NTSPP – 298
S&B York 2015 by Elgar
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
This puzzle was distributed at the S&B meeting in York today.
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:
BD told me last Saturday that this special crossword, compiled for this weekend’s 5d/13d Gathering held in the second word of 4d , would be this week’s NTSPP too. I then had a word with our setter, and was pleased to find when I started to solve the puzzle, that my request for him to be kind to me (as I’d be blogging it) was taken on board (I’ve known far harder Elgar “specials” than this one!). I did notice the Nina* (well it was in full colour so even a non-noticer of Ninas couldn’t fail to miss it) and then tried to make the letters in the other coloured squares into words that made sense (some do and some don’t). However, being Elgar, it is much more brilliantly clever than that – if you still can’t ‘see’ it, have a look at the end of the review.
8a Party successful at election murder (2,2)
DO IN Another word for party followed by an adverb used to describe being successful at an election.
9a Recovered from effects of powerful punch? This Aussie’s got a long way to go (10)
OVERLANDER An Australian who drives cattle a very long way – A way of saying recovered from the effects of, followed by an informal term for a heavy blow (powerful punch).
10a Receives Good Guide for Tipping (6)
GREETS The sneaky capitals held me up no end – The abbreviation for Good followed by a reversal (tipping) of a verb meaning to guide.
11a Dairy produce harms Gentile, reclining in van (8)
YOGHURTS Take a word meaning harms and a Jewish word for a non-Jew (Gentile), the latter being reversed (reclining) and then placed at the front (in van, in the lead).
12a Golden retriever initially seen from the 7th to the 11th (5)
JASON And the Award for D’oh moment of the Year goes to … I can’t tell you how long it took me to realise that the solution is the initials of the months of the year from the 7th to the 11th especially as I knew right from the start what the 7th and 11th were!
14a Callow youth near to Berlin without work turned back (9)
GREENHORN Turned back is the most important part of this clue – I knew what the callow youth had to be, but it wasn’t until I reversed my solution that I realised I had the abbreviation for near, the German (as used in Berlin) word for ‘without’ and the CGS unit of work.
15a A linesman’s inertia: of the two of us, you’d more energy (7)
IDLESSE A poetic way of describing inertia – split the solution 1’1, 4, 1, remember the abbreviation for energy, and the penny will drop as to how the last bit of wordplay works!
17a Land sliding into sea (7)
ESTONIA An anagram (sliding) of INTO SEA.
20a Topless, perform with rhythm on pole, possibly (9)
PERCHANCE Remove the first letter (topless) from a verb meaning to perform with rhythm and put it after (on) a pole or rod.
22a Star turn for Sherlock actor – for the most part (5)
DENEB The brightest star in the constellation Cygnus is a reversal (turn) of most of the Christian name of the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes in the current TV production.
23a Check rum has a dash of lime (8)
STRANGLE Insert the first letter (dash of) Lime into another way of saying rum in the sense of peculiar.
24a Man from Hamburg, say, who’s giving up hamburgers? (6)
DIETER A German Christian name (man from Hamburg, say) could also mean someone who has given up eating hamburgers because of their fat content!
26a The curious wedding of Rose and Martin Smith (10)
IRONMASTER An anagram (the curious wedding of) of ROSE and MARTIN.
27a Right time to feel remorse? (4)
TRUE The abbreviation for time followed by a verb meaning to feel remorse.
1d Bellow‘s writing perhaps repeatedly engaging old American (4)
ROAR Writing is one of the three subjects studied which are often referred to using a single letter of the alphabet – You need two lots of this letter (repeatedly) into which are inserted (engaging) the abbreviations for Old and American.
2d Brute fixed stake on the run (8)
ANTELOPE Mr CS and I discussed whether the solution was one of the ‘lower, larger animals’ which is how the BRB describes ‘brute’ and decided that it must be – you need a fixed betting stake and a verb meaning to run with a long stride.
3d “We’ve charges in business”, Iceland’s admitted (4)
IONS ‘Admit’ or insert the adverb meaning operation (in business) into the IVR code for Iceland.
4d Port fool’s wrapping with present! (3,4)
NEW YORK Insert into (wrapping) a slang term for a fool or irritating idiot, the abbreviation for With and an informal (usually American) interjection used to indicate one’s presence (present!).
5/13d US bod recording moments of time in superior company (8,3,7)
BLOGGERS AND SETTERS Elgar once again using a sneaky capital (the S) to confuse – “Us” being the people at the gathering in York for whom the puzzle was intended – Into some superior company BETTERS, insert someone recording data LOGGER, and two moments of time S AND S, S being the abbreviation for a second, and then split the result 8, 3, 7 . Thank goodness for CLICK HERE! as my original explanation of this wordplay confused me no end!
6d Busy hours introducing new charge (6)
ONRUSH An anagram (busy) of HOURS ‘introducing’ N (new).
7d Draw from Orient – back is little put out (10)
WESTERNISE To move away from Eastern ideas and become like the people of Europe or America in customs or ideas. Another word for back and IS (from the clue) inserted into an adjective meaning little or tiny.
13d See 5
16d Mum again uncomfortable touring hot Oriental city (8)
SHANGHAI An interjection meaning hush (mum being an adjective meaning silent) followed by an anagram (uncomfortable) of AGAIN which goes round (touring) the abbreviation for Hot.
18d A long-distance caller through to a worried Patience? (8)
OPERETTA It probably helps to solve this one if your school used to put on Gilbert & Sullivan works on a regular basis as Patience is the title of one of them. Into an anagram (worried) of TO A, put another way of saying through/by means of and the film alien who tried so hard to call home (long-distance caller).
19d 27 curate not verbally ordered to go to some grave? (6)
ACCENT Remove the solution to 27a from CURATE, then rearrange the letters you have left and follow with a homophone (verbally) of a verb meaning ordered to go.
21d Confinement in which Dave’s partner’s kept (6)
CHAINS Insert IN (from the clue) into the other member of the Cockney signing duo (Dave’s partner). Anyone else spend a very tiny moment trying to fit Mrs BD in??
24d Place for Mr Lazy, Mr Lazy and Mr Uppity? (4)
DORM This clue merited ** once I’d finally worked out what our devious setter was on about. The clue has Mr Lazy, Mr Lazy twice, the second Mr Lazy could have been expressed using the word ditto – so you need the abbreviation for Ditto followed by a reversal (uppity) of MR.
25d Papa’s out in Andes country – very exceptional area (4)
ERUV Remove the P (NATO Phonetic Alphabet – Papa = P) from a South American country through which the Andes pass and then add the abbreviation for Very. This ‘exceptional area’ is a Hebrew term for an area within which certain activities normally forbidden in public on the Sabbath are permitted.
*I am sure you spotted the word RAINBOW at the top of the grid. If you then look at the first square of each coloured section, you will see that each colour starts with the appropriate letter in the mnemonic we all had to learn at school to remember the correct order of the colours of the rainbow: Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.
A big thank you to Elgar for being relatively kind, wonderfully sneaky, and exasperatingly tricky all at the same time. I hope all the 5/13s enjoyed solving this special crossword too.