NTSPP – 236 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 236

NTSPP – 236

Seasons in the Sun by Windsurfer

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Out thanks to Windsurfer for a seasonal crossword that this reviewer, for one, found to be fun though definitely at the tricky end of the scale.  Looking at the grey clouds and rain outside the window at the moment, it seems as though this crossword was a couple of weeks’ too late as it seems more Autumnal at the moment.

The preamble to the crossword alerted setters to the fact that all of the across clues had a common companion.  This was a seasonal word that could precede all of the answers (some more obscure than others!).  That word was summer!


7 The Italian lying in park rejected flower (5)
TULIP – Put the definite article in Italian inside (lying in) a word meaning park or place down and reverse (rejected) the letters.

8 Fireball illuminating northern parts (9)
LIGHTNING – The abbreviation for northern goes inside (parts) a word meaning illuminating.

10 Friend smashing in court (6)
PALACE – A three letter word for a friend followed by a three letter word meaning smashing or superb.

11 Bucket perhaps for flowering plant (8)
HYACINTH – A double definition with a reference to Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bouquet according to her) in Keeping Up Appearances.  Solvers on other shores may have had difficulty with this one!

12 Leave Virginia – questionable action (8)
VACATION – The abbreviation for the state of Virginia followed by an anagram (questionable) of ACTION.

13 Unfriendly Poland located reactionary (4)
COLD – The answer is hidden and reversed (reactionary) in POLAND LOCATED.  I am not sure that “reactionary” on its own is a sufficient hidden reversal indicator.

14 Lock-up outside extravagant home (7)
COTTAGE – A word meaning a lock-up or jail goes around the abbreviation for over the top (extravagant).

16 See why state may flatten tree (7)
CYPRESS – A homophone (state) of SEE and WHY followed by a word meaning flatten.

20 Return to release date (4)
TIME – Reverse (return) a word meaning to release or give out.

22 Last five disguised in celebration (8)
FESTIVAL – An anagram (disguised) of LAST FIVE.

25 It’s close-set at the beginning of summer (8)
SOLSTICE – An anagram (set) of ITS CLOSE.

26 Centre for some pictures or telephotography (6)\
RESORT – The answer is hidden (some) in PICTURES OR TELEPHOTOGRAPTH

27 Break repairs under tile (9)
INTERLUDE – An anagram (repairs) of UNDER TILE.  Summer Interlude is a film starting Ingrid Bergman.

28 Family airline with posh accommodation (5)
HOUSE – The abbreviation for posh or socially acceptable goes inside (accommodation) another word for a pipe that provides air (airline being a lovely misleading clue sending us down the alleys of commercial travel providers!)


1 Sounds like animal escaped over in African city (8)
BULAWAYO – A homophone (sounds like) of BULL AWAY (animal escaped) followed by the abbreviation for over.

2 Perhaps a trap might be made from this ruin (3,5)
RIP APART – A build your own anagram clue.  Supply your anagram indicator before an arrangement of A TRAP.

3 Fraudulent practice reportedly on the fly (7)
FISHING – A homophone (reportedly) of PHISHING  (a fraudulent practice of trying to get your account details on-line by sending you an e-mail purportedly from your bank, etc).  I went down the wrong route with this one by having TIPPING as in fly-tipping and tipping (reporting a favourable share deal to someone using inside information).

4 Old rule by a God – the chief unknown (8)
THEARCHY – THE (from the clue) followed by ARCH (chief) and Y (unknown) but cannot find a reference to THE as a God.

5 Inferior weak cavity plug (6)
INFILL – The abbreviation for inferior followed by a word meaning weak or unwell.

6 Couple untie knots (5)
UNITE – An anagram (knots) of UNTIE.

9 Lied foolishly in shop (4)
DELI – An anagram (foolishly) of LIED.

15 Animal sounds from terrorist (8)
GUERILLA – An homophone (sounds) of GORILLA.  I think wordplay from definition does not work particularly well.  Definition from wordplay is much preferable.

17 Artist at home location finds watermark (4,4)
RAIN SPOT – The abbreviation for an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy followed by a word meaning at home and a word for location.

18 Plant in main field (8)
SEAGRASS – Another word for the main or a body of water followed by a word for a field.

19 Clue for send maybe shocks? (7)
OFFENDS – Another build your own anagram clue.  Supply an anagram indicator before an arrangement of the letters of SEND.

21 Arch conformity (6)
INSTEP – A word for the arch of the foot which, if split (2,4) would indicate conformity.

23 Energetic agent circles Reading for example (4)
SPRY – The abbreviation for reading (as in the three Rs in education) goes inside a word for an agent.

24 Common couple (5)
JOINT – A double definition, the first used in expressions such as joint enterprise and the second as in to make a connection or join together.



10 comments on “NTSPP – 236

  1. Well we have solved the puzzle and enjoyed it but have not made a lot of progress with the “Common Companion” theme. Perhaps a morning walk along the beach and estuary on a calm, clear and frosty Sunday morning will lead to enlightenment.
    Thanks Windsurfer.

  2. I enjoyed this.
    It took me ages to get the word that could precede all the across answers but when I was almost at the end I got 20 and 25a pretty close together and then saw it.
    I always know if a crossword is difficult for me when I get a couple of the hidden ones before much else!
    I’m still not quite sure about a few of my answers so will wait for the review tomorrow.
    With thanks to Windsurfer and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  3. I have been in a deep crossword solving slump all week ( too much distraction currently in my life) and today was no exception. I am barely making inroads into this. Not the puzzle…just me. Hopefully to morrow will be a better day.

  4. Yet another enjoyable NTSPP! I did manage to complete it all correctly — except the common word. I thought it was ‘winter’ … Oh my!

    11a is my fave clue, and have just been having a good chuckle at the video clip. 3d was my last in, and runner-up fave. Also liked 28a and 1d.

    Many thanks to Windsurfer for an absorbing and enjoyable challenge, and to Prolixic for the excellent review and additional illustrative fun.

    1. Have been chatting about crosswords (what else!). Mr Catnap has reminded me that Summer Lightning (1929) is the title of one of P G Wodehouse’s books.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  5. Thanks to all the posters for the kind comments and to Prolixic for his usual excellent blog with nice pictures. Thanks also to Big Dave for his insightful comments and suggestions for improvement.

    I tried to get rid of the slightly archaic unusual word at 4d but the grid wouldn’t let me do it. I wouldn’t normally put ‘the’ in both clue and answer but in this case I tried to make the wordplay fairly simple to compensate for the difficult word. ‘The chief unknown’ as well as the wordplay might be an allusion to God.

    It was difficult to find 14 words that could be preceded by the theme one, which is why some are ‘a little esoteric.’ However, I think all are legitimate.

  6. I eventually gave up trying and went to the review. Now for the life of me I can’t see why I made such heavy weather of this. It really was all very fair and do-able. I was clearly having an off week. Regarding 11A, Keeping up Appearances re-runs are often shown on BBC America and the public broadcasting stations here in the USA and I am kicking myself for not having solved it! “Thanks to Windsurfer, and to Prolixic for the review.

    1. Keeping Up Appearances also replays on TV here at regular intervals. We have a channel here (popular with us) called UKTV and they re-played the series fairly recently so that one was not a problem for us. Fawlty Towers has even been dragged out of the basement and is re-playing at present. People like Weather presenters and Garden Show hosts are much more difficult for us.

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