NTSPP – 018 Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 018 Review

NTSPP – 018 Review

A puzzle by Tim Moorey

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Big Dave met Tim at the Sloggers and Betters meeting in London a few weeks ago. Out of the blue, Tim submitted a puzzle for the Blog. To have a setter of Tim’s calibre volunteering a puzzle is something of a coup.  They flock to Big Dave’s door these days!

This crossword was joy to solve. It should be well within the abilities of most solvers. The only clue where the wordplay detained me was 9a where the answer was obvious but how you got to it was not. Many thanks to Big Dave for putting me on the straight and narrow. Thanks too to Tim for the crossword.


1a Description of crooked hedonists (9)
{DISHONEST} – An anagram (crooked) of hedonists gives a word that might describe them.

6a Car in the spotlight (5)
{FOCUS} – Double definition – a model of a Ford car also means to be in the spotlight.

9a This, after goo makes a fool in Scandinavian language (5)
{NORSE} – The answer is a Scandinavian language. An abbreviation (unknown to me) for this language added to “goo” gives a word meaning a fool [Gazza had a much better explanation – put either N OR SE after GOO and you get a fool.]

Cue a clip from the archives:

10a Flat area recalled in Detroit apparently (5)
{PATIO} – Reverse hidden word. A flat area, behind your house, perhaps, is hidden backwards in Detroit apparently.

11a Tailless bird or gibbon (3)
{LAR} – Deletion. Take the final letter from a type of bird (immortalised by Vaughn Williams and referred to in last week’s NTSPP) to give the name of a type of gibbon.

12a US author’s correspondents (7)
{MAILERS} – Double definition. The name of a US author, first name Norman, with the S (from ‘s in the clue) gives a description of those who might send lots of correspondence – most of it junk mail.

14a Nothing to share in speech (7)
{ORATION} – Word sum. A one letter representation of nothing plus a word meaning to share gives us a word meaning a speech.

15a Racer perhaps rolling in the clover (9)
{CHEVROLET} – A make of car, in the news for now not wanting to be known as a Chevvy, is an anagram of (rolling in) the clover.

17a Herb and daughter backed painter (5)
{DEGAS} – Word sum reversal. A type of herb, linked with parsley, rosemary and thyme in song, with an abbreviation for daughter gives us the name of a French impressionist painter.

18a Lustful King Andrew (5)
{RANDY} – Word sum. A word for lustful is made up from an abbreviation for King (the Latin is Rex) plus a shortened form of Andrew.

19a Divide liquid store (9)
{WATERSHED} – This divide (at 9:00 on UK terrestrial television) is made up from a word for liquid plus a word for a store (where you might store garden tools).

21a Hunter comparatively crude sounding (7)
{COURSER} – This hunter (which could be a swift horse or a person who hunts hares) sounds like a word meaning cruder.

23a Relative walks forward (7)
{STEPSON} – Double definition. A relative, when the word is split 5,2 also means to walk forward.

24a One bird of 5 (3)
{TIT} – A bird is one of the words forming the answer to 5 down.

25a Where man’s lifeless down below, Viagra vendor has the answer (5)
{GRAVE} – Hidden word. A place where someone may be lifeless underground is hidden in the word “Viagra vendor”. Clue of the day for me.

26a Maybe it’s still burning in the river (5)
{PHOTO} – Superb piece of misdirection in this clue. Originally I had SMOKY (a Canadian river and suggesting of something being burning). The correct answer is a type of picture (maybe its still). It is made up from a word meaning burning (as in temperature) inside a two letter river.

27a No lead in pencil? That’s material (5)
{RAYON} – Head deletion. Another lovely misdirection in this clue. Lead here means not the centre part of the pencil but the first letter. Remove it from a type of pencil (often coloured and waxy) to give a type of man made material.

28a Early drink for cricket teams? (9)
{ELEVENSES} – Double definition. The time you may have your mid-morning cup of tea or coffee obliquely may be used as a reference to a cricket team that contains the requisite number of players.


1d Energetic detectives arresting a large number on the way back (7)
{DYNAMIC} – Container with reversal. A word meaning energetic is created by taking a three letter abbreviation for detectives, putting a word meaning a large number inside, and reversing the result (on the way back).

2d Work very scrutinised in this sort of business (7,8)
{SERVICE INDUSTRY} – An anagram (work) of very scrutinised gives a sort of business.

3d Unit triumphed, we hear (3)
{ONE} – A homophone clue. A word for a unit (in terms of a single number) sounds like a word meaning triumphed.

4d Shows for former naval officers? (5)
{EXPOS} – Word sum. A word meaning shows (as in trade shows, etc) is made up from a prefix meaning former plus an abbreviation for Petty Officers (naval officers).

5d If a Trot revolutionary bores time and again, this is retaliation (3-3-3)
{TIT-FOR-TAT} – A word meaning retaliation is made from an anagram (revolutionary) of “if a Trot” and placing this inside (bores) two letters indicating time (time and time again).

6d Lots of plants taken up by a German guy (5)
{FLORA} – Reversal clue. There are at least two archetypal German names beloved of setters, the first is Otto and the second is this name. Reverse the name with the A given in the clue to give a generic name for plants, not Fauna but …

7d What bossy photographer may be doing (7,3,5)
{CALLING THE SHOTS} – Cryptic definition. This of a wedding when the photographer is getting all the different family groups and friends together – what he is doing may also refer to a bossy person.

8d Contracts with medical types (7)
{SHRINKS} – Double definition. Contracts here is used in the sense of reducing in size, not agreements, it gives a word that is used of medical type who are psychiatrists.

13d Advance almost topless (5)
{EARLY} – Head deletion. A word meaning “advance” as in before time, is found by taking a word meaning almost and removing the first letter (topless).

17d Desperate to include good, mournful song (5)
{DIRGE} – Container. A word meaning a mournful song is created from a word meaning desperate holding (including) an abbreviation for good.

18d Russian pianist involved with chorister? Not so (7)
{RICHTER} – This Russian pianist, first name Sviatoslav, is made up from an anagram (involved) of chorister, first removing the letters of SO.

20d Row on fares and cheats down under (7)
{DINGOES} – Word sum – A word meaning cheats used in Australia is made up from a word meaning row (as in a noise) and a word meaning fares (as in how are things).

22d Name below long story is that of French novelist (5)
{SAGAN} – Word sum. A French novelist, first name Françoise, is made up from a word meaning a long story with a abbreviation underneath it for name.

23d Reportedly influenced type of leather (5)
{SUEDE} – Homophone. A type of leather sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning influenced.

26d Unfulfilled writer? (3)
{POE} – An American writer of Gothic fiction could also be a composer of verse with the final letter removed (unfulfilled).

Clues that I particularly enjoyed were 26a, 18d, 8d, 2d but my clue of the day is 25a.

7 comments on “NTSPP – 018 Review

  1. Cracking puzzle and I agree with your favourites too. Thanks for the review and many thanks to Mr Moorey for the puzzle and his book.
    Everyone should gave a go at this one!

  2. Just a quick one regarding 9a. I seem to recall when we first got this puzzle that gazza helped me out on the wordplay.
    He said that if you add ‘N’ OR ‘SE’ to ‘goo’ then you get GOON or GOOSE, both being types of fool. Were we barking up the wrong tree?. I looked back at the puzzle as I remembered some hint of a plural in the clue but it seems I am mistaken.

    1. I think it’s a case of either A or B giving you a single fool.
      Great puzzle – three consecutive clues, 25a, 26a and 27a were my favourites. Thanks to Tim and Prolixic.

  3. Very enjoyable puzzle – thank you and excellent review Prolixic.

    Did the top half quite quickly (except for 9a which I got by guessing – good explanation from all of you – thanks).

    I liked 10a – haven’t seen many of that type of clue.

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