NTSPP – 479 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 479

NTSPP – 479

A Puzzle by Snape

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Snape returns to Saturday afternoons with an enjoyable crossword that does, however, require a bit of General “People” Knowledge


1a Average French composer’s works lacking energy (12)
SATISFACTORY Remove (lacking) the E for energy from a French composer’s name, but keep the S after the apostrophe and add a works

9a Wins top prize, finally, in decisive victory (9)
LANDSLIDE A synonym for wins, a type of top, and the final letter of prize

10a Spike welcomes tip from Neil Armstrong, perhaps (5)
LANCE A verb meaning to spike (add alcohol to a drink) into which is inserted (welcomes) the tip of first letter of Neil

11a God mostly accepts church fraud (6)
DECEIT Most of a god ‘accepts’ the abbreviation for the Church of England

12a Custom work to be included in cost (8)
PRACTICE Include something done or performed (work) into the cost of something

13a A6 upset Jenny? (6)
ECLAIR An anagram (upset) of A and the solution to 6 Down gives us the surname of Jenny the comedienne

15a Maybe copper or bit of sterling silver picked up (8)
SERGEANT The first letter (a bit) of Sterling and a homophone (picked up) of the heraldic word for silver

18a Government about to abandon Caribbean island, with no going back (8)
DOMINION The two-letter Latin abbreviation meaning about is removed from (abandon) a Caribbean island, and replaced by a reversal (going back) of NO (from the clue)

19a Very happy to be completely plastered (4,2)
MADE UP An informal expression meaning very happy or a description of someone who’s used a lot of cosmetics

21a Royal correspondent trimmed minute tree (5,3)
WITCH ELM Remove the last letter (trimmed) from the surname of the BBC’s Royal Correspondent and replace it with the abbreviation for minute

23a Patsy, Victor, and Timothy (6)
VICTIM A variation on an extremely old ‘friend’ of the crossword solver – just use the diminutive forms of Victor and Timothy

26a Sail, in error, covers boat (5)
LINER Covers indicates that we are looking for a lurker – this time a boat is found in saiL IN ERror

27a Rod not bothered by overturned port or red wine (5,4)
PINOT NOIR A rod, an anagram (bothered) of NOT and a reversal (overturned) of one of Crosswordland’s favourite three-letter ports

28a Get mad with runner for adjusting pants? (12)
UNDERGARMENT An anagram (for adjusting) of GET MADE RUNNER


1d Mark‘s replacing old pegs (7)
SPLODGE An anagram (replacing) of OLD PEGS

2d Top leaders from the University network implement changes (5)
TUNIC The leaders of The University Network Implement Changes

3d Regularly issue drug (not Ecstasy): one’s working to create distrust (9)
SUSPICION The regular letters of iSsUe, a drug (synthetic marijuana) without the final E, I (one) and ON (working)

4d Imaginary line from A6, heading north (4)
AXIS A from the clue followed by a reversal (heading north in a Down clue) of 6 written as a word

5d He is part of Conservatives’ beliefs (8)
THEORIES Insert HE (from the clue) into an informal way of referring to the Conservative Party

6d Imbecile ringing up secures memento (5)
RELIC Lurking in reverse (up) in imbeCILE Ringing

7d Suggest clear victor is banned (8)
INDICATE Remove the V (Victor in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) from a synonym for clear

8d What blocks supreme command? (6)
BEHEST An interjection meaning ‘what?’ blocks a synonym for supreme

14d Checking I’m protected by police, essentially, can start to grate (8)
LIMITING IM (from the clue) is inserted between (protected by) the ‘essential’ letters of poLIce, and then a can and the ‘start’ to Grate are added

16d Professional fighter pleased I reversed schedule (9)
GLADIATOR Another way of saying pleased, I (from the clue) and a reversed schedule

17d Failure of school oddly ignored by mistake (8)
COLLAPSE Ignore the odd letters of sChOoL and add a mistake

18d Wife and daughter entering valley trail (6)
DAWDLE The abbreviations for Wife and Daughter enter a valley (When I originally drafted this review, I had a different picture to illustrate the solution, but then my favourite ‘trailer’ provided the perfect photo opportunity)

20d Sweet Englishman’s anguish (7)
POMFRET A small piece of liquorice is obtained by following an abbreviated term for an Englishman abroad and a state of anguish

22a Leading man’s new bird (5)
HERON A leading man and the abbreviation for new

24d Recurring idea to expel revolutionary, snubbing Germany (5)
TROPE A reversal (revolutionary) of a verb meaning to expel from a country, without (snubbing) the D (D being the IVR code for Germany)

25d Love is in the air and first love is wanting kiss (4)
SNOG Insert an O (love) into an air or tune – then remove the first O from the resulting ‘word’

14 comments on “NTSPP – 479

  1. Great stuff – thanks Snape.
    This would be quite tricky for non-UK residents, I thought, and I was not happy to be reminded of the smarmy royal correspondent!
    25d was my last answer and it took me some time to parse it.
    I particularly 9a, 18a and the two different uses of A6.

  2. Filled the grid, but I still have one or two I can’t fully work out. Quite a challenge and lots to like so thanks Snape.

  3. In stark contrast to today’s Telegraph back-pager, this was nicely challenging and a great deal of fun.

    Snape’s puzzles are typified by their ultra smooth surfaces, clever disguises and humour. (He also seems to have a very impressive knowledge of the drugs’ world!)

    21a held me up for a while as I had bunged in the wrong tree until I solved 18d. I don’t think I’ve come across the required tree before and I do agree with Gazza about said royal correspondent. 20d & 24d were new for me, but very fairly clued so no problem.

    9a, 10a, 28a (a nice twist not to use “pants” as an anagram indicator!), 4d & 8d are fighting it out for places on my podium.

    Many thanks, Andy, for a lovely puzzle.

    1. I reckon that he learned about the drugs’ world from the same source as the rest of us – good old Harry!

      Wasn’t it that royal correspondent who made some very disparaging remarks when asked about the chances of William marrying Kate Middleton?

      1. Don’t know about that for the Royal Correspondent, but, if you look him up on Wikipedia, he has upset the Palace on more than one occasion and, in the reign of the first Elizabeth he would probably have been sent to the Tower never to be seen again, which Gazza and RD would probably be quite happy to see!

  4. Good, entertaining crossword with some nice surfaces. The top half went in much more quickly than the bottom half.

    I particularly liked the A6 ones and 15A.

  5. I did need to check on the French composer and the definition of 24d (which is pronounced in a most unusual way!) and it took me a ridiculous length of time to see why 13a was what it had to be, but none of that detracted from the enjoyment of this excellent puzzle.

    Plenty of candidates for the podium with 9a just edging out the others for gold.

    Many thanks, Snape – nice to see you back in the NTSPP slot.

  6. Not a lot of fun in this for me as I needed some electronic assistance and ‘reveal letter’ to confirm some answers.

    The 13a Jenny has appeared before, I wonder if she was in a previous Snape, and I sort of vaguely remembered her.

    I was aware of the Royal Correspondent even though he did not take up that position until after I left UK for Canada. I must have seen some of his reports being picked up by Canadian news programmes.

    I did like 1a which was helped by several of the checkers.

    Thanks to Snape and tomorrow’s reviewer.

  7. This took me a long time to solve … unlike 13a (in Chambers) it was long in duration.

    Still cannot parse 25d.

    Favourite: 10a – the Armstrong one.

    Thanks, Snape

  8. There were a couple here that stretched our knowledge of UK people, 13a and 21a but we did manage to get them both. Our last one was 19a and we’re still not quite sure how it works.
    A significant challenge and good fun to solve.
    Thanks Snape.

    1. We have just checked the answer to 19a in BRB and find there is an informal meaning that fits the bill. A new usage to us.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS, and – yes, I did spot the deliberate mistake!
    Hope we get to see Eccles back in the NTSPP slot again before too long.

  10. Thanks for the review Sue.
    We were keen to see what you would say about 13a. Our thoughts were that it is technically an indirect anagram as the letters to be used are not actually in the clue. Not that it made much difference to the ability to solve in this case.

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