NTSPP – 564 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 564

A Puzzle by Starhorse

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A shorter review today as I am pressed for time.

Across
1 Maybe 50% in charge sit back (9)
STATISTIC – Inside (in) a six-letter word meaning a type of electrical charge add a reversal (back) of the SIT from the clue.

6 Drink tea after a little while (5)
MOCHA – A three-letter word meaning tea after a two-letter word for a short period of time.

9 Look after Bishop’s position? (7)
OVERSEE– Split 4,3 the solution would indicate the Bishop’s area of responsibility.

10 Silver ring on the rocks (7)
AGROUND – The chemical symbol for silver followed by a five-letter word for a ring.

11 Edged Bishop out as instructed (7)
ORDERED – An eight-letter word for edged omits (out) the single letter abbreviation for bishop.

13 Take a chance, attempt one hundred (3,2,2)
TRY IT ON – A three-letter word for an attempt followed by the letter representing one and a three-letter word for 100.

14 Carrier for 16 (4-2-4)
FOUR-BY-FOUR – The solution, if treated as a mathematic equation would result in the answer 16.

16 Release of prisoner delayed several seconds (4)
FREE – The second letters of each of the second to fifth words of the clue.

18 Group caught in traffic (4)
SELL – A homophone (caught) of a four-letter word meaning a group of people.

19 Dean and Priest wandering on foot (10)
PEDESTRIAN – An anagram (wandering) of DEAN PRIEST.

22 Drop cancelled charge (7)
OFFLOAD – A three-letter word meaning cancelled followed by a four-letter word meaning to charge (as you might a gun).

23 Crown court official lost last time (7)
CORONET – A seven-letter word for a court official who certifies the cause of death without the final letter (last last) followed by the abbreviation for time.

24 He delivers old piece of cloth worn by Queen (7)
TRUCKER – The single letter abbreviation for a queen has an old six-letter word for a piece of cloth around it (worn).

25 Reportedly regret insult? Nonsense (7)
RHUBARB – A homophone (reportedly) of RUE (regret) and BARB (insult).

27 Bad time for second trim (5)
NATTY – A five-letter word meaning bad has the abbreviation for second replaced by the abbreviation for time.

28 Python and eel destroyed packing material (9)
POLYTHENE – An anagram (destroyed) of PYTHON EEL.

Down
1 Who’s a poser? (4-3)
SHOW-OFF – A reverse anagram clue where the solution itself provides an anagram type clue that would result in the word HOW’S.

2 Mature light beer – hands off! (3)
AGE – A five letter word for a light beer without the abbreviations for left and right (hands off).

3 Mark current copy held in empty safe (8)
INSCRIBE – A two-letter word meaning current or trendy followed by a four-letter word meaning to copy inside the out letters (empty) of safe.

4 Walk or sprint up full of energy (5)
TREAD – A four-letter word meaning to sprint is reversed (up) and includes (full of) the abbreviation for energy.

5 She performs, he can’t, perhaps needs exercise (9)
CHANTEUSE – An anagram (perhaps) of HE CANT followed by a three-letter word meaning exercise.

6 St Stephen possibly spotted in Cromarty retreat (6)
MARTYR – The answer is hidden (spotted in) in the final two words of the clue.

7 Endorse notice such as “Please pay here” (11)
COUNTERSIGN – Split 7,4, “Please pay here” would be an example of this type of notice.

8 Slow movement with neat variation (7)
ANDANTE – A three-letter word meaning with followed by an anagram (variation) of ANTE.

12 Blame error for server’s problem? (6,5)
DOUBLE FAULT – Blame and error give two examples of a mistake that in another form indicate a server’s problem in a game tennis.

15 Where to gather evidence of runners with experience of drugs (5,4)
FIELD TRIP – A five-letter word for a group of runners in a race followed by a four-letter word for an experience of taking drugs.

17 Introduction includes drums on a regular basis – it’s magical (8)
STARDUST – A five-letter word for the beginning or introduction of something includes the odd letters (on a regular basis) in drums.

18 Crop damaged – not hers (7)
SHORTEN – An anagram (damaged) of NOT HERS.

20 Famous snooker player’s lack of basic equipment? (7)
NOTABLE – Split 2,5, the solution would indicate a lack of a basic necessity for playing a game of snooker.

21 Sport’s head ousted after initially jostling rider (6)
JOCKEY – A six-letter word for a field sport played with a ball and sticks has the first letter removed (head ousted) and the remaining letter follow the initial letter of jostling.

23 Fuel covering source of rare colour (5)
CORAL – A four-letter word for a type of Carboniferous fuel around (covering) the initial letter (source of) of rare.

26 Dallas character, maybe climbing unclothed, fell (3)
AXE – A reversal (climbing) of a five-letter word describing the state in which a Dallas resident lives without the first and last letters (unclothed).


28 comments on “NTSPP – 564
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  1. Excellent lunchtime entertainment pitched at just the right level – many thanks Starhorse.
    I have loads of ticks including 1d, 2d, 7d, 12d and 15d but my favourite (for the brilliant misdirection) is 14a.

  2. This took me longer than my ‘post lunch time’ period set aside for the NTSPP, particularly the SW corner

    Thanks to Starhouse and, in advance to Prolixic

  3. I have a few that I can’t fully parse however that was a pleasant distraction for a murky Saturday afternoon. More please Starhorse and thanks to Prolix in advance.

  4. Fell nicely into our setter’s traps and spent a while thinking of famous snooker players and the cast list of Dallas – serves me right!
    I do have a few question marks where I must have missed something in the parsing but I also have plenty of ticks. Podium places went to 9&11a plus 1&8d.

    Thank you, Starhorse, nice to see you back in the NTSPP slot.

  5. Didn’t find it that easy and hesitated a bit with my possible answers for 12d and 15d. The others of a kind in 7d and 20d were more accessible I thought.
    Favourite 5d.
    Thanks to Starhorse.

  6. Just what I needed for a Saturday afternoon like this one – it’s called ‘glim and doomy’ in our family after my Mum did an ‘almost spoonerism’ of ‘dim and gloomy’ many years ago.
    I really enjoyed this crossword, thank you Starhorse.
    I’ve got a few answers that I can’t quite see ‘why’ – not too many but a few – and 16a, which probably falls into the same category.
    Anyway – I loved it, specially 13, 25 and 27a and 1, 21 and 26d. My favourite was either 14 or 24a. It took a very long time to spot the ‘old piece of cloth’.
    Thanks again to Starhorse and, in advance, to Prolixic.

  7. I found this nicely challenging and it was a lot of fun.

    I got held up with 1a where I initially assumed “in charge” would lead to “ic”, and with 15d for which my first thought was “speed trap” which felt feasible but not quite right, as indeed it turned out.

    I had lots of ticks with 14a, 25a, 1d, 5d, 12d & 18d fighting it out for podium positions.

    Many thanks to Starhorse.

  8. I do hope the comparative paucity of comment from the regular contributors isn’t an indication of the numbers who bother with the NTSPP. In my view it’s often far more fun than the Prize & today was no exception. Always a delight to have Starhorse back – maybe not overly tricky (though a bit more than usual for me with this one) but always super surfaces, mercifully free of obscurity & full of wit. Last in today was 26d & like Jane the awful TV show threw me for a while. Loved the downs at 1,15&17 but my pick would be 14a because needless to say I thought it related to 16a. Will need Prolixic to help me fully parse a couple.
    Many thanks Starhorse.

  9. This had us head scratching for quite some time and very satisfying as one by one all the pennies dropped.
    A real pleasure to solve.
    Thanks Starhorse.

  10. We were initially misled by 14a, brilliant clue. Also loved 1d. We had the wrong start to 3d which didn’t help solve 1a! Also liked 13a and 20d. Still haven’t understood the piece of cloth in 24a. We tried to remember characters in Dallas and snooker players until the pennies dropped. Great puzzle to solve after a walk in the sunshine catching vitamin D in sunny E. Sussex. Thank you Starhorse and also in advance to Prolixic.
    .

  11. I agree with most comments to date. A very enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks, Starhorse. Please keep them coming.
    I still don’t think I understand 16a but no doubt all will be revealed soon.

  12. A nice NTSPP challenge. I did need some electronic assistance to finish and I have a couple of Hmms that I am sure that Prolixic will resolve for me.
    I did like 14a and 8d.
    Thanks Starhorse and in advance to Prolixic.

  13. What a cracking and very accomplished puzzle providing lots of nice penny drop moments. I still haven’t parsed it completely but wI’ll keep at it.
    I particularly liked the lurker at 5d (of course), the semi homophone at 25a and the “non snooker player” at 20d.
    Many thanks Starhorse and whoever reviews it.

  14. Thanks folks for the kind comments, glad you enjoyed it. One day I’ll set a clue with a number in it that does actually relate to another clue… If anyone’s still unsure about a parsing do ask.

    1. Thanks for the fun puzzle, Starhorse.

      Your avatar has the style of the automatically generated ones, but it has a star in it. Coincidence, or did you pick your alias to match your assigned icon?

  15. Quite challenging, and I failed on 18ac – never thought of those two homophones. And 8dn doesn’t actually mean ‘slow’ although movements marked with that instruction can be on the slow side: the Oxford Dictionary of Music defines it as ‘moving along (slowish but not slow)’.
    Plenty to enjoy, though. Thanks, Starhorse and Prolixic.

    1. Yes, strictly speaking “moderately slow” is more precise than “slow”, but here the definition is the more generic “slow movement” as a noun. Many so-called slow movements in classical works are marked “andante” or referred to as “the andante”. I’ve never heard anyone say we’re going to hear the “moderately slow movement” from (say) a Haydn Symphony.

      1. OK, I won’t quibble with that. In fact the slow movement of my favourite Haydn symphony, No 104, is marked ‘andante’ – as is the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s fifth (andante con moto, actually, – a bit of a tautology).

        1. I remembered ‘andante’ as ‘at a walking pace’ from school music lessons, but didn’t know ‘con moto’, so tried Google Translate. It turns ‘andante con moto’ into ‘walker with a motorcycle’!

  16. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. I never did find the old piece of cloth, far too obsessed with ER for the Queen! I’m still not very persuaded by 12d but otherwise I really enjoyed this one.

    Thanks again to Starhorse, hope you’ll be back again soon.

  17. Thanks to Prolixic for the review especially as he’s pressed for time.
    As I’ve said before I thought this was great so thanks also to Starhorse.
    I’d forgotten about the ‘old piece of cloth’ and can’t remember who put on their best ‘bibs and tuckers’ – Beatrix Potter? Not her obviously but one of her characters? Doesn’t matter.
    Thanks again to all concerned.

  18. A late comment from me to say I thoroughly enjoyed this, Starhorse. It is an excellent NTSPP! I liked the clues very much, especially 11a, 14a, 25a, 27a and 2d, 5d, 15d, 20d, 26d. I did not need any help but some clues required rather more head scratching than others. Some lovely penny dropping moments were the result! I did eventually remember the ‘old piece of cloth’.

    Very many thanks for the entertainment. Very well done Starhorse!

    Very many thanks to Prolixic for the review. Much appreciated.

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