NTSPP – 241 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 241

NTSPP – 241

A Puzzle by Wiglaf

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows

Congratulations to Wiglaf on a superb crossword that will undoubtedly have increased the number of users of the Mine to find the corresponding states for their capital cities that were the theme of the across answers.

Apologies for the lateness of the review.  Time seems to have vanished this weekend.


6 Deer takes shallow route across river (8)
HARTFORD (Connecticut) – Another word for a male deer followed by the name given to a shallow river crossing.

8 An English saint’s day at last (6)
ALBANY (New York) – The first English believer to be martyred and honoured in the name of a Hertfordshire town followed by the final latter (at last) of day.

10 Famous woman abducted by Paris Academician (6)
HELENA (Montan) – The name of the woman whose capture triggered the Trojan War followed by the abbreviation for Academican

11 Well-heeled demi-mondaine (8)
RICHMOND (Virginia) – Another word for having a lot of money followed by the first half (demi) of MONDaine.

12 Heather’s concealing the answer (7)
LANSING (Michigan) – The abbreviation for answer goes inside another word for the plant heather.

14 Stray, after tucking into food, … (6)
PIERRE (South Dakota) – Another word for stray or commit an error goes inside a type of food encased or topped with pastry.

15 … remains very poorly in Tyneside (9)
NASHVILLE (Tennessee) – Another word for burnt remains, the abbreviation for very and another word for poorly all go inside the area of the country were Tyneside is to be found.

19 Daughter’s never out of style (6)
DENVER (Colorado) – The abbreviation for daughter followed by an anagram (out of style) of NEVER.

21 Student requires pass to enter bar (7)
LINCOLN (Nebraska) – The abbreviation for a pupil followed by another word for a mountain pass inside another word for a bar or public house.

23 What sounds like a business logo (8)
BISMARCK (North Dakota) – A homophone of biz (business) mark (logo).

25 Fanny Adams staggered away from giving in to the devil? (6)
AUSTIN (Texas) – Remove the letters in the abbreviation for Fanny Adam from Faustian (giving in to the devil)

26 Crown? I’ve found it abandoned by river (6)
TOPEKA (Kansas) – Another word for a crown followed by the famous exclamation of Archimedes having removed URE (river).

27 Timid girl in conversation (8)
CHEYENNE (Wyoming) – A homophone of shy Anne.


1 New star emitting a wave that’s dispersed (6)
STRWEN – An anagram (wave) of NEW STAR after removing the letter A.

2 Officials harassed senorita (8)
NOTARIES – An anagram (harassed) of SENORITA.

3 Hold court every so often to create a stink in these cities (4)
ODOR – … the American spelling from the alternate letters (every so often) of hOlD cOuRt.

4 Nutty cutlet for starters followed by a bit of pineapple cake (6)
MADCAP – … cake as in a slang word for a fool. A three letter word meaning nutty or insane followed by the first letter of cutlet, the A from the clue and the first letter of pineapple.

5 Jack live with potential energy on electrical unit (8)
ABAMPERE – … a unit equal to 10 amperes. A two letter abbreviation for a sailor (jack) followed by a two letter word meaning live or exist, the abbreviation for potential energy and the abbreviation meaning on or about.

7 A bit of a tit tackled role in Carmen? (6)
AREOLA – … the dark coloured area surrounding the nipple (sorry Gazza but no picture clue for this one). An anagram (tacked) of ROLE inside AA (car men).

9 Tracey initially hurried on over to display her work? (3-3)
NON-ART – Reverse (over) the first letter of Tracey and RAN ON.

13 Offered learner driver a banger? (5)
GAVEL – A four letter word meaning offered or handed over followed by the abbreviation for a learner.

15 Covering up ashes after five effigies are burned during this time (8)
NOVEMBER – Another word for covering or over reversed (up), the Roman numeral for five and another word for ashed.

16 Ruled through investing in bogus tele-ad (8)
LINEATED – IN (through) goes inside an anagram (bogus) of TELE-AD.

17 Actor from Brazil employed by Droylsden ironworks (2,4)
DE NIRO – The answer is hidden inside (employed by) DROYLSDEN IRONWORKS.

18 Foreign national, I note, is briefly going in and out (6)
INDIAN – The I from the clue and the abbreviation for note followed by the first letter (briefly) of Is inside an anagram (out) of AND.

20 Surprisingly dearer? Maybe check the small print again (6)
REREAD – An anagram (surprisingly) of DEARER.

22 Fought to get Jack ejected? Just so (6)
OUSTED – … just so implying that the wordplay element is also the definitionRemove the abbreviation for Jack from jousted.

24 Abandon that book Icke penned (4)
KICK – The answer is hidden inside BOOK ICKE.

23 comments on “NTSPP – 241

  1. Thanks to Wiglaf for a very entertaining crossword (much more enjoyable than the Telegraph’s Saturday offering). There was a new word for me at 5d and a new meaning at 4d. Luckily I did once (a long time ago) learn all the across answers but they were cleverly clued here. Top clues for me were 21a, 26a and 7d.

    1. Just started on this. Having got 6A and 11A, I have a feeling that I am particularly going to enjoy this puzzle!

      1. I’ve just started this too – felt a bit at sea to begin with having only got 23a – tried very hard to think what gazza might have learnt all of but have now just got 19a so I think I’m on my way now.

  2. A very slow start and an even slower finish … still have 16d unsolved.

    I’m amazed that I knew so many of the Across clues.

    I’m in awe of Wiglaf for setting such a puzzle!

    The reference to Carmen in 7d made me spill my beer! LOL!

    1. If you still don’t have it, it’s an anagram of the 2-letter word in the clue and the hyphenated word.

  3. Oh, clever, clever Wiglaf! Done, except for 7D. I have absolutely no idea there. Naturally, I loved this, though admit to staring at 27A for ages. Really liked 8D (my sentiments exactly) but 25A has to be my favorite. And my answer for 3D makes perfect sense now.

    1. Never mind. I have an answer for 7D now and even understand the Carmen bit. I have to say that the wording in this clue is disappointing.

    2. I have an answer to 7d which makes sense for the first part of the clue but how Carmen got in there remains mystery. I have a complete blind spot about 9d i.e. no answer at all and don’t understand 21 or 25a although they seem to fit so, as Miffypops would say, if it fits bung it in! Will wait for tomorrow now . . .

      1. Arggh. I said 8D and meant 9D. Bear in mind the question mark and think about the unmade bed person and what she’s made her name for, in my opinion anyway! For 25A, think about who sold his soul to the devil, without sweet Fanny Adams to show for it!

      2. 7d These car men come to fix your car when you break down.
        21a The pass is a mountain pass.
        25a Start with a ******** pact with the devil then take away the F and the second A.

      3. Thank you very much Expat Chris and gazza. These were driving me mad and I don’t think I’d ever have sorted them out for myself – should have got the 21a pass but I know I’d never have got the ‘Carmen’ in the reign of Sam.

  4. Well, when I started I wondered why some of the clues didn’t seem to have a definition until I checked the .pdf file, doh! Nice setting to fit in all the theme words, although inevitably some were more familiar than others, so Mrs Google had to help me with a list. Only really 5d was an unusual word.

    Like stanXYZ, I loved 7d, which was my favourite – it produced the same reaction http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif when I saw what ‘Carmen’ was about [after Googling the roles in said opera]

    P.S. There don’t seem to be many people rating the puzzle with stars above – it’s always useful feedback to the setter.

    1. Actually, I don’t think the star ratings are very helpful. What I’ve noticed is that the first two or three votes that come in (for most NTSPPs) are of the 3-5* level, and then there is a flurry of 1* ratings. Either there is a group of extremely pernickety solvers who never post or there are some people who take a perverse delight in lambasting those who provide their puzzles for free.

      1. I’ve noticed that, but it’s not just the NTSPPs that get targetted by these sad individuals. Many Toughies are also subjected to a cluster of 1* ratings.

  5. Once we had got a couple of the across clues we Googled a list as most were unknown to us. 7d was our last one in too and also had us searching a list until the penny dropped.
    Thanks Wiglaf.

    1. Tailor made for me! Some of the answers (like 14A and 26A) are definitely less familiar to most, though.

  6. Think I’ve finally got four of the ‘downs’ and one ‘across’. Going to lie down in a darkened room and feel sorry for myself. Goodness knows what Gazza learnt a list of, all those years ago! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  7. I thought the most difficult bit was sussing out what all the across clues had in common.
    Having read all the clues through once I had two answers – 20 and 24d – but then got 23a so “Dear Mr Google . . . “.
    I knew the Prime Minister and the battleship but had no idea it was also a US State capital – more dithering but then found 19a – decision time!
    After that and with a lot more help from Mr Google I got going and really enjoyed the crossword.
    There were some new words and also some answers that I couldn’t sort out for myself.
    I liked 26 and 27a and 3 and 15d. My favourite, once I understood it, was 7d.
    With thanks to Wiglaf and in advance to Prolixic.

  8. Having been warned about the across clues I started with the downs, hoping to get some checkers. Then it was 3d that gave the game away as the answer I came up with was the American spelling of the stink and it mentioned “these cities”. Aha, I thought – the acrosses will be US cities! At that stage I didn’t realize the capital bit but that didn’t make much difference as many of the across clues had become write-ins.

    Thanks Wiglaf – I enjoyed it.

  9. There I was, sitting in the heather watching the Chough wheeling overhead when the light bulb moment came! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif My problem was that the only one I had in was 11a so I was pootling about on the wrong side of the Pond!
    All across clues now answered – I’m off to tackle the downs.

    By the way, Sweet William – did you ever find the Crested Tits? Far easier in the Spring when the males are singing. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  10. YES – I got there! Confession – had to get help for 5d (new word) and 7d (I wouldn’t have spelled it that way). Am I improving or was this just a lucky day?

  11. Thanks for the entertainment, Wiglaf. This puzzle was fun! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    Most especially liked 7d! Other down clues I particularly liked were 3d and 22d. Of the across clues, I really liked 25a (my runner-up fave), 6a, 10a, 11a, and 27a. I thought this last a clever homophone, but I did have to look up the answer before the penny dropped. (Oh dear!)

    I had a few down clues, and then got 19a, which roused my suspicions as to the theme. 23a and 26a provided confirmation. I did try to work out all the across answers by the wordplay only and mostly succeeded. I needed to check my answers, though, as I’m not as familiar with the subject as I should be. 5d is a new word for me, which I arrived at from the wordplay. Again, I had to look it up to see what it meant and to verify it was a word! I’m not quite sure if I’ve parsed 18d correctly, but other than that, I had no problems.

    Thanks in advance to Prolixic for the review.

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