NTSPP – 274 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 274

NTSPP – 274

A Puzzle by Wiglaf

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

A great crossword from Wiglaf this week with lots to smile about and to scratch your head over.  I think it took almost as long to parse 4d as it took to solve the rest of the crossword!


1 80s singer has ditched his first love? I’m astonished (2,6)
BY GEORGE – Remove (ditched) the first O (love) from he name of the singer who sang Karma Chameleon.

5 Dicky pirated timeless rag from one of Gershwin’s early movements? (6)
DIAPER – An anagram (dicky) of PIRATED after removing the T (timeless).

9 Daughter’s with retinue about to get married again (8)
REUNITED – An anagram (about) of D (daugheter) RETINUE.

10 English lieutenant arrested by army chief from Ireland? (6)
CELTIC – The abbreviations for English and Lieutenant go inside (arrested) inside the abbreviation for Commander in Chief (army chief).

12 Ostentatiously dressed, as Marie Prevost was according to myth (4,1,4,6)
LIKE A DOGS DINNER – Double definition with the second part referring to the actress who was found dead in her apartment and allegedly part eaten by her pet dog.

13 Ground cornmeal supplied by country near Narnia (8)
CALORMEN – An anagram (ground) of CORNMEAL.

15 Bird? Film actor who got this finally let out (5)
SNIPE – Remove (let out) the last letter (finally) of this from the name of the film actor (first name Wesley) who appeared in, among others, the Blade series of films.

17 What sounds like vegetables? Pees (5)
LEAKS – A homophone (what sounds like vegetables) of leeks.

18 Face of night nurse covered in canary cack (8)
NONSENSE – The first letter (face of) night followed by the abbreviation for a State Enrolled Nurse all inside (covered in) another word for a canary or informer.

20 Youngster, I see, taking hours probing hub unit (5,10)
CUBIC CENTIMETRE – A three letter word for a youngster (often used of animals) followed by the I fro the clue and the letter that phonetically is pronounced see followed by a four letter word that generically describes hours inside (probing) another word for a hub.

23 Old book discovered in Budapest hermitage (8)
ESTHER – The answer is hidden (discovered in) in BUDAPEST HERMITAGE.

24 Fashionable mum gets accepted on the spot (2,6)
IN SHTOOK – A word meaning fashionable or trendy followed by a two letter word indicating mum or quiet and another word for accepted or received.

25 Oriental in the end ignored festival (6)
EASTER – Remove the final letter (in the end ignored) from a word meaning oriental.

26 Zoe Ball pulled nipple out in airship (8)
ZEPPELIN – An anagram (out) of ZOE NIPPLE after removing the O (ball pulled).


1 Not quite in the nude (6)
BARELY – A double definition.

2 Good chance to become a composer (5)
GLUCK – The abbreviation for good followed by a word meaning chance.

3 Unionist blocks another proviso primarily affecting egg producing (9)
OVIPAROUS – The abbreviation for Unionist goes inside an anagram (another) of PROVISO A (the A being the first letter – primarily- of affecting).

4 Scientist/rock legend to take over leading part in Mother Goose up north (6,6)
GREGOR MENDEL – An anagram (rock) of LEGEND includes (to take over) a reversal (up north) of the first letter (leading part) of mother and another word for goose (as in a sexual act).

6 Old warriors kill American in uprising (5)
ICENI – An American word meaning kill followed by a reversal (uprising) of the IN from the clue.

7 Couples, gathering round posh people of fashion, pretend to be superior (3,2,4)
PUT ON AIRS – Another word for couples (or two of anything) goes around (gathering) the abbreviation for posh people and a French word for fashion.

8 Judge in camera? (8)
RECORDER – A double definition, the second being a generic description of what a camera does for pictures in the same way that a tape does for sound.

11 Playing canasta with nine shillings, for example (2,2,8)
AS AN INSTANCE – An anagram (playing) of CANASTA NINE S (shillings).

14 Dahlias regularly given to new “Psycho” actor (4,5)
ALAN BATES – The even letters (regularly) of dAhLiAs followed by the abbreviation for new and the name of the villain in Psycho.

15 Trendy group at the front boarding vessel, this vessel (9)
STEAMSHIP – First (at the front) you need another word for group inside (boarding) the abbreviation for a steamship (vessel) an this is followed by three letter word for trendy.

16 Mouse born with something missing – look! (5,3)
BLACK EYE – The abbreviation for born followed by a word meaning something missing and a three letter word meaning look.

19 Hairpiece exhibited by maiden in front of queen and king? Not quite (6)
MERKIN – The abbreviation for maiden followed by the abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth and the first three letters (not quite) of the king from the clue.

21 Shipmates arrive at last in Cheshire town (5)
CREWE – Another word for the sailors on a ship followed by the final letter (at last) of arrive.

22 Some upstanding councillor tackled abuse during internet discussion (5)
TROLL – The answer is hidden (some) and reversed (upstanding) in COUNCILLOR TACKLED.

23 comments on “NTSPP – 274

  1. A highly entertaining puzzle full of guffaws – thanks Wiglaf. I got 12a largely from the enumeration then googled Marie Prevost – since I was having my lunch at the time I rather wished I hadn’t! Top clues for me were 1a, 5a (d’oh), 12a, 26a, 15d and 19d.

  2. I didn’t have to google 12a. I was introduced to that story by the Jesus of Cool.

    Highly enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Really enjoyed that, thanks very much Wiglaf
    Last in 24a , didn’t realise it was spelt that way

  4. Wrestled with this on and off all evening. Three that I can’t get at all, two that I’ve probably got wrong and a further couple that I think are right but can’t work out why!

    12,17 &24a raised a smile but favourite is definitely 1a.
    Thanks, Wiglaf – I await the review with much interest.

    1. Update! Now have a completed grid……………still don’t understand some of them. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  5. Keeping this one up my sleeve for tomorrow so only had a quick peep and not read any comments yet but I love 26a – wonderful! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  6. I have been digging and delving and planting all day so have only just started this. I have a feeling I am going to find it challenging. Who on earth is Zoe Ball? No, don’t tell me. Let’s see if I get anywhere with the puzzle first.

  7. That was a lovely puzzle but I had to reveal 24a. Didn’t know that expression.
    Got 4d from the checking letters and a little help from Google but couldn’t understand where that Roger came from.
    Was trying to fit Like A Tart’s Handbag in 12a but that didn’t seem to work. There again Google came to the rescue but no pics of the Dachshund though.
    The rest was quite straightforward, thank god.
    Talking of thanks, thanks to Wiglaf for the great time and to Prolixic for the review.

  8. Well – all is now revealed. Many thanks, Prolixic. At least I’d got the right answers, surprising when I look at the number I either didn’t know or couldn’t parse!
    13a – didn’t know the country.
    18a – familiar with ‘snout’ but not ‘nose’ in this context.
    25a – got bogged down with ‘feast’.
    3d – missed the extra ‘a’.
    4d – like Jean-Luc, I found Roger and tried to find a surname to make him into a rock legend!
    7d – didn’t know (or had forgotten) the French word.
    14d – knew the name of the actor who played the leading role, but had forgotten the name of the character!
    16d – never come across that definition.
    19d – new word (rather delightful).

    As I said – it’s amazing I ever got to the end!
    Thanks again to Wiglaf and to Prolixic for a super review – thoroughly enjoyed all the vid. clips. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. Most amusing start to a Sunday but a bit tricky.

    It would be unfair to pick out a favouriteso I’m not going to try.

    Thanks to Wiglaf for the amusement and to Prolixic for parsing 4d (I’m not sure that goose and roger are quite the same thing).

    1. Hi Pommers,
      I wondered about that particular aspect of 4d, but thought it probably rather unladylike to comment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif

    2. I thought the same thing, pommers, but for goose, as a verb, my Dictionary of Slang has: to possess (a woman) or ‘to go wenching’.

      1. New one on me. I agree with the BRB and Collins:-

        “A ram is a ram, a donkey is an ass, and a ram in the ass is a goose” – I’ll get me coat http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      2. OK – ‘fools rush in’ and all that. I was def. thinking of verbs and took ‘roger’ to mean full (and very enthusiastic on the part of the man) sexual intercourse and ‘goose’ to mean a suggestive ‘prod’ probably when both involved are fully clothed.
        Maybe I was less well-informed than I thought. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

  10. Thanks Wiglaf,

    just got around to this on sunday morning. Very enjoyable, though a lot of oblique references. Like Jane i had a long list of things I did not know and had to google.

    Many thanks for sharing this with us

  11. I eventually had to concede defeat with eight clues unsolved. Too much of a slog for me to say I enjoyed it, I’m afraid, though 5A did make me smile. Thanks, Wiglaf, but just not my cuppa. Thanks to Prolixic for the much needed review.

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