NTSPP – 235 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 235

NTSPP – 235

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.


1 Pleads guilty to stealing from town supermarket (4,2)
OWNS UP – The answer is hidden (stealing from) in TOWN SUPERMARKET.

5 Hunted Irish cleric who’s had a change of faith? (8)
RABBITED – If this comedic Irish cleric were a Jew he would replace the Father with Rabbi!

9 Flashy top player nicks one delivery in five (8)
SEQUINED – Another name for a top player goes around (nicks) the name of one child born of five.

10 Mischieviously swallow report (2,4)
IN JEST – The answer is a homophone (report) of ingest (swallow).

11 Old bigot‘s discovered in flagrante, entwined with model (3,7)
ALF GARNETT – An anagram (entwined) of FLAGRENTE followed by the model of the original Ford motor car.

12 Sailing westward one offered prayers to make port (4)
SUEZ – Reverse (sailing westward) the name of a Greek god (one offered prayers).

13 Came down heavily on drugs and was favourably regarded (8)
ESTEEMED – The abbreviation for Ecstasy in the plural (drugs) followed by a word described rain that came down heavenly.

16 Relations, absorbed in new role, hang around (6)
LOITER – An abbreviation for sexual relations goes inside an anagram (new) of role.

17 Gandhi’s one work on independence written in pen (6)
BIOPIC – … a type of film of which Ghandi is an example.  A two letter word for a work followed by the abbreviation for independence go inside the trade name for a type of pen.

19 Search for a clergyman embroiled in GCSE misrepresentation (8)
SCAVENGE – The abbreviation for the title of an Archdeacon (clergyman) goes inside (embroiled in) an anagram (misrepresentation) of GCSE.

21 King’s niece regularly goes on a bender (4)
KNEE – The abbreviation for a king followed by the odd letters (regularly) of NiEcE.

22 A fine car, efficient and economical (10)
AFFORDABLE – The A from the clue followed by the abbreviation for fine, a make of care and a word meaning efficient.

25 Commercial break’s not on time (6)
ADRIFT – A two letter word for an commercial followed by another word for a break or split.

26 Those trading partners are small players on the periphery (8)
SWINGERS – The abbreviation for small followed by the name of player who do not play in the centre.

27 Independent and Times are both after a two-page design supplement (8)
APPENDIX – The A from the clue, the abbreviation for page twice, a word meaning design or purpose, the abbreviation for independent (like independence used earlier) and the letter representing multiplication (Times).

28 Refuse to accept agreements letting in one Pole after another (6)
NAYSAY – A two letter word for an agreement is repeated (as agreements is in the plural) with the inclusion of the abbreviation for South. All of this follows (after another) the abbreviation for North.


2 Go round with list (5)
WHEEL – The abbreviation for with followed by a word meaning to list or lean over.

3 Ripped off government supporters are upset (5)
STUNG – The abbreviation for government followed by a word for supporters or keen fans are all reversed (are upset).

4 What have we here? Case of gunpowder in old  carrier (7)
PANGRAM – … a reference to the fact that all letters of the alphabet appear in the answers to the crossword.  The outer letters (case of) GunpowdeR go inside the name of an old airline (carrier).

5 Communist leader gingerly locked … (7)
REDHEAD – Someone with ginger hair would, split 3,4, describe a communist leader.

6 … up many old taxmen born in city (7)
BRISTOL – Reverse (up) all of a word meaning many, the abbreviation for Inland Revenue (old taxmen, their role now being performed by HMRC) and the abbreviation for born.

7 Popular holy man’s caught in drink violation (9)
INJUSTICE – Two letter word for popular followed by a type of drink around (caught in) the abbreviation for a holy man.  The synonyms are two side of the same coin – if someone commits a violation, someone suffers an injustice.

8 Segregate loosely into what’s brown and hollow? (6,3)
EASTER EGG – A treat for the first Sunday after Good Friday!  An anagram (loosely) of SEGREGATE.

14 Make a splash out of habit (6-3)
SKINNY DIP – A cryptic definition of swimming in the nude.

15 Evil pet buckled under Biblical book’s earthy language (9)
EXPLETIVE – The abbreviation for the book of Exodus followed by an anagram (buckled) of EVIL PET.  Not perhaps the most convincing of surface readings!

18 When in bed journalist dispensed with gear (7)
COASTED – … driving when not in gear – A two letter word meaning when goes inside a word for a bed and this is followed by the abbreviation for editor (journalist).

19 Peter’s old mate is taking no chances in Congress (4,3)
SAFE SEX – … using protection when making love (congress).  A type of secure box (peter) with the S (‘s) followed by a word for an old mate or partner.

20 Censure bishop smothered in make-up (again!) (7)
ARRAIGN – The abbreviation for bishop goes inside (smothered in) an anagram (make-up) of AGAIN.

23 Apoplectic and narky – goes round yelling for starters (5)
ANGRY – The initial letters (for starters) of And Narky Goes Round Yelling.

24 Muscular vagrant tucked away grub (5)
LARVA – The answer is hidden (tucked away) inside MUSCULAR VAGRANT.


11 comments on “NTSPP – 235

  1. When I first met this crossword I reported back that, unlike all the other crosswords I had solved that day, this one had left me with a big smile on my face and a feeling of both fun and satisfaction with a great crossword solved. I do hope everyone else feels the same.

    Thanks to Gazza for the fun and to Prolixic in advance for the review.

  2. The most enjoyable crossword I have solved for a long time. The smooth surface readings hide all manner of mischievous misdirections and definitions. Getting 4d early on helped today.

    Many clues brought a smile but 16a, 19d, 26a and especially 5a made me laugh out loud.

    Thanks to gazza.

    1. But I still cannot parse 15d.

      I presume an anagram of “Evil pet” ? But which Biblical book?

  3. Thanks very much Gazza ,smashing puzzle ,biggest smile for me was 18d but only just among so many .Cheers .

  4. Well, either this was gazza being particularly tricky or me being particularly dim, or a combination of the two. Whatever – http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    I finally finished it but not without a huge effort – I really did find this one difficult.
    I like the new(ish) format – i.e. the hints and answers not being around until the following day. If they’d been available at 6.00 or 7.00 this evening I would have given in and looked and been cross with myself – but they weren’t and so I “perservated” and finished it.
    I was slow to get 4d – what a pity – it would have helped with a few answers.
    Lot of great clues – what else would we expect from gazza – I think my favourite has to be 19d but there were loads of others too.
    With thanks to gazza and, in advance, to Prolixic for explaining 3d and the middle bit of 27a.

  5. Late today as we have been away for the weekend. When we got home we quickly put things away and settled down to attack the puzzle. Not a rapid solve by any means but great fun all the way. Really really enjoyed and appreciated.
    Thanks so much Gazza.

  6. What a lovely puzzle – though it was a long slow solve for me. Lots of deft and witty clues, and 5a is priceless. Thanks Gazza.

  7. A certain Magpie is a thief of time! This has taken me simply ages. I found it somewhat tricky but managed to complete it last evening.

    What a lot of delight was derived from what I can only call an NTSPP brimming with Gazzarian humour. Am still chuckling at some of the clues. 5a was my last in and my fave, selected from others like 9a, 11a, 21a, 14d, 18d and 20d.

    I needed help with 6d, 25a and 28a. I haven’t come across ‘naysay’ before. The only answer I couldn’t parse was 12a, although I did recognise that ‘Suez’ was ‘Zeus’ reversed.

    Very big thanks and appreciation to Gazza for a thoroughly enjoyable and challenging NTSPP and to Prolixic for the excellent review. ***** for you both and (at the risk of landing up in the spam trap) a rose each. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

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