NTSPP – 462 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 462

NTSPP – 462

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Prolixic returns to Saturday afternoons with a ghost themed crossword on a subject about which I know so little you wouldn’t need a very big head on your pin to fit on all my knowledge about a certain cartoon series. I’ve revealed all at the bottom of the review which is the only place I’ve had time to add illustrations, as I have a small cardigan to finish off ready to go into a parcel for Northern Ireland on Monday.



1a Leading man getting no thanks (4)
KING Remove the TA (no thanks) from another way of saying getting

4a Fashion regularly seen in the open (3)
TON The regular letters of The OpeN

6a Conservative‘s special Irish rum (6)
SQUARE The abbreviation for special and an Irish dialect word meaning rum in the sense of strange

9a Borrow mop (6)
SPONGE Double definition time

10a Scrap drug limit for flyer (8)
WHITECAP A small scrap of something, an abbreviated drug and a limit

11a Costa Rica welcomes leading actress (4)
STAR Lurking in (welcomes) CoSTA Rica

12a Soft thin piece of wood (5)
PLANK The musical abbreviation for soft and a synonym for thin or limp

13a Miss drink around end of week (4)
SKIP A small amount of drink ‘around’ the letter at the end of weeK

14a Reportedly betray group (4)
CELL A homophone (reportedly) of a verb meaning to betray

16a Bet against tout’s tips for flutter (3)
BAT The ‘tips’ of Bet Against Tout

17a Guides one into grounds (6)
PILOTS I (one) inserted into small pieces of ground

18a Note doctor goes either way around vein (6)
MIDRIB A vein on a leaf – a musical note, an abbreviated doctor and a reversal (around) of an abbreviated way of saying goes either way sexually

20a Dine by River Trent’s left bank (3)
EAT I was delighted to remember the dialect word for a river which hasn’t appeared in a crossword for a while, and once I’d done so I followed it with the ‘left bank’ of Trent

21a Man in Casablanca has painful muscle injury (4)
RICK The character played by Humphrey Bogart in the film Casablanca or a painful muscle injury or sprain

23a Fought in the house to create political division (4)
WARD A homophone (in the house) of another way of saying fought

24a Wants to extract iodine from oils? (5)
PANTS Remove the chemical symbol for Iodine from an artist’s material such as oils

26a Heartless visitor’s violent outburst (4)
GUST Remove the ‘heart’ from a visitor

28a Supply inserted for physician in hospital (8)
RESIDENT An anagram (supply) of INSERTED

29a Highlight of game with black American (6)
NIMBUS A luminous mist encircling a god – follow an originally Chinese game for two players, the abbreviation for Black and an alternative for American

30a Lip salve originally on buttocks (6)
CHEEKS Some lip followed by the original letter of Salve

31a This surgery operated on dreary guys perhaps (3)
DAY Remove the letters of SURGERY from DREARY GUYS and an anagram (perhaps) of the remaining few will provide your solution

32a Point of new poem (4)
NODE The abbreviation for New and a poem


2d Make an entry in satin puttees (5)
INPUT Lurking in satIN PUTtees

3d Wilder maybe has hands around adult leader (7)
GENERAL The Christian name of, for example, Mr Wilder, the American actor, followed by the abbreviations for each of your hands round the ‘leader’ of Adult

4d Fool‘s curtailed quaint way of speaking (5)
TWERP Almost all (curtailed) of a synonym for quaint followed by the abbreviation for a standard way of speaking also known as the Queen’s English

5d Unlicensed tat we manufactured for footballers (9,6)
NEWCASTLE UNITED An anagram (manufactured) of UNLICENSED TAT WE

6d Joins up row (5)
STINK A reversal (up in a Down clue) of another way of saying joins

7d Tool, you said “not quite malleable” (7)
UTENSIL The letter that sounds like you and not quite all of a synonym for malleable

8d Practical articles I edited (9)
REALISTIC An anagram (edited) of ARTICLES I

11d Pocket South American cape (3)
SAC The abbreviations for South American and Cape

15d I bet Hazel designed for royalty (9)
ELIZABETH An anagram (designed) of I BET HAZEL

16d Bounce up and down (3)
BOB Up and down indicating that the solution is a palindrome

17d Person in the bar, half-cut, is a soft touch (3)
PAT Remove the second half of a regular customer in a bar

19d Dickensian man of mystery splits engineers’ drink (3,4)
RED WINE The Christian name of the eponymous character in Charles Dickens final novel inserted into the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers

21d Government suppresses new course of treatment (7)
REGIMEN Remember that this is a down clue so a synonym for government suppresses or goes over the abbreviation for New

22a Knight touring India with outfit (3)
KIT The abbreviation for knight ‘touring’ or going round the letter represented by India in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

24a Looks into dropping resistance for supporters (5)
PIERS Take a verb meaning looks into and move the R (dropping resistance) further down the word

25d Scotsman in the outskirts of Salisbury (5) SANDY My Scottish grandfather was indeed informally called this – the ‘outskirts’ of Salisbury are, of course, X XXX X

27d Pound of seafood (5)
SQUID A slang term for a pound sterling or a type of seafood

The solutions to 9a 16d 6a and 24a produce

The solutions to 27d and 23a give us

17d 21a and 11a …

And, 25d and 30a give us this character


12a 4a this one






21 comments on “NTSPP – 462

  1. A Prolixic puzzle is always a pleasure to tackle, and this one was a lot less difficult than many I’ve grappled with over the last few years. Having said that, the parsing of 20a and 31a took some time to work out.

    I wasn’t at all acquainted with the theme (and I’m a little surprised the setter is!), but Google has helped me arrive at thirteen themed answers. I’m more than happy to believe there might be others.

    My favourite clue was 5d.

    Many thanks, Prolixic.

    1. The setter has spent more time than is healthy with his grandchildren watching the show and sadly, showing his age, also remembers doing so with his boys when they were young!

    2. I’m intrigued, Silvanus. If you weren’t at all acquainted with the theme, how on earth did you know what question to ask Mr. Google?

  2. Theme? Oh for goodness sake, I was still busy giving myself a pat on the back for having completed the puzzle!
    Having said that, I must admit to lingering doubts about my answer to 31a – more cogitation required.

    Many thanks, Prolixic – enjoy those grandchildren whilst you can, they’ll be off and away before you know it.

    1. I too struggled with the parsing of 31a but the penny has finally dropped. I’ve also just realised what the theme is and I can safely say I know nothing about it other than the title. Now, if it had been Peppa Pig, that would have been a different story…

  3. Thanks Prolixic; entertaining crossword.

    I didn’t know there was a theme until I came here, and I didn’t know the 20 river or the Irish rum.

    Strange grid with 8 three-letter words but I guess that was to incorporate the themed ones. ‘Lip salve originally on buttocks’ eh – some strange goings on here. I didn’t know the ‘highlight’ either.

    I liked 4D and 24A.

  4. An entertaining challenge which taught me a few new words. One was the Irish rum in 6a, where the theme helpfully suggested the answer. Thanks to Prolixic for the puzzle and in advance to CS for the review.

  5. That was great fun. The big number of short answers made for a different and interesting solving experience. It was not until we read the comments here that we realised there was a theme which we then spotted quickly.
    Thanks Prolixic.

  6. grid indicated a theme, which I half got, i’m sure there is more. Quite difficult using quite a few unfamiliar definitions (vein, highlight, irish rum, river, pound, way of speaking,etc). Some quibbles (supresses? in the house? getting=taking? royalty? the “on” in 31a) and a surface I didn’t understand in 11d.

    I liked the lip salve.

    Many thanks Prolixic and CS in advance

  7. Thanks very much, Sue. I had assumed that 23a was a homophone but can you explain why “in the house” indicates this please?

    1. A house is (amongst many definitions) an audience – as in is there a doctor in the house? – so a homophone of something heard by an audience

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS.

    Google informed me that there is one further character (apparently) in 12a/4a. Like you, I was on a very upward learning curve with this!

    1. Now added. If only all my notes on this puzzle were on one piece of paper, he (?) would have been there earlier

  9. Many thanks, CS – even the smallest pin head would have been unnecessary here as I have no knowledge of either the series or the characters. Not that it mattered when it came to solving the puzzle but it did make sense when it came to the choice of that particular grid.

    Hope you get the cardigan finished in time!

  10. Thanks CS – couldn’t see 25d, how dim is that?

    Good luck with the knit one, purl one-ing.

    (psst 24a hasn’t yet lost an eye)

    1. Knitting finished – now just doing all the wrapping up and hoping that the parcel to NI doesn’t cost more to post than the presents inside cost to purchase!

      I’ve taken out the eye (not with a knitting needle, I hasten to add)

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