NTSPP – 252 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 252

NTSPP – 252

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.

A quality crossword from Wiglaf.  The nine themed answers (shown in green) were all names of films made by Alfred Hitchcock.


1 Young Conservative in store moving quietly to the front (6)
PSYCHO – Put the abbreviation for Young Conservatives inside another word for a store or retail outlet and move the P (quietly) to the front.

5 Father’s the catalyst – not me (6)
FRENZY – The abbreviation for Father followed by another word for a catalyst in biological reactions without the ME at the end.

10 Wash food that’s been processed, then cook in a special tub (6,2,1,5)
SHADOW OF A DOUBT – An anagram (that’s been processed) of WASH FOOD followed by the A from the clue and an anagram (special) of TUB inside which you add another word for cook or diddle.

11 About to fall in love, son? Write poems on a different subject (10)
DIGRESSING – The abbreviation for on or about goes inside another word for love or like and the abbreviation for son.  This is followed by a word meaning write poems.

12 Love admitted by a pair of ostlers coming together (4)
EROS – The answer is hidden inside OSTLER OSTLER (pair of ostlers).

13 “Drop your weapons” said Mr Fantastic (6)
DISARM – An anagram (fantastic) of SAID MR.

15 Time to acquire “Brideshead Revisited” after being reduced by 30% (3,5)
THE BIRDS –  The abbreviation for time followed by an anagram (revisited) of the BRIDESHEAD minus the final three letters (reduced by 30%).

17 Maiden I whipped is in spanking condition (8)
UNMARRED – Remove the I (whipped) from a word meaning a maiden or single person.

20 Girl retired after six in European city (6)
VIENNA – One of the themed answers.  The Roman numerals for six followed by a reversal (retired) of a girl’s name.

21 Scrabble without the letter ‘G’ (4)
ROPE – One of the themed answers.  Remove the G from the beginning of a word meaning scrabble or fumble.

23 Roger Black, a hip tormented writer (10)
BIOGRAPHER – An anagram (tormented) of ROGER B A HIP, the B being the abbreviation for black.

25 Etherised goat (5,9)
UNDER CAPRICORN – One of the themed answers.  Another word for being etherised or having had an anaesthetic followed by the star sign represented by the goat.

26 Cane to thrash scoundrel’s behind? The opposite (6)
RATTAN – Another word for a scoundrel goes before (rather than behind) another word meaning to thrash.

27 Flicks nuts to arse (6)
OATERS – … as in films.  An anagram (nuts) of TO ARSE.


2 Movie set in South American island being shown (9)
SUSPICION – On of the themed answers.  Another (abbreviated) word for a movie goes inside the abbreviations for South, American and Island.  This is followed by a word meaning being shown.

3 One hosts meetings daily to make case for independence (5)
CHAIR – Another word for a daily or cleaner holds (makes a case for) the abbreviation for independence.

4 Marsupial and mouse? Spot both endlessly fighting (7)
OPOSSUM – An anagram of MOUS SPO (mouse and spot with their final letters removed).

6 Seat gauges regularly used in debate – not for the first time (7)
REARGUE – Another word for a seat or bottom followed by the odd letters (regularly) of GAUGES.

7 Coin new word by translating Erse into English (9)
NEOTERISE – An anagram (translating) of ERSE INTO E (E for English).

8 Lout starting to bash young man over nothing (5)
YOBBO – Reverse (over) the first letter (starting to) of bash and another word for a young man and follow this by the letter representing nothing.

9 Council is drunk after drinking contest (6)
SOVIET – Another word for a drunken person includes (drinking) another word for contest.

14 Humiliation of worthless soldiers in revolutionary army (9)
ABASEMENT – Reverse (revolutionary) the abbreviation for the territorial army (as was) and include inside another word for worthless or corrupt and a word for soldiers.

16 Jailer tortured nude Negro (9)
DUNGEONER – An anagram (tortured) of NUDE NEGRO.

18 Old instrument cases (7)
REBECCA – Another of the themed answers.  The name of an old musical instrument is followed by the abbreviation for cases.

19 Flagging without resources, travelling north through Benin (6)
DROOPY  – The IVR code for Benin includes (trough) a reversal (travelling north) of a word meaning without resources.

20 India invests in green energy (7)
VERTIGO – Another of the themed answers.  The abbreviation for India goes inside (invests in) a word meaning green and another word meaning energy.

22 I have outgrown erotic skirts (5)
OWNER – The answer is hidden inside (skirts) OUTGROWN EROTIC.

24 Non-U French author in good health! (5)
PROST – Remove the U from the name of a French author.

19 comments on “NTSPP – 252

  1. Great stuff – Thanks, Wiglaf. I surprised myself by the number of the themed answers that I was familiar with.

  2. Thanks Wiglaf, good setting. Of course with themed grids, there is often one or two unusual words. 7d was new to me.

    9 was my LOI, and I didn’t like the ‘after’ – perhaps ‘from’ or some such could have been used instead. I can’t seem to get 12 to work properly for me.

    I particularly liked 1, 2,10, 19 & 20.

  3. It was a real struggle until we sorted out the theme and then it became a bit more fathomable. We used a Wiki list to help as we do not have a comprehensive enough general knowledge on the subject. A couple of new words, eg 7d and 27a that needed confirmation too. Did get there eventually. Challenging and fun.
    Thanks Wiglaf.

  4. Came to this one late and tired – out bird watching all day! Grand sum of 6 answers thus far and not at all sure I’ll get much further. Absolutely no chance of finding the theme at this stage.

    Ah well -tomorrow’s another day, but I’ll be out ‘birding’ again for most of it so maybe won’t improve much on the total!

    Well done to all those who have made the finishing line – I won’t look at the review until desperation really sets in. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    1. Well done to you – you’re one ahead of me – I have a grand total of five answers so far and I haven’t even been out ‘birding’. Like you I’m not sure I’m going to get much further. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
      If you and I could find the theme I think it could help but . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. The best clue to the theme is probably 1a – to get this one you need to insert the abbreviation for Young Conservative inside a store or retail outlet, then move the musical abbreviation for quietly from the end to the front.

        1. Thanks gazza – I’d never have got that on my own and now I might be able to get going again – anything but doing Christmas cards or starting to wrap some pressies!

        2. Believe it or not, that was my first answer in! Apparently hasn’t helped me too much thus far – I’ll try again now I know that’s the clue for the theme.

          Thanks, gazza.

  5. Thanks to Wiglaf for the puzzle.

    I spotted the theme quite early and have heard of 8 of the 9.

    After consulting the Wiki List, I’m amazed at how many there are to choose from. Scary! Very Scary!

  6. I’m admitting defeat – after gazza’s very helpful hint I got several more answers but I’m still a very long way off finishing it.
    If I’m remembering the right one 5a is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen – gave me nightmares for months! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Anyway, thanks very much to Wiglaf and, in advance, to whoever (?Prolixic) does the review and the hints.

  7. Got to the halfway point – much of it courtesy of a Wiki list. 7d was a new word, which didn’t help matters!
    Could I ask a couple of questions:-
    1. Could I have a simplistic breakdown of 11a.
    2. Having completed the grid from the review it appears that the answers given for 16&24d will not leave me with the correct checking letters for the answer given for 27a. HELP!!!

    Thanks to Wiglaf for the honourable defeat (I should have got far more than I did) and to Prolixic for making sense of most of it. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

    1. 11a DIG (love) RE (about) S (son) SING (write poetry – definition No. 7 given in Chambers)

      About to fall in tells us that the RE goes between the DIG and S

      27a. My lousy typing skills – OATERS is the answer.

      1. Many thanks, Prolixic – I didn’t know ‘sing’ as a definition for ‘write poetry’ and have never come across ‘oaters’ before. I also had the same answer as Kath for 7d.

        As she commented – this one was probably well above our pay grade, but it was good fun trying and so much more satisfying when we have such wonderful folk on this blog who will take the time to explain the whys and wherefores to us. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  8. Really a long way beyond me but I enjoyed what I could do.
    Having ‘neologise’ for 7d didn’t help anything and I couldn’t explain it so should have realised it was wrong.
    Not good on Hitchcock films although I had heard of 1 and 5a.
    I think that Brian would say this was above his pay grade – I’ll just say that it was too difficult for me, well done to those who managed it, well done to Wiglaf for dreaming it all up and well done and thank you to Prolific for making sense of all that I couldn’t.
    Night night everyone . . .

  9. well, I got the theme very quickly from 1A and 20D, but since that’s the extent of my knowledge of the theme in question, it was not much help. Very few answers resolved. Between this and the MPP, I’m having a terrible crossword experience this weekend. I salute Wiglaf, who knows more about movies than I ever wish to, and thank Prolixic for the review that I confess I’m too dispirited to read fully today.

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