NTSPP 649 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 


A Puzzle by Exit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


Exit’s turn to provide our Saturday lunchtime entertainment. A nice friendly, if possibly a bit anagram-heavy, crossword


9 Disturbances worried a slave behind posh bar (9)
UPHEAVALS An anagram (worried) of A SLAVE goes behind the usual letter meaning ‘posh’ and an abbreviated public house (bar)

10 First of September in Cornish resort is free (5)
LOOSE  The first letter of September inserted into a Cornish resort

11 The French on space station: a constant wonder! (7)
MIRACLE The French definite article goes on or after the Russian space station, A (from the clue) and the mathematical abbreviation for Constant

12 Madly driven, a trespasser (7)
INVADER An anagram (madly) of DRIVEN A

13 …. talking? He may be (3)
GAS An informal word for talking or the substance of which the chemical symbol He may be an example

14 Excited Amman goalie’s delusions of grandeur (11)
MEGALOMANIA An anagram (excited) of AMMAN GOALIE

17 Regretful expression arising from a shortage (5)
ALACK An archaic interjection of regret – A (from the clue) and a shortage

18 Fine trout caught in mesh? On the contrary! (3)
NET As the clue says, the trout isn’t caught in mesh, but a type of mesh is hidden (caught) in fiNE Trout

19 Strangely misuse Mike’s missing children (5)
ISSUE An anagram (strangely) of mISUSE without the letter represented by M in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet

21 Planks for Oslo bard warped (11)
FLOORBOARDS An anagram (warped) of FOR OSLO BARD

23 Friends oddly ignored wine (3)
RED The even letters (oddly ignored) of fRiEnDs

25 Fine Noble Duke initially said as a title of respect (7)
EFFENDI If you say the initials F N D out loud, you should hear a former Turkish title of respect

27 Fliers in desperate price war with no hint of peace (7)
AIRCREW An anagram (desperate) of pRICE WAR without the P (no hint of Peace)

28 Beginning of Satanism seen in French priest is anathema (5)
CURSE The first letter (beginning) of Satanism inserted into a French priest

29 Try again with half salary for practice (9)
REHEARSAL A way of saying ‘try again’ with the first half of SALary


1 Spice barrel upended over Ms Ryan? (6)
NUTMEG A reversal (upended) of a barrel over the name of Ms Ryan, the actress

2 Ability to impress mother’s cleaner (8)
CHARISMA The solution equates to ‘cleaner is mother’ rather than the other way round

3 Emma, Football League scheduler? (10)
MATCHMAKER Emma was a Jane Austen character who tried to arrange marriages, the term for which does sound like it might refer to a Football League scheduler

4 Countenance odd exchange in café (4)
FACE The odd letters in CAFÉ change places

5 Frisky Lolita cross, losing one special vibrator (10)
OSCILLATOR An anagram (frisky) of LOLITA CROSs without (losing) one of the abbreviations for Special

6 Russia’s lavishness overwhelming one of its citizens? (4)
SLAV Hidden in (overwhelmed by) russiaS LAVishness

7 Student about lecturer: Capital! (6)
The usual letter for a student, a preposition meaning about and a university lecturer

8 Doctor acquires, say, facility to remove oily residue (8)
DEGREASE Take the abbreviation for doctor, and insert the abbreviation meaning for example, say. Then add another word for facility at the end

15 Drunk ignores old operetta (10)
GONDOLIERS An anagram (drunk) of IGNORES OLD produces a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, the name of which usually includes ‘the’

16 Conventional degree this month takes a lot of paper (10)
MAINSTREAM A university degree, the Latin abbreviation meaning this month and a quantity of paper

17 Aluminium company keeps revolutionary serf outside (8)
ALFRESCO The chemical symbol for aluminium and the abbreviation for company ‘keeps’ an anagram (revolutionary) of SERF

20 Unexpected title and award for speaker (8)
SURPRISE Homophones (for speaker) of a title for a gentleman and an award

22 Shoe found in neat car? (6)
OXFORD A type of cattle (neat) and a make of car

24 Waddle around don’t hurry! (6)
DAWDLE An anagram (around) of WADDLE

26 Coward‘s Christmas (4)
NOEL The Christian name of an English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer is also another word for Christmas

27 Rachel s endless pain? (4)
ACHE This pain is found by removing the ‘ends’ from rACHEl

15 comments on “NTSPP 649
Leave your own comment 

  1. Many thanks Exit, lots of fun – a little ‘lighter’ than recent NTSPPs(!), with quite a few friendly anagrams, but very enjoyable. Favourites 8d & 13a (that trick gets me every time). Thanks again, and in advance to reviewer.

  2. Lovely crossword, not too strenuous for a hot lunchtime, with smooth surfaces throughout – many thanks Exit.
    I know that 3d has a question mark but I think Emma could do with a ‘possibly’ or similar.
    Top clues for me were 13a, 25a and 4d.

    1. I considered that the 3d ‘?’ was sufficient as the young lady in question is quite a frequent visitor to crosswords, especially in answers,

  3. No caffeine required probably because of the plethora of anagrams – I counted nine with two of them partials.

    One ‘niggle’ – strictly speaking the 15d operetta includes ‘THE’ as part of its title.

    Smiles for 1d, 3d, 4d, 8d, and 16d.

    Thanks Exit and thanks in advance to Prolixic(?).

  4. This was very light and great fun from start to finish. I was particularly impressed with the surfaces.

    I guess the wordplay for 2d is OK although “cleaner’s mother” struck me as possibly a bit more logical than “mother’s cleaner”.

    3d was may favourite.

    Many thanks to Exit and in advance to the reviewer.

  5. Thanks Exit for a nice gentle one that didn’t require any cranial overheating – unlike the rest of my body.

  6. A nice smooth solve for a day when almost everything seems to demand too much effort!
    Podium places here went to 1,4&24d with nods to 13a & 22d (an oldie but goodie).

    Many thanks to Exit for the puzzle.

  7. Some crosswords are masterpieces in a style evoking Picasso, Dali or even Munch :eek:
    Exit has here created a masterpiece in the style of a pastoral work by Constable :smile:

    Thanks, Exit, for a fine puzzle full of smooth surfaces – my only disappointment being that it was all over too soon, leaving me wanting more! It was hard to pick out favourites, but I have opted for 13a, 25a and 20d.

  8. Lots of anagrams – which we are always happy with. I put the wrong answer into 1d, same letters, different order and confirmed on Google as a spice and this held us up until sorted! NW corner was last to go in. Thoroughly enjoyed on this hot day . Many thanks to Exit and to CS/Prolixic tomorrow.

  9. A most enjoyable way to spend an afternoon of enforced idleness after a busy morning!
    The anagrams helped to get started but everything else flowed smoothly, helped by concise clueing and smooth surface readings.
    Thank you, Exit- I look forward to your next offering.

  10. Good fun for pre-constitutional solve on a frosty Sunday morning here.
    3d last in and favourite.
    Thanks Exit.

  11. Very enjoyable Exit, most of it went in quite smoothly but the last few needed a little teasing out for me, solutions and parsings.
    I’d never heard of the expression of regret but the wordplay and checkers were sympathetic.
    My top three are 25a (surprised more haven’t chosen it) plus 4&17d.
    Many thanks and in advance to Prolixic I presume.

  12. Thanks for the review, CS, and everyone, for your kind comments.
    A bit heavy on the anagrams, possibly? I recall saying that about Troellog’s Rookie Corner puzzle. Touché, as they say!

Leave a Reply to Fez Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.