NTSPP – 489 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 489

NTSPP – 489

A Puzzle by Jaffa

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.


1 Underground banker, said to be a good timekeeper (9)
METRONOME – A five letter word for an underground railway followed by a homophone (said) of a term for a banker.

6 Exaggerate delivery in court (5)
BOAST – Double definition, the second being a type of shot in a game of squash.

9 Smoke for superstar in bed (7)
CHEROOT – A four letter word for a superstar inside a three letter word for a bed.

10 Material from small Welshman expected to arrive first (7)
TAFFETA – A slang term for a welshman with the final letter removed followed by the initial letters (first) of expected to arrive.  First on its own at the end of the three letters does not really indicate the first letters of all three words.

11 Making a mistake in The Crucibleis an actor being negligent? (8)
MISCUING – A mistake making a shot in snooker (The Crucible being the home of the snooker world championships) could also be an actor getting line wrong.

12 Pay the penalty for an extra (4)
ABYE – The A from the clue (an) followed by a three letter word for an extra run in cricket.

15 Mattress fashioned from reportedly friendly donkey (9)
PALLIASSE – A homophone (reportedly) of pally (friendly) ass (donkey).

18 Craft bounds choppy sea and initially can hold tack (5)
YACHT – The final letter (bounds) of choppy sea and the first letters (initially) of the final three words of the clue.  I think you would needs bounds of to indicate the limits or ends of the two words.

19 Early English contains little reading material for aristocracy (5)
ELITE – The abbreviation for Early English includes (contains) the abbreviation for literature (little reading material).

21 Fancy plasterer and competent golfer? (9)
PARGETTER – A competent golfer would achieve par on each hold in a round of golf.

24 Sailing close to the wind when heading off down (4)
LUFF – Remove the first letter (heading off) from a five letter word for the soft down from cotton.

25 Testing moment when future and present monarchs eat meal with no starter (8)
CRUNCHER – The regnal cipher that would be given to Charles and the regnal cipher for the current queen include (eat) a five letter word for a midday meal without the first letter (with no starter).

29 Roof bloke’s tough in Stepney (7)
MANSARD – A three letter word for a bloke with the ‘s from the clue followed by how a Cockney might say tough or hard.

30 Post parcel containing jersey (7)
MAILLOT – A four letter word for post followed by a three letter word for a parcel of land.

31 Dodgy notary having abandoned a deception attempt (3-2)
TRY-ON – An anagram (dodgy) of NOTARY without (having abandoned) the A.

32 Embarrassed charlady who’s found on merchantman? (3,6)
RED DUSTER – A three letter word for embarrassed followed by a six letter word for a charlady.  As the solution is not a person, the “who’s” might be better as “one”.


1 Eye-watering spice? (4)
MACE – Semi-cryptic definition of a type spice that is also the name of a deterrent spray.

2 Short story about Channel Island is something uplifting (7)
THERMAL – A four letter word for a story with the final letter removed (short) includes a four letter name of one of the Channel Islands.

3 Music makers assembled from former pupils, including leading Old Etonians (5)
OBOES – The abbreviation (pluralised) for former pupils includes the initial letters (leading) of the final two words of the clue.  Leading on its own does not cryptically indicate the initial letters – leaders of would have been better.

4 Exposed biceps in defeats by force (7)
OUTGUNS – A three letter word meaning exposed followed by an informal term for the biceps.

5 Understanding of space-time coupled with energy (7)
ENTENTE – A two letter word for a printer’s space and the abbreviation for time twice (coupled) followed by the abbreviation for energy.

6 Polish well muscled soldier of Kent? (4)
BUFF – Triple definition, the third (in the plural) being used to describe East Kent regiments.

7 Still drink for doctor in charge (7)
ALEMBIC – A there letter word for beer (drink) followed by a two letter abbreviation for a doctor and the abbreviation for in charge.  The for in the clue is out of place and is misleading.

8 Clear path described when government receives shock treatment and right wing take over (10)
TRAJECTORY – A three letter word for the British Government in India and the abbreviation for electro-convulsive shock therapy inside (take over) a four letter word for right wing.  The “and right wing take over” seems very stilted.  Perhaps assimilated by right wing might have been smoother.

13 Drug check enforced by traffic police (5,5)
SPEED LIMIT – A five letter word for a type of drug and a five letter word for a limit.

14 Sound emanating from Kentucky legislature (4)
KYLE – The answer is hidden (emanating from) the final two words of the clue.

16 A fatal day perhaps in ancient Rome that is timeless (4)
IDES – The Latin for “that is” without the T (timeless).

17 Risk assessment includes music (3)
SKA – The answer is hidden (includes) in the first two words of the clue.

20 Modish predilection of childhood (7)
INFANCY – A two letter word meaning modish or stylish followed by a five letter word for a predilection or liking.

21 Spanish holiday accomodation built by men after usual publicity (7)
PARADOR – A three letter word for usual followed by and abbreviation for publicity and the abbreviation for other ranks (men).  Watch for spelling errors in the clues.  Accommodation has two ms.

22 Having executed deed poll meander about (7)
RENAME – An anagram (about) of MEANDER.  I am not sure that the definition is the same as the solution.  A deed poll is legally a deed that is executed only by one person and can be used for a number of purposes.

23 Foodstuff allowed after trial that’s enthralled Arkansas (7)
TARTLET – A three letter word meaning allowed after the abbreviation for time trials around the abbreviation for Arkansas.  

26 Scot’s audible greeting for shaggy Highlander in verse (5)
HAIKU – A terrible homophone (audible) of how a Scot might say Hi COW.

27 Peeled banana used to make bread (4)
NAAN – An anagram (used) of BANANA after removing the outer letters.

28 Agitate porridge served here (4)
STIR – Double definition, the second being a slang word for a penal institution.

15 comments on “NTSPP – 489

  1. Tough here and there but otherwise ok. A couple where I’ll await the parsing with interest!

  2. I still do not know
    Why twenty six down is this
    Can you help me, please?

    Nice puzzle! Thanks Jaffa!

    1. Sounds like Hi Coo (Scottish cow). It’s a bit of a liberty, but the checking letters led easily to the definition (verse).

    2. Sorry about that one. I blame it on having a Scottish wife who used to teach English…

    3. Oh well, no-one seems to have noticed my feeble attempt at a haiku.

      I still do not know
      Why twenty six down is this
      Can you help me, please?

  3. I agree with Encota. The top half definitely a lot harder for me than the bottom, and there are a couple I can’t parse (6a?). Nevertheless, a good workout. Thanks, Jaffa!

    1. Thank you for having a go at it. For 6a the third definition in the BRB refers to the squash shot which is obviously not as well known as I thought it was!

  4. Not a comfortable solve for me but some nice quirky twists. Many thanks Jaffa and Prolixic

  5. There were some great clues, but there were 10 definitions, or parts of the wordplay, that I was not familiar with (the squash shot being one of them). In the end I was beaten by two of them (24a and 32a). This wasn’t really for me, but I’m glad I kept at it. Thanks to Jaffa and Prolixic.

  6. I’m in the same camp as LetterboxRoy and Tony, but I got most of it apart from 6ac, 1dn and 4dn. Should have known 6ac as it cropped up in an Indy puzzle only a few days ago, and should have known 1dn as well. But I have to confess, though that I didn’t know the informal term for the biceps.
    Thanks though, to Jaffa and Prolixic.

  7. Thank you for all your comments and I’m sorry that it wasn’t quite everybody’s cup of tea.
    A special thank you as always to Prolixic for your very detailed and insightful review and the advice given therein.
    Clearly my use of indicators needs a little more attention.
    With 22a I clearly have to bow to your superior legal knowledge. I’m afraid that I, and I suspect many others, didn’t realise that a deed poll has other uses than the one assumed in the clue.
    The spelling mistake is unforgivable. I guess that’s what happens when scientists start having pretensions to be literate or is it just a sign of over reliance on spell checkers?
    If the blog has a “Worst Homophone of the Year Award” can I please nominate 26d for it?
    Thank you once again to all of you and especially BD for making this all possible.

    1. Worst Homophone of the Year Award has already been won by Grub (RC271), but I reckon you’ve secured Silver!

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