NTSPP – 278
Birds of a Feather by Vigo
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.
Vigo does not appear as often as she ought to in the NTSPP. This was a super crossword, a pangram, with a cleverly introduced theme where a number of answers (I counted 12, indicated by a ** by the clue number) were collective nouns for groups of birds.
6 Trust worker to conceal vile cavorting (7)
BELIEVE – One of the insect workers goes around (to conceal) an anagram (cavorting) of VILE.
**7 Delight in daily mass (5)
CHARM – Another word for a daily or cleaner followed by the abbreviation for mass. A charm of finches.
**9 Boat‘s a good way back at rear of fleet (4)
RAFT – Reverse (back) a word meaning a good way (or long distance) and follow this by the last letter (rear of) fleet. A raft of ducks.
**10 Elevation of English taxation corrupted grasping left (10)
EXALTATION – An anagram of E (English) TAXATION includes (grasping) the abbreviation for left. An exaltation of larks.
11 Reminders hospital department concealed in notes (8)
MEMENTOS – The abbreviation for a hospital department goes inside (concealed in) another word for written notes.
13 A northerly wind delivers foreign aid (2,4)
AU PAIR – The A from the clue followed by the direction on a map indicated by northerly and another word for wind.
15 Weary Ninja, defeated in part (4)
JADE – The answer is hidden (in part) in NINJA DEFEATED.
**17 Swap ram’s head for lamb’s in gore stew (5)
BROOD – Another word for gore has the L (lamb’s head) replaced by R (Ram’s head). A brood of chickens.
18 Fume old cloth with last of cyanide (4)
RAGE – Another word for an old or scrappy cloth followed by the final letter (last of) cyanide.
19 Social climber returning to first class Japanese art form (6)
BONSAI – Reverse (returning) a word for a social climber or stuck up person and follow this with the abbreviation for first class.
20 Sit tired, dishevelled and most grimy (8)
DIRTIEST – An anagram (dishevelled) of SIT TIRED.
**23 Peacekeeper roughly skinned serpent’s head, showing lack of compassion (10)
UNKINDNESS – The abbreviation for United Nations (peacekeepers) followed by an anagram (roughly) of SKINNED followed by the first letter (head) of serpent. An unkindness of ravens.
26 Short time at castle boundary (4)
MOAT – A two letter word for a short period of time followed by the at from the clue.
**27 Gutless knave featuring in evil yarn (5)
SKEIN – The outer letters (gutless) of knave go inside (featuring in) another word for evil. A skein of geese.
28 Soldier bound by endless responsibility goes AWOL (7)
TRUANTS – The other worker insect goes inside (bound by) a word meaning responsibility with the final letter removed (endless).
1 Happiness surrounds the North East in show of endless cheer (10)
BLITHENESS – A word meaning happiness or ecstasy goes around (surrounds) the THE from the clue and the abbreviation for North East.
**2 Lie in empty crate, bound up outside (6)
DECEIT – Reverse (up) a word meaning bound or fasten and put this around (outside) the outer letters (empty) of crate. A deceit of lapwings.
3 Greek zulu? (4)
ZETA – The equivalent Greek letter that is represented by Zulu in the NATO phonetic alphabet.
4 Good man assuming care of league and country (8)
SCOTLAND – The abbreviation for saint (good man) includes (assuming) the abbreviation for care of and this is followed by the abbreviation for league and the AND from the clue.
**5 Pet keeping son company (4)
CAST – A feline pet includes (keeping) the abbreviation for son. A cast of falcons or hawks.
**6 Reinforce undergarment with concrete edging (5)
BRACE – A female undergarment followed by the outer letters (edging) of concrete. A brace of ducks.
8 Mounted horseman clasps popular source of stability (7)
MOORING – Reverse (mounted) another word for a horseman includes (clasps) a word meaning popular.
**12 Small, heartless vixen (5)
SCOLD – The abbreviation for small followed by a word meaning heartless or unemotional. A scold of jays.
**14 Corrupt liar replacing last of money in reward for congress (10)
PARLIAMENT – An anagram (corrupt) of LIAR replaces the Y (last of money) in another word for a reward or cash sum paid. A parliament of owls.
16 Marks new leader of unruly nations (7)
ANOINTS – An anagram (unruly) of NATIONS.
**17 Essentially conflicted over diamonds one gets in bribe for construction (8)
BUILDING – The central letters (essentially) of conflicted and the abbreviation for diamonds and the letter representing one all go inside another word for a bribe. A building of rooks.
21 Blue Iris queen holds (6)
RISQUE – The answer is hidden in (holds) IRIS QUEEN.
22 Diverts road in sections (5)
SWAYS – Another word for a road goes inside the repeated (as the word is in the plural) abbreviation for section.
24 Object one encountered coming up (4)
ITEM – The letter representing one followed by a reversal (coming up) of a word meaning encountered.
25 Pigs regularly seen in regattas (4)
EATS – The even letters (regularly) of REGATTAS.