NTSPP – 495 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 495

NTSPP – 495

A Puzzle by Starhorse

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A very nice and accessible crossword from Starhorse.


1 College remains crumbling close to Ely (8)
SEMINARY – An anagram (crumbling) of REMAINS followed by the last letter (close to) of Ely.

5 Chance for Grace? (6)
PRAYER – Double definition, the first as in the saying “He hasn’t a ??????” and the second being another word something said before a meal?

10 Annoys comrades, withdrawing half their rights (7)
BOTHERS – An eight letter word for members of a trade union (comrades) with one of the letters R removed (withdrawing half their rights.

11 Run into bar – or several bars? (7)
EXCERPT – The abbreviation for run inside (into) a word for a bar or exclude.

12 Research into vintage is flawed (13)
INVESTIGATION – An anagram (flawed) of INTO VINTAGE IS.

14 Prosecuted over payment that’s deferred (9)
SUSPENDED – A four letter word meaning prosecuted around (over) a five letter word for payment.

16 Manoeuvre large frame (5)
EASEL – A four letter word meaning to manoeuvre something gently followed by the abbreviation for large.

17 Beginning section of Bronte’s novel rejected (5)
ONSET – The answer is hidden (section of) and reversed (rejected) in the fourth and fifth words of the clue.

19 Prepare to get rid of substitute (9)
MAKESHIFT – A four letter word meaning prepare followed by a five letter word meaning get rid of.

22 The basis of 1 across? (8,5)
STARTING POINT – Definition and cryptic definition, 1a being where you start solving the crossword.

25 It split earlier (3-4)
ONE TIME – Split the IT to give I T and substitute words for the corresponding abbreviations.

26 Twisted American writer stabbing fat cat (7)
LEOPARD – The three letter American gothic horror author reversed (twisted) inside (stabbing) a four letter word for fat.

27 Brief seen without son (6)
POTTED – A seven letter word meaning seen without the initial S (without son).

28 Lied about Head’s reluctance to work (8)
IDLENESS – An anagram (about) of LIED followed by a four letter word for a head of land.


1 Proposal of assignment for Nautilus? (10)
SUBMISSION – Split 3, 7 the answer would be an assignment for an underwater craft such as the Nautilus.

2 Swing a cat?  American composer objects … (7)
MOTIVES – Reverse (swing) a three letter word for a male cat and follow with the surname of the American composer Burl ????.

3 … calls for works to be heard (5)
NEEDS – A homophone (to be heard) of kneads (works).

4 Stop briefly, caught in the middle of Cardiff, and reverse (7)
RESCIND – A four letter word meaning stop with the final letter removed (briefly) followed by the IN from the clue and the middle letter of Cardiff.

6 Those not serving as business administrators? (9)
RECEIVERS – Cryptic definition of someone who is not serving at tennis and definition of those appointed to administer a company in financial difficulties.

7 Briefs like yours perhaps? (1-6)
Y-FRONTS – The description of the position of the letter Y in yours.

8 Ceremony suitable for broadcast (4)
RITE – A homophone (for broadcast) of right (suitable).

9 Notice about pain put up (6)`
REGARD – A two letter word meaning about followed by a reversal (put up) of something that is a pain in the tedious sense.

13 Reproduce stipulated bromides (10)
PLATITUDES – An anagram (reproduce) of STIPULATED.

15 Confused text:  “Dare I hand over the accused?” (9)
EXTRADITE – An anagram (confused) of TEXT DARE I.

18 Dubious clan holding American Head of Police (7)
SUSPECT – A four letter word for a clan or group around (holding) a two letter abbreviation for American and the first letter (head) of police.

19 Obsessed with losing small glove (6)
MITTEN – A seven letter meaning obsessed without the initial S (losing small).

20 Inflamed family ran over Duke (7)
KINDLED – A three letter word for family and a three letter word meaning ran or managed around (over – does not really work in a down clue) the abbreviation for duke.

21 Restriction left off at end of incomplete copy (7)
IMITATE – A five letter word for a restriction without the initial L (left off) followed by the AT from the clue and the last letter (end) of incomplete.

23 Planning cut short, nurses working flat out (5)
PRONE – A four letter word meaning planning (being the shortened form of preparation) included (nurses) a two letter word meaning working.

24 Pen shop? (4)
COOP – Double definition of a pen where you might find chickens and a chain of shops.

12 comments on “NTSPP – 495

  1. Enjoyable and not too tricky so perfect for a sticky day – thanks Starhorse.
    My top ticks go to 10a, 25a, 26a and 6d.

  2. As Gazza says, this was a lot of fun and not too tricky except that I can’t fully parse 4d.
    My podium comprises; 25a, 26a, 6d & 7d.
    Many thanks, Starhorse, and in advance to CS.

    1. 4d – look carefully at the first three letters and then the first two words of the clue

      Thanks for the advance thanks, but unless I’ve missed something, Starhorse isn’t a nationally published setter yet, and so the review can be done by Prolixic

      1. D’oh! Thanks CS. I was taking the first word to be the definition.
        And revised thanks in advance to Prolixic.

  3. Perfect for Saturday lunchtime – thank you Starhorse

    Lots to enjoy with some clever d’oh moments. I particularly liked 25a

  4. One of the setters we don’t seem to see very often – but whose puzzles are always warmly welcomed here.
    I had a bit of a tussle with the SW corner but everything else slotted together quite well.

    Favourite for me was 6d with a mention for 24d because I was so slow to get it – although I think it has probably put in an appearance before today.

    Many thanks to Starhorse – really nice to know that you’re still compiling.

  5. A very pleasant puzzle to solve. I stalled a little about two thirds of the way through so, just before tea at Edgbaston, I stopped for the first caffeine of the day and my version of a Full Monty. Suitably refreshed, completed quite quickly.
    Favourite – 26a.
    Thanks to Starhorse and in advance to Prolixic.

  6. Hello, thank you for having a go at this and for the comments.

    No, as CS says, I’m not a national setter (unless you count 3 puzzles for the Arts Society magazine before they changed publisher and decided they didn’t want puzzles any more). To be honest I have no idea how one goes about being one. I suspect my puzzles are a bit on the easy side for the nationals anyway.

    I agree with Jane. I’d be surprised if 24d hasn’t been done before – but I don’t do much solving and if I come up with a bit of an obvious clue I’ll still go with it. I appreciate that for those who solve several puzzles a day some of what I come up with may be a bit chesnutty.

    I haven’t done much compiling in recent months, as I’ve been running a composition competition for a choir I’m involved with, but hope to do more before the end of the year.

  7. Good fun for us on a cold and blustery Sunday morning. For some reason that makes no sense to us now, 6d was our last one in so will go with that for favourite.
    Thanks Starhorse.

  8. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, I’m sure that Starhorse will be delighted to have received only one minor slap on the wrist!

  9. Ah, fair point about 20d.

    I love the idea that the composer in 2d might have been Burl rather than Charles!

  10. I made somewhat heavy weather of the bottom half for no good reason (unless it’s my frazzled brain after the Guardian SPP by Enigmatist!)

    Very entertaining with a number of good clues. I ticked the IT split and the twisted American writer as well as 2D and 7D.

    Thanks Starhorse and Prolixic.

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