NTSPP 641 – 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 brings us another of her just right for Saturday lunchtime crosswords, proving once again my theory that she spends quite a lot of her spare time reading the dictionary for less common meanings of everyday words

Another theme, another earworm!!


6 Swindle involving grub; little bread cube (7)
CROUTON A swindle ‘involving’ a verb which, when referring to a pig, means to grub up

7 Learn about one unspecified deep ravine (6)
CANYON A verb meaning to learn into which is inserted (about) an adjective meaning, as the clue says, one unspecified

9 Be up against advanced objection (4)
ABUT The abbreviation for Advanced and an objection

10 Citrus fruit of a pope (a gentle one) (10)
CLEMENTINE This citrus fruit shares its name with a number of popes, the name being a combination of a synonym for gentle and an adjective meaning characteristic of something

11 Switch positions occasionally (2,3,3)
ON AND OFF A double definition clue we’ve seen many times before!

13 One French trade show marked by deception (6)
UNFAIR The French word for one and a trade show

15 Shorthand within Middle Eastern letter (4)
SHIN The twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is obtained by following the abbreviation for shorthand with a simple way of saying within

17 Soft creamy cheese containing hint of naturally salty water (5)
BRINE A soft cheese into which is inserted (containing) the first letter (hint) of Naturally

18 Bitterness of topped golf stroke (4)
EDGE A golf stroke with its first letter removed (topped)

19 Gutless doctor rejected conservative disease (3 3)
DRY ROT The outside (gutless) letters of DoctoR and a reversal (rejected) of a way of referring to the Conservative Party

20 In disarray, drily see those who give in (8)
YIELDERS An anagram (in disarray) of DRILY SEE

23 Mechanic‘s strength getting round problem with resistance (10)
MILLWRIGHT A synonym for strength ‘getting round’ a problem and the abbreviations for With and Resistance

26 Polish unknown gem (4)
RUBY A verb meaning to polish and a mathematical unknown which you’ll need to remember as it turns up again in 12d

27 Adult, open- mouthed stares for feasts to celebrate love (6)
AGAPES The abbreviation for Adult and some open-mouthed stares

28 Upset involving river, made a slip in accuracy (7)
TRIPPED The past participle of a verb meaning upset ‘involving’ the abbreviation for River


1 Prospector readjusting limits of north-westerly frontier (5-5)
FORTY-NINER An anagram (readjusting) of the ‘limits’ of North-westerlY and FRONTIER

2 Building material revolutionary company cuts up (6)
STUCCO ‘Revolutionary’ seems to suggest that the abbreviated company is reversed, but in fact it is put under a reversal (up) of CUTS (from the clue)

3 Surprisingly keen to hit somebody with leg joint (4)
KNEE A surprisingly easy to rearrange anagram of KEEN

4 Tortuous clue she’d programme (8)
SCHEDULE An anagram (tortuous) of CLUE SHED

5 Somewhat malign attacking insect (4)
GNAT The clue is a nice description of the insect hidden (somewhat) in maliGN ATtacking

6 Taxi inside wooden hut (5)
CABIN A taxi and a simple way of saying inside

8 Piggy noises of boy endlessly daubing with printing fluid (7)
OINKING The ‘inside’ (endlessly) letter of bOy and part of a verb meaning daubing with printing fluid

12 Sprite‘s pretty unknown (5)
FAIRY A synonym for pretty and our old friend, the mathematical unknown previously seen in 26a

14 Expression of disgust, gutless lad stumbles and falls in school outings (5,5)
FIELD TRIPS An old interjection of disgust, the outside letters (gutless) of LaD and some stumbles or falls

16 Hospital making a mistake producing seafood (7)
HERRING The abbreviation for Hospital and another way of saying making a mistake

17 Merely lock for support (8)
BUTTRESS An adjective meaning merely and a lock of hair

21 Necessitate turning in late (6)
ENTAIL An anagram (turning) of IN LATE

22 Fanatical artist with attempt to achieve something (5)
RABID The usual abbreviated artist and an attempt to achieve something

24 Not completely spilt, upended, overflows the edges (4)
LIPS The first four letters (not completely) of SPILt reversed (upended)

25 In the auditorium manner of running total entrance money
GATE A homophone (in the auditorium) of a manner of running or walking

Just in case, you aren’t stuck singing this childhood favourite, here are the lyrics:

In a cavern, in a canyon
Excavating for a mine
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter, Clementine

Oh my darling, oh my darling
Oh my darling, Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

Light she was and like a fairy
And her shoes were number nine
Herring boxes, without topses
Sandals were for Clementine

Repeat chorus

Drove she ducklings to the water
Ev’ry morning just at nine
Hit her foot against a splinter
Fell into the foaming brine

Repeat chorus

Ruby lips above the water
Blowing bubbles, soft and fine
But, alas, I was no swimmer
So I lost my Clementine

Repeat chorus

How I missed her! How I missed her
How I missed my Clementine
But I kissed her little sister
I forgot my Clementine

Oh my darling, oh my darling
Oh my darling, Clementine
You are lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorry, Clementine

I rather like the Boy Scouts’ version which has this final verse:

Now you Boy Scouts, there’s a moral
To this little tale of mine.
Artificial respiration,
Would have saved my Clementine.

15 comments on “NTSPP 641

  1. Thanks Chalicea, good fun – mostly straightforward but a few unusual definitions needed clarification from BRB. Repetition radar bleeped for a couple of “unknowns” (and a similar “unspecified”) & 11a a bit of a chestnut maybe? Favourites 17a & 1d. Thanks again, and in advance to CS.

  2. Just what I needed at the start of a busy Saturday – light and friendly, but isn’t that a perfect description of Chalicea?

    But, a couple of buts:

    Like Fez, I had the repetition radar blip on ‘unknown’ in 26a/12d although I wouldn’t add ‘unspecified’ to the mix.

    A bête noire I have developed recently on three and four letter anagrams – surprisingly move one letter in 3d!

    Thanks to Chalicea and in advance to CS.

    1. Oh of course the “one unspecified” is together, fair enough. Missed the theme initially – despite the two ‘obvious’ entries – but think I’ve found them all now thanks to Mr Google, nicely done Chalicea, thanks again.

  3. For once, the theme was sufficiently obvious even for me, although I’m now stuck with the inevitable earworm……..
    Couple of things I needed to check along the way in the shape of the Middle Eastern letter and the feast but all hunky-dory elsewhere.
    Top three here were 17a plus 12&21d and the surface of 14d made me smile in remembrance of same!

    Thanks to Chalicea.

  4. Oh my darling, Chalicea … I knew that there would be a theme in there somewhere.

  5. A nice light puzzle to follow the Saturday cryptic.
    Liked 7a, 11a & 16d

    Thanks to Chalicea

  6. I enjoyed solving this whilst sitting out in the evening sunshine. Just as well it wasn’t too tricky as the air was rapidly turning cool! I recognised the theme but didn’t know enough verses to get many of the references – until I resorted to the very helpful WWW. 27a was a novelty and I haven’t tied the loose ends of 15a into a neat bow yet. My medals went to 1d, 11a and the nice and concise 26a. Thanks, Chalicea.

  7. Enjoyed the puzzle and then the delight when we spotted the theme.
    Thanks Chalicea

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS. Hadn’t previously heard the Boy Scouts additional verse but it made me smile.
    Trouble is that I’m now stuck with that wretched earworm for a second day!

  9. Thanks CS – nicely illustrated and like Jane I now have the earworm back too. (Alongside the mathematical constant were a couple of gutless fellows too – but still very enjoyable, I wonder how important the repetition radar really is to most solvers?)

  10. NIce review as always, CS, thank you. I failed on the 15a Hebrew letter – thanks for illuminating me! Interesting that the version of lyrics I found was different to yours – which added a rather dark verse regarding Clementine’s sister. However, I did like the boy scout’s additional verse :smile:

  11. crypticsue your illustrations are always lovely and comments highly appreciated. I think the song is rather heartless – just like whoever watched Ophelia drown, why was he simply describing the event then waltzing off with her little sister? Indeed the boy scouts’ version is preferable. Thank you.

  12. A remarkably quick solve and a theme that became obvious almost at once – except for 15ac which I just couldn’t see. Thank you, Chalicea and CS.
    PS: Did you know, by the way, that ‘Clementine’ can be sung to that great Welsh tune, ‘Cwm Rhondda’?

  13. With our air conditioning down since late yesterday (not ideal in South Florida) and new part not to be installed until Monday or Tuesday, I was so glad to find this puzzle waiting to be solved, an activity requiring no movement. Just a couple of new words for me, 15a and 27a, although I did bung in the latter as it just had to be. Thanks for taking my mind of the growing heat and humidity Chalicea, and to CrypticSue.

  14. Catching up on missed crosswords whilst away….. loved this one. Thank you Chalicea. We didn’t know 15a and had to Google check 27a. We missed the theme until we read CS’s intro but then saw it straight away. Thanks to CS also. Looking forward to the next one.

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