NTSPP – 318 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 318

NTSPP – 318

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:

Hieroglyph does like a theme and this particular crossword has give him the chance to use some amazing phrases in order to create anagrams of the  titles of the themed works.


1a           A father’s wise to popular admiral, regularly dropped by 20 (1,7,2,5)
A PASSAGE TO INDIA   A (from the clue) an informal father plus S (father’s) an adjective meaning wise, the two letter word used to mean popular and the even letters of aDmIrAl.

9a           Island‘s fine, in a manner, once youth-leader’s departed (7)
OKINAWA   A simple way of saying fine, and a phrase meaning in a manner without the Y at the end (Youth ‘leader’s’ departed)

10a         Semicircular mouldings‘ poor condition, regardless of combined operations (7)
TONDINI Architectural mouldings –   An anagram (poor) of CONDITION once you removed (regardless of) the abbreviation for Combined Operations.


11a         Dung-beetle‘s the same, right? (3)
DOR   The abbreviated way of saying the same followed by the abbreviation for right.


12a         Originally, Monica Geller’s in 32 by 20 (7)
MAURICE   The ‘original’ letter of Monica and the solution to 32a into which is inserted the name of the spoon-bending Mr Geller.

13a         Humiliate oneself and react badly – that hurts! (3,4)
EAT CROW   An anagram (badly) of REACT followed by a way of saying ‘that hurts!’   Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable tells you about the origin of the expression but I won’t explain it here in case it puts you off your Sunday lunch!

eat crow

15a         Useless papers ultimately appal people (4)
IDLE   The abbreviation for papers that confirm who are followed by the ultimate letters of appaL and peoplE

17a         Brief editorial in general treated differently (10)
LEADERETTE   A brief editorial column in a newspaper –   an anagram (differently) of TREATED inserted into the name of the general who commanded the Confederate Army in the American Civil War.

22a         D’s by 20? (7,3)
HOWARDS END   Find this particular themed solution and you’ll see how the D fits the wordplay!

26a         Will’s personality? (4)
SELF   The surname of a novelist/journalist/TV personality called Will or one’s personality/identity.

Will Self

28a         Reactionary split hit significant other (7)
PARTNER   A reversal (reactionary) of a split or tear and a verb meaning to hit with a sharp blow.

30a         Singer embracing 18’s increasingly vulgar (7)
CHEAPER   Crosswordland’s favourite female singer embracing the solution to 18d.

32a         A hole in one‘s outstanding! (3)
ACE   A hole in one in golf or an informal adjective meaning outstanding.

33a         See 19 Down
34a         See 19 Down
35a/5d  20’s wife in this place regales fan drunkenly, initially traducing occupational therapist on active duty (5,6,4,2,5)
WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD   The abbreviation for Wife, an adverb meaning in this place, an anagram (drunkenly) of REGALES FAN, the initial letter of Traducing, the abbreviation for Occupational Therapist, the preposition meaning on or about, and the military abbreviation for Active Duty. Alternatively,  unless you are the blogger charged with explaining it and you know the works of 20, you can just write it in!!

1/8         Uncomfortably warm, I too make indecisive noises about life in Paris by 20 (1,4,4,1,4)
A ROOM WITH A VIEW   Another clue where if you know the book, only the blogger needs to work it out…. An anagram (uncomfortably) of WARM I TOO and a verb meaning to make indecisive noises, into which is inserted the French (in Paris) word for life.

a room with a view

2d           Farewell poster that is socially acceptable (5)
ADIEU   Several abbreviations combined – a poster, the Latin for that is and the letter used to mean socially acceptable.


3d           Arrest former secret police officers at the close (6)
STASIS   The secret police force of the former East Germany and the final letter (close) of officers.

4d           Cast amorous glances at German mistress cuddling English sweetheart (4,3)
GLAD EYE A slang term for an ogle –   The abbreviation for German, a term for the mistress of the house ‘cuddling’ the abbreviation for English, and the result finished off with the ‘heart’ of swEet.

5d           See 35

6d           Those who light up singular republican film in Government institute (8)
IGNITERS  The key to parsing this one is the tiny word “up” indicating the need to reverse the abbreviations for Singular and Republican, the Sci-Fi film so helpful to crossword setters, IN from the clue and the abbreviations for Government and Institute.

7d           5 having left club, help with the washing up? (5)
DRIER Remove the Roman numeral for five from a golf club.

washing upYes, I know it doesn’t illustrate the solution, but it is one of my favourite pictures of Alfie and it does fit with the clue!

8d           See 1
14d         Choose regular selection of hotpots (3)
OPT   A regular selection from hOtPoTs

16d         Depressed Member of Parliament’s left at the beginning (3)
LOW  These members of parliament are those who belong to the particular collective noun – simply move the L for left at the end to the front.

18d         Unbound paper copy (3)
APE   Remove the ‘bounds’ from pAPEr


19/34/33   20’s extremely tough musical act, heading off to eat, enjoy shenanigans on the outskirts of ancient city (3,7,7)
THE LONGEST JOURNEY   The ‘extreme’ letters of TougH, the abbreviated way we refer to a particular rock group, a verb meaning to eat without its first letter (heading off) and an anagram (shenanigans)of ENJOY into which is inserted the Old Testament city beloved by crossword setters everywhere.

20d         Some esteem for stereotypical novelist (1,1,7)
E M FORSTER The novelist whose works form today’s theme is to be found lurking in some esteEM FOR STEReotypical

21d         Hieroglyph’s dropped from regulation equipment (8)
ORDNANCE Remove I (Hieroglyph here referring to himself) from a regulation.

23d         Rejected portion of avocado and eggs (3)
OVA   Reversed (rejected) and found in a portion of AVOcado

24d         Oddly runny soap mixture applied with an aerosol (5-2)
SPRAY-ON   An anagram (mixture) of the odd letters of RuNnY and SOAP.

25d         North American unit finally seize the car of an airship (7)
NACELLE   The abbreviation for North American, a unit of which plants and animals are composed, and the final letter of seizE

27d         Lacking energy in one instance, after playing intense sport (6)
TENNIS   Remove one instance of the abbreviation for Energy from INTENSE and an anagram (after playing) of the remaining letters will produce a sport.

28d         Sermonising individual, joint in hand (2-3)
PI-JAW   This informal term for sermonising presumably has links with pious talk –   Insert I (one, individual) and  the informal abbreviation for a Joint (of marijuana!) into a hand .

29d         Nice colour’s makeup (5)
ROUGE   The French (as used in Nice) for the colour red is also the name of a cosmetic powder used to redden the face which always reminds me of my Granny who used it every time she went out so people wouldn’t say she looked poorly!

31d         Go against Spain’s grievance (5)
PEEVE   An informal word for urination (as is go) the abbreviation for a word meaning against (especially when one team is against another) and the IVR code for Spain


28 comments on “NTSPP – 318

  1. Typically brilliant grid-fill from H. I was able to solve all the themers from the excellent and precise wordplay, and I enjoyed the puzzle so much that I wasn’t tempted to search for any short cuts.
    I failed on one non-themer which wasn’t known to me, but the wp seems fair enough now I have pressed “reveal”.
    One tiny typo; it should be Geller not Gellar.
    Thanks to H for a most enjoyable puzzle, nice weekend everybody

  2. Very enjoyable – thanks Hieroglyph. I was a bit put off at first by all the cross-references but once I had 20d it all fell into place. My favourite is (as Kath would say) one of 22a, 16d and 31d.
    An extra zero has crept into the enumeration of 19/34/33d.

  3. I wouldn’t say that the theme particularly enthused me when I realised what it was, but all but one of the themed answers was manageable without resorting to Google thankfully. Google was however certainly required to check the answers to 10a, 13a and 28d, all of which were new to me.

    A couple of answers have defied adequate parsing, so I’ll await the review for those. In 25d, shouldn’t the verb be “seizes” to make it grammatically correct? I realise that would ruin the clue though!

    My favourite was one of Gazza’s, i.e. 31d.

    Many thanks for the entertainment, Hieroglyph.

  4. Thanks Hieroglyph; nice setting to get in all the themed answers.

    I got 20 fairly early on, which helped to populate the grid quite quickly, although I couldn’t remember all the works until revealed.

    16d was my favourite, closely followed by 31d.

  5. Fabulous. So much fun. I got 20D early on, which helped a lot. Even then, I did not know all of the related answers off the top of my head but was able to work everything out. I have the correct answer for 26A (because I checked) but I haven’t managed to parse that one yet. Difficult to pick out a favorite, so I’ll just go for 22A, 7D (because I was misled for bit), 16D, 21D and 31D. Many thanks to you, Hieroglyph.

    1. This particular Will might not be so well known on your side of the Pond – try putting Will and your solution into a search engine.

  6. Gosh – I must be having a bad week! Hands up from me for finding 20d and then having to resort to sitting with a list in front of me.
    I’ve got a full grid now (thanks to phone-a-friend re: 10a) but came across seven new words/phrases and still have a few half-parsings. Off to sit in the dunce’s corner with my hat on……..

    Must have been a good one, Hieroglyph – some excellent comments in from the ‘bright sparks’ – sorry to have let you down this time.
    On the upside, I rather enjoyed 22&26a plus 2,18&27d!

  7. Yes, that was indeed a brilliant grid fill.
    Having the entry clue as a hidden was an interesting and doubtless deliberate decision – but unusual to have it given so readily.
    All bar one of the themed clues were familiar, and 19d became apparent from the crossers, hence I haven’t yet fully parsed these, but will do so later, probably.
    Favourite clue was 24d. Many thanks for the entertainment Hieroglyph.

  8. Managed to get 1a from the start but couldn’t remember who wrote it. Typical.
    Knew his other works except 35/5 but easily parsed.
    I liked the adaptation of 10a a lot when it came out in the 80s.
    Congratulations to Hieroglyph for including all his novels in the grid. Not an easy task by any means.
    I still don’t have both 28s yet.
    Knew 26a but only by name. Have to look him now.
    Thanks to Hieroglyph for the great fun.

  9. My very first answer in was 20d which was certainly a huge help. 10a eventually defeated me. Still a few where I need to unpick all the wordplay which I will do later in the day.
    Thanks Hieroglyph.

    1. Should have asked Hanni about 10a – I did! Goodness knows how she comes out with this stuff. :unsure:

    2. OK, so I’m feeling a bit smug because I worked the answer out from the clue. I did check it with Google, though.

      1. Oh dear – you’re obviously in the same ‘clever’ camp as Hanni. I gave up on doing it the logical way once I realised that I was going to fnish up with what I considered to be a non-word. However, I did make a sterling attempt to justify ‘tankini’!

  10. I was lucky enough to get 1a straight away so was on the lookout for the theme. It took a most enjoyable while. I had to resort to electronic help for the last two: 10a and 28d neither of which I have ever heard of. Many thanks Heiroglyph, a nice, cultured puzzle.

  11. 20d was nicely accessible, and from there I could fill in most of the theme clues. I did need a few cheats to finish though, and learned some new words. Good fun. Thanks Hieroglyph.

  12. I sort of spoiled this one a bit. I read 1a which directed me to 20d. The answer here was pretty obvious so in it went, then 1a was obvious from the enumeration. After that I went searching for other references to 20d and just filled then all in from their enumerations. Once that lot were in I had so many checkers in place that the rest of the puzzle was nowhere near as tricky as it might have been.

    Still, a bit of fun so thanks to Hieroglyph and crypticsue.

    1. I bet I would have done the same, Pommers, but fortunately I’d printed off the puzzle and was well away from t’internet, so was not led into temptation. Makes it much more fun when you’ve got to discover them one by one. :)

      1. I’m familiar with the works so didn’t need anything to help. The enumeration just gave the game away and left the whole thing a bit flat for me. No pasa nada.

  13. Many thanks for the review, CS and for taking the time to spell out the way in which I should have solved a couple of the titles if I hadn’t been so lazy! In my defence, some of them were extremely complex.
    My heart always sinks a little when we’re faced with so many inter-connected clues and this one had the added difficulty of including several previously unknown words/phrases.
    Loved the pic for 18d and also the one of Alfie – long may he continue to do the washing up with a smile on his face!

  14. This was a Sunday solve for us. We got 26a immediately which led straight away to a reasonably obvious 20d. To be honest, we didn’t enjoy it much from there on. We didn’t feel any of the book titles could have been solved construction first- we had the get the title and then work out the components. Hieroglyph is clearly a very clever setter, but it just failed to work for us.

    3*/2* ratings for us. 9a was a favourite.

    Thanks to Hieroglyph and CS for the review.

  15. Thanks for your comments and to Cryptic Sue for the review. Hope to be back on these pages before long!

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