NTSPP – 512 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 512

NTSPP – 512

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Radler hasn’t been seen on the NTSPP pages since the end of April – looking back at NTSPP 481, I found this week’s crossword less difficult but still taking quite a time to solve. The surface reading of 14a made me laugh but don’t expect me to add an illustration!


1a Official recognition by King Harry (6)
BADGER Misleading capitals time as far as the definition is concerned. A form of official recognition and the abbreviation for Rex (king)

4a I don t care when we hear TV set (8)
WHATEVER An anagram (set) of WE HEAR TV

10a Nearly everybody fibs – essentially one makes excuse (5)
ALIBI A synonym for everybody without its last letter (nearly), the essential letters of fIBs and I (one)

11a Judge announced a contest in this area (9)
HEREABOUT A homophone (announced) of a verb meaning judge followed by A (from the clue) and a contest

12a Mother’s instruction to Groom, he yawns (3,4)
SAY WHEN an anagram (groom) of HE YAWNS gives us something someone ‘being mother’ and pouring out cups of tea would ask

13a Ex love to bring in forms for writer (3-4)
ONE-TIME The letter used to represent a score of love, a verb meaning to bring in and two ways in which the writer might refer to himself, one a single letter, the other has two letters

14a One’s act: short skirt, tying up, art with whip and climax ultimately? (10)
DOMINATRIX A verb meaning to act, a short skirt, tying up (or going round) an anagram (with whip) of ART, the result followed by the ultimate letter of climAX

17a Meet on having nothing to lose (4)
ABUT Remove the O (having nothing to lose) from a preposition meaning on

19a See 22 Down

20a Check out houses e.g. around hall (10)
PASSAGEWAY A way of saying check out ‘houses’ a reversal (around) of EG (from the clue)

23a In a relationship, second cousins dawn elope (7)
ABSCOND Insert between A (from the clue) and a relationship the abbreviations for Second and the C that is the ‘dawn’ of Cousins

24a Cut and paste? Cut and paste all over (7)
REPAPER A palindrome as this word meaning to cut and paste is the same whichever you read it – so cut and paste ‘all over’

26a Queues caused by champion wearing black coat (9)
TAILBACKS A word meaning to champion or support is ‘wearing’ a formal black coat

27a Please function before noon (5)
AMUSE The abbreviated way of saying morning (before noon) goes before a synonym for function as a verb

28a European chasing nine year olds for affection in LA (8)
PRETENSE ‘In LA’ indicates the requirement to spell this affection as an American would. The abbreviation for European follows (chasing) a way of referring to nine year olds

29a Measure what fireman does (6)
STOKES The measure is the CCS unit of kinematic viscosity named after a British physicist; the fireman in the second definition would be found on a steam train or by a ship’s furnace


1d Wingless seabirds flying one-sided (7)
BIASSED An anagram (flying) of SEABIrDS (wingless indicating that you don’t need the letter representing the right hand side

2d Regularly while away having change of heart (5)
DAILY Change the letter in the middle of a verb meaning to while away

3d Mouth of heavy smoker turned needing some inspiration (8)
EPIPHANY The abbreviation for Heavy, a reversal of a ‘smoker’ and a synonym for some

5d Choirman’s faltering octaves perhaps… (9)
HARMONICS An anagram (faltering) of CHOIRMANS

6d …clown joining in, quite a serenade! (6)
TEASER Lurking (joining) in quiTE A SERenade

7d Worried about oblivion with Rod giving recital (6,3)
VIOLIN BOW An anagram (worried about) of OBLIVION followed by W (with)

8d Safe place on handle (7)
RETREAT The two letter word used to mean on (the subject of) and a verb meaning to handle

9d/24d Cretin’s husband contrived to fiddle support (8)
CHINREST An anagram (contrived) of CRETINS and H (husband)

15d Low square fences calm spirits (9)
MOONSHINE The noise made by a cow (low) and a square number which ‘fences’ a two-letter way of telling people to be calm (or quiet)

16d Pervert Time: crudest Adult channels for viewers (4,5)
TEAR DUCTS An anagram (pervert) of T (time) CRUDEST A (adult)

18d Such as mole burrowed under good fruit (8)
EGGPLANT The two-letter way of saying such as, and a mole or spy, the latter ‘burrowed under’ the abbreviation for Good


19d Best lamb once in FreshCo? (5-2)
START-UP To understand the definition you need to split the Fresh and Co – a way of describing the best ram (lamb once)

21d Deliveries yard staff taking week off (7)
YORKERS The abbreviation for Yard and some staff without the first letter (taking Week off)

22d/19a Score for sharp instrument features soprano and violin notes together (6,4)
DOUBLE STOP A way of playing two violin strings at once – a dart score (for sharp instrument) ‘features’ the abbreviation for Soprano

24d See 9d

25d Head of percussion gets chance to play guitar? (5)
PLUCK The letter at the ‘head’ of Percussion followed by chance

16 comments on “NTSPP – 512

  1. You can be sure that a Radler offering is going to be tough but perseverance seems to pay off with his puzzles with pennies dropping slowly but surely as you work your way through the grid. This one was no exception and very enjoyable it proved to be too. My final battle was to parse 13a fully (with a very loud clang when I realised how the last three letters were derived).

    Many thanks to Radler for a very entertaining challenge and in advance to CS.

  2. A tour round Radler’s mind would be a wonder to behold………
    Finally got there with a couple of decidedly shaky bits of parsing but at least I can say that the ‘fiend’ didn’t defeat me!
    Many thanks for the challenge, Radler.

  3. Cripes! I was beaten by 22/19a despite having all of the crossing letters. Also I have several ? marks where I cannot fully parse my answers.

    Thanks to Radler for providing a crossword which distracted from the freezing fog here in the Vale of Belvoir.

  4. Yes, as others have said, difficult but worth the effort.

    I particularly liked 1A, 11A, 16D, 21D, 22D/19A.

    One or two quibbles – ‘wingless’ in 1D is not what one would normally expect, I’m not sure the apposition of words quite works in 27A, and the ‘calm’ in 15D doesn’t seem to be quite right. However, altogether very enjoyable.

  5. Excellent fun. We had to work hard for every answer but slowly and surely it all fitted into place with penny-drop moments all over the place. No way could we pick any single clue as favourite from among so many worthy ones.
    Thanks Radler.

  6. I do enjoy a Radler and I did enjoy battling with this one – is the setter a fiddle player?
    My ticks went to 1a, 4a, 13a and 19d but best of all was the brilliant laugh-inducing 14a.
    Thanks to Radler for the entertainment.

    1. I believe this started off as a violin-themed crossword but turned into a non-themed crossword to make it friendlier

  7. Thanks very much for the review and pictures, Sue. For 23a, I took “cousins’ dawn” to mean the first letter of “cousins”.

  8. Thank you crypticsue for the review and others for the comments

    Rabbit Dave – you’re right about cousins’ dawn

    Gazza – My parents were professional musicians and I played the violin from the age of six until I went to University. Now, several decades later, I’ve come back to it and am slowly improving.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS. I was initially surprised to see how long it’s been since we last had an NTSPP from Radler but I now realise that he’s produced a couple of MPPs since then which explains why it seems as though it was only yesterday!

    Thanks again to Radler – hope your violin playing is coming along nicely, although probably relieved that I don’t have to listen to your attempts. I can still remember when the youngster who lived next door to us took up said instrument!

  10. Spurred on by the comments above, I thought I would tackle a Radler for the first time, being confined to quarters today. Quite a challenge and although I finished, I had to refer to Sue’s excellent blog for some of the parsing.
    24a is brilliant. I would have been far too tempted to play with an anagram of “prepare” to think of anything as clever as this!!
    Lots of smiles, so many thanks, Radler.

  11. Got beaten in the SW.
    Didn’t get the music combo and the elope clue.
    Was a bit confused with the fodder in 1d but everything around seemed and was right.
    I love the fact that I have to analyse every single word to get the wordplay but sometimes it’s a bit too much for my little brain.
    Thanks to Radler for the great fun and to CS for the review.
    I suppose that in the picture for 18d, we can say the fireman is wearing an Aubergine coloured shirt.

    1. Bother – I have a picture of an aubergine to go there but for some reason the stoker ended up there instead. All now correct (I hope)

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