NTSPP – 319 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 319

NTSPP – 319

Snow Goose (before and after) by Dutch

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Dutch has been promoted to the NTSPP slot so that this puzzle, which will be distributed to those attending the S&B meeting in Macclesfield, can be published here simultaneously.  Can you work out the significance of the title?

A review of this puzzle follows by Prolixic.

This crossword was set by Dutch for the Slogger and Betters meeting in Macclesfield at the Snow Goose.  A number of solutions to this crossword can be preceded or followed by one of those words.  A list of the themed words is at the end of the crossword.  To get so many themed words into the crossword without using obscure words in the remainder of the grid is quite a feat.


1 Frenzied whirl oddly ending in Macclesfield (4)
WILD – The odd letters of whirl followed by the last letter (ending in) of Macclesfield.

3 Hose off something stepped into? (4)
SHOE – An anagram (off) of HOSE.

6 Samba contest has some tasty flesh on display (5)
BACON – The answer is hidden in (has … on display) SAMBA CONTEST.  Unusually, the definition here is not at the end or beginning of the clue.

10 Picked up in a Rover he’d pimped (9)
OVERHEARD – An anagram (pimped) of A ROVER HED.

11 Drives that woman to drink – sherry, primarily (5)
HERDS – A word meaning that woman followed by the initial letters (primarily) of Drink and Sherry.

12 Rambling in England with your old lecturer up front (7)
LENGTHY – A three letter abbreviation for England followed by the old form of your all preceded by (up front) the abbreviation for lecturer.

13 Spots politician in distressing condition (7)
PIMPLES – The abbreviation for a Member of Parliament (politician) inside another word for haemorrhoids (distressing condition).

14 Lustfully hug and chug (4)
NECK – A double definition, the second being to drink quickly – something I am sure did not happen in Macclesfield.

16 Constitutionally American, a damaged nation? (6)
CANADA – The answer is hidden in (constitutionally) AMERICAN A DAMAGED.

18 Essence of calmness about a person (3)
MAN – The central letters (essence) of calmness around (about) the A from the clue.

21 Fellow knocking back no end of mild (3)
DON – Reverse (knocking back) the NO from the clue and the last letter (end of) mild.

22 Cry before it hurts, like a coward (6)
YELLOW – A four letter word meaning to cry or shout followed by a two letter word meaning it hurts.

23 Inflatable rubber ring in Mediterranean port (4)
TYRE – A double definition, the first being one that goes around a wheel.

25 The German swine’s entered before paying guest (7)
BOARDER – Another word for a pig or swine goes before the German for the.

27 Substituted Israeli for Italian scorer (7)
SALIERI – An anagram (substituted) of ISRAELI.

29 Popular pair separated (2,3)
IN TWO – A two letter word for popular followed by another word for a pair.

30 Element of hell in mobster hit (9)
BRIMSTONE – An anagram (hit) of IN MOBSTER.

31 Old birds did initially love parties (5)
DODOS – The first letter (initially) of did followed by the letter for love or nil and the plural form of a word meaning parties.

32 Drug no longer in expensive stage (4)
STEP – Remove one of the Es (drug) from a word meaning expensive.  As the word for expensive has two Es, perhaps One drug… might have been better.

33 TOP GEAR? (4)
CAPS – The typed case of the clue is also a word for a hat (top gear).


1 Tailor will do one finished so? (4-5)
WOOL LINED – An anagram (tailor) of WILL DO ONE.

2 Invention at home providing extended enjoyment between the sheets? (3-2)
LIE IN – Another word for a fib or invention followed by a word meaning at home.

4 Collapse after serious dump? (5,4)
HEAVY FALL – A word meaning serious or grave followed by (after) a word meaning collapse.

5 Eventually find oneself close to winning (3,2)
END UP – A word meaning close or finished followed by a word meaning ahead or winning.

6 Beatnik‘s bar accommodating (what a surprise) an old record company (8)
BOHEMIAN – A word meaning bar or prohibit includes (accommodating) a two letter meaning what a surprise and the name of an old record company.

7 Good grief – a green going into Northamptonshire town (3,6)
COR BLIMEY – A word for a shade of green goes inside the name of a former steel manufacturing town in Northamptonshire.

8 Poles delimit established breeding-sites (5)
NESTS – The abbreviations for north and south (poles) go around (delimit) an abbreviation for established.

9 European with sparkling wine (5)
WHITE – An anagram (sparkling) of E (European) WITH.

15 Got in touch with journalist pursuing scam with discretion (9)
CONTACTED – A word for a scam and a word meaning discretion followed by (pursuing) an abbreviation for editor (journalist).

17 Miserable existence of a setter? (1,4,4)
A DOG’S LIFE – A cryptic definition.

19 Takes food into topless joints lacking quality (9)
NEEDINESS – Another word meaning eats or takes food into goes inside a word for a leg joint with the initial letter removed (topless).  Not entirely convinced that the answer means lacking quality.

20 Helping to see solution? (3-5)
EYE DROPS – A cryptic definition of what may be used to restore clear vision.

24 Pleasure at first feels like entering seventh heaven (5)
FLESH – The initial letters (at first) of the final five words of the clue.

25 Visionless Liberal gets into difficulty (5)
BLIND – The abbreviation for liberal inside another word for a difficulty.

26 Dresses up secretly in Chinese bordello (5)
ROBES – The answer is hidden an reversed (up secretly) in CHINESE BORDELLO.

28 Threat in returning beer smell (5)
EBOLA – The abbreviation for body odour (smell) in a reversal (returning) of a word for beer.  Threat is a very loose definition for the answer.



















56 comments on “NTSPP – 319

  1. A fairly gentle but excellent puzzle with first-class surfaces throughout – thanks Dutch. I particulary enjoyed 13a (big laugh), 20d (so simple yet effective), 25a and, my last answer with a big d’oh when I got it, 33a.

    1. When I tried to post the above comment I got an error saying that I had to enter my name and email (even though I was logged in and there were no fields visible for me to enter the required data). So I had to log out before I could post it.

  2. I’m stuck now – three to go! 32a and 6 and 24d – oh dear!
    I’ve enjoyed this one very much.
    Spent too long trying to find an Italian footballer for 27a – don’t think there is one that is an anagram of Israeli!
    I should think 1d would be very itchy.
    I liked 13, 25 and 31a and 4, 17 and 20d. My favourite was 7d.
    Thanks Dutch.

      1. Look at your solutions and the two words of the pub name and the significance of before or after should become clear

    1. Me too with 27a, Kath. Although, with the 6 nations rugby on-going, I started out looking at the Italian rugby team!

      1. Rugby – football – it’s all the same to me even after all this time on the blog!

  3. Really enjoyed this one, although the footballer clue did pose some problems.

    Saw the connection…though alpine themed in Macclesfield is a bit of a stretch.

    Thanks Dutch

  4. Great stuff, Dutch – I bet this went down well with the crowd at The Snow Goose.
    Last ones in for me were 9d (silly girl!) and 32a.
    Biggest chuckles came from 13,22&33a plus 17d.

    Enjoy the rest of the party!

  5. Thanks Dutch, good setting and an enjoyable solve.

    Nice smooth surfaces; I particularly enjoyed 13, 20, 32 & 33. As usual, I only saw the theme once I had finished.

    Hope you are all enjoying things in Macclesfield.

  6. For some inexplicable reason I put in “well-oiled” for 1d.

    Cheers! To everyone at Macclesfield!

  7. Thanks Dutch – great fun with many accurate and clever clues. I think TOP GEAR? (4) was my favourite. Hope all is going well for those at the aforementioned Hostelry.

  8. I already liked this very well indeed, but then I got the theme and suddenly I love it!
    The title also helped me by confirming my suspicion on my LOI 32a, which I still can’t fully parse, alas.
    Mostly pretty gentle until the SE corner, which took as long as other three put together.
    Favourites were 19d, 20d and 33a.
    Thank you Dutch and hope you’re all having a great time on Macclesfield.

    1. Parsed 32a now – might have got it quicker if it had said ‘One of the drugs…’!

  9. Good fun that we have been enjoying early in the morning before heading out on a boat trip exploring Akaroa Harbour. Enjoy the party if it is still going.
    Thanks Dutch.

  10. What a blast! So much fun. Dutch, I salute you. I had a bit of a block for a while and then got back into the swing, with 19D my last one in. Having a bit of trouble parsing 24D. Maybe I’m wrong. I count 16 theme-related answers. Am I missing any? My favorite of those involve 21A and 22A.

      1. oh, i think there are 17, 16 symmetrically placed + herds. i’m not counting heavy fall, which could be a double-barrelled one (heavy snow, snow fall) and would make it 19.

        1. Thanks, I’d missed pimples…And I guess you could call it 18 if you count 4d as ‘heavy snowfall’ which is indeed ‘before and after’.
          What a grid fill!

        2. I missed pimples, too. I had included heavy snow fall, and I’ve added one more, so now I have 18.

    1. I was so wrong on 24D. No wonder I couldn’t parse it. With that sorted, there’s the 18th themed answer sorted too (and the dubious one I bunged in just now tossed).

  11. You would expect perfection coming from Dutch and that was a very clever crossword.
    Not only enjoyed the solve but the word associations were really fun to work out.
    Thanks to Dutch for the great fun.

  12. Many thanks for all the lovely comments. It was a great event – small but perfectly formed. We had a thai meal at the maliwan across the road from the snow goose, and then a few more drinks at the jolly sailor next door. It truly was a pleasure to spend time with some of my favourite people. On Friday night I was very clever and went home at 1am, unlike some.

    Thanks for your your support

    1. Umm…. I have the unexpurgated version of the weekend from another source – but can possibly be bribed to keep it to myself?
      OK – so I’m just jealous!
      Great of BD to ensure that us ‘home birds’ got your puzzle through on the same day but don’t think I’d have coped with the ‘Israeli’ without recourse to Mr. Google.
      Thanks again, Dutch, hope you’ll give us another puzzle ‘ere long.

      1. Jane, not even you have the full unexpurgated version. I forgot about the karaoke. And some things will never be spoken of.

  13. really nice puzzle with very good surfaces. Loved 33a.
    Note to self: read the title next time before solving.
    Great idea, well worked… thanks Dutch. I hope everyone had a blast in Macclesfield

  14. What a surprise! Blimey Dutch I didn’t know you were a setter. Great puzzle that made me laugh and smile. Loved 13a! Thanks. More please.

    1. 13a was great but I laughed at 4d as I pictured Dutch falling down after a visit to the upstairs toilets and hurting his ribs. Maybe that is what really happened.

        1. Sorry Dutch,
          Didn’t mean to offend you.
          When I solved it, I thought the theme was about things that happened before the S and B meeting until I twigged.
          Also thought that “man” went with “goose” until I realised that the animal in question is spelled Mongoose. D’oh.

            1. I did laugh a bit when I read Jean-Luc’s comment. But then again I had tears when I watched a friend fall snowboarding.

              Such a good puzzle though Dutch…hope you’ve healed a bit

  15. Forgot to mention that my absolute favorite was 33A, closely followed by 16A (because I couldn’t help but laugh).

  16. Very entertaining with many amusing clues, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    My joint-favourites were 7d and 33a.

    Many thanks, Dutch.

  17. Many thanks prolixic for the superb review. I agree completely with the comments. Neediness is a condition of lacking, hence a lacking quality – well that was the idea..

    Thanks again everyone for the marvelous comments – Jane, no bribe, i have nothing to hide and confess to singing a Neil Diamond song on karaoke.

  18. Super review, Prolixic – not surprised that Dutch is happy with that one!
    Have to confess to putting ‘bliss’ for 24d – thinking of it being the first part of ‘blissful’. Ho hum……

  19. Well – what a complete failure I am – even with the tip-off from CS I still didn’t get the theme. OK – I know I can’t do themes.
    Having read the review I now get it – well done, Dutch – a real feat. I just hope that the weekend was as good as the crossword and that you all enjoyed yourselves.
    I had ‘hats’ for 33a – no reason but it didn’t screw up anything else – neither did it explain the way the clue was presented – oh dear – dim!
    Like Jane I had ‘bliss’ for 24d – couldn’t explain it which should have rung alarm bells – oh well, too bad and I was never going to get that one.
    I really feel that I haven’t done justice to what was a very clever crossword – thanks to Dutch, and to Prolixic for sorting out my failures.
    I’d really like to put a smiley face here but they’re still AWOL – that’s much better than not being able to get on here at all.

  20. Thanks for review Prolixic. It was indeed quite a feat.
    With the list of link words, can we add ‘Heavy snowfall’ I wonder?
    Also I was happy with the definition for neediness, if we take ‘Lacking quality’ in a whimsical nounal sense, i.e. the quality of lacking.

  21. Very impressive. Took me a while so not sure how I would have got on had I been supping a few beers at the same time! Loved 17d and 33a. Thanks Dutch, and good to meet you.

  22. Hi Dutch – sorry this is late I was away for the weekend. A marvellous grid with lots of theme words – I particularly liked 3a surface reading, 6a’s “tasty flesh”, pimped as an anagram indicator, 22a surface, 2d surface, and my favourite was 17 d.

  23. For what it’s worth, just noticed the last last clue was a first version of a last-minute grid change. I must have forgotten to update it in my panicky last-minute editing. The final version (which I think was in the puzzle on the event) aimed to fix the surface a little, it was “Epidemic smell, covered in overturned beer” – perhaps only marginally better

  24. You see, Dutch – I told you the TOP GEAR clue was a corker, and you wouldn’t believe me. The people have spoken ;) Seriously good crossword throughout with loads of wit and invention.
    Slightly belated thanks to everyone who joined us at the Snow Goose. It was marvellous weekend and really good to meet a some new faces too. Have only just got round to typing this; frantic couple of days setting, marred by the CPU of my old computer (the one with the crossword software) determined to destroy itself by sticking at 100%.

    1. I told him too. Smashing clue.

      I’ve already thanked you, but it merits repetition. Many thanks for organising the S&B, Dean – to think I nearly missed it!

    2. Thanks Anax for dropping in here and for the positive comments – that really means the world to me! And thanks for the whole event – it was brilliant, fantastic to meet new and old friends, and Macclesfield is now on the crossword map, all thanks to you.

  25. Thanks Dutch, great puzzle.. I think I probably told you that at the weekend though. Once the theme dropped I was even more impressed. Lots of great clues, only one quibble which I think was ‘it hurts’ as opposed to ‘that hurts’, but it’s niggly.

    See you in Derby, all being well.

    1. Thanks Lohengrin,

      yes, I guess you’re more likely to say that hurts, thanks. Flattered you found only one minor quibble. And yes, hope to see you in Derby, thanks again

  26. Ok, time to make good on my promise to solve this again solo and sober. More soon …

    1. 6a: I like the tasty 24d.
      13a: Funny with a lovely smooth surface (unlike where the answer is present).
      2d: I like the extended enjoyment between the sheets.
      9d: was so beautifully disguised that it was last in first time round.
      25’s across and down were another two great ones.
      AND OF COURSE, 33a.

      Because you wanted to hear negative comments too, I had to rack my brains and this is all I could come up with:

      Not so keen on 1d or the 4d definition. Nothing at all wrong with these – I’m clutching at straws here.
      I had the same trouble as others with 24d, so maybe the definition could be tweaked to make it a little clearer.
      7d was absolutely fine but I have a feeling it could be made funnier … now, I feel like that’s a challenge to try. I shall think!

      I really can’t think of anything else – pretty much all the others are on my list of favourites.

      As for the theme, very clever indeed, especially fitting in the theme words in the SW corner ;). A chuckle for yellow.

      A pleasure to solve both times round. Thanks for everything, Dutch. And thanks to Prolixic for the review.

      1. many thanks kitty

        you picked up beautifully on 1d and 4d – specifically these two have dodgy phrases as answers, not in the dictionary, and hard to define. I fell into the trap of believing crossword compiler, and have since been warned to take care with the automatically suggested grid fill. 24d was a last minute grid change, and at first I had “this” instead of “pleasure” – but i didn’t think it quite worked as a semi&lit though, and admittedly struggled to add the right definition. I did wonder if “pleasures” was any better, I don’t know. At first I had an awful green for the colour in 7d, which i thought added humour but it was value-laden, not all would agree. So thank you, I agree with your comments.

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