NTSPP – 506 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 506

NTSPP – 506

A Puzzle by Shabbo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

It is always nice to see Shabbo appear in the NTSPP slot.  Many thanks to him for a gentle but highly enjoyable crossword.


1 Stranger vetted esoteric retail security (5,9)
STORE DETECTIVE – An anagram (stranger) of VETTED ESOTERIC.

10 Resist return of outcast (5)
REPEL – An reversal (return of) leper (outcast)

11 Seasonal berries for those feeling peckish? (9)
MISTLETOE – The name of the hemiparasitic plant under which people are supposed to kiss (peck) at Christmas time.

12 Act strangely in panic to find overhead cover (4,3)
FLAT CAP – An anagram (strangely – perhaps too close to the anagram indicator in 1a) of ACT inside a four letter word for a panic.

13 Bought it past its sell-by date (7)
EXPIRED – Double definition, the first meaning having died (bought it) and the second meaning past its sell by date.

14 Go back over reason European Community annoyed people originally (5)
RECAP – The first letters (originally) of the fourth to eighth words of the clue.

16 Got rid of stinking rich (9)
OFFLOADED – A three letter word meaning rotten or stinking followed by a six letter word meaning rich.

19 Tense situation – initially flusters wildly (9)
STRESSFUL – An anagram (wildly) of S (situation initially) FLUSTERS.

20 Recall losing a bit of sleep in the heat of the Ashes (5)
EMBER – An eight letter word meaning recall without the abbreviation for rapid eye movement (losing a bit of sleep).

22 Picks a French second row (7)
UNLOCKS – The French masculine singular for A follows by the name give to rugby players in a scrum.

25 Pale ale outside for Peter perhaps (7)
APOSTLE – Another name for an upright fencing post with the ALE from the clue around it.

27 A big fish seen with copper and lawyer on Scottish island (9)
BARRACUDA – A five letter name of a Sottish island followed by the chemical symbol of copper and the abbreviation for district attorney (lawyer).

28 Ocean-going rickety boat (5)
CANOE – An anagram (going rickety) of OCEAN.

29 Experienced politicians bring together tribal leader and Americans (5,9)
ELDER STATESMEN – A five letter word for a tribal leader and a nine letter word for Americans.


2 Noisy performer may be cold with reindeer (3,6)
TAP DANCER – A plumbing fixture that may be cold followed by the name of one of Santa’s reindeer.

3 Fossil found amongst rare lichen (5)
RELIC – The answer is hidden (found amongst) the last two words of the clue.

4 500A certification is impervious of course (4-5)
DAMP-PROOF – The Roman numeral for 500 followed by the expansion of the abbreviation A and a five letter word for certification or evidence.

5 A bit of etiquette (5)
TASTE – Double definition, the first meaning a small sample of something (bit) and the second being another word for polite behaviour (etiquette).

6 Mobile in America is secure place to call home perhaps? (9)
CELLPHONE – A four letter word for secure room and a five letter word meaning to call home.

7 Late start to the season for Bury (5)
INTER – Remove the first letter (late start) from one of the seasons of the year.

8 Completed after the setter turned up and made changes (7)
EMENDED – A five letter word meaning finished after a two letter word for the setter of this crossword reversed (turned up).

9 Partial to quiet joint out east (6)
PREFER – The musical abbreviation for quiet followed by a six letter word for a cannabis joint without one of the Es (out east).

15 Encourage leader to carry minor issue in this? (9)
PUSHCHAIR – A four letter word meaning encourage followed by five letter word for the person who heads a board or committee (leader).

17 Note everyone turned up at short social break down (4,5)
FALL APART – A two letter word for a musical note followed by a three letter word for everyone reversed (turned up – as we have had turned up in 8d, a different reversal indicator would be better) and a five letter word for a social occasion with the final letter removed (short).

18 Start before she goes to the ball? (9)
DEBUTANTE – A five letter word meaning start followed by a four letter prefix meaning before.

19 Straw hair cut very short (7)
STUBBLE – Double definition, the first being the remains of straw and the second a verse short trimmed beard.

21 Staggered that slippery character was overdrawn (6)
REELED – A three letter word for a slippery fish inside a three letter word for being overdrawn (in the ***).

23 Tempted but ruled out (5)
LURED – An anagram (out) of RULED.

24 Searches back to front for accident (5)
SHUNT – A five letter word meaning searches with the last letter moved to the front.

26 No dodgy cars in Wales reportedly (5)
ORCAS – The single letter meaning no or nothing followed by an anagram (dodgy) of CARS.  I don’t like clues where you have wordplay and clue to the definition.

21 comments on “NTSPP – 506

  1. Very enjoyable puzzle with very smooth surfaces throughout – thanks Shabbo.
    I have loads of ticks – I’ll just mention 11a, 13a, 22a, 4d and 21d.

  2. What a perfectly pitched splendid NTSPP – thank you Shabbo – as Gazza says too many ticked clues to mention them all so I’ll just nominate 11a

    Thanks in advance to Prolixic – I’ve got ‘blogger-envy’ again

  3. How nice to see one of our erstwhile Rookies becoming so consistently good in the NTSPP slot.
    I’d like to add 10a plus 2&15d to Gazza’s list of ‘ticks’.

    Many thanks, Shabbo, keep ’em coming!

  4. Great fun, thanks Shabbo! If I had to pick one favourite then I’ll go for 25a. Though 11a is great too … and 7d’s wordplay and surface combined are very neat … and …

    Well done!


  5. Great fun and lots of ticks on my page. Still puzzling over the parsing of 22A, though. Thanks Shabbo!

    1. 22a “second row” in rugby union … the two players that are usually even bigger and taller than the rest of the big tall men in the scrum.

  6. I loved this so thanks to Shabbo – a perfect antidote to getting bitten to bits while gardening!
    I’m fairly sure that my 6d is right but think I’m probably missing something.
    My last answer was 25a – how misleading can anyone get?
    As others have said there were so many brilliant clues it’s difficult to pick out any in particular so I’ll just put them all down – 13, 20 and 25a and 18 and 26d. My favourite was the rickety boat.
    Thanks again to Shabbo and, in advance, to Prolixic.

    1. PS – Nothing to do with this crossword but 11a reminded me of a brilliant clue in an NTSPP a long time ago. It was one of Gazza’s.
      “Looks like Gregory’s after a nibble”
      It’s one of those that really sticks in my memory.

  7. That was great fun.
    Just wondering about 26d. Can the definition be a homophone? Looks to me like double wordplay.
    Favourite is the great charade in 18d.
    Thanks to Shabbo.

    1. I also have a question mark against 26d so will wait to be enlightened later on. Apart from that I thought it was a belter. More please Shabbo!

      1. Hi Both
        The definition element of 26a is indeed a homophone. No doubt Prolixic will advise if he thinks I am taking liberties here!

  8. What a perfect antidote to Saturday’s slog of a back-pager. This excellent NTSPP had great cluing, lovely surfaces and was a lot of fun with far too many ticked clues to tick them all. If you twist my arm for a single favourite, I’ll settle on 11a.

    Many thanks to Shabbo and in advance to Prolixic.

  9. Many thanks to you all for your very kind comments.
    Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
    Time to get on with another puzzle!

  10. I’ll add my congratulations to Shabbo for a thoroughly enjoyable and concisely clued puzzle with some real smile inducing moments.
    11a just pips 15d as my favourite.

  11. What more can one add?
    Well, we must think along similar lines as one clue is very similar to one I’ve just written; in fact my first idea for it was almost identical. To avoid a spoiler I’ll not say any more, but mine will appear (elsewhere) very soon.
    Thanks, Shabbo (and Prolixic).

  12. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. Those repeated indicators are obviously something to watch out for but I was sorry that you didn’t like the construction of 26d – it was one of my favourites!

  13. Many thanks, Prolixic
    I wrote this puzzle some time ago. I think I realised at the time that I was perhaps riding roughshod over the Ximenean rules with the homophone in the definition of 26a, but I couldn’t resist it!
    The duplication of reverse indicators and anagram indicators in 1a/12a and 8d/17d now look obvious and it is definitely something that I will look out for in future.
    Thank you to everyone for your help and encouragement, not least BD for providing the platform for us rookies to dive into the great unknown!

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