NTSPP – 253 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 253

NTSPP – 253

A Puzzle by Skipjack

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic.

A colourful puzzle from Skipjack where the top and bottom rows spell out the words that form the solutions to seven of the clues.


8 Former leader died coming from middle eastern country (8)
DISRAELI – The abbreviation for died followed by the name of a citizen of Israel.

9 Replace button (6)
SWITCH – A double definition of a word meaning to replace or swap and a button that can be off or on.

10 Revolutionary US soldiers catch Navy SEAL perhaps (6)
SIGNET – Reverse (revolutionary) the plural of a term for US soldiers and follow this with a word meaning to trap or catch.  There may be a more complex solution to this as I cannot see the significance of Navy other than someone in the Navy might use one of the seals.

11 See 28

12 Down and dirty (4)
BLUE – A double definition of a word meaning down or sad and dirty or crude humour.

13 Site for putting on party (5)
GREEN – Another double definition, the first being found on a golf course and the second a political party.

15 Republican party doctors do well (2,6)
GO PLACES – The abbreviation for the US Republican Party followed by a word meaning doctors as in spikes a drink.

17 First person imprisoned by officer regarding lawful arrest (7)
CAPTION – The first person pronoun goes inside a short form of an army rank and a word meaning regarding (not RE on this occasion).

20 At a lower point, more east than north in The Wash (7)
BENEATH – A compass direction that is more east than north goes inside another word for a place where you might have a wash.

23 Messenger of god, writer and composer (8)
GABRIELI – The name of the angel who appeared at the annunciation followed by a letter representing the setter or writer of the crossword.

24 Size of board used for dry lining farm building (5)
DAIRY – A size of board or paper goes inside (lining) the dry from the clue

27 This case is quite revolting without question (4)
ETUI – An anagram (revolting) of QUITE without the Q (without question).

28/11 Descartes, having shrugged off setback, becomes religious (6)
SAC/RED – An anagram (becomes) of DESCARTES without the TES at the end (having shrugged of SET – back)

29 Physical young man carries large papers around (6)
BODILY – Reverse (around) the abbreviations for large and identification and put this inside a word for a young man.

30 Colour television covers race in The Time Machine retrospectively (6)
VIOLET – Put the abbreviation for television around a race of people featuring in HG Wells’ story “The Time Machine” and reverse all of these letters (retrospectively).

31 Generalissimos toppled after purging rebellious masses for beliefs (8)
RELIGION – An anagram (toppled) of GENERALISSIMOS after removing the letters (after reordering (rebellious) of MASSES).


1 Quoting auditor’s view at a given time (6)
CITING – A homophone (auditor’s) of sighting (view at a given time).

2 Circular letter published, for example, about fruit (6)
ORANGE – The letter that represents a circle followed by a word meaning published and a reversal (about) of the abbreviation for “for example”.

3 Flower, given space, grew (6,4)
LENTEN ROSE – A word meaning given (as money might be on conditions for repayment), a printer’s space and a word meaning grew.

4 Boring plants doctor paints outside (3,4)
OIL RIGS – A word meaning doctor or engineer something goes inside a word for some types of paints.

5 Unsteady characters regularly took drugs (4)
USED – The odd letters (regularly) of UnStEaDy.

6 Perhaps I ram kerb without this (3,5)
RIM BRAKE – An anagram (perhaps) of I RAM KERB.

7 Bruschetta’s 80% cooked, lied barman (8)
SCHUBERT – … lied is a German form of song.  An anagram (cooked) of the first eight letters (80%) of BRUSCHET[TA].

14/21 Couple follows teachings of the church to make amends (6)
REP/AIR – Another word for a couple or two people follows the abbreviation for religious education.

16 Can this shed any real light on delicate flower’s swelling? (10)
PSEUDOBULB – A semi-cryptic definition and straight definition of a type of swelling found on a plant.

18 A club brawl turned into scene of multiple deaths (8)
ABATTIOR – The a from the clue and club used in sports and a reversal (turned) of a word for a brawl.

19 Flat fare from Mexico (8)
TORTILLA – A cryptic definition of a thin type of Mexican food.

21 See 14

22 Notice man returning to scientific establishment (7)
DISCERN – Reverse (returning) the name of a man and follow this by the name of a European scientific establishment.

25 Hip groove of the opening of “Kind of Blue” (6)
INDIGO – A word meaning hip or trendy followed by a word for groove as a verb and the first letter (opening) of “of”.

26 Cowardly snake in the end stabs lowly criminal (6)
YELLOW – The final letter (in the end) of snake goes inside an anagram (criminal) of LOWLY.

28 Self-immolation comes from dissatisfaction (4)
SATI – The answer is hidden inside (come from) DISSATISFACTION.

14 comments on “NTSPP – 253

  1. Very enjoyable – thanks, Skipjack – with a nice theme and helpful Nina. There were lots of clues I liked but especially 13a, 15a and 20a.

  2. Nice setting, Skipjack. Clever to fit a NINA and the theme words into the grid.

    One or two more difficult words, but nothing outrageous given the constraints of the theme words.

    Like Gazza, I particularly enjoyed 15 & 20.

  3. Against all the odds – and with a little electronic help – I’ve almost got there. A broad hint for 3d would be very much appreciated – it’s the only answer I’m missing.
    Lovely theme and Nina – many thanks Skipjack.

  4. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gifThis was very much at the top level of my ability.
    If I hadn’t caught sight of gazza’s comment about the Nina I wouldn’t have been able to finish it as I never see them for myself.
    I really enjoyed it even if I still have one that I don’t understand – 24a – I get the farm building – I get the dry in the middle and then it all goes a bit wrong http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    There were several others that I didn’t understand but husband has been press ganged into explanations!
    Thanks to Skipjack and, in advance, to whoever does the review tomorrow – I’ll be back then. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Oh dear – maybe my answer is wrong – I’ve got first, third and fifth letters of a five letter word – I can’t even think of another word that would fit, let along make sense of the clue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

          1. Thank you – think I’m just a little past my best, whatever that may be!! Off to bed now! Sleep well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

      2. Oh for goodness sake – just seen it – thought that the middle three letters were the ‘dry’ bit – numbskull!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

  5. Thanks to everybody who’s had a go at my puzzle. I’m please to hear that people have enjoyed it, despite it being on the difficult side.



  6. Other things have got in the way of our usual solving time, but we did eventually get on to it and got everything sorted, with a little electronic assistance for 16d as the last too yield. Quite tricky and a lot of fun.
    Thanks Skipjack and Prolixic.

  7. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. Think the second word in the answer for 6d should be ‘brake’?
    Some lovely pics & video clips!

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