NTSPP – 415
A Puzzle by Gazza
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review by Prolixic follows.
1 Gripped by the ear and given a smack (6)
RAPPED – A homophone (by the ear) of RAPT (gripped).
5 Struggling? Press One for answer (8)
RESPONSE – An anagram (struggling) of PRESS ONE.
9 Number Ten’s backing cable network (8)
ETHERNET – A five letter for for something that numbs (number) followed by a reversal (is backing) of the TEN from the clue.
10 Mark and Adam disturbed by film (3,3)
MAD MAX – An anagram (disturbed) of M (Mark) ADAM followed by the letter that represents multiplication (by).
11 Rudely pokes around stage and struts about (5-5)
GOOSE-STEPS – A six letter word meaning to poke or pinch someone in a rude or lewd manner around a four letter word for a stage or part of a series of events.
12 Derelict house providing accommodation for second person (4)
THOU – The answer is hidden (providing accommodation for) in DERELICT HOUSE.
13 Resorted to cunning ruse in contract (8)
DEPLOYED – A four letter word for a cunning ruse inside a four letter word for contract.
16 Depressed French artist travels west carrying what’s left of goods (6)
SAGGED – A reversal (travels west) of the name of a French artist includes (carrying) the leftmost letter of goods.
17 Britain leads United States in committal proceedings (6)
BURIAL – The abbreviations for Britain, United, Rhode Island and Alabama (the latter two being states).
19 Confounded figure out on bail regularly (8)
INFERNAL – A five letter word meaning figure out or deduce followed by the the even letters (regularly) of ON BAIL.
21 Struggle with concept … (4)
VIEW – A three letter word meaning struggle followed by the abbreviation for with.
22 … of giving chocolate (4,6)
SOFT CENTRE – This type of chocolate if used as a cryptic instruction would give OF from a four letter word.
25 Releases cry of encouragement (4,2)
LETS GO – Double definition.
26 Thus China becomes a weak … (8)
CHINLESS – A description of removing the CHIN from CHINA to give the A from the clue.
27 … power, sure to be broken by Frenchman’s extensive range (8)
PYRENEES – The abbreviation for power and a three letter word meaning sure or OK include (bto be broken by) a four letter French name (think of the cafe owner in Allo Allo.
28 Number ten, short of century, centrally contracted by Essex coach (6)
NINETY – The number (ten short of 100 (a century) is also (in Roman numerals) found in the centre of ESSEX COACH.
2 Inclined to throw up excessively every year (3,2)
APT TO – Reverse (to throw up) the abbreviations for Over The Top (excessively) and Per Annum (every year).
3 Uncovers what bats and sloths do! (5)
PEELS – Bats and Sloths SLEEP upside down.
4 House is dirty after 24 hours being unoccupied (7)
DYNASTY – The outer letters (unoccupied) of a period of 24 hours followed by a five letter meaning dirty.
5 Tire of Trump having superficial make-over (7)
RETREAD – A cryptic definition of a type of temporary repair that would be made to a tyre in the US (Tire of Trump).
6 Crack troops taking out most of change in Russian drinks machine for snacks (7)
SAMOSAS – The Russian drinks machine is a SAMOVAR. Remove the final three letters (most of VARY or change) and replace them (taking) with the abbreviation for Special Air Service (crack troops).
7 Veteran‘s an experienced producer? (3,6)
OLD STAGER – A person who has spent many years putting on shows might be described as this kind of veteran.
8 Casualty could be pensioner during very quiet period … (4,5)
SOAP OPERA – A three letter abbreviation for an old age pensioner inside a two letter word meaning very followed by the musical abbreviation for quiet and a three letter word for a long period of time.
14 … see about American brought in breathing in a perplexing way (9)
ELUSIVELY – A Russian doll type of clue! A three letter word for an East England diocese (see) around a four letter word meaning breathing that, itself includes (brought in) a two letter abbreviation for American.
15 Erased detail was reconstructed (4,5)
LAID WASTE – An anagram (reconstructed) of DETAIL WAS.
18 Nimble, returning supremo’s silk clothes (7)
LISSOME – The answer is hidden (clothes) and reversed (returning) in SUPREMOS SILK.
19 Swear briefly following facts becoming clear (2,5)
IN FOCUS – A four letter word meaning facts followed by a four letter word meaning swear with the final letter word removed (briefly).
20 Fellow director’s call for dissension (7)
FACTION – The abbreviation for fellow followed by the call a film director makes to begin filming.
23 Macron’s refusal to curb party political extremists is material (5)
NYLON – The French word for no (Macron’s refusal) includes (to curb) the final letters (extremists) of Party and Political.
24 What’s needed when one’s not up to the mark (5)
RESIT – What you may need to do if you don’t get enough marks in an exam.