NTSPP – 470 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 470

NTSPP – 470

A Puzzle by Silvanus

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A big thank you to Silvanus for a proper treat of a themed NTSPP – fitted in perfectly in the post-lunch solving slot – splendid surface readings – too many ‘clues I really liked’ to list, especially the ones that made me laugh, and as for choosing which ones to illustrate …



1a Detailed entertainment contracts to include money for French hats? (12)
CIRCUMFLEXES Remove the last letter (de tailed) of a big tent-based entertainment, add a verb meaning contracts and then include or insert the abbreviation for money.

9a Confronting opponents, head of government makes first appearance (9)
PREMIERES Confronting (literally going in front of) a head of government goes before two bridge opponents

10a Not before time, actor Smith finds durable material (5)
TWILL I worked through a few actors with the surname Smith before realising that I needed the American movie star’s Christian name which should go after (not before) the abbreviation for Time

11a Published profits at last in Hollywood (6)
ISSUED Another word for profits and the last letter in HollywooD

12a Justification from Warren Beatty when sacking worker, reportedly (8)
WARRANTY If you look at the name Warren Beatty, you’ll see there are three letters which if said out loud (reportedly) sound like one of Crosswordland’s workers. Remove those three letters and you’ll be left with a justification

13a To some extent Keanu dismisses exposure in movies (6)
NUDISM Lurking in, to some extent, KeaNU DISMisses

15a Credit, surprisingly, for removing female board member (8)
DIRECTOR An anagram (surprisingly) of CREDIT followed by fOR ‘removing’ telling you not to use the F for Female

18a Crew’s accommodation if shooting on location promotional clips (8)
TRAILERS A lovely surface reading for this double definition clue

19a Magnificent British agent needs American backing (6)
SUPERB A reversal (backing) of the abbreviation for British (1), an agent and an abbreviation for American

21a Attacks from Sky make public empty declarations by Italian broadcaster (3,5)
AIR RAIDS A verb meaning to broadcast or make public, the outside letters (empty) of DeclarationS into which is inserted the abbreviated name of the Italian national broadcasting company

23a Brando driven occasionally to show nasty character on screen (6)
BADDIE The occasional letters of BrAnDo DrIvEn

26a Good, fit Number 8 who performed notably with Leigh? (5)
GABLE The abbreviation for Good and a synonym for fit give us the surname of the 8d who performed in a particularly notable film with Vivien Leigh

27a Officially confirms secret I suspect about independent film’s origin (9)
CERTIFIES An anagram (suspect) of SECRET I ‘about’ the abbreviation for Independent and the ‘origin’ of Film

28a Standard depiction in America of pressure on celebrities is biased (4-8)
STAR-SPANGLED Take some celebrities, add the abbreviation for Pressure and a synonym for biased


1d Army officer, one receiving charge leading to arrest (7)
CAPTION A legal term for an arrest is obtained by following an abbreviated army officer with a particle that has received an electrical charge. If I was feeling quibbly, I’d enquire as to what tell us to abbreviate the army officer?

2d Gives lustful looks swapping hands for dances (5)
REELS Take a way of saying gives lustful looks and change the places of the L and R (swapping hands)

3d Naive slur disguised as a general term (9)
UNIVERSAL An anagram (disguised) of NAÏVE SLUR

4d Focus, say, is Indiana actor (4)
FORD The Focus of course being a car made by a particular manufacturer!

5d Overjoyed English cast unexpectedly given endless work (8)
ECSTATIC The abbreviation for English, an anagram (unexpectedly) of CAST with a synonym for work without its final letter (endless)

6d Record that Ellen Terry holds (5)
ENTER EllEN TERry ‘holds’ a verb meaning record

7d Diesel still rumoured to provide characteristic cameo role (8)
VIGNETTE Homophones (rumoured) of the Christian name of Mr Diesel, the American actor, and an adverb meaning still

8d Oscar-winning tip from Dame Helen Mirren for actress? (6)
PLAYER If you want to win an Oscar Dame Helen, then split your solution 4,2 – Brilliant clue – She’s actually played both ERs but only won an Oscar for the current ER

14d Family of Danny in EastEnders some heard delivering verbal attack (8)
DIATRIBE A homophone (heard delivering) of the family of the EastEnders actor sounds like a verbal attack

16d Culture in broadcasting can die out (9)
EDUCATION An anagram (in broadcasting) of CAN DIE OUT

17d Weinstein perhaps awfully rude with cop close to reporter (8)
PRODUCER An anagram (awfully) of RUDE COP with the ‘close’ to reporteR – I liked the possibly accurate surface reading!

18d Regional intonations, they’re evident listening to The Archers? (6)
TWANGS Another 19a surface reading – regional dialect intonations – or noises made by strings – were you misled by the use of capital letters for The Archers when looking at the second definition?

20d British actor, not so great between the sheets? (6)
BLESSED Another surface reading to make you smile – a way of saying not so great inserted into a place to sleep (between the sheets)

22d Maybe James Bond is extremely lacking in colour (5)
AGENT Remove the outside letters (extremely lacking) from a reddish-purple colour

24d Who possibly has difficulty getting exercise? (5)
DRILL This possible who is a TV science fiction character, the first part of his ‘title’ being followed with some difficulty

25d Control stagehand moving scenery (4)
GRIP To keep firm control of or a stagehand who moves scenery

24 comments on “NTSPP – 470

  1. Bit of an odd one for me. I’m not a fan of themed crosswords, never watched film or TV and also not keen on names in crosswords, so it has all the wrong boxes ticked for me. My problem, not the setter’s.

    On the other hand the clues are there to enjoy so I persevered and was not disappointed in the end.

    Overall, thanks for a nice puzzle Silvanus, but not really fo me.

    PS 26a & 20d are missing the enumeration

    1. Hi LBR,

      Many thanks.

      One of the reasons I tend to avoid themed puzzles normally is that no two people’s General Knowledge or interests are the same, but I tried to pitch this one at a level where very little, if any, specialised information was required. On the odd occasion where I failed in this aim, BD did his best to rein me in and the relevant clue was tweaked accordingly.

      Apologies for the missing enumeration, my fault when submitting the puzzle to BD.

  2. Another very enjoyable puzzle, the second one this week, from Silvanus.

    Because of my lack of knowledge of EastEnders, I did have to use Google to research ‘Danny.’

    Best clue – 8d!

    Thanks Silvanus.

  3. Still have a couple of bits of parsing that I’m not too sure about but the grid is filled and I found some goodies along the way.
    Top of my list is 8d with 26&28a plus 24d also on the podium. Special mentions for the reminder of French lessons in 1a and the memory of my younger daughter’s bizarre teenage obsession with the actor in 7d!

    Thank you, Silvanus.

  4. Thanks silvanus, I enjoyed the theme and I seemed to know most of what was needed. I liked 15a, 19a, 13a, 8d, 20d

    I’m impressed you and others find time to submit ntspp’s. Well done and thanks!

  5. I’m not particularly a fan of themed puzzles not least because they often result in stilted constructions. However, full marks today to Silvanus for avoiding any such contrivances and maintaining his impeccable surfaces whilst incorporating the theme in every single clue or answer, and in many cases both.

    Unusually for me when solving this setter’s puzzles, I needed several trips to my BRB to check that:
    – the abbreviation for money in 1a was there
    – the answer to 1d could mean arrest
    – when I added a letter to the last three letters of my answer 5d it was indeed synonym for work
    – the answer to 16d could be a synonym for culture
    – the first two words in 25d could be one of the definitions of the answer
    Knowing Silvanus, I was not surprised to find they were all fine!

    Fortunately I have visited Italy often enough that 21a was no problem, and my only outstanding query is that I can’t parse my answer to 11a.

    Picking a favourite is quite a tough task. My short(ish) list comprises:12a, 13a, 26a, 8d, 20d & 24d. And the winner is … 8d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and in advance to, presumably, CS.

  6. Thanks Silvanus; good puzzle.

    RD @5; the first five letters in 11a mean profits, apparently. I’ve only just twigged what the Focus is in 4D.

    I liked the French hats, the Archers and ticked 12A, 15A, 25A and 8D. I’m not sure what the ‘one’ is doing in 1D; to me, it seems superfluous.

    1. Thanks Windsurfer. I didn’t bother to look up the five letter word because it seemed highly improbable that it would mean profits.

      “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

    2. Hi Windsurfer,
      I think you need the ‘one’ in there to complete the definition of the last three letters of the answer.

      1. Yes, that’s right on reflection. Sometimes people have used charge as a synonym for the last three letters, but it’s not really correct.

  7. I enjoyed this. Big smiles for “not before time” in 10a, the definition in 28a, the cuteness of 4d, the clever 8d, and 18d. I was held up briefly on 1d trying to find a role for army and by the unfamiliar definition of the answer. Thanks for an entertaining solve, silvanus.

  8. Google had to work very hard to help me with this as so much that was unfamiliar knowledge. Finally defeated in NW where 1d and 11a were the sticking points.
    Thanks Silvanus.

  9. This was a very pleasant way to pass the time on a train into town to do more crosswords. (Hmm, maybe I should indulge a different hobby tomorrow!) I have a couple of minor parsing questions remaining but will take a fresh look in the morning.

    Favourites were 8a, 10d and 20d.

    Thanks Silvanus, and in advance to c’sue for the review.

  10. Many thanks to CS for her review, a really excellent set of illustrations from a very wide pool from which to choose!

    Thanks, as ever, to BD too, especially for helping me make certain clues like 27a and 4d better than their original incarnations.

    Last, but by no means least, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to tackle the puzzle and particularly those kind enough to leave comments, they are always much appreciated. I probably had more fun compiling this crossword than any of the others I’ve created, so I’m glad that many appear to have had almost as much fun solving it!

    Well done to LBR for persevering with a theme that wasn’t his cup of tea, and apologies to Colin and anyone else that spent longer researching names etc. than they normally would. I think my abiding memory of the puzzle, and one that keeps coming into my head, is the possible thought of Clark Gable once playing Rugby League for Leigh Centurions (as suggested by the surface of 26a) rather than acting opposite Vivien Leigh! A surreal notion indeed.

  11. Many thanks for the review, CS, I’m sure Silvanus will be delighted to read your richly deserved comments.
    Slightly surprised by your enthusiasm for the surface of 18a – I’d need the last two words to be brought forward a couple of places for the sentence to make complete sense.

    Thanks again to Silvanus – that’s another type of puzzle construction under your belt!

  12. Lovely puzzle. Thanks, Silvanus. I enjoyed the theme, and although I am not the biggest fan of the silver screen, I needed no specialist knowledge. Like others, I was unaware of the definitions in 11a and 1d, nor the “endless work” in 11d.

    There are rather too many good clues to pick a particular favourite, but 8d, 18d (especially as I am an archer) and 20d were up there with the best.

    Looking forward to the next one, Silvanus, and thanks to Sue for the review.

  13. Great puzzle with one of the highest concentration of themed bits I have seen before. Couldn’t decide which way round to do 2d until checkers came to help.
    12a took the longest because when I removed my Nomme de Cruciverbalism from the fodder I was left with a superfluous T. It took a while before the fact that I was looking for a homophone and could ignore the T. Verbal diarrhoea also crossed my mind for 14d until common sense prevailed.
    Thanks to Silvanus and CS to help pass the time between Englush scores at the rugby.

  14. I came very late to the starting line for this one but I was determined not to miss out on a Silvanus puzzle. Very enjoyable it was – thanks to Silvanus and to CS for the review,
    The only bit of knowledge that escaped me (apart from not knowing that the first bit of 11a could mean profits) was the Eastenders family in 14d and the checkers ensured that I was able to complete this.
    I particularly liked the French hats in 1a, the standard depiction in 28a and the poorly performing actor in 20d but my favourite was the brilliant 8d.

  15. Even later to the party than Gazza, I got most of this by late Monday but was held up on 1dn/11ac. For the latter I could see what the answer was but was trying to parse it with one of the S’s as the last letter of ‘profits’, and I didn’t know the legal term meaning of 1dn. And all I could think of for 25dn was ‘prop’ as possibly a movable item of scenery, and it din’t seem right anyway.

    Thanks, though, to Silvanus – and crypticsue.

Comments are closed.