NTSPP – 191 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 191

NTSPP – 191

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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NTSPP - 191

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Hieroglyph returns with another top crossword.  When you have solved the crossword, look at the letters used in the solutions and each of the clues and you will see that one letter has been given the day off!  A superb achievement that I will not attempt to emulate in blogging the crossword itself!


7a A walk in any random port in Japan (6)
{NAGOYA} – The A from the clue and a word meaning walk or travel inside an anagram (random) of ANY.

8a Island to forbid immoral balls (8)
{BARBADOS} – A word meaning to forbid or prohibit followed by a word meaning immoral or wicked and how you would indicate two or more letters O (which a greengrocer might mangle with an apostrophe!).

9a Dog‘s aboard, running around – collar with both hands (8)
{LABRADOR} – An anagram (running around) of ABOARD inside (collar with) the abbreviations for left and right (both hands).

10a Jack‘s in patrol I ask about (6)
{SAILOR} – The answer is hidden (in) and reversed (about) in PATROL I ASK.

11a Work of art in which wild animals swallow duck (4,4)
{MONA LISA} – An anagram (wild) of ANIMALS with an O (duck) inside (swallow).

12a Child in Football Association’s books (6)
{INFANT} – The IN from the clue followed by the abbreviations for Football Association and New Testament (books).

13a I tidy local ground by island – as might a numpty? (11)
{IDIOTICALLAY} – An anagram (ground) of I TIDY LOCAL follows (by) the abbreviation for Island.

18a Slightly soft or squidgy (4,2)
{SORT OF} – An anagram (squidgy) of SOFT OR.

20a 10 individual – originally tipping anonymous artist – is OTT (1,3,4)
{A BIT MUCH} – One of the abbreviations for the answer to 10 across followed by an I (individual), the first letter (originally) of tipping and the name of the artist who painted “The Scream” with the N removed (anonymous = nameless).

22a Gallows location? Bury criminal in outskirts of town (6)
{TYBURN} – An anagram (criminal) of BURY inside the outer letters (outskirts of) town.

23a Popular sorts sign up for training following cuts (2-6)
{IN-GROUPS} – An anagram (training) of SIGN UP FOR with the F (following) removed (cuts).

24a Submit and support party with gumption – at last! (4,4)
{BACK DOWN} – A word meaning support followed by two letter word for a party, the abbreviation for with and the final letter (at last) of gumption.

25a Facing goblin in galanty shows (6)
{LINING} – The answer is hidden (shows) in GOBLIN IN GALANTY.


1d Contradiction of assistant with cool farmyard animal (7)
{PARADOX} – The abbreviation for personal assistant followed by the abbreviation for radical (cool) and a two letter word for a cow or steer (farmyard animal).

2d Turn old city chap down, at first, for a glutton (8)
{GOURMAND} – Another word for a turn or shot followed by the old biblical city, another word for a chap and the first letter (at first) of down.

3d Mahatma’s hand-out in judo outfit (6)
{GANDHI} – An anagram (out) of HAND inside a two letter word for a judo outfit.

4d Cash for individual’s California plant (8)
{BRASSICA} – An informal word for cash, an I for individual (see 20a) and the shorter abbreviation for California.


5d Tax 10, almost suspicious (6)
{TARIFF} – Another abbreviation for the answer to 10a followed by a word meaning suspicious with the last letter removed (almost).

6d Colorado company with inclination towards singular cushions? (7)
{COCOONS} – The abbreviations for Colorado and company followed by a word meaning inclination towards and the abbreviation for singular.

8d Making corrupt point on air – It’s A Knockout! (13)
{BARBARISATION} – A four letter word for a sharp point followed by an anagram (knockout) of ON AIR IT’S A.

14d Not working? A nationalist tutor, sporadically (3,3,2)
{OFF AND ON} – A word meaning not working followed by the A from the clue, the abbreviation for nationalist and a word for a university tutor.

15d Spoofs a politician in Nuts (8)
{LAMPOONS} – The A from the clue and an abbreviation for a politician go inside a word meaning nuts or idiots.

16d Imitator’s work, say, finally caught in film (7)
{COPYCAT} – The final letters of a two letter word for work and the say from the clue say and the abbreviation for caught go inside another word for a film or covering.

17d Looking out for Bobby in prison, half-cut (7)
{SCOPING} – Another word for a policemen (Bobby) goes inside the name of a New York State maximum security prison with half of the name removed (half-cut).

19d Downing gin cocktail, king turns out in swimming togs (6)
{TRUNKS} – An anagram (out) of K (king) TURNS.  The purpose of downing gin cocktail tells you to remove the ING (a cocktail or anagram of GIN) first though the clue works just as well without it as K is a standard abbreviation for King.

21d Swallow fungi dish, using last of oil (6)
{INGULF} – An anagram (dish) of FUNGI L (last letter of oil).

14 comments on “NTSPP – 191

  1. Thanks to Hieroglyph for an enjoyable lunchtime diversion.

    I never notice anything about grids, but hopefully Prolixic will explain all later.

  2. Thanks to Hieroglyph for a very inventive puzzle and to Prolixic for the write-up.
    I’m not really clear about the wordplay for 16d. If film is COAT and the final letter of saY gives the Y and C(aught) provides the C, then only the P remains to account for. I suppose the ‘finally’ could apply to both oP and saY but I don’t like that very much.

    1. I struggled for ages trying to parse 16d. I gave up and checked Prolixic’s review, but was none the wiser after that. I am glad I am not alone and was much relieved to read your comment Gazza.

      There are no Es in any of the clues nor in the answers. I wouldn’t like to play Scrabble without any Es!

      Thanks to Hieroglyph and to Prolixic.

          1. Is it not
            Film …. Coat with “in”
            Op ……work
            C ……..caught
            Y……say finally .
            Thanks Hieroglyph and Prolixic enjoyed the MPP too .

              1. Sorry ,
                Of course you are right but The comma for me meant the ends of op and say .But I’m just a duffer and didn’t like it anyway but we all solved it .

  3. It was not until we read the review that we looked for and found the missing letter. What amazing cleverness! A really good fun puzzle with just about the right level of difficulty for us, — and lots of chuckles.
    Many thanks Hieroglyph and Prolixic.

  4. A mea culpa is in order for 16d: I can’t help thinking there’s a certain irony after spending all that time excising one letter from the puzzle, an altogether different (rogue) letter crops up to spoil the party! Many thanks to Prolixic for the review and for all your comments. Hope to be back soon :-)

    1. It’s nice to know we are not all going mad :-)

      And it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the puzzle!

      Many thanks.

  5. Very clever of course but it’s been done before by Bufo – have a look at NTSPP 161.

    Anyway, an enjoyable solve so thanks to Hieroglyph and Prolixic.

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