NTSPP – 568 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 568

Authors by Chalicea

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Chalicea has hidden the surnames of no fewer the thirteen authors as a ghost theme in this puzzle.


Solved after eating Boxing Day lunch cold turkey with the most splendid Bubble and Squeak

Even without the title at the top of the page, it wouldn’t have been hard to spot the themed items in this Chalicea crossword, apart from one where I had to look in Mrs Bradford’s Crossword Lists, where, incidentally she calls them Writers, to find the 13th!


6     Seed to pile into heaps for showy bird (7)
PEACOCK A small seed and a verb meaning to pile (hay) into heaps

7     Tire out and unrestrainedly push pet pups (3,2)
USE UP unrestrainedly indicates the need to use only the middle letters of pUSh pEt pUPs

9     Greek characters to fully satisfy in retrospect (4)
ETAS Reverse (in retrospect) a verb meaning to fully satisfy

10     How despots rule beyond a doubt (10)
ABSOLUTELY Double definition

11     Dubiously bring own product for making gravy (8)
BROWNING An anagram (dubiously) of BRING OWN

13     Sociable criminal (6)
CHUMMY An adverb meaning sociable or police slang for a criminal especially a thief

15     Address supplication, we’re told, for victim (4)
PREY A homophone (we’re told) of a simpler way of saying address supplication

17     Stretch one’s neck in order to see wading bird (5)
CRANE Double definition

18     Basis essentially and component of concrete (4)
SAND The ‘essential’ letter of baSis and AND (from the clue)

19     Capital city originally loved old northern professor (6)
LONDON The original letters of Loved Old Northern and another word for a professor

20     Body of divine rulers disconcerted the chary (8)
THEARCHY An anagram (disconcerted) of THE CHARY, although it has to be said that only the CHARY bit has to be rearranged to find the solution

23     Shambolic chef fed rat! Highly imaginative but implausible (3-7)
FAR-FETCHED An anagram (shambolic) of CHEF FED RAT

26     Additional soldiers going into Middle East (4)
MORE An abbreviation for soldiers ‘going into’ the abbreviation for Middle East

27     Couple in the past, one exactly like another, embracing amour principally (5)
TWAIN One exactly like another ’embracing’ the principal letter of Amour

28     Luxury car crumpled on the French motorway finally (7)
BENTLEY A synonym for crumpled, the French definite article and the final letter of motorway


1     Manner senior journalist supports campaign, provided with raised path through morass, say (10)
CAUSEWAYED A manner and an abbreviated senior journalist go under (supports) a campaign – and yes, this unlikely adjective is in the BRB!

2     Islam unexpectedly accepting old language (6)
SOMALI An anagram (unexpectedly) of ISLAM ‘accepting’ the abbreviation for Old

3     Understand set up involving Kelvin’s additions in Glasgow (4)
EKES Chalicea’s obligatory Scottish word – reverse (set up) a verb meaning to understand into which is inserted the abbreviation for the SI Unit the Kelvin

4     Short twisting line of disorderly circle with queue now and then (8)
CURLICUE An anagram (disorderly)of CIRCLE and the even (now and then) letters of qUeUe

5     Wild place we studied partly (4)
Hidden word or WE (from the clue) and the first two letters (partly) of STudied?

6     Head, at heart hilarious old man (5)
PATER An old or humorous term for the head and the ‘heart’ of hilaRious  An essayist and writer from the late 1800s

8     Luxurious sleeping car to attract fellow (7)
PULLMAN A verb meaning to attract and a fellow

12     Hard work to insert transplanted organ (5)
GRAFT Double definition


14     Well-organised slumber can restore to an intelligible state (10)
UNSCRAMBLE An anagram (well-organised) of SLUMBER CAN

16     Some of scenario tactlessly read out to mob in time of trouble (4,3)
RIOT ACT Hidden in some of scenaRIO TACTlessly

17     Unchangeable prisoners, almost too much (8)
CONSTANT Some slang prisoners and almost all of a musical term meaning too much

21     This conclusion, following start of magic, would be putting things right (6)
ENDING If you put the ‘start’ of Magic before this ending, you’d getting another way of saying putting things right

22     Robust, solid year (5)
HARDY A synonym for solid and the abbreviation for Year

24     Draw attention to plant with showy purple or yellow flowers (4)
FLAG Double definition

25     Primarily hungry old US man; a vagabond (4)
HOBO The primary letters of Hungry and Old and an American slang familiar term of address for a man


14 comments on “NTSPP – 568

  1. A nice little treat and not too difficult, thankfully
    I had a quick look for some writers and found one – not my forte, obviously
    Many thanks Chalicea

  2. A pleasurable solve completed pre-caffeine on my Boxing Day morning. I’ll take Big Dave’s and Chalicea’s word for it that there are 13 writers hidden in the puzzle although four or five did ‘leap’ off the page at me. I am sure that Cryptic Sue will identify all 13 for us in her review.
    Thanks Chalicea and, in advance, to CS.

  3. I knew 12 writers without resort to outside sources. Not sure about the other… A pleasant half-hour solve.

  4. Certainly didn’t find it as easy as Roy & Senf but no surprises there. Irritatingly lost patience & revealed the first letter for 1d, my last in, after spending an age on 4d which was the other head scratcher. As always a lovely crossword from Chalicea. Of the 13 I’m afraid only Robert, Thomas, Mark & Philip leapt out but, as Senf says, we can be sure CS will ferret out the others.

  5. B#gger! Beaten by 1d. Most enjoyable distraction for a bloody awful Boxing Day (no grandchildren, just me & mrs s).

    Thank you chalicea & to prolixic in advance.

  6. I’ve found 13 writers but it remains to be seen whether they’re the required 13 – Mr Google can sometimes be a little too helpful with his suggestions!
    Not sure about the Scottish connection in 3d but doubtless CS will reveal all.
    23a made me laugh – sounds rather like some of my ‘highly imaginative’ answers to crossword clues!

    Thanks to Chalicea – glad you managed to squeeze in a couple of birds.

  7. Good fun and we did manage to find all the thirteen writers by using Mrs B to confirm the last one or two.
    Thanks Chalicea.

  8. 1D held me up for a very long time. That’s a new word for me. I now have 10 writers. I look forward to all being revealed in the review. Thanks Chalicea. That was fun…apart from 1D!

  9. A very gentle and pleasant early Sunday morning stroll over a couple of cups of tea. Look forward to the review to clarify a couple of parsing issues though. My favourite was “never the 27a…”
    Thanks Chalicea, and in advance CS for the review.

  10. Probably one of the hardest crossword from Chalicea for me. Got there eventually but it took some serious time.
    Only knew a handful of writers and never thought that Pater, Crane and More would be some of them.
    Thanks to Chalicea for the challenge and to CS for enlightening me.

  11. Many thanks for the review, CS. Managed the writers, although had to look up rather more of them than you did, but have to confess that both the Scottish additions and the American man were guesses.

  12. I’m happy to have provided a gentle touch of Boxing Day afternoon entertainment. I think some people needed a bit of cheer. Thank you for all the comments and special thanks to crypticSue for the review.

  13. Thank you, chalicea, for a friendly puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was very relieved to find that the writers were replicated as definitions in the clue – perhaps Elgar has made me wary of themes! I didn’t recognise all the writers and thank CS for indicating them, also for the musical term reference of 17d which I didn’t twig.

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