NTSPP – 508 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 508

NTSPP – 508

Wonderful World by Chameleon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

As the title suggests, there is a theme but it’s a ghost theme so special knowledge is not required in order to solve the puzzle

A review by Prolixic follows.

Welcome to Chameleon who has crossed the great divide to join the ranks of the NTSPP.


1/23 Jam on continental breakfast device? (6,5)
FRENCH PRESS – A five letter word meaning jam or cram together follows the name of a people across the English Channel.

5 Way of wetting bed which may be banned (8)
HOSEPIPE – A form of ban that applies in periods of drought that prevents the garden being watered.

9 Pictures Chameleon’s developing shortly, having empty evenings (8)
IMAGES – A two letter contraction for I am (Chameleon’s) followed by a five letter word meaning getting older or maturing with the final letter removed (shortly) and the outer letters (empty) of evenings.

10 Man possibly has himself tanned evenly (6)
ISLAND – The even letters in the fourth and fifth words of the clue.

11 How a cruciverbalist might make nowt on holiday (3,2,4)
OUT OF TOWN – A reveres anagram that gives you an indication of how nowt could be formed.

12 A form of geometry briefly made circle round in reflection (4)
TRIG – A four letter word meaning to circle round is reversed (in reflection).

13 EU’s changing positively, in a way that’s convenient (8)
USEFULLY – An anagram (changing) of EUS followed by a five letter word meaning positively.

16 Who once denied Lot is a part of the Bible? (6)
ECCLES – The name of one of the actors who played Dr Who without the TON (denied lot).  Perhaps a bit cheeky not include Dr as the clue is too misleading without it and there is no indication that you need an abbreviation for one off the books of the bible.

17 Coastal breeze said to reach a mountain range (6)
SIERRA – A homophone  (said)of SEA AIR (costal breeze) followed by the A from the clue.

19 Spooner’s to go without celebration? If he gets this, certainly (8)
BACKLASH – A Spoonerism of Lack Bash (to go without celebration).

21 No. 2 recalling some Kate Bush (4)
BETA  A hidden word (some) reversed (recalling) in the final two words of the clue.

22 Humanities subject mixing hype with aggro (9)
GEOGRAPHY – An anagram (mixing) of HYPE AGGRO.

25 Fantastic player benched in exercise class, right? On the contrary (6)
SUPERB – A two letter abbreviation for an exercise class and the abbreviation for right inside a three letter word for a player who sits on the bench.

26 After sporting contest, cycling trick exposed (6,2)
OPENED UP – A four letter word for golfing contest followed by a reversal (cycling) of a four letter word meaning trick.

27 Work with animals in top aviary – not average (8)
BESTIARY – A four letter word meaning top followed by the aviary from the clue without the two letter abbreviation for average.

28 A bunch of Greens ignited flag (6)
ENSIGN – The answer is hidden (a bunch of) in the fourth and fifth words of the clue.


2 European Moor could be a Shakespeare character (5)
ROMEO – An anagram (could by) of E (European) MOOR.

3 Conservative leader is backtracking by 4 – it’s a daily occurence (5)
NIGHT – A five letter word meaning conservative with the initial letter (leader) moved back by four letters.  Watch spelling in the clues.  The final word should be occurrence.

4 Watch part of Nosferatu and feel, ultimately, a pain in the neck (7)
HANDFUL – A four letter word for part of a watch and the final letters (ultimately) of the third, fourth and sixth words of the clue.

5 Dramatic genre of some bloke’s play about king (7)
HISTORY – A three letter pronoun meaning belong to some man followed by a three letter word meaning play around the single letter abbreviation for Rex (king).

6 See 7

7/6 Government study finds dodgy CIA clients breaking the law (9,7)
POLITICAL SCIENCE – An anagram (dodgy) of CIA CLIENTS inside a six letter word for the body of people referred to as the law.

8 Poor Frasier’s brother is overwhelmed by certain females (9)
PENNILESS – The name of Frasier Cranes brother from the TV series inside (overwhelmed) by the name for female swans.

14 Old-school computer – might it read “use only in sedentary position”? (5,4)
SLIDE RULE – An injunction that you should only use an item of playground equipment when seated.

15 A certain lady’s covering pieces in newspaper for Sky (9)
FIRMAMENT – A four letter lady’s name and a three letter word for chess pieces inside the abbreviation for a financial newspaper.  Not sure that I like the repeated use of “some bloke’s”, “certain lady’s”.  The somes and certains could be omitted.

18 A method for solving Elgar cryptic with BA (7)
ALGEBRA – An anagram (cryptic) of ELGAR BA.

19 Toilet contains strange oil – unknown organisms are examined in it (7)
BIOLOGY – A three letter word for toilet includes an anagram (strange) of OIL and is followed by the letter representing an unknown quantity.

20 Train for one who’s late (7)
CORTEGE – Cryptic definition of a funeral procession.

23 See 1 Across

24 Fledgling solver needs guidance at first (5)
YOUNG – A three letter word for the solver followed by the initial letters (at first) of the third and fourth words of clue.

21 comments on “NTSPP – 508

  1. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks Chameleon. The parsing of a couple of clues (3d and 16a) took some thought.
    My top clues were 17a, 25a and 26a.

  2. Welcome to Saturday afternoons Chameleon

    I found this very tricky in places but as a famed non-spotter of themes, ghost or otherwise, I’m pleased to say that I think I’ve spotted this one. I did think of RD as I solved two of the clues! He’ll know which ones!

    Thanks to Chameleon for the crossword and, in advance, to Prolixic for the review

  3. Welcome to the NTSPP slot, Chameleon. This was a fine puzzle, although, as CS has said, it was certainly very tricky in places. Like Gazza, I struggled to parse 16a & 3d. However, unlike Gazza, I am still struggling to parse them!

    Never having watched Frasier, I needed Google to find out the name of his brother, and I’ve never before come across that specific name for the 1/23 device.

    Regarding CS’s observation, I didn’t mind the females in 8d, but I wasn’t keen on the use of “certain”. I did wonder if “long-necked” might have been a more helpful adjective to have used? However, in 15d, the (repeated) use of “certain” doesn’t make the lady in question any less nebulous!

    I’m delighted to see the inventiveness which you showed with your Rookie puzzles continues in evidence here and there was a great deal to enjoy, with 17a, 14d & 19d making it onto my podium.

    Very well done, Chameleon, and thanks very much for the challenge and entertainment.

    1. RD – 16a – the ninth ‘owner’ of a certain blue phone box with a synonym of lot removed (denied) gives an (abbreviated) form of an OT book.

      1. Thanks very much, Senf. I’m kicking myself as I regard the owner of said blue box as one of my specialist subjects. :oops:

  4. Thanks Chameleon
    Good stuff. 4d pretty neat. No idea what’s going on in 3d, though. Hints welcome.

    1. For 3d you have to start with a word for Conservative and ‘backtrack’ the first letter four times.

      1. Crikey. How clever is that?! Thanks a lot, Gazza, and very well done with the decryption!

  5. Nice stuff. I struggled in the SW, but got there in the end. Faves 8, 11, 16, 17.
    Interesting to see the device in 10 used that way. I suppose it must have been done before, but it’s the first time I’ve noticed it. I don’t know why “a certain” is needed in 15…. but maybe it’s to do with the theme (which was fun)? Can’t quite bring all of it to memory.

  6. Very nice Chameleon. And well done Gazza for working out 3d: evil word play and devious definition. Favourites 11a, 12a, 17a, 14d. 16a fiendishly difficult, but fair. All good fun.

  7. I think I’m beginning to get the idea that this one is way beyond me! :sad:
    Will probably try again a bit later . . .
    In the meantime thanks to Chameleon and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  8. Quite tough but enjoyable solve. I particularly liked 11A and 26A.

    The ‘and’ in 4D is a bit distracting I think, and could be replaced with a hyphen to my mind.

    I think I’ve just got 16A – reference to an actor?

  9. Very enjoyable with some head scratching required.
    Favourites – the 1a/23d combo and 8d.
    Thanks Chameleon.

  10. Certainly a challenge for us but we did get there in the end although the parsing for 16a still eludes us. Could be something to do with the Tardis programme that we are not familiar with. We had to Google Frasier’s brother too.
    Lots of chuckles and good fun clues.
    Thanks Chameleon.

  11. Thanks very much to those who have left comments. I’m a bit surprised I haven’t been pulled up on “Who” in 16a. I was being a bit mischievous there as I don’t think much of the old “name of the show, not the character” quibble. The lead actor was credited as Dr Who or Doctor Who for the first 20ish years (as was the actor in question in this clue) and there’s even an episide called Doctor Who and the Silurians. But that’s just me getting my excuses to Prolixic in early!

    Thanks again to those who have solved so far

    1. Who in 16a didn’t bother me in the least. I would suggest that it all depends on how much of a fan, or even a fanatic, of the show an individual is; so, I wonder how Prolixic would classify himself in the respect.

  12. As chance would have it, I took delivery of a new 1/23 this morning so had no problem there. On the other hand, I know next to nothing about either Frasier or the various ‘owners’ of the blue box so those went in on a wing and a prayer.
    17a was my runaway favourite.

    Thanks to Chameleon for the entertainment in his debut NTSPP.

  13. Started well enough but ground to a halt at about 75% complete but then spotted the theme which helped with a few more. Had the answer to 16a fairly early but couldn’t parse it and I was not familiar with the 1/23 device, not being a coffee drinker. Favourites were 17a, 5d and 24d.

    Many thanks for an entertaining puzzle, Chameleon, and thanks in advance to Prolixic for the review.

  14. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, and the explanation of the theme which had passed me by despite staring me in the face!
    It was good of you to show a little sympathy for those of us who don’t avidly follow the various incarnations of the Doctor but you obviously don’t have the same regard for non-Frasier fans!
    Think you may have missed a bit out in your decryption of 9a?

    Thanks again to Chameleon – hope to see you again soon.

  15. Thanks for the review, Prolixic. I’m kicking myself over the mispelling (I don’t know much orthography, clearly). And thanks to everybody who’s given this one a go.

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