NTSPP – 435 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 435

NTSPP – 435

A Puzzle by Snape

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Snape returns with the perfect ‘solve after Saturday lunch and then get on with ‘stuff’ crossword, which is how I like my NTSPPs on busy weekends


6a Almost cut new shroud (7)
CURTAIN Almost all of a word meaning to cut short and the abbreviation for new

7a Makes boxes to hold earth (7)
CREATES Boxes holding the abbreviation for earth

9a May demonstrates supreme power (5)
MIGHT The past tense of ‘may’ or some supreme power

10a In context, Rover Tomcat is lively (9)
EXTROVERT Lurking in contEXT ROVER Tomcat

11a Discover disappointment for England captain? (4,3)
ROOT OUT This way of saying discover might also be a headline on the sports pages indicating that the England cricket captain suffered disappointment

13a Car picked up Venetian heiress (6)
PORTIA A homophone (picked up) of a German high-performance sports car gives us the name of the Venetian heiress in one of Shakespeare’s plays

15a I agree with comment about average (9,4)
GEOMETRIC MEAN Reading the definition of the solution in the BRB – the nth root of the product of n quantities – I’m none the wiser but I do know that it is an anagram (about) of I AGREE with COMMENT

19a Patient at home with friend (6)
INMATE The ‘usual’ way of saying at home followed by a friend

20a Chemical engineer gets a tart something low-priced and low quality (7)
CHEAPIE The abbreviation for Chemical Engineer plus A (from the clue) and a type of tart

23a Said to be excited after misdemeanour in place of worship (9)
SYNAGOGUE Homophones (to be said) of an adjective meaning in excited eagerness goes after a misdemeanour

24a Tendency of Germany to split (5)
DRIFT The IVR code for Germany followed by a verb meaning to split

26a My lover in smalls and cravat (7)
SWEETIE Smalls plural indicates the need for both the abbreviation for small and an adjective meaning tiny followed by an item of clothing for which a cravat can be worn instead

27a Give commentary on rare ant flying (7)
NARRATE An anagram (flying) of RARE ANT


1d Score around four, finally, in card game (4)
BRAG Insert the final letter of four into a way of saying score or secure

2d Display rubbish, as well (6)
TATTOO Rubbish of no value followed by an adverb meaning as well

3d Needing Will King to leave US highway (9)
INTESTATE Remove R (Rex, king to ‘leave’) from the name given to a large US highway

4d Bottle shown by press, surrounding English boor rampaging (8)
JEROBOAM A verb meaning to press ‘surrounding’ the abbreviation for English and an anagram (rampaging) of BOOR

5d Elaborate spam letter’s highlight? (10)
STREETLAMP An anagram (elaborate) of SPAM LETTER

6d Arrived with artist, a producer of realistic images (6)
CAMERA Another way of saying arrived followed by the two letters much used in Crosswordland to indicate an artist

7d Nice for one‘s resolution not to need 10a (4)
CITY Remove the word 10 and A from an adverb meaning holding fast or resolving not to

8d Leave when revolutionary becomes tyrant (6)
SATRAP A reversal (revolutionary in a Down clue) of another way of saying leave and a conjunction meaning when

12d Liberal Democrat supports free denim being distributed (4-6)
OPEN-MINDED The abbreviation for Democrat ‘supports’ or goes after an adjective meaning unrestricted (free) and an anagram (being distributed) of DENIM

14d Corrupt criminal cares about source of money? On the contrary (9)
MISCREANT As the clue says ‘on the contrary’ means that you have to put a source of money round an anagram (about) of CARES

16d Moderate scandal involving fantasist, perhaps, is reported (8)
MITIGATE A homophone (is reported) of how one might describe a scandal involving a fantasist based on the hero of a short story by James Thurber about an ordinary person indulging in escapist dreams of fame and power

17d Fail to notice American’s wife (6)
MISSUS Fail to notice followed by the abbreviation meaning American

18d Bug the French to get pound (6)
PESTLE An annoying person or bug followed by the French definite article

21d Remain voter ultimately to provide sandwiches (6)
ENDURE The ultimate letter of voter sandwiched inside a verb meaning to provide

22d Monster thus backtracks (4)
OGRE There are quite a few familiar friends in this crossword but this is one of the most seen – a reversal (backtracks) of a Latin word meaning thus

25d Religious leader is single mother (4)
IMAM – The letter representing a single and a dialect way of referring to a mother

18 comments on “NTSPP – 435

  1. Lovely crossword, pitched just right for a lazy lunchtime – thanks Snape. My pick of the clues were 26a (my last answer), 7d (nice bit of misdirection) and 16d.

  2. Made the dreadful mistake of looking up the meaning of 15a – my brain hurts.
    21a was my last one in, went all round the houses before the penny dropped.

    Not keen on 20a but really liked some of the short, snappy ones – 7&13a plus 25d. Favourite was 23a.

    Many thanks, Snape – nice to see you back in the NTSPP slot.

  3. Great stuff as ever, I always enjoy a Snape puzzle.

    It was fairly solver-friendly but 15a took some time to work out, so is certainly deserving of a tick, alongside 13a and 23a.

    Many thanks indeed, Snape. How to see you back soon.

  4. Thank you Snape. After the tussle with the back pager this was very enjoyable and required just the right amount of head scratching. I should be ready for solving and hinting on the Virgilus this evening.

    I really liked the double homophone in 23a, the bottle in 4d, and the tyrant in 8d.

    Thanks again.

  5. A rare summer Saturday afternoon neither golfing or singing so a great pleasure to find a Snape puzzle to tackle. Had to cheat on a couple – never heard of 8d, and couldn’t see 26a for the life of me, but it’s very clever.

    I like the definition In 7d but have no idea about the wordplay. Can only assume there’s a synonym for “resolution” I can’t think of that has something removed from it.

    Lovely puzzle though. Particularly liked 9a, 11a, 3d, and 16d. I wouldn’t pronounce the name of the car in 13a as one syllable but in-house adviser says the Germans would, so fair enough.

    Thanks Snape

    1. For 7d, put the clue number referred to into words rather than numbers and put this in front of the answer.

  6. 18d was the one that gave us trouble. Could not get past the Liverpool quartet and their homophone. We’re sure that Snape was deliberately leading us down that path. All good fun.
    Thanks Snape

  7. Many thanks, Snape, that was a lot of fun. Thanks too to the 2Ks for the explanation of 7d which was my last one in but unparsed.

    My mother was always adamant that a tart and a pie were very different, and my BRB supports this. I know it was always said that the 6a never lies, but unfortunately that’s no longer true so perhaps “realistic” is a bit of a stretch. I didn’t know that 18d could be used as a verb.

    Lots of clues came into contention for favourite and I’ll mention just two: 23a & 16d.

    Well done, Snape. Very entertaining.

    1. I did mean to say something about pies and tarts not being the same – I’m about to make an apricot tart for lunch and it definitely won’t have a lid like a pie!

  8. Lovely puzzle. Thanks Snape. I was defeated by 7d as you had used a brilliant mislead. As well as this I also had to wait for the review to get 18d, since I had got 24a wrong (having used ‘rive’ for ‘split’). Favourites were 23a and 26a.

    Thanks also to Sue for the review.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS – I’m relieved to see that looking up the definition of 15a enlightened you as little as it did me!
    I’d got into a complete pickle with 7d. I had CUTE as the definition with the resolution being to CUT E as in give up taking drugs. Fine so far but it left me in a dilemma about the 10a reference. Ho hum – I’ve obviously been solving too many of Snape’s puzzles in another place!

    With regard to the tart/pie issue. Where do the likes of Shepherd’s and Cottage Pie fit in – does a layer of mashed potato constitute a ‘lid’?

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