NTSPP – 281 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 281

NTSPP – 281

A crossword by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows:


1 Cryptically f-female, attractive to laddish types, … (1,3,2,5)
A BIT OF FLUFF – An inverse clue that might be how the setter would clue the initial letter of a word beginning with F with the full phrase describing a female attractive to laddish types.

7 … could be Mrs Buck (3)
DOE – The name given to a female rabbit sounds like another word for money (buck).

9 Note to go and reserve accommodation? (5)
TEPEE – … accommodation on a native American reserve.  A two letter word being a musical note followed by a three letter word meaning to go (as in urinate).

10 Sheltered home’s behind schedule in the south of France (9)
INSULATED – A two letter word meaning home followed by the French for South containing a word meaning behind schedule.

11 Graduate’s mixing salt with ice to make a lot of cold water (6,3)
BALTIC SEA – A two letter abbreviation for a graduate followed by an anagram (mixing) of SALT ICE.

12 Paddy’s retiring, leaving an opening for trainee barman? (5)
ELGAR – Reverse (retiring) a word for a paddy or fit of temper and include (leaving an opening for) the abbreviation for trainee.

13 Taxi is ordered after husband got shot in the crowd? (3,1,3)
HIT A SIX – The abbreviation for hospital followed by an anagram (ordered) for TAXI IS.

15 Rosy prospect at last for dummy (4)
TEAT – The drink that Cockneys refer to a Rosy or Rosie Lee followed by the final letter (at last) of prospect.

18 Investigates cracks in temporary housing (4)
DIGS – A triple definintion.

20 Western boycott’s biting on South Africa (7)
BONANZA – Another word for a boycott includes (biting) the ON from the clue and this is then followed by the IVR code for South Africa.

23 Disorientated in the main (2,3)
AT SEA – A gentle double definition.

24 A versatile, intrusive almost, type of defence … (9)
ANTIVIRUS – The A from the clue followed by an anagram (versatile) of INTRUSIV (the almost telling us to remove the final letter).

26 … not a biker contrived to enter illegally (5,4)
BREAK INTO – An anagram (contrived) of NOT A BIKER.

27 Cross over being harassed by tramp standing out at the front (5)
BUXOM – The letter representing a cross and the abbreviation of over have another word for a tramp around them (being harassed by).

28 Hotel’s out of order to hound slippery customer (3)
EEL – Remove the abbreviation for hotel from an instruction or order that you might give to a dog or hound.

29 Seized by governor, this landmass is about half of southern state (5,6)
NORTH ISLAND – The answer is hidden in (seized by) GOVERNOR THIS LANDMASS.


1 Way for Merkel to put her foot down? (8)
AUTOBAHN – Where Angela Merkel might speed along in her car.

2 Setter’s respectful? Just the opposite (8)
IMPOLITE – A two letter word for “the setter’s” followed by another word meaning respectful to give the opposite of respectful.

3 Signs of possible corruption cropped up in senile boardroom (5)
OBELI – printers signs… The answer is hidden in and reversed (cropped up in) SENILE BOARDROOM.

4 Woman‘s respectable relations (4,3)
FAIR SEX – A word meaning respectable followed by a word meaning carnal relations.

5 New-fangled company that delivers the pictures in Yorkshire? (7)
UPSTART – The name of an international delivery company followed by the way that someone in Yorkshire might say “the art”.

6 Treacherous French promise of fresh start coming to nothing (5,4)
FALSE DAWN – A word meaning treacherous followed by the surname of the comedienne ms French (as a definition by example this should really have been indicated!)

7 Party game for children has resurgence finally following years of decline (6)
DOTAGE – A two letter word for a party followed by a game played by children and the final letter of resurgence.

8 Denture needs repair – it’s no time to suffer (6)
ENDURE – An anagram of DENTURE after removing the T (it has no time).

14 Outrageously Alan Arkin’s sacked a native islander (3,6)
SRI LANKAN – An anagram (outrageously) of ALAN ARKINS after removing the second A (sacked A).

16 Condition man for sex via cutting out starters (8)
ANOREXIA – Remove the first letters (cutting out starters) from [M]AN [F]OR [S]EX [V]IA.

17 Freed from captivity, an unspecified number get seduced by money (8)
RANSOMED – Four letter word meaning an unspecified number inside (seduced by) the currency (money) of South Africa.

19 One pictures old queen amongst the dons (7)
SCANNER – The name of an old queen inside the abbreviation for Senior Common Room (dons).

20 What’s that about Communist undermining British pledge? (7)
BETROTH – A two letter word meaning “what’s that” goes around a four letter word for a communist and this goes under (undermining) the abbreviation for British.

21 Ken’s beloved pub starts to bring in entertainers (6)
BARBIE – Another word for a pub followed by the initial letters (starts to) of Bring In Entertainers.

22 A mount gets to boot … (2,4)
AS WELL – The A from the clue followed by a word meaning mount or increase.

25 … jockeys harbouring black feelings (5)
VIBES – A word meaning jockeys or contents includes (harbouring) the abbreviation for black.

21 comments on “NTSPP – 281

  1. Another really enjoyable puzzle from gazza.

    Lots of laughs as usual – and a few that I still cannot parse.

    I especially liked 12a (the barman one) and 20d (the Communist one) but …

    … my favourite has to be the brilliant 29a – I presume that 2kiwis found the solution far quicker than I did.

  2. Pretty much what Franco said!
    Brilliant crossword as usual from gazza.
    I can’t do 18a – how silly to be defeated by two letters – and I have a few answers I don’t quite understand although I think they’re right.
    I liked 12, 20 and 29a and 21 and 25d, and lots of others too. My favourite, I think, was 1d.
    Thanks and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif to gazza and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  3. Shamefully, I had to resort to Crossword Solver for 17D. I just could not see it. That gave me 27A, my last one in and now my favorite clue.

    I was just about to add that I couldn’t parse my answer for 6D when it hit me between the eyes!

    Lovely stuff from Gazza, as usual. Lots to smile about.

    1. As a beginner, I don’t find this shameful at all! I managed the LHS (apart from 18a) using this as my acceptable level of cheating (i.e without the hints or revealing a letter), but struggled with the RHS.

      Does 6d really have to have an indication of definition by example? Reading Dutch’s blog for Toughie 1420, 25 has a surname where the forename is to be used, and there is no indication there. My understanding has been that this is fine, but had French been used to indicate ‘comedienne’, for example, then the indicator would be required?

      I think that in 1a ‘female’ has to be part of the definition too. 14d – one a is removed (sacked a)

      I do like reverse clues, and I also like Gazza’s allusive but very fair definitions that are present throughout (e.g. shot in the crowd, a lot of cold water). I think my favourites are 9a and 29a (to not make a long hidden word obvious results in a real ‘D’Oh’ moment). Great stuff, many thanks, and to Prolixic for the review.

      By the way, I only found the site was back up by accident – as going to the home page (bigdave44.com) still gives an error message.

      1. if you are getting an error message it could well be because of cached pages. Usually pressing Ctrl+F5 will ignore the cached version and get a new one but one of the error pages has its own url so all you get is a fresh copy of the error page. Here is a link on how to clear cache for Firefox and Internet Explorer (other browsers have similar processes):
        http://www.thesitewizard.com/faqs/default-page-after-publishing.shtml – look under “Your Browser Cached the Old Copy of Your Web Page” and scroll down to “If refreshing the page does not work, clear your browser cache”.

  4. Been out all day so only just had a look to see if the site’s back. Now doubly pleased that it is as the NTSPP is one of Gazza’s. I’ll have a go at it tomorrow.

  5. 29a has to be our favourite by at least a million miles. We got the answer very quickly from the definition but even then it took us ages to twig the wordplay. Brilliant. Still not quite sure how the wordplay works for 1a but guess that it will all be clear by the time we get back from our Sunday morning walk. Excellent stuff and really good fun.
    Many thanks Gazza

  6. Agree about 29a. Great clue.
    Got in a bit of trouble with the cricket as I put the H of 1d in the wrong place but saw a good article by Ben Stokes on the telegraph website explaining it all.
    First thought 1a was a bit of fraff. Thank god it wasn’t.
    Favourite is 16d.
    The only quibble I have is 4d. Shouldn’t it be women in general rather than just woman but would the surface work ?
    Thanks to Gazza for the great fun.
    Ps: Had to cheat on 15a. Two letters short of completion.

    1. If I hadn’t already got 13a (please, someone, be impressed that I got it) I would have spelt 1d the wrong way too.

        1. Thanks! Thanks also for your hint for 18a – I got it immediately you said that it was a triple definition.

  7. Well worth the wait. Nice one Gazza http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    I found it a tad trickier than your recent offerings but a lot of fun so ta muchly.

    29a has to be favourite but I did quite like 1d for its smooth reading and topicality..

  8. Gazza, pure joy! lots of laughs and clever definitions.

    I parsed 7a as being 1a, given the rather beautiful use of ellipsis. In 24a we need the A from the clue to make the anagram work, whereas in 14d we need to remove an A (sacked A). (sorry, I’ll stop counting A’s now).

    Favourites? Well, 9a (note to go), 24a (form of defence), 27a (standing out at front), 28a (hotel’s out of order), 29a (seized by governor), 1d (way for Merkel), 4d (woman.s respectable relations – very nice), 21d (Ken’s beloved pub)

    Genius, Gazza, many thanks for providing this very entertaining puzzle.

    Thank you Prolixic for the review as well as everything else you have been doing for us recently

  9. Forgot to say I’m always impressed with checking X’s – and we have not one, but two!

  10. good puzzle but beaten by 12a & 7d so thanks to Prolixic for the enlightenment

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