NTSPP – 367 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 367

NTSPP – 367

Regeneration by Phibs

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


Four pairs of solutions – 1a/3a, 6a/11a, 27a/29a, 30a/31a, – may help the solver to complete the unclued, two-word entry at 20 across.

A very enjoyable Saturday lunchtime diversion, thank you Phibs.  The clues mentioned in the preamble all produce nice homophones of some of the cast of 20a.   If I had one quibble, it would be that  there’s an awful lot of ‘take a letter’ and then…. In this particular crossword.


1a           Stiff place towards middle of member (4)
TOMB A preposition meaning towards and the ‘middle’ of member

3a           Measure larger cardboard boxes from back to front (4)
ACRE A reversed lurker (boxes from back to front) in largER CArdboard

6a           Resolution to try a bit of transvestitism (5)
HEART A verb meaning to try and a bit (one letter of) Transvestitism

10a         University turned to bum with no formal education (9)
UNTUTORED U (university) followed by an anagram (bum) of TURNED TO

11a         A striking backside on lovestruck Charles’s fancy woman (5)
KNELL The sound of a bell – the ‘backside’ of lovestrucK and Charles II’s ‘fancy woman’

12a         Pains in the rear after consuming fifty quarter pounders (7)
PESTLES Troublesome people (pains in the rear) ‘consuming’ the Roman numeral for 50 and an abbreviated quarter of the compass

13a         Turning green, relish is liable to be offensive (7)
WARLIKE A reversal (turning) of immature (green) and a verb meaning to relish or enjoy

14a         Reach for every male part (5)
AMBIT A (for every), the abbreviation for Male and a part of something

16a         Recognises first sign of gate splitting horribly and falling off (9)
RECESSION An anagram (horribly) of RECOGNISES once you have removed the ‘first sign’ of Gate

20a         See preamble (9)

21a         One term for Hendrix (cool, not English) (5)
AXMAN One way of spelling a slang term someone who plays the guitar, like Jimi Hendrix did.  We would include an E for English in the spelling of this word, but the Americans don’t

22a         Mail not arriving, perhaps, in remote settlement (7)
OUTPOST If the mail wasn’t in, it would be xxx

25a         Clears table, able to shift awkward red (7)
SCARLET ‘shift’ or remove the ABLE from CLEARS TABLE and make an anagram (awkward) of the letters you have left

27a         Time to stuff fish (5)
TROUT The abbreviation for Time and a verb meaning to defeat (stuff)

28a         Neat dream about Toblerone? (9)
TRADENAME The ? is essential as Toblerone is an example of the word you get once you’ve rearranged (about) NEAT DREAM

29a         Sound character carrying a little needless weight (5)
TONNE The character of a sound ‘carrying’ or having inserted a ‘little’ or the first letter of Needless

30a         What could be found in gym at school? (4)
MATS A nice lurker in this &Lit clue – the item of gym equipment can be found in gyM AT School

31a         Fantastic story appearing in Naughty Masseuses withdrawn (4)
MYTH Another reversed (withdrawn) lurker – this one appearing in naugHTY Masseuses


1d           Just a hint of tan on bottom, about right ahead of day in resort (5,4)
TRUMP CARD An advantage or successful expedient.   Another of those ‘take a letter from a word clues’ – this time T (a hint of tan) goes on a bottom and is followed by the two-letter abbreviation meaning about, and the abbreviations for Right and Day

2d           Came across high school producing undrinkable alcohol (5)
METHS ‘Came across’ plus the abbreviation for High School

4d           One taking bung rocks struggling team (9)
CORKSCREW An anagram (struggling) of ROCKS followed by a team

5d           Found what bow and arrow do? (5)
ENDOW If you look at the words BOW and ARROW, what do they both have in common?

6d           Personnel protecting old US President, one who’s rambling (5)
HIKER The abbreviation for a personnel department ‘protecting’ the abbreviated way we might refer to President Eisenhower

7d           Am I involved with crime, drawn in by gold and money? (9)
AMERICIUM Sneaky chemical symbols at the start of clues are hard enough to spot and even more so when you’ve never heard of the element in question.   An anagram(involved) of I and CRIME ‘drawn in by’ or inserted into the chemical symbol for gold, the abbreviation for Money being added at the end

8d           Thin ladies regularly feature in Cosmopolitan en Español (5)
TILDE The regular letters of ThIn LaDiEs give you the name for the diacritical sign found in Español

9d           Stick close to attendant in disreputable toilets (8)
STILETTO Stick here is a verb meaning to stab as is the solution.   The ‘close’ (yes another take a letter) to attendanT goes in an anagram (disreputable) of TOILETS

15d         Bee hurt conk flying around prickly shrub (9)
BUCKTHORN The letter you hear when you say BEE out loud and an anagram (flying around) of HURT CONK

17d         Plastic carton contains last pieces of Swiss roll (9)
CROISSANT An anagram (plastic) of CARTON ‘contains’ the last three pieces of SwISS

18d         Main meals taste of rubber and tar (8)
SEAFARER Main is another name for a watery expanse and should be followed by a synonym for meals and (yes, it’s another ‘take a letter’) the taste or first letter of Rubber

19d         I score a goal, cracking shot in the last minute of football match (9)
NINETIETH A way of saying ‘I score a goal, 1,3) ‘cracking’ an anagram (shot) of IN THE

22d         Joining this group of artistes, would I perform with no net? (5)
OCTET This very nice clue caught my eye and was solved as I took the piece of paper from the printer and is one of several ‘favourites’.   If you joined the group of artistes in the solution, you’d then be part of a nonet!!

23d         Dismissed Egyptian sun-god with the head of a falcon as ‘weird’ (5)
OUTRE A verb meaning dismissed (in a game of cricket for example) followed by one of the spellings of the Egyptian sun-god with a head like a falcon

24d         Starts to take medication after admitting kinky toe fetish (5)
TOTEM More ‘take a letter’ although this time it is two letters – the starts of Take and Medication admitting an anagram (kinky) of TOE

26d         Cracked, like Julian Assange? (5)
LEAKY A water pipe that was cracked would be this, and it is also, IMHO,  a good description of Julian Assange and his divulging of secret information

27 comments on “NTSPP – 367

  1. Thanks Phibs for a superb puzzle. I couldn’t work out the significance of the ‘pairs of solutions’ until I got 20a just from the checkers when it all fell into place with a loud d’oh. There are too many great clues to list them all – I’ll just mention 1a, 11a, 4d, 5d and 7d.

  2. Thanks Phibs, very enjoyable.

    I’m afraid that the ‘couples’ were no help as I went along but now I see it, ha ha!

    Lots of lovely clues; I noted 5d early on. As well as Gazza’s favourites, I liked 17d. I’m still considering the parsings of 22 & 23, which escape me at the moment.

  3. Just reporting current state of play – the left side has fallen, the right remains more or less a mystery!

    1. Got there eventually but, jeepers, that was tough!
      Some very clever clues – 5d took the honours for me.

      Thank you, Phibs, I’m going to lie down now………..

  4. We now have everything apart from 7d, where, even with all the checkers, cannot make sense of it. Perhaps a Sunday morning walk will help. We twigged the theme quite early on from just the 1a/3a and 6a/ 11a pairs and that certainly was a big help in the bottom part of the puzzle. Excellent fun and still something left to chew on.
    Thanks Phibs.

  5. I’m sure it’s a fine puzzle, but since my browser can’t find it, saying crypticcrosswords.net doesn’t exist, I’ve no way of verifying it for myself.

  6. Thanks Phibs,

    Four “quickie” puns for the price of one for someone WHO enjoys a pun or two … errm?

    But some very devilish cluing in there … looking forward to the review to explain the ones I didn’t fully understand.

  7. This is my first crossword attempt after arriving back home following a week of puzzle-free business travelling. I’m batting a zero so far. Maybe some sleep will help. See you later.

  8. Cracking good stuff Phibs, especially the conceit of the preamble. Marvellous!
    I could pick out many clues for a mention, but how about 12a, 13a, 16a, 5d, 7d, 18d, 19d and 22d.

  9. Many thanks, CS – I hadn’t quite got there with the parsing of 22d, despite having written down the correct answer. That should teach me to look harder!
    It was 21a&7d that caused me the most grief – didn’t know the element and also couldn’t justify ‘cool’.

    Thanks again to Phibs – really liked the way you slotted in the doctors!

  10. Well let’s just say I didn’t finish this without help! Really top quality though, and much enjoyed. I loved the homophonic regenerations – and they did come in handy too.

    My biggest smiles were at 1a, 14a and 5d.

    Many thanks to Phibs (I was sorry to hear about your website – hope you’re enjoying your extra free time) and to CS for the assistance.

  11. Thanks to CS for the decipheration and thanks again to Phibs for a fun puzzle.
    I parsed 21a differently – I thought it was A (one) + the end (term) letter of [Hendri]X + M[e]AN (cool, excellent) without the E[nglish].

      1. Just a thought, Gazza. If that is indeed the correct parsing then what is standing as the definition?

  12. Almost stopped after getting 20a but decided otherwise.
    Glad I did.
    Even if the style is quite verbose, the clues tell lovely stories such as 1d and 19d.
    Wasn’t keen on 5d though.
    Thanks to Phibs for the great fun and to CS for the review.
    A propos, in 17d it’s the last 3 letters of Swiss. I know that because it took me ages to parse. After the chemical in 7d I was looking for a plastic at first.

  13. I’m with Kitty apart from the regenerations not helping at all as I’ve never watched any of 20a.
    I did find this difficult but enjoyed what I could do very much.
    I liked 11a and 22d. My favourite was 1a because it made me laugh.
    With thanks to Phibs for the crossword. Thanks also to CS for sending the crossword to me and for sorting out the ones I couldn’t do.

  14. Thanks to CS for the review – very glad to see the giant Toblerone in your picture doesn’t have gaps between the ‘mountains’ :good: – and to everyone for their comments.

    Gazza@12 – yes, that was exactly my intended parsing (the whole being the ‘definition’).

    Kitty@11 – thank you :) The extra free time didn’t last long as I’ve started up a new web site about clues that is keeping me busy!

  15. A bit too much like hard work for me. I appreciate the clever clues though, thanks Phibs, good luck with the new website. Thanks to CS too.

  16. I did manage to finish, with 21A being my last one in. I solved 30/31 early on and made the connection to 20A right away, which helped with the other time travellers. Fortunately, they were mostly the earlier ones so I did at least know of them. 28A, 5D, 8D (new word for me) and 26D (my favorite) had ticks by them on my sheet. I did need help to parse 7D and 22D. Thanks to Phibs and CS.

  17. Damned fine work Phibs! I’ve struggled with this for the last few days & the SW quadrant is still virtually blank.

    Thanks to CS as well.

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