NTSPP – 535 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 535

A Puzzle by Shabbo

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Watch out for Shabbo’s debut puzzle in the Indy very soon!

A review by Prolixic follows.

Congratulation to Shabbo on his forthcoming appearance in the `independent.  This means that it is the last time I shall review one of his crosswords in the NTSPP.  This was a gentle outing but enjoyable with it.


1 Turn right in foreign country (6)
SPRAIN – The abbreviation for right in a European country

5 Civil taxi was seen in a race (8)
AMICABLE – A three letter word for a taxi inside the A from the clue and a distance run by Roger Bannister in under four minutes.

9 Tell the French to be flipping relaxed! (8)
INFORMAL – A six letter word meaning to tell followed by a reversal (flipping) of the French feminine singular for the.

10 Hot icing (6)
PIPING – Double definition.

11 Top spot for example (10)
PALINDROME – Top Spot is an example of a phrase that reads the same forwards and backwards.

12 Scrap 50% of letters (4)
ATOM – Split 1,2,1, this word represent the first half of the alphabet.

13 Dated Italian before returning last month (8)
ROMANCED – A five letter word for an Italian followed by a reversal (returning) of the three letter abbreviation for the last month of the year.

16 Dyes and cholesterol treatment avoid the heart (6)
STAINS – Remove the middle letter (avoid the heart) from the class of drugs used to control cholesterol levels.

17 A Times clue such as this? (6)
ACROSS – The A from the clue followed by the shape of a multiplication (times) symbol.

19 Let baron organise boxing (5,3)
NOBEL ART – An anagram (organise) of LET BARON.  Organise after the letters to be rearranged does not work cryptically.

21 Greek character brought Etruscans to Athens at the outset (4)
BETA – The initial letters (at the outset) of the third to sixth words of the clue.

22 Curious rich lot are bombastic (10)
RHETORICAL – An anagram (curious) of RICH LOT ARE.

25 Son’s first form of transport is a hit (6)
STRIKE – The abbreviation for son followed by a five letter word for a young child’s three wheeled form of transport.

26 Calm duke transformed a lost cause (4,4)
LAME DUCK – An anagram (transformed) of CALM DUKE.

27 Wishes to rule out indefinite wages (8)
EARNINGS – A nine letter word for wishes without the initial Y (to rule out indefinite).

28 Responds to religious study book (6)
REACTS – The abbreviation for religious education followed by the name of the fifth book of the New Testament.


2 Chinese native seen in Antwerp and Aachen (5)
PANDA – The answer is hidden in the final three words of the clue.

3 Excellent oil mixture for dressing (5)
AIOLI – A two letter representation of excellent followed by an anagram (mixture) of OIL.

4 Wandering cricket side turns up and bats – one short of a century (7)
NOMADIC – Reverse (turns up) a side in cricket and followed with a three letter word meaning bats and the letter representing one before (short of) the abbreviation for century.

5 Overall, nothing left to say (3,4)
ALL TOLD – If everything has been told, there is nothing left to say.  I fell into the mistake, justifiable, of writing in ALL SAID as the solution.

6 Stamp on journalist’s statement of credentials? (7)
IMPRESS – Split 2, 5, this would be a statement from a journalist that he works for the media.

7 Meat in paella cooked for top dog (5,4)
ALPHA MALE – A three letter type of meat in an anagram (cooked) of PAELLA.

8 Network benefactor reported to freeholder (9)
LANDOWNER – A three letter abbreviation for a computer network followed by a homophone (reported) of DONOR (benefactor).

14 Players upset carthorse (9)
ORCHESTRA – An anagram (upset) of CARTHORSE.

15 Love a party piece (9)
ADORATION – The A from the clue followed by a two letter word for a party and a six letter word for a piece or portion.

18 Swimmer forgoing T-bones? (7)
SURGEON – An eight letter word for a type of fish without (forgoing) the T.  Some editors will not allow joining the wordplay to the definition with a hyphen.

19 Unnecessary pointless indicators (7)
NEEDLES – Remove the final compass direction from an eight letter word meaning unnecessary.

20 Mistake made by baker with flour is picked up (7)
BLOOMER – Triple definition, the final one being a homophone (picked up) of FLOUR.

23 Cricketing country in spin dialogue (5)
INDIA – The answer his hidden (in) in the final two words of the clue.

24 A Caledonian racecourse (5)
ASCOT – The A from the clue and a four letter word for a Caledonian.

16 comments on “NTSPP – 535

  1. A very nicely put together collection of mainly old friends of the crossword solver – very enjoyable. My only hold up was having a different (and wrong) word for the second part of 5d which held up the solving of the, in hindsight, obvious 11a

    Thanks to Shabbo and congratulations on your forthcoming move to my side of the NTSPP blogging rota. Thanks in advance to Prolixic

  2. A very pleasant pre-lunch diversion – thanks to Shabbo.
    My ticks went to 4d (even though I don’t think the ‘one short of a century’ is strictly correct), 6d and 18d.

    There’s a spelling mistake in 19d.

    1. I’ve just seen that ‘one short of a century’ could be interpreted as I (one) prior to C(entury) so my objection is withdrawn.

    2. Yes, Gazza, 4d is excellent and you are right about “one short of a century”. 99 in roman numerals is XCIX.

  3. Very solver-friendly and pleasant enough, though I did find it distinctly chestnutty in places
    Many thanks for the entertainment Shabbo

  4. Very enjoyable and straightforward enough that it could be solved pre-caffeine.
    Looks like I had the same problems with 11a/5d as CS.
    I really liked 5a and 7d.
    Thanks Shabbo.

  5. Straightforward for a hot day and very good fun with commendably brief cluing and nice smooth surfaces. My only (very minor) hmm was having “all” as part of the definition and part of the answer in 5d. 4d was my favourite.
    Many thanks, Shabbo.

  6. I was very pleased to see Shabbo’s name today

    how nice to see 14d! – funny, this used to be such a chestnut that no-one uses it anymore – i don’t think i’ve seen it in the last 5 years – no wonder it should resurface.
    I may have DONE the same as CS with 5d, soon corrected on meeting 13a.
    Some niggles, past tense in 5a, indefinite in 27a, organise in 19a, and I think in the cryptic instructions the two verbs clash in the second def in 20d (also verbal defining a noun)

    The clues I liked most were 13a, 22a and 17a (though i worry a bit about the translation for times)
    Many thanks Shabbo!

  7. Hello All
    Many thanks for your kind comments which are hugely appreciated, as ever.
    Humble apologies for the spelling mistake in 19d and thanks to BD for correcting it.
    Stay safe, stay well and enjoy the sunshine.

    1. Many congratulations on getting one of your puzzles accepted by the Indy – we’ll be expecting great things from you in the future!

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this. A real Doh moment when we twigged 11a.
    Thanks Shabbo.

  9. All pretty straightforward, although I also went wrong on 5dn at first, which didn’t help with 11ac; and I went off on completely the wrong track initially for top dog, thinking a breed of dog was needed. I thought, too, that the use of past tense in 5ac was a bit odd and 12ac a bit of a chestnut, although I’ve used the same device (for a different word) myself.
    An enjoyable solve. Thanks, Shabbo, I’ll eagerly await your Indy debut. And thanks in advance to Prolixic.

  10. Well I enjoyed this very polished and relatively accesible offering a lot, I felt it wouldn’t have been out of place as a Monday or Tuesday back pager.
    I particularly liked 9a and 5d.

    Many thanks Shabbo and in advance to Prolixic .

  11. Just completed this evening & very enjoyable. Struggled with 11a which wasn’t surprising as suspect I did the same as CS in 5d though certain she twigged the error far quicker than I did.
    Congrats on getting a puzzle in the Indy.

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