NTSPP – 442 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 442

NTSPP – 442

A Puzzle by Silvanus

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Silvanus returns to Saturday afternoon with a very enjoyable puzzle, pitched just right for the Saturday afternoon slot. Some very nice surface readings too


1a Mysterious stranger had fondness primarily for older relatives (12)
GRANDFATHERS An anagram (mysterious) of STRANGER and F (fondness ‘primarily’).

9a Bounder swears stud removed intimate clothing (9)
UNDERWEAR There are two words that mean a stud or projecting knob – remove the four letters that spell the other one from BOUNDER SWEARS and you’ll be left with some intimate clothing

10a Chess hero initiates nine attempted openings for mate (5)
CHINA A Cockney’s friend (mate) can be found in the openings for Chess Hero Initiates Nine Attempted


11a Citizen dismissing presence of horse in fast food (6)
BURGER Dismiss the presence of H (horse) from a citizen of a borough

12a Leaks from witness leading to summons (8)
SEEPAGES A verb meaning to witness and another meaning summons

13a Anger surrounds team that’s knocked back invigorating substance (6)
ELIXIR A synonym for [to] anger ‘surrounds’ the Roman numerals indicating a team of eleven players. Reverse the result (that’s knocked back in an Across clue) and an invigorating substance will appear

15a Record simple homilies, catering essentially for yours truly (8)
COMPILER The ‘essential’ letters of reCOrd siMPle homILies catERing

18a Regularly ignored speed, doing about eighty when beginning descent (8)
PEDIGREE Ignore the regular letters of sPeEd DoInG, add the two-letter preposition meaning about and the E at the beginning of Eighty

19a Intensely passionate Dickensian character ends in topsy-turvy state (6)
TORRID Take the name of a little Dickensian character and swap the first and last letters (ends in topsy-turvy state)

21a Like carpet when fitted, running round across centre of gallery (8)
UNROLLED An anagram (running) of ROUND goes across, or has inserted, the ‘centre’ of gaLLery

23a Appearance of hair, maybe, when seen in dull light (6)
GREASY A conjunction meaning when inserted into a colour that might indicate a dull light

26a “Something rotten in the state of Denmark” shortly to be spoken (5)
DECAY A homophone (to be spoken) of the JVR code for Denmark

27a Occupant of lodge, fellow at liberty to entertain well (9)
FREEMASON A fellow at liberty (4, 3) ‘entertaining’ a conjunction meaning well

28a 1960s hippies like Lee and Clyde perhaps? (6,6)
FLOWER PEOPLE If you’ve been doing cryptic crosswords for some time, you’ll know that the same word that can refer to plants that bloom or rivers is often used to mislead the solver. Here the Lee and Clyde are rivers. I wasn’t sure why certain commenters had a problem with this one – it made me smile on first reading so I marked it as a ‘favourite’


1d The French supporting Great Britain about unusual complaint (7) <
GRUMBLE The French definite article ‘supporting’ in a Down clue, the abbreviation for Great Britain into which is inserted ‘about’ a slang word meaning unusual

2d Tree snake left for dead when first encountered (5)
ALDER Take Britain’s only venomous snake and change the first D for Dead to an L for Left


3d Sullying of gin ranked out of order (9)
DARKENING An anagram (out of order) of GIN RANKED

4d Old artist gets detailed retrospective (4)
AGED A reversal (retrospective) of almost all (de-tailed) of a famous French artist

5d Arab transporter, disregarding temperature, bothers frisky cow (8)
HORSEBOX Disregard or remove the T (temperature) from BOtHERS and follow an anagram (frisky) of the remaining letters with another word for cow

6d Sum up military policeman lacking depth (5)
RECAP Remove the abbreviation for depth from a slang term for a military policeman

7d Odd German visits urinals intoxicated (8)
SINGULAR The abbreviation for German ‘visits’ an anagram (intoxicated) of URINALS

8d Uproar as each revolutionary embraces autocrat (6)
CAESAR Lurking in reverse (revolutionary) in uproaR AS EACh

14d Rambling type of speech (8)
INDIRECT Another way of saying not straight (rambling) or a type of reported speech

16d Plan from expert carrying little weight? On the contrary (9)
PROGRAMME On the contrary confirms, as this is a Down clue that the GRAMME (little weight) is ‘carrying’ or going under the PRO (expert)

17d Females always divided over partners obtaining medicinal plant (8)
FEVERFEW Another way of saying always ‘divides’ two separate abbreviations for Female, the result followed by two of the partners in a bridge game

18d Yards, they are imperial units (6)
POUNDS Yards for farm animals or imperial units of weight

20d She’s the most senior prepared to hedge foreign currency (7)
DOYENNE A verb meaning prepared goes round (to hedge) some foreign currency

22d Employ alertness, keeping steadfast (5)
LOYAL Another lurker, this time kept in empLOY ALertness

24d Storyteller‘s attitude upset adult to start with (5)
AESOP A reversal (upset in a Down clue) of an attitude goes after (to start with) A (adult)

25d Drop of drink close to dinner (4)
TEAR The nation’s supposedly favourite drink followed by the ‘close’ to dinneR

20 comments on “NTSPP – 442

  1. Most enjoyable and pitched at just the right level for Saturday lunchtime – thanks Silvanus. There’s lots to admire here without the need for obscurities (although, having said that, I got 28a directly from the definition and don’t know who Lee and Clyde are, unless they’re just the names of rivers).
    The clues I liked best were 15a, 19a, 26a and 2d.

  2. Very entertaining; same as Gazza. Yes, I assume in 28 they’re just river names (?) – maybe there’s a bit more to it than that.

  3. Thanks Silvanus.

    Two definite candidates for the podium are:

    10a the “Chess hero” one and 15a the “yours truly” one.

    Third place might go to the three that I don’t fully understand: 9a, 21a and 19a.

    1. Hi Stan
      9a is a lurker, omitting the S
      21a is an anagram of ’round’ with the centre of ‘gallery’ inserted
      19a me neither!

          1. You’ve presumably got the ‘intensely passionate’ – just reverse the first and last letters then look up your possibly unlikely result with Mr Google.

            1. Oh, I see – won’t forget that in a hurry.
              Thanks for enlightening me (again).

      1. Hi LbR,

        9a – look again, there’s rather more to it than that!
        19a – a famous character from Dickens whose ‘ends’ have been ‘topsy-turvyed’ to give you a word meaning ‘intensely passionate’.

  4. A very good mix for a Saturday NTSPP – some that fell into place readily enough and others that needed a bit of teasing out particularly on the parsing front.

    I guess that 28a is simply the names of rivers that could equally be the names of people.

    Ticks here went to 10,15,23&26a plus 2&6d.

    Many thanks, Silvanus – much enjoyed.

  5. Really nice – many thanks Silvanus. I particularly liked a cluster of acrosses: 13a – 19a, plus 2d.

    Thanks also in advance to Sue for the review.

  6. A puzzle of two halves. The North went in quite easily but the South was more problematic which required some electronic assistance in the SW, partly because I came up with a different answer for 18d.

    28a was a bung-in as I was totally mystified by Lee and Clyde; I agree that rivers is the key.

    Joint favourites – 19a and 20d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to CS.

  7. Excellent Sunday morning entertainment for us. A few in the SW caused some delay and head scratching but eventually it all came together.
    Thanks Silvanus.

  8. Many thanks to all who have commented thus far, as ever Jane is spot on with her interpretation of “Lee” and “Clyde” in 28a.

    Thanks also in advance to CS for her review tomorrow.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS. Am I correct in thinking that the picture at 1a is of Mr CS with two of your grandchildren?

    1. Grandpa with one grandchild – the blonde one – the other little boy is a friend who’d called round to see if Alfie wanted to come out to play! At the time of our visit, our granddaughter was only two weeks old so a little young for go-karting

  10. Excellent choice of pics, CS – even the one for 15a (and that’s coming from someone who considers himself the least photogenic person in the country!).

  11. I printed this off yesterday morning to give me something to occupy my mind while my mother was having treatment at Christie’s in Manchester in the afternoon (typically a 2 – 2.5 hour wait). I found it quite a challenge, with excellent clues and very enjoyable. Some of the clues required a fair amount of cogitation/head scratching (just what you want in a cryptic crossword) and I had a sense of achievement at the end. It took much longer than an average DT back-pager, but I managed to finish without any assistance at all. Overall: excellent!

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