NTSPP – 488 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 488

NTSPP – 488

A Puzzle by Dill

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Proxlic follows.

Dill shows us her skills as a setter with a gentle and engaging crossword.


1 Current division of pupils (6)
STREAM – Double definition of flowing water (current) and a division of pupils in a school.

4 Hugs from supporters following teams regularly (8)
EMBRACES – a five letter word for structural supports after (following) the even letters (regularly) in teams.

9 Spy master not really looking friendly (6)
SMILEY – Double definition of the spymaster in the John Le Carre novels and a word meaning looking friendly.

10 Brunette ex-PM pursues fanatic (3-5)
NUT-BROWN – The surname of the ex-Labour PM who succeeded Tony Blair after (pursues) a three letter word for a fanatic.

12 Reconfigure a frenetic connection (9)
INTERFACE – An anagram (reconfigure) of A FRENETIC.

13 Motivation to plunge into river? On the contrary (5)
DRIVE – The abbreviation for river inside a four letter word meaning motivation.

14 Skilled in husbandry, she grew out of being madly into orgasm (10)
AGRONOMIST – An anagram (madly) of INTO ORGASM.

16 Man, perhaps, stuck in this lesson (4)
ISLE – The answer is hidden (stuck in) in the final two words of the clue.

18 Crew member used to hoist flag (4)
JACK – Triple definition of a sailor, a tool used to raise or hoist things and a flag.

20 Wild cat that inspires males to form emotional bond (10)
ATTACHMENT – An anagram (wild) of CAT THAT includes a three letter word for males.

23 Vessel contains Asian noodles over eggrolls for starters (5)
CANOE – The initial letters (for starters) of the second to sixth words of the clue.

24 Poise of business representative certain about love (9)
COMPOSURE – The abbreviations for company (business) and a politician (representative) with a four letter word meaning certain all around the letter representing nothing or love.

26 Worshipper‘s commitment vow supposedly expressed afterwards (8)
IDOLATOR – A commitment vow (1, 2) (that has never formed part of the marriage service hence the supposedly) followed by a homophone (expressed) of a later (afterwards).

27 Strategy swaps syllables for signing on course (6)
TICTAC – A six letter word for strategy had the two syllables forming the word exchanged.

28 Dodgy dealers pocket 1000 jewels (8)
EMERALDS – An anagram (dodgy) of DEALERS includes (pocket) the Roman numeral for 1000.  Perhaps pocketing might have smoothed the cryptic reading of the clue.

29 Heartlessly disinterested in condition of nerves (6)
NEURAL  -A seven letter word meaning disinterred without the middle letters (heartlessly).


1 American tucks into his processed oriental food (5)
SUSHI – A two letter abbreviation for American inside (tucks into) an anagram (processed) of HIS.

2 Party list one enrolled in (7)
ROISTER – A six letter word for a list or rota includes (enrolled in) the letter representing one.

3 Deviant 18, Queen, King and soldier (8)
ABERRANT – A two abbreviation for a sailor (from the solution to 18a) followed a two letter abbreviation for the current queen, a single letter abbreviation for king and a three letter word for a worker insect.

5 Doctor employment for retiring person (5)
MOUSE – A two letter word for a doctor followed by a three letter word for employment.

6 Further offers from recycled debris (6)
REBIDS – An anagram (recycled) of DEBRIS.

7 Sweet treats made by chef – over 6 to 8 pastries! (7)
COOKIES – A four letter word for a cook followed by the sixth to eighth letters of pastries.

8 Most open because on holiday (9)
SINCEREST – A five letter word meaning because over (on) a four letter word for a holiday.

11 2 animals, possibly domesticated, mount another that’s probably not (6)
MARMOT – A three letter word for a male cat and a three letter word for a male sheep all reversed (mounted)

14 Modern day dance includes shock treatment to be a qualifier (9)
ADJECTIVE – A two letter word for the modern day followed by a four letter word for an energetic type of dance around the abbreviation for electroconvulsive shock therapy.

15 Setter’s after fake, soft leather (6)
SHAMMY – A two letter word meaning the setter’s after a four letter word meaning fake.

17 Pool disinfectant made from Spooner’s natural wash (8)
CHLORINE – A Spoonerism of raw (natural) clean (wash).

19 Comfort prisoner all on his own (7)
CONSOLE – A three letter word for a prisoner followed by a four letter word meaning all on his own.

21 Peer and conservative, both endlessly representing North-South divide (7)
EQUATOR – The words equal (peer) and tory (conservative) each with the final letter removed.

22 Articles support Buddhist ladies’ quarters (6)
ZENANA – Two indefinite articles after (support) a three letter word for Buddhist.

24 Gloom when 17 symbolically upset couple (5)
CLOUD – The chemical symbol for the answer to 17d followed by a reversal (upset) of a three letter word for a couple.

25 Outperform very big label on the radio (5)
EXCEL – A homophone (on the radio) of XL (a label size for very big).


15 comments on “NTSPP – 488

  1. Fairly gentle and enjoyable – thanks Dill.
    The clues I liked best were 18a and 21d.

  2. Thanks Dill, I do like a NTSPP that I can solve before the first caffeine of the day!

    Candidates for favourite – 27a, 3d, and 21d.

  3. Not too tricky and lots to enjoy – much like the last submission on Alberich’s site which I also enjoyed. I did see some synonyms that would have upped the difficulty, but not at all necessary.

    Thanks Dill, keep up the good work!

  4. I don’t think I have ever done a NTSPP before. Today I went on the blog to try to recover a comment on yesterday’s Toughie that I started making but I got interrupted by events. This meant I noticed the NTSPP which I usually miss as I don’t really use the blog on a non-toughie day. I printed it off as a back up in case the Saturday Telegraph puzzle proved easy which subsequently turned out to be the case.

    This puzzle proved to be gentle but with some really good clues (especially the two mentioned by Gazza; 21d being my last one in). 14a is a good one that perhaps would not get past the Telegraph editor.

    Since Gazza made a comment a few days ago that Paul in the Guardian is actually Dada with his teeth in, I have printed off his most recent puzzle and will give it a go should it rain this afternoon. If it does not rain then, oddly enough, I have some small dill plants to put in the garden. Unfortunately dill does not grow well in my garden!

    Lots of thanks to Dill for an enjoyable puzzle

  5. An enjoyable Sunday morning solve for us.
    Our favourite is the triple definition 18a.
    Thanks Dill.

  6. A most enjoyable solve! And, if I’m not mistaken, it’s a pangram. Well done Dill. Like the 2Kiwis, my fave was the triple definition 18a. Big thanks to you, Dill.

  7. Very enjoyable indeed. I failed to spot the pangram, alas. Agree with the consensus on 21d, and I found the “probably” amusing in 11d too.

  8. Thanks to all of you for your comments-I’m pleased you enjoyed the puzzle-and to Prolixic for his thorough review

    Catnap is right, it is a pangram and there are also 12 theme words in there. Makes no difference to the solve, however, so not worth wasting your Sunday morning looking for them!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    1. You’ve got me there, I can only find ten. Thanks again for the entertainment.

      1. Just so you can sleep well tonight..

        Stream, interface,mouse,drive,cookies,smiley,jack, attachment,console,cloud,excel, neural

        Thanks again for your comments and I was particularly chuffed that you checked me out on Alberich’s site

          1. I can’t actually explain neural PC technology- you will need to ask a grown-up like BD. I was pleased with jack, however, as it goes from a triple def to a themed fourth. Anyhow, butterfly glory moment over, i will go and do the washing up

        1. Many thanks for that, Dill. My feline curiosity was awakened and a further look was worth it. I also had ten — didn’t have jack (which I didn’t know) or smiley (which I really should have got!). Once again, very well done for a really lovely puzzle.

          And very many thanks to Prolixic for the excellent review.

  9. Very enjoyable, Dill. Many thanks.

    I will now tackle Dean Mayer in the other paper, after a Father’s Day sharpener at the rugby club!

  10. Nice puzzle, thanks Dill. I was particularly satisfied that the element in 17 also has the atomic number 17. Was that deliberate?

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