NTSPP – 181 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 181

NTSPP – 181

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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NTSPP - 181

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Today I am trying out a javascript version of the puzzle in place of the java one that I have used previously.  This is a facility that became available in the latest version of Crossword Compiler and should enable the puzzle to be solved interactively on platforms that don’t support java, like some smartphones and tablets, including the iPad.  I will be interested to know about the success, or otherwise, of this new venture.  BD

A review of this puzzle follows.

1a        Windbag hit African after second bishop departed (8)
{JABBERER}  Follow a quick short blow (hit) with a North African once you have removed the second B for bishop from his nationality.

6a        Mature man has money for female (6)
{MELLOW}   Mature and ripe –   Simply exchange the F (female) at the start of a man for M (money).

9a        Mains working for a time (6)
{SEASON}  Mains in the sense of oceans –  follow another way of saying mains with the two-letters used to show that something is working.

10a      Creator of Bambi acquires autograph (8)
{DESIGNER}  Insert the verb meaning to write one’s name on a document into the type of animal of which Bambi is a famous example.

11a      Wrong robe returned by fairy queen has lace trimmings (8)
{BLAMABLE}  An adjective meaning wrong, culpable, is obtained by reversing a priest’s vestment (3) (robe), and the name of the fairy queen said to control men’s dreams (3), finishing with the ‘trimmings’ or outside letters of LacE.

12a      Transit company features in TV programme.  Quite the reverse (6)
{SITCOM}   The TV programme features inside tranSIT COMpany.


13a      Volatility about game’s profitability (12)
{FRUITFULNESS}   Insert the abbreviation for the game of Rugby Union into an adverb   meaning marked by sudden impulses.

16a      Sad twins sent for correction here in court (7,5)
{WITNESS STAND}  An anagram (for correction) of SAD TWINS SENT.   This clue  reminds me of the time my Dad (who worked for the Magistrates’ Authority in London) made the arrangements for two court cases and only realised at the last minute he had placed the Kray Twins in the cells below Bow Street at the same time as their deadly enemies.   He sensibly decided to take that day off!!

witness stand

19a      Foremost volunteers section return for director (3-3)
{SAT-NAV}  Return indicates that you should reverse a term for the leading position, the abbreviation for the volunteer army and the abbreviation for section to get the sort of in-car ‘director’ that often sends you to the wrong place.

21a      Timeless design of Cabriolet, one with fins (8)
{ALBICORE}   The ‘one with fins’ is the main source of canned tuna.   Remove the T (time less) from CABRIOLET and make an anagram (design) of the remaining letters.


23a      Delay daughter leaving for marriage (8)
{ALLIANCE}  Remove D for daughter from a delay or waste of time.

24a      Tool with spike on end of mallet (6)
{TROWEL}  Follow the end or last letter of mallet with a spiked wheel attached to a spur.

25a      Programs the French input for some computers (6)
{APPLES}   Insert the French word for ‘the’ into the programs beloved of users of i-Phones and i-Pads.

26a      Indicates significance of leaving harbour mouth! (8)
{PORTENDS}  Gives warning of or foreshadows –   split 4, 4 the solution is a cryptic defnition of what happens when you reach the harbour mouth.




2d        Long-standing criminal gaoled (3-3)
{AGE-OLD}  An anagram (criminal) of GAOLED, split 3-3.

3d        Hide sailor among revolutionary group (5)
{BOSOM}  A dictionary check confirms that the definition of this solution refers to the place where you can hide or conceal something.   Hide or insert the abbreviation for an Ordinary Seaman in a reversal of a riotous group (revolutionary serving as both the reversal indicator and a hint as to the type of group you are looking for).  Sorry, chaps, definitely not illustrating this one!!

4d        Manages to include a course for beggars (9)
{RUNABOUTS}  I thought these were light cars but the second definition in Chambers is indeed vagabonds.   Split 4 1 4,  it would mean [manages] a (from the clue) and [course o stint of time].

5d        Possibly beef about article dropped from corrected mandate (3,4)
{RED MEAT}   The two letters used to mean ‘about’ followed by an anagram (corrected) of MANDATE once you have removed AN (article dropped).

6d        Films revolutionary leaving Boots? (5)
{MISTS}  Remove the name of Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary from the type of business established by John Boot in 1849.


7d        Relieved to have settled around Tyneside (9)
{LIGHTENED}  Made less burdensome –   insert the abbreviation for the area of the UK where Tyneside is situated into part of a verb meaning to settle or land (especially after a flight).

8d        Like a town with no heroes sadly (3-5)
{ONE-HORSE} A small rural unimportant town is an anagram (sadly) of NO HEROES.

one horse town

13d      New spies seen in latest commercial (9)
{FINANCIAL}   Insert into a word meaning latest or last, N (new) and the abbreviation used for the American ‘spies’.

14d      One leaves Laura Tobin in a storm in Asiatic capital (4, 5)
{ULAN BATOR}  Who knew that the capital of Mongolia was an anagram of weather girl Laura Tobin’s name once you have removed the I (one leaves).   Nice wordplay.

15d      Show a failure  in processing speed (8)
{GIGAFLOP} Merge a performance by musicians, A from the clue, and an informal way of referring to a failure to get a measure of computer processing speed, consisting of a thousand million floating-point operations a second.

17d      Shock report of Arab leader on horseback (5-2)
{SHAKE-UP}  A homophone of the head of an Arab tribe followed by the two-letter word much loved by crossword setters used to denote that one is riding on a horse.

18d      Fan welcomes republican companion (6)
{FRIEND}  Insert the abbreviation for Republican into a person who is intensely interested in or fond of something.

20d      Struggles to include new plants (5)
{VINES}  Insert N (new) into part of a verb meaning struggles, contends or challenges.


22d      Tight   finish (5)
{CLOSE}  A double definition – shut tight or bring to an end, finish.

6 comments on “NTSPP – 181

  1. Took a short time to discover that new format works well in IPad, may take a little longer to solve puzzle, Prolixic is taking no prisoners today.

  2. Thanks Prolixic ,plenty to smile at and plenty to ponder about .Fav 8d ,,last in 15d which was new to me .
    As C states works fine .

  3. Well I enjoyed this one a lot on an exceedingly hot afternoon (35C and rising!) :smile:

    It’s a nice balance of the rather obscure, some tricky stuff, some fairly benign stuff and even a couple of chestnuts!

    Favs were 26a and 6d but also liked 9a as it describes our electricity supply to a tee!

    Many thanks to Prolixic.

    Off to pub now to sit in the aircon for a while :grin:

  4. Phew! This has kept me out of mischief for hours. I’ve finally finished it but it was very much at the difficult end of what I can manage. I’d give it 4* for both difficulty and enjoyment.
    I found the right side much easier than the left.
    I’ve only ever seen 21a spelt ‘albacore’ so had to check that in BRB. I’ve never heard of the 14d Asian capital so had to look through list of capital cities and i’ve certainly never met 15d before. It was my last one in and eventually ‘invented’ it and looked it up not really believing that such a word existed. I was also stupidly slow with some of the less difficult clues – 19 and 25a and 2d.
    I liked 16a and 6 and 14d. My favourite was 17d.
    With thanks to Prolixic and CS.

  5. Finally got round to finishing this. Lots of satisfying clues and a new word for me (15d). Really good mix of straightforward and tricky clues. Thanks to Prolixic and Cryptic Sue for the review.

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