NTSPP – 345 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 345

NTSPP – 345

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Radler up to his usual trickiness but this time with a fairly obvious theme, for those of us who live in the UK anyway.


1a           Wait barely a moment before having a wee (4,1,6)
JUST A MINUTE An adverb meaning barely, A (from the clue) and a synonym for wee in the sense of very small


7a           Suspicion of Woman’s Hour over before explanation (3)
HOW The abbreviations for Hour and Over go before the abbreviation for (suspicion of) Woman

9a           Values allude to minds, hearts must be turned (5)
ETHIC A reversal (must be turned) part of a verb meaning allude to into which is inserted (minds) the abbreviation for Hearts in a game of cards

10a         Fake emerald, good cut on the surface (9)
EPIDERMAL An anagram (fake) of EMERALD into which is inserted the two-letter word which someone (usually one of the Usual Suspects) always says “I didn’t know xx meant good”

11a         Anticipation of 26 station on 28 (8)
FORECAST To solve this one, you need to have solved 28a and 26d.  Homophones (on 26) of the solution to 28d and a social station or standing in society

12a         Do insects occasionally get together to form circles? (5)
DISCS The occasional letters of Do InSeCtS

14a         I’m tired? Not I, taken by surprise! (8)
 AMBUSHED Remove the I (not I) from an informal way you might say you were tired.

15a         Likely first-born male? (4-2)
ODDS-ON  Split your solution 3,3 and you’ll see how the ? works in this clue – the second born male you’d have would be an even …

18a         It’s principally dry with a scattering of trees (6)
DESERT The principal letter of Dry followed by an anagram (scattering) of TREES


20a         Plucky instrument curtailed alto; soprano ending it all (4-4)
HARA-KIRI Ceremonial Japanese suicide – a musical instrument played by plucking without its last letter (curtailed), the abbreviation for Alto and the Christian name of a famous soprano.

23a         Great deal provided by American F1 Team (5)
LOTUS A great deal followed by one of the abbreviations used to denote American

25a         Transportation of acquisitions one pocketed for nothing (8)
SHIPPING Change the I in another way of saying going out to make acquisitions (one pocketed) for an O (nothing)


27a         Fellow with three feet nets first of goals against United defender (9)
BODYGUARD An informal term for a man (fellow) and the measurement that equals three feet, the latter ‘netting’ the first letter of Goals and the abbreviation for United

28a         Set right: so long yet not so long (5)
RADIO The abbreviation for Right and a truncated (not so long) way of an interjection meaning ‘so long’

29a         It introduces 28 26’s Questions, or Answers, or Whatever (3)
ANY If you haven’t spotted the theme by now, this clue should make all clear.   I do hope so as it is hard to explain the ‘whatever’ without using the solution word


30a         “I avoid being careless” (Speeder’s tip) (11)
SIDESTEPPER An anagram (careless) of SPEEDERS TIP


1d           Laugh at the funny man, not the good man (4)
JEER Remove the abbreviation for a ‘good man’ from a funny man

2d           Coach to coach (6,3)
SCHOOL BUS A verb meaning to coach followed by a form of public transport (coach)

3d           Demonstrators head off for bridges? (7)
ARCHERS Remove the ‘head’ or first letter from some demonstrators.   Bridges has a ? because the solution is an informal way of describing bridges


4d           One does restate somehow (8)
ITERATES I (one) followed by an anagram (somehow) of RESTATE

5d           Upset acolyte I burdened defending point of existence (6)
UBIETY A word meaning the state of being in a definite place can be found reversed and hidden in acolYTE I BUrdened

6d           Made improvements, that’s me over and over! (7)
EMENDED A reversal (over) of ME followed by another way of saying over or finished

7d           Properties of 28 26 once Queen and deputy banished (5)
HOMES  Remove the Queen’s regnal cipher and a word used to indicate a deputy from the name of 28a 26d before it was ‘modernised’ in 1967

8d           Is elated by 28 ramblings? (5,2,3)
WALKS ON AIR An expression meaning elated could describe ramblings on the 28a.   The highlight of my Thursday afternoon drive home from work is listening to Clare Balding’s excellent Ramblings – well worth a listen whether you are a fan of journeys on foot or not


13d         A bed with carnal abandon wherein wicked things occur (10)
CANDELABRA The wicked things being items with wicks that you light!   An anagram (abandon) of A BED CARNAL


16d         Get altogether for exercise and low-calorie mix? (6-3)
SKINNY-DIP Without the hyphen, this form of exercise conducted in the ‘altogether’ might be a low calorie mix

17d         Australian packs up, pathetic, getting fired before noon (8)
MATILDAS Australian swag bags (packs) are obtained by reversing (up in a Down clue) another word for pathetic, a verb meaning fired and the abbreviation for the part of the day before noon


19d         Gives up on Mark on Sunday (7)
RESIGNS The two letter word meaning on [the subject of], a mark and the abbreviation for Sunday

21d         One having forked tongue and language to slander (7)
ASPERSE A type of snake (one having forked tongue) and the language of the people of the West Highlands

22d         Cook perhaps, is alight (6)
ISLAND IS (from the clue) and a verb meaning to alight

14d         Looking the other way, notice flirt’s around now (5)
TODAY A verb meaning to flirt goes around an abbreviated notice

26d         Square ball coming in delivery (4)
FOUR A square number is a homophone (in delivery) of a warning cry to anyone in the way of a ball


22 comments on “NTSPP – 345

    1. Now come on Jane, if it is as damp , chilly and miserable on Anglesey as it is here in Kent, what else are you going to do to while away the afternoon??

      1. Actually it’s a beautiful sunny day here and I’m sitting outside with a glass of wine whilst scanning Snowdonia for inspiration over this one.
        Can’t help but think that if I could get 26&28 it would assist me no end………….

        1. The wine and the view obviously helped although I’m still not at all sure why ‘looking the other way’ is necessary in 24d and goodness knows why my 26d is right. I did, for the first time ever, look at BD’s list of cricket terminology – rather wish I hadn’t bothered. How can one game possibly need so many odd words and definitions!

          Yet again, I realised that I can’t spell 20a and I also dithered over the middle bit of 13d until 23a set me straight.
          5d was a new word for me and I was grateful for previous discussions on the blog helping out with 17d.

          Favourite was 13d closely followed by 7&16d.

          Many thanks, Radler – what a plethora of themed answers you fitted in!
          Any chance of a musical accompaniment to 27a in the review, CS?

  1. Many thanks Radler, very enjoyable. I was lucky to solve this in the pub with a friend who was more versed in the theme than I was.

    I was doing reasonably well but was left with 17d, I had to reveal the first letter and then it all made sense. Nice clue.

    still have a few parsing question marks – 15a & 7d – will dawn on me soon no doubt.

    Lots to like- 9a,10a, 20a, 25a, 27a, 1d, 2d (though not sure of clue type), 8d, 13d (my favourite), 22d (doh), 24d.

    5d was devious, took me ages.

    4d doesn’t work for me, feels like the clue is clueing a person but the answer is a verb

    Brilliant stuff (as always) many thanks again

      1. ok, I have an idea for 15a for which the QM would be highly appropriate – but i might be wrong – I look forward to the review.

  2. Thanks Radler, good crossword.

    I got a bit stuck in the SE corner. 17 & 20 were quite unexpected but clued well.

    23 might have had a ‘previously’ attached perhaps. I didn’t know 5d but it was nicely clued. It took me far too long to see 28 26.

    13 probably my favourite although lots of other good clues.

  3. Managed to get 28,26 fairly quickly which helped a lot. Very enjoyable but not as time consuming as usual with this setter. Thanks Radler.

  4. Devious as always and very enjoyable – thanks Radler. I caught on to the theme early on which helped a lot (I guess our non-UK solvers will find it quite tricky). Lots of clues to like – I’ll pick out 7d, 8d, 22d and, my favourite, 20a.

  5. Theme! What theme?
    Solved almost the whole grid (including 8d which was a good guess) before 28/26 finally fell in after getting 16d.
    Then the 7s and 24d/29a.
    Only then I understood what was going on and spotted a lot of themed answers in the crossword.
    Congratulations to Radler. This was probably the most enjoyable challenge from him as not getting these clues first didn’t hamper the solving process.

  6. We have been away for the weekend and had to wait until we got home to print out and get stuck in to this puzzle. The theme was a total mystery to us and 26, 28 and the referenced clues were the very last ones for us to work out. Imagine it was much more obvious for UK people. There are now a couple of answers that we can pick now as part of the theme but we’re sure there are plenty more as well. A real challenge and very satisfying to get it all eventually sorted.
    Thanks Radler.

  7. Many thanks for the review CS, esp. for 15a. I was trying to go a “zero daughters” route for ODD. Can’t say I’m enamoured – more of a ‘really?’ than an ‘aha!’. I guess the question mark also serves as a definition by example (since sons 3,5,7,9,11 and 13 are also ‘odd’ in this sense, though I find it ‘odd’ to exclude daughters in the counting of children – hard for me to think of second child who is first male as ‘odd’).

    In 1a, I wondered if ‘barely a moment’ and ‘having a wee’ were two separate definitions for the answer. I wasn’t sure whether the second one worked, until I caught myself saying it.

    Thanks again for an enjoyable puzzle Radler

    1. I haven’t got any daughters, or even granddaughters, so that wasn’t a problem for me, although I think No 1 son might object to being called odd

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS. I had thought along those lines for 15a but dismissed it – have to confess I still don’t like it very much. However, I did give myself a good kicking over 26d – so simple but I was well away in the realms of cricket!
    Extra thanks for the full parsing of 9a – I hadn’t quite made it all work.
    Hadn’t realised just how many Radio 4 programmes I actually know the names of – it’s years since I was a listener.

    I think the answer for 1d needs adjusting, CS.

  9. Thanks to CS for the review.
    When I spotted the “desert island discs”, I immediately thought how difficult it would be for BD to choose which to take from his huge collection. As for me, I would need to go and buy one as I don’t possess any!
    Shipping forecast favourite duo.
    Thanks to Radler again.

  10. Thank you all for your comments, and as always, special thanks to Crypticsue for the review and her earlier test solve of this puzzle.

Comments are closed.