NTSPP – 397
A Puzzle by Gazza
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review by Prolixic follows.
It is always a joy to have a Gazza crossword to blog. He always delights and brings lots of pleasure (and this is not a cryptic reference to the Nina (hidden message) that reads down the left and right outer columns) of the grid.
1 Area of Christianity more or less on the level? (6)
PARISH – Split 3-3, this would give a word that fancifully (hence the question mark) might mean on a par with or more or less on the level.
5 Crew member smears forbears (8)
ABSTAINS – The abbreviation for able seaman (crew member) followed by a word meaning smears.
9 I’m counting the minutes until soldiers see action (3,5)
EGG TIMER – A cryptic definition of a device used to prepare a breakfast item into which soldiers may be dipped.
10 Author enlarging at first on upper storey (6)
BRAINE – The first letter of enlarging after (on) a word for the part of the body that might be described as the upper storey.
11 Live right over jailbird? Think again! (10)
RECONSIDER – A six letter word meaning live followed by the abbreviation for right all around a three letter word for a criminal or jailbird.
12 Try husband’s organ (4)
HEAR – The abbreviation for husband followed by an organ of the body.
13 Retaliate after two characters leading scatter grub around (8)
SCAVENGE – The first letter letters (two characters leading) of scatter followed by a word meaning to retaliate.
16 Talkative guide starts to sound as though nanny’s aboard vehicle (6)
SATNAV – The initial letters (starts to) of the final six words of the clue.
17 Stripped for a clever mentor (6)
ORACLE – The answer in hidden in (stripped) FOR A CLEVER.
19 Film mogul‘s one of the Greens (8)
BROCCOLI – Double definition of a the film mogul responsible for (among others) many of the Bond movies and a green vegetable.
21 Writer’s flippant name for his lordship (4)
NIBS – The end of a pen (writer’s) maintain the s from the ’s.
22 Following appeal from 1980 US campaign one’s caught with bags of chips? (10)
ELECTRONIC – An appeal to vote for Ronald Reagan (5,3) followed by the letter for one and the abbreviation for caught.
25 Most of Georgian place is impressive (6)
AUGUST – Remove the final letter (most of) a US city in Georgia.
26 Paris academics feeling disgruntled with previous capital investment (8)
SORBONNE – A four letter word meaning disgruntled around the former capital of Germany.
27 Environmentally friendly ringleader thus becomes fraudulent substitute (4-4)
LEAD FREE – A cryptic instruction of the letters to be removed from ringleader that would give ringer as a result (fraudulent substitute).
28 Pulls forcibly and audibly breaks (6)
WRESTS – A homophone (audibly) of rests (breaks).
2 Use guile to clinch, brushing aside women’s viewpoint (5)
ANGLE – Remove the abbreviation for woman from a word meaning using guile to clinch.
3 Start appearing in moleskin trousers (5)
INTRO – The answer is hidden (appearing in) in MOLESKIN TROUSERS.
4 Focuses on institution’s wrongdoing (5,2)
HOMES IN – A four letter word for the institution that embodies the family and a three letter word for wrongdoing.
5 Prune some sections of awkward brigade (7)
ABRIDGE – An anagram (awkward) of BRIGADE.
6 Locums cover sixty percent of city’s residential areas (7)
SUBURBS – A four letter word for locus (short for substitutes) around (covers – although in a down clue this would imply goes over) 60% of a five letter word meaning of the city.
7 Reluctant to introduce English to stuffed chapatti (9)
APATHETIC – Include the single letter abbreviation for English in an anagram (stuffed) of CHAPATTI.
8 Group of musicians consuming a whole duck? (4,2,3)
NONE AT ALL – Include the A from the clue inside (consuming) a word for a group of nine musicians and follow with a three letter word for whole.
14 Tiered cut styled to give confidence (9)
CERTITUDE – An anagram (styled) of TIERED CUT.
15 Deputies head Yard team tackling bad behaviour (4,5)
VICE SQUAD – A five letter word for deputies before (head) a four letter word for a yard or quadrangle.
18 Competitive rider, just retired, making comeback (7)
EVENTER – A four letter word meaning just or fair followed by the abbreviation for retired with all of the letters reversed (making comeback).
19 I’m surprised Belgium seems prepared to support sterling (5,2)
BLESS ME – The IVR code followed by an anagram (prepared) of SEEMS after (to support) the abbreviation for pounds sterling.
20 Get too big for old-fashioned farm (7)
OUTGROW – A three letter word meaning old fashioned followed by a word meaning to farm.
23 Underweight individual’s a gas (5)
OZONE – After (under) the abbreviation for ounce (weight) add a three letter word meaning individual.
24 Isn’t it commonplace among young people to have sex after pub? (5)
INNIT – A three letter for a pub followed by a two letter word meaning sex.