NTSPP – 561 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 561

A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Radler is back with yet another of his really difficult crosswords 

The diagonals across the grid (top left to bottom right and bottom left to top right) spell out the word DIAGONAL


1a    Shot dead, doctor sobbed, losing heart (5)
DOSED The abbreviation for Dead and an anagram (doctor) of SObbED losing its ‘heart’

4a    Travelling round, flew first-class (9)
WONDERFUL An anagram (travelling) of ROUND FLEW

9a    Absolute fool barging into a disturbance (9)
AGITATION The abbreviation for Absolute, a fool and an anagram (barging) of INTO A

10a    Scrap gallon bucket? (5)
GRAIN The abbreviation for gallon and the type of weather that might bucket down

11a    Single-digit growth without end according to Spooner (7)
TOENAIL How the dreaded Reverend might say something was without an end

12a    Performer possibly one of seven at academy (7)
SINATRA One of seven deadly offences, AT (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the Royal Academy

13a    George had been briefly joint, likewise Tony (10)
WASHINGTON Another way of saying ‘has been’ almost all of a joint and again (likewise) almost all of TONy

15a    Independent review originally taken into consideration (4)
FREE The original letter of Review inserted into a consideration paid for a service

17d    Stretch it over Radler (4)
TIME A reversal (over) of IT followed by how our setter might refer to himself

19a    Farming expert on goat is Mr Woolly (10)
AGRONOMIST An anagram (woolly) of ON GOAT IS MR

22a    Band’s careers uncovered (7)
STREAKS A synonym of bands without the apostrophe

24a    “None left high”, drug inspires book title (7)
ENNOBLE An anagram (high) of NONE L plus the abbreviation for Ecstasy (drug) ‘inspires’ the abbreviation for Book

26a    Humanitarian nurses such as Maria’s friend (5)
ANITA The friend of Maria in West Side Story is hidden in humanitarian

27a    Awkward line developed, among others, by social worker (9)
INELEGANT An anagram (developed) of LINE, the abbreviation meaning for example (among others) and a social worker insect

28a    Studies European location for cryptozoologist’s stupidity (9)
DENSENESS Some studies, the abbreviation for European and the location where a cryptozoologist might look for a particular monster

29a    Bring back youth – to get sex twice daily of course (5)
TIDAL A reversal of a young man into which is inserted one of the ways sex can be clued in a cryptic crossword


1d    It’s distributed inside alternator (5)
DEALT Hidden (distributed) inside insiDE ALTernator

2d    Starts chip shop at first (7)
SHIVERS A synonym for chip (small fragment) and the first letter of Shop

3d    OTT harsh mother knocks out son (8)
DRAMATIC A synonym for harsh without the S (knocks out son) which is replaced by an informal way of referring to a mother

4d    Revolver and Heroin I suspect girl’s hidden in rug (9)
WHIRLIGIG The abbreviation for Heroin, I from the clue and an anagram (suspect) of GIRL hidden in a hairpiece (rug)

5d    After first playing tennis, playing cards (5)
NINES Make an anagram (playing) of the letters after the first letter in tENNIS

6d    E.g. One of 5 trained to become car driver (6)
ENGINE An anagram (trained) of EG and one of the cards in 5d

7d    Roof at end modern and lower in pitch (7)
FLATTER The letter at the end of roof and a synonym for modern

8d    Bareheaded gentleman I forced to reveal distinguishing mark (9)
LINEAMENT Remove the first letter (bareheaded) of gENTLEMAN add an I and an anagram (forced) will provide the solution

13d    Combat mobilises that’s recruited by US draft (9)
WITHSTAND An anagram (mobilises) of THATS inserted into (recruited by) what a current of air the Americans would spell as ‘draft’

14d    Speedos over head, showing off rest (9)
ODOMETERS The abbreviation for Over, a curved head and an anagram (showing off) of REST

16d    Sober gesture when bar opens (8)
DOWNBEAT  Double definition, the second referring to a conductor’s gesture at the start of a bar in music

18d    Fictional creature and fictional maid drinking tea chatting (7)
MARTIAN A fictional Maid ‘drinking’ a homophone (chatting) of tea

20d    Picked up bar and made hole on interior of ship (7)
INBOARD A homophone (picked up) of a bar and a way of saying ‘made hole’

21d    Wine server carrying case of rioja in bistro (6)
CARAFE The outside letters (case) of RiojA inserted into a bistro

23d    Room, one for every season (5)
SPICE Replace the A (every) in a room with an I (one)

25d    Celebrate once fortune’s on the up (5)
EXTOL The two letters indicating once and a reversal (on the up) of a synonym for fortune

10 comments on “NTSPP – 561

  1. Great stuff with all of Radler’s deviousness on show. Many thanks to him.
    My ticks went to 22a, 28a, 29a and 18d.

  2. Quite a tussle but a worthy challenge to complete; I’ll add 13a to Gazza’s list
    Isn’t 1d a lift and separate in-side?
    Thanks Radler

  3. A Spoonerism that I could manage but in fairness I think we’ve met him previously.
    17a made me smile when I think of all the hours I’ve spent in the company of our friendly fiend’s compilations and I’m happy to go along with Gazza’s choice for podium places – knew that 22a would be one of them!

    Thanks to Radler for giving in relatively gracefully.

  4. This proved to be quite a challenge, and it took several sittings to unravel and parse all of Radler’s usual cunning. I did enjoy it with each penny drop moment and my podium comprises 13a, 22a, 28a & 18d.

    Many thanks, Radler, for the excellent entertainment.

  5. Oh well – the dunce of the day just calling in.
    Really just saying hello and, as usual, I can’t do it which is what I always say with Radler’s crosswords.
    However, on the plus side, I have got seven answers which is at least six more than I’ve ever managed before with one of his!
    Not doing so well with the MPP either so tomorrow will be a toss-up between persevering with one or the other.
    I really liked the 11a Spoonerism and 29a.

  6. A real struggle but we did eventually get it all sorted with the NW being the last to fall.
    Thanks Radler.

  7. I hate giving up on crosswords especially when I’ve got a decent foothold but decided to do so with this after taking quite a while this morning to complete just over half. I’ll await the review for enlightenment.
    Thanks Radler, of the ones I could do I liked 9&18d plus 11a in particular.

  8. We managed 12 answers after a few sessions – and then fell apart and had to wait for answers this morning from CS to unravel the remaining mysteries. We fell into the state of 28a. More practice definitely needed! Thank you Radler.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS. Just a tweak needed for the 3d hint, I think.
    No 2 daughter on IOW gets three 29a events in a day although with a very young baby and a boisterous 3 yr old I doubt that there’s much time left to consider having any sex!

  10. Something of a toughie, with wordfinder help required here and there., but satisfying in the end since I managed to parse everything. Thanks, Radler and CS.

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