NTSPP – 405 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 405

NTSPP – 405

Uncompounded by Chalicea

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Chalicea’s back with a nice ‘uncompounded’ theme, the spotting of which quite early on, did help with solving some of my stragglers. I don’t think Brian does the NTSPP but if he reads this, he’ll be delighted to know that I did practice what I preach and looked up several things where I didn’t know either why or how!


6a     Assistant editors lubricate layer lying below cultivated ground (7)  
SUBSOIL An abbreviated way of referring to some assistant editors followed by a synonym for lubricate

7a     Hoax circling about singular Bantu language (5)  
XHOSA Circling indicates the need to move the last letter of HOAX to the front and then insert (about) the abbreviation for Singular

9a     Smooth seaweed returning (4)  
IRON A reversal (returning in an Across clue) of a type of seaweed used in sushi

10a     With bit of paint, he dabbles haphazardly creating coating for house wall (6-4)  
PEBBLE-DASH The first letter (a bit) of Paint and an anagram (haphazardly) of HE DABBLES

11a     Wearies with talk about chief journalists ulcers (8)  
BEDSORES A verb meaning ‘wearies with talk’ goes ‘about’ some chief journalists

13a     With a view to burglary reconnoitring housing (6)  
CASING A verb meaning examining, usually with a view to burglary; an outside covering

15a     Heard as concise declaration of intention to dwell in isolated place (4)
ISLE A homophone of a concise declaration of one’s intention to do something – the place in the picture isn’t that isolated but I’m hoping a picture of it will distract the fine-toothed comb!

17a     Talk informally about European fraud (5)  
CHEAT To talk informally ‘about’ the abbreviation or European. I should think the Silvanus repetition radar is gong into overdrive with all this use of ‘about’

18a     Some gun control’s a remarkable thing in Dunbar (4)  
UNCO A Scottish (as said in Dunbar perhaps) way of saying remarkable is lurking in some of gUN COntrol

19d     Steal the Spanish coin (6)  
NICKEL An informal way of saying steal followed by the Spanish definite article

20a     The whole of eternity reshaped (8)  
ENTIRETY An anagram (reshaped) of ETERNITY

23a     Ruralist remains when undisciplined oiks removed from troubled Rocky Mountains (10)
COUNTRYMAN If you take OIKS (undisciplined telling you that the letters aren’t in that order) from an anagram (troubled) of ROCKY MOUNTAINS, you should be left with a ruralist

26d     Guide by hand pencil’s coloured core (4)  
LEAD Another nice double definition, this one theme-related

27a     Rebellious French political group trimmed palm leaf (5)  
FROND Trim the last letter from a rebellious French group established during Louis XIV’s minority. One of those know what the solution is, check in the BRB to find out about the political group clues.

28d     Planet‘s luxury car principally useful regaling Yankees (7)
MERCURY An abbreviated luxury car plus the principal letters of Useful Regaling Yankee


1d     Capriciously take on best large cut of meat (1-4,5)  
T-BONE STEAK An anagram (capriciously) of TAKE ON BEST

2d     Small change for a policeman (6)  
COPPER A small piece of change or an informal term for a policeman

3d     Excess body fat in female workplace (4)  
FLAB The abbreviation for Female and an abbreviated way of referring to a particular workplace

4d     Clearly communicated short experiment allowed by law (8)  
EXPLICIT An abbreviated (short) experiment and an adjective meaning lawful

5d     Good antique riches (4)
GOLD The abbreviation for good and a synonym for antique

6d     Encourages cycling in sudden powerful crowd movement (5)  
SURGE ‘Cycling’ indicates the need to move the final letter in a verb meaning encourages to the front of the word

8d     Arsenal’s manager mostly in charge; this might have dire results (7)  
ARSENIC Most of the Christian name of the long-time manager of Arsenal FC followed by the abbreviated way of saying in charge

12d     Incident witnessed, we’re told (5)  
SCENE A homophone (we’re told) of SEEN (witnessed)

14d     Indecently abusive, unrestrained, curious slur, not socially acceptable once (10)  
SCURRILOUS If you’ve been doing cryptic crosswords for long enough you should know that the letter U can be used to mean ‘socially acceptable’. So, following the instructions in the clue, remove one of the Us from CURIOUS SLUR and an anagram (unrestrained) of the remaining letters should provide the solution

16d     Special stroke that’s a foul in snooker; an incidental result (4,3)  
SPIN OFF The abbreviation for special plus a snooker stroke that would be counted as a foul

17d     State in USA to add vividness to a party (8)  
COLORADO The American way of spelling a verb meaning to add vividness to something followed by A (from the clue) and a party

21d     Anger once surrounding ancient city tenant’s rights (6)  
TENURE An archaic noun meaning anger surrounding an Old Testament city. Another ‘solve the word, look up the bit you didn’t know’ clue

22d     Flatterer‘s plaything involving publicity (5)  
TOADY Insert a shortened form of publicity into a plaything

24d     Electric discharge lamp not working (4)  
NEON An electric discharge lamp is obtained by linking an obsolete adverb meaning ‘not’ to a simple way of saying working

25d     In some measure an idea passed on via Internet (4)
MEME Lurking in soME Measure

To check if you spotted all the themed elements

20 comments on “NTSPP – 405

  1. Is there a spelling mistake in the clue to 21d … or is it something I know absolutely nothing about?

    1. It is indeed – I’ve reported it to a very busy person – it is fairly obvious what the correct word should be

  2. many thanks Chalicea for this lovely treat which was over all too soon. 27a took me a while. I also need to brush up on my snooker. I counted 8 themed entries, plus 18a which has an interesting relationship to the title. I wonder if i’ve missed anything.

    I learned a new word in 24d. I liked 17d where an indicator helps the definition, but is not part of it. Is there a name for that device?

    Thanks again

  3. There are certain elements of this puzzle that I just don’t understand – finding it very difficult to parse 23a, 21d and 24d.

    Thanks to Chalicea for the challenge.

    The Dunbar clue was my favourite … Och Aye!

  4. Really good fun and not too tricky which is just as well as the marbles seem to be in short supply today.
    I have a couple of answers that I don’t understand but they can wait until tomorrow to be sorted out.
    Quite a few made me laugh which always adds to the level of enjoyment, for me anyway.
    With thanks to Chalicea for such a good crossword and, in advance, to CS for tomorrow’s review.

  5. Thank you, Chalicea, that was a most satisfying crossword.
    I learned a few new things and – like Kath – I’ve got a couple of answers that await CS’s decryption but it was a lovely puzzle to solve.
    Think 16d was my favourite.

  6. No problems to report, all flowed in nicely apart from the language, which required the dictionary to check.
    Nice to see that difficulty takes second place to surface – a welcome change!
    Thanks Chalicea, and to CS in advance.

  7. This was my third crossword of the day, and jolly good it was too with a theme which stirred memories of my roots of long ago as a chemist. This was great fun with a nice range of difficulty from easy to challenging, coupled with very smooth surfaces throughout (except that the clue for 11a needs an apostrophe to make sense!)

    I needed my BRB to confirm two new words (which are actually very old) in order to parse 21d & 24d, and I still can’t quite unscramble my answer for 27a.

    Many thanks, Chalicea. Thanks too in advance to CS.

  8. I had completed the puzzle before I realized what the title meant! Finding the related answers did confirm 24D, though I still can’t parse it satisfactorily. I liked 11A particularly, and the answer to 28A is also applies to an American Ford Motor Company product line. Thanks for the fun Chalicea.

      1. Yes, I did parse it correctly. I just liked that the full answer was also another type of car.

  9. What a joy that was to solve when I had got in from a busy day including attending Winnipeg’s Remembrance Day Service (indoors thankfully); hopefully, it was a good ‘warm-up’ for when I start on tomorrow’s Virgilius in 90 minutes.

    I particularly liked the anagram indicators in 20a, 23a, and 1d – especially 1d.

    Thanks Chalicea!

  10. Thanks Chalicea, nice setting in elements of the puzzle.

    I got the theme early on, which helped for a smooth solve.

    I learned a new (old) word in 21d. Luckily, I had seen the ‘X’ word before in an alphabetical. LOI was 15a where I didn’t really get the ‘dwell’ part. I see the first two letters of 24d is in the BRB as obsolete. Perhaps an ‘in the past, old …’ would have been a fuller indicator.

  11. Just popping in from my ‘isolated place’ to say thank you for the review, CS. The fine-toothed comb picked up on nothing more than a few missing bits of underlining so just sit back and enjoy your birthday!
    Reading the review reminded me of just how much I enjoyed solving this one (even the bits I had to look-up) so thanks again to Chalicea. Hope you have another one in the pipeline for us.

  12. Yes, indeed, Jane. Whenever Big Dave tells me he is using one, I begin the next one and have beavered away at a new one, yesterday, half last night and all of today, and it has already kindly been tested by two people including a top crossword editor. It is rather emotionally charged and based on what I was listening to when searching for something thematic. (I find it impossible to set without some sort of theme, though it has to be one that perceptive solvers spot but not inherent to the crossword. Big Dave stipulated that when he encouraged me to send my first to NTSPP).
    How I appreciate those delightful responses of solvers and I can’t say often enough that Cryptic Sue’s reviews are sheer joy for setters. Thank you!

Comments are closed.