NTSPP – 429 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 429

NTSPP – 429

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Once the theme reveals itself, this crossword was what I’d call ‘easy for a Radler’ (solved in one session, not as many ?? as usual, and I wasn’t grumpy when I finished) – now I’m typing the review, I’ve discovered that parts of it are easier to solve than explain in a hint


1a Ego bruised by dismal grasp of local layout (9)
GEOGRAPHY An anagram (bruised) of EGO; the abbreviation for a pub (local) on an Ordnance Survey map inserted into a colour also defined in the BRB as dismal

6a Genitals shaved the wrong way for Brazilian? (5)
LATIN If you shave two letters off the front and one off the back of geNITALs and then reverse what you’ve got left you’ll understand the definition

9a Widespread sex when daughter’s away, briefly the whole shebang (7)
GENERAL Remove (away) the D for Daughter from another word for sex and add the first two letters (briefly) of a simpler way of saying the whole shebang

10a It’s used for development and research (7)
STUDIES An anagram (for development) of ITS USED

11a March to work: core of solidarity over old player (9)
RADIOGRAM A reversal (over) of the abbreviation for the month of March, a verb meaning to work and the ‘core’ letters of solIDARity

12a Throw bouquets at old girlfriend, getting bunch back (5)
EXTOL The two-letter way of referring to an old girlfriend followed by a reversal (back) of a bunch of something

13a Exposed belief of miners claiming world below (6)
NUDISM The abbreviation for the Miners’ Union ‘claiming’ the Roman name for the underworld

15a Quickly dismisses targets (8)
SKITTLES An informal term for a quick dismissal or some targets in a particular game

17a Magician‘s progress, joining circle (8)
PROSPERO The magician in Shakespeare’s The Tempest – a verb meaning to progress ‘joining’ the circular letter of the alphabet

19a Dressing perhaps, knickers a possibility (6)
FRENCH A double definition clue, one of which is more likely to be illustrated by me than the other

23a Science of polygon, unrestricted in shape (5)
OLOGY Unrestricted indicates the need to remove the outside letters of pOLYGOn, in shape tells you that an anagram of the remaining letters will provide your solution

24a Men noisily supped wine in corresponding containers (9)
MAILSACKS An old Spanish wine is inserted (supped) into a homophone (noisily) of men

26a Heavy metal’s muffled during warm-up acts (4-3)
LEAD-INS A heavy metal (not forgetting the S) containing another word for during

27a Back following snazzy All That Jazz show (7)
CHICAGO An adverb meaning gone (back) following another word for fashionable (snazzy)

28a Inverted time in phoney calculations (5)
MATHS A reversal (inverted) of a synonym for phoney into which is inserted the abbreviation for Time

29a Go in pursuit of skimpy lingerie, it’s what attracts lovers (9)
CHEMISTRY Almost all (skimpy) of a particular item of lingerie followed by an attempt (go)


1d Circumnavigator conclusively, Fogg as before circumnavigating: Verne’s central character (7)
GAGARIN The ‘conclusive’ letter of FogG, a way of saying ‘as before’ circumnavigating the letter in the middle of VeRne

2d Had drunk quickly after the first (5)
OWNED Remove the first letter from another way of saying ‘drunk quickly’

3d Puts another top on (blames going soft) (7)
REROOFS Remove the P (the musical instruction to play softly) from another way of saying blames

4d Poor reflection of circuit judge (6)
PALTRY A reversal (reflection) of a circuit followed by a verb meaning to judge

5d Feature covers quiet old woman surrounded by cattle (8)
YASHMAKS Some Tibetan oxen (cattle) surround a way of telling someone to be quiet, and an informal way of referring to your mother (old woman)

6d Least sober Sue told to get it together (7)
LOUDEST An anagram (to get it together) of SUE TOLD

7d Stumble upon Irish town where neither completed 3-legged race (9)
TRIATHLON Neither completed indicates that you don’t need all of a verb meaning to stumble or the name of a particular Irish town

8d Lifting lady’s top in film, Eliot caresses and snuggles (7)
NESTLES The surname of Eliot the US Prohibition Agent caresses the L of lady which has been inserted into a reversal (lifting) of a well-known science fiction film

14d One hides bouquet and note, or falls out with Dad (9)
DEODORANT An anagram (falls out) of NOTE OR DAD

16d Edited manuscript omits new piano works from composer (3,5)
ART MUSIC An anagram (edited)of MANUSCRIPT omitting the N (new) and P (piano). The definition is not in the BRB but is to be found in Collins and provides two of the themed subjects

17d Question for Spice Girl making comeback (7)
PROBLEM A preposition meaning for and a reversal (making comeback) of the informal name for one of the Spice Girls

18d Discipline for mechanics uttering hissing expressions of disgust (7)
PHYSICS A homophone (uttering) of some hissing and some expressions of disgust

20d Breeding endlessly: one Italian barman (7)
ROSSINI remove the letters at either end of a mixing of breeds and add an I (one) at the end

21d Past hospital, then second right after island (7)
HISTORYThe abbreviations for Hospital and Second and an informal way of referring to a right-wing person go after the abbreviation for Island

22d Section of tube (6)
CIRCLE One section of the London Underground System or a cross-section of a tube

25d Ship‘s logs supporting captain’s initial entry (5)
CRAFTLE A boat made out of logs goes after C (the initial entry of Captain)

27 comments on “NTSPP – 429

  1. I stared for ages at a blank grid before 10a finally gave me my first answer. It was just as tough as one expects from a Radler puzzle, but not as formidable as I originally anticipated it might be.

    Many exceptionally good clues, my overall favourite was probably 29a.

    Many thanks to Radler, I hope others will persevere as I did and not write it off as being too difficult.

    1. Many thanks, Silvanus. I felt like giving up having got only four answers after a long struggle. However your comment made me persevere and, with a modicum of electronic existence, I was able to complete it and very good it was too.

      I still have five answers only half-parsed and look forward to the review for enlightenment.

      Many thanks too to Radler for what ultimately proved to be a most enjoyable themed challenge, with 29a my favourite too.

      1. Thank you very much, CS. I would never have unravelled 1a given the American spelling of grey. In 8d I got the L for “lady” but was misled into thinking that ST was the “lifting” of TS (Eliot) and then struggled to see where NEES or SEEN reversed came into it. Talk about barking up the wrong tree. Barking in the wrong forest more like. Finally, even with your review, I still can’t make sense of 18d.

        P.S. You have omitted the “I” at the end of your decryption of 20d.

        1. 18d – I assumed that it was a homophone (uttering) of ‘fie’ combined with ‘sick’.

          1. A homophone has sound correctly and I’ve never heard this subject called fie-sicks

            What you require are homophones of FIZZ (hissing) and ICKS (the plural of an expression of disgust I’ve never used)

            1. Yuk! [Or should I say, Ick?] That’s awful. At least the other 31 clues were great!

  2. Similar experience to Silvanus – finding the way into a Radler puzzle is invariably the most difficult part of all.

    Some very clever clues in this one and the rather risqué 6,19&29a all made me laugh.
    Still wrestling with the parsing of 26a despite being reasonably confident of my answer – a bit of lateral thinking probably required!

    5d made my leader-board owing to its relevance to a recent documentary I watched but my winner was the subtle double definition in 22d.

    Excellent work, Radler, many thanks.

  3. Brilliant puzzle from Radler. Best moment was when the penny dropped – half way through – as to what was going on; Twas the crossers in the SE corner that alerted me, and one of those, 29a, was probably my favourite clue as well. But so much to enjoy. For example I remember struggling to clue 1a once in this NTSPP slot, and not doing remotely as well.
    All very, very good – and thanks for the encouragement to persevere Silvanus, it wasn’t too difficult at all as it turned out.

  4. Not doing too well so far but I’ve got nine answers which is probably at least eight more than I usually get in Radler’s crosswords.
    Back later or, more likely, tomorrow.
    Thanks to Radler and, in advance, to whoever is doing tomorrow’s review.

  5. V similar experience here. I stared for ages til 6a dropped. I am up to 13 clues so far mainly in the E. Not twigged a theme yet but willing to persevere. Of the ones so far 7d pleased the most.
    Looking forward to the review.

  6. Got there eventually thanks to the hints for a few. Idon’t think I would have worked out 11a 3d or 14d without them. Thanks to CS for the review and Radler for the reminder that less beer and 15a and more attention to the theme might have been a good idea.

    Btw should 23a be themed? It’s not highlighted like the others.

    1. Unlike the other eleven themed clues, 23a needs something in front of it to make it a school subject, so I’d say that it shouldn’t be highlighted

      1. Fair enough. I pencilled BI outside the grid in front of the answer to go with the other 2 sciences. I’m impressed with how many subjects Radler has squeezed in to the grid.

    2. Highlighted where? Perhaps I should have gone to Specsavers but I can’t see anywhere that the themed answers are indicated.

      1. The word ‘theme’ and the relevant clues are in blue whereas the majority of the rest of the blog (before some clever clogs points out the red bits) appears in black

        1. Crikey. Thanks Sue. Either I need a new computer or I really do need to go to Specsavers. On my laptop screen the blue is such dark navy that it is barely discernible.

          1. On my computer screen, the blue I’ve used is really clear although I will admit on my tablet screen it does look darker.

            I’ve got one of those weekends where I’ll be going back to work for a rest tomorrow and the long list of things I’ve still to do means I haven’t got time to change the colour so you’ll just have to imagine it is different

  7. As usual for a Radler, I really enjoyed the challenge and managed to solve the puzzle without assistance, although it took quite some time. Believe it or not, I did not spot the theme at all.

    I love Radler’s excellent surface readings and favourite clues were 6a, 29a, 4d, 7d and 17d.

    There are definitely lessons to be learned from this puzzle!

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS. Fine-toothed comb picked up on a couple of tweaks needed to the hidden answers in 21&25d.
    I didn’t know the ‘quickly dismisses’ definition in 15a but my default position now is to look up cricket terminology – and there it was!

    Thanks again to Radler for the reminder of schooldays.

  9. I chose a familiar theme that I expected most people to become aware of during the solve, though for those who didn’t, (and I frequently fall into this camp myself as a solver), it wouldn’t matter.

    A thank you to all for your comments, and especially to Sue for the review and to BD for publishing the puzzle

  10. I thought this was a brilliant puzzle. I wish I could say that I was able to finish it, but sadly, not. I wish I could say that I became aware of the theme, but again, sadly not – a pity really because it might have been just enough to give me the foothold into the SE corner that I was missing. However, I should have been able to get 27a instantly (to make matters worse it’s going to be an ear worm for the for the rest of the day!) Many thanks to Radler for the great puzzle – I am determined not to give up so easily on your next one – and thanks to CS for another great review.

  11. We were out of action for the weekend so were very late getting to this one. It was our top priority when we did get home though.
    Quite a challenge and excellent fun all the way through.
    Thanks Radler and CS.

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