NTSPP – 229 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 229

NTSPP – 229

A Puzzle by Gazza

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Many thanks to Gazza for our Saturday entertainment.


9 Retailer of furniture flatly circumvents boycott of Japanese art (7)
IKEBANA – The name of the Swedish flat-pack furniture provider goes around (circumvents) a word meaning boycott.

10 Yorkshire runner secures a bloodless revolution in the dark … (7)
UNAWARES – The name of a Yorkshire river (runner) goes around (secures) the A from the clue and a word meaning bloodless or pail, both of which are reversed (revolution).

11 … declaring a victory over political faction (7)
AVOWING – The A from the clue followed by the victory sign and a word for a political faction.

12 Observes nurses pinch returned drugs (7)
SEDATES – A word meaning observes goes around (nurses) the reversal (returned) of a word mean a pinch or little bit of something.

13 Besiege convertible carrying chief dignitary, … (3,6)
BIG CHEESE – An anagram (convertible) of BESIEGE includes (carrying) the abbreviation for chief.

15 … one regularly marked out for president? (5)
RULER – A double definition of something that maybe regularly marked with centimetres and millimetres (or inches and various bit of inches in old money) and another word for a president.

16 Reduction in beer consumed needs chewing over (2,5)
AL DENTE – A word meaning a reduction in (as the recession may make in your finances) goes inside (consumed) a word for beer.

19 Editorials reverse original political alignment to build their audience (7)
READERS – Another word for editorials has its first letter changed from L (left) to R (right) (reverse original political alignment).

20 Play doctor and nurse with no end of oomph (5)
DRAMA – An abbreviation for a doctor followed by another word for a nurse without the final H (no end of oomph).

21 Core members of club, each wearing a mankini? (9)
BEACHWEAR The answer is hidden (core members of) CLUB EACH WEARING.

25 Some builders, it’s claimed, browbeat youngsters (7)
COWBOYS – A word meaning to browbeat or bully followed by a word for male children.

26 Nominates one preparing to take up position on board (7)
SELECTS – Another word for one preparing to take up a position goes inside SS (on board an ship).

28 Utter word which may not be proper in English church (7)
ENOUNCE – The abbreviations for English and Church of England contain a word for the part of speech that can be proper or improper.

29 Posh bird on the phone’s in a troubled state (7)
UKRAINE – The abbreviation indicating posh followed by a homophone of a long legged bird.


1 What’s used to raise vehicle in protective cover (6)
BICARB- … raising agent used in cooking.  A type of vehicle goes inside (in) a protective cover that may be used by babies at mealtimes.

2 Fit in with plea to shelter capital? Not half! (6)
BELONG – Another word for plea contains (to shelter) half of the name of our capital city.

3 One-party ascendancy in island (4)
BALI – Reverse (ascendancy) I (one) and the abbreviation for labour (party).

4 Outlaw golfer’s odd jewellery (6)
BANGLE – Another word for outlaw (the same word as in 9a) followed by the odd letters of GoLfEr.

5 Rear young farm animal? It may lead you up the wrong path (3,5)
BUM STEER – Another word for your bottom or rear followed by the name of a young cow.

6 Queen’s not much up top? – nonsense! (10)
BALDERDASH – Split 4,2,4 the first part of the clue might indicate the queen with no hair.  The final part of the answer is the word for the punctuation mark “-“.

7 Ballet is choreographed one day in July (8)
BASTILLE – … the day celebrated by the French in July.  An anagram (choreographed) of BALLET IS.

8 Breeds so indiscriminately there are complaints (8)
BEDSORES – An anagram (indiscriminately) of BREEDS SO.

14 Fix some sandwiches to kill time (4,6)
HANG AROUND – Another word for fix (as you might a picture on a wall) followed by (split 1,5) some sandwiches.

16 Snatched when tucked up in some French court? On the contrary (8)
ABDUCTED – Instead of putting a word meaning tucked up or in bed inside the French for some and the abbreviation for court, you do the reverse.

17 Day’s stage exhausted Victoria (8)
DEADWOOD – … from the song “******** Stage” sung by Doris Day in Calamity Jane.  A word meaning exhausted followed by the surname of someone called Victoria (an indication that this was a definition by example would be usual here).

18 Large soprano, found in bed under English spymaster, is brought out in relief (8)
EMBOSSED – The abbreviations for over sized (large) and soprano go inside the BED from the clue and the result letters go under the abbreviations for English and James Bond’s spymaster.

22 In a stable relationship? (2,4)
AT STUD – A cryptic definition of a horse at breeding stables.

23 Il Duce mangled classical Greek (6)
EUCLID – An anagram (mangled) of IL DUCE.

24 Suspended, but not one jazz fan gets tarnished (6)
RUSTED – Remove the I (one) and CAT (jazz fan) from a word meaning suspended or sent down from school or college.

27 Fat squire in Edinburgh wants independence (4)
LARD – Remove the I (independence) from the name of a Scottish landowner.

It is always good to keep on the right side of the editor, hence the rows of B(ig) and D(ave)s on the top and bottom rows.




17 comments on “NTSPP – 229

  1. Four smashing puzzles for the price of one ,smiled throughout but definite favourite 5d Thanks yet again Gazza

  2. Splendid puzzle, Lots of smiles, favourite 9a.

    I hope the reviewer will show restraint with his illustrations.

  3. Loved it. Lots of fun. 17D was the last one in and when I twigged it I burst out laughing. Definitely my favorite.

    1. favorite looks like an American spelling to me!

      Not an insult … just an observation!

      1. It is an American spelling, Stan. I am blessed to be able to spell proficiently in two languages!

  4. Excellent stuff and better than some DT back-pagers http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Several stand-out clues, 9a, 20a, 21a, 29a, 5d, 17d and 22d but my favourite was 6d for its cunning use of the punctuation as part of the wordplay.

    Thanks for the treat Gazza. Now back to Rafa who’s lost the first set yet again :oops:

  5. Lots of fun from gazza – especially in the surface reading of 18d.

    Presumably the Nina is a tribute to Our Leader!

    1. D’OH! That’s two Ninas I’ve missed in two days ,really must remember to look for them.

      1. It’s very strange that one can miss something so obvious!

        It would have helped me a lot if I had noticed it while I was doing the puzzle – instead of at the end!

  6. Brilliant – I loved it and it’s kept me quiet for most of a wet afternoon.
    I missed the Nina as well but don’t feel too bad about it as gazza says he nearly always misses them.
    I think my 16a is probably right but I don’t understand why.
    I thought almost all the clues were great but can’t put them all down so a short list is 9, 20 and 29a and 5 and 17d. Joint favourites because they both made me laugh are 21a and 6d.
    Thanks gazza. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  7. I found this quite tricky or maybe it was the multi-tasking with Wimbledon and the World Cup.

    Good puzzle. I took a while to see 17, particularly the Day! LOI was 29. I liked the mankinis and the nonsense in 6.

  8. A truly delightful puzzle that kept us amused between breakfast and a morning walk on a crisp frosty Sunday morning. Lots of chuckles, smiles and laugh-out- louds. And we had picked the tribute NINA in time to help with a few endings.
    Many thanks Gazza.

  9. I always look forward to the NTSPPs. They’re among my fave puzzles. This one certainly didn’t disappoint! It was, as others have said, delightful.

    I agree with Kath that most of the clues were great, and I gave up listing my faves after seven — 9a, 20a, 25a, 1d, 6d, 18d, and 24d. Also loved 5d. I hadn’t heard the expression, but Mr Catnap knew it. For once, I spotted the Nina.

    I needed explanations of my answers to 19a and 17d, but managed to parse the rest correctly.

    Thanks for the really super puzzle, Gazza, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks, too, Prolixic for the super explanations and beautiful illustrations, such as that for 1a.

  10. Thanks to Prolixic for sorting out my 16a – thought it was the beer that was reduced “Al” which gave me all kinds of problems. Stupid, again! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  11. Many thanks to gazza & Prolixic!

    (Somewhat disappointed by the illustration for 18d )


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