NTSPP – 205

NTSPP – 205

A Puzzle by Trailman

– + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 205

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

[Trailman had been promising to send me a puzzle for over two years and he thrust this one into my hand at a recent S&B meeting.  BD]

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Welcome to Trailman as our latest tormentor in the NTSPP series.  Apologies for the late posting of the review but whilst it was written earlier, I had not counted on various trips to hospitals delaying things as long as they did.


1 Shut down record of First Folio (3,3)
{LOG OFF} – … shut down a computer.  A three letter word for a record or entry followed by the OF in the clue and the first letter of folio.

4 Comes out at night and follows sailor (7)
{DOGSTAR} – … something that comes out at night.  A word meaning follows followed by a three letter word for a sailor.  A verbal phrase to define a noun – you cannot be Sirius – but Azed allows it (end of terrible puns)!

9 Hand-wrote play, like many by Pinter (3-6)
{TWO HANDER} – An anagram, (play) of HAND-WROTE (four of the letters appear in the same order in the solution!).

10 Took tablets in old 6 (5)
{MOSES} – … The person who did so and came back with the 10 commandments.

11 Fancies Sadie when roughly handled (5)
{IDEAS} – An anagram (when roughly handled) of SADIE.

12 Rivals trapped in wild gardens running across Kent and Surrey (9)
{GREENSAND} – … a type of sedimentary rock that runs across Kent and Surrey.  The initials of a pair of opposing bridge players go inside (trapped by) an anagram (wild) of GARDENS.

13 Secret police, hidden in cottages, tap old phones (7)
{GESTAPO} – The answer is hidden in COTTAGES TAP OLD.

15 Contains cream for heat treatment? It’s cold inside after sun (6)
{SACHET} – … or sugar, tomato ketchup, etc.  The abbreviation for sun is followed by (after) an anagram (treatment) of HEAT with the abbreviation for cold inside.

17 Got hot and bothered in African country with iron deposits (6)
{CHAFED} – The chemical symbol for iron goes inside (with…deposits) a central African country.

19 Proposed dump of eyesore, we hear, into school (7)
{POSITED} – A homophone (we hear) of another word for an eyesore goes inside (dump of … into) another word for a school of whales.

22 Calculation leads to 12 retiring (7,2)
{SUMMING UP} – A double definition of a calculation and what a judge gives before the jury (12) retires to consider its verdict.

24 Merchant’s companion goes creeping around men (5)
{IVORY} – … the film making companion.  A type of plant that goes creeping goes around the abbreviation for Other Ranks (men).

26 Peacemakers sometimes on time, one length before (5)
{UNTIL} – The abbreviation for the international organisation that sometime acts as peacekeepers followed by the abbreviations for time, one and length.

27 Green Martian? (9)
{UNWORLDLY} – A double definition of someone who is callow or green and the description of someone from another planet.

28 Biss! (7)
{ENCORES} – If bis means twice then fancifully (hence the !) biss may mean twice on more than one occasion giving another word for multiple curtain calls!

29 Cross at birthday party? No thanks! (6)
{HYBRID} – An anagram (party?) of BIRTHDAY after removing a two letter abbreviation for thanks.


1 Allowing a tenancy (7)
{LETTING} – A double definition for allowing and another word for a tenancy or granting a lease.

2 Schools meddler put “irrational” third in music dictionary (5)
{GROVE} – The third letter of irrational goes inside the surname of the current secretary of state for education.

3 Mark goes in front of team with Jack on top (9)
{FLAGSTAFF} – … what might have the Union Jack on top.  A word meaning to mark something goes before a word for a team or group of employees.

4 Boat found in studies of clouds (7)
{DARKENS} – The type of boat used by Noah goes inside another name for the rooms used as studies.

5 At heart, “Imagine” composed for waif (5)
{GAMIN} – An anagram (composed) of in inner letters (at heart) of IMAGINE.

6 Will declaration be made by placid tail-end batsman in test? (9)
{TESTAMENT} – Another word for placid and the final letter (tail-end) of batsman go inside the TEST in the clue.

7 Rule over without leader and settle (6)
{RESIDE} – Remove the first letter (without leader) of a word meaning rule over.

8 “Slowhand“, at the double, has a go – I’m included (6)
{ADAGIO} – I think this is an abbreviation for at the double followed by the A GO from the clue with an I included.

14 Experimental alchemist substitutes one number for another and follows a plan (9)
{SCHEMATIC} – Replace the L in alchemist with a C to give ACCHEMIST and make an anagram (experimental) of these letters.

16 Marvel introduces Spiderwoman’s first boy, a visitor from outer space‘ (6,3)
{COSMIC RAY} – An S (Spiderwoman’s first) goes inside the type of publication produced by Marvel followed by a boy’s name.

18 Ferguson, sat in these, starts defender upfield – the result of too much drink, twice? (7)
{DUGOUTS} – The initial letters (starts) of Defender Upfied is followed by the name of a medical condition attributed to too much drink with an S indicating the plural (twice).

19 Fruits that daddy fondles (6)
{PAPAWS} – A two letter word for a father or daddy followed by a word meaning fondles.

20 Changed colour when imbibing whiskey, but can’t be weeping (3-4)
{DRY-EYED} – A three letter word for whiskey goes inside (imbibing) another word meaning changed colour (as in hair or clothes).

21 Accept bird flying below animal (6)
{ASSUME} – The name of a flightless bird is reversed (flying meaning up) under another word for a donkey.

23 Eric King controls the tension (5)
{IDLER} – … a pulley wheel that controls the tension in a gear assembly.  The surname of Monty Python star Eric followed by the abbreviation for Rex (king).

25 Stranger backs socialist party (5)
{ODDER} – Reverse two words for socialist and a party.



  1. gazza
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Trailman for an interesting puzzle. “Schools meddler” did make me laugh.

  2. Colmce
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Nice debut puzzle, took a little time to get onto setters wavelength.

    Got a couple of answers i can’t fully justify, so roll on the review.

    Many thanks Trailman.

  3. Toni
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Anybody having trouble downloading this to across lite on ipad?
    I’ve used it before but can’t get it now. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. Prolixic
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Apologies but posting the review is being delayed owing to various hospital visits. Hope to be able to get the review up later this evening.

  5. Kath
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this very much although it was right at the top of my ability. I thought it was going to be straightforward having got the first two across answers – I changed my mind.
    I can’t do 15a or 16d and have a few more answers that I can’t explain.
    I thought 2d was brilliant – can’t help wondering if Trailman is a disillusioned teacher!
    I also liked 9a (although I’d never heard of it) and 27a and 14 and 23d.
    With thanks to Trailman and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  6. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    A few clues in here really had us beak scratching and still have a couple we are not sure of, 12a and 28a. Needed google to confirm 2d. Good stuff.
    Thanks Trailman.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Have now Googled 12a and all becomes clear.

    • Kath
      Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      All my problems have now been sorted out – thanks to Prolixic for the help, specially after what sounds like a pretty difficult day.
      Thanks again to Trailman.

  7. Posted January 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I left 8 across as originally clued to see what reaction it might get. I took “slow” as the definition and “hand at the double” to mean the even letters of hAnD. Perhaps Trailman might like to confirm.

  8. Muffyword
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Trailman and Prolixit – a very nice puzzle and blog,

    3 dn was my favourite.

    I parsed 8dn as Big Dave @ 7.

    I parsed 28 across very slightly differently to Prolixit – encore = bis + s the letter; encore-s = bis-s.

  9. Catnap
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I look forward very much to the NTSPPs, and I really liked this puzzle.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif I had no real problems with most of it, but some clues I found difficult.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif I needed the answer for 23d. I was completely on the wrong track with 28a, and so found the hint invaluable! I had the correct answers for 12a and 24a, but needed the explanations of ‘rivals’ and ‘merchant’s companion’ respectively.
    I also began by parsing 8d as Big Dave (see 7 above), but then changed it to Prolixic’s interpretation of the letters ‘a’ and ‘d’ ‘as an abbreviation for ‘at the double’. As is obvious, I felt very unsure about this.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    The two clues I liked most were 2d and 10a.

    Many thanks to Trailman for a most enjoyable and interesting crossword. Much appreciation to Prolixic for a splendid review.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  10. Colmce
    Posted January 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Prolixic , nice review, cleared up a couple of problems I had.. Biss! and Greensand.