NTSPP 672 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Shabbo

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by crypticsue follows:

This Saturday lunchtime crossword from Shabbo had the perfect level of difficulty for a day when, if I wasn’t solving crosswords and drafting three blog posts, I was cooking up a storm ready for our traditional Christmas Eve Seafood Tea


1a Press release points to evidence of shooting? (4,8)
NEWS BULLETIN: The four compass points and, in a similar way to a clue in the DT Saturday Prize Puzzle, split 6,2, some evidence of a shooting

10a Right to have desserts – they’re on the house (7)
RAFTERS: The abbreviation for Right and an informal word for desserts

11a Theatrical degree provides flexible platform for retirement (4-3)
: Affected or theatrical followed by an abbreviated degree

12a Mature books for 007? (5)
AGENT: A synonym for mature and the abbreviation for the books in the ‘second half’ of the Bible

13a Students break curtain up (8)
: A period that young school students spend outdoors or what, if split 4,4, would constitute the beginning of a theatrical performance

15a Hindus abandon first experiment with manufacturing (10)
INDUSTRIAL: Abandon the first letter of  hINDUS  and add an experiment

16a A thousand take their seats outside for comedy sketch (4)
SKIT: A simple way of saying take their seats goes ‘outside’ a letter representing one thousand

18a Paul and Rory conceal precious metal (4)
GOLD: The chemical symbol and heraldic word for this precious metal are hidden in the two names

20a Sorts ice storage out (10)
CATEGORIES: An anagram (out) of ICE STORAGE

22a Got too big for blooming dress – that’s about right! (8)
OUTGROWN: A synonym for blooming and a dress, the latter going about the abbreviation for right

24a Solid gentleman retires in the afternoon (5)
PRISM: A reversal (retires) of a gentleman inserted into the abbreviation for afternoon

26a Retrospective telethon ignores hospital letter (7)
NOTELET: A reversal (retrospective) of TELEThON without the H (ignores Hospital)

27a Most popular story reflects joy (7)
ELATION: A reversal (reflects) of a 3, 1, 4 way of saying ‘most popular story)

28a Unusually grumpy about leader of Peasants’ Revolt (12)
SURPRISINGLY: An adjective meaning grumpy goes ‘about’ the leader of Peasants and a revolt


2d Free-range chickens here in East End London Borough? (7)
ENFIELD: How an Eastender might describe a place for free-range chickens

3d Freshest small urine sample? (8)
SWEETEST: The abbreviation for Small and an informal way of describing a urine sample

4d Bear right in America (4)
URSA: The Latin word for bear – insert an R (right) in the abbreviation for America

5d Pub work might be advertised here? (5,5)
LOCAL PAPER: Your nearest pub and an essay (work)

6d Year 2000 u-turn initially upset corporation (5)
TUMMY: The abbreviation for Year, the Latin numerals meaning 2000 and the initial letters of U and Turn, all reversed (upset)

7d Faldo is about one pound up at former golf club (7)
NIBLICK: The Christian name of Mr Faldo, the golfer, goes ‘about’ a reversal (up) of the letter representing one and the abbreviation for pound weight

8d Pinot crisis (8,5)
BREAKING POINT: An anagram indicator and the result of making an anagram of PINOT

9d Circular plug (13)
ADVERTISEMENT: A notice sent to many people or some publicity

14d Treated raw waste will stagnate (5,5)
TREAD WATER: An anagram (waste) of TREATED RAW

17d Protest as drug is taken from corrupt policeman (8)
COMPLAIN: An anagram (corrupt) of POLICeMAN once you have removed the E (drug is taken)

19d Dilapidated toilets – that’s an understatement! (7)
: An anagram (dilapidated) of TOILETS

21d First sign (7)
INITIAL: Double definition

23d This is made to measure for the monarch (5)
RULER: Double definition

25d Islands off Skye (4)
KEYS: An anagram (off) of SKYE

11 comments on “NTSPP 672
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  1. Very enjoyable indeed – many thanks to Shabbo.
    I have loads of ticks including 10a, 27a, 2d, 3d and 8d (though I think this one could have done with a ‘conceivably’ or similar).

  2. Thanks Shabbo – good fun with some minor head scratching over 8d and no need to fill out the blog grid for confirmation of my entries.

    Smiles for 10a, 11a, 27a, 2d, 5d, and 7d.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to CS.

  3. What a perfect Christmas Eve NTSPP – light and fun all the way with nice brief clues and lovely surfaces.

    One of the those not infrequent coincidencies with something very similar to 1a cropping up in today’s SPP – but I liked this one better!

    Many thanks, Shabbo.

  4. Inspired by 19d, I will own to be not a little delighted by this cracker of a Christmas NTSPP. It deserved to be wrapped up with a 18a ribbon and placed under the tree for tomorrow :smile:
    I’m not going to single out any favourites as there were too many deserving candidates. And it was pitched perfectly so I could take out the time required to solve it without Mrs S getting ‘unusually grumpy’ about my lack of help about the house!
    Many thanks, Shabbo, and Merry Christmas to one and all :bye:

  5. Super puzzle Shabbo. A gentle delight that was fun to tackle from start to finish & far more fun than the SPP. Like Spartacus I could pick any number out as favourites so won’t bother trying.
    Many thanks & happy Christmas.

  6. You know what you’re going to get with a Shabbo puzzle, plenty of smiles and a full grid in good time.
    What a pity that your thunder may have been slightly stolen by 1a appearing in very similar form elsewhere today as most solvers on here would have done that puzzle first.
    A couple of minor points. I’m sure you’re aware you wouldn’t get 7d past some editors (Telegraph and more pertinently Rookie Corner!) without some sort of qualifying adverb around “Faldo” and shouldn’t 8d have a question mark?
    In a strong field my winners are 27a plus 2&3 down.
    Many thanks and season’s greetings Shabbo.

  7. Hello all and thank you for your kind comments.
    Many thanks to CS for the review.
    Quite a coincidence on 1a and the SPP 12a. My puzzle was compiled three months ago, so no collusion, honest!
    Agreed that 8d needed a question mark. I’m sure it had one originally, but somehow it disappeared!
    7d should also have “perhaps” after Faldo. Thanks Stephen L for pointing that out. Incidentally I am a member of Faldo’s former golf club and had the pleasure of meeting the great man many years ago.
    Happy Christmas to you all!

  8. Hi Shabbo,
    I enjoyed this like everyone else. A very pleasant and varied solve. I don’t often do the ntspp these days, perhaps I should.

    I will add a general warning for all. I don’t think OR means precious metal, but the colour (used in heraldry). I’m happily corrected, but if I’m right, 18a fails. Just trying to help you watch out for this stuff.
    Merry Xmas and thanks for all your contributions.

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