NTSPP – 575 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 575

A Puzzle by Gazza

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.


1 Skip bus? He deployed healthier means of getting around (9)
PUSHBIKES – An anagram (deployed) of SKIP BUS HE.

6 Crown leading lady for a lark (5)
CAPER – A three-letter word for a crown or top followed by the regnal cypher for the current queen (leading lady).

9 Figure out brilliant joke (5)
CRACK – Triple definition for figuring out a code and another word for brilliant and a joke. 

10 When in retirement was deceitful about tax secreted (9)
SALIVATED – Reverse (when in retirement) a two-letter word meaning when and followed with a four-letter word meaning was deceitful around a three-letter word for a type of tax levied on goods and services.

11 I sort daily out to create harmony (10)
SOLIDARITY – An anagram (out) of I SORT DAILY.

12 Talkative bird‘s scrummy naughty bits (4)
MYNA – The answer is hidden (bits) in the third and fourth words of the clue.

14 Exposed slippery individual caught in fresh contract (3,4)
NEW DEAL – A homophone (caught) of NUDE EEL (exploded slippery individual).

15 Do the cleaning – there’s no time for cute little pet (5,2)
SWEEP UP – A phrase 5,3 for a cute little dog without the abbreviation for time.

17 Split curtails what are left after lighting-up time’s over (3-4)
DOG ENDS – Split the curtails from the clue to give cur tails and provide synonyms for each word.

19 Nick and Paddy’s dog (7)
WHIPPET – A four-letter word meaning to nick or steal and a three-letter word for a paddy or strop.

20 Questions asked in last letter in the Times in the morning (4)
EXAM – The last letter of the word and the letter representing multiplication (Times) in the abbreviation for morning.

22 Perhaps lady is seduced by cunning touring actor (10)
ARISTOCRAT – The IS from the clue inside a three-letter word meaning cunning followed by an anagram (touring) of ACTOR.

25 Looking back, in past I did revolt and got carried away (7,2)
OVERDID IT – The answer is hidden and reversed (looking back in) the fourth to seven words of the clue.

26 Sparkling fellow becoming tense in a bit of a dither (5)
TIZZY – A five-letter word meaning sparkling with the abbreviation for fellow replaced by the abbreviation for tense.

27 Squeeze is in shape and trendy (3,2)
FIT IN – A three-letter word meaning in shape or healthy and a two-letter word meaning trendy.

28 Lecherous old politician’s point about English rule (9)
LIBERTINE – The abbreviation for liberal (old politician) and a four-letter word for a point on a fork around the abbreviations for English and Rule.


1 Waddling creatures’ leader going topsy-turvy – they slip easily on ice! (5)
PUCKS – The name of birds that waddle with the first letter rotated through 180 degrees (going topsy-turvy).

2 Reprobate, name unknown, wearing stolen gear (9)
SCALLYWAG – A four-letter word meaning to name and a letter representing an unknown value in algebra inside (wearing) a four-letter word for stolen goods.

3 Lascivious naked babes offering saucy bite (5,5)
BAKED BEANS – An anagram (lascivious) of NAKED BABES.

4 Makes trellis to cage bird (7)
KESTREL – The answer is hidden (to cage) in the first two words of the clue.

5 Pays tribute to old music makers supporting appeal (7)
SALUTES– A five-letter word for an old type of musical instrument under (supports) the abbreviation for sex appeal.

6 Man‘s unnamed group of charming associates (4)
COVE – The collective noun for a group of witches (charming associated) without the abbreviation for name (unnamed).

7 Silly place for young child to go (5)
POTTY – Double definition for a word meaning silly and a child’s portable toilet substitute.

8 Wine transporter’s favourite to get privileged treatment (3,6)
RED CARPET – A variety or colour of wine followed by a three-letter word for a domestic vehicle and a three-letter word meaning favourite.

13 Male police officer’s impressed by US capacity in air transport (10)
HELICOPTER – A two-letter word meaning a male followed by a three-letter word for a police officer inside (impressed by) the US spelling of a measure of liquid capacity.

14 It’s odd Den evidently failed to stay alert … (6,3)
NODDED OFF – A reverse anagram where the first part of the solution followed by an anagram indicator might give ODD DEN.

16 … still an objective for those following stars (9)
PAPARAZZI – Cryptic definition for those who want to get a photo (still) of famous people (stars).

18 Something fruity‘s spelled out in most rude limericks (7)
STRUDEL – The answer is hidden (spelled out in) the final three words of the clue.

19 Washington’s still upset about Hillary’s original facility for getting into hot water (7)
WASHTUB – The two-letter state code for Washington with the ’s from the clue added and a reversal (upset) of a three-letter word meaning still or yet around the first letter (original) of Hillary.

21 Talented English singer starts to provide translations for the French (5)
ADEPT – The name of an English singer with the final two letter (being the French masculine singular for the) replaced by the initial letters (starts to) of provide translations.

23 Your old man’s European plant (5)
THYME – A three-letter word meaning your in old language followed by the abbreviation for man and European.  I have not come across M as an abbreviation for man before.

24 Trailer space in port (4)
ADEN – A two-letter word for an advertisement or trailer followed by a two-letter word for a printer’s space.

32 comments on “NTSPP – 575

  1. Very nice entertainment. Loved the device in 1d – not sure I’ve seen that before. Other ticks to 19a, 20a, 2d. Still unsure of the parsing on 16d and 21d, so looking forward to further comments and the review.

    Thanks to Gazza

    1. Hi Skinny – 16d ‘still’ is a photo, 21d start with Adele and follow the instructions

  2. Very enjoyable with some nice touches of humour and a few crafty ones thrown in for good measure
    Thanks for the entertainment, Gazza

  3. Thanks Gazza for a welcome diversion to the current lockdown exacerbated by this Baltic weather. Granddaughter arriving at 3:00pm so I must get all of her dinosaurs organised in her new tent which we’ve erected in the living room. I can’t wait to see her face.
    Stay safe everyone.

  4. Another NTSPP that I was able to solve pre-caffeine on my Saturday morning.
    After the back pager pangram, I was beginning to think pangram here but there is at least a J ‘missing’.
    I really liked 8d and 13d but I did have a small Hmm about the second word of 27a appearing, perhaps unavoidably, in the clue.
    Thanks to Gazza and in advance to Prolixic(?).

  5. Good fun, Gazza, thanks. Put an alternative in 14d and 17a, without much justification, but got there in the end.

  6. Thank you Gazza, really enjoyed your puzzle which has kept us occupied on this very cold afternoon. We still can’t completely parse a couple. Like Senf we suspected it might be a pangram. Favourites were 1a, 20a, 2d and 8d. We look forward to the review tomorrow.

  7. 1d, as already noted by Skinny, provided a fun start to an entertaining puzzle. Of the many nicely-crafted clues, my favourites were 14a, 19a, 1d, 3d, 6d and 21d. I look forward to the review to confirm my appreciation of 17a. Thanks, Gazza!

    1. I had thought that a split in the skin at your fingertips was sometimes called a ‘dog’. The correct parsing is so much better :oops:

  8. Always a pleasure to get a puzzle from my knight in shining armour – this one accompanied me on my ride to nowhere on the recently acquired exercise bike!
    Think my favourites were 19&20a but I could easily be persuaded otherwise, plenty to choose from in this one.

    Many thanks to Gazza, so nice to see you in the NTSPP slot again.

  9. Such a pleasure to see Gazza in the NTSPP.
    As always, great clues with meaningful surface with the odd touch of humour.
    7d is definitely one of his trademarks.
    Nice device in 1d and liked Seduced as a containment indicator in 22a.
    Great hidden in 18d.
    I could go on and on.
    Thanks for the super fun.

  10. A few easy anagrams to get a foothold then a lot of the solutions seemed to jump off the page for me without necessarily getting much help from the wordplay.
    Some cracking clues though, the lurkers at 12a&18d, the “Irish” dog at 19a (very clever), and the funny 7d along with the smooth 8d standing out for me .
    Thanks Gazza for a very enjoyable puzzle.

  11. Thanks, Gazza. Very enjoyable puzzle – I particularly liked 19A and 26A, but there were lots of other good ones as well. Just a couple of queries. (i) 3D is a nice anagram, but I think “lascivious” as an anagram indicator is perhaps a bit dodgy. It doesn’t appear in the list on Chambers XWD Dictionary, and I’m not sure that there is anything in the definition of the word in the BRB that justifies it. Do you have a precedent for it? (ii) What is the authority for the abbreviation used in 23D? It isn’t supported by the BRB and, as far as I’m aware, I don’t think it’s in the Oxford Dictionary of English, either.

  12. I didn’t really have enough time for this but I couldn’t miss the opportunity of solving a puzzle from Gazza, which was as enjoyable as ever.

    With lots of excellent clues to pick from, I’ll just mention the LOL 7d, the clever 1d, the naughty 3d (Harold, as lascivious can mean unruly, I think this is OK as an anagram indicator) & the lurker in 18d.

    Many thanks to Gazza and advance to CS.

      1. Sorry, CS, I get easily confused.

        In any event Gazza’s puzzles are more than good enough to be nationally-published.

      2. Rabbit Dave: I agree that “wanton” can mean “unruly”, but that does not mean that “lascivious” can also mean “unruly”. The BRB definition of the word is “wanton”, “lustful” – both being in the general sense of “lecherous”, which is the same as the definition in Collins. The definition in the ODE is “feeling or revealing an overt sexual interest or desire”. I fear that there does not appear to be any dictionary justification for using “lascivious” to indicate a rearrangement or disordering of letters.

  13. I’ve loved doing this and am now wishing that I’d make myself keep it up my sleeve for tomorrow – damn! :sad:
    I’ve still got a few that I haven’t done so will hide it away for now.
    1d had to be what it was but I always use capital letters when I’m writing in the answers in a crossword so showed it to husband – he instantly wrote the lower case ones in and pointed it out – is he smug, or what?!!
    Thanks so much to Gazza for the entertainment and, in advance, to Prolixic for his review tomorrow.

  14. As soon as we saw who the setter was we said, “Ooh Good.” We were not disappointed. Lots of fun and so many ticks we did not even try to pick a favourite.
    Thanks Gazza.

  15. I’m clearly going to have to start doing puzzles in lower case, like Kath’s husband.

    most enjoyable. I have a particular appreciation for simple elegant clues like 4d where the fodder and indicators contribute so nicely to surface

    Many thanks Gazza

  16. Great to have Gazza back in the NTSPP slot & this certainly lived up to expectations. Way more fun than the DT prize puzzle & cleverly clued throughout. Impossible to pick a podium from so many contenders – 10,12,22,26&28a plus 1,2,3,7,8,21&16d were all valid contenders in my view. It’s only that I can’t fully parse them that 17&19a (homophone?) weren’t included.
    Many thanks Gazza

  17. Thanks for the review Prolixic. As I suspected my parsing of 17&19a way off & I wrongly thought the reverse lurker at 25a was an anagram.

  18. Nice one, Gazza!
    I particularly liked the dog and the dessert (19ac, 18dn). One or two I couldn’t parse, such as 21dn, and I wasn’t sure about M = man in 23dn. But a very satisfying solve nevertheless. Thanks (and to Prolixic).

  19. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, and the excellent video clips – I do enjoy a flashmob!
    Was that Mrs Elgar I spotted at 19a?

    Thanks again to Gazza for a joyful NTSPP.

  20. Not often that I enjoy the review as much as the puzzle, but this was a joy. The video clip with 1ac was brilliant – I can’t wait for the snow and ice to disappear and get out on my bike again! 4000km in the last 12 months yet only 500km in my car, a different year on so many fronts… Thanks, Prolixic, and thanks again to Gazza. P.S. I just came across your NTSPP-549, a bit more of a challenge and every bit as enjoyable.

  21. Many thanks to all who commented and to Prolixic for the explanations and illustrations (especially the flashmob video).
    M for man is in the Little Yellow Book (Chambers Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations) but (not for the first time) I am guilty of not checking that it’s also in the BRB or Collins.

  22. Many thanks Prolixic for the wonderful flashmob video that made my day, absolutely brilliant, and scarborough fair gave me goosebumps, just beautiful

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