NTSPP – 433 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 433

NTSPP – 433

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


Prolixic returns to Saturday afternoon with a special crossword*


8a Everyday notes by story teller (8)
FAMILIAR Two musical notes and a story teller

9a Coats over good seafood (6)
SCAMPI A reversal (over) of some waterproof coats followed by the two-letter word meaning good (you know the one where everyone says why does xx mean good?)

10a A wine god hiding companion’s tablet (6)
ABACUS A (from the clue) followed by the letters remaining from the name of the Roman God of Wine once you have ‘hidden’ the abbreviation for a Companion of Honour

11a Set forth expert’s intention to tour Sri Lanka (8)
PROCLAIM An expert and an intention ‘tour’ or go round the IVR code for Sri Lanka

12a Queen overthrown by old revolutionary (8)
REFORMER A reversal (overthrown) of the regnal cipher of our current Queen followed by a synonym for old

14a Heavenly being described by Matisse and Raphael (6)
SERAPH This heavenly being is described by, or found in the middle of MatisSE and RAPHael

16a Encourage leader to see academic (7)
EGGHEAD An informal way to encourage followed by the leader of a school or a company perhaps

19a Sad act carrier produced after this arrest goes wrong (7)
CARDIAC An anagram (goes wrong) of SAD ACT CARRIER without the letters of ARREST (arrest goes, wrong indicating that the letters aren’t in the correct order in the anagram fodder)

21a Forgoes Rollers we hear (6)
WAIVES A homophone (we hear) of some rollers we might see at the coast

24a Sweet rum I mixed with asti (8)
TIRAMISU An anagram (mixed) of RUM I ASTI

27a Teacher investing old money in English gold (8)
EDUCATOR An old coin is invested between the abbreviation for English and the heraldic term for gold

28a Employ in quiet gallery? (6)
MUSEUM A synonym for employ inserted into an adjective meaning silent or quiet

29a Finer contents of ice-floes (6)
LACIER Remove the outside letters of some ice floes and the remaining letters will produce a word meaning finer

30a I rile RAF flying around with weapon (3,5)
AIR RIFLE An anagram (flying around) of I RILE RAF


1d School briefly milked lottery (6)
GAMBLE A school of whales and almost all (briefly) of another way of saying milked

2d Material society confiscated from dirty clergy (8)
OILCLOTH The S for society removed (confiscated) for a verb meaning to dirty followed by a term for the clergy

3d Stupid amount charged for Chinese food (3,3)
DIM SUM A synonym for stupid and a three-letter word meaning the amount charged

4d Cloth dealer beginning to dress half-hearted musician (6)
DRAPER The ‘beginning’ of Dress and a ‘musician’ (cue comments from people who don’t think it is music) without a middle letter (half-hearted)

5d Prevents break in El Salvador (6)
ESTOPS A verb meaning break inserted into the IVR Code for El Salvador

6d Screw head changed for mate? (6)
SAILOR Change the initial letter (head) from a prison officer (screw) and you’ll get a shipmate

7d After divorce father pinches key cooking ingredient (5-3)
SPLIT-PEA An informal term for a divorce, followed by another for a father, the latter having a musical key inserted

13d Finish with old EastEnders character dropping dead (3)
END Move (dropping) the D for dead at the start of the name of one of the original EastEnders characters to the bottom

15d Make good after abolishing inflationary index one hears (3)
EAR Abolish or remove the letters by which the inflationary index is known from a verb meaning to make good

17d Seizure of money hidden in ornate garland (5,3)
GRAND MAL The abbreviation for money hidden in an anagram (ornate) of GARLAND

18d Lady seen in Cleveland and the night before in Stevenage (3)
EVE A double definition clue with a difference – there’s a lady lurking in ClEVEland and a night before in Stevenage. A particularly good surface reading – the lady in question obviously gets about a fair bit!

19d Hotel in Channel Islands for Chinese force (3)
CHI The letter represented by Hotel in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet inserted into the abbreviation for the Channel Islands

20d Servant to medics horsing around (8)
DOMESTIC An anagram (horsing around) of TO MEDIC

22d Two men briefly becoming the object of abuse (6)
VICTIM Last time I called this clue an ‘old friend’, it apparently wasn’t… but I still think crossword solvers quite often put two abbreviated (briefly) men’s names together to get this particular object of abuse

23d One rolls up to obtain enlightenment (6)
SATORI A reversal (up) of I (one) and some rolls

24d 2 x 6 – that’s calculus (6)
TARTAR Nice misleading clue in that we aren’t looking for mathematical calculus. We need two lots of another way of referring to the solution to 6d

25d Two groups of soldiers eating second fish (6)
REMORA Two abbreviated groups (regiments) of soldiers ‘eating’ an informal term for a second or short period of time

26d Square umbrella initially covers everyone in sudden storm (6)
SQUALL The abbreviation for square and the initial letter of Umbrella cover or go on top of in a Down clue, another way of saying everyone

*This puzzle was specially created with a Nina round the perimeter marking the loss of a much- loved family pet


18 comments on “NTSPP – 433

  1. After solving the relatively easy 30a and 26d almost instantly, I was initially deceived into thinking that this would be Prolixic on benign form, but how wrong I was!

    I managed to solve all but three answers unaided, but for those last ones I sought electronic assistance, and I’m still none the wiser about the wordplay. My top three clues were 3d, 18d and 24d (very clever). 17d, 23d and 25d were all new words to me. The Nina (?) did help with a few solutions, but more enlightened souls will possibly understand its significance more than I did.

    Many thanks, Prolixic – a struggle, but a very enjoyable one. Thanks in advance to CS for her review too.

  2. Much the same as silvanus, except I probably found it more difficult – I resorted to a couple of reveals for a kick-start about two thirds of the way through.

    Lots of nice, clever little touches. Thanks for the fun Prolixic.

  3. Like Silvanus, I was lulled into a false sense of security and then had to wake up the old grey cells.
    Dug out 23d from somewhere in the murky depths but hadn’t come across the 25d fish before and am still pondering over the parsing of 15d.

    Liked the clever 24d despite the initial read of same throwing me into a panic and my favourite was the simple but hilarious 3d.

    Many thanks to Prolixic – I’ve got two parts of the Nina but, if the other two sides of the puzzle are involved I make it ‘Institute for Mental Health with a herbal product designed to alleviate flatulence and bloating! Umm – maybe not……….

    1. Try looking at the Nina anti-clockwise rather than side-wise

      [I think I’ve cracked remembering to tick the box – you tick it before you type your comment!]

      1. Or you type your comment, go down and tick the box and then go back to your already written comment, click at the end of it then press send. Who knows? I certainly don’t – what a lot of hooha about nothing – all I want to do is get rid of all the rubbish that clutters my inbox but that doesn’t seem to be an option in most cases.
        I don’t really care!!

  4. Thanks Prolixic; good entertaining puzzle. I guess the NINA is rather personal to you. I was trying to find a relevant quotation.

    I particularly liked 24d and 29. BTW 3d appeared in another puzzle today…

  5. We were on the lookout for a NINA as soon as we saw the grid. Part way through we found a word going from left to right across the top and thought we were onto it. It was not until we had completed the puzzle that we understood what the NINA was actually saying.
    A really clever puzzle that had us working hard. Much appreciated and enjoyed.
    Thanks Prolixic

  6. Just for once I’ve made myself save this one up – I often try to do that and fail but tomorrow sounds like thunder and frightening so a day to be indoors.

  7. Most enjoyable but I’ll need the review (CS?) in order to parse 19a, 4d, 15d, 233d & 24d. As for the Nina I can see 2 words but stuck on the rest.

    Thanks to setter & to reviewer.

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS. I was interested to see exactly what you would underline in 19a and to discover whether you felt that some indication needed to be given as to the order of the letters to be removed in 15d.

    Lovely to see a picture of Miracle and so sad for Prolixic and his family over the loss of such a much loved pet.

    PS Anagram fodder for 30a needs a slight tweak.

  9. I had to check a couple of answers in Chambers, but apart from that managed to complete it unaided. The nina helped, once I realised that the female deity across the top was (just coincidentally?) a red herring. I saw the clue to 24dn when I made my paper copy and must have been on the setter’s wavelength because I immediately thought of the “other” sort of calculus and realised what the answer to 6dn had to be. All in all, a satisfying solve.

  10. I did this on a paper copy on the Ferry. I had no idea which inflationary index was being referred to (15d) and I fear my ignorance of all soaps left me unable to parse 13d. Also I couldn’t think of the right screw in 6d. So many thanks CS for these three.

    I don’t think the abacus illustrated matches the definition, whereas the abacus that is an architectural feature does (see brb).

    In 19a, I read “goes wrong” as the anagram indicator applied to THIS (i.e., the answer) + ARREST producing SAD ACT CARRIER. Hence I read the definition as simply “this”. Same arithmetic, but no need to indicate letter order.

    A very sad Nina and I’m sorry to hear this Prolixic. Condolences. I spotted the nina half way through and it helped me complete the puzzle.

    Many thanks for the puzzle Prolixic and thanks for the blog and the picture of miracle CS


  11. Well, first of all my sympathy goes to Prolixic and his family – I’m now a snivelling wreck, again – I’m so sorry.
    I thought this was tricky enough but doable, just about.
    I got stuck, completely, in the top right corner for ages.
    I eventually guessed the Nina which helped me convince myself that my answer to19a was rightI although I needed CS’s hint to tell me why.
    I think my favourite has to be 3d but, again, so many good clues that it’s difficult to pick out any in particular.
    With thanks to Prolixic for the crossword and to CS for the review.

  12. My thanks to Crypticsue for the review and (along with Gazza) for test solving this. Thanks to all for your comments.

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