NTSPP – 396 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 396

NTSPP – 396

A Puzzle by JollySwagman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A rather quick and unillustrated review today as there has not been much time this weekend to give this crossword the full justice that it deserves.


1 Ipad’s on the blink – nothing on TV – children blubber (7,6)
ADIPOSE TISSUE – An anagram (is on the blink) of IPAD followed by the letter representing nothing, a three letter word for a TV and a five letter word for children

10 See 14

11 The entire universe is still a mess – including Panama? (3,4,2)
ALL THAT IS – An anagram (mess) of STILL A included a three letter word of what a Panama is.

12 With King Cole I get two leaders angry (2,1,6)
IN A TEMPER – Following the I from the clue add a three letter name for the singer King Cole and the abbreviation for a politician and the Queen (two leaders).

13 Met not involved as time bomb turns out to be an empty cracker (5)
BIMBO – Remove the letters in MET (not involved) from TIME BOMB and make an anagram (turns out) of the letters that remain.

14/10 That’s a posh car. Your vintage Ford’s seized? You should have got an old Striker (7,5)
THIERRY HENRY – The old English (vintage) for “your” and the first name of the car designer Mr Ford includes the abbreviations for “that is” and Rolls Royce (a posh car).

16 Witchcraft follows rain dance in African city (7)
NAIROBI – An anagram (dance) of RAIN followed by a word for West Indian witchcraft.

18 What psychiatrists do in a sane lady’s case is crazy (7)
ANALYSE – An anagram (is crazy) of SANE LY (lady’s) case.

20 Doctors tend complicated cases last (7)
ENDMOST – An anagram (complicated) of TEND includes a three letter abbreviation for Medical Orderlies (doctors).

22 Do I follow heavyweight about? (5)
TONIC – … a musical note – The I from the clue follows a three letter word for a heavy weight and the abbreviation for circa (about).

24 Frost and slippery ice vetted (9)
DETECTIVE – An anagram (slippery) of ICE VETTED.  I think this is one clue where a definition by example indicator would have been much fairer to the solver to show that the definition is an example of the solution.

26 ‘e ‘as to look after ‘is missus – indoors, so ‘e says (9)
EASTENDERS – The E and AS from the clue followed by a word meaning to look after and the two letter abbreviation the precedes indoors said by a Cockney when referring to his wife.

27 What could be more bloody plain? Reading and writing are essential. (5)
RARER – The “are” from the clue inside (essential) two Rs (Reading and Writing).

28 The side dishes could be on the piano? (13)
ACCOMPANIMENT – Double definition of side dishes in relation to the main meal and what a pianist provides when playing for a singer or another musician.


2 I can understand a bit of adaptation – but Macbeth didn’t really murder me (6,1)
DUNCAN I – An anagram (adaptation) of I CAN UND (a bit of understand – hmm!)

3 Brief note to give Dave his wages before the others – or suffer the consequences (3,6)
PAY DEARLY – How you might write a brief note for “pay Dave early” with Dave being reduced to his initial.

4 Hallmark of some of the best amplifiers (5)
STAMP – The answer is hidden (some of) in BEST AMPLIFIERS.

5 Gap we don’t mind (9)
TOLERANCE – Double definition of the degree of movement give by a gap in a mechanical device and a word meaning not minding something.

6 Anyway there’s no work for a bishop in India, sir (5)
SAHIB – An anagram (anyway) of A BISHOP after removing the abbreviation for work.

7 Fast getting happy with casual love (2-5)
UP TEMPO – A word meaning elated or happy followed by a four letter word for a casual worker and the letter for love or zero.

8 Smart heretics get excited sprucing up Trafalgar Square! (9,4)
CHRISTMAS TREE – … the annual gift from Noway erected in Trafalgar Square.  An anagram (get excited) of SMART HERETICS.

9 Booster injection (1,4,2,3,3)
A SHOT IN THE ARM – Double definition of a boost or fillip and where an injection may be given.  Perhaps the two definition are too closely related.

15 “That’s why I train”, crazy dude getting first place conceded (7,2)
YIELED UP – The letter that sounds like why when pronounced, the I from the clue, a two letter word for an elevated railway, an anagram (crazy) of DUDE and the first letter of place.

17 Fashionable gaff with green interior that doesn’t seem right (9)
INDECORUM – A two letter word meaning fashionable followed by another (obscure) slang word for a house (gaff) that includes a three letter word meaning green or environmental.

19 I kept forgetting why my acne’s bad (7)
AMNESIC – An anagram (bad) of MY ACNES with the Y being omitted (forgetting WHY (already used once before) and replaced (kept) by the I from the clue.

21 Order golf club to admit slightly coarse Greek character (7)
OMICRON – The abbreviation for Order of Merit followed by the name of a golf club including the first letter (slight) of coarse.

23 I believe we’ve caught about 500, love (5)
CREDO – The abbreviation for caught, a two letter word meaning about, the Roman numeral for 500 and the letter representing love or zero (already used before).

25 Go round Italian city (5)
TURIN – Another word for a go or shot at something around the abbreviation for Italy.  The abbreviation for Italian is IT.  The two should not be interchanged.

26 comments on “NTSPP – 396

  1. Well done Jolly! An enjoyable puzzle which I finished in toughie time. A great start with 1a. And some lovely short clues! I made life hard by entering 9d into the lights for 8d, which had me stumped for ages. This made such a mess I had to go print out a fresh copy.

    I haven’t completely parsed 26a (indoors?) and 6d
    5d, 19d, and 23d aren’t working for me but as always I could be missing something. I didn’t know the way you are using gaff.

    I wondered if 28a would be safer with the singular dish. I struggle with the combination of in and is in the cryptic reading of 18a.

    All in all, great stuff and not too hard

    Many thanks

  2. Got through this one far more rapidly than I’d anticipated, much assisted by the four long ones round the perimeter.
    There are about four that I haven’t yet managed to fully parse and I always struggle with verbosity, which I know is one of JS’s preferred puzzle elements.
    Having said that, my favourite was 3d!

    Thanks to Jolly Swagman and – in advance – to whoever posts the review as I won’t be able to look at it until next weekend.

  3. If it’s Toughie time for Dutch, then it’s not really for me. Shame as I am away on holiday, but I did get 4 answers! Will look forward to the blog.
    Thanks Swagman!

    1. I really didn’t mean to be discouraging – I found this more accessible than some of Swagman’s puzzles.

  4. A nice ‘post lunch/keep an eye on two sorts of jam’ solve.

    Lots to enjoy – 13a particularly made me smile.

    Thanks to JS for the entertainment, Prolixic in advance for the review and BD for correctly intercepting the thought waves I was sending him as I wasn’t sure how I’d fit in an NTSPP review into all the other things I’ve scheduled for today.- in addition to all the usual weekend chores, and jam making, I’ve been a plumber’s assistant and am shortly to be a plasterer’s mate.

  5. Thanks JollySwagman, I enjoyed that a lot
    13a – that’s a bold definition! Otherwise, faves 11a and 26
    I’m sorry, being slightly short of time, I didn’t complete the top left, missing the MacBeth one and the old Striker (couldn’t get Thomas Hearns out of my head).

  6. I have a full grid, but several are as yet not fully parsed and a couple I simply don’t understand. I am not convinced that the answer to 5D fits the definition although I can see that it makes for an amusing clue as a whole. I did like 1A and 9D in particular. Thanks, JS.

  7. Certainly not a quick solve for us. Still a few that we need to sort out the fine details of the parsing but we do have a filled grid. Really liked 1a.
    Thanks JS.

  8. Great fun – thanks JS. I loved the surface in 1a. Number 14 made me smile and I should have got that sooner! 26a very clever. 6d took me some time to parse – though I’m not sure why now! And I suspect you will have enjoyed lighting the Ximenean blue touch paper with 19d – a very good clue!

  9. After a VERY long time, I have all but 2d and the 14/10a combo. There are a couple of others that I am confident that I have correctly, but I’m looking forward to the review in order to understand fully why they are what they are. I’m not sure I enjoyed the wordiness of many of the clues, but there were some very clever constructions.

  10. Very much what others have said. The 4 perimeter answers very much helping early on – with the terrific 1a still being my favourite at the end – then steady progress with lots to enjoy through to that footballer and then 15d being my last ones in.

    It’s really interesting to see how you’ve slightly reined in your style over the last few puzzles – in Rookie Corner and now in NTSPP – yet still very much retained what makes them special. It certainly puts a smile on my face to see your name at the top of a puzzle – innovation and surprises guaranteed.

    Nice one JS, and thanks for the entertainment. Now, if I could only finish parsing 26a and 6d…

    1. Although 26a looks to be a cryptic definition, it’s actually ‘E + ‘AS + (look after) + (‘er indoors, as previously indicated by Jane)

      With 6d you were possibly looking for something more complicated than an anagram of A BISH(OP) – I was at first.

  11. Very enjoyable with lots of chuckles and penny drop moments – thanks JS. I liked 13a (hilarious definition), 3d and 17d but my favourite is 26a.

  12. Thanks for the hints.
    2d, what has the ‘I’ got to do with the king Macbeth murdered?
    Much too hard for me, proven by how most saying how easy 1a was!!

  13. I found some of this quite difficult to parse, but all thoroughly enjoyable with many chuckles along the way. I did manage to get all the answers save one. I particularly liked 12a, 26a, 28a, and 17d. 3d was my fave and really made me laugh. Many thanks JS for this most entertaining crossword.

    Alas! I never did fathom 2d. Grateful thanks to Prolixic for the enlightenment, and also for clarifiying my answers to a couple of others. Despite having the answer to 22a, I failed to make the connection with ‘do’. Oh dear! Fancy not seeing that.

  14. This was way beyond me.
    I had so many answers that had to be right but that I couldn’t justify.
    I’m sure it was all very clever but not for me, I’m afraid.
    Thank you very much to Prolixic for all the hard work.
    Thanks to JollySwagman.

  15. Thank you Prolixic for the enlightenment. I had not heard of the striker in the 14/10a combo. Living on Vancouver Island, I always find references to specific sportsmen hugely challenging. Without the checkers, I really did not stand a chance on 2d which I thought needed some clearer way of indicating what the anagrind was – but that’s probably my disappointment speaking in coming so close to, but not quite, finishing. Thanks to all – especially JollySwagman.

  16. Very good, thanks JS. My only problem was 24a. Not a TV fan and I spent quite a while to find synonyms or alternative definitions of ‘frost’.
    By contrast, I somehow knew about ‘er indoors’ though.
    Good fun, thanks very much to you and to Prolixic for the review. (There’s a typo in 15d – Dave’s gone walkabout!)

  17. Sorry to be so late getting back – I too was very busy at the time.

    Many thanks for all the comments and to BD for hosting and Prolixic for the review.

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