NTSPP – 216 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 216

NTSPP – 216

A Puzzle by Wiglaf

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A brief review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Apologies for the brevity of the review and lack of pictures.  I am somewhat short of time today.  Thanks to Wiglaf for an enjoyable crossword.


1 Drunken wartime women peeled off in unnamed Dubai local (7)
{EMIRATI} – An anagram (drunken) of WARTIME without the W (women peeled off) following by I (IN without the N – unnamed).

5 Intense shock about English commercial transport (7)
{FREIGHT} – Another word for an intense shock around the abbreviation for English.

9 It was foreshadowed by Percival Lowell initially before bowing out (5)
{PLUTO} – The first letters (initially) of Percival and Lowell followed by an anagram (bowling) of out.  An self-referential clue as Percival Lowell predicted the existence of this minor planet.

10 Unfolding crisis after cutting energy (9)
{EMERGENCE} – Another word for a crisis with the final letter removed (after cutting) followed by the abbreviation for energy.

11 Empty childhood, wasted in reverie (4, 5)
{IDLE FANCY} – Another word for empty (as in **** talk) followed by another word for childhood with the IN removed (wasted).

12 Sort of shop that made lip-smacking sandwiches (4)
{DELI} – The answer is hidden (sandwiches) in MADE LIP-SMACKING

15 Place to sleep provided by Lake Poets’ circle? (7)
{COTERIE} – A three letter word for a child’s bed followed by the name of a North American lake.

17 Let back in to make another confession? (7)
{READMIT} – A double definition, the second slightly fanciful – hence the question mark.

19 Fellow taken aback by sound indicating approval (7)
{NODDING} – Reverse (taken aback) a university fellow and follow this with a word for a sound or short ringing noise.

21 It can take you from Tokyo to Kyoto? (7)
{ANAGRAM} – One of the standard devices in a cryptic crossword where words are jumbled to make another word.

22 European country banning American whiskey (4)
{MALT} – The island neighbour of Gozo in the Mediterranean with the final A removed (banning America).

24 Submerging swimmers ionise partially (9)
{IMMERSION} – The answer is hidden (partially) in SWIMMERS IONISE

28 Behaving like Eve, Carol secures Conservative seat (9)
{SCRUMPING} – There is no evidence that it was an apple that Eve took, but the theft of fruit is the answer (behaving like Eve).  Another word for carol or making music goes around the one letter abbreviation for Conservative and a four letter word for the backside or seat.

29 Collar bone (5)
{SIEZE} – A single definition.  Bone is a slang word to grab or nab or collar someone or something.

30 Kiss off Diana’s girl (7)
{DISMISS} – The diminutive form of Diana followed with the S followed by another word for a girl.

31 Characters in UK manor when drunk may do this (3,4)
{RUN AMOK} – An anagram (when drunk) of UK MANOR.


1 Foreign worker spends a little time getting round exhibition (4)
{EXPO} – The name of someone from one country working in another with the AT the end being removed (spends A little Time) followed by the round letter.

2 Overwhelmed inside, never having had a girlfriend? (9)
{INUNDATED} – Another word for inside followed by a fanciful expression (2-5) that might indicate someone has not had a girlfriend.

3 Dwelling constructed from sun-dried brick by switching even bits (5)
{ABODE} – A word for a sun-dried brick swapping the 2nd and 4th letters (switching even bits).

4 Go over and tie up judge (7)
{ITERATE} – An anagram (up) of TIE followed by a word meaning to judge.

5 Woolly coat’s beginning to reek? I’ll take to the cleaners (7)
{FLEECER} – Another word for a woolly coat (from a sheep perhaps) followed by the first letter of reek.

6 Keenness, say, of French from the south (4)
{EDGE} – Reverse (from the south) the two letter word meaning say or for example and the French for of.

7 A type of information left out of statement (5)
{GENRE} – A three letter word for information followed by a word for a statement with the PORT removed (left out of).

8 I’m betting he, without new training, could make top position (3,3,4)
{THE BIG TIME} – An anagram (training) of IM BETTING HE with the N removed (without new).

13 Did husband’s condoms (Elite) regularly burst? (10)
{ECONOMISED} – An anagram of CONDOMS EIE (eie being the even letters of Elite).

14 Type of modern art once produced with repeated approval in the Hermitage Museum (4)
{DADA} – The Russian word for YES (approval in the Hermitage Museum) repeated

16 After the sun goes in … bad weather (4)
{RAIN} – The name of the Egyptian Sun god followed by the IN from the clue.

18 US parent protects vulnerable minors from religious sect (9)
{MORMONISM} – A three letter Americanism for a parent goes around an anagram (vulnerable) of MINORS.

20 Schoolgirls separately considered making sacrifices (7)
{GAMBITS} – Split (separately) SCHOOL GIRLS and find alternatives for the SCHOOL and GIRLS (derogatory term).

21 State shelters English Lone Ranger? (7)
{AVENGER} – The three letter abbreviation for English goes inside a word meaning to state.

23 Birds fool around with old Bob (5)
{LARKS} – A word meaning to fool around followed by the abbreviation for schilling (old bob).

25 Girl from America, into heavy metal (5)
{SUSAN} – The abbreviation for United States of America goes inside the chemical symbol for Tin (heavy metal).

26 Politician captured by two Zulu warriors (4)
{IMPI} – The usual suspect for a politician goes inside the Roman number for 2.

27 Tart up in court after trading love for drug (4)
{DECK} – Replace the O (love) in part of a court with an E (drug).

13 comments on “NTSPP – 216

  1. Thanks to Wiglaf for the enjoyable puzzle – I found it pretty tricky with some of the wordplay well into Toughie territory. I didn’t know the ‘bone’ part of 29a so that was my last in after consulting the BRB. Favourite clues: 9a and 21a.

  2. So glad gazza thought this was a toughie level Saturday challenge – I did wonder whether the grey matter has gone on its holidays without.

    Thanks to Wiglaf – in addition to gazza’s favourites, I had a star by 28a too.

  3. A lot of smiles and a lot of head scratching but I do have a completed grid, though now I’m not at all sure about 29A given Gazza’a comment above. I do need to have two other clues unraveled as well so I’m looking forward to the review. 28A was fabulous. Thanks to Wiglaf.

    Why do 11A and 8D have two lots of parenthesised numbers?

  4. Here’s a guess. Those weren’t the clues in the original draft, and BD cut’n’pasted the revised clues including enumerations.

    Excellent and distinctly tough puzzle, I thought.

    1. I thought that the double enumerations might be part of the puzzle!

      Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t!

      1. The truth is much simpler. Wiglaf doesn’t provide a ccw file, so I set one up from scratch, importing the clues by pasting from the pdf provided into a text file. What I missed is that Wiglaf puts a space after each comma when the enumeration contains two or more digits and Crossword Compiler treats that as part of the clue rather than the enumeration. I’ll fix it in a minute.

        1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gifPlease don’t complicate things – my brain is a bit tired – it’s all IT stuff, innit?

  5. Well, I was way off base with 29A . Spine was all I could come up with. I was correct on 7D and 20D (which I interpreted as chess related), neither of which I was 100% sure of. I don’t understand the “school” part of 20D, though.

  6. We have a bit of 16d here at present so no beach walk this morning. Needed the extra time to deal with this enjoyable puzzle. Had not understood the GAM part of 20d but got all the rest. 28a was our last in. A really good fun puzzle.
    Thanks Wiglaf and Prolixic.

  7. For the fourth time in three days http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    I thought this was closer to a Toughie than a back page cryptic. I’m basing that on two unsolved clues and the need for explanation of another couple of my answers – my usual track record for a Toughie.
    I enjoyed this one a lot.
    My favourite was 28a.
    With thanks to Wiglaf and especially to Prolixic for making the time to do such clear hints on a busy day.

  8. This was challenging but very good fun. 28a is definitely fave clue! Had such a laugh.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    I needed the answer to 20d. ‘Gam’ is a new word to me. I was most interested, too, in the additional explanations in 9a and 29a.

    Thank you Wiglaf for a most enjoyable crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    And thank you, Prolixic, for the lucid explanations. As Kath has said, much appreciation for making time to review this puzzle when you have a busy day.

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