NTSPP – 233 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 233

NTSPP – 233

A Puzzle by Skipjack

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Thanks to Skipjack.  Apologies for the brevity of the review.  I have had two sermons to preach this morning and now have guests coming for lunch so time is limited.


1 / 1d: Different headers dispersed at various places around here (9,7)
FEATHERED FRIENDS – … a reference to the names of the birds (shown in green) that form answers of parts of answers.  An anagram (dispersed) of DIFFERENT HEADERS.

6 Stretch to see Derek Heard (5)
CRANE – Another word for a derrick, a homophone (heard) of Derek.

9 Home study tends to miss objective and causes depression (7)
INDENTS – A two letter word meaning home followed by another word for a study and the TS from ends (the end having been removed – to miss objective).

10 Polish fighter pilot lost his tail following attack (7)
SHELLAC – A five letter word for attack using artillery followed by a three letter word for a fighter pilot with the final letter removed (lost his tail).

11 “No-nonsense” said to describe art of boxing (5)
NOBLE – A homophone (said) of NO BULL (no-nonsense).

12 Duck Germans at sea every other year (9)
MERGANSER – An anagram (at sea) of GERMANS followed by the even letters (every other) of year.

13 Hitch-hikers butcher bird? (6)
SHRIKE – An anagram (hitch) of HIKERS.

14 What a plastic surgeon might do to enhance his reputation? (8)
FACELIFT – A cryptic reference when split 4, 4 with a possible meaning of enhance reputation.

16 Manipulative adverts left lady sad and upset (3)
SLY – An anagram (upset) of LADY SAD the abbreviation for advert having been removed from both words.

17 Commonplace outlaw terrorised Italy (8)
BANALITY – A word meaning to outlaw or prohibit followed by an anagram (terrorised) of ITALY.

19 Pickpocket ripped off Baptist? (6)
DIPPER – Two definition for the price of one!  An anagram (off) of RIPPED.

23 A signal to wander down memory lane (9)
NOSTALGIA – An anagram (wander) of A SIGNAL TO.

25 Satirist on The Express? (5)
SWIFT – A double definition (for which you need to ignore the “The”) of a satirical writer and the author of Gulliver’s Travels and a word meaning express or quick.

26 Counterfeit copy (7)
IMITATE – A double definition though arguably, the two meanings are so similar that they are the same!

27 Farce that is the sum of its parts (7)
CHARADE – A cryptic reference to the type of wordplay where two words are added together.

28 Diver returns from the base of iceberg (5)
GREBE – The answer is the final five letters reversed (returns from the base) of ICEBERG.

29 Confectionery made from honey-roast ham? (9)
SWEETMEAT – Another word for honey followed by the type of food of which roast ham is an example.


1 See 1 Across

2 Partridge stuffed with breadnuts for one of our brightest stars (9)
ALDEBARAN – The first name of the comedian who surname is Partridge (as a definition by example, this really should be indicated) including (stuffed with) an anagram (nuts) of BREAD – A recent example of this need to life and separate a word such as breadnuts into wordplay and fodder received a lot of comment on Fifteen Squared recently where hasten was used to indicated putting IO inside another word.

3 Badger female actor (7)
HENPECK – A Northern word used to refer to a female followed by the surname of the actor Gregory who appeared in films such as Roman Holiday.

4 Review presumed to have no boundaries (6)
RESUME – Remove the first and last letters (to have no boundaries) from presumed.

5 24 hours to admit investment vehicle shambles (8)
DISARRAY – Another word for the period of time represented by 24 hours includes (to admit) a type of investment and the abbreviation for Rolls Royce (vehicle).

6 Burn coffin containing final remains of late groom (7)
CREMATE – Another word for a coffin or box includes the last letters (final remains of) late and groom.

7 Finally finish off charts (5)
ATLAS – Remove the last letter (finish off) of phrase meaning finally.

8 Extract drinker whose bottom is blocking bar (7)
EXCERPT – The final letter (whose bottom) of drinker goes inside (is blocking) a word meaning bar.

14 Control on the ball (3)
FLY – A word meaning control as a pilot does with an aircraft is also a word meaning on the ball, usually used in of spivs and wide boys.

15 Suggest involvement with malice and tip-off (9)
IMPLICATE – An anagram (off) of MALICE TIP.

16 Chew grass and get illness associated with livestock (8)
STAGGERS – An anagram (chew) of GRASS GET.  Our 10th anagram which is a little on the high side.

17 It may 14d flags (7)
BUNTING – A creature that flies (14d) is also the name of a bird.

18 Disclosure leads to lurid exclusive appearing, knowing about detailed information (7)
LEAKAGE – The first letters (leads to) of Lurid Exclusive Appearing, Knowing About followed by a three letter word meaning information with the last letter removed (de-tailed).

20 Split second home with good woman and social worker (7)
INSTANT – Another word meaning home (also used in 9a) followed by the abbreviation for a holy woman and an insect that is renowned as a worker in a colony.

21 Soak repeatedly without any initial shrinkage? (7)
RETREAT – Ret (soak) is repeated and put around (without) the first letter (initial) of any.

22 French port lacks sophistication (6)
GUACHE – The French for left (port) is also a word meaning lacks sophistication.

24 Criticize opponents taking a drop of alcohol (5)
SNIPE – Opponents in a game of Bridge include (taking) a word for a drop of alcohol.

26 comments on “NTSPP – 233

  1. Well, that was a bit of fun – thanks Skipjack.

    Lots of good stuff but fav was either 2d or 22d.

      1. Thanks … and the advert on the other page [under the Quickie pun] is for the RSPB! Coincidence?

        1. It was there … honest Guv … but now it seems to have flown away! Or is it me?

  2. Been battling with this one on and off all day – go out to do stuff in the garden for a bit – get too hot – come in and do another couple etc etc.
    Now stuck on four all the bottom right corner and each one affects two others! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Just got 11a – really like it although I didn’t know the bit about the boxing.
    Back to the garden . . .

  3. Thanks Skipjack for an entertaining puzzle. No sexism here with ‘good worman’ in 20.

    I also had a bit of a problem parsing 21 as I didn’t know the ‘soak’ word.

    Like Pommers, I really enjoyed 2 & 22, although I had to check the star.

  4. Thanks Skipjack I also had to refer to Chambers more than once for 21d ,favourite for me 6a ..
    Thanks again .

  5. Lots of fun. Actually our last one in was the 1/1 combination so we did not give ourselves the advantage of having a theme to look for. Really enjoyed working it all out. Now off for a brisk walk on a cold winter’s morning to view some of our local 1/1s.
    Thanks Skipjack.

  6. What a joy! I loved it. No walk in the park for me, though. With 3/4 completed, it was taking me forever to finish off the NW quadrant so I popped in here to see if anyone else was having trouble. It was only then that I picked up on the theme, so thanks Stan and Prolixic for the nudge. Even then, 1A/1D took a while. 22D is the stand-out for me among several close contenders. Thanks to Skipjack for a great puzzle. I look forward to tomorrow’s review.

  7. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments! Delighted to hear you enjoyed my puzzle.


    1. Skipjack, I love your pseudonym because it’s evocative of the fishing vessels peculiar to my Chesapeake Bay part of the world, but I rather think that the encryption connection is more likely.

      1. You guessed right – the name was chosen for the encryption algorithm, rather than the fishing or tuna connection.

  8. Thanks to Skipjack for a really good crossword which I have to confess to finding quite tricky.
    Thanks also to Prolixic for finding the time to do the review on what sounds like a very busy day.
    I got completely stuck yesterday in the bottom right corner but finished it this morning although I needed the hints to explain a few.
    Thanks again to all concerned.

  9. I enjoyed this a good deal, but found it rather tricky. As I didn’t do the 1a/1d anagram until I’d nearly completed the puzzle, discovering this rather nice theme didn’t help any. I thought there were some really good fun clues, my fave being 22d (once the penny dropped!).

    To begin with, I didn’t think I’d be able to do this crossword. I found some of the parsing difficult, but having solved the clues, couldn’t understand why. (Hindsight is a wonderful thing!) Arrived at all the correct answers eventually. The three-letter word for ‘soak’ in 21d is new to me. I didn’t appreciate the meaning of ‘detailed’ in 18d, although had the right answer. And sometimes, I simply don’t see the obvious, alas! Although I knew the ‘s’ of ‘sad’ was needed for the answer to 16d, I didn’t realise why the ‘ad’ was to be removed…

    Thanks and appreciation to Skipjack for the very enjoyable challenge, and to Prolixic for the lucid and most helpful review.

  10. I regularly do the Telegraph weekend crosswords, the NTSPP and the Guardian prize and am surprised at how often a solution will appear in two of them.
    This weekend it has been “*******” appearing in the Telegraph Saturday Prize and the NTSPP.

      1. Ah – sorry – should not have done that.
        Back to the context though – have you noticed how often this happens?

        1. As a setter, I can only say that this is coincidental. There is no secret series of e-mails where the setters vie to clue the same word in different crosswords.

          The editor on one paper will try to ensure that the same word is not used too often but you often get the same word appearing in close succession across different papers and blogs that provide crosswords. I once set a Monthly Prize Puzzle with a theme, had it test solved only for the same theme to appear a few days later in a Guardian Crossword (thanks Paul!). The Monthly Prize Puzzle is therefore languishing on my hard drive.

  11. Thanks again to everyone who attempted my crossword, particularly to Kath and Catnap for their perseverance and kind words about the puzzle. Thanks also to Prolixic for taking the time review the puzzle and very helpful feedback on a couple of the weaker clues.

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