NTSPP – 271 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 271

NTSPP – 271

More Than One Could Chew by Chalicea

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

If you have solved one of Chalicea’s puzzles before then you will know what to expect – a fun puzzle.  Make sure you read the instructions before starting.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Many thanks to Chalicea for today’s NTSPP.  This was a gentle crossword (if you spotted quickly the three-letter word omitted from the wordplay) helped by there being 11 whole or partial anagrams in the clues (Gazza would have had to have taken his socks off if reviewing this one!).  A copy of the solution with the three-letter word highlighted in the solutions can be found at the end of this review.  I always enjoy Chalicea’s crosswords and this was no exception however, as this is her fourth crossword with a missing three-letter word, it would be nice to ring the changes with a different theme or no theme for the next one perhaps?


1 Small marsh bird; aquatic flier (7)
BITTERN – The three-letter word followed by the name of a an aquatic bird.

5 Macho in newly-shaped punky hairstyle (7)
MOHICAN – An anagram (newly-shaped) of MACHO IN.

9 Little songbirds; choice items (7)
TITBITS – The three-letter word goes inside the name of little songbirds.

10 Underdone Welsh delicacy? (7)
RAREBIT – Another word for underdone (as a steak might be cooked) followed by the three-letter word.  Does the question mark indicate that our setter does not think this may be a delicacy?

11 Participant in snow sport, maybe riskiest when it’s sadly lacking (5)
SKIER – An anagram (maybe) of RISKIEST after removing (lacking) the letters in ITS.  The sadly is a secondary anagram letter to tell us that the letters are not in the word from which they are removed.

12 He and I strangely occupied (9)
INHABITED – The three-letter word inside an anagram (strangely) of HE AND I.

13 In trouble, gang reuse lubricating pump (9)
GREASEGUN – An anagram (in trouble) of GANG REUSE.

15 Formerly concealed content (4)
ONCE – The answer is hidden (content) in CONCEALED.

18 At ninety degrees starts experiencing abnormally scorching temperatures (4)
EAST – The initial letters (starts) of the final four words of the clue.

19 Resents cunning debuggers (9)
BEGRUDGES – An anagram (cunning) of DEBUGGERS.

22 Boston’s restaurant for light meals; proletariat bizarrely rejecting it! (9, 2 words)
TEA PARLOR – … the American spelling (Boston’s) of an establishment that serves light meals.  An anagram (bizarrely) of PROLETARIAT after removing the letters (rejecting) in IT.  As the letters are removed in order, a secondary anagram indicator is not required.

24 Light door lock, primarily located at church (5)
LATCH – The first letter (primarily) of located followed by the AT from the clue and an abbreviation for church.

26 Data unit, roughly two pounds (7)
KILOBIT – The metric measure that is roughly two pounds in real money followed by the three-letter word.

27 Celebrity’s devotees blow cool air on foremost of clueless, loud, uninformed buffs (7, 2 words)
FAN CLUB – A word meaning blow cool air on followed by the initial letters (foremost of) the final four words in the clue.

28 Exceptionally rare judge (7)
ARBITER – The three-letter word inside an anagram (exceptionally) of RARE.

29 Publicly present one-time partner with word used as friendly greeting (7)
EXHIBIT – a two-letter word for a former or one-time partner followed by a two letter greeting and the three-letter word.


1 Uses teeth to cut into shells of eggs (5)
BITES – The three-letter word followed by the outer letter (shells – should this be shell as there is only one set of outside letters?) of eggs.

2 Shabby condition of tasteless clothes in heartless sales after closure of store (9)
TATTINESS – A three-letter four-letter word (many thanks Gazza) for tasteless clothes followed by the IN from the clue, the final letter (closure) of store and the outer letters (heartless) of sales.

3 Subtly resisted lady in charge of newspaper (8)
EDITRESS – An anagram (subtly) of RESISTED.

4 Sent wandering on local meadow, home-making for 1ac and 13dn (7)
NESTING – An anagram (wandering) of SENT followed by a dialect word (local) for a meadow.

5 Spoil the lower jaw – what the saints did? (7, 2 words)
MARCH IN – … according to the song.  A three-letter word for spoil or ruin followed by another word for the lower jaw.

6 Not far off having flavour of medicinal plants, including touch of estragon (6)
HEREBY – A word describing the flavour of medicinal plants (or those used for seasoning food) including the first letter (touch of) estragon.

7 Copper measure (length of an arm) (5)
CUBIT – The chemical symbol for copper followed by the three-letter word.

8 Sends note about eminence (9)
NOTEDNESS – An anagram (about) of SENDS NOTE (It is a pity that the first four letters of the answer are the last four letters of the anagram letters.)

13 Bird‘s a large kebab we’re told! (9, 2 words)
GREAT SKUA – Another word for large followed by a homophone (we’re told) of skewer (kebab).

14 Put to some purpose profit derived from property (3)
USE – A double definition, the second being a legal term from the Latin usufruct (the right to enjoy a benefit from the property).

16 Decapitated chevalier with weapon in place of evening entertainment (9)
NIGHTCLUB – Remove the first letter (decapitated) from another word for a chevalier and follow this by a type of weapon.

17 Renounced midday meal, packed one, prepared in advance in Perth (8, 2 words)
CUT LUNCH – Another word for renounced followed by another word for a midday meal.  A nod to our Antipodean solvers perhaps as the traditional English hostelry meal would have fitted the grid?

19 First stage of spacecraft with launching-pad principally replacing old support mechanism (7)
BOLSTER – Another word for the first stage of a rocket has an O (old) replaced by the first letter (principally) of launching-pad.  As the initial word has two Os, perhaps second old support mechanism would please the purists.

20 Blunder about Irish mammal (7)
GIRAFFE – Another word for blunder goes around the abbreviation for Irish.

21 Tip off drearily dull timid person (6)
RABBIT – Remove the first letter (tip-off) a word for dreary dull and follow this by the three-letter word.

23 Spontaneous remark about bald one? (2-3)
AD-LIB – An anagram (about) of BALD I (one).

25 Sound expressing surprise custom (5)
HABIT – A two letter word used when expressing surprise followed by the three-letter word.


23 comments on “NTSPP – 271

  1. An enjoyable lunchtime diversion – the ‘missing’ is easy to spot after a while and helps no end.

    My favourite is 13d although there are a number of also-rans. Thanks to Chalicea and Prolixic in advance.

    1. I enjoyed it! But are the enumerations supposed to be like that?

      (22a / 27a / 5d / 13d / 17d)

      Or am I missing something? Most probably me!

      1. Yes, the enumerations are supposed to be like that. It’s in the Azed style – means you can’t use a word searcher to find the answer at first.

      2. I suppose (7) (two words) might have been clearer but there wasn’t any doubt what you were looking for in each case.

  2. Thanks to Chalicea, an enjoyable solve.

    I’m not sure in 17d why a more usual English expression could not be used in place of an Australian one.

    Some nice clues here, I particularly liked 5d &13d.

  3. Entertaining stuff and fairly straightforward once the missing element has been identified.

    Like Crypticsue, 13d was my favourite too.

    Apart from the bizarrely-spelt bizzarely (sic), my one minor quibble is that several of the anagrams were a little on the easy side, in fact 8d is probably the easiest I’ve seen in any puzzle this year!

    Many thanks Chalicea.

  4. Done except for 17D, and I have no idea what that it. Good fun. 22A and 13D are my picks. Thanks, Chalicea!

  5. Oh dear yes, Silvanus, so sorry about the bizzarity of that – I should have run it past the spell check. The test-solver didn’t pick it up either!

    1. I missed it as well – but it’s now corrected.

      (You may need to refresh the page with Ctrl+F5 to get the revised version.)

  6. Thank you, Chalicea, I enjoyed this one and nice to see so many of our feathered friends getting a look in! Well done for fitting in so many instances of the three-letter word – helped a lot with one clue in particular.

    I’d certainly go along with 13d for favourite and have to confess to being another who hadn’t heard of 17d before, although it seemed to be quite a reasonable expression.

    Look forward to reading the review tomorrow.

  7. I picked the key three letter word quite early on and this certainly helped. Good fun. Will go along with the majority and nominate 13d as favourite. Enjoyed the extra challenge of having to guess the enumeration of the multi-word answers. Was surprised to learn that 7d is exclusive to our part of the world. It is commonly used here but I had mistakenly read the clue to imply that it was Scottish in origin.
    Thanks Chalicea.

  8. The first clue I saw was 28a due to my printed version and I said to myself: that ‘s a lovely anagram indicator with 3 letters missing. And on the other side there was 25d Quelle surprise!
    Having the key word in my bag, I slowly made my way up.
    I really enjoyed the ride and 5d and 20d made me smile.
    13d took a while.
    Thanks to Chalicea for the great fun.

  9. I enjoyed this one very much.
    I found the three letter word quickly which certainly helped.
    The enumeration made things a bit tricky in places.
    I didn’t get 17d and don’t think I would ever have got it.
    I think my favourite was probably 1d even though the thought of it is pretty awful.
    With thanks to Chalicea and to whoever did the hints – who is Admin? A http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif to him or her.

  10. I enjoyed this, Chalicea. Some fun clues, and I particularly liked 5d, 13d and 20d.

    I discovered the missing word very early on. That certainly helped, and the only clue which really tripped me up was 17d. I’m yet another who never did get it. (The only ‘Perth’ foods I’ve heard of are ‘sangas’ and ‘chooks’… )

    My thanks to Chalicea for the enjoyable NTSPP and to Prolixic for the elucidation and lovely illustrations.

  11. Well, Rabbit Dave is certainly on a roll this weekend – first prize in the MPP and a name-check in the NTSPP!

    Many thanks for the review, Prolixic – I wasn’t familiar with the Latin term in 14d and would probably dispute the fact that 1a is ‘small’ but it was a good fun puzzle.

    Just one question – isn’t there a random ‘T’ in the answer to 2d that isn’t accounted for in the wordplay?

    Thanks again, Chalicea, I look forward to your next puzzle.

      1. Thanks, Gazza – not a spelling I’ve ever come across. Maybe the review needs changing? Prolixic refers to a ‘three-letter word’.

  12. Yes, my test solver complained that there seemed to be an inexplicable T in that one and had to be convinced about Chambers.
    I think the Prolixic reviews are fabulous – I think setters will be queuing up to create a NTSPP just to get a Prolixic review!

Comments are closed.