NTSPP – 464 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 464

NTSPP – 464

A Puzzle by Alchemi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Big Dave follows:

Some clues, e.g. 1 Across, led directly to a defunct car company while others, e.g. 5 Across, led indirectly to one.  A total of ten companies result from the clues highlighted in blue.  The answer to 2 Down is also a model of car manufactured by an existing company, Aston Martin, and this is not strictly part of the theme.  Only the UK company for 23 Across is defunct.


1a Religious official maintains knowledge of ex-car company (2,6)
DE LOREAN: a religious official around a word meaning knowledge (strictly speaking the enumeration should be 8)

5a State capital advanced ground units (6)
AUSTIN: A(dvanced) followed by an anagram (ground) of UNITS

10a Brilliant soldier wears coat (5)
MAGIC: Aa US soldier inside a short word for a waterproof coat

11a Magazines are sure – or am I wrong? (9)
ARMOURIES: an anagram (wrong)of SURE OR AM I

12a Whimsically name bus “Ray” (7)
SUNBEAM: An anagram (whimsically) of NAME BUS

13a Hard to meet sick person’s ex-car company (7)
HILLMAN: H(ard) followed by a three-letter word meaning sick and a person

14a Dad’s newspaper hobbies (8)
PASTIMES: a colloquial word for dad, the S from ‘S and a newspaper

16a Remains because he wants to finish (5)
ASHES: a two-letter word meaning because followed by HE from the clue and the final letter (to finish) of [want]S

18a Perennials like swallowing drink (5)
ARUMS: a two-letter word meaning like around (swallowing) an alcoholic drink

20a Wrongly express suggestion to leave gallery out (8)
MISSTATE: split as (4,4) this could mean a suggestion to leave an art gallery out

23a Medic receives garbled email from old car company (7)
DAIMLER: a two-letter abbreviation for a medic around an anagram (garbled) of EMAIL

25a Dependent torn about trouble returning (7)
RELIANT: A word meaning torn around (returning) the reversal of some trouble

26a Agreeing with people – that’s beginning expiation (9)
ATONEMENT: a phrase meaning agreeing (2,3) followed by some people and the initial letter (beginning) of T[hat’s]

27a Shellfish fighting back in empty pan (5)
PRAWN: the reversal (back) of some fighting inside P[a]N without its inner letter (empty)

28a Philosopher accepts British rule river (6)
HUMBER: The surname of an 18th century Scottish philosopher around B(ritish) and followed by R(ule)

29a French art in one colour rejected by ex-car company (8)
WOLSELEY: The French for “art”, as in thou art / tu es, inside a colour, all reversed


1d First man to lose his head when king rose (6)
DAMASK: the first man, according to the bible, without his initial letter (loses his head) followed by a two-letter word meaning when and K(ing) gives a type of rose

2d Ex-car company almost disappeared, swallowed by E European one (7)
LAGONDA: most of a four-letter word meaning disappeared inside (swallowed by) a Russian (E European) car company

3d Army unit and relaxes (9)
RECREATES: an army unit is followed by an anagram (blows) of A SECRET

4d Scare branch covering the French (5)
ALARM: a branch around (covering) the French feminine definite article

6d Orthodox country welcomes university lecturer (5)
USUAL: the three-letter abbreviation for a country goes around (welcomes) U(niversity) and is followed by L(ecturer)

7d President tours Italy – his first win (7)
TRIUMPH: the surname of the US president around the IVR code for Italy and followed by the initial letter (first) of H[is]

8d Lack of bodyguards around function a curiosity (8)
NOSINESS: A phrase that could indicate a lack of Nazi bodyguards (2,2) around a trigonometric function

9d Conservative MP has issues controlling stress (8)
EMPHASIS: hidden (controlling) inside the clue

15d People recall these Middle Eastern customs I broke (8)
MEMORIES: the abbreviation of Middle Eastern followed by some customs into which I has been inserted (broke)

16d Graceful creatures lively, not asleep (9)
ANTELOPES: an anagram (lively) of NOT ASLEEP

17d Real money pot holding wrong card (4,4)
HARD CASH: another slang word for pot or cannabis around (holding) an anagram (wrong) of CARD

19d Same college class (7)
UNIFORM: a three-letter shortened word for a college followed by a school class

21d In the end, setting up football replay technology is very hard work (7)
TRAVAIL: inside a word meaning the end of, for example, an animal put the reversal (setting up in a down clue)of some football replay technology

22d Broadcaster receiving money smelling very bad (6)
STINKY: A cable and satellite broadcasting company around (receiving) a colloquial word for money

24d Say fiction includes European city (5)
LIEGE: the Latin abbreviation for say / for example inside (includes) a fiction

25d Rising journalist lacking material gets nostalgic (5)
RETRO: start with the an eight-letter word meaning a journalist, drop (lacking) a type of material and reverse (rising) what remains

Well done to Alchemi for fitting all of these into the grid and for providing many of us with 25d 15d.  The car pictured at 5a was the first one I ever owned (1963-65), although mine was blue, and the one pictured at 28a was my third car (1967-72) – in between I drove a Ford Prefect.

21 comments on “NTSPP – 464

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle with a good number of themed entries (I counted ten but I may have missed some).
    My top clues were 2d, 9d and 19d.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  2. That was something of a trip down memory lane. I found 11 themed answers (two in 2d) and several recollections of old boyfriends!

    No particular favourite – just an enjoyable solve.

    Many thanks, Alchemi, and a very Happy New Year to you.

  3. Very good, not too tricky. Fortunately I remembered the themed entries, very unusual for me – and I’m warming to themed puzzles, at last.

    Thanks for the entertainment Alchemi

  4. A very enjoyable stroll down memory lane. I agree with Gazza, and disagree with Jane, on the number of themed entries; based on that excellent source of information Wikipedia, the E European one in 2d was used and is still in use as a ‘brand name.’

    Too many possible favourites to list them all.

    Thanks Alchemi.

  5. Thanks Alchemi; good setting to get in all the themed entries.

    Of course, 2d is a current marque of Aston Martin these days, but unfortunately I don’t own one.

    I also liked Gazza’s picks with 9d being my favourite.

  6. I have 10 also. I did enjoy this Still puzzling over the parsing of the middle bit of 29A, though. 1D gets my vote. Thanks Alchemi. That was fun.

  7. That was a good fun crossword – thank you Alchemi.
    I don’t know much about the theme but it beats the hell out of football/rugby/cricket/golf (or any of the people who play any of them.
    My Dad had a 12a (Rapier?) – it ended up upside down on Castlemorton Common which is very close to where BD lives.
    My answer to 25d is a guess which more or less fits the clue but I’m not quite sure why and I’m missing something in 21d.
    Can’t do 3d. :sad:
    I thought there were loads of good clues including 10a and 7 and 16d. My favourite is probably 27a because of the mental image it calls up.
    Thanks again to Alchemi and whoever is doing the review tomorrow.

  8. Great fun and great memories. I owned four of the themed entries in the dim and distant past.

    Thanks very much, Alchemi.

  9. Excellent fun and much enjoyed. Our last act was sorting out the wordplay for 25d as the ‘material’ took a while to come to mind.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  10. I don’t often get to complete these puzzles but I’ve just managed this one. Excellent. Not easy fitting in so many themed answers.

    I only ever owned one of these, rather boringly 5a. My father had a couple of the others, though not the smarter ones unfortunately. The trip down memory lane did remind me though of his unswerving loyalty to “National” petrol, his pulling up at the petrol station and asking the attendant for “4 gallons and 4 shots”, and his utter disdain when self-service pumps were introduced.

    Thanks Alchemi, and Happy New Year to all.

    1. I remember ‘National’ petrol but you’ve lost me with the ‘4 shots’ – care to elucidate?

          1. Yes! A couple of years ago I had a problem with an engine management valve (which I never knew I had and whose name I instantly forgot) which was sticking intermittently preventing any acceleration. I phoned the local garage that I use for servicing and they recommended adding a dose of Redex and taking the car on a long run until such time as I could get the valve replaced. Miraculously it worked!

          2. I only really remember the phrase. I knew nothing about the workings of cars when I was 10 and I’m just as well informed now….

            But yes, it seems people still use it, presumably those in the motor racing world, fans of Top Gear etc.

  11. I thought this was a terrific puzzle. Thank you very much, Alchemi. The theme was not one that resonated with me, but the puzzle was so generously clued that I was able to get on and complete the puzzle without serious difficulty and only minimal reference to electronic searches.

  12. For a non driver, I did rather well as I knew all the theme answers.
    My favourite being 29a of course.
    Remembered the showroom on Piccadilly which became one of my preferred restaurants when in town.
    Thanks to Alchemi.

  13. Very enjoyable, but over too quickly, even for a non-petrolhead. It brought back 15dn of having owned four of the themed makes (if one includes the E European one in the clue to 2dn) with varying degrees of reliability in the last 50-odd years, and it’s interesting to think how things we now take for granted (seat belts, heaters, satnav &c) just didn’t exist when I got my first 5ac. And I was intrigued to discover that my current set of wheels, of far-eastern origin, incorporates technology licensed from 23ac.
    As for the puzzle, my favourite was the non-themed 16dn.
    Thanks, Alchemi and Big Dave.

  14. Many thanks for the review, BD, and thanks again to Alchemi for a splendid puzzle.
    Must remember the tip about Redex!

  15. Thanks to everybody for the kind comments.

    It’s obvious there’s a theme from the five clues which explicitly mention it, but I hoped that finding that there were others which hadn’t been thus clued would lend a bit of fun as people found them one by one.

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