NTSPP – 365 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 365

NTSPP – 365

A Puzzle by Snape

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A welcome return from Snape with a nice crossword that didn’t take too long to solve, had a couple of clues to encourage post-lunch discussion with Mr CS, and a bit of dictionary consultation for your blogger, both  to ensure that the definitions were correct and, as usual, to see if I could learn anything new about a particular word or words along the way.



6a           Irish county contains river in flood (5)
DROWN Insert the abbreviation for River into an Irish county

7a           Pockets in jeans? (8)
TROUSERS An informal term meaning steals (as is pockets) could be describe clothing such as jeans

10a         Drink can ruin one externally (7)
MARTINI A synonym for ruin and I (one) go outside (externally) of a can

11a         Six in hearing of little importance (7)
TRIVIAL The Roman numeral for six inserted into a hearing

12a         Drinks English natural remedy (7)
GINSENG Drinks that might go in a 10a and a three-letter abbreviation for English

13a         Spotted in chariot to Manchester Empire (7)
OTTOMAN A Turkish empire can be spotted in chariOT TO MANchester

14a         Arrest editor originally fair and prolific, he’s a disappointment (6,5)
BUSTED FLUSH A figurative term for a failure or disappointment – An originally North American verb meaning to arrest, the abbreviation for editor, the ‘original’ letter of Fair and an adjective meaning prolific

19a         Express why you see a light brown area in Mexico (7)
YUCATAN The letters you hear when you say (express) WHY YOU and SEE out loud, A (from the clue) and a light brown colour

21a         Cattle feed drug added to woman’s cup of tea (7)
HERBAGE The female possessive pronoun (woman’s) and old slang for a particular interest (cup of tea being an informal expression for the same thing)

23a         Put out TV programme in Farnborough, for example (3,4)
AIR SHOW Put out  TV programme or a famous event that happens at Farnborough, and other places, hence the ‘for example’ in the clue

25a         One who delivers middle class mother’s children, at last (7)
MILKMAN An abbreviation for Middle that isn’t in all the dictionaries,  class or type, an informal way of saying mother and the last letter of children

26a         Flabbergast a fan of archery? (4,4)
BOWL OVER Split your solution 3, 5 and the second part of the wordplay will make sense

27a         Hire leader to end frame (5)
EASEL Take the ‘leader’ of a verb meaning to hire and move it to the end of the word to get a type of frame


1d           Handle being hit by cross falling over (8)
DOORKNOB Falling over indicates the need to reverse a blow or thump (hit) and a type of cross found at the entrance to a church chancel

2d           Whole of Ireland goes without books (6)
ENTIRE The Irish name for Ireland goes round or  ‘without’ the abbreviation for the books in the second half of the Bible

3d           Designed tennis garb for tall thin person (6,4)
STRING BEAN An anagram (designed) of TENNIS GARB – the BRB calls this solution the French xxxx but I have heard this used as  informal term for a tall thin person

4d           Short path leading to one-way traffic (4)
ROUT Remove the last letter (short) from a path.  I saw the ‘traffic’ and initially put in a word starting with a T but then I couldn’t explain the rest of the clue, so I revealed a letter and realised that one-way traffic referred to a very one-sided defeat

5d           It’s rum, is rum! (6)
TRUISM A self-evident truth is obtained from an anagram (rum) of ITS RUM

6d           Cost of silver received by titled lady (6)
DAMAGE The cost or value or something lost – insert the chemical symbol for silver into a titled lady

8d           Uplifted American thanks current Home Secretary for massage (7)
SHIATSU ‘Uplifted’ in a Down clue indicates the need to reverse an abbreviation for American, an informal way of saying thanks, the symbol for electrical current and the abbreviation for Home Secretary

9d           Fine, long and thin cut of meat (5)
FLANK The abbreviation for fine and another way of saying long and thin, the solution being a word which makes always me groan as it was my downfall in a Times Crossword Championships Preliminary Session the other year   :(

13d         Germany’s financial position after joining the Euro is irrelevant (3,3,4)
OFF THE MARK This expression meaning irrelevant could describe Germany’s financial position once they changed from their former currency to the Euro

15d         Outer parts of fastenings swapped in schoolbag (7)
SATCHEL Swap over the outer ‘parts’ of some fastenings on doors

16d         Leading dames hot to trot (8)
HEADMOST   The solution is a word mainly used to describe a leading ship – an anagram (to trot) of DAMES HOT

17d         This bird could reproduce a hymn (5)
MYNAH One of my favourites for its nice all-in-oneness – reproduce an anagram  of A HYMN

18d         Officer is reportedly a bit of a nut (6)
KERNEL But not necessarily a chestnut, which is what I’d call this clue!  A homophone (reportedly) of a senior army officer

20d         Lure coach with crumble (6)
CARROT A coach and a verb meaning to crumble in the sense of decay or become weak

22d         Comfort about life in turmoil (6)
RELIEF the two-letter word used to mean ‘about’ and an anagram (in turmoil) of LIFE

24d         Indicate discount? Not I (4)
WAVE Simply remove the I (not I) from a verb meaning to discount

27 comments on “NTSPP – 365

  1. Nice enjoyable puzzle – thanks Snape. I particularly liked 14a, 21a and 3d.
    The abbreviation for middle (25a) is not in Chambers as far as I can see.

  2. Enjoyed this one, Snape – thank you.
    Haven’t come across the 3d expression previously – the only one I knew has rather more to do with a pole!
    Must admit to checking with Mr. Google about 19a.

    Top three for me were 11&26a plus 13d. 18d getting brownie points for humour.

    Nice to spend time chatting with you last weekend – hope you got back to base without problems.

    1. I did, ta, although my shoes had cracks in the soles, so I had very wet feet after walking round a rainy London all afternoon.

  3. When tackling a Snape (or Eccles) puzzle one can be sure of having a fun experience, and the usual puns and penny drop moments were in good supply today for certain.

    It’s not easy to single out favourites, but I’ve plumped for two of the three Gazza also liked, namely 14a and 3d.

    Many thanks indeed, Snape.

  4. Just what was needed on this dreich afternoon.
    A nice accessible puzzle with a touch of humour.

  5. Very smooth Snape, well done. A most pleasant solve.

    My favourites were 19a, 26a, and 17d – but all clues were great.

    Thank you

  6. I enjoyed that a lot.
    I’ve never heard of 14a so got into a bit of a muddle with that one and neither have I heard of the 8d massage.
    It took me a ridiculously long time to see why my answer to 26a was right – dim!
    I can’t do 4d – dim again.
    I liked 21a and 1d (which made me laugh) and 3 and 13d. My favourite was 7a.
    With thanks to Snape for the afternoon entertainment.

  7. Being in a masochistic mood I decided to have a go.I have bravely filled all the little squares but my confidence is shattered and I await answers tomorrow with dread. :phew:

  8. Lots of fun. Thanks Snape. 20D was my last one in, and I’m having difficulty reconciling the ‘coach’ part. Much to like, but my favorites are 14A, 26A (penny drop moment), 3D and 15D. Am I the only one who’s first thought for 25A was midwife?

    1. Midwife didn’t seem to work, did it?
      I was slow with 20d too although it had to be what it is – the first three letters are the coach or part of a train although maybe different in the US.

  9. We bypassed 4d when we were working through the puzzle and then came back to it at the end. It still gave us problems as we thought we had the definition as just the last word of the clue. Eventually gave up and exposed a letter so it makes sense to us now. The second word of 14a also had us head scratching for a while until we had all the checkers. Don’t think we have ever met the figurative use of this phrase before. A good puzzle that was a significant challenge for us and good fun all the way.
    Thanks Snape.

  10. I really enjoyed this. Great clues throughout (mostly commendably brief!), nice surfaces, humour, misdirection, plenty of penny drop moments – what more could a solver want?

    It looks like I was not alone with 4d being my last one in thanks to its well disguised definition.

    Podium places in no particular order go to 26a, 14a & 13d.

    Well done, Snape, and thank you.

  11. Cheers all, great to see some of you last week. Sorry I haven’t been about here so much, even on Rookie Corner.

  12. Many thanks Snape – another cracking puzzle. Pitched just about right for most solvers I should think, with a fine sprinkling of penny drop moments and your characteristic humour. My favourites were 10a, 19a, 23a, 25a, 26a, 1d, 8d and 20d. That is except for my very favourites which were 5d and 15d – both extremely clever I thought.
    Keep ‘em coming!

  13. all done apart from 4d which i guessed the answer without fully understanding why.

    a pleasant distraction while waiting for an underwhelming performance from england.

    thanks to snape & cs.

  14. Many thanks, CS and – yes – I had a ‘T’ word in 4d as well!
    Couple of additions needed to the answers for 12a and 2d when you’ve got time.

  15. Snape is always good fun. And his puzzles are ok too. ;)

    Like others I had trouble with 4d and I had another couple of parsing fails too silly to admit publicly to.

    Went round the houses trying to deliver mail in 25a at first.

    Smiled at 10a. (I have cut back on my alcohol consumption after January for both internal and external health!) Quite a lot of drinks here though, and I enjoyed all of them, as well as the (related?) 22d.

    I suspect I may have preferred your original clue for 1d …

    Many thanks Snape, for the puzzle, the drinks and the 22d. Many thanks to CS too.

  16. Thanks Snape!

    Enjoyed it very much. It’s always nice to see ex-Rookies in the NTSPP slot.

    What’s wrong with throwing in a few old chesnuts … so 7a & 26a are vying for favouritism.

  17. Really enjoyed this — many thanks, Snape.

    I had plenty of laughs. I particularly liked 13a, 25a (once that penny dropped!) and 3d. Fave, though, was 26a.

    Many thanks to Crypticsue, too, especially for explaining 4d. And I do love the pic for 3d. Re 3d, I agree with you. It also used to be an informal term which I often heard used.

  18. Thanks for the review, CS. Oddly enough, I saw the correct answer for 4D almost immediately. Also, 3D is what the runner or French variety are commonly called over here so that was a shoo-in for me. A tall thin person is called a long drink of water in some areas.

  19. Thanks Snape.
    Was beaten by 4d though. Settled for towt being the leading letters of the four next words in the clue and thought it was a northern term for tout.
    Well that’s my excuse.
    14a was also new to me
    Loved the story about Germany in 13d and the massage in 8d.
    Thanks also to CS for the review and explanations.

  20. Thanks Snape – only just got round to this after a week out.

    Some brilliant clues, I thought! Things that particularly appealed:

    loved 5d – this really appealed, genius clue!
    8d surface very witty
    16 ‘being’ works so well
    25a middle class++
    21a cup of tea+

    With 5d being the absolute pick of the bunch.


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