NTSPP – 569 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 569

A Puzzle by Atrica

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


Thank you to Atrica for an enjoyable pangram (with an impossible-to-miss Nina, perfect for the period between eating Saturday lunch and the time when you really should be ‘getting on with something’


6     Purist coming to grips with new jewellery (7)
PENDANT A strict interpreter of rules (purist) into which is inserted (coming to grips with) the abbreviation for New

7     Vegetable patch I venture inside (5)
CHIVE Hidden inside patCH I Venture

9     Stare through fog, retreating one step at first (4)
GAZE Take the letter at the start of a synonym for fog and go back one letter in the alphabet (retreating one step)

10     Unseal the envelope, finding something anyone can read (4,6)
OPEN LETTER What you do when you unseal an envelope

11     Boneless, dissipated French aristocracy (8)
NOBLESSE An anagram (dissipated) of BONELESS

13     Assistant‘s responsibility to include exercise reversed (6)
DEPUTY Insert into a synonym for responsibility a reversal of some abbreviated [school] exercise

15     Had an obligation, given ring, to get married (4)
OWED The letter that looks like a ring and the verb meaning to get married

17     Badger I see returning — and in Germany! (5)
HOUND A reversal (returning) of an interjection meaning ‘I see’ and the German word for ‘and’

18     Regularly forgetting Tehran is Asian (4)
THAI The odd letters (regularly forgetting the even ones) from TeHrAn Is

19     Slacker‘s no-hoper with nothing invested (6)
LOOSER A no-hoper into which is inserted the letter that looks like a nought (nothing)

20     Where to try exercising raw clout (3,5)
LAW COURT An anagram (exercising) of RAW CLOUT

23     Had coronet fashioned into symmetrical shape (10)
OCTAHEDRON An anagram (fashioned) of HAD CORONET

26     Recalled man in India, not husband, as preference (4)
BIAS Reverse (recalled) an Indian term for a man without the H (not husband)

27     Sound of predator in northern forest (5)
TAIGA A type of pine forest found in the North is a homophone (sound) of a stripy predator

28     What a pity to return and almost fail to notice island (7)
SALAMIS A large Greek island obtained from a reversal (to return) of an interjection meaning ‘what a pity’ and almost all of a word meaning fail to notice


1     Breaks resulted in chaos (10)
INTERLUDES An anagram (chaos) of RESULTED IN

2     Former PM underwritten by small golf tournaments (6)
MAJORS The surname of a former Prime Minister ‘underwritten’ in a Down solution by the abbreviation for Small

3     Eyesore where a pig lives, they say (4)
STYE A homophone (they say) of somewhere a pig lives

4     Unusually clouded over? Cold front? (8)
OCCLUDED An anagram (unusually) of CLOUDED and C (cold)

5     Understate newspaper’s fault (4)
RIFT The abbreviated way we refer to a particular pink newspaper goes under the abbreviation for the State of Rhode Island

6     Instrument of torture I promoted gets old (5)
PIANO The I in a synonym of torture gets ‘promoted’ or moved further up the word and then the abbreviation for Old is added at the end

8     Chosen artist for princess (7)
ELECTRA An adjective meaning chosen and the usual abbreviation for artist

12     Horrible miser leaves Square Mile, excited to become a peer (5)
EQUAL Remove the letters MISER (horrible telling you that they aren’t in that order) from sQUAre miLE

14     Deadly projectile is a bird, reportedly a turkey (6,4)
PETROL BOMB A homophone (reportedly) of a type of bird followed by a North American slang term for a complete failure (turkey being of similar origin and meaning)

16     Court Democrat to censor work of art (7)
WOODCUT A verb meaning to court, the abbreviation for Democrat and a verb meaning to censor

17     Someone riding a centaur? (8)
HORSEMAN A person skilled in riding could also describe a centaur

21     Extract victory over king the Spanish set up (6)
WINKLE A win, the chess abbreviation for King and a reversal (set up) of the Spanish definite article

22     Takes care of readers retiring editor overlooked (5)
REARS ‘Overlook’ or remove the reversed (retiring) abbreviation for editor from the fourth word of the clue

24     Mathematically, a line is area times one point (4)
AXIS The abbreviation for Area, the letter used to mean ‘times’ in a multiplication sum, the letter representing one and a compass point

25     Stood up, presenting a flower (4)
ROSE Double definition

22 comments on “NTSPP – 569

  1. A pleasant gentle puzzle for Saturday lunchtime – thanks Atrica (there’s no need to apologise!).
    My ticks went to 10a, 17a and 5d with my last answer (9a) being my favourite,

  2. I’m on a roll! The second puzzle solved pre-caffeine on my Saturday morning.
    A couple of the pesky four letter answers did hold me up for a while.
    I really liked 10a and 2d.
    Thanks Atrica and, in advance, to Cryptic Sue for the review.

  3. My last was 26a, and I particularly liked 27a. Pleasant diversion for a few minutes, thank you Atrica.

  4. A Passanda it may be but I still couldn’t quite manage the last spoonful without cheating. Spent longer trying to think of the 27a homophone than it took to complete the remainder & somehow Shere Khan didn’t register though I’d never heard of the forest hence Mr G to the rescue. Don’t understand 9a either but reckoned it had to be my answer as the Z completed the pangram unless I’m mistaken.
    Thanks Atrica- really enjoyed it

    1. 9a – retreating one step at first = going back one letter in the alphabet for the first letter of the answer.

      1. Oh of course. Knew I was missing something cute if Gazza pegged it as his pick. – thanks Senf

  5. This was a light and fun pangram. 9a was my last one in and favourite too.

    Many thanks, Atrica.

  6. I didn’t find this as easy as the rest of you did, by the sound of it, but I really enjoyed it.
    Needless to say I missed the pangram, as usual – a pity as it would have helped with my last few answers.
    I now know more than I ever needed to about instruments of torture and also know that there aren’t any golf tournaments called ‘Bacons’. Oh dear – dim, or what?
    I liked 10, 26 and 27a and 16 and 17d.
    Thanks to Atrica and, in advance, to whoever’s doing the review tomorrow.

  7. Spotting the pangram did help with the last couple of answers. Good Sunday morning fun for us.
    Thanks Atrica.

  8. Didn’t find it as easy as some who have commented above but enjoyed it nonetheless and got there in the end. Last one in was 26a. Favourites were 10a, 19a 12d and 21d. Thank you Atrica and Happy New Year to all.

  9. Couldn’t figure out why Gazza made the comment about there being no need to apologise, then I looked again!
    Really enjoyed this one and gave podium places to 9,10,15&20a plus 6&14d.

    Many thanks, Atrica, good to have you back.

  10. Really enjoyed this.
    Amazingly I spotted the Nina fairly early on which was a great help. The 27a homophone was my LOI, and that, along with 9&17a plus 6&17d stood out for me.
    Hope it’s not as long until we see you again Atrica.

  11. A great puzle and an easily spotted nina. And an odd coincidence that the grid was the same as Chalicea’s last week. Thanks, Atrica – and to CS for the review.

  12. Very enjoyable. Many thanks, Atrica.
    Like some others, I struggled a bit on three of the 4 letter clues at 9a, 26a and 5d, spending as much time on these as on the rest of the puzzle put together.
    Ximineans will perhaps not like “understate” being one word in 5d, but it’s fine by me.
    I spotted the pangram, but would never have spotted the Nina without the comments above. Very clever!
    Thanks to our esteemed blogger. Impossible to miss the Nina – I don’t think so!!
    HNY and best wishes to all.

      1. Even after reading Jane’s comment & yours it’s still taken me 5 minutes staring blankly at the grid before the penny dropped.

  13. Thanks to all who commented, to Crypticsue for the review, and of course to Dave for being such an excellent host. Happy 2021!

  14. Many thanks for the review, CS, I enjoyed this one all over again reading through your decryption. Looks as though there was only yourself and Gazza who immediately spotted the ‘impossible-to-miss’ Nina – that was something of a relief!

    Thanks again to Atrica – please don’t stay away as long this time.

  15. Thank you, Atrica, for a well crafted puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed solving. (I’m late to the blog as I’m now working backward through the NTSPP archive). The anagrams in 23a and 1d were elegantly engineered, and 12d brought a smile too. 9a was the last to go in – I wanted it to be GAZE then saw a possibility for GAPE as I could sort of justify the PE. At last the penny dropped on why it had to be GAZE! If only I had spotted the pangram it might have sped things up… :unsure: I’m also poor at spotting ninas so thanks to CS for the direction. Coincidentally, I very recently solved your SP-006 (another archive I am mining). For once I DID spot the nina, so I know it was set just over 2 years ago! I hadn’t heard of the island in this puzzle’s 28a and in SP-006 you led me to a previously unknown dwarf and mineral. Keep broadening my horizons!

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