NTSPP – 439 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 439

NTSPP – 439

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Radler returns to Saturday afternoons with one of his relatively less difficult puzzles – well I thought so anyway, helped by the fact that I spotted the ghost theme fairly early on. If you still haven’t spotted what is going on, have a look at the bits I’ve picked out in red under the click here


1a Called for more body parts, bottom perhaps (7)
ENCORED A central part (body) of something parts or is inserted into another word for a termination (bottom)

5a Forces individual professor’s heart (7)
COLONEL A homophone (professor‘s) of the heart or central part

9a Scene of Hollywood prejudice – no backer, hence folds? (5)
LABIA Inner folds of skin – the abbreviation for the city that is the ‘scene’ or home of Hollywood followed by a synonym for prejudice without its last letter (no backer)

10a We’re blowed – men making out with robots (9)
TROMBONES An anagram (making out) of MEN with ROBOTS

11a Hankered to guard address, nothing taken (9)
PURLOINED Another way of saying hankered for something into which is inserted (guards) the abbreviation for the system of addresses on the World Wide Web and the letter that represents nothing

14a Man’s skirt exposes organ indecently at first (5)
LUNGI A long cloth worn as a garment – an organ of the body followed by the first letter of indecently

15a Study primarily forgotten, son gets ready for work (5)
EARNS Remove the first letter (primarily forgotten) from another way of saying study and add the abbreviation for son

16a For protracted snog, regularly put on short underwear (9)
LINGERING The regular letters of sNoG put on almost all of some ladies’ underwear

18a Stripper‘s overinflated boobs (9)
DEFOLIANT An anagram (boobs) of O (over) and INFLATED

19a Money for tables? They’re comparatively inexpensive (5)
CHIPS Money for gambling tables, the same word being used in an expression indicating comparative inexpensiveness

21a Couples comprising two Rugby players (5)
LOCKS Two rugby players in a particular position or a verb meaning couples together

23a Spending Sunday having massages, put clothes in recess (9)
DISBURSAL A reversal (in recess) of a verb meaning put ‘cloths’ or goes round the abbreviation for Sunday and another way of saying massages

24a Useless product of mine is not even manufactured (9)
VEINSTONE An anagram (manufactured) of IS NOT EVEN

26a Hiking up (5)
AFOOT Double definition – on foot (hiking) or astir or active (up)

28a Standing, went ahead and ate up (7)
RANKLED Another word for standing or status and a verb meaning went ahead

29a List excluding last place? (7)
HEELBAR A verb meaning to list or lean to one side and a preposition meaning excluding – the place this last would be found would be the workplace of a shoe mender There’s a reason I’ve used this particular picture but there’s probably only three other people associated with this blog who’ll know why!


1d English run out before last over in Oval (7)
ELLIPSE A reversal (over) of the abbreviation for English and a verb meaning run out without its last letter

2d Letters from Morocco by pen friend? (3)
COB Lurking in some of the letters from MorocCO By, you’ll find the friend of a female swan (pen)

3d Further provocation behind Left’s support for old Republic (9)
REAROUSAL Another word for behind, L (left) ‘supporting’ or having inserted the abbreviation for Old and a particular republic

4d Little girl from Kansas gets round Mark (3)
DOT The abbreviated form of the name of the girl from Kansas who went to Oz and/or a round mark

5d Tacky decorations matching clothes (11)

6d Student meeting murder victim it’s on record (5)
LABEL The abbreviated form of a student ‘meeting’ the first murder victim in the Old Testament

7d Unknowns from 90s not reforming (11)
NONENTITIES Take the letters used to write down 90s (plural) as a word, add NOT, and an anagram (reforming) will give you your solution

8d Guy hiding (7)
LASHING The guy refers to rope bindings, the hiding refers to corporal punishment

12d Bloody camp, but becoming more refined (11)
RAREFACTION How you’d ask for your steak if you didn’t want it well cooked (bloody) and a camp or rebellious group

13d Worthless in Llandudno, I’ve almost gone bust (4,3,4)
NULL AND VOID An anagram (gone bust) of LLANDUDNO IV (almost gone tells you to leave out the E)

17d Support staff caught wasting time (9)
ENCOURAGE change (wasting) the T for time in a group of followers to a C (caught)

18d Get knocked up and give birth (7)
DELIVER A reversal (up) of a verb meaning knocked or assailed with abuse

20d One greeting could change a result (7)
SALUTER An anagram (could change) of A RESULT

22d This is almost, but not entirely plant fibre (5)
SISAL Hidden in thiS IS Almost

25d By all conclusions, she would publish letter (3)
EDH The conclusions of shE woulD and publish produce an alternative spelling for an Old English and/or Icelandic letter

27d Ball (part of crown jewels) damaged during aerobics (3)
ORB An anagram (damaged) of three of the letters hidden in aeROBics

15 comments on “NTSPP – 439

  1. We’ve certainly been spoilt today – a brilliant MPP and a real Toughie from Radler.
    Nearly every clue here needed to be teased out, accompanied by lots of d’ohs as the definition revealed itself. I still haven’t managed to parse 5a but I shall persevere. My top clues were 19a, 2d (pen friend indeed), 29a and 18d.
    Thanks Radler.

  2. Ow, that was hard. A bit overwhelmed by heat and trying to watch tennis at the same time, so I cheated a bit, but enjoyed the ones I got. Pen friend v good, also 18d, 22d.
    Thanks Radler

  3. My fiendish friend returns! Got there in the end but not without a fair amount of time being taken to get everything satisfactorily parsed.
    I’m so used to Radler’s devious ways that the odd gimme – 20d today – makes me decidedly nervous!

    Top three for me were 19&29a plus 2d.

    Many thanks to Radler – I need some recovery time now so hope you’ve booked a nice long Summer holiday…………

    1. … not officially a holiday, but I’ve arrived in Milan today where I’m cat-sitting for 2 weeks while my daughter, who lives & works here, is away. A lovely old apartment building with a stone courtyard on a street full of pavement cafes/restaurants and close to the Duomo. I’ve taken the opportunity to enrol in an intensive Italian course, so I shall try to avoid setting while I’m here, or I’ll neglect my homework.

      1. Oh yes – I’m sure you need to concentrate on the homework! Just slightly worried that we might all need to take a course in Italian to cope with the clues you’ll throw at us on your return………

  4. We’re somewhat pleased that the weather is rather bad today as most of our usual Sunday morning walk time has been used up solving this delightful puzzle. Chuckles and groans all the way through as the pennies slowly dropped.
    Thanks Radler, enjoy Milan.

  5. High quality punning from the Radler – much enjoyed and many thanks.
    11a and 1d both much appreciated, whilst 18d was an absolute beauty of a clue.
    Struggled a bit in the SE corner and couldn’t get 28a despite all the checkers!

  6. Looks as though the friendly fiend got one over on me after all – completely missed the ghost theme despite it being hidden in plain sight! Many thanks for pointing it out, CS, and obviously thanks also for the rest of the review.

    Nice to see the familiar smiling face at 29a – hope he’ll be repairing in our direction again soon.

    Thanks again to Radler, hope you enjoy your visit to Milan.

    PS The son seems to have gone missing from 15a.

  7. I’m afraid I did not do very well with this. I started in the NW corner and got only marginally further than nowhere. Then I saw Jane’s comment and 20d went in with no trouble – and 27d along with it. I even got 25d from the word play, but immediately dismissed the (correct) answer not thinking for a moment that it could be a word. The definition in 29a (along with the connection to list) escaped me. . . and so it went on. I very much admired C.S.’s review and marveled in the cleverness of it all. I am only disappointed that I was not able to take part in the fun of it all. Sadly I think I need to add a Radler puzzle to my ‘Do not attempt’ list.

  8. Found this tough to get into, but perseverance won through in the end. Very enjoyable, although I didn’t spot the ghost theme. I wish I could write clues with such smooth surfaces as 1d in particular.

  9. I really find Radler tough to crack.
    Failed miserably on this one and needed the hints on so many.
    Not helped by putting Links in 21a and misspelling 18a.
    Thanks to Radler for the challenge and to CS for the much needed help.

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