NTSPP – 213 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 213

NTSPP – 213

Is it really 20 years? by Vigo

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows

Just to make us all feel our age, Vigo has produced a themed crossword to celebrate the fact that tomorrow marks  twenty years since a certain film arrived on our cinema screens.


7a           Casino in Utah hosting revolutionary club (5)
{UNION}  An association or club is found hidden  and reversed (revolutionary) in casiNO IN Utah.


8a           Clasp strange English fans with pity (6,3)
{SAFETY PIN}   An anagram (strange) of E (English) FANS and PITY.

10a         Old city involved in bail out for underground venture (6)
{BURIAL}  The old Biblical city beloved by crossword setters everywhere is inserted into an anagram (out) of  BAIL.


11a         Bond‘s affairs exposed (8)
{ALLIANCE}   Remove the outside letters (exposed) of some amorous relationships.


12a         Blunder from the right involved Oxford University Society taking up a cause (8)
{ESPOUSAL}  A reversal (from the right) of a failing or blunder with the abbreviation for Oxford University Society inserted.


13a         Execute nasty boy taking drug (4)
{OBEY}  To carry out instructions (execute)   An anagram (nasty) of BOY with the abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy inserted.

15a         Covers a celebrity helping to make famous fashion label (7)
{VERSACE}   A helping or part of coVERS A CElebrity.

17a         Regiment goes to El Salvador to recover bodies (7)
{CORPSES}    A division of the army (regiment) followed by the IVR code for El Salvador.

20a         Fiancée’s odd expression (4)
{FACE}   The odd letters of FiAnCeE.

22a         Pleasure seeker appears good before a bad turn gets exposed (8)
{GADABOUT}  The abbreviation for Good, A (from the clue), an anagram (turn) of BAD and another way of saying exposed.

25a         Try to get to Northern Cayman Islands perhaps (3,5)
{TAX HAVEN}   Another way of saying to try or make heavy demands on ,  a verb meaning to possess (get) and  N (northern).

26a         Short one’s directly responsible for 7, 11, 12, 24 and 10 (6)
{CURTIS}   The person who directed the film that gives us today’s theme.  The order in which the themed clues are listed  is significant!    An adjective meaning short or concise followed by I[‘]S (one’s).

four weddings and a funeral

27a         American soldier wears coolest ensemble in green (9)
{ECOLOGIST}   Someone who concerns themselves with ‘green’ issues –   An anagram (ensemble) of COOLEST with the two letters by which an American soldier is known inserted.

28a         Grant‘s initial arrest is followed by charge (5)
{AWARD}   The initial letter of Arrest followed by a minor person looked after by a guardian (charge).


1d           Tortured genius had cracked (9)
{ANGUISHED}   An anagram (cracked) of GENIUS HAD.

2d           Observes parasite in dock – original sinner? (8)
{MONITORS}   A parasite, the mention of which always makes my head itch,  inserted into a verb meaning to dock or make fast a ship, the result being finished with the ‘original’ letter of Sinner.

3d           Put up notice on furniture of a certain age (7)
{DATABLE}   A reversal (put up in a down clue) of an abbreviation for a notice followed by an item of furniture.

4d           Rolling in dough thoroughly to finish… (4-2-2)
{WELL-TO-DO}   An adverb meaning thoroughly, TO (from the clue)and a verb meaning to finish or accomplish.

5d           ..place mince across centre of fryer and turn frequently (6)
{GYRATE}   The ‘centre’ of frYer is inserted into verb meaning to mince or reduce to small slivers.

6d           Launch tenor and contralto in joint return (5)
{PITCH}   Launch into the air –   the abbreviations for Tenor and Contralto are inserted into a reversal (return) of a joint of the body.

9d           Guns changing hands for charity (4)
{ALMS}   Change the second letter of the weapons of which guns are an example from an R to an L (changing from a right hand to a left hand).

14d         Commercial peculiarly lacking lines has new content (9)
{PECUNIARY}    Relating to money.    Remove the Ls from PECULIARLY and replace the first one with an N (has New content).

16d         About to go around a Grand Canyon or Silicon Valley? (8)
{CLEAVAGE}  Lovely definition!    C (about) plus a verb meaning to go with A (from the clue) and G (grand) inserted.    The ‘valley’ indicated by the solution would, of course, have been made with siliconE.   I know,  certain other people would have deemed this an ideal opportunity for an illustration, but they will have to remain disappointed.

18d         Creep following local on progressive night out (3,5)
{PUB CRAWL}    A local hostelry followed by a verb meaning to creep.

19d         Worry about past that involves one original sin (7)
{AGONISE}  Insert into a duration of time (past)  a preposition that means that involves the matter of, I (one)and the ‘original’ letter of Sin.

21d         Hard one left in fear for some time (6)
{AWHILE}   The abbreviation for Hard,  I (one) and L (left)  are inserted into some fear.

23d         Avoid    amphibious landing craft (4)
{DUCK}   A verb meaning to avoid responsibilities or a kind of amphibious military transport vehicle.

24d         Light felt cold then hot (5)
{MATCH}  a piece of cloth like felt  followed by the abbreviations for Cold and Hot.



Happy Birthday and thank you to Vigo


18 comments on “NTSPP – 213

  1. Thanks to Vigo for a very entertaining puzzle with a lovely theme. I especially liked 16d http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  2. What a shame there are not more responses to this, I enjoyed it a great deal, just a pity I’m far too young to remember the film in question :) Thank you Vigo and CSue

    1. I only just managed to see it myself – as I only turned 15 the day before it was released – honest!

  3. Thank you to Cryptic Sue for the excellent review and for not including an illustration for 16 down – one gets quite enough of that sort of thing on the Telegraph front page!

    Thanks also to those kind enough to leave a comment. I’m glad you had fun solving as I had lots of fun putting it together.

    Just back from birthday trip to the beach and about to have a glass of some English sparkling rose and a piece of cake.


      1. Thank you for your comment and, yes, I have had a fabulous birthday weekend. Having a puzzle on Big Dave’s blog, the lovely comments, the sunny weather and a big cake were an unbeatable combination!

  4. The very last one in was 26a who we did not know, despite having seen the film AND he was born in NZ. Really enjoyed the puzzle after our usual Sunday morning walk along the beach, in glorious autumn sunshine. Agree with Gazza on the favourite being 16d.
    Happy Birthday and thanks Vigo and Cs for the review.

  5. Thanks Vigo and CS,

    A very nice puzzle, theme and blog.

    I think there is an “a” missing from the parsing of 16d.

    12ac and 14d were my favourites.

  6. I needed the hints for 11A and 4D to complete, and then the penny dropped about the theme. I’m not a big fan of themed puzzles, but 16D made the whole thing worthwhile. Fabulous clue! Thanks to Vigo and to CS for the review and hints.

    One question regarding the 26A hint…Richard Curtis was directly responsible, as the clue says, in that he was the screenwriter, but wasn’t the director was Mike Newell?

    1. Poor Mike Newell – my fault I shouldn’t have put directly in there – I forgot about Mr Newell. The fact that it’s always ‘a Richard Curtis film’ (like a Woody Allen/Mike Leigh/Tarantino/Coen Brothers etc) led me to forget he doesn’t actually direct – are there any other screenwriters who get this treatment? In my defence I was thinking of the film’s premiere as the event rather than the film itself, especially ‘that dress’ which I think was the beginning of being famous for, mostly, wearing clothes and having a boyfriend. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  7. Thanks Vigo ,themed puzzles are not my thing but admire the setters art.Agree with others 16 d takes the honours .
    Cheers CS too

  8. Great crossword, Vigo, and thanks to CrypticSue for the review. Like many others, 16d was my favourite and even though I’d got 7, 11, 12, 24 and 10 and had even said to Mrs AKMild “Well, we’ve got four marriages and an interment”, I didn’t make the connection! Like so many things in life, though, Mrs AKMild pointed me in the right direction and went on to explain the connections of clues 23d/20a and 16d/8a (and arguably 13a) with the theme.

  9. Very entertaining diversion while waiting for the rugby to start.

    Many thanks to Vigo and CS.

  10. I enjoyed this very much. I never did get the theme, despite having 7, 11, 12, 24 and 10. Alas, I have never seen the film. Needless to say, I needed the answer to and explanation of 26a. From the parsing, I thought it might be Curtis, but, for all my Googling, I still managed to miss it! Mea culpa!

    Like others, I thought 16d was a splendid clue. I also enjoyed many others, including 22a, 4d, and 5d. I also thought the hidden clues were well concealed.

    Many thanks, Vigo, for a most enjoyable puzzle. It was fun, even though I didn’t get the theme. Many thanks to Crypticsue for an excellent review and illustrations.

  11. Many thanks to Vigo for an excellent crossword and to Crypticsue for stepping into the breach to blog. Flood damaged phone lines meant that I had no internet connection for most of yesterday whilst BT repaired the fault. Finally have a landline back after about four weeks!

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