NTSPP – 243 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 243

NTSPP – 243

A Puzzle by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

A crossword from Gazza is always a treat to be enjoyed and this crossword was no exception.  I hope that I have done justice to his fiendish mind in the review that follows.


9 Block internment in central Afghan village (5)
ANVIL – The answer is hidden (internment in central) AFGHAN VILLAGE.

10 What gets pushed out for lavish celebration? School transport (4,5)
BOAT TRAIN – The word goes in the phrase “push the **** out” followed by a word meaning school or teach.

11 Team crack when wingers red-carded resulting in complaint (7)
EARACHE – The central letters (wingers red-carded or sent off) of TEAM CRACK WHEN.

12 Fixes time for soft intimate touches (7)
TICKLES – Replace the P with a T (time for soft) at the beginning of a word meaning fixes or problems.

13 On Twitter you are being linked with a second affair (5)
AMOUR – The A from the clue followed by a two letter word meaning second followed by the way you would abbreviate “you are” when tweeting.

14 Flags up money pocketed in bribe (7)
BUNTING – … flags that flutter when up.  A three letter slang word for money inside a four letter word for a bribe.

16 Turn down cheesy snack? (3)
DIP – A double definition, the first in relation to a financial down turn and the second a snack that may contain cheese.

18 Revolving door led one into dashing off absent-mindedly (7)
DOODLER – An anagram (revolving) of DOOR LED.

19 Bonus point (3)
TIP – A double definition, the first being a gratuity or bonus payment and the second the point of a sharp object.

22 Right honourable tot’s carried round part of Wales (7)
RHONDDA – The abbreviation of Right Honourable followed by a reversed (carried around) of a word meaning to tot or calculate the sum of something.

23 Unfortunately Lady Gaga’s behind sagged from the outset (5)
SADLY – An anagram (unfortunately) of LADY after (behind) the first letter (from the outset) of sagged.

25 In bygone days bargees’ slang got regularly quoted (4,3)
AGES AGO – The even letters (regularly quoted) of BARGEES SLANG GOT.

27 Asian city centre turned out for classy detective (7)
COLUMBO – Take the O (out) and change it to a U (classy) in the name of the capital of Sri Lanka.

29 Virgin, possibly short of excitement, infiltrates artist’s studio? On the contrary (5,4)
TRADE NAME – A word meaning short of excitement or not wild goes around the two letter designation of an artist and a three letter word for a studio.

30 Article about rumpy-pumpy that’s contributed by churchgoer (5)
TITHE – The definite article goes around a two letter euphemism for sex (rumpy-pumpy).



1 /13d/21d: Fit beer pump in two pieces inside convenient container (4,3,6)
HALE AND HEARTY – Inside a word meaning convenient (container reinforces the containment indicator) add separately a word for beer and the organ the pumps blood.

2 Burn duck after limited cooker starts to ruin dinner (6)
OVERDO – A four letter word for a cooker with the final letter removed (limited) followed by the initial letters (starts to) of Ruin Dinner and finally the letter for zero (a duck in cricket).

3 At selected times you may be aroused by words from this … (5,5)
CLOCK RADIO – A mildly cryptic definition of a type of device that can wake you in the morning with words or music depending on which station you have tuned into.

4 … topless black virtuoso (4)
ABLE – Remove the first letter (topless) from a word used in heraldry to indicate black.

5 Nail a stage run in the region of Cambridge (4,6)
EAST ANGLIA – An anagram (run) of NAIL A STAGE.

6 Lug related books around after one (4)
OTIC – The abbreviation for Old Testament (books) followed by the letter for one and the abbreviation for about or circa.

7 Reason for abandoning poor clue? (3,5)
BAD LIGHT – Why play may be abandoned in cricket could also be a poor crossword clue (light).

8 With no discrimination might suggest relationship on campus! (6)
UNISEX – Split 3,3 for a relationship on campus.

13 See 1 Down

14 Malfunctioning loo badly drenches soldiers up at the palace – an issue possibly (5-5)
BLOOD ROYAL – An anagram (malfunctioning) of LOO BADLY goes around a reversal (up) of a two letter abbreviation for soldiers.

15 Our sterile training makes us indecisive (10)
IRRESOLUTE – An anagram (training) of OUR STERILE.

17 Member gets seized by randy ape’s clan finally – hard cheese! (8)
PARMESAN – Another word for a limb or body member goes inside an anagram (randy) of APES and this is followed by the final letter of clan.

20 Thick students forfeited reward (3)
PAY – Remove two Ls (students in the plural) from a word meaning thick in the sense of being very friendly.

21 See 1 Down

24 Downgrade in English test welcomed by both sides in dispute (6)
DEMOTE – Inside the first and last letters (both sides in) of dispute add the abbreviation for English and the type of test older cars must undergo annually.

26 Top copy’s in need of correction (4)
APEX – A word meaning copy or imitate followed by the sign that something is wrong and needs to be corrected.

27 With one stroke maybe team was triumphant (4)
CREW – In a boat, there is only one stroke (leading oarsman) in this group. The word also means to have boasted or was triumphant.

28 Newspaper comments on Princess Eugenie’s daring tops (2-2)
OP-ED – The initial letters (tops) of On Princess Eugenie’s Daring.

16 comments on “NTSPP – 243

  1. Great stuff Gazza and better than a lot of the stuff we get on the back page. Loads of good clues but fav has to be 11a, worthy of Virgilius on a good day http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif Oh, and that sound you heard a few minutes ago? It wasn’t thunder, it was my penny dropping on 1d – very clever!

    Thanks for the fun and roll on your next one.

  2. Nice one Gazza. After a relatively easy ride today with the back pager, this put up much more of a fight. It was absorbing and enjoyable, with a good sprinkling of humour and innuendo.

    Although readily derivable from the wordplay, the answers to 14d and 28d were new to me. I found the first but not the second in my BRB, so needed Google for the latter.

    I absolutely agree with Pommers about 11a and 1d; they were both brilliant and (almost) my last two in. I say almost because I still haven’t written in my final letter. I can’t fully parse 20d to decide whether the definition is “thick” making the middle letter “L” or “reward” when it would be a “A”! I expect I’m being thick in being beaten by a three letter word!

    Many thanks Gazza. Keep up the great work.

        1. And finally “D’oh!” Thanks to 2K and P.

          I had twigged that the plural was important but I was fixated that it involved putting an s after one student; and my problem was compounded by missing completely this specific meaning of “thick”.

          Gazza, very cleverly done – you devious so and so.

  3. A truly wonderful puzzle Gazza. Not easy by any means, but very clever and very satisfying. We started off in the NE as we usually do and moved on with only one answer in. Slowly moved around the grid to come back to where we started and, like pommers, finished off with 1d and 11a.
    Many thanks Gazza.

  4. Hey, I never said 11a was a late arrival – in fact it was my first in. It was then I knew there was something special in store, and for once I wasn’t wrong! 1d though was a mind bender. Eventually twigged from all the checkers and the sudden realisation of what the hidden def was – hence D’OH x 10 and the thunderclap heard across western Europe, although that just might be the weather we’re having here at the moment.

    As said, brill stuff Gazza and I’ll rint this for pommette to have a go at.

  5. Yikes! Unlike some others, 1D was almost my first one in…not just solved but parsed and checked off as a potential favorite. But it’s been all down hill from there. I have most of the LHS in but the RHS is almost wide open. Hoping that a night’s sleep might bring some enlightenment.

  6. Well, this morning found me still staring at an almost empty RHS. I knew 5D was an anagram but just couldn’t see it. I finally looked at the answer which I felt might open things up. (It’s very hard to look at just one hint without seeing too much of the illustrations above! You have to scrunch your eyes up and scroll quickly.) And indeed 5D did open up that side, but in truth it was mostly a question of “If it fits, bung it in and work it out after.” Who said that? Was it Gnomey? Anyway, having bunged ’em in and worked ’em out, I am in awe of the fiendishly devious Gazza. Quite brilliant. Many thanks to Prolixic for the super review, too.

    Now back to the MPP, where I have precisely six answers!

  7. I’m not sure that I can add much to what has already been said but when did that ever stop me?! Brilliant. It’s taken me a long time and I’ve loved every single hour.
    It was pretty much as tricky as I can cope with.
    I was defeated by Princess Eugenie and her beastly tops – never heard of it and I missed the relevance of the ‘tops’.
    I can’t possibly pick out any particular clues, let alone just one favourite, because they were all wonderful.
    Congratulations and thanks to gazza http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif. Thanks also to Prolixic.

  8. Managed just over two-thirds and was frankly pretty pleased with myself! Answers revealed that it was mostly the abbreviations that had let me down – I guess that’s something only experience will improve.
    7d came in a true ‘light bulb’ moment – driving back from Cheshire as dusk fell and needing to put the car lights on!!!
    Many thanks gazza – always guessed that you were a clever devil. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  9. Many thanks to Prolixic for the write-up and to all who commented. I didn’t intend to make it too difficult and certainly not fiendish but it’s hard to judge the difficulty when you know the answers. I’ll try to make the next one a bit less fiendish!

  10. Thanks to Gazza and Prolixic for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but was too difficult for me. Needed 5 look ups and 2 hints to finish. Did a fair bit though, and really enjoyed the challenge. Favourite was 22a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  11. What a clever construction of handy ale & heart for 1d. And all the others come to think of it. It took me a long time to sort out some of the clues and had to reveal the answers on at least four clues, I really enjoyed the challenge. Thank you Gazza and proliXic for the review.

Comments are closed.