NTSPP – 454 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 454

NTSPP – 454

A Puzzle by Silvanus

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


A review by crypticsue follows

We haven’t had a Silvanus NTSPP since July and solving this crossword fitted very nicely into the ‘let your lunch go down, before doing something you ought to get on with’ period. Parsing some of the clues before drafting the review took a lot longer. I’d also point out that there’s quite a lot of “do something with alternate/outside/inside letters going on”, especially in the Across clues

Edit – thank you to the kind people who’ve pointed out where my thoughts were wrong.  All have now been corrected


1a Duke longs to be a major coconut exporter (11)
PHILIPPINES The Christian name of the Duke of Edinburgh followed by another way of saying longs (for). Just in case you were wondering, the country is only second to Indonesia as the world’s top producer of coconut products, but, the xxxxxxxxxxx the top exporter of coconut products, 59% share of the world’s coconut exports. I did have a search but although there are lots of pictures of other members of the royal family with coconuts, the Duke doesn’t appear in any of them

10a In conversation, give critique of theatrical show (5)
REVUE A homophone (in conversation) of a verb meaning to give a critique

11a Paint occasionally drips it seems, cloth on reflection required! (9)
DISTEMPER The occasional letters of DrIpS iT sEeMs followed by a reversal (on reflection) of a corded cloth

12a Naturally browned off by newspaper journalist burying Pentagon’s core news (9)
SUNTANNED A red-top newspaper and an abbreviated journalist into which is inserted (burying) the core of penTAgon and two lots of the abbreviation for New (news plural)

13a Fine that father skips to get nimble (5)
AGILE Taking a word meaning fine in the sense of delicate and remove the two-letter abbreviation for a religious father

14a It may make a wine less palatable, one of minimal significance (6)
NOBODY Split the person of minimal significance 2, 4 and the reference to the less palatable wine will make sense

16a Spendthrift person doing badly from time to time (8)
PRODIGAL From time to time indicates the need to take alternate letters from PeRsOn DoInG bAdLy

18a Filling enclosure with eleven essentially is cramming (8)
REVISING Fill a circular enclosure with the essential letters of elEVen and IS (from the clue)

20a Ordained minister from Morecambe perhaps, with empty chapel originally (6)
CLERIC The Christian name of our favourite man from Morecambe follow (originally) the outside letters (empty) of ChapeL

23a Instrument for blowing glass (5)
FLUTE A wind instrument or a type of drinking glass

24a Players emerging from box flanked by two sets of soldiers (9)
ORCHESTRA A box inserted into (flanked by) the abbreviations for Other Ranks and the Royal Artillery (two sets of soldiers)

26a Willing to welcome oddly creepy characters busy outside (9)
ACCEPTIVE Another word for busy goes outside the odd letters of CrEePy

27a Window of opportunity retailer introduces, exploiting loss leaders (5)
ORIEL This window is found in the leaders of Opportunity Retailer Introduces Exploiting Loss

28a Indict one having vast sum mostly stuffed inside cool box (11)
INCRIMINATE I think this parses as another word for fashionable (cool) and a type of box in between which is ‘stuffed’ I (one) and most of a four-letter vast sum 


2d After docking, do not enjoy place of asylum (5)
HAVEN  Remove the last letter from another way of saying ‘do not’

3d Entice fish over in direction the wind’s blowing (7)
LEEWARD A reversal (over) of a verb meaning to entice and a type of fish

4d Developed antagonism in part for purist (6)
PEDANT Lurking in part of develoPED ANTagonism

5d Pub drinks said to reveal employees with confidential company information (8)
INSIDERS Homophones (said) of another word for pub and some alcoholic drinks

6d Remedial exercises, from which I lost a stone (7)
EMERALD An anagram (exercises) of REMEDIAL once you have ‘lost’ or removed the I

7d Empower retreating Army corps to leave enemy captive (8,2,3)
PRISONER OF WAR If you look at the word EMPOWER, you should see a reversed (retreating) abbreviation for a particular Army corps surrounding an abbreviation for the enemy captive written out in full in the solution

8d Spaniel, fast mover when time to go out for walking finally (8)
SPRINGER Take a fast mover and swap the T for time (time to go out) with the final letter of walkinG

9d I recall a beer drunk around Portugal having a priceless quality (13)
IRREPLACEABLE An anagram (drunk) of I RECALL A BEER around the IVR code for Portugal

15d Camp places, but they’re not intense reportedly (8)
BIVOUACS As the BRB tells us, these particular camping places are in the open air rather than in tents (intense reportedly)

17d Comparatively snobbish, is controlling without also being revolutionary (8)
SNOOTIER Reverse (being revolutionary) a verb meaning is controlling ‘without’ a synonym for also

19d Unruly pet seen to become more difficult (7)
STEEPEN An anagram (unruly) of PET SEEN

21d Wild one, different to rest (3,4)
LIE DOWN An anagram (different) of WILD ONE

22d Cry about being caught up in fraudulent scheme (6)
SCREAM The two-letter word meaning about ‘caught up in’ or inserted into a fraudulent scheme

25d Spoil performance after taking off key players separately (5)
TAINT Remove one of the keys on your keyboard from the start of a performance and then remove some three-letter players from further down the word (separately indicating that they aren’t side by side in the ‘performance’

21 comments on “NTSPP – 454

  1. I intended leaving the NTSPP until tomorrow due to a heavy afternoon of rugby watching today but seeing Silvanus’ name made me change my mind. I enjoyed this a lot – specially 14a, the cleverly constructed 16a, 20a and 7d.
    I presume that 15d is a homophone but I can’t work out of what at the moment.
    Many thanks to Silvanus.

  2. I too was pleased to Silvanus’ name crop up today – and I wasn’t disappointed. A nicely crafted puzzle and my standout favourite is 7d, very good.

    I had one too many Ls and one too few Ps briefly in 1a, but the clarity of the clue corrected me.

    Thanks Silvanus

  3. Same for me on seeing Silvanus was the setter especially after my ‘grumps’ with today’s back pager.

    I think 27a must be one of his favourite words as I think he has used it more than once before but I am prepared to be proved wrong.

    Thanks Silvanus.

  4. Another Silvanus fan here and, like others, I wasn’t remotely disappointed by the puzzle.

    Can’t put 7d on the leader board owing to the fact that, to my shame, I still haven’t been able to sort out the parsing so I’ll go for a top three of 12 & 14a plus the simple but amusing 21d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus – wish we saw more of your work.

    1. Oh for goodness sake – the 7d penny just rolled off the table with a loud clang! At least I now know a great many synonyms for ’empower’………….

  5. Excellent stuff Silvanus!
    I got 15d fairly quickly from a joke my niece recently told me:
    Why do hippies like camping?
    Because it’s in tents man!

  6. Many thanks to everyone for their kind comments thus far, it’s gratifying to hear that everyone seems to have enjoyed the solve. To answer Senf’s question, 27a isn’t a favourite word but I could well have used it before, I can’t recall specifically.

    Thanks as ever to Big Dave for setting up everything and allowing me to reach double figures now with NTSPPs. Thanks also in advance to CS for her review.

  7. I still have a bit of parsing to do, but that will have to wait until tomorrow when hopefully the clear light of day will bring inspiration. This was a slow and steady solve during coffee breaks throughout a very busy Saturday. What fun it was! The puzzle, that is. The Saturday I’d rather forget. And how nice to see “one of ours” do so very well for himself. Thanks Silvanus.

  8. Thanks Silvanus, most enjoyable
    I liked 2d best (for which I only docked one letter) + 16a & 24a
    CS, for 28a I think the vast sum mostly is MIN*
    In 12a, I was a little disappointed to find that the ‘off’ was not cleverly incorporated in the word play, rather than part of the definition.

    1. The poor old brain has had a trying couple of weeks – which isn’t really an excuse, but it is the one I’m using.

  9. Many thanks for the delightfully illustrated review, CS. I’d completely forgotten that character in Dennis the Menace – Walter?

    Thanks again to Silvanus – more please!

    1. Walter was the softie who lived next door to Dennis the Menace in the Beano

      Apparently Lord Snooty’s Christian name was Marmaduke

  10. Thanks Silvanus for an entertaining puzzle. I must be the only one to have not been aware of the ‘paint’ reference…so I will happily wear the dunce’s cap. And 1a eluded me almost to the very end for some reason. My favourites were 13a and 5d. And thanks to CS for the review.

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