NTSPP – 469 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 469

NTSPP – 469

A Puzzle by Kelotoph

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A quick review by Prolixic follows.  Apologies.  Somewhat pressed for time this weekend so here is a brief review of a straightforward crossword that had some echoes of Rufus in the cluing.


6/4/17 Avoid touching spring at all costs! (5,4,5)
LEAVE WELL ALONE – An instruction that you should not go near a source of water (spring) could also mean avoid touching.

7 Scrap merchants, ones found crashing on the rocks (8)
BREAKERS – Double definition, the second being another word for sea waves that crash on the rocks.

10 Heroic prisoner returns to city and meets conservationists (7)
GALLANT – Reverse a three letter word for a prisoner and follow with the abbreviation for Los Angeles (city) and the abbreviation for National Trust (conservationists).

11 No longer with us, yet inside making clothes for newcomer (7)
LAYETTE – A four letter word meaning dead or no longer with us includes the YET from the clue.

12 Location of coastal region on Adriatic that inspires artist initially? (7)
CROATIA – The initial letters (initially) of the third to ninth words of the clue.

13 Domestic art company has agreement to meet Queen at end of May (7)
COOKERY – The abbreviation for cookery followed by a two letter word for agreement, the abbreviation for the current queen and the final letter (end of) of May.

14 Church thief and dog walker might both do this? (4,3,4)
TAKE THE LEAD – What thrives do removing part of the roof of a church could also be what a dog-walker does.

19 Follow the conversation without hearing backchat getting muddled, dear (3-4)
LIP-READ – A three letter word for backchat followed by an anagram (muddied) of DEAR.

21 To facilitate such entertainment, a track finally gets mixed in Korea somehow (7)
KARAOKE – A anagram (somehow) of the A (from the clue) K (track finally) KOREA.

23 Cat lives next to short tree – one standing in alley (7)
NINEPIN – The number of lives a cat is supposed to have followed by the name of an evergreen tree with the final letter removed (short).

25 Where one may find apples and pears or green veg (7)
ORCHARD – The OR from the clue followed by the name of a green leafy vegetable.

26 My Nan had gone to find odd-jobber (8)
HANDYMAN – An anagram (gone) of MY NAN HAD.

27 Spanish footballers having no commercial or free territory (5)
REALM – Remove the AD (commercial) and RID (free) from the name of a Spanish football team.


1 Dog fur part of formal dress (8)
TAILCOAT – A four letter word meaning follow or dog followed by a four letter word for fur.

2 Set off mousetrap Edward has covered up (6)
DEPART – The answer is hidden (covered) and reversed (up) in MOUSETRAP EDWARD.

3 Drew away from cab and started moving (10)
ABSTRACTED – An anagram (moving) of CAB STARTED.

4 See 6 Across

5 Hog’s first within pen to squirm (6)
WRITHE – The first letter of Hog inside a five letter word meaning to pen.

6 Found in flimsy cage looking skyward, seeing what’s left (6)
LEGACY – The answer is hidden (found in) and reversed (looking skyward) in FLIMSY CAGE LOOKING.

8 Enter, perhaps, and take heed of central principle (7)
KEYNOTE – Something on a keyboard of which Enter is an example followed by a four letter word meaning take heed of.

9 Old scribbler takes a quick look, we hear (5)
PEPYS – A homophone (we hear) of peeps (takes a quick look).

13 Reportedly from Prague, fielder could actually be Charlie from Berlin (10)
CHECKPOINT – A homophone (reportedly) of CZECH (from Prague) followed by a five letter word for a fielding position in cricked.

15 Cushion for Pat and Ella when they get together? (4-3)
KNEE-PAD – Put the Pat and Ella together from the clue to give a part of the body that would be protected by this item.

16 Scenes when designer gets a degree (second) (8)
DIORAMAS – A four letter word for a fashion designer followed by the A from the clue, the abbreviation for a higher degree and the abbreviation for second.

17 See 6 Across

18 Rarely models if messed around (6)
SELDOM – An anagram (if messed around) of MODELS.

20 Correspondent is leading professional in troubled Nepal (3,3)
PEN PAL – The first letter (leading) of professional inside an anagram (troubled) of NEPAL.

22 Superlative tape measure (6)
RECORD – Triple definition, the first meaning the best of something, the second a way of copying music (tape) and the final one to measure or note down something.

24 Call Lloyd’s underwriter (4)
NAME – Double definition.

21 comments on “NTSPP – 469

  1. It was good to meet Kelotoph last week. He’s given us a fairly gentle and entertaining puzzle for which many thanks.
    My ticks went to 12a, 25a, 13d and 15d.

  2. I agree with Gazza. I would just add the neat triple definition 22d to my list of ticked clues.

    Thanks for the good fun, Kelotoph.

  3. Refreshingly unconvoluted. Enjoyable too. I was about to say I don’t get 15D when it hit me! That has to be my favorite, though I also liked the 6/4/17 combo. Thanks Kelotoph.

  4. I can do no better than to echo Expat Chris – refreshingly unconvoluted and very enjoyable.
    Plenty of ticks on my sheet from which I’d pick out the 6/4/17 combo along with 14&25a plus 13&15d for podium places.

    Many thanks, Kelotoph – more of the same please!

  5. Very enjoyable and straightforward enough that I could keep one eye on the goings on at Murrayfield (or whatever it’s called these days).

    Favourite has to be the triple combo.

    Thanks Kelotoph.

  6. Thanks, Kelotoph. That was very good entertainment.

    My fave was 23a. I’ve also marked 7a, 11a, 13a, 27a and 9d, 13d, and the excellent 22d.

    I particularly like the overall freshness of the clues. 15d did bring to mind Roger Squires’ wonderful clue, used as a book title. You have given it a different slant. It has been given the thumbs up by other commenters.

  7. Pleasant solve that all went together smoothly in time for us to go for our Sunday morning walk before it gets too hot out there.
    Thanks Kelotoph.

  8. thanks Kelotaph, this was an enjoyable solve.

    I had some minor niggles but hey, when don’t I? So don’t worry, it’s a good puzzle – but i can’t say this without telling you exactly what, so

    wasn’t clear on “at all costs” in 6a, “to facilitate” in 21a, “cat lives” (23a) does not equate a number, you’d need “number of cat lives”, 13d “from Prague” is an unindicated definition by example. “gone” as the anagrind in 26a reads clumsily – “managed” might be smoother, sure there are other possibilities.

    unlike senf, I was not keen on the triple def. If you do that, (1) ensure there is no etymological overlap, here all 3 are related (2) make sure you have a rewarding surface – ideally some catch phrase.

    15d, hmm – what kind of clue would you call that?

    congrats. really. loads to like.

    1. 6a don’t touch it whatever the cost/whatever happens
      23a I think everyone knows how many lives a cat has
      13d ditto where Prague is
      26a I think gone works well in the surface reading and it is in the BRB’s list of anagram indicators
      I liked the triple def
      15d A clue I put a * by because I thought it great fun

        1. Thanks Dutch. Yes, I take your comments in the spirit in which they were meant – it’s always useful to know where one can improve. Glad you enjoyed the puzzle and it was good to say hello last weekend.

  9. This is the first time I’ve done the ntspp and the first time I’ve done a crossword on my iPad. Both were brilliant and I’m definitely going to do this regularly, if a bit later than everyone else. Thanks to Big Dave and Kelotoph.

  10. A very enjoyable puzzle to amuse myself with whilst waiting for our paperboy to deliver our Sunday papers. Haven’t actually counted all the ‘Ks’ in the answers, but having noted the setter’s name it surprises me not ;-) All good fun and most enjoyable breakfast fare. Thanks Kelotoph.

  11. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, and well done again to Kelotoph – really liked your style with this one.

  12. Thanks for the comments, everyone, and thanks for the review, Prolixic. How you juggle your time between the Lord, the Law and the Lexicon always amazes me! Thanks also to Sue and Silvanus for test-solving.

    1. Crikey, CS and Silvanus for test solvers? I wish.

      Lady LbR either smiles or uses expletives, she calls it ‘feedback’.

  13. Late getting to this one. A very pleasant solve. I liked the twist on the famous Two Girls (who, incidentally, I always think of whenever there is a complaint about random names in clues!) in 15d.

    Also really liked 12a and 25a. Just had to use the internet to understand “Lloyd’s underwriter” (24d).

    I agree with Dutch’s points about 23a – though it made me smile, and if tweaked to work would be brilliant – and 13d.

    I’d say the 6a/4d/17d question is more about where the definition lies: a precise definition of the answer can be found by ignoring the “well” (by leaving “well” alone, in fact!), i.e. “avoid touching at all costs” … but the whole clue defines an alternative interpretation of the phrase rather than its usual (dictionary) meaning. I still really enjoyed the moment when the penny dropped.

    26a did work for me, as did the aforementioned 15d.

    It’s always an effort to comment about finer points such as these, helpful as it is to the setter, so people like Dutch who always take the trouble to do so should be applauded. He’s an excellent test solver too.

    Thanks Kelotoph, and thanks Prolixic for the review.

    P.S. Kelotoph – I also finally got around to your Birthday Bash crossword and enjoyed that too. Thanks. :)

  14. Thanks to Kelotoph and to Prolixic for the review and hints. A nice puzzle, and nice to meet Kelotoph last week. I liked the triple definition in22d, and liked the construction of cat lives in 23a. No real hold ups, except for 2d which was last in. I missed the reverse lurker, but had Ted backwards containing par or rap within which maybe was a mousetrap…. but no! Favourite was 26a which made me laugh. Especially as my maternal Grandad was a builder and plumber. Was 2*/3* for me.

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