NTSPP – 511 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 511

NTSPP – 511

A Puzzle by Gazza

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A quick review as I have been in and out all day.


9 Sir Sean’s off target; the butts are down here (7)
ASHTRAY – How Sean Connery might say astray (off target).

10 Wed, being the middle one of five (7)
WEEKDAY – Wed is the abbreviation for one of five of these 24 hour periods.

11 Go live, don’t mess it up! (5,2)
LEAVE BE – A five letter word meaning go followed by a two letter word meaning live.

12 The French screw up American retrospective – that’s bizarre (7)
SURREAL – A reversal (retrospective) of the French feminine form of “the, a three letter word meaning screw up or go astray and a two letter abbreviation for American.

13 Bored head‘s regular selection of stories lambasted (9)
TREPANNED – The even letters (regular selection) of stories followed by a six letter word meaning lambasted.

15 Women shortly coming round to have a turn (5)
SWOON – The abbreviation for women with a four letter word meaning shortly around it.

16 Fluffy child’s toy that’s convertible (4,3)
SOFT TOP – A four letter word meaning fluffy followed by a three letter word for a trip of child’s toy.

19 Itinerant old band member (7)
DRIFTER – How one member of a band who’s songs include Save The Last Dance For Me and Your More Than a Number in my Little Red Book might be referred to.

20 Discovery of Viagra instantly revealed lots of oats ready to be sown? (5)
GRAIN – The answer is hidden (dis-covered) in the third and fourth words of the clue.

21 Sterilise empty fridge impounded by police officers in court (9)
DISINFECT – The outer letters (empty) of fridge inside (impounded by) a three letter abbreviation (in the plural) for Detective Inspectors (police), the IN from the clue and the abbreviation for court.

25 Looks up relative by name (5,2)
CALLS ON – A three letter word for a male relative after (by) a four letter word meaning name.

26 Nurtured predator’s pride in daughter? On the contrary (4,3)
LION CUB – Another word a daughter in a pride of lions.

28 The Bradford scaffolder set off (7)
TRIGGER – How someone from Bradford might say the word “the” followed by another word for a scaffolder.

29 Mother tiger mauled French investigator (7)
MAIGRET – A two letter word for a mother followed by an anagram (mauled) of TIGER.


1 Old time dance comes first in poll (6)
BALLOT – The abbreviations for old and time after a four letter word for dance.

2 Group of notes is irritating to the ear (6)
PHRASE – A homophone (to the ear) of frays (is irritating).

3 UK Party leader’s no saint ruling out dealing with press (4)
URGE – The name of the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party without the initial abbreviation for saint and the final two letters mean about or dealing with.

4 Opponents block in very tricky legendary winger (6)
WYVERN – Two opposing bridge players include (block in) an anagram (tricky) of VERY.

5 Couple sympathised … (continued overleaf) (3-5)
TWO-SIDED – Another word for a couple followed by a a five letter word meaning sympathised.

6 Black dog bowl (10)
DEPRESSION – Double definition.

7 Director’s parting, say, due to deviously being sidelined (5,3)
EDGED OUT – The abbreviation for director inside (parting) the abbreviation for say followed by an anagram (deviously) of DUE TO.

8 Viewer joins row over dancer’s latest make-up (8)
EYELINER – A three letter organ of sight (viewer) followed a four letter word for row or queue and the final letter (latest) of dancer.

14 After beginning to play learned to behave appropriately (3,4,3)
ACT ONE’S AGE – A phrase (3,3) for the opening of a play followed a four letter word meaning wise or learned.

16 Epic story covering, for instance, Paris’s judgement (8)
SAGACITY – A four letter word for an epic story followed by the type of conurbation of which Paris is an example.

17 FA rule violated in Hamburg miss (8)
FRAULEIN – An anagram (violated) of FA RULE followed by the IN from the clue.

18 Nit-picking journalist taken in by wheeze on railway (8)
PEDANTRY – The abbreviation for editor (journalist) inside (take in in by) a four letter word meaning wheeze or breath heavily followed by the abbreviation for railway.

22 Setter’s unfortunately regurgitated spicy food (6)
SALAMI – A two letter abbreviation for I AM (setter’s) and a four letter word meaning unfortunately all reversed (regurgitated).

23 Another chance to see Space Corps broadcast (6)
ENCORE – A two letter word for a printer’s space followed by a homophone (broadcast) of CORPS.

24 Late individual review appearing in Times disheartened a lot (2,4)
TO BITS – The abbreviation for obituary (late individual review) inside the plural of the abbreviation for time (Times).

27 Pair of cricketers welcoming greeting in US state (4)
OHIO – The cricketing abbreviation for a pair (of ducks) includes (welcomes) a two letter word for a greeting.


28 comments on “NTSPP – 511

  1. Thanks Gazza, very enjoyable as always. I did have to do one ‘Reveal’ for confirmation of a letter in the NW – Sir Sean was proving a little tricky. A couple of parsings elude me but the answers have to be what I have written in.
    Best clues – 4d, 7d, 23d, and 24d.
    Thanks again and thanks in advance to tomorrow’s reviewer – I get confused over who it will be.

    1. If a setter is one whose crosswords appear in a published newspaper then I review them as Prolixic follows the convention that nationally published setters do not review or comment on the crosswords of other nationally published setters

      Gazza’s crosswords only appear on BD’s blog so Prolixic will be providing this week’s NTSPP review

  2. Many thanks Gazza – a perfect puzzle for a driech day in The Vale of Belvoir.

    I’ve run out of puzzles so I’ve had to resort to printing off the Saturday FT prize puzzles going back to April. I know, it’s sad & I probably need to get out more.

  3. Very entertaining; thanks Gazza.

    I got a bit stuck for a while in the NW corner. I particularly liked 10A, 13A, 3D, 14D & 24D.

  4. A few of those ‘got me going’ for a while but what an enjoyable tussle it was.
    Favourites are hard to pick but, if pushed, I’ll opt for 11,15&16a plus 23&24d.

    Many thanks, Gazza, that was great fun.

  5. Really enjoyed this Gazza. Managed to print it out to solve while on holiday here in Amsterdam. It’s far too cold to be walking around so I took an executive decision to establish myself in a bar with a couple of dark ( and rather strong) beers. A perfect afternoon!

  6. Well that brightened up a dull and damp early evening in South Devon. Lot’s of nice penny drop moments, I particularly liked the amusing 28a (one John Bee will appreciate I’m sure), the great lurker 20a and 13a (I knew my engineering apprenticeship would eventually come in useful), but my favourite was 4d, the surface of which was a work of art!
    Many thanks Gazza

  7. Did indeed love 28a 12a was a fave too and 9a came in a flash. Not quite finished yet but will persevere for a bit

  8. The “Oh Goodie” we said when we saw the setter’s name was fully justified when we started solving. Our last answer to put in was 3d and then we had to do bit of extra thinking to understand the parsing for 26a.
    Excellent fun from start to finish and so many ticks we won’t even start to pick a favourite.
    Thanks Gazza..

  9. I always love Gazza’s NTSPP’s and look forward to them for weeks and weeks!
    I nearly managed to make myself keep this until tomorrow, but failed! :sad;
    It’s taken me quite a long time and I still can’t do the intersecting 26a (have an idea but can’t justify it) and 24d – they will probably drive me mad so I hope you all feel sorry for my poor husband!
    13a isn’t just to do with the head – in A&E they did it to my nails when my sister had slammed my fingers in a car door – I was eighteen and she didn’t do it on purpose! :sad:
    I thought the whole of the top left corner was amazing plus lots of the rest of it too.
    Back tomorrow when I’ve decided which ones deserve a mention – probably most!
    With thanks to Gazza for such a good crossword, and in advance, to CS for the review tomorrow.
    Off for supper, wine and dancing now . . . . :smile:

  10. I started this very late having been very busy today, and I have delayed posting until now while grappling with the parsing of 26a. I am certain of the definition and the answer but the wordplay remains a mystery.

    Gazza’s puzzles are always a joy – challenging, devious, clever, humorous and rewarding with super smooth surfaces. I wouldn’t know where to begin trying to pick a favourite from such a splendid selection but I must mention 16d for its impeccable surface.

    Many thanks Gazza and in advance to Prolixic.

    1. fully concur with 16d, my favourite by far. Great stuff, Gazza. 26a took me a while (well the whole puzzle did) but i think on the contrary refers to the previous 3 words.

      1. Re 26a, I got the logic but I couldn’t see beyond trying to put a D(aughter) inside a synonym for pride. The penny has now finally dropped – that’s what a good night’s sleep does for you!

  11. Superb stuff as always, a real joy to solve.

    I found the top half of the puzzle much less straightforward than the bottom half.

    My personal pick of an excellent crop comprises 13a, 6d, 14d and 22d.

    Many thanks indeed, Gazza.

  12. Nice one Gazza!

    My favourites: The Connery-ism and t’Bradford one!

    The pair of cricketers came third.

  13. I can only add to the many positive comments above. Great fun throughout with ticks for 9a, 10a, 28a, 4d, 6d & 16d.
    Like others, it took me a while to parse 26a, but think I am have got it now.
    Many thanks, Gazza. Please keep them coming!

  14. Thanks prolixic for a great review of a great puzzle, reminding me I also enjoyed 2d and congratulated myself for remembering 4d. For 24d, I parsed Times disheartened as TS, leaving “a lot” as the definition, as in “I loved her a lot”.

  15. As I’ve already said, I loved this crossword – thanks to Prolixic for the review.
    I know that I’m being really dim here but I still don’t get 26a – the answer is what I was trying to justify all day but I don’t understand it.
    I don’t think I’d ever have got 24d.
    I don’t care – I had a lovely time with Gazza’s crossword yesterday so thanks again to him, and to Prolixic for the review and for putting me out of misery with the answers that I wasn’t smart enough to sort out ‘all my own self’.

  16. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. Gave me chance to enjoy this one over again.
    Excellent work, Gazza :good:

  17. Many thanks to all who commented and especially to Prolixic for the write-up. I am quite chuffed that 19 of the 30 clues were identified as worthy of mention amongst those who commented.
    My intended way of parsing 24d was as dutch has pointed out in comment #17 above.
    I’m sorry that 26a seemed to cause some difficulty – I wonder if it would have been easier if I’d used ‘offspring’ instead of ‘daughter’?

  18. Late to this, but I’ll add 18d to the list of favourites. The whole puzzle was very good. I agree with Silvanus that the top was harder than the bottom. I had trouble with 3d but that’s because I don’t live in the UK and had to go with an unparsed definition as the last one in.

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