NTSPP – 446 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 446

NTSPP – 446

A Puzzle by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Spooner’s preview by Rolixic follows:


1 Humour from Matt originally seen in Telegraph? (6)
PAMPER – The first letter (originally) of Matt inside (seen in) something of the Telegraph is an example.

4 Charlotte conceivably gets cut up here and steers towards green skip (4,4)
CHIP SHOP – A five letter word meaning (in golfing terms) of steer towards the green followed by a three letter word meaning skip.

9 Passionate consul trying clinches … (6)
SULTRY – The answer in hidden in (clinches) CONSUL TRYING.

10 … having just one trouble (8)
MONOGAMY – The state of having one wife (Cockney rhyming slang – trouble and strife).

12 Keep an eye on male guard (8)
WATCHMAN – A five letter word meaning keep an eye one followed by three letter word for a male.

13 Big epithet relating to heavy artillery initially (6)
BERTHA – The initial letters (initially) of the first six words of the clue.

15 Current’s blocking road outside (4)
RIND – A two letter word meaning current or trendy inside (blocking) the abbreviation for road.

16 Expanded lead philatelist’s prize possession? (5,5)
PENNY BLACK – Take the chemical symbol for lead and expand the two letters from abbreviations to their full equivalents.

19 Fantasist could be armed and ready … (10)
DAYDREAMER – An anagram (could be) ARMED READY.

20 … a mistake whichever way you look at it (4)
BOOB – A word for a mistake that is a palindrome (reads the same backwards as well as forwards).

23 The greatest university’s cutting heartless vandalism to become calmer (6)
VALIUM – The name of the boxer who proclaimed himself the greatest and the abbreviation for university inside (cutting) the outer letters (heartless) of vandalism.

25 Excited teen with date getting one present (8)
ATTENDEE – An anagram (excited) of TEEN DATE.

27 US IT plan perturbed union (8)
NUPTIALS – An anagram (perturbed) of US IT PLAN.

28 Unsuccessful marine commander (6)
CANUTE – Cryptic definition of the king who failed to command the tide not to come in.

29 Hamlet’s first to leave, receiving out of order abuse (3-5)
ILL USAGE – A seven letter word for a hamlet or small community with the first letter removed around a two letter abbreviation meaning unserviceable or out of order.

30 Impostor such as a ringer (6)
PHONEY – Another word for an imposter could (fancifully) mean like a phone (such a ringer).


1 Competition between Royal Mail and DHL, for example, ongoing since VE day (7)
POSTWAR – A word meaning after a period of conflict might be a description of a contest by two mails or parcel deliverers.

2 Being confrontational I landed invading crew on Cyprus (9)
MILITANCY – The I from the clue and a three letter word meaning landed inside (invading) a three letter word meaning to crew on the IVR code for Cyprus.

3 Blue Planet, say, doesn’t have it (6)
EARTHY – The name of our planet followed by the SAY from the clue without the abbreviation for sex appeal (does not have it).

5 Crook’s alternative way by which to succeed (4)
HOOK – The word that goes with “or by crook” as a saying expressing the intention of succeed by whatever means.

6 Gnomes in favour of state control for instance (8)
PROVERBS – A three letter word meaning in favour of followed by the part of speech of which state and control are examples.

7 Bottle cut suit (5)
HEART – The name of a suit in a deck of cards without the last letter (cut).

8 Act of revenge could be idle talk (7)
PAYBACK – A reverse clue where you need to create a clue that would give YAP (idle talk).

11 Pub quiz that may lead to appearance in court (3,4)
BAR EXAM – A three letter word for a pub followed by a four letter word for a quiz or test.

14 Hypes up where we fly these days including Cuba (7)
INJECTS – A phrase (2,4) describing the type of aircraft in which we fly these days around (including) the IVR code for Cuba.

17 One deserves another IPA? (1,4,4)
A GOOD TURN – If you reverse IPA and split to get A PI what would you get?

18 Cultivated Greens hailed enthusiastic followers (8)
GROUPIES – A homophone (hailed) of GREW PEAS (cultivated greens).

19 Renowned Italian giantkiller briefly acquires North American company (2,5)
DA VINCI – The name of the person who slew Goliath (giantkiller) without the final letter (briefly) includes (acquires) the abbreviation that signifies an American company.

21 Black Sheep on track to introduce ultimate in bitter – here? (7)
BREWERY – The abbreviation for black, the word for a female sheep and the abbreviation for a railway includes the final letter (ultimate) of bitter.

22 Has rep ruined high-flier? (6)
SERAPH – An anagram (ruined) of HAS REP.

24 Part of top copy pinched by Latin student (5)
LAPEL – A three letter word meaning to copy or imitate inside the abbreviations for Latin and a student.

26 Ad blocker (4)
PLUG – Double definition, the second being a something to block a hole in a sink.

26 comments on “NTSPP – 446

  1. Lots to like, my picks are 6d, 16a, 19a, 23a & 18d. Didn’t stand a chance of getting 28a, I shall have to look into that as I am completely unaware of the reference.

    A really good puzzle, thanks for the fun Gazza.

  2. As always, a Gazza puzzle is a delight to solve, even if there are always one or two clues that seem to defy my inadequate parsing attempts. Today was no exception!

    My printed page was filled with ticks as usual, but I thought 1a, 23a and 28a were worthy of double ticks.

    Great entertainment, many thanks indeed Gazza.

    P.S. The BRB seems to suggest that the enumeration for 1d is (4-3) rather than (7).

  3. Gazza never disappoints! This was less difficult than a lot of his previous puzzles but great fun from start to finish.

    1a was a wonderful start – a great 5d! 28a was my favourite; brief but brilliant. I had too many ticks to count with double ticks for 1a, 16a, 23a, 3d, 18d & 26d.

    Many thanks, Gazza, for an absolutely superb puzzle.

  4. This has made my day – we may have to wait a long time for a Gazza NTSPP but they’re worth waiting for.
    I don’t ‘get’ my 6 or 19d – I think they’re right – but can’t quite untangle them properly – maybe they’re wrong.
    Lots that made me laugh which is what makes a great crossword for me – 4, 28 and 30a and 3 and 18d – any one of those could be my favourite
    Thank you very much, Gazza.

    1. It’s a crying shame that so many appear to have missed this little gem.

      Hello Kath
      6d – the usual ‘for’ + the 5th & 6th words in the clue not nouns or adjectives
      19d – the slayer of Goliath without his last letter, around Inc.
      Hope that makes sense

      1. Thank you, LBR
        That all makes sense now – don’t know what Inc is but that’s my lack of something or other and as far as 6d – well, oh dear! Should certainly have sorted that out for myself.

        1. I only got the ‘Inc’ bit from watching Monsters Inc about twenty times with my youngest

  5. Very nice! One or two clues seemed to be stretching things a bit in the use of synonyms (e.g. 7dn and 24dn) but everything was gettable. Several parsings, such as 4ac, 3dn and 18dn, only became apparent well after completing the puzzle, though. Thanks, Gazza.

  6. Thank you, Gazza, I enjoyed this very much. Like Exit, I got many answers from the definitions long before the word play became apparent, and there was some very clever wordplay – 8d for instance, among many others. (There are still one or two that I will have to wait for the review to completely figure out – how 10a and 16a work for instance.)

    1. 10a – cockney rhyming slang, perhaps?

      16a – look up “lead” in the periodic table.

      1. Thank you both – I had a feeling that I had trouble with rhyming, but I know so little of it!

        1. What’s the use of having an Artful when all the Stoke goes down the frog on pigs – then the trouble’s on the dog so I get me nanny and Scapa – cos I’m on me tod , Borassic, Brahms and the Sweeney’s on the way.

  7. Fabulous, witty AND clever!
    But that’s enough about Gazza. The puzzle was pretty good too ;-)

    That was a delightful solve – many thanks!

  8. Excellent fun. We were held up for ages with 18d and a real LOL when we saw it, but our very last one was 28a. A puzzle packed full of gems that we thoroughly enjoyed.
    Thanks Gazza.

  9. Most enjoyable. Last & best for me was 14d. I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 35 years & have never heard the phrase “hypes up” for injects!

  10. A truly brilliant crossword – 28a received the rare (from me) award of 3*

    Thanks to Gazza for the fun and, in advance, to Prolixic for the review

  11. Many thanks to all who commented and to Rolixic for the beautifully illustrated review.

    For 20a I did flirt with the idea of trying to use the last two words of the clue as a sort of auxiliary definition but I was fearful of being charged by Jane with infringement of copyright.

  12. Late in after a busy weekend, just had to say that I very much enjoyed this. Managed to get a couple of spoilers beforehand, but I don’t think they spoiled the enjoyment. In fact, I’m quite happy to have been alerted to “hypes up” (14d) as I’m not entirely sure I’d have got that one. Not a usage I was familiar with.

    I can’t possibly pick a favourite. Love Encota’s comment @7!

    Many thanks to Pazza for the guzzle (always love a guzzle) and to Spooner’s Rolixic for the preview.

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