NTSPP – 472 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 472

NTSPP – 472

A Puzzle by Skinny

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

After an weekend on the allotment and rushing off soon to stand in at a service this evening, a short review follows.


1 Mexican’s first song almost fashionable in this style? (8)
MARIACHI – The first letter of Mexican followed by the term for a operatic song and a four letter word meaning fashionable with the final letter removed (almost).

5/1D/25 God created Lucifer? They’re the perfect couple. (1,5,4,2,6)
A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN – A cryptic and double definition, the first part being where God made have made something used to light a fire (Lucifer).

9 See 21 Down

10 Hotel seen in the right light, only more so (7)
THINNER – A three letter word for a hotel or hostelry inside (seen in) the “the” from the clue and the abbreviation for right.  More so than what?

11 Countryman, one with Arabian sent back? No thanks. (5)
IRAQI – The letter representing one and the term for someone from Qatar all reversed (sent back) without the two letter work meaning thanks.

12 She gets drunk with gin, men getting involved (9)
ENMESHING  -An anagram (gets drunk) of SHE GIN MEN.

13 Appeals in reserve, lack of time for poetic offence (12)
DISPLEASANCE – A five letter word meaning appeals inside a word meaning reserve or coolness of manner without the abbreviation for time.

17 Copycat killer finally arrested by men as Poirot ordered (12)
IMPERSONATOR – The final letter of killer inside an anagram (ordered) of MEN AS POIROT.

20 I’m surprised about tiling being shattered – by this? (9)
GELIGNITE – A three letter word meaning I’m surprised around an anagram (being shattered) of TILING.

22 Wind circles around (5)
SPOOL – A reversal (around) of a word meaning circles.

23 One not appreciating where cinders may be? (7)
INGRATE – Split the answer 2,5 for a description where the ashes from a fire (cinders) may be.

24/14 An electric fence at the deer farm  it’s solely my responsibility (3,4,5,4)
THE BUCK STOPS HERE – A cryptic double definition where the first part may be device to prevent deer getting out of the deer park.

25 See 5

26 Net fully unfurled in a graceful manner (8)
FLUENTLY – An anagram (unfurled) of NET FULLY.


1 See 5 Across

2 Look again at second-hand tyre when temperature’s dropped (6)
REREAD – A word for a second hand tyre without (dropped) the abbreviation for temperature.

3 It makes things more bitter (i.e. acrid) if brewed (9)
ACIDIFIER – An anagram (brewed) of IE ACRID IF.

4 20 perhaps hallucinating on expired pickled olives (4,9)
HIGH EXPLOSIVE – A four letter word meaning hallucinating or on drugs followed by a two letter word meaning expired and an anagram (pickled) of OLIVES.

6 Mars – mankind’s initial objective, NASA’s third (5)
MAIMS – The first letter (initial) of mankind followed by a three letter word for an objective and the third letter of NASA.

7 Small racket clipped net on return, creating strains (8)
TENSIONS – The abbreviation for small, a five letter for a racket or din and the net from the clue all reversed (on return).

8 I’m about to try, for example, filling leading male roles (4,4)
HERE GOES – The abbreviation for “for example” inside a word for leading men in films.

10 Fiery oriental dish devoured by office worker and other people (13)
TEMPERAMENTAL – A dour letter word for an office worker and a Latin phrase meaning and other people around a five letter word for an oriental dish.

14 See 24 Across

15 Chauvinistic one is taken in by improper joshing (8)
JINGOISH -The letter representing one inside an anagram (improper) of JOSHING.

16 Written defence of a game – soldier has one (8)
APOLOGIA – The A from the clue followed by the name of a game played on horseback, the abbreviation for an American soldier and an A (one).

18 Disappear, turning up in tent for cultured stuff? (6)
YOGURT – A two letter word meaning disappearing or leaving reversed inside the name of a type of tent.

19 Illness crucial in being lucky (6)
FLUKEY – A three letter word for an illness and a three letter word meaning crucial.

21/9 Heroic woman, cheerless bird, some say (5,7)
GRACE DARLING – A homophone (some say) of GREY (cheerless) and STARLING (bird)

25 comments on “NTSPP – 472

  1. *off topic* but I really like the piccies from the Little Venice gathering; any chance some kind soul might label the punters in them?

  2. I had to take two goes at this – one because it took me a while to get on Skinny’s wavelength and secondly to look at my Chelsea bun dough/filling

    Thanks to Skinny and, in advance, to Prolixic

  3. A steady ‘plod’ through this saw me to the finish. Although, I have to say that I am not a fan of multi-word answers spread ‘randomly’ across a number of clues. Parsed all but one completely; the electric fence part of 24a/14d is eluding me.

    Favourite – 10d.

    Thanks Skinny and Prolixic for tomorrow’s review.

    Time for some caffeine!

  4. A rather mixed bag for me (13a certainly had ‘umm’ written alongside it!) but definitely some stars in the show.
    I gave out podium places to the 5/1d/25 combo, the 24/14 pair, 8d & the 21/9 heroic woman.

    Well done, Skinny, I shall look forward to seeing more from you.

  5. Pretty good despite the flicking around required to fill the grid. Perhaps solving online makes the split answers slightly more irksome.

    Enjoyed the challenge, thanks Skinny

  6. This was a lot of fun, Skinny, quite challenging in parts and I only have a few comments:

    – I didn’t know 1a but it’s a perfect all-in-one, which is a very hard thing to achieve.
    – The wordplay for 21d/9d is excellent so it’s a shame that the answer is so obscure (to me at least).
    – I’m not sure about 11a, 13a & 7d largely in terms of the surfaces, but many of your other surfaces were very smooth.
    – I was surprised that you didn’t falsely capitalise Cinders in 23a which would provide an element of disguise while improving the surface.

    My podium places were awarded to 5a/1d/25a (although the enumeration did rather give the game away), 22a, 24a/14d & 8d.

    Many thanks, Skinny, and please keep them coming.

  7. Unusually for us, the favourite clues were the combination ones. Certainly a fair amount of head-scratching involved but we did get it all sorted. Plenty of fun here.
    Thanks Skinny.

  8. I’ve got about half- way and a bit – most of the left side is completed but precious few answers in on the right.
    I confess to not coping very well with crosswords where I have to whizz around looking somewhere else for another bit of a clue – reminds me of many years ago when I used to do agility with our wonderful collie!
    I’ll carry on with the battle tomorrow as I’ve now got too far to give up easily . . .

  9. Held up by having the wrong objective for 6D for a while but once that was sorted the last two fell into place. Favorites are the 5/1/21, 21/9 and 24/14 combos. Lots of fun. Thanks Skinny!

  10. I enjoyed that, 8d being my favourite. I’d never heard of the heroic woman, but it’s quite a story. Thanks to Skinny.

  11. Very enjoyable – thanks Skinny. I liked 1a, 24/14 and (unusually for me) the clever homophone at 21/9 but my favourite (even though it was pretty obvious from the enumeration) was 5/1d/25.

  12. I echo all of the above comments although I have several answers with rings around them which I can’t fully parse so will wait for the review. Thanks to Skinny & to Prolixic in advance.

  13. Congratulations are due, I think, Skinny, on your advancement to NTSPP. I found this a bit of a challenge but the sort of challenge that makes you want to finish it rather than give up. There were touches of Nimrod/Io and Anax/Elkamere in some of the clues, I thought, so you’ve obviously been well schooled. Personally i liked 5/1/25 and 24/14 but I wasn’t too keen on the homophone in 21/9 though it wasn’t as stretched as some. Thanks (and in anticipation to Prolixic).

  14. Hello all – thanks for taking the time to leave comments, I’m grateful for them all, and will take on board the pointers for future puzzles. I’m grateful to Big Dave for opportunities to share my puzzles and will be sending more. Thanks to Prolixic in advance for comment too.

  15. Thanks Prolixic. 10a I thought the intention was light, only more so – ‘light’ implies thin, though the surface is a little odd. Perhaps Skinny will elucidate.

    Good review Skinny, congrats and well done again.

    1. Hi – yes, light as in a tissue paper, perhaps, or a layer of paint. Yes – the definition is ‘light, only more so’ – I was wanting not to say ‘lighter’ as the descriptor.

  16. One more thing – I was on a train to the seaside when this puzzle appeared, and on the train I was doing the Paul Guardian puzzle. One of his clues was ‘Cylinder turns around’ (5). Can’t quibble with that.

    1. I noticed that too about Paul. Made a note of it on my sheet.
      Thanks for the great crossword.
      Second time this week I travel up to the Farnes Islands. Stick Insect introduced me to them on Thursday. Incidentally he had limestone as an answer to another clue which made me think that he could have clued Longstone instead. Don’t know if 21/9 was in that lighthouse but it’s a strange coincidence.

      1. YES! It absolutely is! When my kids were younger we used to stay in Seahouses, and it always stuck with me to use it as a clue one day.

  17. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, and thanks again to Skinny for the puzzle. Can’t remember any other occasion when so many of the ‘favourite’ comments related to multi-word clues. Good to hear that you will be sending more into the BD site – I shall look forward to the next one.

  18. I tackled this on the move on Saturday, but just want to drop in to add belated thanks for a puzzle which I remember made me smile. Loved the 21d/9a heroic woman / cheerless bird.

    Thanks Skinny, and thanks Prolixic.

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