NTSPP – 447 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 447

NTSPP – 447

A Puzzle by Snape

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Regular readers will know that I like an NTSPP to fit nicely into that period of time post-lunch when you really should be getting on with something else (housework, ironing or gardening, for example) but can’t resist fitting in an enjoyable crossword first This one from Snape did exactly what was required.


1a Johnny‘s outspoken teacher sick of milk (12)
PROPHYLACTIC A homophone (outspoken) of a university teacher and a synonym for sick, followed by an adjective meaning of or relating to milk

9a Bring back control, say (9)
REINSTATE Synonyms for control and say

10a Put up with a tender ankle, ultimately (5)
ABIDE A (from the clue), a tender, and the ultimate letter of anklE

11a English abandoning ship to get a large amount of beer? (6)
GALLON The abbreviation for English ‘abandoning’ a large sailing ship

12a Avoid team cuddles, being repulsed (8)
SIDESTEP Another word for a team followed by a reversal (being repulsed) of part of a verb meaning cuddles

13a Core of argument to get rid of something that’s underdeveloped (6)
NUBBIN The core of an argument followed by an informal way of saying to get rid of

15a Firm originally somewhat in trouble (8)
HARDSHIP A synonym for firm, the original letter of Somewhat and an adjective meaning trendy (in)

18a Yankee getting paid in yen (8)
YEARNING The letter represented by Y in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and another way of saying getting paid

19a Perhaps woodlouse‘s work getting too much? (6)
ISOPOD Write in full the word indicated by the apostrophe S at the end of woodlouse’s, follow with the abbreviation for work, and another used when someone has had too much of a drug, for example

21a Half-hearted apostle to fight with Mark (8)
LUKEWARM One of the apostles, a fight and the abbreviation for Mark

23a South American in charge follows way of working of old mountain climber (6)
MOSAIC the abbreviations for South American and in charge follow the abbreviation for a way of working

26a Poet eats nothing like eggs (5)
OVOID A Roman poet ‘eats’ the letter representing nought or nothing

27a Rambling cry about stopping truth (9)
VERBOSITY A reversal (about) of a cry inserted into (stopping) truth

28a Electrical fault that results in quick lap times? (5-7)
SHORT-CIRCUIT Remove the hyphen from your solution and you’d get somewhere that quick lap times might result


1d Pressure on Spanish region to be model of excellence (7)
PARAGON The abbreviation for Pressure on a Spanish region

2d Gold that is left in window (5)
ORIEL The heraldic term for gold followed by the abbreviations for that is and left

3d One who chronicles that man’s ration being redistributed (9)
HISTORIAN A way of saying ‘that man’s) and an anagram (being distributed) of RATION

4d Credit one picked up (4)
LOAN A homophone (picked up) of one, single

5d Substance abuse of chic male (8)
CHEMICAL An anagram (abuse) of CHIC MALE

6d Picture one million getting remuneration, being out of work (5)
IMAGE I (one) the abbreviation for million and some remuneration without (being out of) the abbreviation for Work that isn’t the BRB but is in Collins

7d Republicans embracing shift working in retail outlet (4,4)
GIFT SHOP The US Republican Party is known as the Grand Old Party and an anagram (working) of SHIFT should be inserted into the abbreviation for that name

8d Move at the same speed as guide dog’s offspring, reportedly (4,2)
KEEP UP A homophone (reportedly) of a guide or list of explanations, followed by a dog’s offspring

14d 50 bores support Hull, perhaps – it’s official (5,3)
BLACK ROD The Roman numeral for 50 ‘bores’ a way of saying support followed by the Christian name of Mr Hull, the friend of Emu

16d Seduce sexy man working a period of time topless (9)
DISHONOUR An attractive person (sexy man), a two-letter way of saying working and a period of time without its first letter (topless)

17d Scorer in rare victory is bemused, supporting England (8)
ENGRAVER An anagram (bemused) of RARE V (victory) goes after (supporting in a Down clue) an abbreviation or England

18d What I do when hit is cowardly (6)
YELLOW If you split your solution 4, 2, you’ll find what Snape would do if someone hit him

20d Translate secret message to condemn exercise (7)
DECRYPT To condemn or express open disapproval of, followed by one of the abbreviations for exercise

22d Distance from side to side, and around diameter (5)
WIDTH A preposition meaning and goes around the abbreviation for Diameter

24d Stop interrupting a Unionist’s farewell (5)
ADIEU A verb meaning to cease activity (stop) interrupting or inserted between A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Unionist

25d Reptile caught legendary bird (4)
CROC The cricket abbreviation for caught and a legendary bird

16 comments on “NTSPP – 447

  1. Very entertaining puzzle from Snape who’s produced a puzzle full of elegant clues with some nicely disguised definitions.
    My ticks go to 1a, 23a (loved the old mountain climber), 28a and 18d.
    Thanks Snape.

  2. Precisely what Gazza said! Especially 23a – magnificent.

    19a was my last one in. I kept wanting to put in “box” as the second word for 14d until the penny drop moment when I realised what “Hull” referred to. I needed to check my answer to 13a which was a new word for me, and I don’t think I have come across the expression for Republicans in 7d before.

    Brilliant! Many thanks, Andy, for the challenge and enjoyment.

  3. Another very enjoyable NTSPP with some very clever cluing.

    Particular favourites – 21a, 23a, and 8d.

    Thanks Snape.

    Now back to the MPP riddle.

  4. Thanks Snape. This had me smiling from 1a.
    I remembered the Grand Old Party from a short time ago. Can’t fully parse the woodlouse at 19, though google tells me it is such
    Favourite is 17d

  5. Started with a rush and then slowed down considerably. Last in was 4d which took an age for us to see. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
    Thanks Snape.

  6. Very good surfaces and some delightfully deceptive definitions, as Gazza says above.
    Many thanks Snape :-)

  7. Great stuff as ever, setting the bar high with the “homogroan” in 1a, and maintaining a great standard throughout. My favourite clue was 18d.

    A little surprised that RD didn’t make a comment about 13a, the BRB says it’s an American word. Knowing the setter a little as I do, he’ll probably be slightly annoyed at using a particular definition by example indicator more than once. Tut, tut!

    Many thanks, Snape.

  8. Not quite finished yet. The east has a few holdouts. I did have a laugh at the 1a “homogroan” – nice phrase I will try to remember both the clue and the phrase. I’ll check out the review for the holdouts but gonna spend a bit more time on the MPP. TTFN

      1. Congrats again to Snape for the pyzzle and the phrase and to Silvanus and your goodself for reminding me.

        I was going to correct the spelling of pyzzle but left it as it is exactly the sort of thing you would use a 1a for!

  9. A steady solve in two passes; no help required apart from checking a couple of definitions in the BRB after working them out from crossing letters and wordplay. 1ac raised a smile.

  10. I printed this off and saved it for yesterday. What a treat it was! Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.

    I agree with others that 23a is excellent. I also particularly liked 1a and 27a inter alia… 18d really made me laugh!

    Thank you very much, Snape for super entertainment. And big thanks to crypticsue for her excellent review with some lovely illustrations. I needed your explanation for the parsing of 14d. I arrived at the correct answer partly from the checkers.

  11. Cheers Sue, and all commenters. Last weekend of cricket for the season now over, time to try to recover…

  12. Was out and about when I solved this (with extra time for it, courtesy of SWR, but that’s another story …) but just wanted to pop in quickly to register my enjoyment. Thanks to Snape for the fun and Sue for the review.

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