NTSPP – 484 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 484

NTSPP – 484

A Puzzle by Silvanus

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A perfectly pitched NTSPP with a Nina rows 3 and 13 marking a special birthday for our setter.


9a Fruit drink containing pips is withdrawn (5)
APPLE The IS in PiPs is removed (withdrawn) and inserted into a drink

10a Praising briefly one achieving majority, a Conservative (9)
ADULATORY Almost all of a word meaning ‘one achieving majority’, A (from the clue) and an informal way of referring to a member of the Conservative Party

11a Bit of himself fan struggles repressing on reflection (7)
SNAFFLE Lurking in reverse (repressing on reflection) in himsELF FAN Struggles

12a Firm defends working this evening (7)
TONIGHT A synonym for the adjectival form of firm ‘defends’ the two-letter word often used to mean working

13a Scene of conflict in revolutionary period oddly near (5)
ARENA A reversal of a period of time followed by the odd letters of NeAr

14a Nearly sell marble bust of little importance (5,4)
SMALL BEER An anagram (bust) of early all of SELL plus MARBLE

16a It’s heard incidentally behind stadium, American breaking microphone (10,5)
BACKGROUND MUSIC Synonyms of behind and stadium followed by the abbreviation for American breaking an abbreviated microphone

19a Scarcity of medical examinations forwarded to review internally (9)
SCANTNESS Some medical examinations into which is inserted a reversal of a word meaning forwarded

21a Theoretical admission of guilt by drug pusher? (5)
IDEAL Split 1,4 your solution would indeed represent an admission of guilt by a drug pusher

23a Employment market justifiably’s beginning to collapse? That’s disgusting (7)
OBSCENE Remove the J (justifably’s beginning) from another way of saying employment market

25a Bitterness hearing building in Teheran maybe lacks computer technology (7)
RANCOUR Remove the IT (lacks computer technology) from a building in Teheran (4,5) where a hearing might take place

27a Delivered popular CD I left out (9)
INFLICTED Another way of saying popular (2) followed by an anagram (out) of CD I LEFT

28a Take measurement holding end of tape (5)
SEIZE Another word for measurement holding the E at the end of tapE


1d Decline to answer questions, but negotiate test successfully (4)
PASS A double definition clue

2d Drug swallowed following surgical procedure with iodine (6)
OPIATE Another way of saying swallowed follows an abbreviated surgical procedure and the chemical symbol for Iodine

3d Novelist wrong to say no formal schooling received? (4-6)
SELF-TAUGHT The surname of the novelist Will followed by a homophone (to say) of a wrong

4d Upper-class English actor hesitates over decision (6)
HAVERS Another double definition – I knew both the actor and the hesitating, but knowing the first one will help you look up the second in the dictionary

5d Verse is short, barely attracting study (8)
QUATRAIN This stanza of four lines is obtained by removing the outside letters (barely indicating that you have to take the ‘clothes’ or outside letters away) from a word meaning short or dumpy and then adding a verb meaning to undergo instruction (study)

6d German writer, soldier and politician finally (4)
MANN A soldier and the final letter of politiciaN

7d Reinforces walls of toilets, rebuilt enough to visit (8)
TOUGHENS An anagram (rebuilt) of ENOUGH ‘visits’ the outside walls of ToiletS

8d Improvised charity show entertaining Londoners primarily is very funny (10)
HYSTERICAL An anagram (improvised) of CHARITY and the primary letters of Show Entertaining London

13d “Unchanged condition” describes most conveniently bone disease (10)
ASBESTOSIS Take a way of saying unchanged (2,2) and insert between the two words another way of saying most conveniently and the Latin word for bone

15d Transparency of musician originally leaving Simple Minds upset (10)
LIMPIDNESS Remove an M (musician originally leaving) from SImPLE MINDS and an anagram (upset) will produce a state of being clear or transparent

17d Declare secret form provided needs ultimate in confidentiality (8)
CLASSIFY A school form, a conjunction meaning provided and the ‘ultimate’ letter in confidentialitY


18d Couple priest regularly thanks for musical drama production (8)
OPERETTA The regular letters of cOuPlE pRiEsT followed by a very informal way of saying thanks

20d Remove foundation of concrete beneath stone step (6)
STRIDE A verb meaning to remove and the ‘foundation’ of concretE go after (beneath) an abbreviation for stone

22d Arousing sexual desire in solicitor, excitement mounting (6)
EROTIC Lurking in reverse (mounting in a Down clue) in soliCITOR Excitement

24d Departure of team having stuffed Egypt (4)
EXIT The Latin numerals representing the number of players in, for example, a football team is insert into the IVR Code for Egypt

26d Superheavyweight is boxing grounded South American? (4)
RHEA A flightless (grounded) South American can be found ‘boxed’ in supeRHEAvyweight

14 comments on “NTSPP – 484

  1. The perfect NTSPP – although having spotted the Nina, I can’t believe you’ve got the number right!

    Many happy returns of the day

    See you Tuesday

  2. Very enjoyable crossword with super-smooth clues as we’ve come to expect from Silvanus.
    My podium has on it 25a, 5d and 26d (I won’t mention the 3d ‘homophone’!).
    Thanks, Silvanus – looking forward to your Toughie on Tuesday.

    1. I missed the Nina, of course – I was too busy checking for a pangram to spot it. Congratulations.

  3. The second superb puzzle of the day! Great fun, nicely challenging and, of course, all served up with smooth surfaces.

    I learnt new meanings for the answers to both 11a & 4d (I did wonder for a moment if there is an English actor called Wavers), and a reminder of a long forgotten word in 5d.

    My only query relates to the excellent 25a. Isn’t “hearing” padding?

    26d was my last one in and favourite. Also on my podium are 5d & 20d.

    Many thanks, Silvanus, and have a very happy special birthday.

  4. A perfect complement to the SPP. Didn’t see the Nina, of course, until seeing that CS had found it.

    I did need electronic help on the 5d verse, I don’t think I have seen that one before.

    Favourite – 16a.

    Thanks and congratulations Silvanus!

  5. What a great day in crosswordland this has turned out to be!
    I did need to check on the writers in this one but have been lucky enough to meet the 4d actor and can confirm that he is every bit as ‘upper-class’ in life as he appears to be on stage.

    Can’t pick a favourite but 11,21 & 25a are definitely in contention.

    Many thanks and congratulations, Silvanus, – hope you’re intending to celebrate with something more than a 14/12a!

  6. Entertaining solve with some very good clues.

    My ticks went to 9A, 25A and 20D.

    Thanks and congrats to Silvanus.

  7. Many thanks for the review, CS, particularly for the pic at 28a!
    I do hope that more people get around to trying this one today, it was so well crafted – as we have come to expect from this setter.

    By the way – I understand that Silvanus is lucky enough to still have his Mum around so I doubt that he’s mistaken about his date of birth, despite his appearance suggesting that he’s younger!

  8. This is the first Silvanus puzzle that I have solved, and the experience was highly enjoyable. I seem to find myself on the setter’s wavelength for some reason. Quite a bonus to find that it celebrates a special anniversary!

  9. This took some getting into but I finished it eventually. Couldn’t parse 19ac or 5dn, and I thought 4dn was more complicated than it actually is. Missed the nina but congratulations of course to Silvanus as well as thanks for the puzzle.

  10. Many thanks to Sue for her review and usual excellent selection of illustrations. I certainly hope that you didn’t mean that I looked older?!

    Thank you to everyone who commented on the puzzle and for your very kind birthday wishes. A while ago I would have brushed it off depressingly as “just another year older”, but when I discovered the milestone’s sudden advantages (free prescriptions, free travel on public transport etc.), it actually began to become quite attractive :-)

    Special thanks also to BD for kindly agreeing to to reserve this particular Saturday NTSPP slot for me. I hope that you will all enjoy tackling my next Toughie on Tuesday.

  11. A whole day late getting on to this as we have been away for the weekend.
    An excellent puzzle that we really enjoyed.
    We totally missed the Nina but congratulations on the achievement.
    Thanks Silvanus.

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