NTSPP – 256
Swan enclosure by Chalicea
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
If you’ve solved one of Chalicea’s earlier puzzles then you will know what to expect – if not then you are in for a treat.
A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.
Welcome back to Chalicea with a themed crossword. The title (a double definition) clue gives the missing word (PEN) that is omitted from 14 of the clues. A copy of the completed grid with the theme words highlighted is at the end of this review.
Fortunately, I spotted the theme word straightaway from the title of the crossword so completing the crossword was relatively straightforward but I had to verify some of the more unusual Spenserian and dialect / archaic words when completing the review.
1 Move stealthily back for lager (4)
PILS – Reverse (back) a word meaning move stealthily.
3 A spoiled alternative brought in as a digression (8)
EPISODAL – An anagram (alternative) of A SPOILED.
9 Old meadow aperture (7)
OPENING – The theme word inside the abbreviation for old and a dialect word for a meadow.
10 Carefully move bit of loose supporting framework (5)
EASEL – A word meaning carefully move followed by the first letter (bit of) loose.
11 Council of Europe coins (5)
PENCE – The theme word followed by the abbreviation for Council of Europe.
12 Did see turbulent miniature whirlpools (6)
EDDIES – An anagram (turbulent) of DID SEE.
14 Twisted chin is quite delightful (6)
NICISH – An anagram (twisted) of CHIN IS.
16 Led around site of Lancashire witchcraft (6)
PENDLE – The three letter theme word followed by an anagram (around) of LED. Three anagrams in a row!
19 Tyrant drank too much alcohol once, retiring, entertaining sons (6)
DESPOT – Reverse (retiring) an old word (once) for drank too much an insert (entertaining) the abbreviation for sons.
21 Heart of privet that is dead, overgrown with vegetation (5)
IVIED – The central letters (heart of) prIVet followed by the abbreviations for that is and dead.
24 Like trembling poplar (5)
ASPEN – A two letter word meaning like followed by the three letter theme word.
25 Led feud violently marked by exploits in poems (7)
DEEDFUL – An anagram (violently) of LED FEUD.
26 Label affixed to US Defence establishment (8)
PENTAGON – The three letter theme word followed by a word for a label and a word meaning affixed to.
27 Fruit refuse after wine-making sent back to completely fill available space (4)
CRAM – Reverse (sent back) a word for the leftovers from making wine.
1 Capital sponsor, from time to time, with millions put on hospital (8, two words)
PNOM PENH –The three letter theme word inside The even letters (from time to time) of sPoNsOr and by the abbreviations for millions and hospital. As others have commented, this is a rare variant of the spelling but it is given in Collins English Dictionary.
2 Get up late; according to poet, cease going around, that is (5, two words)
LIE IN – A poetic word used by Spenser for cease goes around the abbreviation for that is (already used in 21a). I wonder whether references to Spenser’s spelling of words is a little bit of a stretch for the NTSPP?
4 Regularly spring clean place? No! Quite the contrary (6)
PIGPEN – The even letters (regularly) of sPrInG followed by the three letter theme word.
5 Use up limits of stipend (5)
SPEND – The three letter theme word inside the first and last letters (limits of) stipend.
6 Possessing shilling did pay out in the past (7)
DISPEND – An archaic word (in the past) for the answer. The DID from the clue includes (possessing) the abbreviation for shilling and the three letter theme word.
7 Plainly now and then with time speak with swinging rhythm (4)
LILT – The even letters (now and then) of pLaInLy followed by the single letter abbreviation for time.
8 Gentleman on the up matures (6)
RIPENS – Reverse (on the up) the form of address used for a gentlemen and include the three letter theme word.
13 Modulus rectified, not old style, for swinging device (8)
PENDULUM – The three letter theme word followed by an anagram (rectified) of MODULUS after removing the letters in the abbreviation for old style.
15 Deceive mostly; make tawdry (7)
CHEAPEN – A word meaning deceive with the final letter removed (mostly) followed by the three letter theme word.
17 Almost heroic injection device for medical emergencies (6)
EPIPEN – A word meaning heroic with the final letter removed (almost) followed by the three letter theme word.
18 Workroom‘s curiously outside mostly (6)
STUDIO – An anagram (curiously) of OUTSIDE with the final letter removed (mostly). Three consecutive final letter removal clues with a repetition of one of the wordplay devices is not ideal.
20 Feather not available (5)
PENNA – The three letter theme word followed by the abbreviation for not available.
22 Popular umpire turns up to conclude from evidence (5)
INFER – A word meaning popular followed by a reversal (turns up) of a word for an umpire.
23 Petulant and spiteful person used to be priest (4)
WASP – A word meaning used to be followed by the abbreviation for priest.