NTSPP – 255
Pizza Festivale by Quattro Stagioni
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a jumbo festive puzzle set by four NTSPP regulars.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows –
the identities of the setters are revealed at the end of the review.
The Quattro Stagioni isn’t just a pizza with toppings representing the seasons of the year – it is the alias used by four of our regular NTSPP setters whose combined cryptic talents have produced this themed offering, just right for the post Christmas NTSPP slot.
1a Those who grapple with breaks touring El Negro regularly (9)
WRESTLERS The abbreviation for W followed by some breaks into which are inserted the regular letters of eL nEgRo.
6a Some of California’s Lutherans return to South-Western US city (5)
TULSA A city well known to Gene Pitney (!) is hidden and reversed in some of CaliforniAS LUTherans.
9a Bouncers get rid of any number of displays of holly? (6)
SPRIGS Remove the N (any number) from some bouncers.
13a Home Service alternative (7)
INSTEAD How you might say you were at home followed by a verb meaning to stand as useful to someone.
14a Son of Welsh rector refilled essentials for a month (5)
APRIL A word that the Welsh use to mean ‘son of’, the abbreviation for Rector, and the ‘essentials’ of refiLled.
15a American sailor keeps backing employer in consequence (2,1,6)
AS A RESULT The abbreviation for American, followed by one of the ways Crosswordland might refer to a sailor into which is inserted a reversal (backing) of an employer.
16a A cat’s tail consumed in strange restaurant (6)
EATERY An alternative way of spelling a word meaning strange into which is inserted the ‘tail’ of caT.
18a A satirist took creep apart (5,4)
PETER COOK An anagram (apart) of TOOK CREEP.
19a Protest about getting into plane after bomb destroys odd bits (6)
OBJECT The even letters of bOmB (the odd ‘bits’ having been destroyed) are followed by a type of plane into which is inserted the single letter abbreviation for the Latin word meaning about.
22a Dioceses call Frenchman to move west for academic course (8)
SEMESTER Take a word used to refer to dioceses and another meaning call or name. Move the M (Monsieur le Frenchman to move) further up the word (move west) to get an academic course, especially in America.
25a Second present hoped to be seen at Christmas (4)
SNOW The abbreviation for second and an adverb meaning at the present time.
27a Detective restrains fisherman with suspenders (8)
DANGLERS The abbreviation for Detective Sergeant into which is inserted a fisherman.
29a Each wife of Jacob endlessly a cause of pain (7)
EARACHE The abbreviation for each followed by nearly all of the name of the wife of Jacob in the Old Testament.
30a Silver in mineral aggregate is infused with new colour (6)
ORANGE Insert into a mineral aggregate (3) the chemical symbol for silver into which is inserted (infused) the abbreviation for New.
32a Clerical office hands pie out (8)
DEANSHIP A position held by a member of the clergy is an anagram (out) of HANDS PIE.
35a Reportedly broadcasts Sons and Daughters? (5)
HEIRS A homophone of a word meaning broadcasts.
37a Spooner’s ban on going out is being generous (8)
DONATING How the dreaded Reverend Spooner might ban his teenage daughter from going out on romantic appointments.
38a Can get silver back in heavyweight sledge (8)
TOBOGGAN Start with a heavy weight, insert a slang word for the lavatory (can being another) and a reversal of the chemical symbol for silver.
40a Pretty young women’s friend dressed in Christmas bloomers? (8)
ROSEBUDS Insert an informal term for a friend into part of the name of some hellebores which bloom at this time of year. Although the definition isn’t in the 12th edition of the BRB, it can be found in the ‘Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary’ given to my parents as a wedding present in 1949.
42a Short place for unloading traveller on railway lines (8)
QUATRAIN A poem with four lines – almost all of a wharf (short place for unloading) followed by a ‘traveller on railway’!
43a Crisp lattice covering custard pie’s sound (5)
SPLAT Hidden in criSP LATtice.
44a Relative possibly visiting California during snow flurries (3-2-3)
SON-IN-LAW An anagram (flurries) of SNOW into which is inserted a way you might say you were visiting a particular city in California.
45a Breakfast with Nigel Farage? Not for everyone! (6)
KIPPER Remove the U for universal (so ‘not for everyone’ )from a way of describing Nigel Farage or one of his political followers.
46a Rather a short journey before Santa’s Little Helper returns (1,6)
A TRIFLE A (from the clue), then only the first three letters (short) of a word meaning a journey followed by a reversal (returns) of one of Santa’s Little Helpers.
48a Before morning good doctor returns in sorrow as hangman? (4,4)
WORD GAME Into a word meaning sorrow (3) put a reversal (returns) of the abbreviations for morning (2), Good and Doctor to get a word guessing game I haven’t played for years.
50a Romancer unlocks blondes’ hearts in an instant (4)
ANON The ‘hearts’ of romANcer and blONdes give us an archaic or literary term meaning soon, or in an instant.
52a Bold lads are reformed characters (8)
ODDBALLS An anagram (are reformed) of BOLD LADS.
56a Cover? Yes, fat needs to be disguised (6)
SAFETY An anagram (needs to be disguised) of YES FAT.
57a Smart operation to conceal stolen computer program (9)
PHOTOSHOP An adjective meaning smart or elegant has a slang word meaning stolen inserted, the result being finished with the abbreviation for operation.
59a Showy bloom concealed by Tolkien villain? (6)
ORCHID How you might say that a Tolkien villain had concealed something.
64a Outgoing divorcee party-goer boring non-drinker (9)
EXTRAVERT The two letters used to describe a divorcee, followed by the abbreviation for a non-drinker into which is inserted an enthusiastic party-goer.
66a Capital held improperly by institute (5)
DELHI An anagram (improperly) of HELD followed by the abbreviation for Institute.
67a Country person heard to have successes and minor setbacks (7)
HICCUPS A homophone (heard) of a country person followed by what you might win if you had more than one success.
68a Notices skirts, ultimately for men and women (6)
ADULTS ‘Skirts’ indicates the requirement to put some abbreviated notices round the abbreviation for ultimately.
69a Chuck part of decoration that’s found in Christmas pud (5)
BERRY An old rock star or part of plant used as a Christmas decoration.
70a Western actor‘s errors go corrected around end of play (3,6)
ROY ROGERS An anagram (corrected) of ERROS GO and Y (the ‘end’ of play).
1d Time spent in trick involving Henry (5)
WHILE Insert the abbreviation for Henry into an artful trick.
2d Badly mistreat old former Portuguese colony (4,5)
EAST TIMOR An anagram (badly) of MISTREAT and O (old).
3d 35a endlessly supports tons of them (5)
THEIR The abbreviation for Tons followed by the solution to 35a with its last letter removed (endlessly).
4d Whirlwind regularly seen during heady days (4)
EDDY The regular letters of hEaDy DaYs.
5d Placed and spread under the ocean (6)
SEATED A verb meaning to spread (new mown grass for drying for hay) is put under another word for ocean.
6d Country’s failures (7)
TURKEYS The name of a country is also used to mean films or plays that fail.
7d Purple bacilli lactose contains (5)
LILAC A shade of purple is contained or hidden in bacilLI LACtose.
8/9d Crazy Arab half-heartedly murders elderly person’s cleaner (1,3,2,4)
A BAR OF SOAP An anagram (crazy) of ARAB, a US slang way of saying murders from which one of the Fs in the middle is removed (half-heartedly), and finally the abbreviation for an elderly person.
10d Occupant of 32 leaves school to become a woodlander (3)
ROE Remove the occupant of the solution to 32a from a public school for girls near Brighton and you get an animal you might find in a wood.
11d Part of Switzerland unknown before Soviet military intelligence got on top of it all (7)
GRUYERE A region of Switzerland known for its cheese – the abbreviation for the main Soviet military intelligence directorate, a mathematical unknown and an archaic way of saying before.
12d Old singer is cause of 29? (6)
OTITIS The abbreviation for Old, a small singing bird and IS (from the clue).
17d Asian mountain-dweller allegedly misses Ireland still (3)
YET I isn’t recognised as an abbreviation for Ireland [I believe our setter in a hurry to revise this clue should have put Italy – I being the IVR code for that country). However, all you need to know really is that I should be removed from a creature allegedly found in the mountains of Nepal.
20d Got underway, putting odd bits of goat into Japanese dish (5,2)
BEGAN TO The odd ‘bits’ of GoAt inserted into a Japanese single portion meal usually packed into special boxes to take to work to eat at lunchtime.
21d Made overnight stop on trek, there being no pressure to have finished trip (4,4)
CAME DOWN Remove the P (no pressure) from a word meaning made overnight stop (in a tent perhaps) and follow with a verb meaning to have.
22d Fashionable crowd on board with pastors (9)
SHEPHERDS Insert into the abbreviation for ship (on board) a word meaning fashionable and a word for a crowd.
23d Maiden leaves gowns and footwear (5)
SOCKS Remove M (maiden leaves) from some gowns.
24d Animal swallowed by Peewee (3)
EWE Look carefully and you will find that PeEWEe has swallowed a sheep.
26d Lungs maybe best device for letting air in (5,4)
ORGAN STOP Parts of the body (lungs may be an example) followed by the most successful position.
28d Plump canon (5)
ROUND Either a way of describing something plump or a piece of music in which an extended melody is imitated successively in one or more parts (canon).
31d Somewhat lighter-than-air, uh? Travelling northwards to Glastonbury perhaps (9)
ARTHURIAN Hidden and reversed (travelling northwards) in lighter-thaN AIR HU TRAvelling. Franco may wish to note that legend says that a certain king was buried at Glastonbury.
33d Male setter a philosophical sort (5)
HEGEL A philosopher is obtained by following the male personal pronoun with something that sets.
34d Goes around strangely inert Christmas adornments dropping needles (4,5)
PINE TREES An informal term for urinates (goes) is put round an anagram (strangely) of INERT.
36d One born south-east Norway (5)
IBSEN I (one)followed by the abbreviations for Born South-East and the IVR code for Norway.
37d Dutch dramas about unknown old soldiers (4,4)
DADS ARMY The abbreviation for Dutch, an anagram (about) of DRAMAS and a mathematical ‘unknown’.
39d Excellent cook puts away washing-up liquid (5)
FAIRY Insert the two letters used to define something as excellent into a way you might cook an egg.
41d Happy New Year backing for Queen during dark times (2,5)
BY NIGHT Take a word meaning happy or cheerful and replace the R (Regina, Queen) with a reversal (backing) of the abbreviation for New Year.
43d Small bear crosses river to remove dirt (5)
SCRUB The abbreviation for small, followed by a young bear into which is inserted the abbreviation for river.
46d Heads of African nations develop in conjunction (3)
AND The ‘heads’ of African Nations Develop.
47d My return to work follows generous deal that’s hard to beat? (4,5)
FULL HOUSE An adjective meaning generous, a reversal of an interjection meaning ’my’ and a verb meaning to work.
48d Ablutions performed around Ash Wednesday (6)
WASHED The abbreviation for Wednesday put around ASH (from the clue).
49d Proven wrong, denied time to replace last of presents (7)
REFUTED Remove the S (last of presents) from a verb meaning denied and replace with T (Time).
51d Space agency gets core of celeb league to ultimately pay through the nose (7)
NASALLY The acronym for the American space agency, the middle letter (core) of ceLeb, the abbreviation for League and the ultimate letter of paY,
53d Fred and Ginger or 2 Kiwis possibly party around middle of 49 (3)
DUO A party put round the middle letter of the solution to 49d. Always nice to be mentioned in a clue!
54d Self-cleaning vessel, though element’s initial high temperature rising (3,3)
THE TUB A reversal (rising) of a word meaning though (3) the initial letter of element, and the abbreviation for High Temperature.
55d Simpler to cheat on one in love? Not quite (6)
DOZIER An informal word meaning to cheat, I (one) and almost all of a word meaning nothing (love).
58d Henry died in beating up (5)
TUDOR Reverse a word meaning beating (up in a down clue) and insert the abbreviation for died.
60d 10 circulated around court to find right page (5)
RECTO An anagram (circulated) of the solution to 10d into which is inserted the abbreviation for court.
61d Cleans up raising crabs for example around the States (5)
DUSTS The abbreviation for the United States inserted into a reversal of the abbreviation for a Sexually Transmitted Disease (crabs being an example of this). Not one of the more festive clues in this puzzle!
62d Spies sometimes like vegetables (4)
PEAS The even letters (sometimes) of sPiEs followed by a conjunction meaning like.
63d Origin of hell, 17 contrarily maintains, is other people (4)
THEY The first letter (origin) of Hell inserted into a reversal (contrarily) of the solution to 17d.
65d Unite nearly every one (3)
ALL A verb meaning unite without its last letter (nearly).
The seasonal verse is found in Down Rows 1, 5, 9, 15, 17, and 19 – don’t forget the instructions to ignore the solutions to 55d, 10d and 60d.
Thank you to all four setters. If you want to know who set what, to reveal. Prolixic’s clues are in magenta, Alchemi’s in cyan, Radler’s in green and Vigo’s in yellow.