NTSPP 646 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Prolixic

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Prolixic brings us a themed crossword for our Saturday afternoon solving pleasure


1 Cereal you reportedly kept in kitchen equipment (5)
DURUM A type of wheat is obtained by inserting a homophone (reportedly) of you into part of the percussion section of an orchestra (kitchen equipment)

4 Clive for one has yen for Kiwis’ 18? (5)
DUNNY The surname of an actor called Clive (best known for Dad’s Army) followed by the abbreviation for Yen

7 In retrospect, Verity regularly overlooked 18 (3)
HUT Take a synonym for verity, remove the even letters (regularly overlooked) and reverse what’s left (in retrospect)

9 Old French duchy described by African journal (5)
ANJOU Hidden in (described by) africAN JOUrnal

10 Prunes poached with eggs for star (9)
SUPERNOVA An anagram (poached) of PRUNES with some egg cells

11 Near beginning of Tridentine Mass a reformed episcopalian has terrible experience (9)
NIGHTMARE A synonym for near, the ‘beginning’ of Tridentine, the abbreviation for Mass, A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Reformed Episcopalian

12 Sun’s journalist has 18 (5)
SHACK The abbreviation for Sun and a journalist

13 Radio caller’s judged roughly (7)
GUESSED A homophone (on the radio) of a caller invited onto a programme

15 Send for member of the fleet (4)
SHIP Double definition

18 Wanted group of ladies to exit building (4)
SHED Remove the abbreviation for a particular group of ladies from part of a verb meaning wanted

20 Eggs on a young man to be an animal (7)
ROEBUCK More eggs, this time of fish followed by an archaic term for a lively young man

23 Right to claim a rest (3-2)
LIE-IN A legal right ‘to claim’ I (A)

24 Strangely normal to drink tea like a head of state (9)
MONARCHAL An anagram (strangely) of NORMAL to ‘drink’ an informal name for tea

26 A white piano key maybe stiff (9)
UNNATURAL A dialect word for one (A) and a white key on a piano

27 Starts to operate computer using Linux interpreter in Windows (5)
OCCULI The ‘starts’ to Operate Computer Using Linux Interpreter

28 A piece of Vietnamese bread (3)
HAO A Vietnamese coin (bread here referring to money)

29 Deserved two degrees (5)
RATED A degree and the abbreviation for Degree

30 Father leaves rope behind (5)
STERN An informal name for father leaves a rope used to tie up a horse by the leg


1 A reading’s prepared for sewers’ service (8)
DRAINAGE An anagram (prepared) of A READING

2 Exhausted soldiers coming up changed (8)
REJIGGED Move the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers (soldiers coming up) to the top of an informal word meaning exhausted

3 Money order’s ultimately 18 (5)
MOULT The abbreviation for Money Order and the abbreviated way of writing ultimately

4 18‘s record finally shared with Jack? (7)
DISCARD A record and a Jack, merged and sharing the C at the end of one and the beginning of another

5 Young crabs? (7)
NIPPERS An informal term for young children, or a description of crabs

6 Dry Kurdish pigeon’s cooked to create this pudding (9)
YORKSHIRE An anagram (cooked) of DRY KURDISH PIGEON produces the name of a type of PUDDING

7 Cheers of service personnel gate-crashing dance (6)
HOORAY The abbreviation for Of, some ordinary ranks of soldiers (service personnel) ‘gate-crashing’ or going inside a winding country dance

8 Follows railway lines (6)
TRACKS Double definition, one a verb, the second some railway lines

14 Rips tench in pieces to find muscle (9)
SPHINCTER An anagram (in pieces) of RIPS TENCH

16 18‘s sleeping with unionist wearing socks (8)
OUTHOUSE Sleeping or unconscious followed by the abbreviation for Unionist inserted into (wearing) an old-fashioned word for socks

17 Australian 18‘s knack with international side (8)
SKILLION An Australian 18a – a knack, the abbreviation for International and a cricket ‘side’

19 Fault of Dutch professor (retired) ignoring America (7)
DEMERIT The abbreviation for Dutch and the title given to a retired professor, the latter ignoring or omitting the abbreviation for America

20 Annoyed by series on return of Peckham trader (7)
RANKLED Another word for series goes on (in a Down solution) the reversal of Peckham’s most famous fictional trader

21 Berkshire town’s 18 (6)
SLOUGH A Berkshire town or a verb meaning to 18a

22 18‘s slow to accept answer (4,2)
LEAN TO A musical instruction to play slowly ‘accepts’ the abbreviation for Answer

25 Ancestry revealed in review of genus to order (5)
ROOTS Hidden (revealed in) in reverse (review) of genuS TO ORder


21 comments on “NTSPP 646

  1. Who’d have thought there were so many definitions of such a short word! One of them was certainly new to me.
    Still a couple of outstanding parsing issues – dry Kurdish pigeon springs to mind – but the grid looks satisfyingly full.

    Thanks to Prolixic for an intriguing puzzle.

    1. You should always be on the lookout for a compound anagram in a Prolixic composition.

  2. Thanks Prolixic, had to work hard with that one, and although I think fully parsed I’m still scratching head with a few! E.g. not sure why the item in 1a is kitchen equipment, 7a seems very indirect, 11a RE new to me (and not quite as in BRB) + linking “has”…
    Also took me a while to get 18a even when I’d figured out several of the synonyms, d’oh! A few quite obscure too, for me anyway – 17d and 28a needed electronic help.
    Favourite probably 6d which seems to be a Prolixic speciality.
    Many thanks for the workout, very good fun and satisfying to complete despite the head-scratching. Thanks also in advance to reviewer.

        1. Not TAMIS, the surgical procedure. Tamis, or drum sieve, a kitchen utensil – but it wasn’t that either!

          1. 😄 sorry was just messin’ – I thought your tamis certainly fitted the bill, would’ve been perfectly happy with that … though we now have the ‘official’ parsing confirmed!

            1. Yes, I knew you were messing about – my confirmation was for the benefit of other readers, who might have wondered what we were going on about. :-)

      1. The percussion section of an orchestra is jokingly referred to as the kitchen or kitchen sink department. References to obscure cooking pots were not on my radar!

        1. A-ha! Just checked the kitchen in BRB too, very nice … but way over my head originally! Thanks Prolixic

  3. I found this decidedly tricky but very enjoyable and satisfying to complete, though I have to confess to one letter reveal and a touch of electronic help. Yet to parse 6d but I don’t give up easily and will keep looking. Pretty sure I have the rest.
    I liked several, mainly based around the theme. Having spent a lot of time in NZ I actually knew 4a, it produced a smile as did 7a where the false capitalisation threw me for a while. 18a itself plus 4,&16d also particularly appealed.
    Many thanks to Prolixic and in advance to Cryptic Sue I presume.

  4. We struggled to complete the puzzle and had to reveal some letters, sadly. Nevertheless we enjoyed the challenge. Thank you Prolixic. We look forward to CS’s review tomorrow to enlighten us with some of our answers.

  5. That kept us out of mischief for quite some time and did eventually resort to a couple of letter reveals.
    Great fun and always a pleasure to encounter Kiwi mentioned in the clues.
    Thanks Prolixic.

  6. This was a fine puzzle and the review/pics are top notch. I’m just going to make a couple of light-hearted comments about the theme. Most are structures and nouns; 3 are verbs and synonyms of the verb shed. That’s pretty clever! Being ridiculously pedantic, strictly speaking the pic for 22d isn’t a lean-to. It’s a free-standing wooden shed with a pent roof, positioned a few inches away from the house wall but not attached to it or supported by it. I’ll get me coat …

  7. Many thanks for the review, CS, you always take such trouble with the illustrations – now I know what a 17d looks like!
    Thanks again to Prolixic for a tricky but interesting round up of ‘sheds’.

  8. Quite tricky in places, thanks for the challenge Prolixic
    Thank you too CS

  9. An enjoyable challenge – thanks, Prolixic and CS.
    Just a thought – was this a tribute to the late John Young – SHED of the Guardian?

  10. A busy weekend of birthday celebrations, so this was put aside until this evening. Not as many ticks as usual for a Prolixic puzzle (perhaps the after-effects of too much ‘celebrating’ on my part), the three marks going to 1a, 18a and 2d. I also enjoyed the theme running through the puzzle. My thanks to Prolixic, and also to CS for correcting my 7d, where I had chosen the horah as my dance and was therefore struggling to just put in one extra ‘o’ for hoorah.

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