NTSPP 606 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Chalicea

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Chalicea with, unusually for her, a very obvious theme and only one thing to look up in the dictionary – a very straightforward crossword to solve and blog and then get back out into the lovely autumn sunshine.


1 Isolate fellow holding marsupial (6)
MAROON A fellow ‘holding’ an informal term for a particular marsupial

5 Exercise authority, ultimately ruling over foremost of nation (6)
GOVERN The ultimate letter of rulinG, OVER (from the clue) and the ‘foremost’ of Nation

10 Hasten back to observe very famous dancer (7)
NUREYEV A reversal (back) of a verb meaning to hasten, followed by a verb meaning to observe and the abbreviation for Very

11 Can king following operational research attempt to establish location? (4,3)
LOOKING FOR An informal term for the lavatory (can) KING (from the clue), the abbreviations for Following and Operational Research

12 Moves slowly in unfinished board game (6)
INCHES IN (from the clue) and almost all (unfinished) of a board game

15 Whipped starter of broth consumed (6)
BEATEN The ‘starter’ of Broth and a synonym for consumed

16 Material for clothing heroine of Gone with the Wind it’s said (7)
SCARLET A homophone (it’s said) of the name of the heroine of Gone with the Wind, because her name has two Ts

17 Cereal you might sow wildly (4)
OATS You might indeed sow this cereal wildly

18 Squander belauded from time to time (4)
BLUE The odd (from time to time) letters of BeLaUdEd

19 Cochineal pigment in vehicle belonging to me (7)
CARMINE Split 3,4 this pigment would read as a vehicle belonging to me

20 Prickly bush  became higher (4)
ROSE Double definition

22 Run fast changing direction and duck (4)
TEAL Take a word meaning to run fast and change the direction at the end of the word

25 Circus performer, whale rising – almost crazy (7)
ACROBAT A reversal (rising) of a type of whale followed by almost all of an informal way of saying crazy

27 Clumsy old American swimmer (6)
OAFISH The abbreviations for Old and American and a ‘swimmer’

28 Movable barrier round limits of miserable cell (6)
GAMETE A moveable barrier goes round the ‘limits’ of MiserablE

31 True air about ancient state (7)
ETRURIA An anagram (about) of TRUE AIR

32 Pantomime character‘s a liberal adult graduate (3,4)
ALI BABA A (from the clue), the abbreviation for the Liberal Party, the abbreviation for Adult and an abbreviated graduate

33 Confused enemy circling leader of Zionists becomes catalyst (6)
ENZYME An anagram (confused) of ENEMY ‘circling’ the leader of Zionists

34 These future flyers regularly inhabit Andes (6)
NAIADS These dragonfly larvae (future flyers) can be found in the regular letters of iNhAbIt AnDeS


2 Fruit company tense following month lacking sales essentially (7)
APRICOT The abbreviations for company and tense follow a month without the L (lacking saLes ‘essentially’)

3 Skittish or sexy African creatures (6)
ORYXES An anagram (skittish) of OR SEXY

4 North American very disheartened fleet (4)
NAVY The abbreviations for North and American and the outside letters (disheartened) of VerY

5 Group of antique precious metal articles (4)
GOLD The abbreviation for ‘group of’ and a synonym for antique

6 Very strong and powerful, not originally native flower (6)
VIOLET Remove the original letter of Native from an adjective meaning very strong and powerful

7 Unusually tearful contradiction of statement (7)
REFUTAL An anagram (unusually) of TEARFUL

8 Dog I’d nicked turns up holding tropical plant (6)
INDIGO Hidden in reverse (turns up holding) in dOG ID Nicked

9 Fruit‘s nothing to rage about, primarily noxious (6)
ORANGE The letter representing nothing and an anagram (about) of RAGE goes about the primary letter of Noxious

13 Singular disadvantage involving runs for player without a handicap (7)
SCRATCH The abbreviation for Singular and a disadvantage, the latter ‘involving’ the cricket abbreviation for Runs

14 After incomplete felony, offspring blush with embarrassment (7)
CRIMSON Follow almost all (incomplete) of a felony with a male offspring

15 Humbly ask about article with soul, item for use in children’s games (7)
BEANBAG A verb meaning to ask humbly goes about a two-letter indefinite article and a soul represented in Egyptian religion as a bird with a human head (Can you tell that this is the bit I had to look up? 😊 )

20 Give access again with regard to work space (6)
REOPEN The two-letter word meaning with regard to, some abbreviated work and a printer’s space

21 Food colouring somewhat causes affront (7)
SAFFRON Hidden in part of causeS AFFRONt

23 Corrupt dealer accepting money for gem (7)
EMERALD An anagram (corrupt) of DEALER ‘accepting’ the abbreviation for Money

24 Sideways drift of upset small boat circling eastern Spain (6)
LEEWAY A reversal (upset) of a small boat ‘circling’ the abbreviation for Eastern and the IVR Code for Spain

25 Husband leaving receptacle for cigarette ends in wrong place (6)
ASTRAY Remove the abbreviation for Husband from a receptable for cigarette ends

26 Some insist a hit is a Pacific island (6)
TAHITI Hidden in some of insisT A HIT Is

29 Worn out horse in Germany – yes, half dead (4)
JADE The German word for yes and the first half of Dead

30 Showing affection rub against  young animal (4)
FAWN Double definition


28 comments on “NTSPP 606

  1. I’ve just got time to print this puzzle before we set off for Henry’s fifth birthday party at the village hall complete with bouncy castle & myriad small people. I’ll see you on the other side if we’re spared.

  2. Another delightful Chalicea crossword – having been to the local garden centre this morning, the theme served me well and my purchases tick most of them!

    Many thanks to all concerned for a bright ending to the week.

  3. A few dictionary confirmations required to confirm useage or definitions unfamiliar to me, which I usually have to do with a Chalicea crossword. However, I don’t think I will need to wait for CS’s review to point out all the thematic references on this occasion! I spotted the theme early on which rather pre-empted some clue solving, other than to confirm my guesses. I’d rather solve clues! However, I enjoyed the puzzle which had some nice surfaces, my favourite being 12a. Thanks Chalicea.

  4. This could not have been further removed from last week’s NTSPP which was impenetrable and no fun at all. Today’s puzzle was light and very enjoyable even though I did need to look up a few unusual meanings along the way. I suspected the second pangram of the day was on the cards but the Q never materialised.

    Even I could spot the theme and I found 16 references.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and in advance to CS.

  5. Value for money from the very colourful Floughie Lady with 38 clues!

    Good fun with no caffeine required on my Saturday morning.

    I liked 10a and 25a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and in advance to CS.

  6. As is usually the way with this setter there were a few answers that used previously unknown definitions (to me, at least!) but the solve itself was completed in quite short order. As RD commented, it couldn’t have been further removed from last week’s NTSPP!
    Thanks to the rainbow lady for the puzzle.
    PS I made the tally 17 but I’m nervous in case RD’s counting is better than mine……….

    1. I also counted 17, Jane. This may be poles apart from last week’s NTSPP, but you can’t have a South pole without a North pole… :wink: Then where should we place Elgar? At a maypole, perhaps, because he always leads me on a merry dance!

        1. My apologies, CS, and thanks for taking time to resolve my error. I hope it hasn’t interrupted any jam-making!

    2. I made it 17 as well! (but had to write them all down and count the list! I kept missing them in the grid)

      1. I made it 17 too … though wouldn’t be surprised if a few others turn out to be in Farrow & Ball’s latest range

  7. Can I join the others in saying I enjoyed this a lot more than last week largely because I have a letter in every white square on the grid, and broadly confident it is the right one. Last week’s still stands a pristine, rebuke to my ineptitude.

  8. That’s much more like it. A fun solve with a theme even I couldn’t fail to miss. 29&30d were the 2 head scratchers & last in. 10a my favourite too.
    Thanks Chalicea

  9. Thanks Chalicea, mostly straightforward, especially with the helpful theme, but some unusual definitions too – so fun and educational Another vote for 10a, also liked 23d.

  10. Thank you Chalicea. We’ve been away so appreciated a gentle return to crossword land – although we had to check a couple of answers. A very enjoyable solve and we counted 17 also.
    Thanks to CS in advance.

  11. Yes, it is indeed 17. They were easier to fit in than other thematic items have been in the past. Your generous comments have redeemed for me a day that has been fraught with a very difficult crossword solve. I am delighted to have given solvers so much pleasure and am, of course, looking forward to crypticsue’s review.

  12. Yes found the 17! 16a taught me a new meaning — and made me read the wikipedia page for Gone with the Wind learning that Vivien Leigh tragically died quite young.

  13. Many thanks for the well-illustrated review, CS. I’m sure Chalicea appreciates the trouble you take to depict her themes.

  14. Indeed I do, Jane, I look forward to them and will never forget the wonderful one CS did on tomatoes. This one was a beauty. Many thanks to CS.

  15. What a delight as are all puzzles by Chalicea. I saw the theme but did not even think to count them! However, others have said there are seventeen and Chalicea has confirmed this. I admire anyone who can get about half a dozen themed clues into a cryptic let alone seventeen.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for the entertainment. Thank you, CS for the review.

  16. All done and dusted in one sitting, as well as spotting the theme (well, it was a bit obvious). Most enjoyable. Thanks, Chalicea and CS.

  17. Thanks Chalicia (& B.D)
    I enjoyed the puzzle but spent ages trying to fit avocado in somewhere.


    D. D.

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