NTSPP – 509 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 509

NTSPP – 509

A Puzzle by Alchemi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Big Dave follows:

A delightful puzzle although the theme was not to my taste


1a Crow I avoid to upset comedy performer (8,4)
VICTORIA WOOD: an anagram (upset) of CROW I AVOID TO gives an a performer whose was allegedly funny, but did not appeal to me

10a Limit risk, ignoring half of island (5)
CAPRI: a verb meaning to limit followed by half of RI[sk]

11a Square – no entry if under construction (5-4)
FORTY-NINE: an anagram (under construction) of NO ENTRY IF

12a Winter sportsman fuelled by drug turns back and shoots again (7)
RETAKES: this winter sportsman performs on the ice rink – put him around (fuelled by) our usual single-letter drug and then reverse everything (turns back)

13a Irritates leaders of English Defence League spotted going back outside (7)
NEEDLES: put the initial letters (leaders) of three words in the clue inside the reversal (going back) of a verb meaning spotted or espied

14a One Show surprisingly saves No 10 (2,4,2,2)
AS SEEN ON TV: an anagram (surprisingly) of SAVES NO TEN (10)

16a God in theory regularly knocked off (4)
THOR: drop (knocked off) every third letter (regularly) from THeORy

19a It’s nonsense to be quiet (4)
TOSH: TO from the clue followed by an exhortation to be quiet

20a A great deal about problem with key missiles (10)
DOODLEBUGS: a colloquial word for a great deal or large number around a problem with a computer program, all preceded by a musical key

22a Drug Parisian who muses? (7)
QUININE: the French (Parisian) for who followed by the number of muses (Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania)

24a Returned book contains three problems in addition (7)
THERETO: the abbreviation for the collection of older books of the bible combined into one volume is reversed (returned) around (contains) an anagram (problems) of THREE

25a Writer knocking back fruit, then beer, going round Australia (5,4)
EMILE ZOLA: the reversal (knocking back) of a fruit and then a beer, the latter going around a two-letter colloquial word for Australia

26a Get in flowing river (5)
TEIGN: an anagram (flowing) of GET IN

27a One Show director is in learned wrangling (12)
DINNERLADIES: D(irector) followed by an anagram (wrangling) of IS IN LEARNED


2d Shellfish not opening applications for incentives (9)
IMPETUSES: drop the initial letter (not opening) from a shellfish that clings to rocks and add some applications

3d Offensive about rustics being heavily-built (8)
THICKSET: a New Year offensive launched by the Vietcong in 1968 around some rustics

4d Breaks top off piles of snow (5)
RIFTS: drop the initial letter (top) from some ples of snow

5d Scottish football club today run it edgily to some extent (3,6)
AYR UNITED: hidden (to some extent) inside the clue

6d Horny ones using axes to split minerals (6)
ORYXES: a pair of graphical axes inside (to split) some minerals

7d Practise downstream (5)
DRILL: D(own) followed by a small stream

8d Iraq cannot use remade One Show (5,8)
ACORN ANTIQUES: an anagram (remade) of IRAQ CANNOT USE

9d Secret investigator put emphasis on turning up cutlery (7,6)
DESSERT SPOONS: a colloquial word for a secret investigator followed by a verb meaning put emphasis on all reversed (turning up)

15d Circle area said to be complete peril for sunbathers (5,4)
OZONE HOLE: the circular letter followed by an area and what sounds like (said to be) a word meaning complete

17d Though strangely hideous, few abandon Dutch woman (9)
HOUSEWIFE: An anagram (strangely) of HI[d]EOUS FEW without (abandon) D(utch)

18d Sad daughter left the plane early (8)
DEJECTED: D(aughter) followed by a verb meaning used a mechanical device to leave a plane early

21d Good time to follow irrational bird (6)
PIGEON: G(ood) and a long period of time follow an irrational number

23d One competed with climbers all round the building (5)
IVIED: I (one) followed by a verb meaning competed

24d Be behind time, deceiving one going north (5)
TRAIL: T(ime) followed by the reversal (going north in a down clue) of someone who deceives

Am I the only one who has never watched any of the three shows?

22 comments on “NTSPP – 509

  1. i thought at first we had a repeat theme, but i notice the on-line header is not on the pdf. Now to try the puzzle …

  2. Great lunchtime fun with a lovely theme – thanks Alchemi.
    I could list lots of ‘likes’ but I’ll just mention 22a, 25a, 3d, 7d and 18d.

  3. Really like the comedy performer but much more as a solo act.
    Top three for me today were 22a plus 3&18d.

    Many thanks for the NTSPP Alchemi.

  4. I tried to complete this without ingestion of any caffeine but it proved a little challenging for that so there was an interval for said substance plus my version of a ‘full Monty.’
    As an expat of many years, I was a little put off by all the references to ‘One Show’ but I think I have correctly decided it refers to BBC 1 not a particular programme on that channel. However, I do have to admit that I needed some electronic assistance to identify the programmes being clued all associated with the 1a performer (so Wikipedia tells me).
    Favourites – 6d and 9d.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  5. Good tribute puzzle; for a brief moment I thought I was going to have to look up One Show personnel.

    I liked 11A, 5D and 17D among others.

    Thanks Alchemi.

  6. Some fine constructions but a TV based theme was never going to float my boat since that’s not even GK as far as I’m concerned
    Sorry it’s not my cup of tea, but thanks anyway Alchemi – the cluing was good as always

  7. We needed some Google help as not familiar with many of the ‘One Show’ references but we did manage to get them all sorted with lots of smiles along the way.
    Thought it was very clever to make it a pangram as well as getting all the themed answers in.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  8. I got this done, and I did enjoy it. However, I had not heard of the comedy performer in 1a, (a good number of British TV shows do make it to this part of the world, but I don’t think any that involved this particular person) and thus all of the references involved quite some searching which became tedious, and almost defeated me in 27a. However, I do agree this was a very nicely clued puzzle, and many thanks, Alchemi.

  9. Great fun with 22a my favourite.

    Shouldn’t the “book” in 24a be “books”?

    Many thanks to Alchemi.

      1. 39 or 46 books contained in one book – but ‘the’ means the 39 or 46, so ‘books’ it is, in my humble opinion (neither mean much to me)
        Don Manley always refers to the OT as books

        1. There isn’t a “the” in the clue.

          I can’t say as Don Manley’s cluing style is one I would care to follow, since I find his puzzles frighteningly boring.

          1. Ah yes, sorry. Fair enough, but it is a book of books rather than chapters – and yes, I agree

  10. After I spotted the theme I thought this was going to be a walk in the park but no! I had to have lots of electronic help (including ‘reveals’ which I think is cheating BTW).

    A curate’s egg for me & I await the review with interest to parse quite a few of my answers. Thank you Alchemi & thank you Reviewer.

  11. Thanks, BD, glad you found it delightful despite not having similar feelings about Ms Wood. The only one of the shows I actually watched was “As Seen on TV” because that was sketches rather than a sitcom, and was therefore nearer to her stand-up which, like Jane, I preferred. I also didn’t watch “Housewife, 49”, a one-off play she did which I decided not to clue as a reference because even those who knew of her and quite liked her had probably forgotten about it.

  12. Certainly share your thoughts about the shows although, as I said previously, I did enjoy her stand-up routines and have to say that ‘Housewife, 49’ was very good.
    Thanks again, Alchemi, for a good NTSPP and thanks to BD(?) for the review. Being a non-mathematical type, I did have to consult Mr G about 11a and the irrational number – no hope for me……….

  13. Definitely a fan of 1a.
    Great memories of the TV series which were both silly and funny IMHO.
    All light entertainment as BAFTA calls it. Just like crosswords.
    Thanks to Alchemi and to BD.

Comments are closed.