NTSPP – 517 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 517

NTSPP – 517

A Puzzle by Starhorse

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

As always it is good to have Starhorse in the chair for the NTSPP slot.  This was a gentle crossword very nicely clued and lots to enjoy.


1 Recount unlikely defeat (7)
TROUNCE – An anagram (unlikely) of RECOUNT.

5 Protests about concealing gold necklace (7)
SAUTOIR – Reverse (about) a five letter word for violent protests and include (containing) the chemical symbol for gold.

9 Risking heading out – it’s freezing over (5)
ICING – A six letter word meaning risking without the first letter (heading out).

10 Leaves the basque dishevelled (9)
BEQUEATHS – A anagram (dishevelled) of THE BASQUE.

11 Blighted son smeared after trouble (3-7)
ILL-STARRED – A three letter meaning trouble followed by the abbreviation for son and a six letter word meaning smeared with pitch.

12 Part of speech rejecting extract from glib review (4)
VERB – The answer is hidden (extract from) and reversed (rejecting) in the final two words of the clue.

14 Thor’s cheated? (5-7)
SHORT-CHANGED – The solution creates a anagram clue for which the solution would be THOR’S.

18 Everyone sounded upset about note out of the blue (3,2,1,6)
ALL OF A SUDDEN – A three letter word meaning everyone followed by an anagram (upset) of SOUNDED around a two letter musical note.

21 Lead, say, without leader and others (2,2)
ET AL – The type of substance of which lead is an example without the initial letter (without leader).

22 Poor grammarian’s attempt to name supernatural creatures in person? (10)
THEMSELVES – How you might incorrectly say those are supernatural creatures.

25 Make fast bloke the final runner? (9)
ANCHORMAN – A six letter word meaning make fast or secure followed by a three letter word for a bloke.

26 Conservation symbol in dad’s letters? (5)
PANDA – The symbol for the WWF come from how you could describe both letters in a two letter word for father.

27 Unlimited menu with maybe lime and cherry starters (7)
ENTREES – The inner letter (unlimited) of MENU followed by the type of plant of which lime and cherry are examples.

28 Scottish philosopher in English city heard by many (7)
CARLYLE – A homophone (heard by many) of.a town in Cumbria.


1 Briefly skip through minor details (6)
TRIVIA – A four letter word meaning to skip with the final letter removed (briefly) followed by a three letter Latin word meaning through.

2 College with small windows (6)
ORIELS – The name of an Oxford college followed by the abbreviation for small.

3 Those working late get a move on after dark (5,5)
NIGHT SHIFT – A five letter word for a command to move or get a move after the five letter word used to describe the hours of darkness.

4 Part of fire still burning at the end of 3 months (5)
EMBER – Double definition, the second being an ecclesiastical days that fall at the end of every three months that are reserved for fasting and prayer.

5 Ordered children to keep cool, not hot (9)
SEQUENCED – A four letter old term for children around (to keep) a six letter word meaning to cool with the abbreviation for hot removed (not hot).

6 Takes public transport?  Not the Bishop (4)
USES – The plural of a form of public transport without (not- again in successive clues!) the abbreviation for bishop.  

7 Prevail over public speaker’s course of action (8)
OUTWEIGH – A three letter word for public followed by a homophone (speaker’s) of way (course of action).

8 Young ladies once mounted boys casually! (8)
ROSEBUDS – A four letter word meaning mounted followed by an informal term for boys.

13 Plucky footballer who looks after the birds? (10)
GAMEKEEPER – A four letter word for plucky followed by the name of a footballer who tries to stop goals being scored.

15 Lacking energy for lively threesomes?  They’ll look after you here (4,5)
REST HOMES – An anagram (lively) of THREESOMES after removing the abbreviation for energy.

16 Slash the price of trimming material? (8)
LACERATE – Split 4,4 this might indicate the price payable for a material used to edge garments.

17 Trim nurse’s job? (5-3)
CLEAN CUT – Double definition, the second being part of the duties of a nurse tending wounds.

19 Beryl never shows up consistently (6)
EVENLY – The answer is hidden (shows) and reversed (up) in the first two words of the clue.

20 Park a car (6)
ESTATE – Double definition, the first being the grounds of a large house.

23 Crazy pair from Malaga caught after new investigation started (5)
MANIC – The first two letters (pair from) of Malaga followed by the abbreviation of caught after the abbreviation for new and the first letter (started) of investigation.

24 Hurt by God of Love’s rejection (4)
SORE – Reverse (up) the name of the Greek god of love and sex.

15 comments on “NTSPP – 517

  1. Very enjoyable puzzle with smooth surfaces throughout – thanks Starhorse.
    I didn’t know the necklace but the checking letters and wordplay got it for me. At one stage I was worried that 17d was going to lead to a broadside from Kath but it was all ok in the end.
    My ticks went to 22a, 26a, 7d and 13d with my favourite being 14a.

  2. Thanks Starhorse – lovely surfaces and clean grammar throughout make for an enjoyable solve, pitched at an admirably gentle level, though there were a few that held me up.

  3. Looking forward to this if the comments from Gazza & Dutch are anything to go by.
    i’m now in the 10th day of Manflu & I’m on antibiotics for a chest infection. Worse of all I have a stockpile of alcoholic beverages in the garage which has remained untouched since Boxing Day although I have 2 sons who have kindly offered to help me redistribute its contents to other sites in the Vale of Belvoir.

  4. I struggled a bit with the necklace and also to sort out the young ladies but all came good in the end and it was most enjoyable – just the emotive subject matter of 13d that got a huge black mark from me.
    22a made me chuckle and my top two were 14a & 15d.

    Many thanks, Starhorse – lovely to see you back again.

  5. My only problem with this nice just right for a post-lunch-solve crossword was the necklace – I presume this was a case of painting oneself into a corner checking-letter wise

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

  6. I really enjoyed this – perfect level of difficulty for me – a post-lunch solve for CS is a “most of an afternoon on and off’ one for me but that doesn’t matter.
    I’d never heard of the necklace and 22 and 28a caused a spot of bother.
    No broadside from me about 17d – wonder what Gazza thought the answer was going to be – :unsure: – but suspect he’s remembering my reaction to a clue in a Friday crossword several years ago – the definition was ‘nurse’ and the answer was ‘bedmaker’. I wasn’t keen!! :negative:
    Clues that I particularly appreciated included 9, 14 and 22a and 8d (for the surface reading) and 13d.
    With thanks to Starhorse and, in advance, to CS for the review tomorrow.

    1. :oops: . . . in advance to Prolixic for the review – one day I’ll get it right, just not today!

  7. An enjoyable solve before and after breakfast and then after ‘throwing’ meat and four veg into a slow cooker.
    A little bit of head scratching, particularly in the SE.
    Favourite – 21a.
    Thanks to Starhorse and in advance to Prolixic.

  8. This was a light delight. I didn’t know the necklace but it was readily derivable from the wordplay and checkers.

    My podium comprised 14a, 22a & 7d.

    Many thanks to Starhorse and in advance to Prolixic.

  9. Good morning. I was out all day yesterday so didn’t see these comments – for which many thanks – until late last night.

    Re. the necklace, I was aware that it is fairly obscure, unless you happen to be a fan of Countdown. It comes up from time to time probably because it’s the only word you can make from those 7 fairly common letters, so if the other 2 letters on offer are obscure ones it’s normally a winner. There were a couple of other options that would have fitted with a different 6 down but I decided to go with it given that most of you consider my puzzles on the gentle side.

    Happy New Year to all, glad you enjoyed the puzzle. I look forward to Prolixic’s review.

  10. I enjoyed this, there were just enough “gimmes” to get a reasonable foothold in order to tackle the trickier ones. I still, however needed three reveals in the NE corner, just couldnt see them.
    I thought 14a was quite brilliant and also liked, amongst others 25 and 27a. 15d was cleverly constructed and amusing too.
    Thanks to Starhorse and to Prolixic for the forthcoming review.

  11. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. I bow to your ecumenical knowledge but surely 4d simply refers to the only three months of the year that end with the answer?
    There is something immensely satisfying about completing a Starhorse puzzle – never any ifs, buts and maybe’s. I do hope that he continues to produce puzzles like this for our enjoyment.

  12. Very late getting on to this one as we had a guest staying. Had to do a bit of searching to find the necklace but the rest all went together smoothly with plenty of smiles along the way.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Thanks Starhorse and Prolixic.

  13. A steady solve but with a few challenges and I needed a wordfinder for 22ac (and groaned when I got it!). And I interpreted 4dn in the same way as Jane.
    Thanks, Starhorse and Prolixic.

  14. Thanks Prolixic and others for the review and kind words.

    Jane’s interpretation of 4d is the one I intended although I can see why a man of the cloth might be drawn to thinking of Ember Days.

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