NTSPP – 532 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 532

NTSPP – 532

A Puzzle by Foxglove

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Foxglove makes his well-earned debut in the NTSPP series.

A review by Prolixic follows.

Welcome to Foxglove who has crossed the great divide to make his first appearance in the NTSPP slot and clearly turned into a petrol head in the process given the motoring theme that runs through the puzzle.


1 Nancy’s good time — topping for a lady! (6)
BONNET – The French (Nancy’s) feminine word for good followed by the abbreviation for time.

5 Drive off to score on holiday? (4,4)
PULL AWAY – A four-letter word meaning to get a date or score followed by a four letter word meaning on holiday.

9 Trouble with grand appearance through gallery’s rear door (8)
TAILGATE – A three-letter word meaning trouble and the abbreviation for grand inside (appearance through) a four-letter name of a noted art gallery.  Appearance through in the cryptic reading of hte clue should be making an appearance through or appearing through.

10 Scrap Lotus’s leather interiors (6)
TUSSLE – The answer is hidden (interiors) in the second and third words of the clue.  Interior would be better than interiors.

11 Heavyweight gold back seat cover (7)
TONNEAU – The preferred name for a metric ton (heavyweight) followed by the chemical symbol for gold. 

12 Well drilled commodity suppliers (3,4)
OIL RIGS – Cryptic definition of the equipment used to extract black gold.

13 Island retreat for some Charles I well-wishers … (5)
LEWIS – The answer is hidden (some) and reversed (retreat) in the final three words of the clue.

15 … town‘s hotel is about a mile (8)
HAMILTON – A six-letter name for a hotel chain around the A from the clue and the abbreviation for mile.

16/19 Film in most of UK playboy’s estate (8,5)
SHOOTING BRAKE – A five letter word meaning film followed by the IN from the clue, the abbreviation for Great Britain (most of the UK) and a four-letter word for a playboy.

21 In essence, get wind during a motorbike race (2,5)
AT HEART – A four letter word meaning get wind (it should really be get wind of) inside the A fro the clue and the abbreviation for time trials (motorbike race).

22 Belt around motorway with journalist, very drunk (7)
SMASHED – A four-letter word meaning a belt or band around the abbreviation for motorway followed by the abbreviation for editor (journalist).

25 Plant commissariat not racist but corrupt (6)
MIMOSA – Remove the letters in racist from COMMISSARIAT and make an anagram (but corrupt) of the letters that remain.  Technically, as the letters to be removed are not in the correct order, a secondary anagram indicator should be used – perhaps “terribly racist”.

26 Obvious to swing round where you can’t stop (8)
CLEARWAY – A five-letter word meaning obvious followed by a reversal (round) of a word meaning to swing.

27 Went back and booked, having five seconds to change places (8)
REVERSED – An eight-letter word meaning booked with the Roman numeral for five and the abbreviation for seconds swapping places.

28 Record advertising tune with soprano for opening in June (6)
SINGLE – A six-letter word for an advertising tune with the abbreviation for soprano replacing the first letter (opening in) of June.


2 Doing well if eligible to vote? (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL – To vote you would need to be on the electoral ????.

3 Fabric‘s silky finish look in neutral surroundings (5)
NYLON – The final letter (finish) of silky and a two letter word meaning look inside the abbreviation for neutral twice.

4 Faulty Saab GT bearing leaves in containers (3,4)
TEA BAGS – An anagram (faulty) of SAAB GT E (bearing).  To get from bearing to East to E meaning that his is probably just on the wrong side of an indirect anagram.

5 Glance up and down (4)
PEEP – A word meaning glance that is a palindrome (reads the same way up and down).

6 How introducing unscreened membership starts to support drunken element (7)
LITHIUM – The initial letters (starts) of the first four words of the clue under (supports) a three-letter word meaning drunk.

7 State aid liberalisation has its origins in EU country (9)
AUSTRALIA – The initial letters (has its origins) of the second and third words of the clue inside a seven-letter name of a member of the EU.  Cryptically, as there are two initial letters it should be “have their origins” but this would require the clue to be re-written to maintain the surface reading.

8 Picked up a queue of members at a brisk speed (7)
ALLEGRO – A homophone (picked up) of A LEG ROW (a queue of members).

14 Mega-wheels with two discs engineered to be beneficial (9)
WHOLESOME – An anagram (engineered) of M (mega) WHEELS OO (two discs).

15 Corner large bike (3)
HOG – Double definition of a word meaning to corner or get the lion’s share of and another name (apparently) for a large bike.

17 Sexy message to get going? (3-4)
HOT-WIRE – A three-letter word meaning sexy followed by a four-letter word meaning a message or telegram.

18 Gains made by using popular routes (7)
INROADS – A two letter word meaning popular followed by a five-letter word meaning routes.

19 Large and small protective fittings (7)
BUMPERS – A six-letter word meaning large followed by the abbreviation for small.

20 Look closely at production of British and European Leyland, having dropped new German reg (7)
EYEBALL – An anagram (production of) B (British) E (EUROPEAN) LEYLA (Leyland without (having dropped) the abbreviation for new and the IVR code for Germany).

23 Heard warning misdemeanour involves retired member of the royal family (5)
SIREN – A three letter word for a misdemeanour includes a reversal (retired) for the abbreviation for the current queen.

24 Car battery component that’s needed for a trip (4)
ACID – Double definition of the type of liquid in a car battery and a type of drug that gives you a trip.

22 comments on “NTSPP – 532

  1. Very enjoyable puzzle with a theme which even I couldn’t fail to spot – many thanks, Foxglove.
    I don’t really like 4a which in my book is an indirect anagram.
    My podium had 21a, 17d and 19d on it.

  2. Welcome to Saturday afternoons Foxglove.

    Parts of the crossword were trickier than others – I do have question marks by two clues – my favourite was 8d and I did enjoy spotting the two (deliberately) linked Across solutions and wondering about some others that could, but probably aren’t linked except as part of the theme

    Thanks to Foxglove and in advance to Prolixic

  3. Thanks Foxglove, excellent fun throughout.
    No problem with 4d as it was so clear, and Saab GT was a lovely touch.

  4. It’s been quite a while, Foxglove, since your last Rookie puzzle and well-deserved NTSPP promotion. I thought this themed puzzle was very good indeed – nicely challenging and a lot of fun.

    A few comments:
    – It’s a shame but I don’t think 21a quite works: the phrase needs to be “get wind of”, but that would ruin the amusing surface.
    – I agree with Gazza about 4d being a partially indirect anagram. I think the accepted practice is that it’s OK to use specific recognised abbreviations as anagram fodder, as you have done in 14d, and where subtraction is needed, such as in 20d.
    – The pedant in me has to point out that Great Britain and the UK are not equivalent.
    – I didn’t know the large bike in 15d but Google soon sorted this out for me.
    – I can’t parse 15a.

    There were a lot of inventive ideas on show and many excellent clues. My podium comprises: 5a, 8d, 17d & 19d.

    Many thanks for a very enjoyable puzzle, Foxglove. Please don’t keep us waiting so long for the next one.

    1. The pedant in me would say that 15d refers to a particular (US) make of ‘large bike.’

  5. Couple of quibbles but that didn’t undermine my enjoyment of the puzzle. There’s a theme?
    Thanks Foxglove

  6. I remembered that Foxglove’s puzzles can be a little tricky so made sure I’d completed the urgent ‘jobs list’ before attempting this one. Probably just as well – some of the parsing took a while!
    Like RD, I didn’t know the 15d bike and I made 6d difficult by having ‘play’ as the first word of 5a. I don’t pretend to know a great deal about the periodic table but that left me with very few options! Solved eventually when I discounted 5a and figured out a reasonable answer to 6d.
    Top two for me were 28a & 2d.

    Thanks to Foxglove and hope that your U3A groups are managing to make the best of it where lockdown is concerned. Garden bird watching is working well here but several other groups are simply ‘on hold’.

  7. A very enjoyable pre-caffeine experience on my Saturday morning but it did generate a few Hmms as have been outlined in comments above.
    I did like 1a and 18d.
    Thanks Foxglove and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  8. Certainly quite a lot of head scratching needed in places but we did manage to get everything satisfactorily sorted eventually. 24d took a long time for the penny to drop.
    Enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Foxglove.

    1. 16/19 – a somewhat old-fashioned term, and not quite the equivalent of what we would call an estate these days.

  9. What Encota said.

    I had a couple of little hold-ups. In 5ac I initially had a different first word till I sorted out 6dn, and in 24dn I wasn’t sure which component was wanted till I got 26ac.

    Thanks to Foxglove for the entertainment.

    1. … and further thanks as your grid is just what I need for the mix of word lengths in a crossword I’m compiling at the moment

  10. Many thanks to Prolixic for the review (love the photos!), and everyone for the helpful and encouraging comments.

  11. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. I failed on the bike – I’d found one called a ‘Hugbike’ which is apparently a tandem on which the person sitting behind has to ‘hug’ the person in front in order to reach the handlebars!

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