NTSPP – 269 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 269

NTSPP – 269

A Puzzle by Vigo

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows

It’s been nearly a year since we last had one of Vigo’s puzzles. This one didn’t take long to solve and was very enjoyable.   Interesting that,  on Saturday afternoon when I was typing this review, none of the commenters appeared to have noticed the fact that the crossword is a pangram.   The 2Kiwis, with double the powers of observation than most, pointed it out later in the day!



1a           Festival where a mob jeer uncontrollably (8)
JAMBOREE   An anagram (uncontrollably) of A MOB JEER

5a           Philosophy with appeal hard to top (6)
ZENITH A Japanese branch of Buddhism (philosophy), the word used to describe [sex] appeal, and the abbreviation for Hard.

9a           Unwanted scales no good outside with onset of rain (8)
DANDRUFF   A slang word meaning no good is put outside a conjunction meaning with and the ‘onset’ of rain.

10a         Protect company working across Colombia (6)
COCOON   The IVR code for Colombia  followed by the abbreviation for company and a way of saying that something is working.

11a         Grave robber maybe old with unpleasant smell and odd ears (7)
EXHUMER   A prefix meaning former old, an unpleasant smell and the odd letters of EaRs.

12a         Cooks or warms vegetables (7)
MARROWS   An anagram (cooks) of OR WARMS.


13a         Want the French to train in embroidery (11)
NEEDLEPOINT A synonym for want, the French word for ‘the’ and a verb meaning to train in the sense of aiming a gun or a telescope.


16a         A remedy involving quietly posh provider of breast feeding support originally utilized alternative therapy (11)
ACUPUNCTURE    A (from the clue) and a remedy into which is inserted  the single letter used to mean posh, the musical instruction meaning quietly, the ‘original’ letter of utilized, and the abbreviation for the National Childbirth Trust (provider of breast feeding support).

21a         Foreign Office charges include new dishes (7)
FONDUES   N (new) inserted between the abbreviation for the Foreign Office and some charges or fees.


22a         Hard to get into taxi with Long Island Special to drink (7)
CHABLIS The abbreviation for Hard inserted into a taxi and followed with the abbreviation for Long Island Special.

23a         Pictures of rampant ageism (6)
IMAGES   An anagram (rampant) of ageism.

24a         Paid for part of fish served across Norway (8)
FINANCED   Part of a fish and a verb used when a tennis serve is unreturnable go round the IVR code for Norway.

25a         Harringey’s erroneously covered hot spring (6)
GEYSER   ‘Covered’ by HarrinGEYS ERroneously.


26a         Opposites in poems (8)
INVERSES   IN (from the clue) and some poems.

1d           Book  reviews (6)
JUDGES   An Old Testament book or part of a verb meaning reviews.

2d           Periods when insects eat nitrogen (6)
MONTHS   Insects that mainly fly at night ‘eat’ the chemical symbol for Nitrogen.

3d           Roams around with a navy crew member (7)
OARSMAN   – An anagram (around) of ROAMS followed by A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for navy.


4d           Very loud serve roughly returned second after European comes to the boil (11)
EFFERVESCES   E (European) followed by the musical abbreviation used to mean very loud (2), an anagram (roughly) of SERVE, followed by a reversal (returned) of an informal abbreviated way of referring to a second or short period of time.

6d           Self-indulgent action in hallucination following ecstasy shot (3-4)
EGO-TRIP   A word used to describe the hallucinatory effects of a drug goes after the abbreviation for Ecstasy and a shot or attempt at something.

7d           Pacino to singlemindedly hold back in part of even tension (8)
ISOTONIC   Another hidden word, this time reversed (back) in PaCINO TO SInglemindedly

8d           Gives alien square phone parts (8)
HANDSETS     A word meaning gives, Mr Spielberg’s alien, and a type of square used to draw right angles (the latter being no problem to anyone who’d solved the DT Saturday Prize Puzzle on the same day).


12d         Man-flu tonic fixed defective performance (11)
MALFUNCTION   An anagram (fixed) of MAN FLU TONIC.

14d         Strange affair follows great uprising (8)
BAFFLING   A reversal (uprising) of a slang word meaning great, marvellous, is followed by a brief relationship (affair).

15d         When in Paris a rector gets conclusion to tricky dilemma (8)
QUANDARY   The French word (used in Paris) for when, A from the clue, the abbreviation for Rector and the ‘conclusion’ of tricky.

17d         UK university the Spanish repeatedly return to for something that’s plucked (7)
UKULELE   UK (from the clue) the abbreviation for University, and two lots of the Spanish word for ‘the’ reversed (repeatedly return).


18d         Beans and cheese with a coating of marmite (7)
EDAMAME     The surface reading sounds like something Mr CS would enjoy but the beans I also eat are obtained by following the name of a particular Dutch cheese with A (from the clue) and the ‘coating’ or outside letters of MarmitE.


19d         Colt beat Society Falls into place (6)
CLICKS   The abbreviation for colt, an informal word meaning to beat and the abbreviation for Society – the capital F for Falls is just there to mislead!

20d         Murmurings as one journalist returns to Sun (6)
ASIDES   AS (from the clue) I (one) a reversal (returns) of the abbreviation for the ‘top’ journalist, and the abbreviation for Sun.


Thank you to Vigo – hope we see you here again soon.

29 comments on “NTSPP – 269

  1. Nice one, Vigo. My favourite is 9a. I think that Columbia in 10a should probably be Colombia.

  2. I really enjoyed this one.
    I haven’t quite managed to untangle 16a or 4d yet – will have another look later.
    7d took ages – spent too long trying to fit Al into it somehow – oh dear, yet again.
    I liked 13a and 18d (even though that sounds like a ghastly mixture!) 9 and 11a and 12d all made me laugh so my favourite has to be one of those.
    With thanks for the fun to Vigo.

  3. Thanks for a great puzzle Vigo, much enjoyed.

    Favourite has to be 7d where, like Kath, I spent far too long trying to get it to start with Al, doh! Getting 5a sorted that out for me. 9a and 6d are also on the podium.

    Lots of other good stuff so thanks again.

  4. This was most enjoyable – more so than the back-pager. I had 13a ending with craft for a while which caused problems.

    My last in was 7d where I fell into the Al trap. 12d made me laugh, and appropriately 9a had me head-scratching for ages.

    Other picks include 11a, 22a, 24a, 14d, 18d. Will probably nominate the marmitey cheesey beans as favourite. Yummy! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Thanks Vigo. And thanks in advance to Prolixic or whoever does the review.

    1. That was pretty much what I was going to write – so I’ll just say “ditto”!

  5. Nice one. 7D took a while to see and I needed to verify the support group in 16A. Loved 9A. Appropriately, 19D was the last one to ***** into place. Thanks, Vigo. Wish I could say I was having as much fun with the Prize Puzzle!

    1. I’ve got five answers and a possible sixth in the Prize puzzle – they’re almost all in the bottom right corner.
      What’s bugging me most is that the anagram of the letters round the outside comes to twenty-seven and there are twenty-eight letters round the perimeter – maybe it’s all part of a cunningly concealed trap. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

      1. Kath,
        If you look at the enumeration now, or refresh your screen, you’ll see that it now adds up to 28.

        1. Thanks gazza – if you knew how many times I’ve added up the numbers in the anagram and the numbers round the outside you’d understand why I thought that my marbles had gone or that there was a cunning trap which I hadn’t spotted. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifTo you.
          Now that I no longer have that excuse I have to see if I can do the crossword – at the moment it’s really not looking good – I always find Radler’s puzzles really difficult.

      2. Yes – but a huge thankyou Kath, for your comment got me looking at the pattern again. See comment on the relevant page. I am enjoying the crossword, but I have to leave it now for a friend’s birthday do, and reward my brain by soaking it in alcohol. It will doubtless then return to its usual sluggish state :(. Sorry brain.

        Have a lovely evening all, and behave yourselves in my absence!


  6. Thanks Vigo, good crossword.

    I’m another ‘Al’ for Pacino at first; nice misdirection. I didn’t know 18 but it was fairly clued.

    I too particularly enjoyed 9.

  7. Brain dead, knew I should have steered clear. 18d defeated me. Roll on tomorrow and the answers.

  8. I enjoyed this. Not difficult, with some very nice reading clues. My favourite surface readings are 5a (philosophy with appeal hard to top), 12d (man-flu tonic fixed defective performance), and the culinary masterpiece 18d. 19d (colt beat society) was my last one in.

    I did wonder whether 22a needed first letter indicators

    many thanks Vigo and best wishes

  9. Are we really the first ones to notice that it is a pangram? We also toyed with the idea of AL as part of 7d for far too long. A very pleasant puzzle to work through.
    Many thanks Vigo.

    1. Botheration – I am going to have to change the review prologue now – I thought no-one was going to notice the pangram.

    2. Thank you so much for noticing! My first ever NTSPP was a pangram and nobody mentioned it.

      1. Vigo, I may not have commented earlier but I certainly did notice your pangram. 1a was my first in, and as soon as I saw the first letter I had suspicions. Needless to say, I tracked all the letters of the alphabet as they appeared. I thought the way the pangram letters were woven into the clues was excellent. Warmest congrats! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    3. Well-spotted 2kiwis and congratulations on the pangram vigo – don’t know how I missed it given the top two across clues. Sometimes we forget to sit back, relax, and see the bigger picture.

  10. Al got in my way as well! 5a & 7d were real penny-drop moments, 24a wasn’t far behind and, as for 18d, I’ve held down the nausea long enough to get an answer in but I’m damned if I can justify it!

    List of potential favourites includes 5&9a + 1&19d but have to give a special mention to 22a for the reminder of one of my all-time favourite drinks – a really well made Long Island Iced Tea. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Many thanks to Vigo for the Easter treat. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. Thanks for all the feedback. Have just got back from a very long drive home
    from France and all the kind comments have made my evening. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    1. Loved it, only my second or third go at NTSPP and apart from 18d which defeated me until I used the BRB to find something that would fit. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  12. Thank you v. much for the review, CS. Hadn’t come across the name for those particular beans before and this must be the first time I’ve spelled either 4d or 15d correctly first time around!
    Tried very hard to pick up on your clue (8d) for the Prize Puzzle but it hasn’t helped thus far! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. My ‘clue’ refers to the DT Saturday Puzzle not the blog’s Prize Puzzle.

  13. This was a lovely fun puzzle. Fave was 9a, but I loved others like 13a, and 12d. 7d is very cleverly hidden. Took me ages to spot it. Great delight when the penny dropped.

    I’ve never heard of 18d, but it was gettable from the clue. Nice to see a picture of them, Crypticsue. Thank you.

    Many thanks Vigo for an altogether enjoyable puzzle. And many thanks, Crypticsue, for your excellent review. Here’s a rose for each of you: http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  14. Can’t keep away from the NTSPP.
    And I would have missed a very enjoyable crossword.
    Just the right level of difficulty for a long working weekend.
    It was lovely to see Framboise and all her family having lunch at the Jardin.
    My favourite is 20d.
    Thanks to Vigo for the fun and to CS for the review which I needed to understand the parsing of 16a.

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