NTSPP – 514 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 514

NTSPP – 514

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Prolixic provided quite a tricky crossword for our Saturday afternoon entertainment – well I thought so anyway.


8a Find police officers in river (6)
DECIDE Find as in reach a conclusion – insert some police officers into a popular Crosswordland river

9a Racial group cut short by a state hearing (8)
TRIBUNAL Almost all (cut short) of a racial group, a dialect pronoun meaning one (a) and the abbreviation for the American state of Alabama

10a Antisocial minor disrupted this liaison (8)
ROMANTIC An anagram (disrupted) of ANTISOCIAL MINOR will give you both the solution and the word LIAISON

11a Delayed working with Nelson? (2,4)
ON HOLD A way of saying working followed by a wrestling manoeuvre known as a Nelson

12a Selection of characters (6,4)
SCREEN TEST A cryptic definition of something a film director might do to select his cast

14a Nothing’s removed from thin cotton cover (4)
TILE Remove the letter representing nothing from some thin cotton material

15a Basic reading for joiner (7)
STAPLER A synonym for basic and the letter used to indicate Reading in a phrase relating to basic education

17a Deface beautiful artwork (7)
ETCHING Deface or remove the first letter from a synonym for beautiful

20a Repeated vote to hold back embargo (4)
VETO Repeat the word VOTE and you should find an embargo lurking in reverse in the middle of the two(to hold back)

21a Go with veterans around memorial (10)
GRAVESTONE An anagram (around) of GO with VETERANS

23a I go astray in South Australian mountain range (6)
SIERRA A way of saying I go astray inserted into the abbreviation for South Australian

24a Surprise is found in ward of Birmingham hospital (8)
ASTONISH IS (from the clue) ‘found’ between an area of Birmingham and the abbreviation for Hospital

26a Search after first pet (8)
GOLDFISH A verb meaning to search goes after the colour of the medal you’d receive if you came first

27a Reason Netherlands embraces poem (6)
SONNET Lurking in (embraced by) reaSON NETherlands


1d Greek philosopher’s right to replace name with cipher (4)
ZERO Change the N for Name to an R for Right in the name of several Greek philosophers


2d Harangue newspaper involved in deal (6)
TIRADE The newspaper with only one letter in its title inserted into a deal

3d Life maybe consciousness without ego (8)
SENTENCE Remove the I (without ego) from a synonym for consciousness

4d Watches Pole coming up with poster (7)
STICKER Take an informal term for watches and move the S (Pole coming up) to the top of the word in this Down solution

5d Stop working on strike and disappear (3,3)
DIE OUT A way of saying stop working followed by a way of saying ‘on strike’

6d Result of trepanning bird! (8)
NUTHATCH Split this bird 3,5 and you’d have an informal way of describing a hole in the head (result of trepanning)

7d Lenten alb I cut up into napkins? (5,5)
TABLE LINEN An anagram (cut up) of LENTEN ALB

8d Municipal lender taking out councillor and financial journalist (4,6)
CITY EDITOR A word meaning municipal and a lender without (taking out) the abbreviation for councillor at the start of the word

13d Stick out for right to embrace daughter (8)
PROTRUDE A way of saying in favour of (for) and a synonym for right to ’embrace’ the abbreviation for Daughter

16d Paper has to pay for issues on a regular basis (8)
TREATISE A verb meaning to pay for plus the regular letters of IsSuE

18d Style of champagne fermented without using magnesium (7)
PANACHE Another compound anagram – this time you ‘ferment’ CHAMPAGNE without using the letters that form the chemical symbol for magnesium

19d Expecting Greek prima donna to make a comeback (6)
GRAVID The abbreviation for Greek followed by a reversed (to make a comeback) prima donna

21d Camping facility houses a new occupant (6)
TENANT A camping facility ‘houses’ A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for New

22d One European abandons difficult action (4)
STEP Remove one of the Es (one European abandons) from a synonym for difficult

13 comments on “NTSPP – 514

  1. As usual it was challenging working through Prolixic’s well-disguised wordplay and definitions. However perseverance paid off and it proved to be a steady but very enjoyable solve, even though the full parsing of 9a and 10a still eludes me.

    20a was particularly clever (a reverse virtual lurker?) and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to Prolixic and in advance to CS.

  2. Still have a couple of bits of parsing to wrestle with but at least I have a filled grid and satisfactory answers elsewhere.
    Particularly liked 11a.

    Thank you, Prolixic, another very enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Like RD there is a final bit of parsing in 9a and 10a that is still eluding us.
    Quite challenging and great fun.
    Thanks Prolixic.

  4. favourite is “Deface beautiful artwork (7)”

    10a ‘disrupted’ anagram indicator for previous two words gives this=answer+last word.
    9a I think ‘un’ is not only French

    took me a while!

  5. Many thanks for the review, CS, I did manage to sort out the last bits of parsing (9&20a) before bedtime last night.
    The liaison in your illustration looks very romantic indeed!

    Thanks again to Prolixic for the puzzle.
    PS The answer to 14a needs a tweak if you have time, CS.

  6. I have to admit that I came badly unstuck very early on with this one – in other words it was beyond me and I didn’t even finish it. Oh dear.
    Of the ones that I did manage I particularly appreciated 24a and 6d.
    Now feeling well and truly beaten but thanks anyway to Prolixic and to CS.
    Off to have a go at Dada now – hope he’s not too tricky as I need something to raise the confidence level.

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