NTSPP – 188 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 188

NTSPP – 188

A Puzzle by Wiglaf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 188

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

 It is great to have Wiglaf back to entertain us with a crossword that was in parts straightforward and in part tricky.  Running late today so no pictures, for which apologies.


1a Strengthen rum, port, etc (7)
{PROTECT} – An anagram (rum of PORT ETC.

5a What narks do to get the tax and prices index? (3,3)
{TIP OFF} –The answer reads as an anagram type clue that would give the abbreviation for the Tax and Prices Index.

8a Ten flying bottles have shortened as it happens (5)
{EVENT} – An anagram (flying) of TEN goes around (bottles) a shortened version of have (as in I’ve).

9a Blushes around lips on soprano (8)
{CRIMSONS} – The abbreviation for circa (around) is followed by a word meaning lips or edges, the ON from the clue and the abbreviation for soprano.

11a Smithsonian renounced an outrageous Japanese cult (9)
{SHINTOISM} – An anagram (outrageous) of SMITHSONI[AN] with the AN removed (renounced).

12a Country that has adopted torture into its code (5)
{EGYPT} – A word meaning torture or pain goes inside the IVR code for the answer.

13a Rip Torn’s income (4)
{RENT} – A type of income from a tenant is also a word meaning rip and torn.

14a ‘The Singing Detective’ can start to grate (8)
{CHANTING} – The name of a detective (Charlie ****) is followed by another word for a can or container and the first letter (start to) grate.

18a There’s one resident in Deva with bigger cleavage (8)
{CHESTIER} – An I (one) goes inside (resident in) the city whose Roman name was Deva.

19a A little matter that may be found in Volume 1 of encyclopaedia? (4)
{ATOM} – The first volume of an encyclopaedia may cover topics from Aardvarks to Mxyomatosis.

22a Word of impatience concerning dust (5)
{OCHRE} – A Scottish expression of impatience is followed by the expression meaning concerning or about.

24a Bit on the bonce by a thing from a pod? (5,4)
{BROAD BEAN} – Another derogatory word for a woman (bit) followed by another informal word for the head or bonce.

25a Imagine the racket round about quarter to six (8)
{ENVISION} – Reverse (round) a word meaning a racket or din and put this around one of the directions of the compass (quarter) and the Roman numerals for six.

26a Grub regularly given to inmate in prison camp (5)
{GULAG} – The odd letters (regularly) of GrUb are followed by a word for an inmate.

27a A being about to leave Jewish sect (6)
{ESSENE} – The abbreviation for circa (about) is removed from (to leave) a word for a being.

28a MacGuffin in ‘Citizen Kane’ bored us potty (7)
{ROSEBUD} – A MacGuffin is the plot device or central motive in a film.  In Citizen Kane the MacGuffin involves trying to fine the meaning of the word that is an anagram (potty) of BORED US.


1d To prepare hot food, topless au pair sees recipe translated by chef (8-4)
{PRESSURE-COOK} – An anagram  (translated) of U (topless au) PR (abbreviation for pair) SEES R (recipe) is followed by another word for a chef.

2d Compliance of those watching order for gold (9)
{OBEDIENCE} – Another word for a group of people watching something has the first two letters (an abbreviation for gold) replaced by the abbreviation for an order or honour bestowed by the Queen.

3d Not completely present, it yearns for existence or being (6)
{ENTITY} – The answer is hidden in (not completely) PRESENT IT YEARNS

4d This approach is what’s adopted by diplomats in charge (6)
{TACTTIC} – What diplomats are expected to show is followed by the abbreviation for in charge.

5d What Victor does with British motorcycles? (8)
{TRIUMPHS} – A double definition.

6d Heartless newshounds chasing Bill Gates (8)
{POSTERNS} – Another word for a bill or advertisement for something is followed by the outer letters (heartless) of newshounds.

7d Dream-like (5)
{FANCY} – A double definition.

10d Exercise control beginning with leg, then start to dance, as choreographed? (5-7)
{STAGE-MANAGED} – Another word for a leg or part of race goes before (beginning with) a word meaning to exercise control or cope and the first letter (start to) of dance.

15d Wild bunch I let in with child (2,3,4)
{IN THE CLUB} – An anagram (wild) of BUNCH I LET.

16d Knock out the suspect on top of Eiffel Tower (8)
{ETHERISE} – An anagram (suspect) of THE followed by the first letter (top) of Eiffel and a word meaning tower.

17d Party with stupid berk on the edge of the pavement (8)
{KERBSIDE} – An anagram (stupid) of BERK goes on top of another word for a party or team.

20d Final word from British monarch: “No king will succeed the throne” (6)
{BOGNOR} – … allegedly the last word of George V.  The NO from the clue and an abbreviation for king go after (succeed) another slang word for the throne or toilet.

21d Old sayings will reveal depth after one gets older (6)
{ADAGES} – The abbreviation for depth goes after an A (one) and this is followed by a word meaning gets older.

23d HS = LR (5)
{HANDS} – The H and S give what L and R are.

8 comments on “NTSPP – 188

  1. Thanks to Wiglaf for a pleasant lunchtime diversion. I liked 12a, 14a and 18. Thanks in advance to Prolixic too.

  2. I enjoyed this a lot but was totally defeated by almost everything in the bottom left corner.
    I interpreted 24a as a ‘bit’ being synonymous with a ‘broad’ – ie both slang terms for a woman but I’m almost certainly wrong and am very happy to bow to far cleverer people.
    I did need the hints to explain quite a few of my answers – in other words this was a touch on the tricky side for me.
    My favourite was 12a.
    With thanks to Wiglaf and Prolixic.

    1. Ditto – I don’t mind owning up to knowing that even if Prolixic can’t! If in doubt I’ll just say that I learnt it from this blog as I’ve learnt all kinds of stuff that I’ve never heard of before. My most memorable bit of education was ‘jugs’. I think it was a Ray T crossword and I also think that your hint started off with “No, not those kind of jugs . . .”! I can’t remember the clue or the answer but I do know that this was a bit of slang that I really had never heard before. This is a very educational blog!! :smile:

      1. PS – Another bit of slang I learnt here, and going back to yesterday’s Toughie, was ‘hotty’. I first heard that in a crossword – I think, not surprisingly, a Ray T and I think it was a Toughie – I used to think it meant a hot water bottle. Ever since I’ve learnt what it means I’ve stopped asking visitors if they’d like a ‘hotty’ when they’re about to go to bed in our rather chilly and draughty old farmhouse – it could give the wrong impression! :oops:

  3. A few tricky bits. 20d was our last in. We had worked out what we thought it should be from the parsing but had never heard of it as a final royal utterance. We were surprised and pleased to find that we were correct. Good fun.
    Thanks Wiglaf and Prolixic.

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