NTSPP – 585 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 585

A Puzzle by Starhorse

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A belated review by Prolixic follows.


1 Catches Fascist troops eating grouse (5)
SNAGS – The abbreviation for Schutzstaffel (Facist troops) includes (eats) a three-letter word meaning to grouse.

4 Fell over, back of coat torn into shreds (7,2)
TRIPPED UP – The last letter (back) of coat followed by a phrase 6,2 meaning torn into shreds.

9 Impressive American teammates take part (7)
AWESOME – The single letter abbreviation for American followed by a two-letter pronoun for how you would refer to teammates and a four-letter word meaning part.

10 Scrutinize painting by son (7)
CANVASS – A six-letter word for a painting followed by the abbreviation for son.

11 Hyperactive toddler we had to get out (4,2,3,5)
DEAD TO THE WORLD – An anagram (hyperactive) of TODDLER WE HAD TO.  Not ideal that the clue resolves to wordplay get definition rather than wordplay gets definition.

13 Wayward female’s missing for sure (2,6)
OF COURSE – A phrase 3,6 meaning wayward or adrift without one of the abbreviations for female.

15 Hungry boy given starter of sausage rolls (6)
TWISTS – The hungry boy in Dickens’ novel followed by the first letter (starter) of sausage.

18 Pressed to the ear as required (6)
NEEDED – A homophone (to the ear) of kneaded (pressed).

19 Row over Greek character and Eastern European, a kept man (8)
DETAINEE – A three-letter word for a noise or row around (over) a three-letter word for a letter of the Greek alphabet followed by the abbreviations for Eastern and European.

21 Drug dealers who are pursued by traffic cops? (5,9)
SPEED MERCHANTS – Double definition.

25 Board‘s host cancelled film (7)
ENTRAIN – A nine-letter word meaning to host without the letters in ET (film).  I would have expected there to be an indication that the letters are removed separately.

26 Dramatist from riverside town meets gruesome ending (7)
MARLOWE – A six-letter word for a town on the River Thames followed by the last letter (ending) of gruesome.

27 Drunken padres let loose (9)
PLASTERED – An anagram (loose) of PADRES LET.

28 Stray tenor? (5)
DRIFT – Double definition.


1 Deputy crosses River Tay – primarily for the view (10)
STANDPOINT – A phrase 5,2 for a deputy around (crossed) a two-letter name of an Italian river all followed by the first letter (primarily) of Tay.

2 Colosseum, maybe in region close to Milan (5)
ARENA – A four-letter word meaning region includes (in) the last letter (close to) of Milan.

3 Integrate after brief show of temper (5,4)
SHORT FUSE – A five-letter word meaning brief followed by a four-letter word meaning integrate.

4 Pay for one’s English script (8)
TREATISE – A five-letter word meaning pay for followed by the shortened version of one’s and the abbreviation for English.

5 Moved slowly, took top off (6)
INCHED – A seven-letter word meaning took or stole without the first letter (top off).

6 Piper closed show (5)
PANTO – A three-letter word for a God who played pipes followed by a two-letter word meaning closed.

7 Sloth, possibly dangerous on short grass (6,3)
DEADLY SIN – A six-letter word meaning dangerous followed by a four-letter word meaning to grass or betray someone without the last letter (short).

8 Storyteller turned up without a present (4)
POSE – The storyteller of fables reversed (turned up) without the letter A.

12 Evaluation of mugs by workers in stone (10)
ASSESSMENT – A five-letter word for mugs or idiots followed by three-letter word for workers inside the abbreviation for store.

14 Old Queen‘s palace tour surprisingly non-U (9)
CLEOPATRA – An anagram (surprisingly) of PALACE TOUR without the letter U.

16 Eroded pot, full of ground earth (9)
WEATHERED – A four-letter word for cannabis or pot includes (full of) an anagram (ground) of EARTH.

17 Plead with daughter to suppress old poem – it’s dirty (8)
BEGRIMED – A three-letter word meaning to plead and the abbreviation for daughter include an old four-letter word for a poem.

20 Key feature of admin organisation (1,5)
D MINOR – The answer is hidden (feature of) in the last two words of the clue.

22 Demand payment without bill (5)
EXACT – A two-letter prefix meaning without followed by a three-letter word for a bill before parliament.

23 Girl one guy wound up over nothing (5)
NAOMI – The letter represented by one and a three-letter word for a guy reversed (wound up) around (over) the letter representing nothing.

24 Tacky, roofless, dilapidated vehicle (4)
HEAP – A five-letter word meaning tacky without the first letter (roofless).

22 comments on “NTSPP – 585

  1. Not a quick lunchtime solve by any means but I did enjoy the crossword.

    I don’t think it is me to blog this one which is possibly a good thing as there is one clue I can’t explain.

    Thanks to Starhorse and, in advance, to Prolixic

    1. Gnome’s Law strikes again! As soon as I clicked on Post Comment, I saw how the clue in question worked

  2. Very enjoyable with some clever misdirections, smooth surfaces and a lack of obscurities – thanks Starhorse.
    If I’ve parsed 25a correctly (which may not be the case) I think some indication is needed that the cancelled film is split.
    My ticks went to 1d, 5d, 6d and 24d.

    1. I think I’ve parsed it the same way as you and agree that there should be an indication that the film is split

      1. I thought this seemed fair, given the nature of the film title – if the title was written in place of just “film” in the clue, I don’t think it would be an issue?

  3. Thanks Starhorse, very good indeed. Took a while but everything very well and fairly clued, and lots to enjoy (I’m not sure I can pick a favourite, just consistently good) Looking back it’s hard to see why some caused such head-scratching – eg I struggled with parsing 6d for quite some time, but now I see it, it’s ‘obvious’. Thanks in advance to Prolixic for review, and thanks again Starhorse

  4. Thanks Starhorse. Another NTSPP completed pre-caffeine although there was some head scratching in the SW which was only resolved by a couple of reveals for 25a and, if it caused problems for CS and Gazza, I understand why but I still don’t understand the parsing.

    I really liked 21a, 7d, and 12d.

    Thanks in advance to Prolixic for the review.

    1. I took 25a to be a verb to host without the separate letters of a well-known Spielberg film.

  5. A very entertaining accompaniment to my tea break from gardening. Thank you, Starhorse, for a nicely crafted puzzle with many satisfying clues, too many to enumerate fully but special mention to 13, 21 and 16. 25 was my last one in having got the checking letters – a clever surface, and if there wasn’t a break in the middle of a film when would we get the ice creams…? :wink:

  6. Our setter’s come a long way since his days in Rookie Corner – a most enjoyable puzzle with a bit of head-scratching involved. Thanks to Gaza and CS for help with parsing 25a, I wonder what Prolixic will have to say about that one?
    Thought the ‘girl’ in 23d could have been better described but that’s a minor point.
    Top marks here went to 13,21&26a plus 6d.

    Thanks to Starhorse for a very good NTSPP.

  7. This seemed a fair bit tougher than other puzzles I remember from this setter. It’s certainly kept me entertained while watching the snooker nursing painful bruised ribs. I parsed 25a the same way as Gazza but had to check the answer was a synonym for to board. The parsing of 6d maybe obvious to Fez but it’s not to me & I’m not too clear on 1&9a either. The big ticks for me were 13,15,21&26a along with 1,14&16d. Clear favourite was 26a for its use of gruesome in both definition & wordplay (a Deptford boozer if memory serves)
    Thanks Starhorse

    1. 6d eluded me for ages… I think its a well-known piper [xxx], and close as in “check the door’s pushed [xx]”

  8. Certainly had us working hard but slowly and surely it all came together. We took the geography for 26a on trust when we got the answer from the rest of the clue. Agree that 25a doesn’t quite work but quite happy to overlook that as there are so many other really good clues.
    Thanks Starhorse.

  9. Evening all

    Many thanks for the feedback. As ever it’s pleasing to see a wide range of clues receiving the ticks.

    Re. the point about 25a and the film, I must confess I hadn’t even considered whether or not it needed splitting. I suppose that had I named the film in the surface it would be fine, as Fez suggested. But given that the film is used so much by setters I don’t think it’s grossly unfair as it stands, even if strictly speaking it’s technically incorrect.

    Sorry to hear of the painful ribs Huntsman (probably as well there were no clues to make you laugh out loud) but I’m glad someone picked up on the Marlowe’s gruesome end clue, my own favourite. Deptford it was indeed. I went to college in that part of London and there were often posters on the lines of “Learn to sail on Deptford Creek”. Somehow that never sounded very appealing.


    1. Problem with 25 is not the split, rather which et to remove from entertain, as there’s two instances (not that the other solution is a word, but all the same, you must mean what you say…) 😎

  10. A bit tricky in places but it all came out in the end. I really liked 11ac which had me guessing for a while – I wasn’t sure for ages if the definition was at the beginning or the end of the clue and when I did decide it was at the end there was a possible answer which fitted the enumeration and what crossing letters I had, but wouldn’t parse; a lovely penny-drop moment when I did get the answer. And another p-d m when I got 17dn – should have remembered the old spelling of ‘rhyme’ earlier.
    A couple of minor criticisms; others have already commented on 25ac, and also ‘over’ occurs twice as a containment indicator, in 19ac and 23dn. They didn’t spoil the enjoyment though. Thanks, Starhorse.

  11. A good workout for the little grey cells. I had no problem with 25a (despite having to stare it into submission) & 26a gets my vote for favourite clue. Thanks Starhorse & to the reviewer who will provide me with some enlightenment hopefully for several clues remaining solved but not fully parsed.

  12. Lots to like from my perspective. 25a LOI for all the reasons set out above. Loved the misdirection in 11a and lots of other really pleasant surfaces.. I even likes the double definition at 28a and I usually hate those. Thanks to Starhorse.

  13. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, interesting that you mentioned 23a which had bothered me somewhat as well as the obvious glitch in 25a. Nevertheless, a most enjoyable NTSPP from Starhorse.

  14. Thanks for the review, Proxilic, and thanks to Starhorse for an enjoyable puzzle

Comments are closed.