NTSPP – 283 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 283

NTSPP – 283

WI…F by Wiglaf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

By the way, Wiglaf has an EV puzzle scheduled to be published tomorrow.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows:

Quite a feat to get all the across answers as elements of the periodic table (as indicated by the title of the crossword (W = Tungsten, I = Iodine and F = Fluorine).  As befitting a crossword with chemical elements whose names are abbreviated, this crossword contained a large number of abbreviations in the wordplay (I counted 20). 


6 Child at home engaged in learning (8)
CHLORINE – The abbreviation for child followed a word meaning at home inside (engaged in) a word for traditional learning or knowledge.

8 Christian Union backed old comedy writer (6)
CURIUM – The abbreviation for Christian Union followed by a reversal (backed) of the surname of the old comedy writer Frank ****

10 Graduate student in bed (6)
COBALT – The abbreviations for Bachelor of Arts (graduate) and for a student inside another word for a bed.

11 Yanks seen around Number Ten (8)
TUNGSTEN – A word meaning yanks or pulls goes around a single letter abbreviation for a number and this is followed by the ten from the clue.

12 Football club with no one left in command (7)
ARSENAL – Remove the A (one) and the abbreviation for left from Big Dave’s least favourite football team and add the abbreviation for in charge.

14 Beginning to enjoy spirit after drinking large short (6)
ERBIUM – The first letter (beginning to) of enjoy followed a type of alcoholic sprit inside which (after drinking) you add a word meaning large with the final letter removed (short).

15 Elephant-headed god, hard to ignore being covered in hair (9)
MANGANESE – Remove the abbreviation for hard from the name of the Hindu god whose avatar is an elephant head and put another word for the type of hair that covers a lion around it (covered in).

19 Little work during cold period (6)
COPPER – The abbreviation (little) for opus (work) inside (during) the abbreviation for cold and the abbreviation for period.

21 Mum is playing with fire (7)
FERMIUM – An anagram (playing) of MUM FIRE.

23 Some receiving Athenian investment (8)
ANTIMONY – The name of a literary Athenian goes inside (receiving … investment) a word meaning some.

25 Murmuring about old priest (6)
HELIUM – A word for murmuring goes around the name of an Old Testament priest.

26 Satellite feed (6)
IODINE – One of the moons of Jupiter followed by a word meaning feed or eat.

27 Revolutionary line for unionist (8)
FLUORINE – An anagram (revolutionary) of LINE FOR U (U is the abbreviation for unionist).


1 As with John Hurt, they bring bad luck (6)
JONAHS – An anagram (hurt) of AS JOHN.

2 See Leninist illegally phone tap (6,2)
LISTEN IN – An anagram (illegally) of LENINIST

3 Hitchhiker showing slight depression (4)
DENT – Double definition, the first being the surname of the hitchhiker in the Douglas Adams series.

4 A type of candlestick found in study in small church (6)
SCONCE – Another word for read or study goes inside the abbreviation for small and the abbreviation for church.

5 It’s easy to forget when Queen first topped the chart (8)
ERASABLE – The abbreviation for the current queen goes before (first) a word meaning when and this is followed by a word for a chart with the first letter removed (topped).

7 Bend a hot pipe (6)
HOOKAH – Another word for a bend followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for hot.

9 Handy American fuel for cooking (6)
USEFUL – A two letter abbreviation for American followed by an anagram (for cooking) of FUEL.

13 Josh is held in such affection (5)
CHAFF – The answer is hidden (held in) in SUCH AFFECTION.

15 Wacky hemp? It’s producing foul-smelling gas (8)
MEPHITIS – An anagram (wacky) of HEMP IT IS (you need to expand the it’s in the clue to the full IT IS).

16 E.g. clay barrel for carrying up edible root-tuber (5-3)
EARTH-NUT – Another word for a substance such as clay followed by a reversal (up) of a barrel used for carrying.

17 Pacific island where one gets carried round (6)
BORNEO – A word meaning one gets carried followed by the letter that is round.

18 Setter’s facing boxer with new challenge (6)
IMPUGN – Another way of saying the setter followed by a type of boxer dog and the abbreviation for new.

20 Reporter’s travelled to South Aegean island (6)
RHODES – A homophone (reporter’s) of a word meaning travelled followed by the abbreviation for south.

22 Spivs misread slide rule (6)
IDLERS – An anagram (misread) of SLIDE R (R is the abbreviation for rule).

24 Russian leather? The solver will want nothing less on feet (4)
YUFT – Remove the O (want nothing less) from a word describing the solver and follow this with the abbreviation for feet.


22 comments on “NTSPP – 283

  1. Thanks to Wiglaf for an entertaining puzzle. Somewhat to my surprise I had heard of all but two of the across answers, My favourite clues were 26a, 1d and 3d.
    I still haven’t worked out the signifance of the title.

  2. Not completely sure about the title either, though I did notice 3 letters were picked from the setter’s name that were of a kind – I hope that doesn’t give anything away.

    Soon got 10a which set the theme, and it was fun trying to remember stuff I really should know. Last one in was 5d, struggling to parse the last 3 words – ah, just saw it! Funny how that happens when you write a comment.

    Loved the definition for 3d, and 15d was a new word, as was 24d!

    Very enjoyable, many thanks Wiglaf for adding some fun to my Saturday

      1. On my odd foray into Toughie territory I have occasionally got sufficiently frustrated to resort to Crossword Solver. I can’t tell you how many times just putting the checking letters I already have into those little boxes has resulted in a light bulb moment! Far more satisfying than when that doesn’t work and the CS site produces – in the blink of an eye – four pages of words I never even knew existed. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  3. This was so far out of my comfort zone! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
    Somehow arrived at answers for two of the ‘across’ clues but had to ask Mr. Google to confirm one of those as being a real word. Penny then dropped as to the probable connection and I’m ashamed to admit that I then sat with a list in front of me to work out the remainder. ‘Down’ clues then became somewhat easier to answer but doubt I’d have got them all without so many checkers in place and electronic help at hand.

    Favourites are 4,7&20d.

    Sorry, Wiglaf – a reflection on my lack of knowledge rather than your setting abilities! At least I soldiered on to the end………..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  4. There were far too many elements of this puzzle that I didn’t understand!

    I tried… I failed !

  5. Well – the longer I do crosswords the more things I discover that I know absolutely nothing about!
    Like Jane I had to do an awful lot of cheating – not really cheating as I don’t think we can cheat ourselves.
    Like Dutch I got 10a, assumed I’d got the theme and carried on slowly from there.
    I’ve never heard of 24d Russian leather.
    I liked 21a and 1 and 7d.
    With thanks to Wiglaf.
    I still don’t get the significance of the title. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

    1. Just a guess, Kath, but I went for W,I and F as being more of the same and the missing three letters taken together having to do with a rather attractive tall plant with yellow flowers.
      There again – I could well be very, very wrong. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  6. A type of puzzle I do not like much. Heavily themed puzzles are either impossible or too easy, as was the case for me with this one. The across clues were pretty much write-ins as I’m a chemist so it was all over in not very long at all.

    Haven’t a clue what the title is all about though. Tungsten, Iodine and Fluorine? Beats me . . .

    Anyway, it was a bit of fun while it lasted so thanks Wiglaf. At least you’ve proved to me that my memory of the periodic table is still there, even a couple of obscure ones didn’t rattle the cage.

  7. Not just heavily themed with highly specialized knowledge, but laced with other specialized knowledge…elephant-headed god, author of a book I’ve never read and had to Google, root-tuber, and whatever 1D and 24D are. I do not like the kind of puzzle that is so restrictive as to not give the solver a fighting chance. There’s such a thing as being too clever by half. I have abandoned it with 5 clues unsolved because I just can’t be bothered to continue.

    1. Standard paper size for me is 8.5 x 11, a bit shorter than A4, so a 2-page print out is something that was a fairly frequent occurrence. Sometimes, the second page had just one line of one clue on it! It took me far too long and a tree or two of wasted paper to realize that I did have the print option to shrink oversized pages, which does the trick.

      1. With my limited technical knowledge I’ll do my best to look into that! Thanks, Chris.

  8. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic – I certainly couldn’t have completed this one without the periodic table in front of me! Three of the elements I hadn’t heard of previously and some of the others, whilst I knew the names, I didn’t realise came under the heading of ‘elements’.
    Moving on to the ‘downs’ – I haven’t read ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’, didn’t know the elephant-headed god, never heard of either the foul-smelling gas or the Russian leather and came up with ‘earth-tub’ for 16d which made little sense! Should have been able to get 16d – that was a silly error – but the remainder I had to ask Mr. Google about and even he didn’t come up with the word for 24d. I finished up with ‘yift’ (gift) thinking that the first two letters were some sort of contraction of ‘ye will’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif
    I did eventually ‘get’ the title although by that stage I was so steeped in the unknown world of chemistry I also thought it was going to be relevant that the missing letters GLA represent gamma-linolenic acid as found in Evening Primrose oil. Looked for a possible Nina to confirm that but – obviously – never found it!

    Sorry, Wiglaf – you are doubtless shaking your head in disbelief – but I’d like to bet I’m not the only one who came up well short of your expectations. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

  9. Thanks Wiglaf & Prolixic. Nice setting although I didn’t find it that enjoyable. I don’t like starting with half the clues undefined.

    I would have preferred this as a ghost theme with conventional clues. Once I had got ERBIUM I used a list of elements to fill in most of the answers, although that was a bit lazy as I knew them anyway (except FERMIUM wasn’t top of my list.)

    La is Lanthanum, so it could have been WI.LAF I guess, although La wasn’t in the answers.

  10. I knew our leader is a bit fond of Spurs but didn’t realise Arsenal was his least favourite.
    We had a game in London where we translated the tube stations in French and he will surely be pleased to hear that Arsenal became ” le cul sur tout le monde”.
    That clue along with manganese were the first In and gave me the theme.
    It did make it slightly easier but it was quite a slog.
    Needed the periodic table in front of me and slowly parsed the more obscure elements.
    Thanks to Wiglaf for the challenge and to Prolixic for the review.

    1. Had to look up ‘cul’ as it somehow never figured much in our O level course (!) but, yes, I should think BD is more than likely to slip your translation into a conversation at some point. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  11. Keep checking back to see whether Wiglaf has popped in. Apparently not – that’s a shame. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

Comments are closed.