NTSPP – 204 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 204

NTSPP – 204

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

– + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 204

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.

Thanks to Hieroglyph for providing a great crossword for  the first NTSPP of 2014.   It  has some appropriately themed clues which aren’t hard to spot.



1a           Poet to drain noodle soup (6)
{SAPPHO}  A Greek poetess – a verb meaning to drain the energy from,  followed by a Vietnamese noodle soup.

4a           Good to get up for game (6)
{GROUSE}  The abbreviation for good and a verb meaning to get up.


9a           See 12

10a         Creep biting head off bird (4)
{INCH}    To move by slow degrees (creep) – remove the first letter (biting the head off) of  a small perching bird.

11a         See 6 Down

12/9a    Erroneously, it’s a commitment made of late? (3,5,10)
{NEW YEARS RESOLUTION}  An adjective meaning recently made (of late) followed by an anagram of ERRONEOUSLY IT’S A.     Mine is to spot Ninas in crosswords, what’s yours?

13a         The result of frost and wind blowing? (9)
{SNOWDRIFT}   An anagram (blowing) of FROST and WIND.


15a         Posh, but for Cicero, second-hand? (4)
{USED}   The single letter used to mean posh, upper class, followed by the Latin wordmeaning ‘but’  (Cicero being  the great Roman orator, philosopher and statesman)

16a         Curse head of orderlies at hospital (4)
{OATH}    The ‘head’ of Orderlies, followed by AT (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Hospital.

17a         Fast-moving hare – he’s out of the heather (9)
{SCUTTLING}   A hare (I thought this word just related to its tail!),  the T of THE (he’s removed) and another word for heather.

21a         Put away second-last drink (4,4)
{SEND DOWN}   The abbreviation for second, a synonym for last and a verb meaning to drink

22a         Release externalities stripped from fund that ends (6)
{UNHAND}   Remove the outside letters (externalities stripped) from fUNd, tHAt eNDs.

24a         Prima donna‘s flipping greedy (4)
{DIVA}   A reversal of an adjective meaning greedy.

25a         Poorly used mother and child settled on leaving party behind (10)
{MALADAPTED}   An informal way of referring to your mother, a boy (child) and a verb meaning settled, from which the two letter informal word for a party has been removed (leaving party behind).

26a         Greek character in European Union church is one no longer tackled (6)
{EUNUCH}   A cryptic definition of someone without his genitalia (informally known as wedding tackle!)  –  place the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet between the abbreviations for European Union and church.

27a         Writer‘s against eating fish (6)
{CRAYON}  A type of fish is inserted into, or eaten by,  an abbreviation meaning against.



1d           Where’s ______? In the bottle-shop? (7)
{SHEBEEN}   Split an illicit bottle-shop 2, 4 and you get the missing bit of the question in the first part of the clue.

2d           Last two entries in Telegraph: one’s beginning to snap! (5)
{PHOTO}    The last two letters (entries) of telegraPH, the ‘beginning’ of One’s and TO (from the clue).

3d           Arrogance of Hollywood’s premier film-maker (7)
{HAUTEUR}   The first letter (premier) of Hollywood and a creator of films in a specific genre.

5d           Note number with national fame? (6)
{RENOWN}  The second note of the tonic sol-fa scale, followed by the abbreviations for number, with and national.

6/11       2014? That changes everything! (9,6)
{UNIVERSAL REMOTE}    Split the number 2014 into 20 and 14.   The solution to 20d means relating to the world as an orderly whole – as does the solution to 6d.  The solution to 14d means far removed as does the solution to 11a.

universal remote

7d           Once again performed with heart in the finale? (7)
{ENCORED}  Insert the heart or middle of something into a word meaning finale.

8d           “Some resign if I can’t!” (Lysander, notably) (13)
{SIGNIFICANTLY}  Cleverly hidden in some of reSIGN IF I CANT LYsander.

14d         Retired in the company of lottery winners, essentially (9)
{WITHDRAWN}  A preposition meaning in the company of, what a lottery is and the middle letter (essentially) of winners.

16d         It’s no longer the case (3,4)
{ONE TIME}  The number represented by I and the word for which T is an abbreviation.

18d         Scream at an albatross, of course, excreting on sweetheart (7)
{THUNDER}  Take the golf score that is known as an albatross (of ‘course’)  and remove (excreting) the two letters used to mean on [the subject of] and the middle letter (heart) of sweet.

19d         Bread like mustard – yellowy-brown? (7)
{NANKEEN}  A buff-coloured (yellowy-brown) cloth.   A type of Indian bread followed by the adjective meaning intense  linked to mustard in the informal expression meaning enthusiastic.

20d         Large orderly stand-up admitting crimes at last (6)
{COSMIC}  A stand-up comedian with the final letter (at last) of crimes inserted.

23d         Beginning to huff and puff – perhaps you’re slightly drunk? (5)
{HAPPY}  The beginnings of Huff And Puff Perhaps You’re.

happy new year

8 comments on “NTSPP – 204

  1. What a splendid puzzle, thank you Hieroglyph. :lol: “no longer tackled” indeed :lol:

    Only small niggle is with 24a. I reckon you can read the clue either way and, guess what, I did it wrong so was held up for a bit until I twigged 14d.

    Lots of great clues but 8d and 18d are particularly worth a mention

  2. Super stuff – thanks to Hieroglyph. There are some great clues here – I particularly liked 13a and 26a but my favourite is 6/11d.

  3. Entertaining puzzle, thanks Hieroglyph.

    As with Pommers, I got 24a the wrong way round at first.

    It took me a while to see 6/11d but I agree with gazza that it is a belter.

    I also liked 17a, 8d and 18d.

  4. Just what you need for a miserable Saturday afternoon, a bit of a brain stretch, and a few smiles.

    Thanks to Heiroglyph.

    Thanks to CS for another super review.

    Now back to the MPP, I fear I may have to buy what looks like a super prize.

  5. To echo Colmce,just what we needed for a miserable Sunday morning. Last in was the brilliant 6/11 combination. Enjoyed the challenge of 18d. A very clever and entertaining puzzle.
    Thanks Hieroglyph and CS.

  6. Thanks Crypticsue and Hieroglyph,

    I see that 16d is not a weak cryptic definition but a very smart clue!

    My favourites were 1dn, 12/9 and last-in 6/11 (the 11 bit taking longer than much of the rest of the puzzle).

    Good stuff!

  7. Thanks for your comments and to Crypticsue for the review. I think my 12/9a will be to stop writing reversal clues that can be read both ways! Hope to be back before long. :-)

  8. I have just completed this. Most enjoyable indeedhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif. Like Pommers and Windsurfer, I had 24a the wrong way round to begin with. My fave clues (hope Kath’s not around) were 1d, 19d, 22d, and 26d.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif
    I really appreciate having your review, Crypticsue. I thought I had the answers, but I had the second word of 11/6 wrong (I had ‘remove’) and needed the explanation because I didn’t understand this brilliant clue. I also needed the explanations of 16d and 18d. And I managed to put an ‘o’ instead of the third ‘a’ in 25a.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif Oh yes, I did indeed miss the anagram in 12/9!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
    Big thanks to you both, Hieroglyph and Crypticsue..

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