NTSPP – 237 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 237

NTSPP – 237

A Puzzle by Wiglaf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

The legendary book of obscure words has been found by Wiglaf and put to good use in this challenging crossword.  I think that I have unpicked the wordplay and set about the review.


1 Indecent wife associated with indecent lad (6)
RIBALD – A three letter archaic word for a wife followed by an anagram (indecent) of LAD.

5 Old Soviet leader could make one fall asleep in the auditorium (8)
ANDROPOV – The indefinite article (one) in the form used before a vowel followed by a homophone (in the auditorium) of DROP OFF (fall asleep).

9 Characters beginning to get laid (9)
ALPHABET – The first letter of the Greek alphabet (beginning) followed by a word meaning laid in the sense of having made a wager.

10 You briefly did time for beating up a freak (6)
ODDITY – An anagram (for beating up) of YO (you briefly) DID T (time).

11 Kitty rings old Irish detective (6)
POIROT – Another word for a kitty or sum of money goes around the abbreviations for old and Irish.

12 Elaborate image? No, a conceit (8)
EGOMANIA – An anagram (elaborate) of IMAGE NO A.

13 Hamlet’s opposite number takes castle wearing women’s underwear (10)
FORTINBRAS – A four letter word for a castle followed by an expression (2,4) that means wearing women’s underwear.

16 Carrier goes round a foreign city (4)
DOHA – Reverse (goes round) a three letter word for a brick carrier and follow this with the A from the clue.

17 Try using four different voices (4)
STAB – The abbreviations for Soprano, Tenor, Alto, Bass (four voices).

19 A German prince in South America who sings very well (10)
SUPERGRASS – Hold on tight!  The abbreviation for South and a two letter abbreviation for America include (in) a three letter word for A (as in a head or each), the abbreviation for German and a three letter word for an Ethiopian prince.

21 Tell everybody the teapot’s broken? (5,3)
SPOUT OFF – A teapot without the spout would be broken!

23 She could be pulled in after palming a little money (6)
MADAME – A word meaning pulled in or earned includes (after palming) the A from the clue and the abbreviation (little) for money.

25 Cover for rector when parting knobbly knees (6)
SKREEN – An unusual spelling given in Chambers.  An anagram (knobbly) of KNEES includes (when parting) the abbreviation for rector

26 Male character involved in New York event for women (3,5)
HEN PARTY – A two letter male pronoun followed by the abbreviation for New York inside which you add a word (involved) for a character or role in a film or play.

27 King, wearing frilly panties, offers asylum (5-3)
SNAKE-PIT – An abbreviation for King goes inside (wearing) an anagram (frilly) of PANTIES.

28 Boil requires cotton on it with salve ultimately (6)
SEETHE – A three letter word meaning cotton on or understand followed by the final letters (ultimately) of iT witH salveE.


2 Home Office supports revolutionary soldier (5)
IGLOO – A small room in the house for which “office” is a euphemism goes underneath (supports) a reversal (revolutionary) of an American soldier.

3 Wash in front of the others, after removing tops, and dry (7)
ATHIRST – Remove the first letters from BATH (wash) FIRST (in front of the others).

4 First-timers’ “date & dance” finally ends about one (9)
DEBUTANTS – The abbreviation for date and the final letter of dancE followed by a word for ends or bottoms around the indefinite article (one) used before a vowel (already used in 5a).

5 Father had a pot to boil right away (2,3,4,2,1,3)
AT THE DROP OF A HAT – An anagram (boil) of FATHER HAD A POT TO.

6 Female cross with daughter, getting on well with doctor (5)
DSOMO – The abbreviation for daughter goes over (getting on) a word meaning well or very (as in I was well or very pleased) and a two letter abbreviation for a doctor.

7 Card game for spinster (3,4)
OLD MAID – A double definition.

8 Some birds love to get instruction in developing chests (8)
OSTRICHES – The abbreviation for love followed by an anagram (developing) of CHESTS inside which you add the abbreviation for religious instruction.

14 Frank gets away with small fine in dock (9)
OUTSPOKEN – A three letter word meaning gets away or escapes followed by the abbreviation for small and a word for a dock or cage inside which you add the abbreviation for fine (in the sense of acceptable).

15 Scrap workers in street beginning to sell various items (9)
SORTMENTS – Inside the abbreviation for street add a three letter dialect for a scrap of food and another word for workers and follow all of this with the first letter (beginning to) of sell.

18 Jazzman who played piano, bass and sport followed by a lot of beer (8)
BRUBECK – The abbreviation for bass (already used in 17a) followed by the abbreviation for rugby union and the first four letters (a lot of) a brand of a beer.

20 Bureaucracy? It’s a bloody bind (3,4)
RED TAPE – Another word for bloody (in the colourful sense) and a word meaning to bind.

22 Admit to having done something wrong in work? Not entirely, it seems (3,2)
OWN UP – I think that this is a combination of a hidden word and build your own anagram clue.  The letters iN WOrk (not entirely) form the subject of an anagram clue that means admit to having done something wrong.

24 It strikes me as totally crazy having only starters (5)
MATCH – The initial letters (only starters) of Me As Totally Crazy Having.



22 comments on “NTSPP – 237

  1. Thanks to Wiglaf for the enjoyable lunchtime entertainment. I found some of the clues pretty tricky but got there in the end – my favourites were 28a and 18d.

  2. Struggling with this one. So far managed only about half.

    Are the incorrect enumerations intentional? (1a, 9a & 8d to name but three)

  3. I found this very tricky but did, just about, get there in the end.
    I can’t untangle 19a or 15 or 22d.
    I’ve never heard of the 16a city and haven’t seen 25a spelt like this before. I only knew 6d because of Scrabble!
    The surface readings of 25 and 27a made me laugh.
    Lots of good clues so I’ll just pick a few – 1 and 28a and 3 and 20d.
    I thought this was very enjoyable and it’s kept me occupied on a wet afternoon so thanks to Wiglaf.

  4. Thanks Wiglaf; this was pretty tricky with unusually spelt 6d and 25a. Part of 15 is a dialect word, although I see it is in my Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

    There’s one or two that I still can’t parse, so have to consult tomorrow’s blog. I had to look up Hamlet as I had forgotten most of the characters. I liked 5a, 21a, 26, 27

    1. Wiglaf did ask me to add the word local to 15 down, but I persuaded him that it would make the clue even harder to solve if clued as “Local scrap workers in street beginning to sell various items”.

      What do you think?

        1. PS – Have just looked up the second, third and fourth letters in BRB – now I only have two answers that I don’t understand!

  5. 15d was our last one to yield in a puzzle that we found quite tricky. Very grateful to a couple of trekking trips to Nepal many years ago that made 6d possible. Guessed the enumeration was a mistake and ignored it. Good challenge, good fun.
    Thanks Wiglaf.

  6. This has been a case of pick up and put down all day. I found it very challenging indeed and was slow to see the anagrams. I have an answer for 4D but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The only word I know that might fit 6D doesn’t seem to work with the clue. There are several others that I will need the review to understand fully, including the last three letters of 1D. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed this much, because it was such a slog. But no doubt I will be kicking myself tomorrow when all is revealed. 18D did bring back some good memories though.

    On the plus side, we are getting some much needed rain.

      1. Yep. And I went to the grid and checked and my answer is correct, but I still can’t fully parse it. I wonder if he’s spelling it the way I do, or am I just brain dead this evening? I suspect the latter!

        1. The answer is the male version of these first-timers – the female version has an additional letter.

          1. I understood the answer (though I didn’t know there was a male version before now) but it’s how to fully unravel the clue that is stumping me.

            You are on late duty tonight, Gazza! I appreciate it.

            1. The single-letter abbreviation for Date + final letter of dancE + ‘ends’ containing indefinite article (one).

  7. I found this very enjoyable, but some of it very difficult. Tie faves were 13a and 21a, and I also particularly liked 17a and 18d.

    I was defeated by 19a and 6d, and am very glad to have had them explained. Although I had the answers, I didn’t fully understand the wordplay of 28a, 3d, and 4d. I had all the parsing for 15d except the three-letter dialect word, which is new to me.

    Many thanks, Wiglaf for a tricky but enjoyable challenge. Many thanks, Prolixic, for the super review. I really needed the excellent clarifications.

    (Caught my finger on the wrong key and text just vanished… Sorry about the age this has taken to post.)

  8. Thanks, Prolixic, for the excellent review. Just to clarify 22 dn, the answer is intended to indicate a reversal rather than an anagram.

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