NTSPP 629 – 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’s turn to provide the Saturday lunchtime crossword – not so much a trawl through the crossword reference books, more an ear-worm – sorry, I mean theme based on a song! specially chosen for this week in light of the awful events in Ukraine.

Despite all the singing, I could still hear the beep of the repetition radar – Chalicea’s favourite insertion indicator appeared twice and there were also two abbreviated Daughters


1 Affluent urban professional‘s way of saying yes with tart, say (6)
YUPPIE An informal variation of yes and a type of tart, although the one in the solution has a lid!

4 Ancient people from the east circling singular unknown river (8)
ASSYRIAN An adjective meaning belonging to an Eastern continent ‘circling’ or going round the abbreviation for Singular, a mathematical unknown, and the abbreviation for River

10 One local current shape unchanging in character (7)
UNIFORM A dialect noun meaning one, the symbol for electrical current and a shape

11 Loafed around; made a forward thrust, holding nothing (7)
LOUNGED The letter representing nothing inserted into part of a verb meaning made a forward thrust

12 Joy of good shelter (4)
GLEE The abbreviation for good and a shelter

13 Infectious disease maybe produces sign in time (10)
MENINGITIS An anagram (maybe produces) of SIGN IN TIME

15 One settling overseas before accepting fighter (6)
ÉMIGRÉ A synonym for before ‘accepting’ a type of fighter jet

16 Terror about European cargo (7)
FREIGHT Some terror goes about the abbreviation for European

20 Casual dismissal of sailor’s cry (5-2)
HEAVE-HO Not a  double definition because the sailor’s cry doesn’t have a hyphen but does have an exclamation mark at the end

21 Slovenly son, idle about everything at first (6)
SLEAZY The abbreviation for son and a synonym for idle, the latter going about the first letter of Everything

24 Cunningly, I slyly bill this nincompoop (5,5)
SILLY-BILLY An anagram (cunningly) of I SLYLY BILL

26 Knowledgeable about preposition (4)
UPON A synonym for knowledgeable or well informed and a preposition meaning about

28 Rearranged letters of a horse and sheep (7)
ANAGRAM A (from the clue), an inferior term for a horse and a male sheep

29 Blossoms following reduced success initially (7)
FLOWERS The abbreviation for Following, a synonym for reduced and the initial letter of Success

30 Seal and send boxes a long way to the west (5,3)
LANDS END Depends where you live of course – it is ‘boxed’ in seaL AND SEND

31 Depression concerning obsolete tax (6)
RECESS The usual two-letter ‘concerning’ and an obsolete tax


1 Old boys were these once (5,3)
YOUNG MEN Before they grew up into old boys, these were the younger version

2 Prepare sentence for when audience is greatest (5,4)
PRIME TIME To prepare a firearm and another word for a prison sentence

3 I carefully study symbol (4)
ICON I (from the clue) and a verb meaning to study carefully

5 Joins, welcoming one who might serve? (8)
SOLDIERS Joins metals ‘welcoming’ the letter representing one

6 Lassies, partners for 1 down (5,5)
YOUNG GIRLS Partners for the solution to 1d

7 Knowing otherwise conceals oblong block of gold (5)
INGOT Concealed in knowING OTherwise

8 Daughter is entering almost without feeling, going without clothes (6)
NUDISM The abbreviation for Daughter and IS (from the clue) ‘entering’ almost all of an adjective meaning without feeling

9 Unusual bream of brownish-yellow colour (5)
AMBER An anagram (unusual) of BREAM

14 Serious measures in funereal places (10)
GRAVEYARDS An adjective meaning serious and some measures of distance

17 Man and a daughter combine for an illustrated chapter heading (9)
HEADPIECE The male form of the third person pronoun (man), A (from the clue) and (another appearance) of the abbreviation for Daughter, followed by a verb meaning to combine

18 Appeal involving international fellow, one who presides (8)
CHAIRMAN The abbreviation for International ‘involved’ in appeal in the sense of attractiveness, either followed by a fellow, in which case the M is doing double duty, or the fellow is padding and an indefinite article (one) appears at the end of the solution 

19 Sleep-like state of curiously phony sis (8)
HYPNOSIS An anagram (curiously) of PHONY SIS

22 Attack a small project (6)
ASSAIL A (from the clue), the abbreviation for Small, and a verb meaning to project

23 Float swirling on high (5)
ALOFT An anagram (swirling) of FLOAT

25 To study, lecturer has to make money (5)
LEARN The abbreviation for Lecturer and a verb meaning to make money

27 Wagoner abandoning conflict separately departed (4)
GONE Remove a synonym for conflict (separately indicating that the letters aren’t together) and you are left with a synonym for departed

You probably have to be a certain age to remember (and be stuck singing) this song by Pete Seeger written in 1955. The question is do you remember the Peter, Paul and Mary version, the Joan Baez one, or another one altogether?


20 comments on “NTSPP 629

  1. A bit of a hold up in the SE otherwise not too tricky
    Thanks for the entertainment Chalicea

  2. Slight hiccup at 1a as I initially threw in yarpie (too much time in S Africa) & a head scratch or two in the SE also but otherwise pretty straightforward. I thought this one had the edge on your Prize puzzle & rather liked 1d & the neat anagram at 13a. The tax was a new one on me.
    Thanks for a double helping of entertainment

  3. An otherwise enjoyable puzzle carrying a very poignant message :sad:
    The west side fell into place quite quickly, the east was a bit trickier. The whole puzzle was fun to complete but I particularly liked 20a, 28a, 30a and 2d.
    Thanks, Chalicea, for the puzzle and for expressing the sentiment it contained :rose:

      1. Chalicea always hides a theme in her NTSPPs. She’s moved on from themed lists to songs. Be warned, you will be stuck with an ear worm!

  4. Not for the first time, Chalicea on double duty with the SPP and the NTSPP and I enjoyed this one more than the SPP.

    Is it me, quite likely, or is the sixth letter of 18d ‘clued twice’ – as the last letter of appeal and the first letter of fellow?

    16a and 2d created smiles.

    Thanks to Chalicea and in advance to crypticsue.

  5. The second Chalicea of the day was a little trickier than the (inside) back page. I haven’t got the earworm yet (thankfully)
    but I am a bit worried that 19d may cause me to streak down the road in a burst of 8d.

  6. Apologies for the rather sad aspect of the puzzle. Big Dave had two in store and this one (very sadly) seemed to be relevant to the current world situation (no – not COVID).

    1. Very relevant I’d say. I was very surprised to find the song covered by such varied/unlikely artists as Dolly Parton, Earth, Wind & Fire & Jimmy Somerville. Joan Baez best for me.

  7. Definitely stuck with an ear worm, sadly one that simply won’t resonate with the incumbent of the Kremlin.
    Enjoyed solving the puzzle and agree with Senf that the stand-out clues were 16a & 2d.

    Thanks again to Chalicea and in advance to CS – at least you won’t need to trawl through any of Mrs Bradford’s tomes to review this one!

  8. Mainly enjoyable but I thought the connected 1&6d strange clues, and I agree with Senf that the “M” in 18d is like our setter…. doing double duty.
    I liked 28a, and I thought the lurker at 7d rather good but my joint favourites were the very clever 26a&2d.
    Many thanks to Chalicea for the fun and to CS in advance.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS, which hopefully cleared up Stephen’s query with regard to 1&6d – both of which were essential elements of the theme.
    Thanks again to Chalicea – how desperately sad that your theme has come to the forefront of people’s minds yet again.

  10. Thanks for the review CS.

    18d – not one of Chalicea’s finest clues with an amount of ambiguity. I parsed it with a definition of ‘one who presides’ which does lead to to the M being clued twice as the last letter of appeal and the first letter of fellow.

  11. Thanks for the review, CS, I enjoyed your list of anagrams! However, for me the themed song does not so much place a worm in the ear as it does a tear in the eye…
    Thanks again, Chalicea, I must say I prefer the songs to the themed lists which I never managed (or perhaps I should admit, never invested the time) to completely identify – it was much easier to wait for CS’s definitive analysis :smile: Having said that, the lists did introduce me to lots of often interesting stuff I had no clue about (but which you always manage to clue fairly)!

  12. Many thanks to crypticsue. Indeed, this was set some time before the current events seemed to be inevitable and I agree the song and situation don’t bring a worm to the ear so much as a tear to the eye.

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