NTSPP – 212 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 212

NTSPP – 212

A Puzzle by Alchemi

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Crypticsue follows.

An enjoyable crossword from Alchemi wearing his ‘be kind to solvers’ hat, although as usual, he couldn’t resist introducing  a tiny bit of sneakiness.


1a           10 drunken yobs on trawler (6,7)
{NORWAY LOBSTER}   The first of today’s themed solutions is obtained from an anagram (drunken) of YOBS ON TRAWLER.

Norway lobster


9a           Tarts with a bad smell inside for tramps (5)
{HOBOS}   Insert the two letters by which a nasty smell are known into an American informal term for ladies of the night (tarts).

10a         Some of those living underwater like a place to keep books, we hear (9)
(SHELLFISH}  The theme!    Sounding like (we hear)  a bit  like a place you would put books.


11a         Connection to trouble returning comet (7)
{LIAISON}   A reversal (returning) of a verb  meaning to  trouble followed by a sun-grazing comet discovered in 2012.

12a         I hold league decider (7)
{SETTLER}   ‘I’ here being Alchemi himself  – insert the abbreviation for League into his ‘job description’.

13a         Computerised hedgehog‘s icons changed (5)
{SONIC}   An anagram (changed) of ICONS.

15a         Text about kind woman having gold thread-makers (9)
{SILKWORMS}   Insert into the three letter abbreviation for the service for sending  text messages, an archaic word meaning kind, the abbreviation for woman, and the heraldic term for gold.

18a         Excessive greed, perhaps, of those who will die batting (6,3)
{MORTAL SIN}   People who don’t live forever and the word denoting that a cricket side is batting, split 6,3.

19a         Revolting woman to stagger round Birkenhead (5)
{REBEL}   Insert the ‘head’ of Birkenhead into a verb meaning to stagger.   The answer to the question “why ‘woman’? ” is apparently “why not?”

21a         Small policeman eating every 10 (7)
{SCALLOP}   The abbreviation for  Small plus an informal term for a policeman with an adjective meaning every inserted.

scallop24a         Stops after putrid insults (7)
{OFFENDS}   An informal way of saying that something  might be  putrid followed by an alternative way of saying stops.

26a         Clever, independent northern class capturing 10 (9)
{INGENIOUS}   Our setter is being extra clever here – having lured us into thinking all clues with 10 in them relate to the theme, this one doesn’t.  A two-letter abbreviation for independent followed by a taxonomic class with the letters that look like 1 and 0 inserted.

27a         10 preserving sample of rubbish in ice (5)
{KRILL}   Back to the theme.    Ice here is US criminal slang meaning to finish someone off  so you just need to insert the first letter (sample)  of rubbish into the word we would normally use to describe this action.


28 10 bays possibly repairing old breach (9,4)
{HORSESHOE CRAB}   Bays are possibly examples of equine creatures which should be followed by an anagram (repairing) of O (old) and BREACH.

horseshoe crab


1d           It’s blindingly obvious the queen supports downfall of aristocrat (2-7)
{NO-BRAINER}    An informal term for an aristocrat, the ‘downfall’ of which we have seen rather too much lately,  supported or followed by the  cipher of our current Queen.

2d           God gets special power with the first of several files (5)
{RASPS}   Files here being coarse files with sharp teeth.   The Egyptian god of the sun, the abbreviation for special power and the first letter of several.

3d           Boy is overwhelmed by music, drama, sculpture and firelighters (9)
{ARSONISTS}   Insert into the term by which music, drama and sculpture are known collectively, firstly a boy child and then IS (from the clue).

4d           Heard embarrassing disclosures of soup ingredients? (5)
{LEEKS}   Vegetables that might be put into soup sound like (heard) some embarrassing disclosures.

5d           One shouting about the first campanile (9)
{BELLTOWER}   Someone who shouts loudly with the first letter of The inserted.

belltower[The one where I ring]

6d           Spin starts taking wickets in rugby league! (5)
{TWIRL}   The ‘starts’ of Taking Wickets In Rugby League.

7d           Woman’s rising anger over the closing of Woolworths takes one back (7)
{REHIRES)  A reversal of the female  possessive pronoun (woman’s) another word for anger and the final letter (closing of) Woolworths.

8d           10 reasons for deer to displace young (6)
{WHELKS}   Reasons for something with the Y removed (young displaced) and replaced with one of the largest members  of the deer family.


14d         Small coins essential to sellers in competition (9)
{CHALLENGE}   Small coins collectively with the middle letters (essential to) of seLLErs inserted.

16d         10 good to get out in the street (9)
{LANGOUSTE}   A small street with the abbreviation for Good and a verb meaning to out or eject inserted.


17d         Singing brother dressing in black bra initially (5,4)
{ROBIN GIBB}   The wordplay conjures up an image that I certainly won’t be looking for on Google!   A verb meaning dressing followed by the initial letters of In Black Bra.

18d         Inspirational leader one to express surprise following shambles (7)
{MESSIAH}   A simpler way of describing a shambles plus  I (one) and an expression of surprise.

20d         Line crossed by the Parisian pigpen in the end (6)
{LASTLY}   The French word for the (female) and a pig pen with L (line) inserted.

22d         American casualty following a month’s drill (5)
{AUGER}  A corkscrew shaped hand tool (drill).   An abbreviated summer month followed by  the way Americans refer  informally to the  Accident and Emergency Department (in the same way as we refer to our A&E department as ‘casualty’.    Alternatively the two letters in question could refer to the American television series very similar to the BBC’s  Casualty, but with more gunshot wounds!

23d         For a dog, it’s hard to understand where chickens are kept upside down (5)
{POOCH}   A reversal (kept upside down) of H (hard) and a place where chickens are kept.

25d         Holy man just restraining knight (5)
{FAKIR}  Insert the abbreviation for Knight into an adjective  meaning just or right.

7 comments on “NTSPP – 212

  1. With this very enjoyable puzzle and the excellent MPP we’re being spoilt today. My favourite clue (because it made me laugh) was 10a.

  2. A lovely crossword from Mr Devious.
    I’m ashamed at just how long I spent trying to find a shellfish called an “Io” to make sense of 26a.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I’ll now have to be patient and wait for the hints to explain 11a – I get part of it but not the rest.
    I agree with gazza – 10a made me laugh too and was my favourite. I also liked all the “fishy” ones and 1 and 17d.
    With thanks to Alchemi and in advance to whoever is going to do the hints.

  3. A real delight to do after a brisk walk along the beach on a crisp sunny Sunday morning. A very clever puzzle that had us laughing often. Now back to the MPP for one of us.
    Thanks Alchemi and CS

  4. This was delightful! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif I managed without hints and have learned some new words. I also looked for an ‘io’ and then suddenly the penny dropped! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif It is difficult to pick a fave clue, perhaps 10a, but I also particularly liked 15a, 18a, 19a, 26a, 8d, 17d and 23d. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_lol.gif
    Many thanks to Alchemi for this 26a puzzle. And many thanks to Crypticsue for a most enjoyable review with lovely illustrations.

  5. I thought this was lovely. I did finish without hints but needed the review to explain the word play on a couple. 9A made me laugh out loud!Many thanks to Alchemi and Crypticsue.

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