NTSPP – 507 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 507

NTSPP – 507

York S&B 2019 by Elgar

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

This puzzle was distributed, as an alphabetical jigsaw, at the S&B meeting in York on Saturday 26th October.

It is important to bear that in mind while solving that this puzzle is intended for attendees at the above meeting.


Bars (four of them, two overlapping) must be entered in the grid to complete the puzzle; to make room for them, the wordplay in each clue ignores one letter from the full answer

I will admit that when I saw the words ‘alphabetical jigsaw’ my heart did sink and I uttered a word unbecoming to a lady of my mature years, so I was delighted to discover that the blog version of this crossword was an ‘ordinary’ crossword, if ever such a word could be applied to an Elgar production.

Fortunately, when I visited York back in March, I did walk all the way around the city walls (a very nice way to achieve the day’s required 10,000 steps and all before 11 am) and so knew what sort of bar was required to complete the perimeter of the grid

At the top of the grid we have MONK bar


8a Comparatively “catty” canine will cut it here in Germany (8)
BITCHIER The abbreviation for a canine tooth goes between IT (from the clue) and the German word for here

9a Uncontrolled radio has these limits (6)
RANDOM The ‘limits’ of RadiO are x xxx x

10a Right about sea creature being dangerous! (4)
ORCA The abbreviations for Right and the Latin term for about

11a Is now out presumably to absorb ship’s revelry (10)
WASSAILING If someone is now out, you might say someone xxx xx – insert (to absorb) a term for a ship

12a Spoiling it all and excising a Roman tongue (3,5)
OLD LATIN An anagram (spoiling) of IT ALL aND (excising a telling you not to include one of the As in the anagram fodder

13a Going out, ambassador has to dress to the left (6)
HEGIRA This going out was originally the exodus of Mohammed from Mecca in 622 AD, and can now be used to refer to any exodus. The abbreviation for His Excellency the Ambassador, and a verb meaning to dress reversed (to the left)

15a With twirling hand, I wave (7)
TSUNAMI Twirling tells you to reverse a word meaning hand and then add I from the clue

17a Extremely grey Australian woman’s keeping independent (7)
ASHIEST The abbreviation for Australian, a way of saying the woman’s ‘keeping’ the abbreviation for Independent

20a Abnormally dry – so seek these out? (6)
HYDROS An informal term for a place where one might go to ‘take the waters’ (if abnormally dry) is an anagram (abnormally) of DRY SO

22a Month following a third awfully bad experience (4,4)
HARD TIME The abbreviation for Month follows an anagram (awfully) of A THIRD

24a Protestant fitting in to seize gold medal position (10)
ANABAPTIST A synonym for fitting goes inside an informal verb meaning to seize, the result finished off with the position you’d be in if you’d got the gold medal in a race

26a Turn left because of long river (4)
NILE Reverse (turn) the abbreviation for Left and a preposition meaning because of

27a Lining American pockets care of Academy (6)
MUCOSA A type of membrane (lining) One of the abbreviations for American ‘pockets’ the abbreviation for care of, the result being finished with another abbreviation, this time for Academy

28a Former writer carrying forward index (8)
EXPONENT A mathematical index – The two letters meaning former, a ‘writer’ ‘carrying’ a two-letter word meaning forward

The second bar (working clockwise round the grid) is WALMGATE



The first bar in an anticlockwise direction round the grid (starting at the top left) is BOOTHAM

1d Badly governs places like Britain (including Rugby) (8)
MISRULES Countries like Britain ‘including’ the abbreviation for Rugby Union

2d Dotty cleaner running round on board cruiser? (5,5)
OCEAN LINER An anagram (dotty) of CLEANER ‘running’ round a way of saying on board

3d Plonker with its ringing (6)
NITWIT Two lots of IT (its plural) ‘ringing’ the abbreviation for With

4d National splitting hairs about Hindu deity (7)
KRISHNA The abbreviation for National ‘splitting’ an anagram (about) of HAIRS

5d Bananas Theresa twists together (8)
WREATHES An anagram (bananas) of THERESA

6d Zero dye (4)
ANIL Another way of saying zero

7a From whom one might borrow expert to pen article (6)
LOANER An informal term for an enthusiast (expert) ‘pens’ an indefinite article

14d Good to eavesdrop, with light reflection (10)
GLISTENING The abbreviation for Good and another way of saying eavesdrop

16d Resolving impasse, say – though not competently? (8)
MISSPEAK An anagram (resolving) of IMPASSE

18d See in “Roman” city of France elevated remains from mill (8)
SEMOLINA The leftover particles after durum wheat has been ground into flour (remains from mill) – An archaic interjection meaning look (see) inserted into the French city apparently dubbed the most Roman city outside Italy

19d Confess to contract (7)
SHRIVEL A verb meaning to confess

21d Latin American coming adrift in North Quay (6)
YANQUI An anagram (coming adrift) of N QUAY gives us the Latin American term for someone from North America

23d Enter corrected text in entirety, possibly? (6)
RETYPE Lurking in entiRETY Possibly – an initial moment of confusion until I remembered that we need an ‘ignored’ letter at the end

25d Picasso’s father deserting country group (4)
BLOC Remove (deserting) the informal term for father from Senor Picasso’s Christian name

The final bar which shares a letter with the previous one is MICKLEGATE


Thank very much indeed to Elgar (a) for reminding me of a lovely visit to your fair city (b) making the blog version of this crossword an ‘ordinary’ puzzle (I really don’t like alphabetical jigsaw crosswords) and (c) being reasonably kind to solvers in whichever version they tried.

Oh… and Happy Birthday xxx

9 comments on “NTSPP – 507

  1. Just back from the S&B (couldn’t stay longer, had to get back for my other half’s birthday wingding). Top do, with loads of terrific folk. John as usual a tremendous host, and this puzzle he supplied was a brain stretcher, but with the expert help of Dutch and Beery Hiker, the reveal at the end was very satisfying. Top notch stuff, and a whole bunch of fun.

  2. Although the review is all ready to go, I am wondering whether people saw the words ‘Elgar’ and ‘Alphabetical Jigsaw’ and may have been deterred from having a go at this crossword. The blog version is an ‘ordinary’ crossword and, if you know your York, or can ask Mr Google, you should definitely have a go.

    I’ll post the review later so that people can give it a try before resorting to the hints

      1. I thought that might be the case for many people.

        I’ve posted the review because I have non crosswordy things to do this afternoon, but there’s nothing to stop people having a try before they resort to the hints

  3. Being a lad from Burnholme I found this a real joy & made me feel quite nostalgic for my roots. Thank you Elgar & thank you CS.

  4. Thank you for the review, CS. I did try this one and got 6 on the right hand side but more from lucky guesswork than anything else. I didn’t know the ‘bars’ – thought we were looking for the various public houses visited by those attending the York meeting! – and got completely lost with the unknowns and the missing letters.
    Ah well – I didn’t have any expectations of getting far with an Elgar.

  5. My magic York tea mug came to the rescue as the 4 bars where right in front of me.
    Once I noticed that the letters were on the outside, it did help tremendously.
    Always expect a bit of Latin in our master’s crosswords and wasn’t disappointed.
    8a made me laugh although I tried toothier for a while.
    19d was very clever.
    And it wasn’t the only one.
    Thanks to Elgar for such a great solving experience and to CS for the review which I am going to read right now.

  6. Solved this as a joint effort with help from Mrs K, and it certainly took a lot of concentration. Had to look up the meanings of 13a and 21d and didn’t begin to see the ‘bars’ until the grid was about two thirds complete. Favourites were 8a, 9a and 1d.

    I hope those that attended the event enjoyed themselves – York is such a beautiful city and somewhere I must revisit sooner rather than later.

    Many thanks to Elgar for the puzzle and to Sue for the review.

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