NTSPP – 384 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 384

NTSPP – 384

A Puzzle by Radler

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

This puzzle has a theme (no special knowledge required) and a Nina (related to the theme)  A few of the other solutions are on the obscure side :roll:   but may be deduced from the wordplay.

Another really difficult offering from Radler.  I first met this crossword at the beginning of May and have to admit that I didn’t enjoy it much as I just got grumpier and grumpier trying to solve it.   I did see the Nina fairly early on but was so caught up trying to understand the complicated wordplay for obscure words I’d never heard of, that I didn’t spot the theme until far too late to be of any help with solving the crossword.



7a           Extremely funny entrance from Sims taking best part (9)
SCREAMING The ‘entrance’ from Sims and part of a verb meaning to take the best part

8a           Move very quickly chasing a Little Boy? (1-4)
A-BOMB  The capitalisation of Little  Boy is extremely relevant to the solution.  An informal verb meaning to move very quickly ‘chasing’ A (from the clue)

10a         Float up onto one’s limits (7)
PONTOON  A nice friendly lurker found in uP ONTO ONes

11a         Charlotte for illustration hems the trimmed material (7)
EARTHLY  Charlotte is an example of a particular type of potato, the description of which ‘hems’ or has inserted THe (from the clue ‘trimmed’ or without its last letter)

12a         Bohemian caught raiding old Queen’s purse (9)
EXCHEQUER A homophone (caught) of someone from Bohemia ‘raiding’ or getting inside the prefix meaning former (old) and the regnal cipher of our current Queen

14a         Minister to hurry back, someone’s outside (5)
NURSE A reversal (back) of a verb meaning to hurry followed by the ‘outside’ of SomeonE

16a         Mistress requiring coffee Sonny? No, ___ ____! (7)
TEACHER If you split this school mistress 3, 4, you’d get the two words you need to put instead of the underlined part of the clue, being what Sonny’s partner might require as liquid refreshment.   The only clue in the whole thing that I marked with a *

18a         Sticklers for time-keeping, Pollyanna’s without work (7)
TIMISTS   Some time-servers are obtained by removing the abbreviation for work from the sort of person always looking on the bright side, just like young Pollyanna

20a         The last five of this brand? (5)
SWORD This archaic weapon (brand) is obtained from the final five letters of ‘this’ – ie what you are doing at the present time!!

22a         It’s with horses in landscape? (9)
CONSTABLE The It(alian) for with, used as a musical term and in some particular recipes, and a collective term for horses lodged in a particular building


24a         Staying out, send a quick message – put on overcoat? (7)
CAMPING A reversal (over) of an abbreviated coat, followed by an informal verb meaning to send a quick message.  Well you didn’t think I was really going to put that picture of Barbara, did you?  :D

26a         Dally, but keep going (5,2)
CARRY ON A double definition which gives us the theme

27a         Humour he twigs when twisted (5)
WITHE  Some humour and HE from the clue give us an alternative spelling (I knew the other one) for some twisted willow twigs

28a         One deserving spot by Spooner’s heater (3,6)
OIL BURNER How the dreaded Reverend might refer to someone deserving something and a nasty spot



1d           Dry ice, virtually smooth on top (6)
IRONIC Virtually all of ICe, with a verb meaning to smooth ‘on top’ or going first

2d           Very little discipline: he cannot let go (8)
NANOTECH An anagram (let go) of HE CANNOT

3d           Scandalous ruining of Catholic Hungarian family (5-5)
FINNO-UGRIC An anagram (scandalous) of RUINING OF C (Catholic)

4d           Absent-minded but not very fit (4)
AGUE  Remove the V (not Very) from a synonym for absent-minded

5d            Mrs Dependable exposing boobs to a Mr New (6)
MATRON An anagram (boobs) of TO A MR N (new)

6d           A lot of Eastern philosophy upsets sources of culture (8)
YOGHURTS  Almost all (a lot of) some Eastern philosophy) and part of a verb meaning upsets

7d           Musical works wonders with dwarfs for example (9)
SEPTETTES  Groups of a particular number of things – musical works, wonders and some specific dwarfs all being examples

9d           See 24

13d         Connections from back of eye to ocular internals (10)
RETINACULA Structures that hold tissues or organs in place can be obtained from the back of the eye plus the letters in the middle (internals) of oCULAr

15d         Trees near ground maybe Asian (9)
EASTERNER Am anagram (ground) of TREES NEAR

17d         Monks with unceasing service – Athletic Sebastian ran into one (8)
ACOEMETI   A (the abbreviation for Athletic) followed by the surname of a famous athlete called Seb and a way of saying ‘ran into one’

19d         Area involved in movement agreed suspension, Rear Admiral must go (8)
Remove the abbreviation for Rear Admiral from an agreed suspension

21d         Ferried from Germany, Radler’s in the navy (6)
DRIVEN The IVR code for Germany, and the abbreviation for the Royal Navy, the latter having inserted a short way our setter might say that he had something

23d         What periodically has berry bounty? (6)
BRYONY Periodic indicates the need to use the odd letters of BeRrY bOuNtY

24/9d    Rogue bully, an immature individual (6)
COWBOY A verb meaning to bully and an immature male individual

25d         It’s a mistake exhibiting excessive sentimentality to female (4)
GOOF Excessive sentimentality followed by the abbreviation for Female

Oh … and the Nina – just look at the top and bottom rows of your solved grid and you’ll see a famous phrase from one of the themed films.

To see the completed grid, along with the thematic answers and the Nina

8 comments on “NTSPP – 384

  1. Dear goodness – you know you’re in trouble when even a fiendish setter like Radler feels it necessary to state in his preamble that some solutions are on the obscure side!
    First read through yielded three answers…………..

  2. Thanks to Radler for a good romp. Luckily I guessed the theme and Nina early on which helped a lot. Even so I succumbed to temptation and revealed a few letters to get my last couple of answers (it’s a lot more difficult to withstand the lure of the reveal button when I’m having to do the puzzle on screen as opposed to on paper). Reading through the clues again after I’d finished brought home to me some of the clever bits included (such as the use of Sims in 7a).
    I’ll have 16a, 20a and 24a on my podium.

  3. Thanks Radler; pretty impossible but my computer and I got there in the end.

    I guess with the NINAs it was always going to involve some obscure words.

    As well as Gazza’s likes, I thought the definition in 2d was really good.

  4. I have about a third of this, mainly in the NW and SE corners. Unfortunately not enough for a theme or Nina to present itself. Sadly, I give up!

  5. Well, I’ve got down to the last four which is a great deal further than I ever expected. However, I think I’ve reached the point where I have to start making up words……….

  6. Thank you for putting me out of my misery, CS. I failed on 18a plus 17&19d – the wordplay in all three being clear enough in retrospect, but I suspect only if you’ve actually heard of the word you’re looking for!
    Getting 3d was a sheer fluke – it had to be an anagram so I just kept shuffling letters around until dear old Mr. Google coughed up the answer. To say ‘on the obscure side’ was, I felt, somewhat understating the case!

    I know very little about the theme so had to look up a list of the films before getting very far – also had to read through some of the info on same to come up with the Nina.
    All in all I found this one too difficult to be really enjoyable although I remember quite liking 23&25d along the way.
    You win, Radler!

    PS Sorry, CS, but I think 13d is the back of the eye followed by the ‘internals’ of oCULAr. However, I’m amazed that you didn’t have brain freeze long before you got to that stage in writing the review!

  7. Many thanks CS for much needed review. I did half of this yesterday, tried again today to find CADDIS was wrong for 24d/9, which only partially explained the emptiness of ne and sw. I was able to carry on but didn’t quite finish and still neededd a few parsings

    Many thanks Radler for the challenge

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