NTSPP – 248 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 248

NTSPP – 248

A Puzzle by Gazza

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Everyone seems to thoroughly enjoy Gazza’s puzzles, so here’s another.

A review of this puzzle by Prolific follows.


1 Dig around far end of slate quarry (4)
PREY – Another word for dig or look into around the final letter (far end) of slate.

3 It’s characteristic of boys to conceal quiet pee in water (5,5)
ADAMS APPLE – A phrase meaning water (as a drink) (5,3) includes (to conceal) the abbreviation for quiet and the letter that sounds like pee.

10 Female wannabe badly mixed-up and orientationally discontented (7)
LADYBOY – An anagram (mixed up) of BADLY followed by the outer letters (discontented) of Orientationally.

11 Tube‘s improving but not right around historic city (7)
BURETTE – Remove the R from a word meaning improving and put the remaining letters around the old biblical city.

12 In job-centre a clerk offers intolerable sentimentality (7)
TREACLE – The answer is hidden inside (in) JOB-CENTRE A CLERK

13 Two men pre-empt news of aged relative’s record award (6)
GRAMMY – Another word for a grandmother (aged relative) has both Ns (news) replaced by two Ms (two men).

15 Topless young ladies – Jenny and Charlie? (5)
ASSES – Remove the first letter (topless – In an across clue?) from a word meaning young ladies to give the animal known as a Jenny / a fool (Charlie).

16 /26d: Child support line subjected to cut (9,4)
UMBILICAL CORD – The item that is cut immediately following birth.

18 John Le Carré for one‘s bursting – use my pond! (9)
PSEUDONYM – An anagram (bursting) of USE MY POND.

21 Summit conference to begin tackling one subject … (5)
TOPIC – A three letter word for a summit or peak followed by the first letter (to begin) of conference go around (tackling) the letter representing one.

23 … where questions may be asked of those who’ve already departed (6)
SÉANCE – A mild cryptic reference of the session where you try to contact the dead.

25 Deprived leading lady’s view regularly ignored by director (7)
STARVED – Another word for a leading lady (or man) followed by the odd letters (regularly ignored) of view and the abbreviation for director.

27 Character of gas shortage restricted Germany in agreement (2,1,4)
OF A MIND – The chemical symbol (character) for Oxygen (gas) followed by a word for a shortage or lack of food with the final letter removed (restricted) and the IVR code for Germany.

28 Tinseltown’s foremost award has bad smell with the French concluding it’s a lottery (7)
TOMBOLA – The first letter (foremost) of Tinseltown followed by the abbreviation for Order of Merit (award) and the abbreviation for body odour (bad smell) and the French feminine form of the.

29 Correspond and link up with Morecambe? (2,8)
DO LIKEWISE – Split 2, 4, 4, the answer would suggested following the example of Eric Morcambe’s comedy partner.

30 Unguarded spots (4)
RASH – A double definition of a lot of spots or reckless / unguarded behaviour.


1 Top MP is all freaked out by visible indications of power (5,5)
PILOT LAMPS – An anagram (freaked out) of TOP MP IS ALL.

2 Constant ambition’s toned down … (7)
ENDLESS – Another word for ambition or purpose followed by a word meaning toned down or reduced.

4 … that’s just the ticket for one lacking staying power (3,6)
DAY RETURN – The type of railway ticket you would buy if you were not planning on staying somewhere overnight and wanted to get back home.

5 Villainous heavyweight fighter’s touring Britain, staging a comeback (2,3)
MR BIG – The name of a Russian fighter jet goes around (touring) a reversal (staging a comeback) of the two letter abbreviation for Britain.

6 Flyposting? (7)
AIRMAIL – A cryptic definition of the type of post that goes on a plane to reach its destination.

7 Old Scotsman’s floored by drug runner in Washington (7)
POTOMAC – … the name of a river (runner).  The abbreviation for old and a word for a Scotsman goes underneath (floored by) another word for cannabis (drug).

8 Got a load of colour up round top of ears (4)
EYED – Reverse (up) another word for colour (as in to tint something) around the first letter (top of) ears.

9 A graduate copper’s one you can count on (6)
ABACUS – The A from the clue followed by an abbreviation for a graduate’s first degree and the chemical symbol for copper with the S (from the ‘s in the clue).

14 Multiple killer‘s held back at resort (5,5)
BLACK DEATH – An anagram (re-sort) of HELD BACK AT.

17 Bimbos set out to get spots obliterated (4,5)
BOMB SITES – An anagram (out) of BIMBOS SET.

19 Look at you, old-fashoned wearing unfamiliar label (7)
EYEBALL – An anagram (unfamiliar) of LABEL goes around the old word for you.

20 Dingy Scottish church from where host was rescued (7)
DUNKIRK – … host being an army or armies.  A three letter word for dingy followed by the name used in Scotland for a church.

21 Old are upset over university scholar’s distressing experience (6)
TRAUMA – Reverse (upset) an old word meaning art and follow this with the abbreviation for University and the second degree that might be received by a scholar.

22 Sweet dancer (7)
PAVLOVA – A double definition of the ballerina and the dessert named in her honour.

24 Settle on climax that’s painful (5)
ENDOW – A three letter word for a climax or finish followed by a two letter word meaning that’s painful.

26 See 16 Across

12 comments on “NTSPP – 248

  1. Nice one Gazza. Well up to your usual standard and not too tricky at all. Fav was 29a but 1d also deserves a mention.

    Ta muchy.

  2. Another hit, Gazza! I definitely found it tricky in places, with a couple of terms new to me in 1D and 10A (different expressions used over here). 24D took me a while and 29A was my last one in. 7D was a gimme for me, though, so I’m certainly not complaining. 3A was my favorite.

  3. What a glorious start to the weekend – thank you so much, gazza. At least six clues vying for the ‘favourite’ spot!

    3a had SO many potential answers – several of which, sadly, wouldn’t have fitted the grid. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    10a evoked many memories – a holiday in Thailand followed by a theatre visit to the Lowry in Manchester, a totally unexpected response to same and a subsequent purchase of a most enlightening book written by Richard Totman. I won’t mention the title but I’m sure BD will xxx me out if I’ve given too much away already.

    I’ve only ‘known’ you thus far as a great reviewer – my respect has grown enormously after this jewel of a puzzle. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  4. What a day! A first rate Saturday cryptic beaten into second place on the day by this impeccable effort from Gazza which I could not have enjoyed more. My rating is 2*/5*.

    My misspent youth in a chemistry lab. helped with 11a and Mrs RD makes a 22d to die for.

    My page is littered with asterisks and it would be impossible to try to pick a single favourite. Great innuendo, great surface readings. Thank you so much Gazza, and please keep them coming!

  5. Another lovely puzzle from Gazza – always fair, witty and a bit saucy too. I’m with Rabbit Dave in rating it 2*/5*.

  6. Great clues. Apart from 15a as my daughter is named Charlie and definitely not an ass. I haven’t worked out 5d and 21d yet but I shall keep trying. 29a brought back some good memories of sketches from Eric and Ernie. Lots of favourite clues such as the very clever 3a. So it’s thank you Gazza and as 10a might say: I love you long time.

  7. Another belter from Gazza, always fun to do, though I did struggle on a few.

    Thanks to Prolixic for review, needed to clear up some word play.

    thanks Gazza.

  8. Very late getting on to this. It was a special treat waiting for us when we returned from our weekend away. An excellent puzzle that we thoroughly enjoyed.
    Thanks Gazza and Prolixic.

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