NTSPP – 459 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 459

NTSPP – 459

A Puzzle by Dill

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

Dill entertains us once again with a creep-crawly filled crossword with lots of smooth surfaces and  nothing too complicated or strained in the cluing.


1 Standing proud, listen how Bond was managed (8)
EMBOSSED – A homophone (listen) of M BOSSED (M being the boss of James Bond).

5 Church offical‘s relations with heavyweight (6)
SEXTON – A three letter word for carnal relations followed by the name of a heavy weight.

10 Creature swimming in the fresh water butt (5)
ROACH – Double definition of a freshwater fish and a cannabis joint.

11 Queen pursues true lad? Unfortunately he’s not (9)
ADULTERER – An anagram (unfortunately) of TRUE LAD followed by a two letter abbreviation for the queen.

12 Immediate dismissal of worker at the end of this month (4)
INST – A word meaning immediate without the ANT (dismissal of worker).

13 Speechless, excited elder accepts Oscar on behalf of literary headmaster (10)
DUMBLEDORE – A four letter word meaning unable to speak followed by an anagram (excited) of ELDER in which you include (accepts) the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

15 French cheeses allegedly cause wind (6)
BREEZE – A homophone (allegedly) of BRIES (French cheeses).

16 Sliced dessert, filled with milky centre, forms thin skin (7)
CUTICLE – A three letter word meaning sliced followed by a three letter word for a cold dessert including (accepts) the central letter of MILKY.

19 Time for ironing? (7)
EVENING – Double definition of a time of the day and the result of ironing something.

21 Nasty smell from entrée of smoked fish (6)
STENCH – The first letter (entree) of smoked followed by a five letter word for a type of fish.

23 Organised IRA demob British junior officer (10)
BOMBARDIER – An anagram (organised) of IRA DEMOB B (British).

25 Secondcheck credit (4)
TICK – Triple definition for a short period of time, a check mark on an exam paper and a word for credit.

27 Convertible taxi allowed to tour city (9)
CABRIOLET – The three letter word for a taxi and a three letter word meaning allowed go around (tour) a three letter Brazilian city.

28 Unskilled leaders of intercontinental negotiations express personal tweets (5)
INEPT – The first letter (leaders) the final five words of the clue.

29 Little girl and boy like some crisps? (6)
SALTED – The abbreviated forms of Sally and Edward.

30 In Paris I source pearl now and then for Cartier, perhaps (8)
JEWELLER – The French (in Paris) for I followed by a four letter word for a source and the even letters (now and then) of pearl.


1 Listener put on false hair to eavesdrop (6)
EARWIG – A thee letter word for the organ with which we listen followed by a three letter word for false hair.

2 Money  Ireland raised for restaurant (9)
BRASSERIE – A five letter slang word for money followed by a reversal (raised) of a four letter word for Ireland.

3 London district‘s really timelessly trendy (4)
SOHO – A two letter word meaning really followed by a three letter word meaning trendy without the final T (timelessly).

4 Age, of course, leads to obliteration (7)
ERASURE – A three letter word meaning an age or epoch followed by a four letter word meaning of course.

6 Vacuous European agreements generate appeals (10)
ENTREATIES – The outer letters (vacuous) of European followed by an eight letter word for international agreements.

7 Upper body dissected in doctor’s operation (5)
TORSO – The answer is hidden (dissected) in DOCTORS OPERATION.

8 Riders head off for Northern Vikings (8)
NORSEMEN – Remove the first letter (head off) from a word for riders and replace with the abbreviation for Northern.

9 Kew broadcast on international radio (6)
QUEBEC – The word used in the NATO phonetic alphabet for a homophone (broadcast) of Kew 

14 Reschedule live satire to get going again (10)
REVITALISE – An anagram (reschedule) of LIVE SATIRE.

17 Prepare lace and chino for dyestuff (9)
COCHINEAL – An anagram (prepare) of LACE CHINO.

18 Firm supports project delays (8)
SETBACKS – A three letter word meaning firm followed by a five letter word meaning supports.

20 Pleased to have left out smart, annoying individual (6)
GADFLY – A four letter word meaning pleased without the letter L followed by a three letter word meaning smart.

21 Suspect renegade harbours haunting fear (7)
SPECTRE – The answer is hidden (harbours) in SUSPECT RENEGADE.

22 Duchess hugged by senior winter sportsman? (6)
SKATER – The first name of the Duchess of Cambridge inside (hugged by) the abbreviation for senior.

24 Male murder victim’s name (5)
MABEL – The abbreviation for male followed by the name of the brother murdered by Cain.

26 Just a bit of verbal power (4)
MITE – A homophone (verbal) of MIGHT (power).

22 comments on “NTSPP – 459

  1. A very pleasant pre-breakfast start to my Saturday with a number of smiles for 1a, 27a, 1d, and 20d.

    Thanks Dill.

  2. Outstanding puzzle for me – one of the best NTSPPs we’ve enjoyed.
    Excellent surface reads, no obscurities – except perhaps the drug reference in 10a although I suspect we’ve met it previously – and a good dollop of humour.

    Podium places went to 1,16 & 29a plus 26d but I could just as easily have opted for many others.

    Many thanks, Dill – hope you’ve seen the back of the builders by now!

  3. Good, entertaining crossword; thanks Dill.

    Fairly straightforward, like Encota the LOI was 26d where the crossers give plenty of possibilities until the tea tray moment.

    I particularly enjoyed 1a.

  4. Déjà vu. I can write exactly what I wrote for today’s back-pager:

    This was a light delight which was great fun from start to finish enhanced by lovely smooth surfaces throughout.

    My only (very minor) reservation is that I am never very keen on the device of using girl/boy/woman/man to clue a name as part of the wordplay. However I can’t explain why but, in my book, Dill, 29a just about passes muster in this respect!

    I didn’t know the specific meaning of 10a which is synonymous with butt.

    My page is littered with 25as (lovely triple definition!) with double 25as going to 1a, 13a, 15a, 16a & 26d.

    As Jane says, this was outstanding. And a pangram too. Very well done and thank you, Dill.

  5. Interesting how none of you have noticed/remarked upon a particular thing about this crossword ;) Perhaps you are all entomophobes?

    1. I did get that, but only after scrolling down and seeing the name Dill gave the puzzle (creepy). A nice, subtle touch.

      Entomophobe to some extent – though I am quite fond of bulb nutters (sorry) and such like. More of an arachniphobe.

    2. Oh dear – I’d missed that. Looks as though Dill needs those builders back in! It’s the woodlice I find most difficult to get rid of!

  6. Enjoyed this – a very pleasant solve. I particularly liked 4d. Congratulations, also for the pangram which i always think is clever.

    I wasn’t sure the homophone indicator fitted grammatically in 1a, and does 9d have a definition? 12a not sure “at the end of” is needed, and I thought “name” as a definition in 24d was broad, but an easy enough clue.

    have only just realised what Cryptic Sue is talking about. well done Dill.

  7. Excellent fun and very clever to have got in all the themed entries and a pangram too. Our last one in was of course 26d and a real penny-drop moment.
    Thanks Dill.

  8. A very enjoyable and accomplished puzzle that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Opinions will differ over the cryptic grammar used in 15a and 6d , but in both cases the surface readings were of the highest order.

    My picks were 21a, 3d, 9d and 21d.

    Many thanks indeed, Dill.

  9. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to post such encouraging comments and to Prolixic for his (very prompt!) review
    Jane, the building work has finished and I am happily not infested with insects! However the boiler is on the blink so it might be plumbing items creeping in next time…..

  10. Great puzzle completed just before I dive into the Sunday puzzle. I think I may have a shower first. All those bugs have made me itchy. 6d 16a needed a hint, thanks Prolixic and Thanks to Dill too. I liked 30a 2d and 24d so they are my podium.First pass at Sundays makes me think it might be another tricky one ho hum.

  11. Many thanks for the pictorial review, Prolixic – I think it’s the pic of the mite that looked the most disgusting!

    Thanks again to Dill and good luck with the plumbing issues – I’ll make a note that your next puzzle may well contain plenty of references to water and pipes!

  12. Unusually, I tackled the clues in random order having seen 11, 24 and 30 in a quick glance and started from them. Nothing too taxing, a pleasant solve and my only complaint is that it was over too quickly. Didn’t spot the hidden theme till I saw the illustrations – btw there’s another creepy (not illustrated) at 5.
    Thanks, Dill and Prolixic.

  13. I thought this was a very well executed pangram. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is difficult to choose which clues I liked the most. Pehaps 1a, 13a, 16a, 25a, 3d, 9d, 24d, and 26d. But the one that lingers most with me is 20d. It has left me with an earwig by Shostakovitch!

    Big thanks to Dill for a pleasurable Saturday evening’s solve, and to Prolix for an excellent blog.

  14. Heard somewhere this was a good one, so came back for it, and indeed it was though I didn’t get MITE, just lazily entered BITE which I thought couldn’t be right. If only I’d spotted the theme…

    I’m surprised no-one commented adversely on 9d. I knew this had to be what it is from the crossers, but couldn’t understand it. In fact, isn’t it double-jump wordplay (Kew to Q to Quebec) with no definition?

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