NTSPP – 346 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 346

NTSPP – 346

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Hieroglyph does love his lists – in this case a whole lot of 1Ds, interspersed with a lot of abbreviations that aren’t used particularly often and so have to be checked in the BRB.   To match the theme of the crossword, he’s also been really clever and written all the clues in the form of rhyming couplets.  


As all the Across clues are 1D’s, I’m not going to underline their definitions!

5a           1D’s turn: clear air – the latter’s concise (6)
GOETHE A ‘turn’ and some clear air, the word ‘concise’ indicating that you don’t need all of the ‘air’


 6a          1D’s awfully nice, covered in spice (8)
MACNEICE An anagram (awfully) of NICE covered in a type of spice obtained from nutmeg.

9a           1D’s thunder god with Frenchman’s water (7)
THOREAU The Norse god of thunder followed by the French word for water

10a         1D and author’s way out for daughter (5)
AUDEN Remove the abbreviation for street (way out) from an English female author and replace with a D for Daughter.

11a         1D’s last book about passage’s sound (8)
VERLAINE A reversal (about) of the abbreviation for the last book of the Bible followed by a homophone (sound) of a narrow passage

13a         1D’s finally missed, fooling around (6)
LARKIN A verb meaning fooling around with its last letter missing (finally missed)larkin14a         1D’s country person: slip in between (7)
HERRICK A verb meaning to make a slip goes in the middle of (between) a person from the country

16a         1D’s choir advanced – say, you see the Queen! (7)
CHAUCER The abbreviations for choir and advanced, the letters that sound like you and see when you say them out loud, and the regnal cipher of our current Queen

19a         1D’s not drawing blood, end’s befuddled (6)
DRYDEN The BRB does have, as one of the definitions of the first word you need here, ‘not drawing blood’ and this should be followed by an anagram (befuddled) of ENDherrick

21a         1D’s tense during stories when muddled (8)
ROSSETTI An anagram (when muddled) of STORIES and the abbreviation for tense

23a         1D’s cook eating starter of liver (5)
BLAKE A verb meaning to cook (in an oven) eating the ‘starter’ of Liver

24a         1D’s to hang in South Eastern river (7)
SPENDER A verb meaning to hang as in a balance inserted between the abbreviations for South Eastern and River

26a         1D’s madcap sonnet frames East Coast state (8)
TENNYSON An anagram (madcap) of SONNET frames the abbreviation for an American East Coast statetennyson

27a         1D’s standard includes popular date (6)
PINDAR A norm or standard includes an adverb meaning popular and the abbreviation for Date


1d           One who writes lines lifted lid around Spain (4)
POET A reversal (lifted in a Down clue) of a lid goes around the IVR Code for Spain

2d           Vagrant‘s sermon describes an online pain (8)
STROLLER The abbreviation for sermon describes or goes round someone who makes a conscious attempt to provoke controversy or disagreement on the internet (an online pain)

3d           Chap from Aden irked enemy setter (6)
YEMENI An anagram (irked) of ENEMY followed by the way our setter would refer to himself

4d           Some women deride one who makes better (6)
MENDER Found in some of woMEN DERide


6d           Injured by clawing, a mule wound up dead (6)
MAULED An anagram (wound up) of A MULE followed by the abbreviation for Dead

7d           Cold college meal before hot Jewish bread (7)
CHALLAH The abbreviation for Cold, the dinner taken in a college dining room, the abbreviation for the Latin word for before and the abbreviation for Hot.  One of those clues where the BRB is definitely your friend.


8d           Self-assured Tory, if going round pit (9)
CONFIDENT The abbreviated way of referring to a member of the Tory party, a reversal (going round) of IF (from the clue) and a hollow or pit

12d         Detestable boss, at heart roaring fit (9)
EXECRABLE An abbreviation for a boss, the ‘heart’ of roaRing, and a synonym for fit

15d         Swimmers trick Germans, abandoning piece (7)
CONGERS A verb meaning to trick and GERMANS without (abandoning) a piece used in a game of chess


17d         Constant relaxing after book’s release (8)
UNENDING Remove (release) the abbreviation for Book from a noun meaning a relaxing.

18d         Golden boy harbouring number one prayer (6)
ORISON The heraldic term for gold, a boy child, the latter ‘harbouring’ the letter that looks like a number one.

20d         Sewers‘ thread finally drops from the air (6)
DRAINS The final letter of thread followed by some drops from the air


22d         Accommodates the French record on board (6)
SLEEPS On board usually indicates that we have to insert something inside the abbreviation for a steam ship; here we need the French definite article and an extended-play record

25d         Lecture on money where baron’s ignored (4)
READ Remove the abbreviation for Baron from a slang term for money


16 comments on “NTSPP – 346

  1. It’s very impressive getting theme words (and none of them very obscure) in all the across clues – thanks Hieroglyph. I can’t fully parse 7d although I did know the bread. Top clue for me, for the d’oh moment, is 2d.

    1. The parsing of 7d is a tad esoteric, but I left it in to see what others made of it. Letters 2-5 can represent a meal as well as the place where this meal is eaten, letter 6 is an abbreviation that is in Chambers but I don’t recollect it being used on its own rather than as part of a 2-letter abbreviation.

  2. Very clever indeed: the grid fill and the rhyming couplets. I enjoyed this but used some help – although it turns out I did know most of the 1d’s, I wasn’t expecting that to be the case!

    Thanks, Hieroglyph, and thanks in advance for the review which I will need to clarify a couple of things.

  3. There was definitely a loud groan when I realised what the theme would be but, like Kitty, I surprised myself by knowing more of the 1d’s than I expected. Not all of them, though!
    Part of 7d is still something of a mystery to me and there are a couple of questions that will doubtless be answered by the review.
    Thank you, Hieroglyph – quite an achievement.

    1. I return from what was a sunny Wales – thanks for your blessing, Jane, regarding the weather – it was indeed fine.

      Took the scenic route on the way there via The Cotswolds and up through Shropshire; beautiful. Walked to the source of the Severn from our (converted barn) accommodation, as well as up and down rather a lot of hills (tors?).

      I have to say, the week’s puzzles with not even a dictionary suddenly become a lot more taxing, but only Friday’s was left only 3/4 done. I did also complete another seven from the DT ‘All New Big Book of Cryptic Crosswords #5’, which was a birthday present.

      Tuesday’s was a R&W for me, which Lady LBR completed for her first ever solve.

      All in all a lovely time was had, nice to be back.

      With regard to the above – thoroughly enjoyable and very cleverly done.

      Thanks to all as ever.

  4. Thank you Kitty for pointing out the rhyming couplets, which had completely passed me by. Doh! – as I believe we say around these parts.. That’s a brilliant link with the theme, Heiroglyph, bravo indeed.

    And Gazza’s right – getting most of the across answers to be themed is tricky, but it gets harder and harder as the gridfill approaches completion, so a full house with it all being solvable, and those couplets – yup, that’s pretty brilliant. :)

    Favourite clues for me were 11a, 8d, 20d and 22d but my Clue of the Day goes to 12d. Very nice!

  5. Very enjoyable themed puzzle. I like the various layers of complexity the setter has managed to incorporate while keeping the solve fair. Quite an achievement that. Thanks Hieroglyph.

  6. We felt very pleased when we got all the across answers without needing any references. However we totally missed the rhyming couplets until we came here so have been in awe all over again. A delightful romp that is very cleverly put together and much appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thanks Hieroglyph.

  7. I normally run away from themed crosswords – I either fail to spot the theme or it’s something of which I know nothing – but not today.
    I can’t remember now which answers gave me the theme but think it was getting 13 and 21a fairly close together.
    I had heard of most of them but spelling them was a different matter and I certainly couldn’t say what many of them had written.
    Like others I totally missed the rhyming couplets.
    I didn’t know the ‘before’ bit of 7d so that was a bit of a mystery.
    Of the 1d’s I liked 9 and 16a. I also liked 6 and 12d.
    With thanks and a big :good: to Hieroglyph – please could we have an alphabet crossword soon? Thanks to CS for the review.

  8. Very enjoyable even though I needed the hints for the last three clues. Didn’t get 5a, 11a and 2d.
    The clues were fair and only needed confirmation from the parsing.
    Thanks to Hieroglyph and to CS for the poetic review.

  9. Many thanks for the review CS and the explanation of a couple of bits which hadn’t made sense during the solve – particularly the fact that ‘hall’ could also refer to the meal eaten there and that the book of Revelations can be abbreviated.
    Speaking of things that don’t make sense to me – can anyone help me to understand the meaning of those lines from Larkin? I can’t see the correlation between deprivation and a host of daffodils!

    Couple of tweaks needed to16a hint & 17d answer if you have time, CS.

    1. Sorted thank you – I do like to leave something for you to spot ;)

      Wordsworth was inspired by the daffodils so presumably ….. :scratch:

  10. Popping in a day late just to say I really enjoyed this. Masterfully constructed as others have said. FOI was 1d, which helped accelerate the solve, and the whole thing wasn’t too tough (an impressively low quota of obscure themers, though I didn’t quite know them all). Got a bit stuck with four or five clues towards the top, left it for a few hours, then came back with fresh eyes and wrote them all in more or less immediately.

    I also didn’t notice the rhyming until it was pointed out to me – that just elevates the whole thing to a different level. What a gem! I think my favourite was 20d. Thanks to Hieroglyph and CS.

  11. Thanks to CrypticSue for the review, and for all your comments. @Kath, I’ll see if I can cook up an alphabetical anon! :-)

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