NTSPP – 434 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 434

NTSPP – 434

No Tears by Chalicea

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

This puzzle does have a ghost theme (one that you don’t need to discover), but if you can spot it then the title will make more sense.

Chalicea returns to Saturday afternoon with a ghost-themed puzzle where, if you don’t want to be stuck with an on-going earworm, it is probably best that you don’t spot it! The crossword also requires a handy copy of the BRB to make sure you aren’t making things up – the viol in 20d being one example


1a Map a clue dreadfully – I am to blame (3,5)
MEA CULPA An anagram (dreadfully) of MAP A CLUE

5a Convert coins of low value (6)
CHANGE Double definition – one a verb, the other a noun

10a Settles thoroughly time when lamps are extinguished (6,3)
LIGHTS OUT Settles or lands on something plus an adjective, one of the meanings of which is thoroughly

11a More agreeable French Riviera city river (5)
NICER Probably the best-known city on the French Riviera followed by the abbreviation for River

12a Friendly Islands horse-drawn vehicle (5)
TONGA The friendly SW Pacific islands or a light two-wheeled Indian vehicle

13a Deceptive appearances of bad, unserviceable particles (9)
ILLUSIONS A synonym for bad, the abbreviated way of saying unserviceable and some particles

14a Publish again revised series about upper-class (7)
REISSUE An anagram (revised) of SERIES goes about the single letter used to indicate upper-class

16a Direction to express indirectly without qualification (6)
SIMPLY A compass direction followed by a verb meaning to express indirectly

19a Bill to allow small personal computer (6)
TABLET A bill followed by a verb meaning to allow

21a Success with respect to melody (7)
FORTUNE A preposition meaning with respect to followed by a melody

23a Being distraught, exit scene (9)
EXISTENCE An anagram (distraught) of EXIT SCENE

25a Irish pursuing article belonging to them (5)
THEIR The abbreviation for Irish ‘pursuing’ a definite article

26a Sudden round of applause; means of saving appearances (5)
SALVO I knew the first definition of this word; you’ll find the second in the BRB

27a Not called in question to cancel mishandled debut (9)
UNDOUBTED Another way of saying cancel followed by an anagram (mishandled) of DEBUT

28a Special old employment for partner (6)
SPOUSE The abbreviations for special and Old and another way of saying employment

29a Prominence of disfigured misshape (8) ,Br />
EMPHASIS An anagram (disfigured) of MISSHAPE


1d Warlike unit changing sides in Italy (8)
MILITARY An abbreviated unit of measurements and then the word ITALY once you have changed the L for Left side for the letter indicating the opposite side

2d Arab man of good birth in a South American republic (9)
ARGENTINA The abbreviation for Arab, an abbreviated man of good birth and IN A (from the clue)

3d Extreme university lecturer with revolutionary skill (5)
ULTRA The abbreviations for University and Lecturer with a reversal (revolutionary) of skill

4d US student dance is originally exceeding expectation (7)
PROMISE A US student dance, IS (from the clue) and the original letter of Exceeding

6d Better-looking workers, more diversified (9)
HANDSOMER Some workers followed by an anagram (diversified) of MORE

7d Some banana chopped for Mexican food item (5)
NACHO found lurking in some banaNA CHOpped

8d Depart with right of return, but not at first (6)
EGRESS Take away the R that is the first letter of another word meaning return

9d Cutting needle of endless fashion supported by US (6)
STYLUS Remove the last letter (endless) from a fashion and then support (in a Down clue) the remaining letters with US (from the clue)

15d Perplexed expat with these answers might lead to expostulations (9)
SOLUTIONS An anagram (perplexed) of EXPAT and some answers might lead to the word EXPOSTULATIONS

17d Latin floridly rhetorical speeches primarily for honoured people (9)
LAUREATES The abbreviation for Latin, an adjective meaning floridly rhetorical and the primary letter of Speeches

18d Man with lots of partners in group of Scottish islands (8)
HEBRIDES The male form of the third person followed by some female partners

20d Discourse centred essentially on old Shetland viol (6)
TONGUE The ‘essential’ letter of cenTred, ON (from the clue) and an old Shetland viol. The latter is in the BRB – I found it when looking to see if the last three letters of the solution were actually a word, let alone an instrument

21d Liberty from boxing endless seeds (7)
FREEDOM Remove the ends from sEEDs and insert (boxing) what’s left into FROM (from the clue)

22d Putrefaction of tiny tyre-grooves rising round back of rims (6)
SEPSIS Another one where the BRB came in handy. I knew from the checking letters what the putrefaction had to be, and that I had to insert an S (round back of rimS) into a reversal (rising) of some tiny tyre-grooves, so I looked up the other letters in the BRB and there it was

24d Cool place! Institute with fantastic logo (5)
IGLOO The abbreviation for Institute with an anagram (fantastic) of LOGO

25d Veracity finally about pity (5)
TRUTH The final letter of about and some pity

If you don’t want to be stuck with the earworm, I suggest you don’t Hidden in the grid are a number of words from the lyrics of Don’t cry for me Argentina

10 comments on “NTSPP – 434

  1. Very nice and not too tricky, though I haven’t twigged the title’s relevance yet.

    Many thanks for the fun, Chalicea.

  2. Learnt several new things during this solve – another horse-drawn vehicle, something unusual relating to ‘rhetorical’, a Shetland instrument and some previously unknown grooves. Now then – can I remember them for future reference……….

    Thank you Chalicea – that was nicely done and I promise not to cry!

  3. Despite the title we found this a ripping puzzle. (Yes, pun definitely intended). We did work out the ghost theme at the end and found heaps of answers that were associated with it. A couple of words, eg an instrument and a groove that were new to us, but did get them eventually. SW corner was last to yield for us.
    Good Sunday morning fun.
    Thanks Chalicea.

  4. All done, though it did take some time for the last few, and this perplexed expat has no idea what the title means. I shall have to wait and see. Thanks Chalicea.

  5. Nice puzzle thanks, Chalicea. Lovely mix of clues and some new words to me (in 20d in particular). I spotted the ghost theme after getting 2d, but a lack of familiarity with it meant that I completed the puzzle and then researched the theme words.

  6. Many thanks for the review, CS – yes, I did have my BRB to hand when I was solving this one. Unfortunately I didn’t use it to get the abb. in 1d. I’m so familiar with seeing ml that I never gave it a second thought and spent quite some time trying to change the L to R as well as the R to L in the second part of the answer. My ‘new’ word simply doesn’t exist!

    Loved the 24d pic that accompanied your review.

    Thanks again to Chalicea for a most enjoyable NTSPP – I’ll forgive you for the earworm.

  7. Best I’ve ever done on an NTSPP, just needing Crypticsue’s hints for 26a, and 22d, so very happy with that. Thanks to Chalicea and Sue for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  8. Many thanks CS. The polar bears were special – so glad solvers were happy. I see that no-one has given a spoiler for the ghost theme so here’s one – think Evita and Madonna (and 2down).

    1. Hi Chalicea – thank you for a most enjoyable puzzle. I did sort of give a spoiler by promising not to cry but maybe it was too obscure? I also mentioned the polar bear picture – I’d love to think it was real and not a photoshop image.

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