NTSPP – 276 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 276

NTSPP – 276

Women’s Lib by Bufo

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A puzzle compiled as a result of a challenge by Crypticsue

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Foreword by Crypticsue

Last October, Bufo and I were chatting in the Town of Ramsgate and I mentioned that it had been a really bad week for the fact that when  the letters BRA came up in a word, the setter automatically used the word ‘supporter’ and that there must be other ‘supporters’ they could use. Bufo said that he would set me a crossword with as many supporters as he could find that weren’t bras, and after a couple of reminders from me to him at subsequent S&Bs, today’s NTSPP is the result.   I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Bravo to Bufo who rose magnificently to the challenge of producing a crossword that celebrates supporters without using the female item of clothing that is often clued as such.  The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that he sneakily slipped one bra into the crossword in the answer to 26a.  This was a crossword where you did not need brainwaves or access to library books to solve and every clue defines a supporter or uses the word as part of the wordplay to produce a vibrant selection of clue for us to solve.


1 Support Scotsmen taking gin (9)
JOCKSTRAP – A five letter slang word for Scottish men followed by another word for a gin or snare.

6 Gain height quickly giving support intermittently to a Parisian (5)
UPRUN – The even letters (intermittently) of sUpPoRt followed by the French for a.

9 Who’ll probably offer support when senior citizen’s head is whirling around? (7)
CRONIES – An anagram (is whirling around) of SENIOR C (citizen’s head – first letter).

10 Support needed after kiss that’s beyond cheeky (7)
LIPPIER – A three letter word for kiss followed by a four letter word for a support or buttress.

11 Students support degrees which lack point (9)
POSTGRADS – A four letter word for an upright form of support followed by another word for degrees of shades of something with the E removed (lacking point).

12 One needing external support in exam (5)
RESIT – The letter represent by one in Roman numerals has another word meaning support around it (external).

13 Various letters offering support (7)
TRESTLE – An anagram (various) of LETTERS.

15 Increases support for Head of Sales in chain store (6)
BOOSTS – The first letter (head of) of sales goes inside the name of the chain of chemists.

17 Characters support organisation for students (3)
NUS – The plural of one of the letters of the Greek alphabet give the abbreviation for the student’s union.

19 Support doctor in row (6)
TIMBER – A two letter abbreviation for a doctor goes inside another word for a row or line.

20 Birds (including knot) – women usually give them support (but not in this puzzle!) (7)
TITTIES – A word for some birds includes a three letter word meaning to knot or fasten something.

22 Old South American supporter finally gets inside vehicle (2-3)
IN-CAR – a word for an old South American followed by the last letter (finally) of supporter.

24 Piano player initially lost support but he’s got the job! (9)
APPOINTEE – An anagram (lost) of PIANO P (player initially – first letter) followed by a support used by golfers.

26 Hug Dorothy’s auntie – she needs support (7)
EMBRACE – The name of the aunt in the Wizard of Oz followed by another word for a support or reinforcement.

27 Possibly I’d melt supporter’s heart harking back to the past (3-4)
OLD-TIME – An anagram (possibly) of ID MELT O (the middle letter or heart of suppOrters).

28 They support the top teams (5)
SIDES – A double definition, the first cryptic.

29 Consumer presses us to give support (9)
SUSPENDER – Another word for a consumer or buyer includes (presses) the US from the clue.


1 Support procuring cannabis for Kitty? (7)
JACKPOT – Another word for a support used in car maintenance perhaps followed by another word for cannabis.

2 Support angry Toughie setter (9)
CROSSBEAM – A five letter word for angry followed by the name of a Toughie setter who rarely uses anagrams in his crosswords and nearly always has a reference to Queen in his clues.

3 At sea lacking first-class support (5)
SLING – Another word for yachting or being at sea without the AI (lacking first-class).

4 Opening part of requiem Smetana composed for supporters of a religious movement (8)
RASTAMEN – An anagram (composed) of R (first letter or opening part of requiem) SMETANA.

5 Supports European involved in slip-up (5)
PILES – The abbreviation for European goes inside a reversal (up) of the SLIP from the clue.

6 Support me when struggling to be first (9)
UPPERMOST – An anagram (when struggling) of SUPPORT ME.

7 King supports air attacks (5)
RAIDS – The abbreviation for Rex or King followed by another word meaning supports or assists.

8 In arcane rite supporters seek out molluscs (7)
NERITES – The answer is hidden (in… seek out) in ARCANE RITE SUPPORTERS.

14 Support magistrates maintaining what’s right. They’ll resolve deadlocks (3-6)
TIE-BREAKS – Another word for a type of support used in brickwork followed by an informal word for judges or magistrates including (maintaining) the abbreviation for right.

16 Support girl, a long-legged creature (9)
STILTBIRD – The type of support used in circus acts followed by an informal, derogatory, word for a girl.

18 Wife’s relatives need support when climbing on the west side of Snowdon (4-4)
STEP-SONS – Another word for a type of ladder followed by the ON from the clue and the first letter (west side) of Snowdon.

19 Start to tighten bolts used in supports (7)
TRIVETS – The first letter (start to) of tighten followed by another word for bolts used in ship-building.

21 Second man has to support Rupert’s mother perhaps (3-4)
SHE-BEAR – The abbreviation for second followed by a pronoun for a man and a word meaning to support or carry something.

23 Copper support is cut into pieces (5)
CUBED – The chemical symbol for copper followed by a type of support on which you sleep.

24 Supports top of aspidistra with stakes (5)
ABETS – The first letter (top of) Aspidistra followed by another word for stakes or wagers.

25 Parliament mostly supports trendy record company (5)
INDIE – A four letter word for a parliament with its last letter removed (mostly) goes under (supports) a two letter word meaning trendy.

26 comments on “NTSPP – 276

  1. It’s been a long time (over two years) since we last had a NTSPP from Bufo but it’s been well worth the wait – this one is excellent with smooth clues throughout. I found the top half more difficult than the bottom. My favourite, for the d’oh moment, was 1a. Thanks, Bufo – and don’t leave it so long next time!

  2. Good fun and extremely enjoyable. I also liked 1a and 1d so thanks to Bufo for taking up the challenge.

  3. I loved this – thanks Bufo.

    Having missed Crypticsue’s preamble, I had the additional fun of figuring out what was going on.

    I liked 1s across and down and also 20a, 26a, 28a and 29a.

  4. At least there were more things to be found in Robert Dyas rather than Ann Summers.
    That was great fun.
    Loved 28a. Of course they do. That was my d’oh moment as I wasn’t sure about the ending of 23d.
    20a made me laugh too.
    But my favourite is definitely 19d for it’s superb surface.
    Thanks to Bufo and to CS for the inspiration.

  5. Absolutely brilliant – I loved it all and so many clues/answers made me laugh. It hasn’t got the grass cut but it was much more fun.
    1a caused trouble for ages – having got the third letter ‘C’ I was sure that the Scotsmen had to be ‘Macs’ . . .
    I’ll have to be patient and wait for the review tomorrow as I’ve still got about three answers that I don’t understand.
    I liked 11a and 16 and 21d. My favourite is either 20 or 2d but http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    With thanks and huge congratulations to Bufo – what a feat! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  6. “Women’s Lib?”

    I thought it was going to be Bra-less …I still cannot parse 26a.

    1. No – neither could I but BD’s hint has made it all clear.
      How I didn’t know who Dorothy’s auntie was I just don’t know – our younger Lamb made us all watch the Wizard of Oz so many times . . .

  7. I needed a little support to finish but very enjoyable. 6a is a bit of an obsolete word but gettable from the wordplay (although I had the two words the other way around!) I got a bit stuck in the NW corner until I found the key first letter for both 1 clues.

    I liked the tongue-in-cheek 20 (hope crypticsue approves!)

  8. We loved it. We sat down in front of the cricket on TV after having had another tourist day in the Big Smoke (Tate Modern and The Globe) and laughed all the way through it. Not a quick solve by any means. Can’t decide on what to pick for favourite from 1a, 1d and 20a.
    Thanks a lot Bufo, and we read out the clues using the correct accent too.

  9. I started this yesterday, and had to put it aside to get other things accomplished, so picked it up again in the early hours this morning. Like Kath, I tried to make Mac fit in 1A at first. It was hard not to burst out laughing (and wake up the household) when the answer came to me! 15A was my last one in. I was fixated on M&S for quite a while. Not at all sure of my answer for 9A. It fits the clues but I can’t parse it so I suspect it may be wrong. I just loved the puzzle! It took a bit of time, but so clever and so funny. 1A and 2D are favorites, with the cheeky 20A a close second. Thanks, Bufo!

  10. I really enjoyed this, lots of laugh out loud moments, and to have got the theme so smoothly into every clue is an incredible achievement. My favourite was 20a.

    Thanks! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  11. Thanks to Prolixic for the explanations. I’m rather ashamed to admit that the two answers I couldn’t explain – 9 and 24a – were both anagrams that I missed!
    More thanks and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif to Bufo.

  12. A brilliant crossword indeed – I’d already thanked Bufo for this wonderful puzzle but will do so again publicly while also thanking Prolixic for the review. Edit: several hours later, I have just spotted the vibrant in the prologue! Cleverly sneaky as ever.

    I’ve tried to think of other crosswordy things that irritate but so far haven’t come up with enough to fill another crossword. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

    1. I spotted the bra in 26a which was why I couldn’t make sense of my answer – seemed to have a few spare letters. Not knowing, or having forgotten, who Dorothy’s auntie was didn’t help either.
      I’ll join you in trying to think of other crosswordy irritations but don’t hold your breath . . .

    2. Doesn’t irritate me, of course, but I know a certain person who would say “American slang”. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  13. I thought this was stunning. As always, I couldn’t finish it without cheating a bit, but I was often just admiring the construction. To get every clue to fit the theme in a normal grid, without seeming forced, and using a wide range of wordplays, seems astonishing to me. The clues were entertaining and witty, too. No wonder it took a while.

    Many thanks

  14. Just got back from my week in Cheshire (catching up with ‘old’ friends) and found this offering from Bufo somewhat of a challenge. Stumbling blocks included:-
    Not having previously come across the anagram indicators in 24a & 6d.
    Not knowing the answer at 8d (shame on me!).
    Never having heard of a Stilt referred to as a Stiltbird – still not sure it’s a ‘real’ word!
    Not very happy about the definition at 18d.
    Spent far too long trying to fit something to do with ‘our’ Kitty into 1d!

    Best of the best for me were 1&29a plus 1&3d – favourite, as you would expect, is 2d.

    A brilliantly constructed puzzle – well done indeed to Bufo. Also many thanks to CS for making the initial suggestion and to Prolixic for the incredibly illustrated review. Thought your pic. at 29a was remarkably well restrained! Perhaps the hint for 22a is slightly incorrectly worded?

    1. Good to see you back, Jane. Hope you had a great time.

      I agree with you about 18d. However, your Kitty has been told that 1d is defined perfectly!

      1. I suppose there’s no prizes for guessing who told you about the perfection of the 1d definition!!!
        Had a great time, thanks Kitty. Over indulgence in food, wine and gossip – what could be better. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  15. Brilliant! I’ve been busy all weekend and only just got around to tackling this splendid and entertaining puzzle. 20a was my favourite, but it does seem a bit invidious to pick just one from such an excellent selection.

    I got held up badly in the NE corner as my first answer in was “float” for 3d which I justified as “afloat” (at sea) minus “a” (first class) – wrong!

    6a and 8d were new words for me but easily derived from the clues.

    Thank you Bufo, and more like this please. Thanks too to Prolixic.

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