NTSPP – 524 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 524

NTSPP – 524

A Puzzle by Shabbo

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.


1 Make a stand as point is reversed about 14 (6)
TRIPOD – A three letter word for a point is reversed around the abbreviation for rest in peace (an example of the solution to 14d).

4 Spectator or another publication (8)
OBSERVER – Double definition for a spectator and a Sunday newspaper.

9 Traitor in time will make mistakes (6)
ERRATA – A three letter word for a traitor inside three letter word for a period of time.

10 Barge into seafood pub, reportedly (6,2)
MUSCLE IN – A homophone (reportedly) of mussel (seafood) inn (pub).

12 Broadcasting where East Ender might put gel (2,3,3)
ON THE AIR – How a Cockney (East Ender) might describe where you put hair gel.

13 Please recycle this tree (6)
SAPELE -An anagram (recycle) of PLEASE.

15 Repetition of vandalised retail canopy (6,6)
ACTION REPLAY – An anagram (vandalised) of RETAIL CANOPY.

18 Columns, by the way, should be illuminating (6,6)
STREET LIGHTS – Cryptic definition of what provides illumination along a road.

21 Spirit found at times outside South African capital (6)
BRANDY – A two letter word meaning times or multiplication around the currency (capital) of South Africa.

22 Grateful perhaps for order to shoot (4,4)
OPEN FIRE – Double definition, the first highly dubious a full grate perhaps and an order to shoot guns.

24 Terrible flu panic for match at Wembley? (3,5)
CUP FINAL – An anagram (terrible) of FLU PANIC.

25 No T-bone for Spanish dish (6)
PAELLA – Remove the T from the name of the knee bone.

26 Rank textile worker (8)
SERGEANT -A type of coarse material followed by a type of insect noted as a worker.

27 Goes around in women’s clothing (6)
SKIRTS – Double definition for a word meaning to go round something and a type of woman’s clothing.


1 Sober and 18 of course? (8)
TEETOTAL – The number of tees on a golf course.

2 Put out water with G&T replacement (8)
IRRITATE – An eight letter word meaning water with the G replaced by a T.

3 Frightfully entitled, doth one sign here…? (2,3,6,4)
ON THE DOTTED LINE -An anagram (frightfully) of ENTITLED DOTH ONE.

5 Navy depressed adult (4)
BLUE – Triple definition of the colour navy, a word meaning depressed and something whose subject matter is of a risqué adult nature.

6 Outcry over gospel! (11,4)
EXCLAMATION MARK – Look closely to see the highlighted definition.  An eleven word meaning an outcry followed by the name of one of the four gospels in the New Testament.

7 Endless French wine by the jug for 4 (6)
VIEWER – Another word for the answer to 4a.  The French word for wine with the final letter removed (endless) followed by a four letter word for a jug.

8 Shoot policeman in Bow Street (6)
RUNNER – Double definition for a shoot from a plant and the final word for the old term for a policeman – Bow Street …

11 I’d turn up to sign journals (7)
DIARIES – Reverse (turn up) the I’D from the clue and follow by the name of one of the signs of the Zodiac.

14 Grave reminder of pit heap collapse (7)
EPITAPH – An anagram (collapse) of PIT HEAP.

16 Novel is sharper when promoted initially (8)
THRILLER – An eight letter word meaning sharper or more noisy with the first letter replace by the letter that follows it in the alphabet (promoted initially).

17 Weapons picked up as a guise (8)
ASSEGAIS – A homophone (picked up) of AS A GUISE.

19 You can count on this being a Roman god without honour (6)
ABACUS – The A from the clue followed by the name of the Roman god of wine and revelry without the abbreviation for Companion of Honour.

20 Endless bubbly in picnic basket (6)
HAMPER – The informal word for Champagne without the first and last letters (endless).

23 Draw the Ashes according to Test Match Special (4)
EARN – A homophone of URN (Ashes according to Test Match Special).

24 comments on “NTSPP – 524

  1. Fairly gentle and enjoyable – thanks Shabbo.
    The 13a tree was a new one for me.
    My ticks went to 22a, 8d and 16d.

    1. Sorry – when rereading my comment it seems a bit ambiguous. What I meant was ‘Enjoyable and fairly gentle’.

  2. Perfect NTSPP – didn’t take long to solve and extremely enjoyable. I had more ticks than Gazza so won’t list them all.

    Thanks Shabbo – please come back soon

  3. The tree was new to me too, and even with the checkers there were other possibilities so I revealed rather than thumb the dictionary
    Also could not fathom 17d, not sure I’ve heard of that before and it’s not how I would imagine it would be pronounced
    Otherwise quite mild and a pleasant diversion, thanks Shabbo

  4. I’ve always enjoyed this setter’s puzzles and this was no exception.
    Podium places here went to 25&27a plus 6,11,14&23d.

    Many thanks, Shabbo, hope we see more from you ‘ere long.

  5. Thanks, Shabbo. Quite easy but very enjoyable.

    25a reminded me of the famous Rufus clue (on his birthday)

  6. Nice puzzle, ideal solve for a windy wet afternoon in Dover, interesting clues, lots of smiles, and massive penny drops for a couple of clues. Thanks Shabbo.

    1. What are you doing in Dover, Colin, or are you talking about a totally different Dover to the one that springs to my mind?

  7. What a delight with accurate brief cluing, humour, nice disguises, and smooth surfaces. What is there not to like?

    East Ender in 12a is an odd one. Perhaps influenced by the dreadful soap, I think I would have spelt it EastEnder, Chambers gives East-ender, and Collins says East Ender. Take your pick.

    My ticks went to 1d, 5d (I love a good triple definition), 6d, 14d, 19d & 23d, with the last of these probably being my favourite. That’s not meant to imply that I didn’t like the across clues – they were good too!

    Many thanks, Shabbo, this was great fun.

  8. I agree with everyone else – not too difficult (except I can’t do 23d) and enjoyable.
    Lots of good clues – my favourite was either 10 or 25a.
    Thanks to Shabbo and, in advance, to Prolixic – I think!

  9. Great fun.
    Held up for a while with 1d as we wanted to make the 18d answer part of the wordplay. Doh!
    Thanks Shabbo.

  10. Many thanks to you all for your very kind comments. They are greatly appreciated.
    Fingers crossed that Prolixic doesn’t give me too much of a hard time tomorrow!
    Kath – I wrote this puzzle a while ago and, if it is any consolation, I struggled to solve 23d, even with the checking letters!

  11. I found this more challenging than previous commenters and had to put is aside and come back to it before the last few (except the unsolved 23D) fell into place. I’ll need the review to fully understand the wordplay on two or three. Thanks, Shabbo.

  12. I sailed through three quarters of this but needed a bit of electronic help for the last three or four. There are still a couple I’m not sure of on the parsing front so will await the review.
    Lot’s of clever/witty clues in there though, 10,12, 22a plus 1d being prime examples.
    Thanks to Shabbo for a top puzzle and in advance to the reviewer.

  13. Thanks again, Shabbo, and to Prolixic – I would never have got 23d (and only vaguely understand it now).

  14. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. I think our setter is literally ‘flying high’ at the moment otherwise I’m sure he’d have been in to thank you himself!

    1. Greetings from Jo’burg Airport. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic.
      Apologies that 23d stumped (no pun intended) a few of you. The reference to Test Match Special is that it is a radio broadcast and hence a homophone indicator, albeit somewhat abstruse.
      Thanks again to you all for your kind words and encouragement.

  15. I didn’t find this quite as easy as others have as I wasn’t certain of some of the parsing. Nevertheless, I completed the puzzle without needing any kind of help. Just by way of passing, I am familiar with the tree; also with Test Match Special, so the homophone wasn’t a problem.

    I enjoyed the crossword very much! I ticked off several which I particularly liked, among them 4a, 2d, 5d, 6d, and 19d, 5d and 6d being joint winners. Thanks very much for a very entertaining puzzle, Shabbo. I hope we shall be seeing you back here again.

    Thank you very much for the review, Prolixic. Much appreciate having the wordplay explained or confirmed where I wasn’t sure. Love the illustrations — especially the fun one for 8d!

  16. Well done Shabbo, very enjoyable. I always enjoy Shabbo’s puzzles, but then I am his little sister so I have to say that!!

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