NTSPP – 015 Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 015 Review

NTSPP – 015 Review

A Going a bit Elgar by Anax

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Those of us who attended the last Cruciverbalist’s Convention at the White Horse could not help but notice that Anax was more than a little preoccupied with a certain young lady known to denizens of Big Dave’s Blog as Moonstruck Minx.

Moonstruck Minx and Anax

The crossword contains lots of playful clues in the spirit of Elgar but there is nothing outrageous in the cluing – think of it as being a little like one of those saucy seaside postcards.


1a Nearly all guards available to take crowd out to lunch (10)
{MOONSTRUCK} – The definition is “out to lunch” in the sense of lunatic.  Find a word for nearly all and put this around (guards) a word for available (like beer available **-tap).  Add (take) a word for crowd (also a formation in rugby) to give the first of our mystery lady’s references.

6a That’s a stop! (4)
{WHOA} – The definition is stop – the sort of word you might use to call a horse to stop.  Take a word for “that”(as in those people) and add an “a” to the end.  The ‘s on that indicates a charade “has”.

9a Nazi pervert sits on face (10)
{NEOFASCIST} – The definition is Nazi made up from an anagram (pervert) of “sits on face”.

10a A German’s excessive love (4)
{OTTO} – The definition is a first name often associated with a German.  Take a word for excessive and add an O (love) to the end.

13a This starts to play it after loading number? (7)
{PIANOLA} – A lovely all in one clue.  The answer is an automated musical instrument.  It is made up from the instrument that you would normally play by hand and include AL (a number) inside it.  It is made up from the first letters of Play and It plus a French expression for after (a la) with an abbreviation for Number placed inside.  Thanks to Anax for the explanation.


15a Small piece of luggage that’s unopened – soft and neat (6)
{HATBOX} – The definition is a small piece of luggage.  Take the word “That” without the first letter (unopened), add a letter for soft (no not P, think of pencils) and crossword-land’s favourite use of the word neat to represent a type of cow.


16a Ford car that is a classy vehicle – get into it (6)
{SIERRA} – The definition is a make of Ford car.  The wordplay requires another abbreviation for “IT” (sex appeal) (another reference to Moonstruck?) and the abbreviations of “that is” and “a classy vehicle” (Rolls Royce) to be put inside it (gets into).


17a Full ID required to see film (12,3)

{INDEPENDENCE DAY} – The definition is a film.  Expand (full) the I and the D to the words that they represent as abbreviations to find the answer.

Independence Day

18a Book a flight (6)
{EXODUS} – Double definition time – a book in the Old Testament that represents Israel’s flight from Egypt.  Interestingly, the same word is used on the signposts in Greek cap parks to show the way out!  There are lots of X’s in this puzzle.  Kisses from Anax to Moonstruck?

20a King the other king rejected (6)
{XERXES} – The definition is an old Persian king.  The wordplay requires a word for “the other” (innuendo required here) and the Latin for King (Rex) and for these to be reversed (rejected).


21a Sat around playing while producing classical pieces (7)
{SONATAS} – The definition is “classical pieces”.  In keeping with 1a, “Moonlight ******” is a representative example.  Take the word SAT and put it around a word meaning playing.  Add a word for while (as) at the end.

22a Cat’s call as he’s content (4)
{LASH} – The definition is cat, as in a whip.  The answer is hidden (content – nicely disguised indicator) in call as he’s.

25a An old lady’s to cackle about odd stuff (10)
{ANTIMATTER} – The definition is odd stuff (the counterpart of ordinary matter).  Take AN with another word for “cackle” (as in laugh) and put a word for an old lady (MA) inside.

26a The German axis breaks in at least 48 hours (4)
{DAYS} – The definition is a period of time of at least 48 hours.  Take one of the German definite articles and put one of the axis on a graph inside it.

27a Attempt to fit a new spine with ease (10)
{TRANQUILLY} – The definition is with ease (in terms of peaceable).  Take a word for attempt and put inside (fit) A N(new) and a word for a spine (in terms of something found on a hedgehog or porcupine) to find the answer.


1d I’m going north to meet Anax regularly (4)
{MINX} – The second reference to our mystery lady!  Take IM and reverse it (going north) and add this to the even letters (regularly) of Anax.  See the preamble for why this has a nice surface reading as well.

2d Award for accepting old woodwind instrument (4)
{OBOE} – The definition is a woodwind instrument.  Take one of the UK honour (short for Order of the British Empire) and add an abbreviation for Old inside (accepting).


3d Half a dozen fences protect part of spike (6)
{SPADIX} – The definition is a botanical term for part of the spike of a flower.  Take half a dozen (here not VI but the normal spelling of the number) and put this around (fences) a word meaning to protect.

4d Reason direction changes? (15)
{RECONSIDERATION} – A beautiful all in one clue.  The answer is an anagram of “reason direction” indicated by changes.

5D Cellist’s leisure wear (not uniform) (6)
{CASALS} – The definition is a noted Spanish cellist.  Take a word for leisure wear and remove the U (not uniform) to find the answer.

Pablo Casals

7d Free-thinking alien protected by ideal mistress (10)
{HETERODOXY} – The definition is free thinking.  Take the world’s favourite alien who phoned home and put it inside words meaning ideal (as in an idol) and a slang word for a mistress (or prostitute).

8d PayPal’s CEO ordered book (10)
{APOCALYPSE} – The definition is a book of the Bible more commonly known as the book of Revelation.  The answer is an anagram (ordered) of PayPay’s CEO.

11d Mum’s red skirts I have repeatedly left to get dry (10)
{SHRIVELLED} – The definition is dry.  Take a word for mum (as in keep quiet) and RED.  Include inside (skirts) an abbreviation for “I have” and two L’s (left repeatedly).

12d You and I entering list you’d rearranged deliberately (10)
{STUDIOUSLY}- The definition is deliberately.  Take a word for “you and I” collectively and put it inside (entering) an anagram (rearranged) of “list you’d”.

13d So, pump furiously to keep tyre’s shape inflated (7)
{POMPOUS} – The definition is inflated (as in someone who is puffed up).  Take an anagram of “so pump” (furiously) and include a letter inside that looks like a tyre (tyre’s shape).

14d Letters initially are / is longer (7)
{AITCHES} – The definition is letters (those that, by ancient charter, have to be dropped by cheeky Cockneys).  The wordplay here eluded me because of the “/”.  In terms of a fraction, A/B means A over B.  So we need the initial letter of a (initially are) over a word meaning “is longer”.  I’m not sure that the second part of this definition comes up to scratch – if you’ll pardon the pun.

19d Rather like this expert (6)
{SOONER} – The definition is rather (as in expressing a preference).  Take a two letter word meaning “like this” and add an slightly oblique word for expert.

20d Film certificate (adult) and a forged certificate (for all) (6)
{XANADU} – Another film to find.  Take the old film classifications for Adult films and general release films and put inside an anagram (forged) of AND.


23d Turned up behind or with the others (2,2)
{ET AL} – The definition is “with the others” (a Latin expression).  If you were behind, you might be running ****.  Reverse this word (turned up) for the answer.

24d Joke spectacles by blind man called Charles (1-3)
{X-RAY} – The definition is a type of joke spectacles.  Take a one letter word for blind (unknown) and add the first name of a singer called Charles.

X-Ray Specs

Clues  I particularly enjoyed are shown in blue.  My favourite was 20a.  What about you?

11 comments on “NTSPP – 015 Review

  1. I read 19d as 2,2, ‘2 A variation of so into her, which explains my comments under the original puzzle!

  2. Great stuff Prolixic – many thanks for taking the time to do this.

    Only one bit of wordplay that was missed (perhaps inevitably – it’s a bit contrived). For 13a you have the “starts” of Play and It, then a 2-word French phrase meaning “after” as in “in the style of” placed around a 2-letter abbreviation for the word “number”. Phew!!!!!

    1. Strewth… Yes. How clear when it is explained properly. That’s what you get for letting rank amatures loose on the blog – all your hard thought out wordplay going by the board in favour of gibberish! I will edit!

      1. Thank you Anax for the crossword and thank you Prolixic for the write up…..I was dreading the reviewer making ref to me on one of the racier clues……. Also you missed all the XXXXXXX,s… :-)

        1. I did comment on the X’s in one of the clues (18a) and modesty forbade making any racy comments linking you to any clues but the nicest ones :)

  3. Thank you!

    Sorry missed the review of that clue as I knew the answer…well only when Anax explained it to me…as I was with him at the time…In all fairness it took more than one clue…

    Otto…that sums it up.


  4. Very nice puzzle , Anax, loved 7d.
    I missed 27a so thanks to Prolixic for sorting it out for me!

  5. Thanks for this Prolixic. There were quite a few that stumped me here.
    However, among those I really enjoyed were: 4d and 20a.

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