NTSPP – 486 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 486

NTSPP – 486

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Another Saturday afternoon treat from Prolixic – I did notice, when drafting the review, that he’s kindly given us the chance to learn lots of different meanings for the abbreviation A.


1a Remark on one leaving French resort (6)
MENTON Take a verb meaning to remark on and remove the I (one leaving). I’d be interested to know whether writing this clue towards the end of November last year influenced the recent holiday destination of Mr and Mrs P or whether booking the holiday inspired the clue?

4a Leaving guttering (5,3)
GOING OUT Double definition the ‘guttering’ referring to something that happens to a candle

10a Knackered form reviewed… (9)
CASTRATED The definition isn’t a slang word meaning worn out but something that might make many a male of whatever species wince. Another word for form (4) followed another way of saying reviewed

11a … use of punctuation mark (5)
POINT The use of something or a small punctuation mark

12a Region around a large Southern body of water (4,3)
ARAL SEA Put a synonym for region round A (from the clue) and the abbreviations for Large and Southern

13a Arrest professional killer with tool (4,3)
NAIL GUN Informal ways of saying arrest and a professional killer

14a Encourage British consumers to get Whiskers? (3-7)
EGG-BEATERS A verb meaning to encourage, the abbreviation for British and some consumers

15a Answer question about water (4)
AQUA The abbreviations for answer, question and about

18a Hard to please medical group (4)
NICE There is a long list of definitions for this solution in the BRB, one of which is indeed ‘hard to please’. The abbreviation for the medical group is usually seen capitalised – the ‘hard to please’ description could also apply to their decisions on availability of particular medicines

19a Adult next to Welsh lady embraces evil Ethiopian (10)
ABYSSINIAN The abbreviation for Adult, another way of saying next to and a Welsh female name into which is inserted (embraces) a three-letter synonym for evil

22a Instruction came about producing these accounts (7)
INTERIM One of those pesky compound anagram clues – an anagram (about) of INSTRUCTION CAME produces both the solution and ACCOUNTS

24a Unhappily with Kansas statesman (7)
ALASKAN An interjection expressing grief (unhappily) with the abbreviation for the State of Kansas produces someone from another US state

25a Open about rover ticket – just the opposite (5)
OVERT Lurking in rOVER Ticket

26a Wipe out English air cadet on manoeuvres (9)
ERADICATE The abbreviation for English followed by an anagram (on manoeuvres) of AIR CADET

27a Opposing players bring over coffee (8)
ESPRESSO Abbreviations for two of the opposing players in a game of bridge, another way of saying bring in the sense of bring charges) and the abbreviation for Over in cricket scoring

28a In the future ID maybe expanded (3,3)
ONE DAY Expand the I to get the full word for the number this can represent and then add the word that has been abbreviated here to D


1d French lady holds a bow up creating ornamental work (7)
MACRAME An abbreviated French lady ‘holds’ A (from the clue) and a reversal (up in a Down clue) of a bow

2d Sentimental volunteers taking part in tumultuous closing (9)
NOSTALGIC The abbreviation for the old Army volunteers inserted into (taking part in) an anagram (tumultuous) of closing

3d More than one monstrous woman gets on with abolishing voting system (8)
OGRESSES Remove (abolishing) the two-letter abbreviation for a particular voting system from another way of saying gets on with

5d Sailor who, when shrunk, becomes very big as well (8,6)
ORDINARY SEAMAN The abbreviation for this solution (when shrunk) can also used on the label of some very big clothing

6d Napoleon’s family serviette (6)
NAPKIN An abbreviated way of referring to Napoleon followed by a synonym for family

7d Outstanding victory in the midst of self-inflicted disadvantage (5)
OWING Another word for victory inserted into the middle of an abbreviation for a self-inflicted disadvantage, one that doesn’t go down well with a football manager!

8d Is it not colloquially raised about absent queen (7)
TITANIA A reversal (raised) of a less formal way of saying is it not followed by the abbreviation for Absent

9d These aircraft when deployed create breathless tomb (7,7)
STEALTH BOMBERS An anagram (when deployed) of BREATHLESS TOMB

16d Living dead surrounding hospital in dangerous territory (9)
QUICKSAND An archaic way of saying living and the abbreviation for Dead ‘surrounding’ an old informal abbreviation for a type of hospital

17d King Edward leaves releasing drink (8)
LIBATION Remove the regnal cipher of King Edward from another way of saying releasing or setting free

18d Offensive mantra interrupts din (7)
NOISOME A sacred syllable (mantra) ‘interrupts’ a din

20d Theatre director’s glad when rebel leaves enclosed order (7)
NUNNERY The surname of Trevor the theatre director followed by a synonym for glad without the informal way we refer to Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary (rebel leaves)

21d Put pen to paper about Henry feeling acute embarrassment (6)
WRITHE A way of saying put pen to paper goes about the abbreviation for Henry, the SI Unit of Inductance

23d Silly person‘s almost quaint way of speaking (5)
TWERP Almost all of a word meaning quaint followed by the two-letter abbreviation for a particular way of speaking

15 comments on “NTSPP – 486

  1. A very enjoyable and not too challenging puzzle. Many thanks, P.

    Spelling 19a incorrectly at first didn’t help!

    The SW corner held me up for a while and I still can’t parse 22a.

    1. 22a is one of ‘those’ clues – although it might help you to know that the first word of the clue should be in the singular rather than the plural (I have a feeling this may be corrected shortly ;) )

      1. Now changed – I don’t know how I missed it when I checked the puzzle. If you still get the old version, try clearing the cache.

  2. Good Derby Day crossword, although I can’t see any runners and riders.

    I should have got 18a straight away but in fact it was my LOI.

    I particularly liked 27A, 28A, 2D and 9D.

    I believe there is some other sporting event on this evening …

  3. This came as a welcome break from my battle with the Radler fiend!
    A long pause for thought over the parsing of 22a which turned out to be an example of one of my bêtes noires and also to shrink the 5d sailor sufficiently to answer the question. Those apart, it was just the synonym for ‘glad’ in 20d that tried to evade me.

    My favourite was probably the whiskered consumers in 14a.

    Thanks to Prolixic for another very enjoyable puzzle.

  4. Really good fun. Our longest hold up was 18a as new to us and had to do some investigating.
    Thanks Prolixic.

  5. I’m really going to try to tackle this tomorrow. Mr. Expat is in a rehab facility after surgery following a fall that broke his hip (not to mention the broken elbow four months ago) so my crossword time has been severely curtailed of late. I do miss you all.

  6. I did complete the puzzle, though parsing of 18A evaded me. 10A made me smile. Thanks Prolixic and CS.

    1. Nice to ‘see’ you again, Chris – I wondered where you’d got to recently.
      Wishing Mr Expat a speedy recovery – take care that you don’t trip over his crutches when he returns home!

  7. Many thanks for the review, CS. Just one question – wouldn’t the clue for 21d have been better with ‘feel’ rather than ‘feeling’ and the surface read adjusted accordingly?

  8. I enjoyed this very much, but 18a evaded me as well. Many thanks to Prolixic and crypticsue.

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