NTSPP – 330
An Alphabetical Puzzle by Knut
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows
Despite Hieroglyph’s best efforts to try and persuade me otherwise, I am still not a fan of the Alphabetical Jigsaw Crossword. I really love solving crosswords but I leave the jigsaw puzzles to Mr CS.
However, I was able to solve 21 of the 28 clues of this one without even looking at the grid which pleased me no end and once I started the task of fitting in the solutions (the SE corner being particularly user-friendly here) I was able, with the help of the handy Nina at the top and bottom of the grid, to solve the remaining seven clues.
Kath wanted to know how people solve an alphabetical puzzle – well, as I said above I solve as many clues as I can, and then write out lists of the 6 letter words, 7 letter words etc, and once I know how many 10 letter words there are (or any other number where there are only a couple of words to fit in), then I start to look at the grid. The SE corner was particularly helpful as to which word went where and then the rest gradually filled itself in and I solved the remaining clues.
This particular crossword contains an awful lot of General Knowledge (not to mention, for me anyway, unknown song lyrics), and I’m going to have to get the eggs out as I’ve been fancying some Z ever since I solved the clue.
A Discover Belinda Carlisle’s requirement? (6,2)
ALIGHT ON If you are a fan of Ms Carlisle, you probably know her song where she asks you to perform a particular task ready for when she gets home in the dark. If not, like me you’ll remain mystified for some considerable time until you haven’t many spaces left on the grid and have the Nina to help you. Split the solution 1, 5, 2 to see what Belinda required.
B Hector Dickens about wizard content (7)
BERLIOZ Hector a verb? Hector a Christian name? – Ah, Hector the composer. Insert the middle three letters of King Arthur’s wizard into the nickname Charles Dickens used when writing for the Morning Chronicle
C Charles, entertaining Earl, absorbs Victor Hugo (6)
CHAVEZ Hugo the President of Venezuela. A pet name for someone called Charles ‘entertains’ the abbreviation for Earl, and then ‘absorbs’ the letter represented by Victor in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.
C Send to the bottom headless resident of the inky depths? (6)
CUTTLE Remove the first letter (headless) of a verb meaning to sink a ship (send to the bottom) and you are left with a cephalopod mollusc known for its ink.
D One cornered with paper hat (5)
DUNCE A cryptic definition which took me so long to ‘see’ that I really should be wearing such a hat.
E Wessex, England’s outsiders for return tie (6)
EDWARD The outside letters of EnglanD followed by a reversal (for return) of a verb meaning to tie in the sense of ending a game without winning give us the Christian name of the Earl of Wessex.
F Music genre role playing is the stuff of legend (8)
FOLKLORE A genre of music handed down by tradition followed by an anagram (playing) of ROLE.
G Slurp this, having exchanged PG Tips! (6)
GUZZLE ‘This’ is the thing you’ve been scratching your head over since Saturday lunchtime. Exchange the P at the tip for a G and you’ll get a verb meaning to eat or drink greedily or immoderately – slurp means to drink noisily which is not quite the same thing.
H Lack of fine 18″ special lines (8)
HALYARDS Mr CS and I pondered long about the 18” until we remembered the measurement that is 36”. So you have the measurement signified by 18” without its F (lack of Fine) followed by the abbreviation for Special.
I Knut’s magnetic flux density meter (4)
IAMB A metric foot of two syllables. If our setter was talking about himself, he wouldn’t say Knut is, but X XX, and this should be followed by the symbol for magnetic flux density. How the average woman at her kitchen table is supposed to know this, when even my resident science go-to person didn’t, is beyond me. Fortunately, I did do English Lit for A-Level so the solution was obvious.
J Condom (yellow) keeping it up, Romeo is more perky (8)
JAUNTIER Condom is a place in France so you need the French word for yellow, into which (keeping) is inserted a reversal of IT (from the clue), the result then finished off with the letter which Romeo represents in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.
K The King’s head is swelling (4)
KNOB The abbreviation for King followed by an informal term for the head.
L Fearful chicken outlet after being set on fire (6)
LITTLE Here in the UK, we’d call this fearful chicken by a different name, but to find what I think of as the American name, you need part of a verb meaning set on fire followed by an anagram (out) of LET. Our well-worn copy of the Ladybird book of this story remains the only book I actually buried in the garden because I couldn’t face reading it again to a two-year-old who loved the story A LOT! He’s 32 now but I’ve never let on what I did with the book!
M She brushes off drunken PM’s romp (3,4)
MRS MOPP An anagram (drunken) of PMS ROMP
N Being told off (failing in definition) (8)
NOTIFIED An anagram (off) of DEF
INITION without the (failing) IN.
O Text “love you madly” – it gets seedy (5)
OVULE An anagram (madly) of LOVE and the letter used to represent ‘you’ in text speak.
P Having snooped on Brussels, I grabbed a pew (4-4)
PRIE-DIEU A verb meaning snooped goes before (on) the abbreviation for the organization informally known as ‘Brussels’ into which is inserted (grabbed) I (from the clue). I’ve looked up both the solution and pew in the dictionary, and checked with a man of the cloth and both confirmed my view the solution is a prayer desk not a pew.
Q Wrap around blue Lalique sculpture (10)
QUESADILLA Blue here isn’t a colour but a way of describing how you are feeling and this word should be inserted into an anagram (sculpture) of LALIQUE.
R Diminish D disheartened, tore wildly about (6,2)
REDUCE TO Take your solution to D, remove its ‘heart’, and put the letters you have left inside an anagram (wildly) of TORE.
S Girl’s fringe affair (7)
SHEBANG The feminine form of the 3rd person pronoun followed by the American word for the hairstyle we’d call a fringe
T Red hot dish sold in Cannes, on dit (6,4)
TOMATO SOUP A particular tone of red and a hot dish which is sold in a homophone (on dit) of CANNES
U Ms Palmer-Tomkinson left struggling manufactory awkwardly positioned (7)
UNCOMFY The letters of Ms Palmer-Tomkinson’s Christian name are not in that order (awkwardly positioned) in M
ANUF AC TO RY but should be removed (left) and an anagram made of the remaining letters.
V He wrote V for Z in DRC once (8)
VOLTAIRE V is an abbreviation for the SI Unit of Electromotive Force. The word that V represents should be used in full to replace the Z in the name of the country now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
W Infantry Warrant Officer runs streets ahead (3,2,5)
WAY IN FRONT An anagram (runs) of INFANTRY W O (Warrant Officer)
X Thud! An axeman returns to capture Kubla Khan’s city (6)
XANADU Hidden and reversed (returns to capture) in thUD AN AXeman
Y Boat hauled up dry slipway (4)
YAWL A reversal (hauled up) of
SL IPWAY once you have removed the small amount of drink (dry).
Y The old recording of Hound Dog? (4)
YELP The archaic way of saying the plus a type of record.
Z “It takes some beating to shoot Cecil in South Africa” – Express leader (10)
ZABAGLIONE The IVR Code for South Africa, a verb meaning to kill game (shoot), the animal named Cecil who was recently shot by an American dentist on safari in South Africa, and the ‘leader’ of Express.
If you want to know which solution went where in the grid, and spot the Nina, then look no further, just