NTSPP – 222 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 222


NTSPP – 222

A Puzzle by Vigo

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A belated review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Thanks for all for bearing with me whilst I was out.  The in-laws are fine but mother-in-law had to go for tests (all clear fortunately) that took an age and I had to sit with an anxious father-in-law.  It means that I have not had time to add the usual pictures and videos.

 This crossword from Vigo was a delight from start to finish.  I have to say that if she continues this standard, I will have to hand over blogging duties to Crypticsue as Vigo will graduate from the NTSPP to the national papers.


7 Sailor travels back in time finding things to put right (6)
{ERRATA} – A three letter word for a sailor is reversed (travels back) inside a three letter word for a period of time.

9 Earth of high grade in level playing field (8)
{EQUALITY} – The abbreviation for Earth followed by a word meaning of high grade.

10 Magistrate holds Eastern European for transportation (4)
{JEEP} – The abbreviation for Justice of the Peace (magistrate) goes around (holds) the abbreviations for Eastern and European.

11 Acclaim gets comic purchasing power (6,4)
{CREDIT CARD} – … something you can use to purchase things.  Another word for acclaim followed by another word for a comic or comedian.

12 Took steps to stifle very loud echo that caused concern (8)
{AFFECTED} – Another word for took steps goes around (to stifle) the musical notation for very load and the letter represented by Echo in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

15 Excellent offspring holds trophy (4,2)
{SPOT ON} – Another word for a male offspring goes around (holds) another word for a trophy or cup.

16 Run pedestrian out of the way (13)
{EXTRAORDINARY} – A bonus run in cricket followed by a word meaning pedestrian or mundane.

18 Determined Yank gets Joyce’s heart (6)
{PLUCKY} – Another word for yank or pull out followed by the middle letter (heart) of Joyce.

20 Left wing in agreement (8)
{DEPARTED} – Another word for a wing or section goes inside a word for a formal legal agreement.

21 Giddy aunt drinks salt-water and gin cocktail – that’s revolting (10)
{NAUSEATING} – An anagram (giddy) of AUNT goes around (drinks) another word for something that is salt-water followed by an anagram (cocktail) of GIN.

23 Light surrounds a guide (4)
{LEAD} – A type of electronic light goes around (surrounds) the A from the clue.

25 Perversion of duke gets innocent returning to church (8)
{DEVIANCE} – The abbreviation for duke followed by a word meaning innocent or green that is reversed (returning) followed by an abbreviation for church.

26 Charge into goal succeeded (6)
{ENSUED} – Another word for charge or to bring legal proceedings goes inside another word for a goal or objective.


1 Scientist re-evaluated buried oxygen source (4)
{TREE} – … a plant that produces oxygen.  The answer is hidden (buried) in SCIENTIST RE-EVALUATED.

2 A king drops out of pancake race with a bit of a pig (8)
{PANCETTA} – … a type of bacon.   Remove the A and K (king) from pancake and follow this with the abbreviation for a type of race and the A from the clue.

3 Embezzler taking odd selection of dishes (4)
{MEZE} – Remove the odd letters (taking odd selection) of EMBEZZLER.

4 Customs of Parisian couples (6)
{DUTIES} – The French masculine singular for “of” followed by a word meaning couples or unites.  As du is a contraction of de + le, du is usually indicated “of the” but there may be constructions in French where “du” means “of” on its own!

5 Lists of eligible men and women (9,5)
{ELECTORAL ROLLS} – A cryptic definition of those eligible to vote.

6 Brand of music equipment put in a box (10)
{STEREOTYPE} – Split (6 4) this would indicate a make or brand of music equipment on which CDs or records could be played.

8 Programme about National Trust freezes in training (14)
{APPRENTICESHIP} – A three letter word for a program used on a mobile device (I don’t think that ‘programme’ is ever used regularly in computing parlance, it is usually program) followed by the abbreviations for about and National Trust, a word meaning freezes and word meaning in or trendy.

13 Relieve burden on queen’s hanger-on (10)
{FREELOADER} – A word meaning relieve or release followed by a word meaning a burden and the abbreviation for the Queen.

14 Risked being late crossing river in reverse (5)
{DARED} – Another word for late or deceased goes around the abbreviation for river and the resulting letters are reversed.

17 Criticised lap dog clad in distressed denim (8)
{IMPUGNED} – A type of lap dog goes inside (clad in) an anagram (distressed) of DENIM.

19 Stories involving English desires (6)
{YEARNS} – Another word for fanciful stories goes around (involving) the abbreviation for English.

22 Documents each plan (4)
{IDEA} – An abbreviation for documents or papers that prove who you are followed by the abbreviation for each.

24 Beer unsuitable for child – boy or girl (4)
{ALEX} – A three letter word for beer followed by a letter meaning that something is unsuitable for a child (usually followed by –rated).

21 comments on “NTSPP – 222

  1. Thanks to Vigo for an enjoyable puzzle with a number of d’oh moments. I particularly liked 16a and 6d.

  2. I tested this puzzle, so it wasn’t quite as hard today as it was the first time through, but I’d put it at the upper end of the NTSPP toughitude scale. I think what I like most about Vigo’s clues is that they’re deceptively dense – they tend to look simple but actually have a lot going on.

  3. Thanks Vigo, lovely surfaces with some clever clues.

    I liked the giddy aunt and the NT programme.

    I think in 4d strictly it should be ‘Customs of the Parisian couples.

  4. A bit above my skill level and only half completed without cheating.
    Look forward to the review to explain the wordplay.

    What I did manage was very enjoyable.

    Thanks Vigo.

  5. Apologies. The review is written and at home but I am caring for elderly in-law and will therefore have to post late today.

    1. Poor you – it’s a tricky time – I understand only too well and hope that all is OK.

  6. I really loved this one.
    Started off thinking that I couldn’t do it so I’m feeling quite encouraged by Alchemi’s comment about it being at the upper end of difficult for an NTSPP – wave length stuff again as there have been lots of them that I’ve found far trickier.
    I was (and still am until the hints are around) defeated by the 1d four letter scientist – there’s always one that gets me.
    I thought there were some really smart clues – 10 and 16a (tried very hard to make that one an anagram) and 13 and 17d. My favourite was 21a which made me laugh.
    With thanks to Vigo and, in advance, to Prolixic.

    1. Thanks to all of you – I think the only answer to this is, yet again, http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif ! One day I will learn.

  7. I didn’t have a block of time to devote to this today, so I’ve been picking it up when I’ve had a moment. Should have got 10A before I did since we have a couple of ’em. Lovely stuff altogether, though I still have 9A, 5D and 6D to go and I’m struggling with these. A teensy hint on 9A pending Prolixic’s review would be appreciated.

    1. You’re looking for an abbreviation for earth and a synonym for of high grade to find a level playing field

  8. Loved this puzzle! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    I have finished it all and believe all’s parsed correctly. But, of course, Prolixic’s review may prove otherwise!

    My fave was 21a. I also much liked 10a, 16a, and 6d amongst others.

    Thank you so much, Vigo for this most enjoyable NTSPP. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Big appreciative thanks to Prolixic for the review. Most glad to hear the in-laws are fine. Hope all are having a lovely Sunday, free from anxieties.

      (For once, I did indeed manage to parse everything correctly…)

  9. Got everything done and dusted apart from 3d where, despite two checking letters, I have drawn a total blank. Running out of time as we are heading off to Wellington for a family gathering for Mother’s day here today. Will just wait for the review to appear to fill in the gap. Thought it was a very good puzzle indeed and much enjoyed.
    Thanks Vigo, well done, and Prolixic in anticipation.
    PS. Have now cheated with 3d. It was a word I had not heard of but should have got from the wordplay.

  10. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments and to Prolixic for the, excellent as always, review. Glad to hear all turned out well today. V

  11. Well, 5 and 6D finally clicked so in the end I was left with 9a. But it turns out that levies (don’t ask) was not the answer to 4D, making 9A nigh on impossible to solve with the letters I had. Still, l a lovely puzzle and many thanks to Vigo and to Prolixic.

  12. Thank you for the puzzle, Vigo. Lots of nice surfaces and good clueing. I started yesterday, but got stuck about 30 minutes in, then came back to it today and finished (with a few hints from Prolixic’s useful tips). Harder than your average, I’d say, but a very enjoyable grid – good stuff.

    1. Welcome to the blog Hoskins

      Did you send me a puzzle on Friday? If so, you can look forward to seeing it in the Rookie Corner very soon.

      1. Thanks for the welcome, Dave

        Yes, that was me – excellent to hear that it’ll be appearing on-site in the near future


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