NTSPP – 361 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 361

NTSPP – 361

A Puzzle by Imsety

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Imsety continues to show his quality in this crossword.


1 Petty squabble of workers over unpleasant woman (8)
HANDBAGS – A five letter word for workers around (over) a three letter derogatory term for an unpleasant woman.

6 Planes about to turn around somewhere in South America (6)
BOGOTA – A two letter abbreviation for an airline (planes) around (about) the TO from the clue and a word for a turn or shot at something which have been reversed (around).

9 Novel a Frenchwoman read back-to-front (4)
EMMA – The A from the clue and a three letter abbreviation for a Frenchwoman all reversed (read back to front).

10 Is art’s rule broken by this person? (10)
SURREALIST – An anagram (broken) of IS ARTS RULE.  The whole clue provides an extended definition of this person.

11 Possessions of a crew taken aboard ship (6)
ASSETS – The A from the clue followed by another word for a crew or group inside the abbreviation for steamship.

12 Detective probes lecherous churchman (8)
CARDINAL – The abbreviation for Detective Inspector inside (probes) a six letter word meaning lecherous.

14 Theatrical cast insist choir gets rid of soprano (10)
HISTRIONIC – An anagram (cast)) of INSIST CHOIR without one of the Ss (get rid of Soprano).

16 Skilled mariner drained lake (4)
ABLE – An abbreviation for a mariner followed by the outer letters (drained) of lake.  Perhaps unfortunate that the abbreviation for the mariner includes the answer in its expanded form.

18 Dirt in dining room (4)
MESS – Double definition time.

19 Student starts on art project, picking roses to draw (10)
APPRENTICE – The first letter (starts on) of the fourth to seventh words of the clue followed by a word meaning to draw or tempt.

21 Working after boss blocks dismal strike (8)
BLUDGEON – A two letter word meaning working after the abbreviation for Director General (boss) inside a word meaning dismal or sad.

23 English force approaching stronghold gets shot (6)
EFFORT – The abbreviations for English and force followed by another word for a stronghold or castle.

25 Small creature dog found behind well (10)
SPRINGTAIL – A word meaning to dog or shadow someone after another word for a well or source of water.

27 Have a high opinion of judge (4)
RATE – Double definition time.

28 Woman has boats on small UK river (6)
SEVERN – A three letter name of a woman followed by the abbreviation for Royal Navy (boats) all after the abbreviation for small.

29 Oddly this butter is used primarily in dessert (8)
TIRAMISU – The odd letters of this followed by the name of an animal that may be fancifully be described as a butter followed by the IS from the clue and the first letter (primarily) of used.


2 Peace in Crimea – it’s unstable (9)
ARMISTICE – An anagram (unstable) of CRIMEA ITS.

3 Seafarer whose progress was recorded at end of day (5)
DRAKE – The first letter (end of) day followed by the name of the literary character in the opera or series of Hogath paintings “????’s Progress”.  End is probably best reserved for the last letter but the first letter is one end of the word.

4 Two mammals one knight had to kill (11)
ASSASSINATE – Two (repeated) names of an animal (a mule or donkey) followed by the letter representing one, the abbreviation for knight and a word meaning had or consumed.

5 Person from an era with Crusades disembowelled in battle (7)
SARACEN – An anagram (in battle) AN ERA CS (Crusades) disembowelled.

6 Extra purchase picked up (3)
BYE – A homophone of buy (purchase).

7 Girl started, without vehicle, to travel for fun (9)
GALLIVANT – A three letter word for girl followed by a word meaning started or ignited around a type of vehicle.

8 Scientist helping to build postgraduate’s laboratory (5)
TESLA – The answer is hidden in (helping to build) POSTGRADUATES LABORATORY.

13 Wealthy man to unnerve earl then bring down queen (11)
ROCKEFELLER – A four letter word meaning to unnerve or stun followed by the abbreviation for Earl, a word meaning to bring down (as in ???? a tree) and the abbreviation for the current queen.

15 Practice cricket shot following match (4,5)
TEST DRIVE – A word for an international match followed by a word for a cricket shot.

17 Fine material twists, tears, and rips (9)
LACERATES – A four letter word for a fine material followed by an anagram (twists) of TEARS.

20 Writer gets father’s books in exchange for jewellery (7)
PENDANT – A three letter word for a writer or biro followed by a two letter word for a father and the abbreviation for New Testament (books).   I don’t know why the “in exchange” is required as the ’s can be read as “has”.  In exchange implies a replacement or swapping order of the words but, in neither case, is there any further wordplay to support this.

22 Break leg, hand, and foot on ice (5)
LAPSE – Another word for a leg or circuit in a race followed by the abbreviation for second (hand on a clock = second hand = second = S a two part solving process that is slightly unfair) followed by the final letter of (foot on) ice.

24 A place where you talk loudly over something to drink (5)
FORUM – The abbreviation for loudly in music and the abbreviation for over and a type of alcoholic drink.

26 Alcohol once more avoided by teetotallers? (3)
GIN – Take the letters in the abbreviation for alcoholics anonymous (teetotallers) from a word meaning once more.

28 comments on “NTSPP – 361

  1. Very pleasant – thanks Imsety. The clues I liked best were 1a, 10a (excellent anagram) and 17d. I’m a bit dubious about the ‘planes’ in 6a.

  2. Many thanks Imsety.
    Having spent several years as a schoolteacher I find myself compelled to tick clues I like – can’t help myself! Fully 19 got ticks today, which is mighty impressive. Clues which almost got ticks included planes and boats for BA and RN respectively, because I can’t quite decide whether I like the device or not yet…!
    In addition to Gazza’s top picks, I’d put in a mention for 19a and 2d. And as so often happens there’s one I’m unsure of with the parsing; in 22d with ‘hand’ are we talking cards?

  3. Many thanks Imsety, an excellent puzzle with some brilliant clues – I really liked the ones where wordplay surface related to definition, e.g. 10a, 19a, 5d, 8d, etc. Not quite &lit, more extended definition I think, but very lovely.

    I too thought planes and boats seemed to involve an extra step. Apart from that, I found almost nothing to pick at – all very smooth.

    not sure i understood why we need ‘exchange’ in 20d, i might be missing something. I thought the definition in 15d wasn’t quite spot on.

    some of the enumerations were repeated

    many thanks, most enjoyable – congratulations!

  4. A slow start with this one but a good, entertaining crossword.

    I’m still not sure about the ‘hand’ in 22d; seems like it is a two-stage process with a DBE.

    3d was clever and my LOI. I, too, liked 17d and several others.

  5. I was slow to get going but really enjoyed this very much.
    I didn’t understand the ‘planes’ bit of 6a but have got it now from the comments.
    If my 21a and 3 and 22d are right I don’t understand them either – maybe they’re wrong.
    I thought 10 and 14a were brilliant anagrams and also liked 4d.
    With thanks to Imsety and, in advance, to Prolixic or CS or whoever does the review tomorrow.

  6. We were held up for quite some time in the NW with 1a and 5d but did get them eventually and we are still not sure we fully understand 22d. A good challenge and good fun for our Sunday morning.
    Thanks Imsety.

  7. Not sure that I would have got 6 or 28a without the pointer from Maize and wonder whether Prolixic will find the device acceptable.
    Failed thus far on the parsing of 22d – will keep going back to it.
    Plenty of clues that got ticks – loved the 14a anagram – but my favourite has to be 24d – how very true!

    Thank you Imsety, a really good puzzle.

    1. Not sure that posting actual answers ahead of the review is good form, even if it’s not a prize puzzle.

      1. gotcha, sorry. I was under the impression that this was common practice on this site- I won’t do it again.
        @BD feel free to remove my post

        1. I have always taken the view that “caveat emptor” applies to the comments, unless it’s a prize puzzle. I would rather leave it as “good form” rather than a prohibition.

          I have amended your comment to reflect the clue rather than the answer.

  8. I still have half a dozen to go, mostly in the SW quadrant, and I’m getting nowhere fast. Since everyone else seems to have completed the puzzle, it must be me being particularly thick today.

  9. most enjoyable. i have put rings around the clues for 21a, 25a, 3d, 7d, 13d, 20d & 22d which i have solved without fully understanding how or why. i’ll wait for the review so thanks to imesty & prolixic in advance.

  10. Thanks to Prolixic for the review. In 3d I thought that “at end of” meant that rake followed the abbreviation for day.

  11. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. I read your comment about the possibly unfair requirement for a two-part solving process to arrive at the answer for 22d and wonder why you found 6a acceptable. Planes = BA seems to be a giant leap of faith.
    I can see that ‘has boats’ justifies RN in 28a but cannot find anything to support the use of BA for planes.

    1. I’ve been wondering about that too. They may well have precedence, although they’re new to me. But then again ‘on board’ to indicate S……S is widely accepted and must have started somewhere. Imsety seems to have done something rather similar.

      1. Umm – I take your point, but SS at least refers to a type of ship whereas BA is just the initials of an airline company.

      1. Thanks, BD – I’d always assumed that the compass points were allotted to the player, not to the hand of cards.

  12. So “handbags” is a petty squabble? No wonder I didn’t solve it! I also missed out on 13D and the second half of 25A. I had the answer to 6A but couldn’t parse it and now I know why. BA for planes indeed! Same with 22D and S for (second) hand . I did parse 28A but didn’t like the RN for boats. My local lake has boats. Don’t they call them ships in the Royal Navy? On that basis, I didn’t find this a very satisfactory puzzle at all. Thanks to Prolixic for the enlightenment.

    1. I was worried about 1a as well. I’d heard of ‘handbags at dawn’ to describe an argument between women but not just ‘handbags’. Apparently it refers to a slight altercation, particularly amongst soccer players – that made me laugh!

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