NTSPP – 266 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 266

NTSPP – 266

A Puzzle by Imsety

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows:

Imsety proves once again that he is a able graduate from the Rookie Corner with this excellent crossword.


1 Interrogate author of religious writings? (8,4)
QUESTION MARK – … the definition is disguised as the ?  Another word for interrogate followed by the author of the shortest gospel.

9 Something consumed by footballers before and after extra time (4)
FETA – The name of the body responsible for football in the UK goes around (before and after) an abbreviation (not in Chambers) for extra time.

10 Liberal welcomed by poor workers, collectively offering kind remark (10)
PLEASANTRY – The abbreviation for Liberal goes inside (welcomed by) another word for a group of poor workers.

11 Sick boss eats something that’ll make him feel much worse! (8)
ABSESTOS – An anagram (sick) of BOSS EATS.

12 Ducks on river finding way to congregate, maybe (5)
ROOST – The abbreviation for a river followed by two letters representing a duck or zero and the abbreviation for a way or street.

13 Manage the first of setter’s clues (5)
LEADS – Another word for to manage or run an organisation followed by the first letter of setter.

14 Broadcast from a church features new type of word (8)
ANNOUNCE – The A from the clue and an abbreviation for church includes (features) the abbreviation for new and a part of speech (type of word).

16 School to lose backing for timetable (8)
SCHEDULE – The abbreviation for school followed by a reversal (backing) of a word meaning to lose.  An excellent example of the need to lift and separate the lose and backing to get the wordplay.

19 Money made from a mix of metals (5)
BRASS – A double definition for an informal term for money and an alloy of copper and zinc.

21 Get out of a hole (5)
AVOID – The A from the clue followed by a word for a hole or empty space.

23 Told to get together before dance for something to eat (8)
MEATBALL – A homophone (told) of a word meaning to get together followed by another word for a dance.

24 Junkie deprived of cocaine is initially working with gangster to get more (10)
ADDITIONAL – Remove (deprived of) the abbreviation for cocaine from a word for a junkie or drug addict and follow this by the first letter (initially) of “is”, a word meaning working and the first name of the gangster Mr Capone.

25 Set off for excursion (4)
TRIP – A double definition – set off in the sense of trigger or detonate and an excursion.

26 Try to divorce gentle man in good spirits (5-7)
LIGHT-HEARTED – A word meaning to try (as in try a legal case) goes inside (to divorce) a word for gentle and a shortened form of Edward (man).


2 Tune is produced by large instrument (7)
UTENSIL – An anagram (produced) of TUNE IS followed by the abbreviation for large.

3 Impasse reached with old friend (9)
STALEMATE – A word meaning old or past its sell by date followed by another word for a friend.

4 Drive via northbound road – only 50% of petrol used (7)
IMPETUS – A reversal (northbound) of a major road followed by half (only 50%) of the words PETROL and USED.

5 Vegetables in fridge make soup delicious; everything’s gone but the dregs! (5)
NEEPS – The final letters (everything gone but the dregs) of iN fridgE makE souP deliciouS.

6 Person finishing well off the pace might be too rushed (4-3)
ALSO-RAN – A word meaning too followed by a word meaning rushed.

7 Style of fighting to culminate in knockout (5)
KENDO – A word meaning to culminate or finish goes inside the abbreviation for knockout.

8 Blue pen moved from reception by mistake (6)
EROTIC – An anagram (by mistake) of RECEPTION after the letters in PEN have been removed.  The moved is a secondary anagram indicator as the letter in PEN are not removed in the same order.

14 Mirror censoring extremists in tabloid? (3)
APE – Remove the first and last letters (censoring extremists) from a word that describes a tabloid.

15 Urban lot relocated outside a city (4,5)
ULAN BATOR – An anagram (relocated) for URBAN LOT around the A from the clue.

17/23 Cute man and topless model posed for artist (6,5)
CLAUDE MONET – An anagram (posed) of CUTE MAN [M]ODEL removing the M from model (topless).

18 Reversing the effects of downfall (7)
UNDOING – A double definition.

19 Writing that’s not particularly smooth (7)
BRAILLE – A cryptic definition of the raised type used for the blind.

20 Cross sailor suppresses indignation (7)
SALTIRE – Another word for a sailor followed by (supresses) another word for indignation or rage.

22 A bit of subtle irony upset Oxford college (5)
ORIEL – The answer is hidden (a bit of) and reversed (upset) in SUBTLE IRONY.

23 See 17

14 comments on “NTSPP – 266

  1. I enjoyed this and thought it was very well crafted and read very smoothly. Favourite clues 24a, 6d, 7d, and 15d. Thanks Imsety.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this and checked half a dozen or so clues as being particularly good, to my mind. 26A and 5D took the longest to parse. I loved 1A…nice touch at the end. Also loved 5D so those two come out as co-favorites. Great job Imsety. You’re a long way from the Rookie Corner these days!

  3. Here’s another commenter who got a great deal of pleasure from this puzzle. Refreshing to find so many different techniques employed and the outcome is a credit to you. Very hard to choose a favourite but I’ll mention 24a for surface read, 26a for originality, 3d for humour and 1a for perfection. The only one I have to just ‘forgive’ is 15d but, as Toro is obviously familiar with the city, maybe that simply labels me as an ignoramus!

    Quite splendid, Imsety – thank you. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  4. A beautifully crafted clever puzzle that all slotted together smoothly. Luckily one of our team had heard of 15d. Very good surface readings and we thought the anagrams were original and well disguised. Lots of favourites.
    Many thanks Imsety.

  5. Think only second attempt at NTSPP, roll on tomorrow as I am stuck with two spaces to fill and no more inspiration. I have tried the electronic supertoy but that did not help.

    1. It’s not a prize puzzle, so if you say which ones, someone will try and help you out.

      1. Thank you 14a and 14d and I will probably kick myself when I realise how stupid I have been.

        1. For 14a, broadcast is the definition, The church is the last two letters of the answer. That should be enough to point you in the right direction.
          14d. Mirror, but not the one you would see at the newsagent is the definition. For the wordplay you have to remove the first and last letters of what a tabloid is an example of. Hope that helps. Cheers.

          1. Large bruise on its way, I thought I had 14a but could not see down. Thank you very much. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  6. Great stuff Imsety.
    Some very clever construction like 14a, 16a 24a and 26a.
    Good to see a new version for 1a.
    So many favourites to choose from, I can’t make my mind up.

  7. Thank you, Prolixic – a splendid review which did justice to Imsety’s great puzzle.
    The video clip of the Starling murmuration was much appreciated – as was the ‘meatball’ song! I’ve been word perfect on the first verse for as long as I can remember but hadn’t come across the other verses before. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    1. Hi Jane,
      The other day there was a great picture in the Telegraph of Starlings flying over Brighton’s west pier. We also get them in Hyeres before they fly over to North Africa.
      Murmuration! What would it be like if they really decided to make some noise. It’s already quite inaudible when they rest in all the plane trees.

      1. Hi Jean-luc, It is the most wonderful sight, but maybe not the best for those who live beneath! One poor lady in the north of Anglesey is currently fighting a losing battle with the amount of droppings that are deposited daily over her house, garden, car etc. whilst faced with masses of bird-watchers who arrive to view the murmuration! On the upside, I’m off tomorrow evening to visit a friend who is nicely placed to get the magnificence of the arriving roost without having to suffer the consequences.
        Glad to see that you enjoyed Imsety’s puzzle – it’s a shame that publication coincided with Mother’s Day weekend. I don’t know what it’s like in France but it definitely ranks alongside Christmas over here.

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