NTSPP – 187 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 187

NTSPP – 187

A Puzzle by Toro

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NTSPP - 187

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Toro returns with a delightful puzzle to entertain and amuse us.  Very fair and smooth clues made this a pleasure to solve.  More like this please.


1 Tank unit traversing Donegal and Londonderry (6)
{GALLON} – … a unit of volume for filling tanks.  The answer is hidden (traversing) DONEGAL LONDONDERRY.  For those wondering, hidden word solutions can be clued in the form inside A and B like this.

4 Saga about marriage vows retracted or only fitfully observed (8)
{EPISODIC} – Reverse (retracted) the words used when making vows in a marriage service (in the plural) and put a word meaning a saga around them.

9 Send stopwatch back (5)
{REMIT} – Reverse (back) a word for a stopwatch.

10 Tehran gig becomes riotous assembly (9)
{GATHERING} – An anagram (becomes riotous) of TEHRAN GIG.

11 Condition lad can get periodically (4)
{ACNE} – A semi &-lit.  Take the regular letters (periodically) of lAd CaN gEt.

12 Article with no name attributed thus? (4)
{ANON} – … and another!  The indefinite article followed by the NO from the clue and the abbreviation for name.

13 Restaurant with seating on the inside (3-2)
{EAT-IN} – Hidden inside SEATING.

15 A number finding middle of fairway after teeing off (7)
{INTEGER} – An anagram (off) of TEEING followed by the middle letter of faiRway.

16 Crown prince expected to return (4)
{PATE} – The abbreviation for prince followed by the abbreviation for estimated time of arrival reversed (to return).

19 Gemstone ring presented to friend (4)
{OPAL} – An O (ring) followed by a word for a friend.

20 Palin’s roaming round edge of Everest, encountering such folk? (7)
{NEPALIS} – An anagram (roaming) of PALINS around the first letter (edge of) Everest.

23 A way of working with metal before battle (5)
{ALAMO} – The chemical symbol for Aluminium (metal) before the A in the clue and the abbreviation for modus operandi (way of working).

24 Flash operator has paparazzi targets recoiling (4)
{SPIV} – Reverse (recoiling) an abbreviation for the people who are targeted by the paparazzi.

25 Wake up in prison (4)
{STIR} – A double definition.

27 Being affected by drink, let’s say (9)
{SUPPOSING} – A three letter word for drink (as a verb) is followed by a word meaning being affected or striking a stance.

28 Where drug-takers go for a fix (5)
{REHAB} – A cryptic definition of where drug uses go to dry out.

29 Poet‘s sonnet composition extremely neatly penned (8)
{TENNYSON} – An anagram (composition) of SONNET around (penned) the outer letters (extremely) of neatly.

30 Man is nothing before God (6)
{OSIRIS} – An O (nothing) goes before the formal method of address for a man and the IS in the clue.


1 E.g. Dutch resistance involved in cracking Enigma Code originally (8)
{GERMANIC} – … a description of the language group of Dutch.  Put an R for resistance inside an anagram of ENIGMA C (the C being the first letter – originally – of code).

2 Bond film being sent up (8)
{LAMINATE} – Reverse (sent up) the well know Spielberg film and a word for a being or creature.

3 Commitment of husband goes against the grain (4)
{OATH} – The abbreviation for husband follows (goes against) a type of grain.

5 Writer takes small toll after clear warning to imitators (6,7)
{PATENT PENDING} – A word meaning clear or obvious followed by something used to write and a small ringing sound (small toll).

6 Potter eyes thrown plate (10)
{STEREOTYPE} – An anagram (thrown) of POTTER EYES.

7 Neat, tidy and mostly well-ordered (6)
{DAINTY} – An anagram (well-ordered) of TIDY AN (and mostly).

8 Convincing one’s fellow man? (6)
{COGENT} – Split 2-4, the answer would be one’s partner or fellow man.

10 Commander of combined armies and legions (13)
{GENERALISSIMO} – An anagram (combined) of ARMIES LEGIONS.

14 Ornate logotype on covers of glossy study of ancient civilisation (10)
{EGYPTOLOGY} – An anagram (ornate) of LOGOTYPE on the outer letters (covers of) glossy.

17 Historic flight engineer? (8)
{FLETCHER} – A cryptic definition of someone who makes arrows.

18 A writer’s attributes (8)
{ASCRIBES} – The A from the clue followed by a word for a writer with the S from the ‘s in the clue.

21 Boy’s first boon companion, Fred? (6)
{BASSET} – … the dog in the cartoon strip.  The first letter of boy followed by a word for a boon or benefit.

22 Speaker in office is dull (6)
{DAMPEN} – Put a word for a speaker (the word used by musicians to describe the combined speaker and signal booster) inside a word for an office or hideaway.


26 Darwin’s first four geological periods (4)
{ERAS} – The first four letters of the first name of Charles Darwin’s paternal grandfather (who was a noted physician and scientist in his own right).

22 comments on “NTSPP – 187

  1. Thanks to Toro for another fine puzzle. I particularly like the care taken with the surface readings. I thought Darwin was a bit obscure and had to use Google to find him. Top clues for me were 4a and the excellent 11a.

    1. When I tested this one, I was taken to task by our leader for not knowing this particular Darwin!

        1. I think Gazza’s right that 26d is too obscure for a supposedly accessible puzzle. I meant to replace it but didn’t have time to “Arse about for ages (4)”!

  2. Another very nice puzzle from Toro. I’m not entirely convinced by “speaker” in 22d, but BD’s obviously happy with it.

        1. I accepted the clue after checking in the Oxford Dictionary of English (2010 edition):

          * a device consisting of an amplifier combined with a loudspeaker and used to increase the volume of the sound produced by electric guitars and other musical instruments

              1. Er, the setter’s staying firmly out of it! My first reply was because I thought the confusion might be to do with the fact that the Commons Speaker is a Member of Parliament (A MP) – but not so.

  3. Thanks Toro, took a little time to get onto wavelength but after a halting start, all fell into place quite neatly.
    Very enjoyable.

  4. Thanks again Toro have to agree with Gazza re the surface readings which were excellent .Most enjoyable .

  5. Nice puzzle with some excellent surfaces.

    I have to agree that the Darwin was a bit naughty. I also think amp=amplifier, not speaker, despite the picture (although I see that Collins does give it as a synonym for speaker.) I suppose a speaker does amplify sound, so loosely could be an amplifier.

    I particularly liked SUPPOSING, REHAB, SPIV, PATE and COGENT.

  6. All went well until I got to the bottom right corner, and 24a, where it all went to pieces. Oh well, never mind – I enjoyed it a lot.
    I needed the hint to explain 2d. I had 23a right but for all the wrong reasons, and anyway I had a spare letter at the end. I had ‘oats’ for 3d – they’re grains and a committed husband can’t sow the wild kind any more! Oh dear!
    With thanks to Toro for the crossword and to Prolixic for getting me out of trouble!

  7. Late on to this as we were away for a couple of nights. Liked 26d but did have to do a Google check. All good fun.
    Thanks Toro and Prolixic.

  8. Saturday’s well past , but I would like to say I found this a delightful puzzle. It took a little while to get onto the right wavelength, but once I did I managed most of the clues. Like others, I needed an explanation for 26d, which I didn’t know and find interesting. I needed Prolixic’s hints for 23a, 27a, 30a, and 17d. I should have been able to work them out, so it’s not the fault of Toro’s clues. Big thanks to Toro and to Prolixic. All in all, thoroughly enjoyable.

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