NTSPP 618 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Radler

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Apologies for the delay in publication.  I had a bad fall last Tuesday which has rendered me almost immobile.

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by crypticsue follows:

Reading the comments so far, it would appear that no-one noticed the fact that Radler had set this crossword in response to requests for an ‘easy‘ puzzle.  It was, for me, anyway, ‘easy-ish for a Radler’


1a    Feeling around, touching (4)
CARE The Latin abbreviation for around and the two-letter word meaning touching, concerning

3a    Alternate business with work about author (4,3,2)
COME AND GO An abbreviation for company (business) and a verb meaning to work ‘about’ how Radler the author would refer to himself

9a    Familiar address from prominent book’s unpublished chapter (3,4)
OLD CHAP An synonym for prominent without the abbreviation for Book and an abbreviated chapter

10a    Rob takes Fay’s admirers the wrong way (7)
SNAFFLE A reversal (the wrong way) of some fans of another word for fairy (fay)

11a    Drop in welcoming Australian alongside British national (9)
UKRAINIAN A way of saying drop in ‘welcoming’ the abbreviation for Australian goes after (alongside) another way of saying British

12a    Money that was in money box (4)
MARK The abbreviation for Money and a box

14a    Theory on occasions requires writing conditions (5)
TERMS The odd letters (on occasions) of ThEoRy go on a piece of writing

16a    I can lead troops around old Roman region (9)
CALEDONIA An anagram (troops) of I CAN LEAD goes around the abbreviation for Old

18a    They inform Earl, Duke of Normandy a strange sort (9)
EDUCATORS The abbreviation for Earl, the French (as used in Normandy) word for duke, A (from the clue) and an anagram (rum) of SORT

20a    Go on steps, ultimately reaching top (5)
SPEAK The ultimate letter of stepS and a top

21a    We’re told it’s correct and share food (4)
MEAT Homophones (we’re told) of synonyms of words meaning correct and share

22a    The round pipe one would think (9)
THEORISER THE (from the clue), the ’round’ letter and a pipe

25a    Represents a chartered surveyor linked to solicitor (4,3)
ACTS OUT A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Chartered Surveyor ‘linked’ to someone who solicits

26a    Composer‘s passion to settle (7)
IRELAND Some passion and a verb meaning to settle

27a    Serene ecstasy say, disturbed one wearing medal (4-5)
EASY-GOING The abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy, an anagram (disturbed) of SAY followed by I (one) wearing or going inside a medal

28a    Characters becoming anxious when Fred joins gym (4)
EDGY Join Fred and gym and a synonym for anxious is hiding in the middle


1d    Flirty women describing taste of raspberry cakes (10)
CROQUETTES The first letter (taste) of Raspberry inserted into some flirty women

2d    Fish in car, or one on a bicycle (5)
RIDER A type of fish inserted into an abbreviated make of car

3d    Island, Sark etc. company restricted lively music(9)
CAPRICCIO An island and the abbreviation for company restricting an abbreviated group of islands (Sark etc)

4d    Note child member of nuclear family? (5)
MESON A musical note and a male child

5d    Has security system: a student with a gun (7)
ALARMED A (from the clue), the usual student and a way of saying ‘with a gun’

6d    Submission on breaking resistance (9)
DEFERENCE The two-letter ‘on the subject of’ inserted into some resistance

7d    Public missing last part of match (4)
OVER Remove the last letter from an adjective meaning public

8d    Sight aids Ross to leave seating (6)
CHAIRS Remove ROSS from some lines used to help focussing in an optical instrument

13d    Nearly deck rogue with a crabby manner (10)
CANKEREDLY An anagram (rogue) of NEARLY DECK – I will admit to using Crossword Solver to get this one as, like me,  the Anagram Solver had never heard of it!

15d    Wheels obstruction blocking roads (9)
ROULETTES An obstruction ‘blocking’ some roads

17d    Bright, but not initially attentive (9)
LISTENING Remove the first letter (not initially) from a synonym for bright and shiny

19d    Campaign ostracised about having lied (3-4)
ART-SONG Hidden in reverse in campaiGN OSTRAcised – lied being a type of German song rather than another word for fibbed

20d    Row setter lost (6)
STREET An anagram (lost) of SETTER

22d    Expressing disapproval, no good going all together (5)
TUTTI Remove the abbreviations for No and Good from a way of expressing disapproval

23d    Smooth outside temperature rise (5)
STAND A verb meaning to smooth goes outside the abbreviation for Temperature

24d    Disabled sport (4)
GAME – Double definition

Thanks to Radler and best wishes to the BDs – let’s hope that 2022 is a much better you for the two of you (and the rest of us)

31 comments on “NTSPP 618

  1. Oh dear, falls are awful! Nothing broken, I hope – just a bruised body and ego.

    I hope you recover soon, BD.

  2. Oh no, so sorry to hear that. Please take care of yourself and get better soon. We all send love!

  3. So sorry to hear about your fall, Dave. I do hope that in these unusual times you have nevertheless been able to get the optimum treatment, and that you recover quickly

  4. We saw who the setter was so knew we were in for a challenge. It certainly was that but little by little it all came together with light-bulb moments with virtually ever clue.
    A real pleasure to solve and worth waiting for.
    Thanks Radler.
    Sorry to hear of your fall BD. All the best to you and Pam from both of us.

  5. Serves me right for anxiously awaiting the NTSPP – the fiend returns to mess with my brain.
    Think I’ve taken the game but there are a couple of answers that await the adjudicator’s decision.

    Thank you, Radler – I love you really, especially your raspberry cakes!

  6. Enjoyably pithy clues and nothing too unfair. I have a question mark against an anagram indicator that didn’t quite work for me, but perhaps I’ve parsed the clue wrongly.
    I liked the reference to an old feminist slogan at 2d. My favourite was the very neat 12a.

    Best wishes to Big Dave and here’s to a swift recovery.

  7. Sorry to hear about the fall. Hope there’s nothing broken and that you’re soon back to full health.

  8. Sorry to read about your fall, BD. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m posting this before looking at the crossword – a Radler puzzle might unduly delay my message to you!

  9. I know how you must feel as I slipped on the cobblestones in York a few weeks ago & broke my nose amongst other injuries. Best wishes BD.

  10. Best wishes to BD – here’s hoping for a swift return of mobility.

    Radler is as enjoyable (and devious) as ever. Many thanks to him.
    The clues I liked best were 12a, 21a, 8d and 19d (which took me ages to parse – doh!).

  11. Best wishes, BD, sorry to hear about your fall – get well soon.

    The puzzle was well worth waiting for, many thanks Radler. I found it very tricky … but everything perfectly fair. Favourites included 27a, 8d, 17d and 19d; I also loved the device in 25a and the definition in 4d.

  12. Oh dear! I do hope there’s nothing broken. You must be feeling very sore and more than a trifle shaken. How very kind of you to have posted this NTSPP, Big Dave. I hope you will soon be feeling very much better.

    1. I see there’s an identical comment awaiting moderation – I’m not entirely sure why you are repeating the comment

      1. I’m very sorry about that, crypticsue.The comment editor kept freezing on me when I tried to change the originaI. I got a bit flummoxed. Mea maxima culpa…

  13. I find Radler’s puzzles very difficult. I’m encouraged by your saying it is the easier end of his spectrum, crypticsue. Mind you, with your exceptional ability, your ‘easy’ isn’t necessarily the same as mine! I shall give it a go and no doubt have recourse to your review. In advance, a very grateful and appreciative ‘thank you’.

  14. Many thanks for the review, CS. Like Fez, I had failed to notice how easy Radler had made this one!
    Learnt a couple of new things in the shape of the nuclear family and the 19d song and not sure that I’ve come across 13d previously. I suppose it’s aligned to cantankerous?

    Thank you again to Radler for such an ‘easy’ offering!

  15. A challenge, as all Radler puzzles are, but completed in one sitting over a leisurely lunch rather than the usual two or three sessions. However, I failed to see how ‘easy’ it really was… Thanks to CS for the review and for revealing the hidden treasure. Favourite clues were 3a, 21a and 1d, with 21a taking first prize for the ingenious 3-way homophone. Thank you, Radler.

  16. Thank you to Sue for the review, to BD for preparing the puzzle for publication while injured, and to the solvers who still made time for the puzzle despite its late arrival.

    I originally had “marker pens” in 13d, but then realised I’d also got “mark” (a theme answer) in the grid. “Cankeredly” was the only alternative I could find that didn’t require major restructuring.
    Like Jane, I wondered whether it might be cognate with cantankerous, but it isn’t. It’s related to canker, an ulceration in animals or a fungal disease in plants – resulting in a crabby appearance and by extension, a crabby manner.

    1. Hi Radler,
      Yes it makes sense for 13d to relate to canker – thank you for that and for being so ‘easy’ on us – completely missed that little joke!

  17. Spoiler alert! Read no further if you’ve not yet solved the puzzle.
    I found this quite tricky but got there in the end. My anagram solver had ‘cankeredly’ but not a much more common word from a puzzle elsewhere today. And 19dn raises again that thorny question of the convention that you may capitalise to mislead but may not “de-capitalise” proper nouns etc, since ‘Lied’ for a German song should have a capital L – but of course that would give the game away.
    Thanks, Radler, for the challenge and to CS for the parsings, a few of which escaped me. And best wishes again to BD.

    1. I do follow the convention of preserving capital letters where English requires them. ‘Lied’ like all nouns would require a capital letter in German, but it doesn’t in English. Chambers and Collins both list it only in lowercase. (Though were I to use it in a homophone, I’d probably match it to the German “t” sound, rather than the anglicised “d”.)

        1. That’s the pronunciation given in Chambers, though other sources give the anglicised version, so I think either would be a valid and uncontroversial homophone for this particular word.

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