NTSPP – 189 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 189

NTSPP – 189

A Puzzle by Vigo

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NTSPP - 189

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

A warm welcome back to Vigo with a delightful crossword.  I know that there have been comments about its difficulty but I found it to be perfectly fair in its cluing and not too tricky.  Perhaps I was on the right wavelength for once.  Let us know how you fared below.


1a Lack of furniture worth mentioning (7)
{NOTABLE} – Split 2, 5 the answer indicates a lack of the type of furniture you might have in a dining room.

5a Chemical loses mass when poured into cup (7)
{CHALICE} – An anagram (when poured) of CHEMICAL without the M (loses mass).

10a Cold fish in pit (6)
{STEELY} – A slippery fish inside a word for a pit or messy place.

11a Impress popular writer (8)
{INSCRIBE} – A two letter word meaning popular followed by another word for a writer.

12a Poor personal hygiene’s good for convenience (3)
{BOG} – The abbreviation for body odour followed by an abbreviation for good.

13a Banker’s thickness displayed thoroughly (6)
{DEEPLY} – The name of a river (banker) in Wales / North West England followed by a word used to describe thickness in terms of the number of layers of wood or paper perhaps.


14a Soft boy embarrassed about small sacs (8)
{BLADDERS} – The abbreviation for soft used when describing a pencil followed by a word for a boy, a word embarrassed reversed (about) and the abbreviation for small.

15a Wheat product not suitable for all’s a botanist’s concern (5)
{FLORA} – Remove a U (not suitable for all) from the description of milled wheat and follow this with the A from the clue.

16a It’s Midtown (5,4)
{INNER CITY} – An all in one clue.  The position of IT in CITY describes the midtown area of a city.

19a Returning Liberal gets Tory leader hot having taken lion’s share (9)
{BILLIONTH} – Reverse (returning) the abbreviation for Liberal and add the first letter (leader) of Tory and the abbreviation for hot.  Put the “Lion” from the clue inside to find the answer.

21a Small dishrags fraying at the edge lead to indolence (5)
{SLOTH} – The abbreviation for small (again) followed by the central letters (fraying at the edge) of CLOTHS (dishrags).

24a A politician joins journalist to follow good man East on wild rampage (8)
{STAMPEDE} – The A from the clue and the abbreviations for a politician and for a journalist go after the abbreviation for a saint (good man).  Follow this with the abbreviation for East.

26a Intelligence supplied by current university chaps (6)
{ACUMEN} – The abbreviation for a type of electrical current followed by the abbreviation for university and another word for chaps.

27a Mohair regularly stroked by rower (3)
{OAR} – The even letters (regularly) of mohair

28a More active threat in uncontrolled fire (8)
{FRISKIER} – A word for a threat goes inside an anagram (uncontrolled) of FIRE.

29a Churchman starting to move up two grades provides ray of hope (6)
{BEACON} – The name for an ordained person (before they are ordained priest) with the initial letter changed to a higher grade (D to B).

30a Dash insect between poles (7)
{SMIDGEN} – The name of an annoying flying insect goes between SN (poles).

31a Bad publicity preceding Byron’s work? (7)
{ADVERSE} – A word for publicity followed by another word for poems (Byron’s work?).


2d Meatloaf endlessly processed becomes grayish-brown colour (7)
{OATMEAL} – An anagram (processed) of MEATLOAF without the final letter (endlessly).

3d Polar team travels with no regard for time (9)
{ATEMPORAL} – An anagram (travels) of POLAR TEAM.

4d Places surrounded by rest areas (6)
{LAYBYS} – A word meaning places (or puts) goes around (surrounded) the BY from the clue.

6d Armies holding long-time prisoners (8)
{HOSTAGES} – Another word for armies goes around (holding) a word meaning a long time.

7d Revolting right replaces rational core (5)
{LURID} – The abbreviation for right replaced the central letter (core) of a word meaning rational or clear.

8d Eat crab salad in US night spot (7)
{CABARET} – An anagram (salad) of EAT CRAB.

9d Original premise (3,4,6)
{BIG BANG THEORY} – The description of how scientists believe the universe began.

17d California copper delayed workout (9)
{CALCULATE} – The three letter abbreviation for California, the abbreviation for copper (as in the metal) and a word meaning late.

18d First young Jew holds love for El Capitan’s home (8)
{YOSEMITE} – El Capitan is a vertical rock formation in this American national park.  The first letter of Young and a word for a Jew contains (holds) the abbreviation for love.

20d Acting student endlessly improvising first two characters (7)
{INTERIM} – A word for a student with the final letter removed (endlessly) followed by the first two letters of improvising.

22d Deep sleep in hills after shocks (7)
{TREMORS} – The abbreviation for deep sleep inside a word for hills.

23d Stop teacher getting sarcastic (6)
{BARBED} – A word meaning stop followed by the type of degree a teacher may have.

25d Considered return of French follows total retreat (5)
{MUSED} – A word for total is reversed and followed by the reversed French word for of.

11 comments on “NTSPP – 189

  1. Thanks to Vigo for a very enjoyable puzzle with a good mixture of clues. The ones I liked best were 16a and 9d.

  2. I imagine there’s going to be the odd complaint about this, because it’s definitely tough. I’d forgotten that I’d test-solved this one until about halfway through, but it was still a bit of a struggle the second time round. As I said the first time, this is mean and vicious and very good indeed.

  3. No complaints here! This definitely made up for the decidely unchallenging DT Prize Puzzle 27289 today. Many thanks to Vigo for an excellent crossword, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  4. Thanks to Vigo & Prolixic for the review and hints. A terrific puzzle, I’m still eight short all in the bottom half. Back later.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments and to Prolixic for the fabulously illustrated review. (Well done for spotting the repeated use of small = s – should have had a square dish-rag perhaps?) I’m glad others liked 9d – it was my favourite too!

  6. Phew, needed four hints and a google search for 18d to finish. A most enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 9d. Great fun. Was 4*/4* for me.

  7. NW corner was where we were held up the longest, together with 19a which was our very last in. Lots of really good clues. An enjoyable way for us to spend some of a wet Sunday morning. Took us about the same time as a non-fiendish Toughie.
    Thanks Vigo and Prolixic.

  8. Thanks Vigo I enjoyed the puzzle too and same favourite as you .I always try to solve the NTSPP but now the football and National Hunt season etc are upon us I will be solving later and despite that have wondered why iIt is felt necessary to produce a review so quickly (thanks Prolixic ) .Why not leave it open for the whole weekend and then review . Just a thought from a duffer and thanks again although I did find this a smidgen easier than your first puzzle but no less enjoyable .Well done

  9. I’ve never done this before and managed OK until 19a
    Sadly when I went to the hints I lost everything I’d done and had to fill it in again.

  10. I wrote a comment a while ago and now it’s vanished.
    Well, just in case it reappears again I’ll have to try to remember what I wrote in case it’s completely different.
    I know this is a bit late in the week to be commenting on a puzzle from Saturday but I’m going to anyway.
    I really enjoyed it – I didn’t think it was all that difficult although I gave up on a couple – 16a and 23d.
    I have to confess that my favourite was 12a – school boy humour or what but it just made me laugh.
    With thanks to Vigo and Prolixic, although I do think that the picture hint for 1a should have a cross through it.

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