NTSPP – 296
Brilliant by Shark
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.
I really like solving cryptic crosswords but one thing guaranteed to make my heart sink (or in this case use language unbecoming to a lady, because I knew I couldn’t give solving the puzzle a miss as I had to review it) is one with ‘structions at the top, especially those which for the first few readings are, as an email correspondent said to me, ‘as clear as mud’.
In eight clues the definition leads to the entry with one letter missing (the wordplay cluing the full entry). These missing letters must be anagrammed to form an eight letter word, being the fourth word of a quotation. In the final grid the first three words and its speaker must be highlighted (28 cells).
Following my usual practice of ignoring the instructions to begin with, I didn’t take that long to solve the puzzle and then read the instructions again and find the less obvious missing letters. It does help no end if you remember that the missing letters are in the wordplay and not in the solutions as if you don’t you end up with an interesting email ‘conversation’ about whether we’d missed a famous quotation about ADENOIDS!
I will admit to having help to find the quotation and the “speaker” [although as I reveal at the end of the review, our setter is not entirely correct here] as I had so much other stuff to fit into the weekend that I couldn’t spend any more time looking. If you are still none the wiser, the ‘missing’ letters are in brackets in the relevant solutions (once you ‘click here’) and a completed highlighted grid can be found at the end of the review.
8a Mozart, Haydn or Schubert perhaps holding note back for country (10)
AUSTRALIA[N] Reverse (back) the sixth note of the musical scale and insert it into a native of the country where the three composers were born.
9a It is found on a keyboard a letter typed initially alongside zero (4)
ALT[O] One of the keys at the bottom of the keyboard – A (from the clue) and the initial letters of Letter and Typed, the zero is handily there at the end to tell you you’ve found your first ‘missing’ letter.
10a Skimpy special underwear (6)
BRIEFS Skimpy or short followed by the abbreviation for Special.
11a More than one bird encircles about ground dew (8)
REDWINGS A verb meaning encircles goes round an anagram (ground) of DEW.
12a Timothy’s a jazz fan – Shadows finally coming to the fore (4-4)
CAT’S TAIL I did know the alternative name for Timothy grass as it is one of the pollens that gives me hay fever. A jazz fan goes before a verb meaning shadows which has its last letter moved to the front.
14a Balance almost identical wood (6)
BALSA[M] A bookkeeping abbreviation for balance and almost all of a word meaning identical. To ‘see’ the wood, you need to remove another ‘missing’ letter.
15a 14 rocks around yard? Dreadful! (7)
ABYSMAL An anagram (rocks) of the solution to 14a goes round the abbreviation for Yard.
17a Garland originally performed new line in German city (7)
LEIPZIG A Hawaiian garland, the ‘original’ letter of Performed and a new line or change in direction of a course.
20a Plenty of hesitation surrounding AC/DC’s heavy metal (6)
ERBIUM Two different ways of expression hesitation go round an informal term for liking both sexes (AC/DC)
22a Without money, Moroccans cooked animals (8)
RACCOONS Remove the M (without money) and then make an anagram (cooked) of the rest of the letters of
24a A long time follows to make fun of coloured body parts (8)
RIBCAGES A verb meaning to ridicule, an abbreviation for coloured and a long time.
25a Responsibilities I start to see round America (6)
ONUSES How the Queen is supposed to refer to herself rather than using I goes round the abbreviation for American, the result finished off with the ‘start’ to see.
27a Third letter from intelligence department (4)
CE[D]E The third letter of the alphabet, plus one of the ‘missing’ can be found in intelligenCE DEpartment.
28a Time stereo was repaired in sporty car? (10)
TWOSEATER[S] An anagram (repaired) of T (time) STEREO WAS – noting that the definition is singular helps to point out another of the ‘missing’.
1d Tom’s sounding nearly flawless over river (4)
PURR Almost all of a word meaning flawless goes over or before the abbreviation for river.
2d Without limits Kate robs believers (8)
[A]THEISTS Remove the outside letters (without limits) from
kAT e and follow with a verb meaning steals in a robbery.
3d Sickness from operation tucked into cut bread (6)
NAUSEA Another way of saying the operation of something inserted into almost all (cut) of some Indian bread.
4d Disorder is right in hybrid (7)
MISRULE IS (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Right inserted into a hybrid equine.
5d Preposterous dropping councillor off? (8)
INEDIBLE Remove the abbreviation for councillor from a synonym for preposterous.
6d Criminal nailed judge (6)
DANIEL One of the Old Testament judges is obtained from an anagram (criminal) of NAILED.
7d Doldrums to follow community (10)
STAGNATION A verb meaning to follow or shadow (thank you BRB, for a long while I thought the letter at the start of this solution was one of the ‘missing’ but as the instructions say, it is the wordplay that is deficient, not the solution) followed by a community or set of people.
13d Fruits fashionable amongst inns (10)
AUBERGINES An adjective meaning fashionable inserted into some French inns.
16d Invincible gangster Mike topping 80 (8)
ALMIGHTY The abbreviated Christian name of Mr Capone (gangster), the letter represented by Mike in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, and the word 80 without its first letter.
18d Results from Times? (8)
PRODUCTS The results of some multiplication (times here indicating mathematics)
19d Pictures virtually unpolluted island (7)
FRESCOS Almost all (virtually) of a word meaning unpolluted followed by a Greek island. It had to be this illustration because I’ve actually seen these ones when we visited Pompeii.
21d Longed for sex with chief editor (6)
ITCHED An informal term for sexual magnetism and the abbreviation for chief and editor.
23d Call mixed school about Oscar s English (6)
COOEE[D] The abbreviations for Oscar and English inserted into an abbreviation for a school for both boys and girls. Another ‘missing’ letter here too.
26d Before end of ceasefire finds anger (4)
E[I]RE The last missing letter can be found once you’ve followed the ‘end’ of ceasefire with another word for anger.
If you want to see where the ‘missing’ letters and the quotation are to be found just ‘click here’
Thank you to Shark – I do appreciate all the hard work that must have gone into cluing this crossword to get the Nina without using obscure words – it is just a shame that the ‘speaker’ in the Nina didn’t actually say that part of the quotation as is revealed here:
Entertaining but very time-consuming. I do prefer a ‘straight’ puzzle so that the NTSPP fits nicely into the post-lunch period where you really ought to be doing something more domestically useful, but can’t resist solving another crossword first, not least to stop Mr CS coming in and saying ‘Weren’t you going to do ….. and …. this afternoon?’