NTSPP – 338
A Puzzle by Radler
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Radler’s been busy with other things and so hasn’t provided a puzzle for testing for quite a while. His recent email informed me that he didn’t think he’d mellowed in the interim, so I was delighted to tell him that not only had he mellowed but he’d produced a very enjoyable puzzle too. The mellowing where a Radler is concerned is, of course, all relative, but I thought this one much more user-friendly that some that have yet to appear here!!
There’s a theme in this one, some of the references are in the clues and others in the solutions. There’s also a clever Nina to be found in the solved grid which you can find at the end of this review.
1a Supply food consumed throughout Costa Rica (5)
CATER A verb meaning consumed inserted into (throughout) the IVR code for Costa Rica.
4a Tone of Red King‘s buffet after drug’s advanced (6-3)
PILLAR-BOX A (advanced), the Latin abbreviation for king and a method of fighting with the fists (one of the meanings of buffet) go after a form of medicine (drug’s advanced)
10a Position in order preceding pouring of tea (8)
PRIORATE A rank or office in a monastic order is obtained by placing an adjective meaning preceding before an anagram (pouring) of TEA
11a He offered tea as rabbit refused starter (6)
HATTER Remove the ‘starter’ from a verb meaning to talk idly (rabbit)
12a Heart of Hearts fast making one more pretentious (6)
ARTIER The ‘heart’ of heARts followed by a word describing someone who was fastening something
13a Sunday dinner sees Dinah active primarily feeding Parrot (5,3)
LORD’S DAY Feeding parrot is the instruction to insert the ‘primary’ letters of Dinner Sees Dinah and Active into a particular type of parrot.
14a What separates the girls from boys originally narrowed by fashion (9)
WONDERBRA I laughed out loud at this definition, whether I should have done so is the question I asked myself later! An anagram (by fashion) of NARROWED into which is inserted the ‘originally’ letter of Boys.
16a Received shock, run quickly (4)
HARE A homophone (received) of a shaggy mass of growth on the head
17a Will Carroll libel hosts? Au contraire! (4)
BILL A reversal (au contraire) of an alternative boy’s name for Will can be found hosted by CarroLL LIBel
19a Country where Nazi laws applied (Germany) (9)
SWAZILAND An anagram (applied) of NAZI LAWS followed by the IVR code for Germany
21a Mark crashes party to wake up sleepyhead (8)
DORMOUSE The abbreviation for Mark crashes or goes inside another word for party and a verb meaning to wake up
24a Exactly like Dodo – nothing new (4,2)
DEAD ON The way one usually describes a dodo followed by the letter that represents nothing and the abbreviation for new
25a Bottle of booze (6)
SPIRIT Double definitions, the first a description of courage or resolve the second some alcoholic drink
26a Place briefly taken by Duchess (8)
CHESHIRE The abbreviation for an English county has been taken by duCHESs, you just need to write the full name here.
27a Solitary TV presenter meets unmarried couple (9)
ANCHORITE having spent a while trying to fit Ant (a ‘solitary’ TV presenter) into the first part of this word, I finally realised that solitary in the sense of a person who has withdrawn from the world could be obtained by following a TV presenter with a couple without the M (unmarried)
28a Conduct of penniless drug supplier (5)
USHER Here conduct is a verb and all you need to do is remove the abbreviation for penny (penny less) from a drug supplier
2d They serve up caviar regularly at noisy railway station (7)
AIRCREW The regular letters of cAvIaR followed by a homophone (noisy) of a famous railway station
3d Moving on to email associates (9)
EMOTIONAL Rearrange ON TO EMAIL as instructed by ‘associates’ and you get a word meaning moving. Sneaky really as ‘moving’ is the more obvious anagram indicator in this clue and I’m not entirely convinced that associates works in this way.
5d Drug shrinks literary heroine by 40% (3)
ICE ‘shrink’ or remove 40% of the letters in the name of this puzzle’s literary heroine and you’ll be left with a slang term for an illicit drug.
6d Landslide at Herculaneum, ashes and rocks initiated (5)
LAHAR A lava mud flow is obtained from the initial letters of Landslide At Herculaneum Ashes and Rocks. If you ever get the chance to visit Pompeii, I highly recommend you visit nearby Herculaneum too
7d Tax on business classes (5)
RATES Some taxes on business or part of a verb meaning classes.
8d Not in public make public (4,3)
OPEN AIR An adjective meaning generally accessible (public) followed by a verb meaning to make public
9d Mop applications after his lager gets spilt (4,4)
HAIR GELS An anagram (gets spilt) of HIS LAGER
13d Little Abigail passed on embracing Rosemary for one (7)
LABIATE Rosemary is an example of a plant belonging to a family with lipped flowers, four-cornered stems, and opposite branches (thank you the BRB) – another way of saying deceased (passed on) embracing an abbreviation (little) for Abigail
15d Cutting diamonds, I confess they add colour (4,4)
ACID DYES A word meaning sharp (cutting ) followed by the abbreviation for Diamonds in a game of cards, and a word of affirmation (I confess)
16d Alternative arrangement in case he had problems (9)
HEADACHES An anagram (alternative arrangement) of CASE HE HAD
18d Ones and zeros given power in quantum value (7)
ISOSPIN Another one to be checked in the BRB. The explanation takes too long to type up here so you’ll have to look for yourselves! The wordplay is much simpler – take the letter that looks like a 1, add an S (one’s), the letter that looks like a zero, and again add an S, then the abbreviation for Power and IN (from the clue).
20d Starter for Duck, Cook‘s stuffing cheese whatsit (7)
DOOBRIE I’ve always spelt this alternative word for a whatsit or a thingummy with a Y but here you need the ‘starter’ for Duck, the ‘stuffing’ of cOOk and a French cheese.
22d Hard stuff held up progress (5)
MARCH The abbreviation for Hard and a verb meaning to stuff are reversed (held up)
23d Unqualified Mock Turtle left out (5)
UTTER An anagram (mock) of TURTLE without the L (left out)
26d Flog one with pride? (3)
CAT To lash with a particular whip (flog) or a member of a family such as the ones that live with a pride.
If you didn’t spot the Nina, then