NTSPP – 221 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 221

NTSPP – 221

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.

Hieroglyph makes a welcome return to the Saturday afternoon spot – I wasn’t too daunted by the long anagram, compared with a WB Yeats one in another of his puzzles, this one’s a doddle!


9a           Crime‘s a never-ending issue (5)
{ARSON} A, the ending of never and a male child (issue).

10a         See 2 Down

11a         See 2 Down
12a         Green beans, topped, tailed, and cooked around 4 (5)
{NAIVE}   Green in the sense of immature or unprepared –   ‘top and tail’ BEANS and make an anagram (cooked) of the remaining letters around the Roman numeral for four.

13a         Gets  round ban – it’s outrageous (7)
{OBTAINS} The  ’round’ letter  followed by an outrageous anagram of BAN ITS.

15a         School lesson? Small boy playing truant on behalf of stupid individual (7)
{SCHLEPP}   An originally Yiddish term for a stupid person – the abbreviation for school followed by a LESSON from which the abbreviation for small and a boy are removed (playing truant) and finally, add  the two letter abbreviation I use when  signing letters on behalf of the boss.

17a         Choppers support model hospital (5)
{TEETH} Choppers here aren’t helicopters but a slang term for part of the body.   A golfing support, a famous model car and the abbreviation for hospital.


18a         Enjoy Mardi Gras, to an extent (3)
{DIG}   Hidden (to an extent) in MarDI Gras.

20a         A small West Indian plantation tree (5)
{ASPEN} A trembling poplar is obtained by following A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for small with a West Indian plantation or estate.

22a         Good old guy finally returned actor’s dairy product (7)
{YOGHURT}   Reverse the abbreviations for Good and Old and the final letter of guY and follow with the actor recently seen as the War Doctor in the 50th anniversary episode of Dr Who.


25a         Fat Queen’s pantries (7)
{LARDERS} Clarified pig fat, followed by the current Queen’s cipher, not forgetting the S from the ‘S!

26a         Stood for Parliament, ultimately average to begin with (5)
{MEANT} An adjective meaning average or intermediate followed by the ‘ultimate’ letter of Parliament.

27a         See 2 Down

29a         Standard regeneration includes new beginning (3,6)
{RED ENSIGN} The standard of the British Merchant Navy – insert N (the beginning of new) into a fresh plan.

red ensign

30a         John Lennon’s No.1 in college (5)
{ELTON}   Clever wordplay.   A different musical John is obtained by inserting the first (no 1) letter of Lennon into a particular public school (college).


1a           In the Mirror, slate notable novelist (10)
{GALSWORTHY}   A reversal (in the mirror) of an informal way of slating or criticising followed by an adjective meaning notable, deserving gives us the author of The Forsyte Saga.

2/14/10/11/27 26d’s revolutionary premise: “Rise up, chums! A ghost came up to free continent!” (1,7,2,8,6 – 3,7,2,9)
{A SPECTRE IS HAUNTING EUROPE – THE SPECTRE OF COMMUNISM}  With the assistance of a few helpful checking letters from other solutions and several pieces of scrap paper, I solved this anagram without  investigoogling until I needed to find out where it appears  – an anagram (revolutionary) of PREMISE RISE UP CHUMS A GHOST CAME UP TO FREE CONTINENT gives us the opening lines of the Communist Party Manifesto written by 26d and his comrade Engels.

3a           Insect bite coming up (4)
{GNAT}   A biting insect is obtained by reversing (coming up) a biting characteristic or taste.

4d           Freed from indebted tenancy? (8)
{RELEASED}   A word meaning freed can also mean to let (or sub-let) a property again.

5a           Tennis player at the fringes of her sport works intensively (6)
{GRAFTS}   A German winner of Wimbledon back in the 80s and 90s followed by the ‘fringes’ or outside letters of tennis.

6d           Stratospherically excited? (2,2,3,3)
{UP IN THE AIR}   An expression meaning extremely excited sounds like you are in the stratosphere.

7d           Small vehicle – go slow? (6)
{STRIKE}   The abbreviation for small followed by a type of bicycle usually ridden by small children.


8d           Call mountain dog (4)
{PEKE}   A type of small dog is a homophone (call) of the top of a mountain.

peke14d         See 2

16d         Wordplay is hard: came across name hidden in sentence (10)
{PUNISHMENT}   The type of wordplay found at the top of the DT’s Quick Crossword, IS (from the clue) the abbreviation for Hard, and a verb meaning came across with the abbreviation for name hidden, or inserted, in it.

19d         Orwell’s source of wealth? (4,4)
{GOLD MINE}   Split ORWELL 2, 4 and you have the heraldic name for a previous metal and another way of saying a source (well).

gold mine

21d         Forecasts stormy rain, at first: depict onset of storm (8)
{PREDICTS}   An anagram (stormy) of R (the first letter of Rain) and DEPICT, followed by the first letter (onset) of Storm.

23d         Covers top of dessert in spun sugar (6)
{GUARDS}   Protective covers – an anagram (spun) of SUGAR plus the ‘top’ of Dessert.

24d         Court volunteers first: independent conservative’s plan (6)
{TACTIC}   The abbreviation for the volunteer army now known as the Army Reserve , the abbreviation for court, and then the abbreviations for Independent and Conservative.

26d         Thinker: “End of capitalism near?” Not half wrong! (4)
{MARX}   The ‘end’ of capitalism, the second half of neAR and the mark used by teachers when you get your sums wrong.

28d         Instruments, you think, have various ends (4)
{UKES}   The ‘ends’ of yoU, thinK, havE and variouS.

JJ and Joe

Thank you to Gnomethang for allowing me to use the picture of his two ‘instruments’: JJ (the small one) and Joe (the bigger model) .

Thanks to Hieroglyph too – hope we have another crossword from you soon.

20 comments on “NTSPP – 221

  1. Phew!

    I wonder if the long anagram took Hieroglyph longer to set than it took me to solve! (It is an anagram, isn’t it?)

    Favourite: 30a.

    Full Marks to Hieroglyph.

  2. Had to cheat and use the power of google to find the long anagram (like Stan I am assuming it is an anagram!) but the rest went in nicely. 19d was my favourite but lots of nice clues I enjoyed solving. Thanks to Hieroglyph (and to Cryptic Sue in advance for the review which I will be back to read later)

  3. Very nice puzzle. I admit I didn’t know the quote and just stuck in words that would fit and made sense once I had enough crossers. Which is basically what I always do with 20+-letter anagrams, because life’s generally too short to try figuring them out. (As BD is known to comment when editing puzzles, so I know I’m not alone.)

    I have a bit of a question about 18a. It’s a perfectly sound clue, as long as you believe that that’s a reasonable definition of the word in 2014, but isn’t it just crosswordese these days? It was already going out of fashion forty years ago (in music circles, by 1975 we were “into” things and we stopped excavating them), and is now only used by ancient jazzers and acid casualties.

    It’s not as though crosswordese doesn’t include plenty of obsolete usages – has anyone used “pi” to mean all those religious and goody-two-shoes senses in living memory, or U/non-U to mean “posh” since about 1969 – but it’s no bad thing to try and recognise that some conventions have become exactly that rather than bearing any relationship to real contemporary English.

  4. Thanks to Hieroglyph for the entertainment. My favourites were 12a and 30a. Like others who’ve commented I Googled the long answer because I really don’t like long anagrams (I presume that at least part of it is an anagram – I’ll wait for Crypticsue to reveal all later).

    1. 2d crosses 11a – so is the intersecting letter included once or twice in the anagram fodder?

      Who cares?


      1. Twice! I have counted and counted and double treble checked – I care not least because if I don’t I’ll get an email from Gazza! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_mail.gif

        1. Yes, you are right, Crypticsue. The letter does appear twice. There were forty-five of them in all!

          Sorry, the rest of this comment wasn’t meant to be attached here but I somehow loaded it wrong…

          This puzzle was thoroughly enjoyable!

          That was some anagram, but I did do it ‘all my own self’. It took some teasing out, which I really enjoyed. I didn’t look up the quote on Google, so was enlightened when I read it here. I thought the anagram was very cleverly worded.

          I arrived at all the correct answers. 15d is an unfamiliar word to me. I valued having Crypticsue’s explanation of that, and also of 19d — splitting Orwell like that is subtle!

          I liked many of the clues, particularly 12a and 30a, and I loved the little homophone, 8d.

          Many thanks to Hieroglyph for a super puzzle. And many thanks to Crypticsue for the super review to match.

  5. Thanks Hieroglyph, nice setting. Personally, I would have put SPECTRE somewhere in the grid and just used it twice although I know that Crossword Compiler doesn’t like it very much.

    One of the dailies’ crossword editors said he didn’t much like these long answers because either you knew them and the write-in made the puzzle too easy or you didn’t and got frustrated. I must confess I used Google to provide the answer once I had got most of ‘haunting.’

    Yes, it is an anagram and, yes, the intersecting letter is used twice if I have calculated properly.

    I, too, particularly liked 12 and 30.

  6. Really enjoyed this.
    I didn’t get 26d for a ridiculously long time – not until I had alternate letters in 27a and realised that it had to be communism – then cheated and googled the long one (or even nine).
    25a would have been easier if I’d been to specsavers – I read the clue as “Fat Queen’s panties”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif
    I liked 12, 20 and 30a and 3 and 8d. My favourite is one of those but I don’t know which.
    With thanks to Hieroglyph (please do another Alphabet crossword soon) and to CS.

      1. Brilliant – can’t wait. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
        I’ve only done a couple of them so they were something completely new to me – they kept me quiet and out of everyone’s way for hours.

  7. I came up short on two answers. No excuse for not getting 8D, but 15A has an entirely different meaning (or two) over here. For example, I would say ” I just schlepped around all day in my PJs.” Or “Schlepp that big box over here.”

    Like others, I googled the 26D quote once I had some checking letters. Nice puzzle, but no standouts for me. Thanks to Hieroglyph and to CS for the review.

  8. 30a favourite by far ,smashing puzzle that took me rather longer than probably everyone .Cheers to both

  9. Late at getting to this as been away for the weekend. We got the name Marx quite quickly and thought, “We’re not going to be fooled this time. Bet it is a Groucho quote we are looking for.” DOH! Got several of the possible words and Google found the rest for us. 1d was the last to yield. A good fun puzzle.
    Thanks Hieroglyph and CS.

  10. Thank-you for the comments and CS for the review :-) @alchemi – I agree about the dangers of crosswordese. Fingers crossed I got away with it this time… @windsurfer23 Again agree completely. Crossword Compiler’s uncooperative in that regard, more’s the pity.

    Hope to be back here soon (and maybe see some of you in Wapping!)

  11. Only just got round to completing this very enjoyable and quite taxing puzzle. Thanks to Hieroglyph and to Crypticsue for the review.

    Re 4 down, isn’t it an “indebted tenancy” because it’s LEASE in [the] RED?

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