NTSPP – 590 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 590

A Puzzle by Hippogryph

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

Apologies for the late posting of the review.  I prepared it and had it ready to copy over to the blog and became distracted by a glass or two of red wine and completely forgot I had not posted it!

The crossword was a treat to solve and blog.  Many thanks to Hippogryph for the entertainment.


9 Kitchen appliance will solve atmospheric problems, according to Spooner (4,5)
FOOD MIXER – A Spoonerism  of mood fixer.

10 Worker grabbing unfinished pieces of stone regularly (5)
MASON – A three-letter word for a worker includes (grabbing) the odd letters (regularly) of stone after removing the last letter (unfinished).

11 Pops off from rough sex involving ripe bananas (7)
EXPIRES – An anagram (rough) of SEX includes (involving) an anagram (bananas) of RIPE.

12 Cheats fathom puzzles – not right! (7)
FIDDLES – The abbreviation for fathom followed by a seven-letter word for puzzles without the initial R (not right).

13 Elected to enter, nervous but radiant (5)
SHINY – A two-letter word meaning elected inside (to enter) a three-letter word meaning nervous.

14 Players lock in great serves (9)
ACTRESSES – A five-letter word for a lock of hair inside a four-letter word for great tennis services.

16 Failing to disband and rename gambling attractions (3-5,7)
ONE-ARMED BANDITS – An anagram (failing) of TO DISBAND RENAME.

19 London cabbie’s training acquaintance? (9)
KNOWLEDGE – Double definition of the expression used to describe the training of London taxis drivers and another word for acquaintance or familiarity with a subject.

21 Charlie’s mother coming around for tea (5)
ASSAM – A three-letter word for a Charlie or fool followed by a reversal (coming round) of a two-letter word for a mother.

22 Malden teetotaller controls firm (2,5)
AL DENTE – The answer is hidden (controls) in the first two words of the clue.

23 What is seen in audacious second looks? (7)
BEHOLDS – A two-letter word meaning what inside a four-letter word meaning audacious followed by the abbreviation for second.

24 Long river entering underground chamber (5)
CRAVE – The abbreviation for river inside (entering) a four-letter word for an underground chamber.

25 Play Lear etc, with no wavering (9)
TOLERANCE – An anagram (wavering) of LEAR ETC NO.


1 Shake dessert wine? (10)
AFTERSHOCK – A six-letter word for dessert followed by a four-letter word for a German wine.

2 Make up company representative on the up (8)
COMPRISE – The abbreviations for company and member of parliament (representative) followed by a four-letter word meaning on the up.

3 Well-oiled host supports kinky activity? (6)
SMARMY – A four-letter word for a host or group of people under (supports) the abbreviation for Sadomasochism (kinky activity).

4 Fixed line displayed by Australian Times in Saturday’s leaders (4)
AXIS – The abbreviation for Australian followed by the letter representing times and the initial letters (leaders) of in Saturday.

5 In the Black Isle, head outside for climbing (10)
PROFITABLE – A reversal (climbing) of a four-letter Italian island and a three-letter word for a head around the for from the clue.

6 Returns two-thirds of Chinese appetizer, having gone off a bit (8)
SMIDGEON – A reversal  (returns) of two-thirds of DIM SUM (Chinese appetiser followed by an anagram (off) of GONE.

7 China impounds special manuscript revealing religious compositions (6)
PSALMS – A three-letter word for a friend (China) includes (impounds) the abbreviation for special all followed by the abbreviation for manuscript.

8 Ms Blyton’s heartless finales? (4)
ENDS – The first name of Ms Blyton (the children’s author) without the central letter (heartless).

14 Updates audits with men replacing both you and I reportedly (10)
AMENDMENTS – Replace the U and I in audits with the MEN from the clue.

15 Seems sad, bizarrely, eating extremely enjoyable health food (6,4)
SESAME SEED – An anagram (bizarrely) of SEEMS SAD includes (eating) the outer letters (extremely) of enjoyable.

17 About time to give up paper? Boss finally agreed (8)
RELENTED – A two-letter word meaning about followed by a season of abstinence (time to give up) and the two letter abbreviation for the boss of a paper.

18 Cheeky Isle of Wight location? (8)
INSOLENT – Split 2, 6, this describes the location of the Isle of Wight.

20 My poem, “In this place”, recited by Eastenders (2,4)
OH DEAR – A homophone of how an Eastender might say ode here (poem in this place).

21 Dare he supply cement? (6)
ADHERE – An anagram (supply) of DARE HE.

22 Patrick, oddly missing husband Norman perhaps? (4)
ARCH – The even letters (oddly messing) in Patrick followed by the abbreviation for husband.

23 Lightning sprint away from bar (4)
BOLT – Triple definition for lightning, sprint away from  and bar.

19 comments on “NTSPP – 590

  1. Very enjoyable lunchtime entertainment – thanks Hippogryph.
    My podium has on it 23a, 1d and 20d.

  2. Excellent puzzle Hippogryph – NW & SE no problem but filling in the middle was harder
    Don’t usually pick best clues, but I thought 6d was a nice bit of misdirection and very tidy
    Many thanks for the entertainment Hippogryph, perfectly pitched for this slot

  3. Perfect lunchtime entertainment – I’d agree with Gazza’s favourites, with 20d topping the list

  4. Enjoyably completed pre-caffeine on my Saturday morning.

    I really liked 22a, 1d, 18d, and 20d.

    Thanks to Hippogryph and in advance to Prolixic(?).

  5. Great fun from start to finish. Just the job for the NTSPP slot, with 20d my favourite of many ticked clues, and I did particularly like the clever construction for 14d.

    Many thanks to Hippogryph and in advance to Prolixic.

  6. An excellent puzzle for the blog’s Saturday special with plenty of contenders for the podium. Eventually settled for 1,6&20d with a wide smile for 18d as IOW is where No.2 daughter lives and during her teenage years she could certainly live up to the answer on occasion!
    Thanks to Hippogryph for a lot of fun.

  7. I wish to associate myself with the comments of my learned colleagues above.
    Great fun with several clues which needed to be parsed carefully. Always read every word individually would be sound advice when solving this most enjoyable puzzle.
    My favourites are 9a, 11a, 13a, 21a, 1d, 5d, 17d, 20d and 23d.
    Many thanks, Hippogryph.

  8. Goldilocks would have appreciated this puzzle as it was ‘just right’. 11a, 21a and 20d raised a smile whilst my top three of several ticks went to 23a, 17d and 18d. I hadn’t come across the 19a reference before, so that has added to my 19a :smile:
    Thanks, Hippogryph, and I look forward to Prolixic’s review.

  9. I thought Chalicea’s Prize bang on the money but this beauty was even better. A delight from start to finish with big ticks a plenty. 11,19,22&23a plus 1,6,14,18&20d could easily make up 3 podiums in my view.
    Many thanks Hippogryph

  10. I can only add to the plaudits.
    Mostly light and breezy except 12a&6d which took a fair bit of teasing out. When I parsed 6d I realised just what a clever clue it is and it has to take top spot, but had strong competition from the excellent Spoonerism at 9a, the tea at 21a plus1d along with the very clever 18&20d.
    Great stuff Hippogryph.

  11. Lots of head-scratching involved for us but an absolute delight to solve such well put together clues.
    Thanks Hippogryph.

  12. Some struggling along the way for us. Shabbo’s advice is spot on. Our NE corner was last in. Favourites 9a, 14a, 18d and 20d. Many thanks Hippogryph. We look forward to your next one and to the review to parse a couple of answers.

  13. Thanks everybody for taking the time to do the puzzle and for leaving such encouraging comments. It’s very motivating to read that you all enjoyed the puzzle, and also to see the variety of the clues that different people liked most. Thanks also to my test solvers whose feedback and suggestions was invaluable in the development of the puzzle. Finally, thanks in advance to Prolixic for the review and I hope to be back with another one very shortly. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend and make the most of the sunny weather in the UK!

    1. Apologies – terrible English….whose feedback and suggestions WERE invaluable…

  14. This took a little while to get into but then everything clicked and I finished it one session. So much to enjoy so impossible to nominate a favourite. Thanks, Hippogryph.

  15. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, hope you enjoyed the wine which I’d like to believe wasn’t ‘borrowed’ from the communion stock!
    Well done again to Hippogryph, just goes to show what our ex-Rookies can go on to achieve.

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