NTSPP – 593 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 593

A Puzzle by Acnestis

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A classy debut by Acnestis.


9 Mostly happy about source of uncertainty detectives clear up (9)
ELUCIDATE – A six-letter word meaning happy with the final letter removed (mostly) around the first letter (source) of uncertainty and a three-letter abbreviation for detectives.

10 Apple publication possibly gets round final stage of development (5)
IMAGO – How Apple prefixes its mobile products followed by a three-letter word for a publication and the letter that is round.

11 Perhaps Bernstein has time to replace new garment (7)
LEOTARD – The first name of the American composter with the abbreviation for time replacing the abbreviation for new.

12 Bad actor tours Delaware in style (3,4)
ART DECO – An anagram (bad) of ACTOR around the state abbreviation for Delaware.

13 Camouflaged shelter from which I depart (4)
HIDE – The answer is hidden (from) in the final three words of the clue.

14 Fired Eastern doctor of former Times editor (10)
EMBOLDENED – The abbreviations for Eastern and doctor of followed by a five-letter word for former times and the abbreviation for editor.

15 Reason to assume the Queen’s very uneasy (7)
NERVOUS – A four-letter word meaning reason includes (to assume) the abbreviations for the queen and very.

17 Criminal is full, having eaten a bit of Italian’s pasta (7)
FUSILLI – An anagram (criminal) of IS FULL includes (eaten) the first letter (a bit) of Italian.

19 Worrisome and annoying having leader beset by us (10)
UNSETTLING – An eight-letter word meaning annoying has the first letter embedded in (leader beset by) the US from the clue.

22 One has to avoid hassle finding key (4)
ISLE – The letter representing one followed by the word hassle from the clue with the has from the clue.

23 At mass gathering that man is in disbelief (7)
ATHEISM – The at from the clue and the abbreviation for mass include a two-letter word means that man and this IS from the clue.

24 Help put on a change of clothes? (7)
REDRESS – Double definition meaning help or compensation and to put on a new set of cloths.

26 Greek enchantress left out of group (5)
CIRCE – A six-letter word meaning a group or ring without the abbreviation for left.

27 Symbol of exchange with old currency (9)
TRADEMARK – A five-letter word meaning exchange followed by the name of the old German currency.


1 The rain has uncle running for cover (6,9)
HEALTH INSURANCE – An anagram (running) of THE RAIN HAS UNCLE.

2 Smaller group from America heading north over frontier (8)
SUBORDER – Reverse (heading north) the two-letter abbreviation for American over a six-letter word for a frontier.

3 Lives in Pennsylvania, in city with listed building (4)
PISA – A two-letter word meaning lives inside the state abbreviation for Pennsylvania.

4 Problem raised after fellow US lawyer gives court order (8)
MANDAMUS – A three-letter word meaning a problem is reversed (raised) after a three-letter word for a fellow and the abbreviation for an American lawyer.

5 Flowing on and on endlessly (6)
LEGATO – A three-letter word meaning on (in cricket terms) followed by a four-letter word meaning  on something with the final letter removed (endlessly).

6 Dangers at beach resort priest ignored on vacation (3,5)
RIP TIDES – An anagram (resort) of PRIEST ID (ignored on vacation).

7 Collapse from cold on a vessel (4,2)
CAVE IN – The abbreviation for cold followed by the A from the clue and a blood carrying vessel.

8 Nostalgic sentiment of lord intoxicated by drink (3,3,5,4)
FOR OLD TIMES SAKE – An anagram (intoxicated) of OF LORD followed by an five-letter word meaning by or multiplied and a four-letter word for a Japanese drink.

16 Rogue is rude to stranger (8)
OUTSIDER – An anagram (rogue) of IS RUDE TO.

17 Gloomy fellow invented cloaking device at last (8)
FUNEREAL – The abbreviation for fellow followed by a six-letter word meaning invented around (cloaking) the final letter (at last) of device.

18 Upright wise man, extremely vocal, admits it is better to go here? (3,5)
LAS VEGAS – Reverse (upright) a four-letter word for a wise man and the outer letters (extremely) of vocal around another abbreviation for “it” as in beauty.

20 Special exercise keeps her in shape (6)
SPHERE – The abbreviation for special and exercise include (keeps) the HER from the clue.

21 Way I take advantage of briefly lifted restrictions (6)
LIMITS – Reverse (lifted) the abbreviations for street (way), the I from the clue and a four letter word meaning take advantage with the final letter removed (briefly).

25 Performance is outstanding, and that’s final! (4)
DUET – A three-letter word meaning outstanding (as in a debt) followed by the final letter for that.

23 comments on “NTSPP – 593

  1. An excellent puzzle pitched at exactly the right level. I enjoyed it a lot – many thanks, Acnestis.
    I could have ticked half the clues but I’ll just mention 19a, 22a, 5d and 17d.

  2. Well done Acnestis for ‘graduating’ from Rookie Corner. A very enjoyable puzzle completed pre-caffeine on my Saturday morning although the SE nearly had me pausing to go to the Keurig.

    I really liked 14a, 27a, and 8d.

    Thanks and thanks in advance to ??.

  3. A most enjoyable puzzle with some head-scratching :scratch: , many smiles :smile: , and lots of ticked clues :good: . In common with Senf, the SE corner was the last barrier to fall. It was hard to narrow down, but podium places were finally awarded to 19a, 5d and 6d for their clever construction and smooth surfaces. A very worthy addition to the NTSPP collection – congratulations and thank you, Acnestis.

  4. Agreed – 25d was my last one to fill in and 24a the penultimate. An enjoyable solve.

  5. Found it tough but an enjoyable head scratcher. Used 2 letter reveals to get to a finish & not sure on a few parsings(5&17d & 22a) but otherwise ok I think. 4d was certainly new to me. Really liked the 2 gentler peripheral downs at 1&8 to get you started but my favourite was 18d.
    Many thanks Acnestis.

  6. Many thanks indeed, Acnestis, this was a perfect NTSPP. You are to be congratulated on your ingenious cluing coupled with super-smooth surfaces!

    Rather than try to pick a favourite or even a podium selection, it is easier to list the clues I didn’t like:


  7. This was a very classy offering Acnestis, I have a full grid and I’m pretty sure of all the parsings, courtesy of the excellent wordplay.
    I loved 12a plus 2,6&18d but my absolute favourite was 25d…great stuff!
    Thanks, and thanks in advance to the reviewer.

  8. Vey enjoyable but having the wrong answer at 4d put the kibosh on completing the puzzle and I’ll need tomorrow’s review to fully parse my answers. Now to get ready for a dinner date with Mrs S for the first time since September 2019 – I hope I can remember how to use the cutlery!

  9. Gosh! That’s six months before the first lockdown. I hope you are going somewhere nice!

    1. I was already ill before the lockdown so we couldn’t get out much and then I was in hospital after Christmas. Last night we met up with our sons for a family treat without having the ankle snappers in attendance. A good meal & a few quality pints with my lads.

  10. Thanks Acnestis, top stuff (and congratulations on deserved promotion from Rookie Corner)
    Favourite 5d, also liked the construction of 19a and definition in 3d, amongst a whole host of good clues.
    Thanks again!

  11. We found the rhs easier than the lhs and ended up having to reveal some starter letters. Our incorrect answer to 4d didn’t help us. Nevertheless we really enjoyed the puzzle – thank you Acnestis and congratulations on your promotion to NTSPP. We look forward to the review tomorrow to check on some answers.

  12. Our young overseas setter bursts onto the NTSPP scene with a humdinger of a puzzle – well done indeed, young sir!
    Found this to be no easy ride and there’s still one bit of parsing that I’m unsure about, but it’s IT related so that doesn’t surprise me in the least………
    Too hard to isolate a favourite so I won’t even try but I think our setter could well be heading for realms well outside of my comfort zone!

    Many thanks, Acnestis, I suspect that crosswordland is your oyster.

  13. What an absolute delight.
    Beautifully crafted clues all the way through and exactly in the Goldilocks zone for difficulty.
    Many thanks and congratulations Acnestis.

  14. Like many above, I thought this was very, very good.
    Smooth surfaces and clever wordplay throughout.
    My ticks were 10a, 19a, 22a, 1d, 5d, 7d, 8d and 21d, but I could have listed more.
    I find it hard to believe that this is your debut puzzle in NTSPP. Great stuff, Acnestis!

  15. Many thanks everyone for the lovely comments, and a huge thank you to Big Dave for publishing the puzzle. I’m glad everyone seems to have enjoyed the diversion.

  16. I thought I remembered your last appearance was in Rookie Corner, so congratulations on graduating to the NTSPP slot. And a very classy graduation offering, too. Thanks, Acnestis. Thanks, too to Prolixic.

  17. Thank you for the review, Prolixic, and particularly for the duet from The Pearl Fishers. Robin Ray used to talk about music that has the ‘tingle factor’, and this soaring duet always brings tears to my eyes… :cry:

  18. Warmest congratulations on an excellent debut Acnestis. I concur with what has already been said.
    It is very difficult to choose a favourite clue. I particularly liked 10a, 11a, 3d, 4d, 18d and 25d. I also liked 5d very much but I needed Prolixic’s explanation of the cricketing term.
    I must confess I did find it difficult to get onto the right wavelength. But it proved a most enjoyable solve. Had it been tougher, I am not sure I’d have managed to complete it!
    Very many appreciative thanks to Acnestis for a splendid NTSPP. And very many appreciative thanks to Prolixic for a most beautifully illustrated review.
    Finally, my apologies for the lateness of this comment.

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