NTSPP – 413 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 413

NTSPP – 413

A Puzzle by Snape

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Snape provides the first NTSPP of 2018 and very enjoyable it was too, with a number of things that made me smile and a couple of good d’oh moments when I was sorting out the parsing. If I was going to be slightly picky, I’d remark on the number of clues with requiring letters to be removed from or added to other things


1a Gel being worn inappropriately in sporting arena (7,5)

BOWLING GREEN An anagram (inappropriately) of GEL BEING WORN

9a Celebrated setter escaping the policeman in Provence by the end of May (9)

LEGENDARY Removing (escaping) how our setter would refer to himself from the end of a French policeman, who may or may not serve in Provence, and then add the end of MaY

10a Your old and flimsy piece of evidence (5)
THINE A synonym for flimsy and a piece (the first [or last] letter) of evidence

11a American politician Paul Ryan, half-cut, stopped giving out anything (3,3)
RAN DRY The Christian name of an American senator with the surname of Paul, followed by the first (cut) half of RYan. The picture shows the current state of one of Kent’s reservoirs. Hosepipe ban this summer??


12a Like the mournful sound of man following map (8)
PLANGENT An abbreviated man following a map

13a Crooked leader of Senate to resign over Flynn’s termination (6)
SQUINT The ‘leader’ of Senate plus an American way of saying to resign (which sadly seems to have made its way over here) into which is inserted the ‘termination’ of FlynN

15a According to computing department, start of year results in bitterness (8)
ASPERITY A way of saying according to the computing department followed by the ‘start’ of Year

18a Champion is tired out after a constant cold (8)
ACCREDIT An anagram (out) of TIRED goes after A (from the clue) and the abbreviations for Constant and Cold

19a How to win a jelly making contest in the beginning? (6)
OUTSET A lovely bit of wordplay which, having made me smile, deserves a smile-inducing illustration

21a Willing to learn about fast route to get into London housing (8)
DOMICILE Insert one of the fast routes to get into London into an adjective meaning willing to learn

23a Heard Scotsman’s claim not to be able to provide money for starter (6)
CANAPE A homophone (heard) of a Scotsman’s claim not to be able to provide money for his purchase

26a Caught king being explicit (5)
CLEAR The abbreviation for Caught and the Shakespearean King most useful to the crossword setter

27a Alsatians mauled attacker (9)
ASSAILANT An anagram (mauled) of ALSATIANS

28a TV‘s Ford obtaining piece of furniture (5-7)
CROSS DRESSER Once you remember that this informal abbreviation doesn’t only apply to a television, it is quite a simple thing to put another word for ford (a river for example) before a piece of furniture


1d Tolerate American student inside another country (7)
BELARUS Insert the abbreviation used to represent a learner or student inside a verb meaning to tolerate and the abbreviation for American

2d Footballer’s partner working in freight truck (5)
WAGON The three-letter informal term for a footballer’s partner followed by the adverb meaning working


3d Lack of knowledge of canoeing at sea hampering rescue, at first (9)
IGNORANCE An anagram (at sea) of CANOEING ‘hampering’ the first letter of Rescue

4d Good boy is happy (4)

GLAD The abbreviation for Good followed by a boy

5d Queen fan is solitary oddball (8)
ROYALIST An anagram (oddball) of SOLITARY

6d Worried as son and daughter leave cockney heartland (5)
EATEN Remove the abbreviations for Son and Daughter from the part of London that is the Cockney heartland

7d French resort draws distinctions (8)
NICETIES A resort in the South of France and a synonym for draws

8d Nobility gradually changing sides (6)
GENTRY Change the abbreviation for one of your hands to be found in a way of saying gradually, and change it for the other side

14d As a shock, left alone once with dumb criminal (8)
UNCOMBED An anagram (criminal) of ONCE with DUMB

16d Intended to enlighten English with coin I have (9)
EDUCATIVE The abbreviation for English with an old gold or silver coin plus an abbreviated way of saying I have

17d Serving sisters is going to, by one in the morning, end in tears (8)
WILLIAMS Hands up who else spent more than one Gnoment wondering what nuns had to do with it? Another way of saying ‘is going to’, I (one) the abbreviated way of saying in the morning and the ‘end’ in tearS

18d Fan embraced by Bill Oddie naked, getting tense (6)
ADDICT An abbreviated bill (the capital letter here being misleading) embracing the inside letters (naked telling you that it isn’t ‘wearing’ anything outside) of oDDIe followed by the abbreviation for Tense

20d Waver about wife, as she posts her thoughts online (7)
TWEETER A verb meaning to waver goes about the abbreviation for Wife

22d Ex-president has no time for nurse (5)
CARER Remove the T (has no Time) from the surname of the 39th President of the United States

24d Collect a pound, perhaps (5)
AMASS A (from the clue) and a quantity of material (pound perhaps)

25d Fatherless, waited to be employed (4)
USED Remove the informal term for a father (fatherless) from a verb meaning waited temporarily

29 comments on “NTSPP – 413

  1. Brilliant stuff with excellent surfaces and loads of laughs – thanks Snape. The American politician in 11a was new to me. I particularly liked 23a (wonderful!), 28a, 5d and 18d.

  2. Thanks Snape; very enjoyable. Yes, 23a was great, once you get your Scottish tongue around it. I, too, did not know the American politician; maybe currency could have been used instead.

    As well as Gazza’s likes, I ticked 14d and 17d with an honourable mention for 19a.

  3. It seems like ages since we’ve been treated to a Snape, but fans will be happy to know we won’t have too long to wait for the next as he’ll be appearing (in his Eccles garb) in the Indy on Wednesday.

    I took this out to eat while I solved lunch, and very good it was too.

    Gazza and Windsurfer have exactly covered my top likes, saving me some typing.

    Thanks Snape, and thanks in advance to CS for the review.

  4. Nice to have you back in the NTSPP slot, Snape – and also pleased to see that you’ve been earning the odd crust in ‘the other place’ (perhaps not sufficient to retire on just yet!).

    Glad to note that I wasn’t alone in not knowing the American politician and I’m also still slightly worried about the parsing of 28a but everything else is safely dealt with. Favourite by a mile is 23a – quite brilliant.

    Many thanks, Andy – hope we might see you at the Birthday Bash?

      1. That’s one of the ones that’s been bugging me – why is it what it has to be? Am I being dim again?

          1. I didn’t get as far as that – I was too busy looking up every single Ford who’s ever been on the TV! Stupid!

    1. Thank you, one and all – I should have got the BRB out sooner instead of worrying myself silly about the lovely Ms.Anna Ford!

  5. That was really good fun – thank you, Snape, for cheering up a very cold and wet afternoon in Oxford.
    I thought it was quite difficult in places, particularly the bottom right corner.
    Too many good clues and laughs to pick out any in particular.
    Thanks again to Snape.
    Now – do I dare to take a peep at the MPP while husband cooks supper – paella – yum!

  6. Happy New Year one and all. Not posted for a while although I do lurk here and in Rookie Corner from time to time.

    Lovely puzzle Snape. Loved 23a. Wonder how you’d clue a similar word meaning “a covering hung over a bed….”

    Great definitions in 14d and 17d, and a massive groan in 19a (if I’d written that I confess I’d be smugly very pleased with myself).

    Had to reveal a few letters here and there and could only get 11a from the crossers – don’t know how the wordplay works. Totally baffled by 28a; undoubtedly being dim as usual.

    1. Lovely to ‘see’ you, Starhorse – please don’t be a lurker – and how about another puzzle soon?

      1. Nice to “see” you too Jane. I’ve got a one in the pipeline, just need to polish up a couple of clues, which at the tortoise-like speed I work I’ll probably manage by Easter (2019) ….

        Might see if I can get to London for the Birthday Bash, not been to one before, just depends on what else is on.

  7. Cheers all, I guess I’ve been following US politics a little too closely – I didn’t even think of the currency.
    Kitty kindly points out my next puzzle in the Indy (they are all free, too! – do have a look if you need more puzzles). There is one clue (2d) where I was thinking of Gazza when I wrote it – I thought he might appreciate it. (It was originally for an NTSPP, but the puzzle wasn’t good enough and got scrapped).
    Hopefully I should be able to make it down to London for the birthday bash.

  8. Really good fun. We were ultimately beaten by 28a where we thought we were looking for some local personality we had not heard of. Kicking ourselves now. The process has rather delayed our regular walk so will continue our kicking while we are on the beach.
    Thanks Snape.

  9. It’s always great to see another Snape puzzle appear, even better when it’s not one I’d seen previously.

    This was brilliant, up to the setter’s highest standards, and hugely enjoyable as ever. I did think the US politician was a little too obscure unfortunately, but that didn’t mar a superb piece of work.

    Far, far too many excellent clues to nominate a favourite I think. Congratulations and many thanks.

  10. I found this a wonderful puzzle, and thank you Snape. My favourite by a long shot, once the penny had dropped, was 23a – and there were lots of penny-drop moments. There are one or two (6d and 28a for instance) that I am looking forward to understanding why they are what they are.

  11. Terrific puzzle in every way. Bags of fun, audacious homophones, topicality, invention. No wonder everyone loves Mr Snape!

  12. I still have two to go, but wanted to comment while people are still around and before the review. Absolutely super, and lots of laughs. And yes, I did know the American politician! thanks Snape. Hope I crack the last two before tomorrow.

    1. Last two (18D and 21A) all sorted. Lots of ticks, but I’ll settle for 11A, 15A, 19A, 23A, 27A, and 5D. thanks again, Snape.

  13. great stuff. i’m stuck in the sw corner & can’t see my way out. i’ll wait for the review to put me out of my misery or i could do a few reveals but that’s cheating in my view.

  14. Many thanks for the review, CS and – yes – I’ll put my hand up for trying to figure out how the nuns could fit into 17d!

    Forgot to say in my original comment how much I smiled at the surface read of 12a – been there, done that, listened to a man being forced to read a map!

    Loved the illustration for 19a.

  15. My first foray into NTSPP and quite enjoyable. I thought after a few clues that the setter’s style was a bit familiar so was pleased to learn of Snape’s alter ego.
    I did wonder briefly about nuns in 17dn but I had most of the crossing letters so I wasn’t misdirected for too long. Thought 19ac was great.
    Thanks, Snape, and Crypticsue for the review.

  16. Having been away for the weekend I only noticed this this evening and I almost decided to give it a miss but I’m very glad I didn’t as it was excellent! I do think that the politician in 11a is too obscure, and I can’t not mention that 17d contains one of the most horrendous split infinitives I have ever seen.

    Apart from those minor points, there was good fun aplenty, humour, smooth surfaces throughout and some nice misdirections. Choosing a favourite was quite tricky but I’ll go along with the consensus and plump for 23a.

    Thanks very much, Andy. Hopefully see you at the end of the month. Thanks too to CS.

  17. Cheers for the review, Sue, and the usual excellent illustrations.
    RD, agreed with Rand Paul, but you will have to carefully explain what is wrong with a split infinitive… ;-)

  18. Lovely stuff.
    Had a bit of trouble in the SE. Thought 23a was going to start with cani and didn’t understand 19a.
    Loved the Bill Oddie clue
    Thanks to Snape and to CS.

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