NTSPP 652 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Birdsong by Chalicea

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Chalicea’s back with another opportunity to ‘solve and sing


1 Unfortunately is sued for neglect (6)
DISUSE An anagram (unfortunately) of IS SUED

4 Second courses following end of firsts (6)
AFTERS A preposition meaning following and the end letter of firstS

8 Reportedly grieving between dawn and noon (7)
MORNING A homophone (reportedly) of a synonym for grieving

9 About more promising bishop’s staff (7)
CROSIER The abbreviation for about and another way of saying more promising

11 Administering angry tirade chasing small car on street (10)
MINISTRANT An angry tirade goes after (chasing) a small car and the abbreviation for street

12 Bit of loathsome swearing (4)
OATH A bit of lOATHsome

13 In front of us low wetland is not genuine (5)
BOGUS Some low wetland goes in front of US (from the clue)

14 Old policemen‘s fallen arches produce these (8)
FLATFEET A derogatory slang term for old policemen, presumably because they did so much walking on the beat they got fallen arches

16 The French person who sells American fragrant shrub (8)
LAVENDER The French third person singular and an American spelling of a person who sells

18 Greek idiot’s an informer (5)
GRASS The abbreviation for Greek and an idiot

20 Black and white seabirds return for this gull-like predator (4)
SKUA A reversal (return) of some black and white seabirds

21 Revolutionary coterie ran activity done for enjoyment (10)
RECREATION An anagram (revolutionary) of COTERIE RAN

23 First of vultures is it? Or maybe a migratory bird (7)
VISITOR The first letter of Vultures and IS IT OR (from the clue)

24 Gradual absorption of brine essentially in old- style northern peat bog (7)
OSMOSIS The abbreviation for Old Style and a northern peat bog into which is inserted the essential letter of brIne

25 Rejection overturned in business transaction going around (6)
DENIAL A reversal (overturned) of IN (from the clue) inserted into (going around) a business transaction

26 Shattered, hard up and terminally down (6)
BROKEN Another way of saying hard up and the terminal letter of dowN


1 Detective Inspector extremely warm inside Hindu garment (5)
DHOTI A synonym for extremely warm goes inside the abbreviation for Detective Inspector

2 Committing oneself to work with grand put down for vocal performances (7)
SINGING Committing oneself to something by putting one’s name to, eg, a contract, the first appearance of the abbreviation for Grand moving down one place

3 Exceptional tidiness involving area made hygienic (9)
SANITISED An anagram (exceptional) of TIDINESS ‘involving’ the abbreviation for Area

5 Foremost tree on street (5)
FIRST A type of tree and the abbreviation for street

6 Gradually slacken and partly release officialdom (4,3)
EASE OFF Hidden in part of relEASE OFFicialdom

7 Redolence of singular little Scottish essentially distant headland (9)
The abbreviation for Singular, a Scottish word meaning little, the essential letter of disTant and a headland

10 Damaged rifle chap sold at 50% discount (4-5)
An anagram (damaged) of RIFLE CHAP

13 Broken-hearted at first to be without singer; species of thrush (9)
BLACKBIRD The first letter of Broken and two words that might indicate you were without a singer

15 Warmonger spatters grass with mangled gore (9)
AGGRESSOR An anagram (spatters) of GRASS with another (mangled) of GORE

17 Exhilaration of Latino, tipsy after last drop of spumante (7)
ELATION An anagram (tipsy) of LATINO goes after the last ‘drop’ of spumantE

19 In biblical ship tense brawl over decorative material (7)
ARTWORK Insert into a biblical ship, the abbreviation for Tense and a reversal (over) of a brawl

21 Spanish wine from Brazilian city, ‘Yes’ for a German (5
RIOJA A Brazilian city and the German word for Yes

22 Couple of negatives raised about one tear-jerker (5)
ONION A reversal (raised) of two negatives into which is inserted (about) I (one)

10 comments on “NTSPP 652

  1. Thank you, Chalicea, that’s one earworm I’m quite happy to live with for the rest of the day!
    18a may well be a chestnut but it still made me laugh and my favourite was 26a.
    Guess this will be down to CS to review – busy lady once again!

  2. That was fun, accompanied by the first caffeine of the day but by choice not by necessity, thanks Chalicea.

    Smiles for 4a, 25a, 7d, and 22d.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to CS.

  3. Thank you, Chalicea, a very pleasant accompaniment to lunch. Favourite was 20a followed by 13a. We look forward to the review and your next puzzle.

  4. Never knew 13d was a species of thrush. Nice & gentle & perfectly enjoyable.
    Thanks Chalicea

  5. Ditto to Huntsman on 13d. I tended toward the 90/90 rule with this puzzle, with 24a possibly taking me as long as the rest of the clues put together! The northern peat bog really did bog me down :wink: The theme took a bit of teasing out too, as I started out by thinking that 13d would be central to it. I should really have got there faster as the most recognised version was sung by a favourite performer of my university years. Podium clues were 26a, 2d and 10d. Thanks, Chalicea, and in due course to CS.

  6. Lovely puzzle.
    Took us a while to spot the theme and then one of our team, the one who had been to a girl’s school, was able to remember the whole thing word perfectly.

  7. Thanks Chalicea, a lovely puzzle. 10d possibly favourite. Got the thematic elements from the first couple of lines – had to Google lyrics for the full set. Thanks again!

  8. I enjoyed this, thought most of it was easy but literally had to sleep on it to get 24 in the first look of the day.
    Particularly annoying since I once lived in the relevant area.
    Had to refer to Jan for the song, she spotted it straight away.
    Thank you.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS, and the beautiful hymn.
    Thanks again to Chalicea for the enjoyable puzzle.

  10. A lovely puzzle, my only complaint was that it was over too quickly. Thanks, Chalicea and CS

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