NTSPP – 340 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 340

NTSPP – 340

A Puzzle by Chalicea

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:


Chalicea is back with another gentle puzzle, ideal for those who may have been nervous about venturing into the world of the NTSPP solve. I was quite happy with the level of difficulty as I’ve three puzzle reviews to draft this weekend, not to mention all the weekend domestic ‘stuff’ to do, while ensuring I don’t miss any of the medal-winning action at the Olympics.


1a Standoffishness of Defence Intelligence attitude (8)
DISTANCE The abbreviation for Defence Intelligence followed by an attitude or posture

5a Over unctuous society way of addressing Queen essentially maybe (6)
SMARMY The abbreviation for society, followed by the correct, but informally spelt, way of addressing Her Majesty and the ‘essential’ letter of maybe

10a Topographical representation concerning position finally of stream, sea and alp (6,3)
RELIEF MAP The two letter word used so often in email subject lines to mean concerning, a position (especially that of a golf ball) and the ‘final’ letters of of stream sea ship

relief map

11a Mostly civilized, belonging to city (5)
URBAN Almost all of a word meaning civilised.

12a Increases the price of revised maps after start of reissue (5)
RAMPS An anagram (revised) of MAPS goes after the ‘start’ of reissue

13a Foolishly locates in land along the shore (9)
COASTLINE An anagram (foolishly) of LOCATES IN



14a Characteristic of first light, related to distinctive quality, gold included (7)
AURORAL An adjective meaning related to the dawn is obtained by putting the heraldic term for gold inside an adjective meaning related to a distinctive quality

16a Hill, here, principally, one more than there are in Rome (6)
HEIGHT The ‘principal’ letter of here followed by the number that is one more than the number of hills in Rome.

19a Search tipsily for one drink after another (6)
CHASER A nice surface reading – you need an anagram (tipsily) of SEARCH

21a Shower of kinky academics I’m sadly quitting (7)
CASCADE An anagram (kinky) of ACADEMICS once you’ve removed the IM (I’m sadly quitting)

23a Area drained by river system cleansed surrounding territory (9)
WATERSHED Another way of saying cleansed surrounding the abbreviation for territory

25a Bathroom (not independent) available for hire (2,3)
TO LET Remove the I (not independent) from a bathroom

26a Mourn about mountain over 3000 ft high (5)
MUNRO An anagram (about) of MOURN

27a Observe, we’re told French on gutless tedious promenades (9)
SEAFRONTS A homophone (we’re told) of a verb meaning to observe, the abbreviation for French, ON (from the clue) and the outside letters (gutless) of tedious


28a Is retrograde to stray on a mountain range (6)
SIERRA A reversal (retrograde) of IS, a verb meaning to stray go on A (from the clue)

29a Couple of fools involved with paid killer (8)
ASSASSIN An old friend to finish the Across clues. A couple of another word for a fool followed by IN (involved with)


1d Unhappily trod arid, unpaved highway (4,4)
DIRT ROAD An anagram (unhappily) of TROD ARID

2d Frequently flooded coastal grassland band surrounding limits of last damage (4,5)
SALT MARSH A band worn round the waist surrounds both the outside letters (limits) of last and a verb meaning to damage


3d Tar easily covers such pieces of ground (5)
AREAS Lurking in tAR EASily

4d Amusing elevated major US city college I mock endlessly (7)
COMICAL A reversal (elevated) of a major US West Coast city, the abbreviation for college, I (from the clue) and MOCk (mock ‘endlessly)

6d Brief time local one toiled primarily active in singular land masses (9)
MOUNTAINS An informal word for a short period of time, a dialect (local) word for one, and the ‘primary’ letters of toiled active in singular

7d Timid person cut short Jewish teacher (5)
RABBI Almost all of a timid person

8d New Englander sorted out East Kenya (6)
YANKEE Another anagram, this time EAST KENYA is ‘sorted out’

9d Very prominently print special stroke of satire (6)
SPLASH The abbreviation for special followed by a verb meaning stroke which the BRB confirms does indeed mean to scourge with sarcasm or satire


15d Artificial lake‘s river rose calamitously (9)
RESERVOIR An anagram (calamitously) of RIVER ROSE

17d Capes of school principal, lecturer and foremost of staff (9)
HEADLANDS A school principal, the abbreviation for lecturer, AND (from the clue) and the ‘foremost’ of staff

18d Type of plane tree offspring reject (8)
JETTISON A type of aeroplane, a Pacific tree with edible roots and leaves used for thatching, and a male offspring

20d Concerning meat and vegetable dish; thing made of old materials (6)
REHASH Another visit from our old friend the two letter word meaning ‘concerning’ followed by a meat and vegetable dish my mum used to make on a regular basis, her version used corned beef

21d Cowards stirred up disputes over fishing rights (3,4)
COD WARS Another anagram, this time COWARDS are ‘stirred up’

cod wars

22d Low waterlogged areas were suffused with hollow pools (6)
SWAMPS A verb meaning immersed in water (were suffused with) followed by the outside letters (hollow) of pools

24d Ultimately violent slave uprising producing strain (5)
TENSE The ‘ultimate’ letter of violent followed by a reversal (uprising in a Down clue) of an Anglo-Saxon domestic slave

25d Earth rejected judgement of tribunal (5)
TERRA The Latin or Italian word for earth is a reversal (rejected) of a judgement of a tribunal, the latter usually having a ˄ over the E.

Thanks once again to Chalicea, not least for providing me with the opportunity to use a couple of the photos I took on a lovely walk on Friday.

31 comments on “NTSPP – 340

  1. Maybe it’s just me being on wavelength, but this didn’t put up much of a fight at all. The only minor glitch was that half the 6D clue breaks to the next column and I didn’t notice that at first. Thanks Chalicea. It was pleasant but I would have preferred a wee bit more of a challenge.

  2. Bright, breezy and enjoyable, Chalicea – thank you.
    You were certainly generous with the definitions in some instances which meant that parsing of those was done out of interest rather than necessity, but I invariably need to check on US state abbreviations and the ‘slave’ was a new one for me.
    Some nice surface reads and it was good to see you back again.

      1. Oops – I’ve doubtless got my parsing wrong! I took MO in 4d to be the abbreviation for Missouri.

        1. I rather think the elevation refers to one of crosswordland’s two most useful US cities.

  3. I’ve finally finished – a lovely crossword done in dribs and drabs when needing a break from grass cutting.
    The bottom left corner caused trouble – almost all of it.
    There were at least a couple of things that were new to me – or I’ve forgotten them – the 26a mountain and the 24d slave.
    I have four answers that I’m pretty sure are right but I can’t quite see why – no doubt all will be revealed tomorrow.
    My favourite was 5a but lots of other good ones too.
    With thanks to Chalicea for the crossword and, in advance, to Prolixic for the review.

    1. Prolixic is in Prague for his nices’s wedding so it falls to CrypticSue to do the honours tomorrow.

  4. Good fun that went together without too much of a fight although we did need to consult BRB to confirm that we had worked out the wordplay for 24d and 25d correctly.
    Thanks Chalicea.

  5. Thanks Chalicea & CS.

    Nice straightforward puzzle to fit in between Olympic events.

    I forgot or didn’t know the slave in 24d. The ‘primarily’ in 6d seems to be misplaced or is doing double-duty.

    5a was nice as well as several others.

    1. They were on my original Word document but vanished in transfer. By the time I’d made sure I’d covered all the solutions and added the pictures, I forgot all about the definitions.

      Thank you – all sorted now.

  6. Thank you Cryptic Sue, glad to have given you an easy ride this week and a chance to use the photos (lovely coastline; I wonder where it is!) Sorry, Expat Chris if you weren’t sufficiently challenged but watch this space. I’ve started work on my next one and will make you look up at least a couple of solutions!
    Windsurfer23, the ‘primarily’ in 6d applies only to ‘TOILED’ – the following A (active) and S (singular) are Chambers single-letter abbreviations so they give the A IN S of the solution.

    1. Kent coast – we walked from the Pegwell Bay country park round to Ramsgate. Beautiful day and a really lovely walk.

  7. Thanks again to Chalicea for the crossword and to CS for sorting out the ones that I should have been able to do all my own self.

  8. 6d – So “local one” = Un ? Mon Dieu! C’est incroyable!

    Thanks to Chalicea & CS.

  9. Yes, sorry stanXYZ but it’s more crosswordese. Look in your Chambers and you’ll see that it appears as ‘(dialect) pronoun and noun for one: also for him’, and comes from the Old English accusative hine. (Not actually French at all – it is still used in the Dales from where I originate, in, for example, “I’ve seen un” for “I have seen him”. Isn’t our language rich!)

    1. Chalicea, many apologies! I bow my head to your greater knowledge of “un” and Old English!

      (Where is that red-face thingy?)


  10. Many thanks for the review, CS – I’m sorted with 6d now! I was taking ‘I call’ as a synonym for ‘I mock’, then taking off the final ‘L’ (endlessly) and looking for a reversal of a US college to put in front of it.

    Thanks again, Chalicea. I’m sorry that not more people commented, I think you were unfortunate to have the puzzle published on an exciting day for GB at the Olympics.

  11. I liked this very much – thanks, Chalicea. No particular favourites, just nice all round.

    I think Jane hit the nail on the head that the generous definitions made things easier than they might have been – that, and the theme made my grid fill nice and smooth. Some of the parsings took more time to untangle.

    Had to check that ti is a tree (18d) and the 24d slave, as well as the 25d judgement. The 26a mountain was also new to me. Thanks for explaining the local one in the mountains (6d), and that A is a recognised abbreviation for active.

    Thanks to Crypticsue for the review – I liked the scenery and the splash. :)

  12. Being a geographer myself I loved the theme, very enjoyable.
    I was about to complain that the definition of 23a could be a drainage basin, a catchment area or possibly even just a valley, but not the answer we were supposed to be looking for. HOWEVER I stand corrected because my Penguin Dictionary of Geography tells me that iin America the answer in question does indeed mean the drained area, so maybe that needed indicating accordingly?
    Great achievement, many thanks Chalicea and to CS for the parsing on 24d.

  13. Kitty and Maize, until you two mentioned the theme, I thought nobody had realized that there were 18 solutions more or less from the same source in the grid. Yes, Maize, Chambers does indicate that 23a for a drained area is ‘non standard’ usage but doesn’t specifically point to the USA, and I would agree that we normally use the term for the point where waters head off to a different ocean or, at least, a different river.

  14. Thanks to Chalicea.
    Enjoyed the theme and the clues.
    CS, for 6d the end of the parsing is a bit different from what you claim imho.
    Thanks for the review.

      1. Shouldn’t the hint read ……..’and the primary letter of Toiled followed by the abb. for Active, IN from the clue plus the abb. for Singular’?

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