NTSPP – 465 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 465

NTSPP – 465

A Puzzle by Jaffa

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

Welcome back to Jaffa.  A few queries on this one, particularly for 26a where any other thoughts on the wordplay would be welcome.


1 Express gratitude in letter symbolically (6)
NOTATE – A two letter word expressing gratitude inside a four letter word for a letter.  Putting the definition at the beginning add end of the clue does not word for me.  Symbolically express… would have worked better.

4 Acknowledgement of reflective snippet within retweet (7)
RECEIPT – Reverse (reflective) a five letter word for a snippet inside a two letter abbreviation for retweet.

10 Good frost creates filth (5)
GRIME – The abbreviation for good followed by a four letter word for frost.

11 Mole perhaps forms burrow with both sides restricting echo (9)
TUNNELLER – A six letter word for a burrow followed by the abbreviations for left and right (both sides) around the letter represented by Echo in the Nato phonetic alphabet.

12 Id est – it is confused i.e. most neat (7)
TIDIEST – An anagram (confused) of ID EST IT.  As only the final IT gets moved in the solution, it is only just an anagram!

14 Transporters, clever when reversing (5)
TRAMS – Reverse (when reversing) a five letter word meaning clever.

15 Light emitting diode initially rewired in infra red is less active (5)
IDLER – An anagram (rewired) of the LED (the initial letters of light-emitting diode) inside the abbreviation for infra red.

17 Aussie spoilsports express amazement at non-U junkies (7)
WOWSERS – A three letter word used when expressing amazement followed by another word for junkies without the U.

19 Old French black revolutionary hunter (5)
ORION – The abbreviation for old followed by a reversal (revolutionary) of the French for black.

20 Can Saxon borders be this? (3)
TIN – The outside letters (borders) of Saxon give the chemical symbol of the solution.

21 Lines cast by angler who moves (5)
TROTS – Almost a straight definition of a type of fishing line that moves downstream.  If this was intended as a double definition with moves as the second definition, then who as a link word does not work.

22 Political opponents imprison one French madam following good suggestion (7)
GLIMMER – The abbreviation for good (as this has been used in 10a, perhaps Government would have worked better here with the surface reading) followed by the abbreviations for left and rights (political opponents) around the abbreviation for madame.

24 Incorporated America — it helps to listen (5)
INCUS – The abbreviation for incorporated followed by the abbreviation for America.

25 Country bumpkins in hickory thickets (5)
HICKS – The word (in the plural) that appears in each of the last two words of the clue.

26 Score for Yankees from regular winner  (4,3)
HOME RUN – The abbreviation for the solution HR forms the regular letters in HERO (winner).

30 Consequently a draw is acceptable for this (2,1,6)
AS A RESULT – A draw is an example of this as would be a win or a defeat.

31 At 225o  am I finding a guru? (5)
SWAMI – The compass direction equivalent to 225 degrees followed by the AM and I from the clue.

32 In dispute, an accumulation said to be in need of a blessing (2,5)
AT ISSUE – A homophone of the vocal a sneeze following which someone might say “Bless you”.  How the sound becomes an accumulation is a mystery.  Accumulation is a mass, which suggests either the hanky, rather than the sneeze itself or the resulting phlegm.

33 Drink Ian Kirk’s squash (6)
SCOTCH – Double definition, the an alcoholic drink and the second being a Scottish term (Ian Kirk’s) meant to squash (or perhaps a triple definition with Ian Kirk being a definition by example of the relevant nationality).


1/17d Rembrandt? He gets in late. (5-8)
NIGHT WATCHMAN – Cryptic definition of the title of a painting by Rembrandt picturing a workman who presumably arrives at work late in the day.

2 Sampled eccentric rook diet (5)
TRIED – An anagram (eccentric) of R (rook) DIET.

3 Little Women meet the Kardashian girls in Sussex by the Sea (3,5,7)
THE SEVEN SISTERS – The number of sisters in Little Women added to the number of full sisters in the Kardashian family gives the name of coastline feature in Sussex.  Perhaps a little too much general knowledge required for this clue.

5 Nose running for ages (4)
EONS – An anagram (running) of NOSE.

6 Reconvened secret council I’m involved with generates the AC/DC sound (10,5)
ELECTRONIC MUSIC – An anagram (reconvened) of SECRET COUNCIL IM.

7 Twopenny theatre (9)
PALLADIUM – Two pennies gives a Pd, the chemical symbol for an element that has the same name as a London theatre.

8 Premier in radio bother reveals vital information (9)
STATISTIC – The abbreviation for first (premier) in a form of radio interference (radio bother).

9 Busybody who kidnapped child is captive (8)
PRISONER – A five letter word for a busybody includes (kidnaps) a three letter word for a male child.

13 Matrimonial language? (3)
IDO – The phrase everyone thinks is used as part of the vows in a marriage service but is actually “I will”.

16 Crave wee drams for deerstalking business, unlikely to succeed (4,5)
LONG SHOTS – A four letter word meaning crave followed by a five letter word for wee drams.

17 See 1

18 Noah’s Ark or Peter Quince’s skill? (9)
WOODCRAFT – The profession of the rude mechanical, Peter Quince, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

23 Uluru menu serves up fast runner (3)
EMU – The answer is hidden and reversed in ULURU MENU.

27 Criticize right place for fuggles drying (5)
ROAST – The abbreviation for right followed by a type of oven used for drying hops (fuggles).

28 Sound of refusal at Becher’s Brook? (5)
NEIGH – An parabolic definition with a homophone of nay (refusal) being something a horse might do when reaching Brecher’s Brook.

29 African reportedly found conveniently in Regent’s Park (4)
ZULU – A homophone of Zoo Loo (a convenience in Regent’s Park.

15 comments on “NTSPP – 465

  1. An enjoyable puzzle and reasonably solver-friendly, although I did need to check up one or two definitions. I noticed that the setter couldn’t resist including a couple of clues involving chemical symbols, but after his previous puzzles I was prepared!

    My repetition radar did bleep a couple of times, and the occasional surface did raise the odd eyebrow, but these were minor blips. If I’ve understood 1a correctly, I’m not sure I care for the definition sandwiching the wordplay though. My favourite clue was 5d.

    Many thanks, Jaffa.

  2. Thanks Jaffa; a pretty full grid aided the solving but made hard work for the setter.

    Some very nice touches – I see Silvanus’s objection to 1a; I guess symbolically could have been put first in the clue.

    I particularly liked 7D and the simple 29D.

  3. I thought our setter was a little kinder towards those of us who are not scientists with this offering although there were still a few things that I needed to check out with Mr. Google.

    Not sure that I’ve quite hit the mark with a couple of bits of parsing but doubtless Prolixic will set me right tomorrow.

    Thank you, Jaffa.

  4. Thank you, Jaffa. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Like windsurfer23, 29d was my standout favourite. Like Jane, I will need Prolixic’s review to sort out one or two bits of the word play.

  5. We have family staying so had a joint effort on this one.
    Good fun and much appreciated.
    Thanks Jaffa.

  6. Thank you for the comments and I’m glad that I seem so far to have avoided too much criticism and given some pleasure at the same time.

    I think with 1a I have to hold my hands up and say “guilty as charged”. I can’t imagine how many times I must have read that clue through and never seen that a simple transfer of “symbolically” to the start of the clue would have made it so much better. A case I feel of not seeing the wood for the trees.

    I don’t know how other setters feel but I frequently think that familiarity draws contempt and by the time I’m ready to send the crossword off I often think it is too insultingly easy for you to even consider trying.

    I’m glad 29d raised a smile. I heard the joke on Mock the Week and it immediately went into my little book. My inner chemist appreciates someone who appreciates 7d 😂

    Thank you.

  7. I queried 26a with the setter and decided to leave the decision as to whether or not it works to the solver. The alternate (regular) letters of wInNeR are IN (home) + R(un). It looks like it is a step too far.

  8. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. It was, needless to say, the chemical symbols that messed up my parsing of a couple, plus that pesky 26a which I really do think was asking too much of the solver.
    Must remember to have the periodical table to hand for Jaffa’s next outing!

  9. Just got around to this. Missed “regular winner” and agree with Dave. Needs spelling out, “cryptically seen in regular winner” or something to indicate the extra steps required.

    I liked 7d, but I think it deserved a question mark to indicate something unusual.

    I thought Ian was the Scot, and kirk the CH, with squash as a not-very-elegant abbreviator. Glad to see I might be wrong.

    I guess it’s retweet that is no found in chambers.

    I missed 21a. Didn’t know the kind of fishing so thanks Prolixic

    I liked 5d. And many others. Well done jaffa

    1. Went down the same route as you with Ian & church but then took ‘squash’ as a third definition as in – that idea was soon scotched/squashed.

  10. Didn’t get 21ac as I didn’t know the fishing line – and I agree with Prolixic about the use of ‘who’. Otherwise I found this pretty straightforward and enjoyable (though my repetition radar must have been turned off).

    In 1/17 the one who comes in late can mean a lower-order batsman in a cricket match who is sent in shortly before close of play in order for the the next ‘star’ player to be fresh the next day.

    Thanks, Jaffa – and to Prolixic for the review.

  11. I found this rather tricky but also very enjoyable. It certainly stretched my mind, and I learned some new words.

    The puzzle was also a lot of fun. My fave was 1a/17d. I also have ticks beside 19a, 20a, 33a, 8d, 28d, and 29d.

    My appreciative thanks to Jaffa.

    I am grateful to Prolixic for this excellent review. It took me a long time to twig 7d — I had the ‘p’ and ‘d’ from ‘twopenny’ but failed to note that pd was the symbol of the element! I wasn’t able to parse 8a nor 26a, although I had the right answers. I still don’t feel 26a works as a clue… 32a was my second last in. The inclusion of ‘accummulation’ threw me.

  12. A big thank you for all the comments and especially to Big Dave and Prolixic for the review which was as informative, fair and colourful as ever.

    Just to answer a few queries not yet addressed –

    21a Yes it was supposed to be a double definition but on reflection “who” doesn’t work.
    22a Sorry my repetition radar was also switched off. I considered government – why on earth didn’t I use it?
    26a BD has said it all. Dutch’s suggestion might have rescued it. I think we see home=in and r=run so frequently I wanted to reverse matters but in doing so I was asking for two operations to solve the clue. Mea culpa!
    32a My BRB gives the 5th definition of TISSUE as “A complex accumulation (of lies, nonsense, etc)” so that’s where it came from. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting it but that’s why it’s there.
    33a I think when I wrote this clue I did envisage it as a triple definition (it was a long time ago) – drink/Ian(scot)+kirk(ch) [as suggested by Dutch]/squash – the BRB gives squash as a synonym of quash which is a definition of scotch – perhaps its become a bit tenuous!
    1/17d This was intended a cricket reference, as spotted by Exit. The clue originally ended “…gets in late at Lords”. This might have been fairer.
    3d I guess three pieces of GK for one clue is a bit excessive. It was going to be “the Bronte girls”, much classier than the Kardashians, until I discovered there were originally five of them, two having died young. Think how many books they could have written….
    7d Thank you Gazza. Your lead/penny black clue inspired me.

    Jane might be relieved to know that the crossword I’m working on at present has no chemical symbols in it whatsoever – yet.
    When I wrote the clue for 29d I never envisaged how Prolixic woud illustrate it!! This site is truly wonderful.

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