NTSPP – 165 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 165

NTSPP – 165

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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NTSPP - 165

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Many thanks to Hieroglyph for an entertaining puzzle exploring some of the by-ways of the gutter press.  As Gazza has already mentioned, there are some straightforward clues to get you going along with a few that will have you scrathing your head for a while whilst you work out the wordplay.


1 Cryptic setter who poses problems (6)
{TESTER} – An anagram (cryptic) of SETTER.

Despite his perceived erudition, Elgar was surprised to discover that KNOPFOCK was not actually in the dictionary

4 Fellow fatally swallows the healthier option? (3-3)
{LOW-FAT} – The answer in hidden inside (swallows) FELLOW FATALLY.

9 Award including debut appearance of Oliver Reed (4)
{OBOE} – … a reed instrument.  The first letter (debut appearance) of Oliver goes inside (including) one goes inside an award or honour that is bestowed by the Queen.

10 Y – that’s it? (3,2,5)
{END OF STORY} – The solution, a phrase meaning “that’s it”, could also be a cryptic indicator for the letter Y.

11 Foster‘s sign covered by newspaper (6)
{FOMENT} – … as in encourage or promote.  A word for a sign or portent goes inside the abbreviation of a daily newspaper.

12 Brings up U-turns about including the Queen in The Mirror (8)
{NURTURES} – An anagram (about) of U-TURNS with the inclusion of the Queen (ER) reversed (in the mirror).

13 Source of excitement? An Ireland scrum (9)
{ADRENALIN} – … the hormone that produces a rush of excitement.  An anagram (scrum) of AN IRELAND.

15/18 X, say? (4,3,4)
{KISS AND TELL} – If you were to X someone and then say that you have done so, you would be doing this.

16 Finally departed? Epitaph for a weakling (4)
{DRIP} – The last letter (finally) of departed followed by the abbreviated form of an epitaph seen on gravestones.

17 Offensive city bar is devoted to luxury (9)
{SYBARITIC} – An anagram (offensive) of CITY BAR IS.

21 Drink is hot and fatty (8)
{STOUTISH} – A type of beer such as Guinness followed by the IS from the clue and the abbreviation for hot.

22 Not pretty, note: tweeted @Hieroglyph against electronic case (6)
{DATIVE} – … in the sense of grammar.  Remove (not) words meaning pretty and a musical note from the word TWEETED.  Follow this with how you would say @, a pronoun for the setter (Hieroglyph), the abbreviation for against or versus and the abbreviation for electronic.

24 Auntie’s upkeep? Knitting nice fleece (7,3)
{LICENCE FEE} – … Auntie being the BBC.  An anagram (knitting) of NICE FLEECE.

25 See 27

26 Most rational, building nests around oak’s centre (6)
{SANEST} – An anagram (building) of NESTS around the middle letter (centre) of OAK.

27/25/16D 1d 15/18 in full – bloody particulars! (3,3,4,7)
{ALL THE GORY DETAILS} – What a 1d publishing a 15/18 story would give you in full might also be bloody particulars.


1 Newspaper to ad-lib scandal? (7)
{TABLOID} – An anagram (scandal) of TO AD LIB.

2 Oddly, sow seed over earth for vegetable (5)
{SWEDE} – The odd letters of SOW SEED go over the abbreviation for Earth.

3 Complex character – Hannibal, energy to the fore, advanced (7)
{ELECTRA} – … a complex character in Greek mythology.  The surname of Hannibal (of Silence of the Lambs) has the E (energy) move to the top.  This is followed by the abbreviation for advanced.

5 Secondly, solve crossword without including fellow’s city (6)
{OXFORD} – The second letter of solve is followed by XWORD (cross-word) with the W removed (WITH-OUT) around the abbreviation for fellow.

6 Cut it fine when boiling pasta (9)
{FETTUCINI} – An anagram (when boiling) of CUT IT FINE.

7 Cuts of lamb, say, showing up in pies (7)
{TARGETS} – … another word for the neck and breast of lamb.  Reverse (showing up) the abbreviation for say inside (in) a word for pies.

8 Mid-motorway crime? (8,5)
{IDENTITY THEFT} – To get from MID to (-) M (the abbreviation for Motorway) you have to take away ID.  Doing so, gives you a type of crime.

14 17’s GR8 you’re texting – he’s half American, note (9)
{EPICUREAN} – … another word for 17a.  Another word for great (GR8 in text speak) is followed by how you would text you’re, half of the word HE, and the abbreviations for American and Note.

16 See 27 Across

18 See 15 Across

19 As the poet writes – or the opposite! (7)
{INVERSE} – Split 2,5 the answer is how a poet writes.

20 Event in which American gets the record? (6)
{DISCUS} – … an athletic event.  Another word for a record is followed by an abbreviation for American.

23 Drunk, mean and irritable if up first (5)
{TIGHT} – A triple definition, the last being UP***** meaning irritable.

11 comments on “NTSPP – 165

  1. Thanks to Hieroglyph for a very enjoyable puzzle. My favourites were 10a, 5d and 8d.

  2. This is my favourite puzzle of the week, solved sitting under the cockpit tent in brilliant sunshine.

    The X Y clues were stunners for me, lots of other smiles and dohs.

    Thanks for the review needed for a couple of wordplays.

    Heiroglyph thanks for a really good puzzle.

    Now on to Prolixic’s prize, I’ve heard he can be a bit tricky!

  3. I am so glad I took a look at this. I thought it was absolutely marvellous, and so enjoyable that I was happy to work away at it for ages until I had finished it. Many thanks to Heiroglyph.

    Despite getting all the answers, I wasn’t able to parse three of them. Prolixic’s hints, for which many thanks, helped me out with 8d, which is brilliant, and 22a. However I’m still struggling to see the wordplay for 14d, and would very much appreciate another prod in the right direction please.

    I agree with Colmce about the X and Y clues – my favourites!

    1. No need for further help! I looked again at Prolixic’s hint for 14d and the penny dropped this time. I think I’m the wrong generation for text speak!

    2. EPIC (great – GR8) + UR (you’re when texting) + E (half of HE) + A (American) + N (note)

  4. Very clever puzzle ,some of which was wasted on me (text speak so thanks Prolixic)
    Agree with earlier comments .re X Y .
    Thx v much .

  5. A most enjoyable puzzle that we solved as a team of three with Helen visiting us from Nelson. A few head scratches and lots of chuckles. Oboe was our last in.
    Thanks Hieroglyph and Prolixic.

  6. Good puzzle but I have issues in including “text/tweet” vocabulary in a crossword. We should be above such plebeian pursuits in Cruciverbalia.

  7. Thanks for the feedback and review – hope to grace these pages again soon. :-)

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