letters.
20 Fury! Enormous amounts of bloody fluid originally lost (7)
MEGAERA – A four letter word used to express enormous amounts followed by a word for bodily fluid (in the plural) with the first letter removed (originally lost).
22 Diaphragm’s contracted by jolly strong wind (5)
STORM – A word for a diaphragm has the final letter removed (contracted) and followed by the abbreviation for a Royal Marine (jolly).
23 Depresses doctor of surgery ringing hospital department (5)
DENTS – The abbreviation for doctor of surgery goes around (ringing) the abbreviation for a well known hospital department.
26 Very black after ecchymoses initially recede (3)
EBB – The first letter (initially) of E[cchymoses] followed by the indication used on a pencil for very black.