NTSPP – 577 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 577

A Puzzle by Silvanus

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

It’s been just over four months since we last solved a Silvanus puzzle over our Saturday lunch. This was another beautifully crafted and friendly crossword, perfect for a sunny day when it is far too nice to be indoors


1     Brilliant accent Dennis reproduced (12)
INCANDESCENT An anagram (reproduced) of ACCENT DENNIS

9     Nothing currently on TV, very put out (4)
NOWT A simpler way of saying currently and Tv without the V (very put out)

10     It converts sunlight to power, first off, all Carole’s switches (5,4)
SOLAR CELL Ignore the first letter of aLL add CAROLES and make an anagram (switches)

12     Type of plain fish doctor tucks into (6)
TUNDRA The abbreviation for doctor tucked into a type of fish

13     Where queues form requiring breast enhancement surgery, reportedly? (3,4)
BUS STOP A homophone (reportedly) of an informal way of referring to breast enhancement surgery

15     Marine creature in harbour, quiet approaching vessel (5,5)
NURSE SHARK A verb meaning to tend or harbour, an instruction to be quiet and a type of vessel

16     Open ground orienteer covers (4)
UNDO Hidden in (covers) groUND Orienteer

18     Article, oddly scratched, I’m certain must go back (4)
ITEM A reversal (must go back) of the even (oddly scratched) letters of iM cErTaIn

20     Caribbean island cocktail precedes that from Spain (10)
MARTINIQUE A type of cocktail precedes the Spanish word for that

23     Estimate time left to stuff chicken (7)
GUTLESS The abbreviations for Time and Left inserted (to stuff) in an estimate

24     One of several almost always spotted in the pub? (6)
DOMINO A cryptic definition of a spotted oblong playing piece in a pub game – they are almost always spotted apart from the double blank of course!

26     Exaggerate number of deliveries, say (9)
OVERSTATE A number of cricket deliveries and a verb meaning to say

27     In retirement catching cold, what a pain (4)
ACHE Insert (catching) the abbreviation for cold into an interjection enquiry, add A (from the clue) and then reverse (in retirement)

28    Incorrectly read time sprinter set (12)


2     Lawyers, none born between March 21st and April 20th? (8)
NOTARIES Whatever sign of the Zodiac these lawyers were born under, it wasn’t the one covering the period between March 21st and April 20th

3     Further sad lesson that is regularly ignored (4)
ALSO Ignore the regular letters of sAd LeSsOn

4     Extremely burdensome charge introduced by shop is intentional (10)
DELIBERATE First (introduced by) a type of shop, then the extreme letters of BurdensomE and then a charge

5     Force is beginning to shift lock (6)
STRESS The beginning to Shift and a lock of hair

6     Tennis champion working for football club (7)
EVERTON A tennis champion from the 70s and early 80s and an adverb meaning working

7     Somehow need detailed Botox help? You can call here (9,3)
TELEPHONE BOX De-tail or remove the final letter of NEEd, add BOTOX HELP and an anagram (somehow) will provide the solution (the picture shows the re-purposed one in our village at Halloween last year)

8     Craftsman, one becoming member of many associations (6)
JOINER This craftsman sounds like someone becoming a member of many organisations

11     Replacement stable hand finds space with nowhere to sit (8-4)
STANDING-ROOM A replacement and a stable hand

14    Fishmonger’s special offer perhaps for stingy individual (10)
CHEAPSKATE Split this stingy person 5,5 and you’ll get a special offer from a fishmonger

17     During Thanksgiving period Greek character turns up to make changes (8)
INNOVATE A preposition meaning during, the [abbreviated] month when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and a reversal (turns up) of a Greek letter

19     Small dishes and how they’re served, we hear? (7)
ENTREES Small dishes served between courses of a dinner sound like the way they might be brought to the table

21     Ambassador gets depressed by endless fast food (6)
QUICHE Remove the final letter from a synonym for fast and add the abbreviation for an ambassador

22    Justification for debate (6)
REASON Double definition

25     Look around castle tower (4)
KEEP Reverse (around) a synonym for look

32 comments on “NTSPP – 577

  1. Superb lunchtime entertainment – many thanks to Silvanus.
    It took me a second to realise why the ‘almost always’ was needed in 24a.
    Loads of fun clues including 9a, 13a (LOL), 23a, 27a and 14d.

  2. Very enjoyable and nice to see a few ‘old friends’ again
    Thanks for the entertainment Silvanus

  3. Most enjoyable & a treat to solve. Thank you Silvanus. Now it’s time to take Mrs S for her fist vaccination.

  4. Must have been on Silvanus’ wavelength today, romped through it, but there was plenty to enjoy on the way. Ticks to 12a, 20a, 17d, double ticks to 23a, 11d (especially), and 19d, which I thought inspired.

    Thanks to Silvanus

  5. Excellent entertainment with lots of laughs.

    Podium places go to the 3 that I found the most amusing: 13a, 24a and 19d.

    Thanks to Silvanus.

  6. Another NTSPP ‘no caffeine’ required on my Saturday morning.
    I really liked 2d, 14d, and 21d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and, in advance, to Cryptic Sue for the review.

  7. Excellent and most enjoyable. Too many good clues to pick a favourite but, if pushed, I would go for 24a.
    Thank you, Silvanus. :good:

  8. What a lovely surprise to come in from the garden to have some lunch only to find myself unavoidably detained indoors while completing this marvellous puzzle. It wasn’t too difficult except for the parsing of 27a which took a while for the penny to drop, but it was great fun from start to finish.

    Almost every clue is ticked and I have given double ticks to: 9a, 13a, 23a, 2d, 14d & 19d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and in advance to CS.

  9. Nice and straightforward – definitely on the same wavelength today … didn’t need any reveals and took about xxxxxx

    1. The convention is that we don’t mention solving times in order not to deter others who may take longer

  10. Thank you, Silvanus. We weren’t as speedy as Ruth to solve the puzzle but we enjoyed the process. The penny hasn’t dropped on 27a although we’re sure we have the correct answer. Favourites are 2d, 6d, 14d and 12a. Thanks in advance to CS.

      1. I meant to say thank you when I read it yesterday and then understood, not sure what stopped me. Many thanks, Jepi.

  11. What a delight to have Silvanus back amongst us in the NTSPP slot – welcome home!
    As always, my page is littered in ticks and it’s been hard to select those most worthy of podium places. After much debate, I’m opting for 9,13&15a plus 2,11&14d.

    Many thanks, Silvanus, quite made my day.

  12. Great puzzle – very entertaining.
    With 6d not getting an outing until Monday night, it helped me to fill some of my afternoon

  13. Super puzzle. Thanks Silvanus. And for once I completed it while comments are still active!

  14. Many thanks to Big Dave for publishing the puzzle and everyone for their comments as well as , in advance, to CS for her review. Much appreciated.

  15. What a gem of a puzzle from one of my favourite setters, accessible and humorous, just perfect for the NTSPP.
    Several clues made me smile, I’ve chosen 9,13&23a (so clever) plus 2,11,14&19d to highlight.
    Thanks Silvanus and in advance to CS for the entertainment.

  16. Off to a flyer in the NE section, then after putting it aside to enjoy the sunshine found I had to buckle down rather more for the remainder. Really enjoyed the challenge getting over the line, a satisfying close to the day! Double tick for contriving the ‘YES!’ moment on 27a. Ticks also for 9, 18, 23ac and 14, 19, 21down. The fact that commentators have selected different groups of favourites conveys how engaging this puzzle was. Thanks, Silvanus.

  17. No need for french polish with these surfaces. A delight from start to finish. Wasn’t familiar with the type of shark but the wordplay was clear & must confess to cheating & looking up a list of Caribbean islands which opened up the SE where I was struggling with 17&21d & 24a. Couldn’t parse 27a until I read the comments & didn’t realise there were blank tiles in 24a.
    Enjoyed all of the clues but the pick of them for me were 9,12,13,23&24a plus 2,7,11,14&21d. Thanks Silvanus

  18. Very late getting on to this. We had printer problems and ended up driving into town, buying a new printer, and then the long challenging process of setting it all up and connecting to our devices. Our reward for getting all that done was being able print, solve and thoroughly enjoy the puzzle. Excellent stuff.
    Thanks Silvanus.

  19. An enjoyable solve. I got off to a good start realising that 1ac and 26ac were anagrams and unscrambling them fairly quickly. I took a while to parse 27ac although 24ac was my last one in once the penny dropped. Favourite was 2dn – very neat! Thanks, Silvanus.

  20. Only did this because it was by the hand of Silvanus and it was indeed a stunner. Thanks, CS, for the help with 9a and 17d, needed despite all the checkers in place. So many super clues but I’m going to pick 12a 13a 27a 2d 8d and 11d as standouts for me.

  21. This is the first time I have tried a NTSPP really enjoyed this, pitched at just the right level.

    Thank you to Silvanus ad Cryptic Sue

  22. This is the first time I have tried a NTSPP really enjoyed this, pitched at just the right level. what have I been missing?
    Thank you to Silvanus ad Cryptic Sue

    1. Click on the Home tab at the top of the page
      Then click on Cryptic Crosswords
      then Puzzles

      You’ll find the previous 576 NTSPP puzzles under the click on Not the Saturday Prize Puzzles

Comments are closed.