NTSPP – 458 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 458

NTSPP – 458

Ten of a Kind by Windsurfer

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


It has been just over a year since Windsurfer’s last NTSPP which may or may not have something to do with the number of puzzles in the Saturday afternoon queue


1a Start to make cuts — time for son to be furious (6)
TEETHE Replace the S (son) at the start of a way of saying to be furious with a T (time)

4a A writer’s daughter gave credit to … (8)
ASCRIBED A (from the clue), a writer, and the abbreviation for Daughter

10a … one who doesn’t believe in armed robbery (7)
ATHEIST Split 2,5 your solution would mean that you were in [an] armed robbery

11a Polish supporter rejected round, hard vegetable (7)
RHUBARB Another way of saying polish and a reversal (rejected) of crosswordland’s favourite supporter go round the abbreviation for Hard

12a Starts to hope of uninterrupted recreational time (4)
HOUR The starts to Hope Of Uninterrupted Recreational

13a One who charges a lot could be richer soon (10)
RHINOCEROS An anagram (could be) of RICHER SOON

15a Sun gel (6)
SETTER A double definition that took me a while to see

16a Medium hot chile comes after triumphal day (7)
VEHICLE The abbreviation for a WW2 triumphal day, and an anagram (hot) of CHILE

20a Unfavourable commercial lines (7)
ADVERSE An abbreviated commercial and some lines [of poetry]

21a Showing ability to assess people, like student scratching his bottom (6)
ASTUTE A synonym for like and a student without the final letter (scratching his bottom)

24a Dawn French entertains one thought initially, ignore sandwiches (5,5)
FIRST LIGHT The two-letter abbreviation for French ‘entertains’ I (one) and then another word for ignore ‘sandwiches’ the initial letter of Thought

26a Bond, say, is Asian resident (4)
THAI A chestnut of a homophone of a bond

28a See America cutting crime: it’s heavenly! (7)
ELYSIAN Crosswordland’s favourite diocese (see) plus the abbreviation for American ‘cutting’ a crime

29a Slip, showing one’s tum bleeding (7)
STUMBLE Lurking in oneS TUM BLEeding

30a Conclusion: antacids finally limit start of burping in gassy disorder (3,5)
THE BENDS A message that might appear at the conclusion of a book or film into which is inserted the ‘start’ of burping, the result being finished with the final letter of antacidS

31a One home after another is clean (6)
HONEST One home (for a bird perhaps) goes after the abbreviation for another


1d Leaves box as a revolutionary blocks screening (3,5)
TEA CHEST Another crosswordland favourite – this time the revolutionary – ‘blocks’ a form of screening

2d Father perhaps comes after old German house is emptied (9)
EXHAUSTED A TV Father comes after a way of saying old and the German word for house

3d The Irish embrace one who succeeds (4)
HEIR Another lurker – embraced by tHE IRish

5d Murderer, 50, going away as an outsider (8)
STRANGER Remove the Roman numeral for 50 from a murderer

6d Wicked haircut seen half-heartedly as most sexy (10)
RAUNCHIEST An anagram (wicked) of HAIRCUT SEdN (half-heartedly telling you that you only need one of the Es

7d Look after unit that’s set up for previous Prime Minister (5)
BLAIR A look or manner goes after a reversal (set up in a Down clue) of an abbreviated imperial unit of weight

8d Lower sea bed damaged (6)
DEBASE An anagram (damaged) of SEA BED

9d Not originally small but may be impatient (5)
ITCHY Remove the original letter from another way of saying small

14d Poor, half-hearted retiree mishandled the collection (10)
REPERTOIRE Remove (half-hearted) one of the letters at the heart of POOR and then an anagram (mishandled) of the remaining letters and RETIREE

17d Henry’s fit and left month before comic (9)
LAUGHABLE The abbreviation for the SI Unit the Henry and a synonym for fit preceded by the abbreviation for Left and an abbreviated summer month

18d 4 shows when agreement completed (8)
ASSIGNED A synonym for the solution to 4a would, if split, 2 6, refer to a completed agreement

19d Order Engineers and soldier guys to put on trainers at first (8)
REGIMENT The abbreviation for the Royal Engineers, an American soldier, some guys and the first letter of Trainers

22d Crack, very strong Ecstasy etc make an impression (6)
EFFECT Crack is an instruction to put the musical abbreviation meaning very strong between E (Ecstasy) and an anagram (make) of ETC

23d Good publican offering spirit (5)
GHOST The abbreviation for good and another word for a publican

25d Frost narrated a piece of poetry (5)
RHYME A homophone (narrated) of some frost

27d Auditor — “UEFA covered up money” (4)
EURO Lurking in reverse (covered up) in auditOR UEfa


Oh … the ten of a kind – silent Hs in the solutions to 11a, 12a, 13a, 16a,26a, 31a, 2d, 3d, 23d and 25d

21 comments on “NTSPP – 458

  1. Good puzzle, some very good misdirection and hidden definitions. The grid, however is not solver friendly, since it’s cut in two with few link words which made it harder.

    Once solved, the question is easily answered. Good fun, thanks Windsurfer.

  2. A few instances where it took far longer to figure out the parsing than to get the answer – frustrating but very satisfying when the pennies dropped.
    1a made me smile although I doubt that it would amuse my daughter at this moment in time!
    I wasn’t too keen on 15a but there was some good stuff to be found elsewhere in the puzzle. MP should get a laugh out of 23d.

    Think I have the answer to the question posed but I spent quite a while looking for something more devious – I think our setter was being kinder to us than I’d anticipated.

    Thank you, Windsurfer – hope to meet up with you again in January.

  3. Very enjoyable puzzle with some lovely penny drop moments – thanks Windsurfer. I suspect that Silvanus’s radar would pick up on the double use of the ‘half-hearted’ construct.
    Top clues for me were 13a (one that charges a lot – excellent!), 24a and 2d.

    1. Rats! Thanks Gazza; I had to rewrite the clue for 14d at the last minute and hadn’t seen I had used ‘half-hearted’ before.

  4. Thanks Windsurfer, fun puzzle
    I think I’ve got it, but not absolutely sure which ones count. I’m also imagining Rosco P Coltrane disagreeing on 16a.

  5. I enjoyed that a lot. My only frustration is that my first six answers in, pretty much at random across the grid, had something in common, but by the time I had finished I had found another five which had the same property . Bother! I’ll have to keep on looking.

    If I ever knew that 11a was a vegetable I had forgotten that, but on reflection it’s logical.

    Even I spotted the half-hearted repetition, so, as Gazza surmises, I am sure that Silvanus’ radar will have blared out. I don’t think two halves make a whole in this case.

    Like Jane, I wasn’t keen on 15a.

    My podium choices (13a, 24a & 2d) align with Gazza’s.

    Many thanks Windsurfer and well done.

    1. Oh dear! After my first failed attempt I thought I had got this right second time around but CS has disabused me of that notion!

      As mentioned in my previous comment yesterday, my first six answers all contained two adjacent vowels but when I had finished there were another five such answers. Having ruled that out as the solution but, using a similar theme, I then found exactly 10 answers which start with a vowel but it appears that is not correct either.

      1. CS, thanks very much for your review.

        You’ve only listed 9 answers with silent Hs, so could I be right after all or is there another silent H lurking somewhere?.

          1. Mmm…

            That one is a bit of a moot point as a lot of people half pronounce the H. At least my answer to Windsurfer’s question is unambiguous. :wink:

            1. Well done RD for discovering ten answers beginning with a vowel – totally unintended by me, but it is a valid answer.

        1. It is marked on my sheet but obviously didn’t make it to the review. Mind you, I do always like to leave something for the Fine Tooth Comb of Anglesey to spot – I just hope there isn’t anything else!

  6. What a good fun puzzle. Plenty of head scratching and some really good penny-drop moments but it did eventually all come together. Then the search for the common feature started and it was not as simple for me as some of the comments above imply. Think I have got it sorted now and will wait for the review for confirmation.
    Thanks Windsurfer.

  7. Many thanks to Dave for this wonderful site and some helpful comments on the draft clues.

    Thanks to all the commenters and to Sue for a splendid pictorial blog. I’ll try to submit another one in less than a year’s time. I’ve been quite busy compiling lots of puzzles this year, amongst other things.

    BTW, around here we don’t pronounce the ‘h’ in vehicle, although I accept there are different regional accents. For a ‘neutral’ view, you can check one pronunciation at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/vehicle

  8. I’m with RD on this one. Totally missed the silent H’s but did find the 10 answers starting with a vowel.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS, comb not in evidence today as I’ve been out for lunch!
    As RD has commented, the ‘silent H’ is something of a moot point and so, like him, I opted for the 10 answers that begin with a vowel. Had this been a prize puzzle, that could have given the electronic hat something of a dilemma!

  10. A puzzle based on pronunciation was always going to throw up a problem here or there. For me, many of the silent aitches are silent in spelling, but nevertheless aspired.

    Still enjoyed the puzzle thoug – thanks to CS for the review.

      1. Haha, good point Whynot. What I mean is that they are often described as ‘silent’ but they are in fact subtly aspired, affecting the sound of the word so not really silent at all, just soft.

  11. Enjoyed this, having been lured by Windsurfer’s plug on the 225 for Dutch’s Saturday Indy. Was very pleased to finish it and spot the special 10. Good job.

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