NTSPP 639 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Radler

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Radler returns to Saturday afternoons with a tricky crossword with a Nina that Jean-Luc might appreciate, if he has time to solve the crossword, although I don’t think any of us will agree with the message! C’est simple comme bonjour 


7 Princess and frayed tempers (7)
ANNEALS The name of the Princess Royal and almost all (frayed) of a synonym for and

8 Failed company governor nearly secures backing (5)
ENRON Hidden in reverse (secures..backing) in goverNOR NEarly

10 Attire ultimately going on skin? (4)
ROBE The ultimate letter of attirE going on a slang word meaning to skin in the sense of swindle or fleece

11 Furnished me with urine pot, it’ll cover organs (10)
PERITONEUM An anagram (furnished) of ME with URINE POT

12 Predators seizing power? (8)
USURPERS People taking iniquitous interest on a loan ‘seizing’ the abbreviation for Power

14 The Tempest staged here, and Much Ado About Nothing (6)
TEACUP Where a storm might be staged to produce an expression meaning much ado about nothing

15 Olive skinned boy seated by meadow (4)
OLEA The inside (skinned) letter of bOy seated next to a meadow

17 Shambles, eats, catches cold (5)
FARCES Food or provisions for the table (eats) catches the abbreviation for Cold

18 Base connected to power source the wrong way (4)
EVIL A reversal (the wrong way) of a word meaning connected to power source

20 Mostly cooler and unpolluted Indian city (6)
JAIPUR Most of two words: a prison (cooler) and  a synonym for unpolluted

22 For some, juice bar next door to chat over (8)
GASOLINE A bar goes ‘next door’ or after an informal verb meaning to chat and the cricket abbreviation for Over

25 No directors reported American lived closeby (10)
NEIGHBORED A homophone (reported) of the way a Scotsman perhaps might say that there were no directors produces the American spelling for a word meaning lived close by

27 Details on which one gambles (4)
SPEC Informal shortenings of either some details, or a risky investment (on which one gambles)

28 A device to overlook old? (5)
AGISM A (from the clue) and a device without (to overlook) the abbreviation for Old

29 Conflict in club brought back medic (7)
DISCORD A club and a reversal of an abbreviated medic


1 Waking up after drug and alcohol binge (8)
CAROUSAL A synonym for waking up goes after the abbreviation for the drug Cocaine

2 Stop listening please (6)
ENDEAR Synonyms for stop and listening

3 Small and broad for instance (6)
SAMPLE The abbreviation for Small and another word meaning broad

4 Despot gets around demos (4)
TSAR Hidden in (demos) geTS ARound

5 Step into line, better in middle group (8)
SEPTETTE An anagram (into line) of STEP and the middle letters of bETTEr

6 Criminal in a row about forged items (8)
IRONWARE An anagram (criminal) of IN A ROW followed by the usual two-letter ‘about’, on the subject of

9 Revolutionary unionist replacing book pertaining to city republic (5)
NAURU Reverse (revolutionary) an adjective meaning pertaining to city, replacing the abbreviation for Book with that for Unionist

13 Seated on carpet, zip up jacket (5)
SHRUG An informal way to tell someone to be silent (zip up) goes on a carpet

16 Georgia running around piano as exercise in music (8)
ARPEGGIO An anagram (running) of GEORGIA ‘around’ the musical abbreviation Piano

17 Incendiary crowd uprising during brief upset (8)
FIREBOMB A reversal (uprising) of a mob inserted into an anagram (upset) of BRIEF

19 Base breaks free as platform to lodge suggestion (8)
INNUENDO The base letter in natural logarithms inserted into a verb meaning free, the result going under (platform to) a place to stay (lodge)

21 Location showcasing nation’s foremost? (5)
ARENA A location ‘showcasing’ the foremost letter of Nation

23 Greedy king recalled imprisoning son for marquis’ pleasure (6)
SADISM The greedy Greek king is reversed and then ‘imprisons’ the abbreviation for Son

24 Flexible cover briefly raised low growth (6)
LISSOM Truncate (briefly) a cover and follow with some reversed (raised) low growth

26 Fairground attraction seaside town received (4)
RIDE A homophone (received) of a seaside town on the Isle of Wight

12 comments on “NTSPP 639

  1. This was a real toughie and I was not helped by doing it whilst watching some rather exciting rugby. Many thanks to Radler for the enjoyable challenge.
    I ticked 12a, 13d, 19d and 23d but my favourite has to be the excellent penny-drop moment that was 14a.

  2. Think I’ve got there but there’s a couple of answers I’m not totally convinced by – ’twas ever thus with this setter!
    Top three here were 14&20a plus 23d with the gold medal going to 14a – brilliant clue.

    Many thanks to Radler for the challenge.

  3. Many thanks Radler … that’s taken me all day! Very tough but very satisfying to eventually complete and work out all the parsing. Spotted the Nina which was vital in helping with initial letters in NE. 14a fantastic, but great clues throughout – for me perhaps 19d COTD but really too many contenders to choose from. Thanks again, and in advance to reviewer.

  4. We agree with Prolixic that the Nina is definitely incorrect. Spotting it was certainly a big help in completing the solve.
    Big challenge, great fun. Now off for a delayed walk.
    Thanks Radler.

  5. Worked on this on and off through the day and finally filled the grid in, but I have as many question marks as ticks on my page! My favourites were 14a, 20a and 28a. I’m now looking forward to the review to tidy up the loose ends. Thanks to Prolixic for pointing out the Nina, I was too busy solving to even think about one…
    Many thanks, Radler, for a trademark head-scratcher. Good fun despite all the brain-racking that went on!

  6. I’ve just looked up the phrase that constitutes the Nina & it is a French version of our “as easy as ABC”. Or am I missing something that my betters have spotted?

  7. I got something under half of this done unaided and only finished with strategic use of the reveal button to suggest possible answers. Didn’t spot the nina but I doubt if it would have helped very much.
    Of those I did get by myself I particularly liked 11ac, 14ac and 16dn.

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS. At the end of the day it was just the ‘platform to’ that defeated my parsing attempts – oh yes, also the Nina!
    Thanks again to the Radler fiend.

  9. Thank you to BD & CS, and to all who provided feedback.
    The Nina was a little tongue-in-cheek, though at the time when I wrote it around the grid I hadn’t chosen any words to go in there, let alone written any clues.

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