NTSPP – 357 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 357

NTSPP – 357

A Puzzle by Simon

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:

My first thought was ‘oh no, not an alphabetical’, not least because your blogger’s Saturday afternoon was supposed to be devoted to making sure that we have the right number of Christmas presents for the right people.   I needn’t have groaned as this one was the perfect level of mostly read-and-write clues and a very friendly ‘jigsaw’ too

A             A counterpart that is similar (5)
ALIKE A (from the clue) and an equivalent thing

B             Be right alongside one repeatedly having complaint (8)
BERIBERI Take BE (from the clue), add the abbreviation for right, put it alongside the letter that looks like a number one and then repeat the process to get the tropical disease (complaint)

C             Applaud some reversible flashy display (8)
CLAPTRAP A verb meaning to applaud followed by a reversal of another word for some

D             Always performed outside on first occasion (3,3)
DAY ONE A verb meaning performed goes outside an archaic way of saying always, the result then split 3,3

E              Opening charm (8)
ENTRANCE Double definition time

F              Brave Les fares badly (8)
FEARLESS An anagram (badly) of LES FARES

G             Nod off having obtained outstanding cover on the way up (2,2,5)
GO TO SLEEP A verb meaning having obtained, an abbreviation for outstanding and a reversal (on the way up) of a cover of, for example, an orange or a lemon.

H             Not clad coming from cathedral centre (5)
HEART An anagram (coming from) CATHEDRAL once you have removed the letters of CLAD

I               In the lead one can be found unsuccessfully (2,4)
IN VAIN Put I (one) inside an expression meaning in the lead – one of those words often evoking comments along the lines of I didn’t know that….

J              Geniality, vital joy I suspected (9)
JOVIALITY An anagram (suspected) of VITAL JOY I

K             Remain inconspicuous, maintain a soft outline (4,1,3,7)
KEEP A LOW PROFILE  A verb meaning to maintain, A (from the clue), another word for soft and an outline

K             Family owns, in South Africa, capital (8)
KINSHASA The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is obtained by taking another word for family, and then inserting another way of saying owns into the abbreviation for South Africa

L              Left one bird travelling light (7)
LANTERN The abbreviation for Left, an adjective meaning one and a seabird

M            Doctor the redhead who has given birth (6)
MOTHER An abbreviation for a doctor, THE (from the clue) and the ‘head’ of Red

N             Alternatively do not change naturally (8)
NATIVELY Remove the synonym for ‘change’ from ALTERNATIVELY and your solution will be there looking at you!

O             Merely impartial by a very small margin (4,4)
ONLY JUST Synonyms for merely and impartial, the letter you are looking for and the enumeration make this clue easy to solve.

P             Everyone during afternoon, everyone in London street (4,4)
PALL MALL Put an adjective meaning everyone into the abbreviated way we might refer to a time in the afternoon, and then add the same adjective at the end

Q             Length Frenchman spent in wharf with uneasiness of conscience (6)
QUALMY The abbreviations for Length and Mr in French put in a wharf for the loading and unloading of vessels            

R             Needed 24 sheets in a bright colour (8)
REQUIRED Put the term used for 24 sheets of paper into a bright colour

S              I have less continuous prosperity (7)
SUCCESS Another ‘remove a bit to get the answer’ clue – remove (less) the abbreviated way of saying I HAVE from an adjective meaning continuous

T              12 months of duty (3,4)
TAX YEAR A cryptic definition of a particular 12 months, this one usually running from April to March.

U             Disrupt troublesome teen lust (8)
UNSETTLE An anagram (troublesome) of TEEN LUST

V             How animals might be doctored? (6)
VETTED Another cryptic definition

W            Most mistaken gent rows off (8)
WRONGEST An anagram (off) of GENT ROWS

X             After ten years see fish with woody fruit (8)
XYLOCARP Hard and woody fruit – the Roman numeral for ten, the abbreviation for year, an archaic interjection meaning look and an edible freshwater fish

Y              Ted with easy concoction that had fermented (7)
YEASTED An anagram (concoction) of TED with EASY

Z              Some brazen analogy came from Indian harem (6)
ZENANA The Indian version of a harem can be found lurking in some braZEN ANAlogy

Thank you to Simon – that’s my sort of alphabetical!

26 comments on “NTSPP – 357

  1. I always enjoy an alphabetical – thanks Simon. This one is pretty straightforward thanks to the long answer going down the spine – I’ll pick D and T as co-favourites.

  2. All good fun, only marred by my inexplicably bunging the ‘P’ word in the wrong place without waiting for the checkers.
    Two new words for me, plus one to double-check for spelling and one that I needed convincing was a real word!

    Top three for me were ‘O’ followed by ‘T’ and ‘D’.

    Thanks, Simon, much enjoyed.

  3. Really good fun for a beastly grey rainy afternoon.
    I’ve only ever done alphabet crosswords set by Hieroglyph – I didn’t find this one as difficult as some of his which have been known to drive me batty.
    I’ve never heard of Z but it jumped out at me.
    I liked O and P.
    With thanks to Simon.

  4. I love an “alphabetical” – Thanks, Simon.

    Maybe the starter was too much of a gimme.

    My favourite begins with “N”.

    1. I did consider dropping the letters from the front of the clues but thought that with 12 out of 27 clues having an unchecked initial letter that might have made it too hard.

  5. Alphabet crosswords often drive me bananas but this was was lovely. Just the one 15-letter clue opened up the right hand side nicely. The left side gave me a bit more trouble but everything was ‘workable-outable’ from the clues. T is my favorite, followed by D and C. Thanks for the fun, Simon!

  6. Many thanks Simon – Congratulations on putting this together.
    This was a remarkable alphabetic as it’s the only one i’ve ever solved straight into the grid. The first one to go straight in was the long K, which nicely provided lots of first letters for the right hand side, but the left hand side took a little longer (as mentioned by Expat Chris). The left hand side had a lot of initial letters unchecked, which can make things hard in these puzzles, but nonetheless it soon all came together and still allowed a direct fill. I didn’t have to make the usual list of answers ranked by word length.

    Some of the cryptic instructions weren’t as smooth and clear as they might have been (the subtractive anagram in H, the subtractions in S and N), and there are some other minor niggles, but overall the clueing is nice and enjoyable. I liked Kacross and R. And congratulations on clueing X.

    well done and thanks for the enjoyment

  7. Thanks Simon, like Gazza I particularly enjoy alphabeticals.

    Alberich has pretty strong views about the grids for alphabeticals, viz: Still, there is a certain established convention regarding alphabeticals. There are usually 28 clues, with two clues for two of the letters, and the important thing is that the answers for these pairs of clues intersect at their first letters. This gives 26 starting points in the grid, one for each letter. Look at an old Araucaria puzzle, or at one of mine on the site, and you’ll see what I mean.

    Nevertheless, I thought it was fun. My last ones in were the T and D, which I agree were very good. Nit-picking, but I think in S, it would have been better to say: I have less in …

  8. Good fun. Virtually two separate puzzles for us with the west side much more difficult than the east because of where the starting letters were placed.
    Thanks Simon.

  9. First time I’ve done one of these and enjoyed it.
    My only niggle is the “W” answer, that’s a word? Really?
    Good fun for a wet, rainy, overcast day – not complaining, we need the rain.

  10. well done, Simon. These grids are tricky things to fill and alphabeticals have a loyal following, myself emphatically included. With any luck, this approachable puzzle will have done its bit to increase that number

  11. Being very brave and initially spotting a couple of answers I printed it off and to my great surprise finished it. Interesting exercise thanks to Simon and whoever does the decode.

  12. Many thanks for the pictorial review, CS. I do hope Kitty gets to see the ‘F’ picture – she’ll like that one! As for me, I’m somewhat concerned that the ‘M’ duck needs to watch where she’s putting her feet!

    Thanks again to Simon as well – more please.

  13. My first alphabetical completed without too many difficulties; but, I assume, from reading the other comments, that this was definitely at the gentle end of the spectrum. Obviously, the 15 letter ‘K’ was a great help. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Simon and CS.

  14. I love alphabetical jigsaws.
    Agree it was a bit easier than some I have tried (including double alphabeticals from Maskarade) but the pleasure is always there.
    Thanks to Simon (favourites D,O,T) and to CS for the review.

  15. My solve followed the same pattern as for most. I found this largely gentle and pleasant, though I have to admit that I agree with Dutch about the deletion indications.

    Thanks to Simon, and extra thanks to crypticsue for both the review and my picture.

  16. Very enjoyable and quite do-able (for once) without recourse to the printer. T gets my vote as the pick of the crop. Many thanks Simon.

  17. Hmm – do we get to meet Simon – he’s not someone I’ve come across so far . . .
    Well done CS – I know that you don’t like these crosswords.

  18. I did this one Saturday afternoon. I found having answer starter letters more than compensated for no clue numbers. Good fun but quite straightforward once the long one down the middle was solved.

  19. Cleverly constructed but perhaps just a little too straightforward to be completely enjoyable. A lot of people are busy on Saturday’s at this time of year so despite my comment it probably fits the bill with regards to solving time.

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