NTSPP – 322

NTSPP – 322

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:

Not entirely sure why I wasn’t sent this particular Radler puzzle to test solve, but it meant that it  was as new to me as the rest of the Saturday afternoon solvers .  If I had seen it before, there’s one particular thing about quite a few clues that I’d definitely have pointed out to him, as well as a number of other ‘quibbles’ ..  I’d  definitely also have pointed out to him that if 1a is to be included in the theme, it does need SHIRE at the end of it.

An enjoyable time was had on the whole, especially as even I could see the hidden theme!!

I drafted this review yesterday afternoon before going to my boss’s birthday barbecue (thermals, macs and gloves were essential wear but it was a good do) and looking at the comments this morning I see that others have mentioned the same ‘quibbles’ as me.



1a           Brag about second half at Manchester City (9)
WORCESTER    A reversal (about) of another way of saying brag followed by the second half of ManchESTER

6a           Quote to supply bread, brown or white? (5)
SAUCE    A homophone (quote) of a verb meaning supply gives us three types of today’s hidden theme.  The picture clearly shows the correct name for this particular 6a!

Worcestershire Sauce

9a           Wonderbra model covers butt (3)
RAM   Covers indicates that a verb meaning to butt is hidden in WonderbRA Model.

10a         Plant drug quietly after broadcaster’s tip-off (11)
HORSERADISH   A slang term for heroin (drug) and almost all (tip off) of a sound broadcaster go before an  interjection meaning hush (quietly)


11a         Head of Scotland Yard detains killer in small room (8)
SCULLERY   Someone who kills animals when they are inferior or superfluous is detained between the ‘head’ or first letter of Scotland and the abbreviation for Yard

13a         Set deposit rate nearly double in recession (6)
TARTAR   The first three letters (nearly) of RATe, used twice and reversed.  I am not sure that we need ‘set’ ?


15a         Make money   spanking (4)
MINT    To literally make money or brand new (spanking)


16a         Not the best spot to play with labium! (10)
SUBOPTIMAL   An anagram (to play with) of SPOT and LABIUM

20a         Barge in to nab criminal concealing weapon (6,4)
NARROW BOAT  There are devotees of the solution who’d tell you that it isn’t the same thing as a barge but I’m not going to start a debate here –   An anagram (criminal) of TO NAB concealing a weapon shot from a bow.

21a         Regularly took milk drink at first (4)
USED   A verb meaning to exploit (milk) and the first letter of Drink.

23a         Look good for women on walk (6)
GANDER    Take a verb meaning to walk with no fixed course or in a roundabout way and replace the abbreviation for Women with the abbreviation for Good

25a         Lacking vitality, subject in a spot of trouble (2-2,4)
NO-GO AREA   An informal way of saying lacking vitality followed by a subject.

28a         Shackle to post allegedly on love survey (7,4)
OPINION POLL    A verb meaning to confine by holding (shackle) and a homophone (allegedly)of a post  go on or after the letter that represents love in a tennis score.

30a         Hit  music (3)
BOP   A slang term for a blow (hit) or an originally 1950s dance with or to pop music –  so more ‘dance’ than  ‘music’ ?

31a         Forward, head off face forward (3,2)
END ON   Remove the first letter (head off) an expression you might use when forwarding, eg, a letter to someone.

32a         Italian models enlarge boobs without changing bra (9)
BOLOGNESE     An anagram (models) of ENLARGE BOOBS  without – ie once you have removed the letters BRA – changing indicating that they aren’t in that order.




1d           Cultivates   plant (5)
WORKS    Double definition – the plant being a factory rather than something found in a garden.

2d           Shoot suspect before he takes contraband (3-6)
RUM-RUNNER   A verb meaning suspect or strange goes before a shoot often found, for example,  on a strawberry plant.

3d           Healthy no longer? That’s a blow! (6)
EXHALE    Split a verb meaning to breathe out (blow)  2, 4 and the first part of the clue will make sense.

4d           Rock and Roll nonsense (3)
TOR    A rocky outcrop is a reversal (roll) of a word meaning nonsense.

5d           Rock and Roll  music (4)
REEL   Triple definitions –  firstly to sway (rock) , secondly to turn or wind (roll) and thirdly music for a Scottish dance.

6d           They stop navy person meeting soldiers (8)
SEALANTS     US navy person (a member of the Sea, Air and Land Teams) followed by some of Crosswordland’s favourite soldiering insects.

7a           Auntie going East, converted Church member there? (5)
UNIAT    I’d never heard of this member of a community of Christians but the wordplay/checking letters are kind/helpful  and this would make a good addition to Big Dave’s new Dictonary of Obscure Words– The E at the end of AUNTIE is ‘going’ and then you need an anagram (converted) of the remaining letters.   The last time I saw ‘going East’ in a clue, it was because the setter had confused the direction in which the reversal was supposed to go!   Not sure it works as a deletion indicator.

8d           Put out there to air (5)
ETHER    An anagram (put out) of THERE

12d         Have as much hamburger as required, then make steps (6)
RHUMBA    An anagram (make) of the first six letters (as much … as required) of HAMBURger 

14d         Male… until eating a cherry perhaps (6)
TOMATO –   A male cat and a preposition meaning until ‘eating’ A (from the clue)


15d         Mum n Dad? (3)
MAN    An informal way of referring to your mum plus the N from the clue.

17d         Nigel bares immense ___! Standing up, trousers down (9)
MISERABLE   Hidden (trousers) and reversed (standing up) in nigEL BARES IMmense  .  Trousers is really the wrong tense to indicate that something has been ‘pocketed’.

18d         Mr Little and Miss Short (3)
LAD    A young man (Mr Little) is almost all of a four letter miss (or Mrs come to that)

19d         Italian withholding papers etc. for a laugh (8)
COMEDIAN   The Italian for with ‘holding’ or having inserted a channel through which information is transmitted to the public (papers etc).

22d         Bent pin of propeller stopped abruptly by German (3.3)
BOW LEG    I think if I’d actually tested this crossword, I’d have certainly mentioned the number of times we are required to remove a letter from a word to get the solution.   Here we take almost all of someone who propels a cricket ball and put a G (German) at the end.

23d         Layer of sludge and coat of slime (5)
GOOSE    A ‘layer’  of eggs  – some sludge and the coat or outside letters of SlimE


24d         Spirit initially not an issue affecting drinkers (5)
NAIAD   This river spirit is obtained from the initial letters of Not An Issue Affecting Drinkers

26d         Spot where wood finally pruned to reveal tree (5)
APPLE    Prune the last letter of wood from a verb meaning to variegate with spots of colour or shade, and you get a tree, the fruit of which can be used to make  one of today’s themed items.

apple sauce

27d         Short and flat hairstyles needing makeover (4)
SNUB     A word used to describe a short and flat nose is a reversal (needing makeover) of some hair styles.

29d         Hoy, cycling in fourth position, required fuel (3)
OIL   An interjection used to attract attention (as hoy is used here) and the fourth letter of cycLing


  1. Gazza

    Thanks to Radler for the usual enjoyable puzzle. I got into difficulties in the SE corner due to having ‘rap’ for 30a which made 17d impossible. Once that was sorted out there was a loud d’oh when 17d became apparent and that’s now my favourite. There were lots of others I liked including 20a, 32a and 19d.

  2. dutch

    Whooph, finished this eventually. I am a big fan of Radler who has given us many superb puzzles – I struggled with this one though, the difficulty arising mainly through additional vagueness I thought (or so i convinced myself, anyway). Having said that, I can’t fault the many inventive surface readings!

    Like Gazza I entered RAP (my initials!) which was a perfectly good answer to 30a (perhaps even better – I think of bop as dance rather than music, though brb does say it is short for bebop music). And it also caused problems in 17d for me until I twigged “standing up”.

    I didn’t really like 12d. I don’t think I’ve parsed 19d and wasn’t sure the definition matched the answer. “Going east” as a deletion indicator grated a little in 7d, and I’m not sure I liked “at” in 1a or “where” in 26d (would have preferred “in” and “with”, for example). Wasn’t too keen on 4& 5d.

    32 across – I’m not sure you can use “models” as an imperative anagram indicator, “Italian model enlarges boob” might have been better.

    wasn’t really happy with the translation of miss in 18d.

    Don’t get me wrong, lots I liked – I smiled at 23d, very nice, and I was happy to discover a small room that wasn’t a lavatory in 11a. I thought 16a and 20a were really very good, and 13a was probably my biggest duh.

    Many thanks Radler

    • Maize

      Glad I came here – my first thought for 30a was bop, but I rejected it in favour of rap; will now change it and have another go at 17d…

    • Big Dave

      I did think twice about the lift-and-separate construction in 19d, but a few weeks ago I did say that it was alright if the word in question (withholding in this case) split naturally, as here, into two words.

      Were you too busy parsing the clues to notice anything else about this puzzle?

      • dutch

        Ah! just saw it – the anything else, that is (as well as the 19d parsing) – many thanks!

        (although I believe we have complained in these pages before about omitting “shire”)

  3. Kath

    Hmmmm – having a right royal struggle with this – haven’t even done half, yet.
    Back later, or tomorrow.

  4. Jane

    Like Kath, I’m having a real tussle but I refuse to let you win too easily, Radler!

    By the way – anybody else struggled to get the puzzle up? Every time I clicked on the grid I got ‘this page cannot be displayed’.
    Fortunately Kitty sent me a pdf – thank you Kitty (I think!).

    • Kath

      Hmmm – again! Haven’t got any further – been dodging raindrops.
      I’m admitting defeat for now – we’re off to friends for supper and I really must go and try to make the sow’s ear into something as close to a silk purse as is possible these days – oh dear! :unsure:

  5. windsurfer23

    Thanks Radler; quite tricky in parts.

    Only got the theme at the end. Quite cheeky, so to speak.

  6. Kitty

    I really wasn’t in the mood to spend ages on another crossword today but I couldn’t resist looking at this. So after a slow start, and having peeked at comments, I semi-solved it – with plenty of letter hints to speed me along the way.

    There was lots to enjoy here – thanks Radler. I have a couple of questions remaining so await the review with interest. 15a was a spanking clue and 16a wasn’t 16a at all :) . 17d takes the gong. I missed the theme (or two themes in one) until the end, but I like it.

    Right. Off out now to go and do something completely different.

    Thanks again, Radler, and thanks in advance to the reviewer too.

  7. Maize

    First of all thank you to Radler and Big Dave for another puzzle in this ne plus ultra of free internet puzzle series.
    The ones I liked best were 32a – not especially for its risqué surface but rather for its excellent construction – 23d and the snappy 15d.
    Unfortunately there were also some I struggled with/ didn’t like (maybe there’s not much difference! ) which were 1a – too much similarity between wordplay and answer, 13a – ‘set’ as a definition was less than helpful, given that it does after all the most meanings of any word in our laguage! 5d – I just don’t get it, sorry, 7d – ‘going east’ instead of ‘east going’ didn’t work for this solver, and 29d seems to be ‘hoy’ clueing ‘oi’… really? However I thought 12d ‘Having as much hamburger as required’ to give the fodder ‘hambur’ was interestingly innovative, so quite liked it.
    The theme was lovely too – not least the intersecting 23a/d. Many thanks again, and especially for continually pushing the boundaries on these pages, Radler.

    • Maize

      Many thanks CS for another brilliant and helpful review. Objections to 13a and 5d now withdrawn. :)

  8. KiwiColin

    I was totally beaten by 17d, mainly by having RAP for 30a. I did get the rest after a lot of hard work but totally missed the theme until I read the comments above. Yes a very clever and challenging puzzle.
    Thanks Radler.

  9. Radler

    It was only when Crypticsue emailed me after publication that I realised I’d overlooked the test solve for this puzzle (which was therefore in its first draft.) Sorry about Bop/Rap – double definition clues are prone to ambiguity on occasions, and I didn’t spot that one.

    Regarding 13a – My dictionary defines “tartar” as a “deposit on the teeth”. I felt “set deposit” was more precise and possibly fairer than “deposit” alone would have been.

    Thank you all for the feedback and to Sue for the review

    • Big Dave

      I was happy with music = bop. Chambers defines bop as short for bebop and bepop as a variety of jazz music. In my book rap is not music, but I know that others disagree.

  10. dutch

    Many thanks CS for the review, and thanks again Radler.

    On remembering an article Snape had highlighted when judging for DIYCOW: in 32a, an anagram indicator preceding fodder could be imperative, or, only if it is transitive and immediately preceded by the definition, might be read as “the answer mixes fodder”, giving a third person anagrind as is the case in 32a. So I guess it works….just

    trousers, to me, seems to work fine – the verb is trouser=to pocket

    I like the goose/gander now it’s been pointed out. I’d missed the lift and separate in 19d, wasn’t expecting that at all but BD was kind enough to hint in the comments. I’m glad other also liked 23d. I had rationalised “set deposit” as “deposit that had set”, which is probably silly because that would mean “deposited deposit” – so i missed the link from set to teeth.

    Cheers Radler, looking forward to the next one.

  11. Kitty

    Thanks to CS for the review. All is clear now. Hoy = oi indeed!

    I agree with Dutch above that (re 32a) definition models fodder just about works. And (in 17d) fodder trousers solution also seems good to me.

    Thanks again to Radler for the saucy fun.

  12. Jane

    Many thanks for the review, CS. I did manage to get a completed grid before reading it but confess to making a couple of errors. I had ‘reef’ for 5d so obviously couldn’t find the ‘music’ and, having missed the cricket reference in 22d (no surprise there!) I ended up putting in ‘dog leg’.
    Certainly a few I wasn’t keen on – 1a&29d spring to mind but plenty of others that got ticks from me:- 5,15&25a plus 3&24d. Loved the surface read of the latter.

    Thanks Radler, I almost got there!

  13. Kath

    So far beyond me. I think that Brian would say that it was beyond his pay grade.
    I know that I always have trouble with Radler crosswords but I don’t often fail quite as badly as I have this time.
    Off with tail between legs now. :sad:
    I’m sure there were loads of wonderful clues but the one that struck me particularly was 19d.
    Thanks, well done and sorry for not doing better with this one to Radler – thanks and admiration to CS for doing it, sorting it all out and managing to write some hints.

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