NTSPP 682 – 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.


Shabbo’s turn to provide our Saturday lunchtime entertainment


1a Looks like less beer is drunk around the beginning of May (9)
RESEMBLES: An anagram (drunk) of LESS BEER goes ‘around’ the letter at the beginning of May

6a Separate place to meet outside (5)
SPLIT: A verb meaning to meet goes outside the abbreviation for place

9a Anniversary card (7)
DIAMOND: A Sixtieth Anniversary or a playing card

10a Ordinary generation embraces Forces’ Sweetheart (7)
AVERAGE: A generation ’embraces’ the WW2 Forces’ Sweetheart

11a Describe former partner? Unattractive (7)
EXPLAIN: A former partner and a synonym for unattractive

12a Cadet enters displaying reconciliation (7)
DETENTE: Hidden in (displaying) cadET ENTErs

13a State alternative is academic (9)
PROFESSOR: To state or declare and a conjunction used to link alternatives

15a Broadcast short commercial in Olympic city (5)
RADIO: An abbreviated (short) commercial inserted into the city that hosted the 2016 Olympic Games

16a Cuts contents of book within weekly publication (5)
TOOLS: The inside letters (contents) of bOOk inserted (within) a weekly literary review

19a Orders widescreen when wife leaves home (9)
RESIDENCE: An anagram (orders) of wIDESCREEN without the abbreviation for wife (wife leaves)

22a Detective interrupts tear-jerker judgement (7)
OPINION: An abbreviated detective ‘interrupts’ an edible bulb, the peeling and chopping of which may cause the eyes to water (tear-jerker)

23a Repeated European credit mistakes (7)
RECITED: An anagram (mistakes) of E (European) CREDIT

25a In-built teletext remembered as radical (7)
EXTREME: Hidden (in-built) in teletEXT REMEmbered

26a Opportunist poet has change of heart (7)
CHANCER: Change the letter in the middle (heart) of an English poet

27a Additional dishes of fish on board (5)
SIDES: A type of fish inserted into the usual abbreviation for a ship (on board)

28a Song from the past (9)
YESTERDAY: A famous song by the Beatles or the recent past


1d Top telephone company abandons Miss Jones (5)
RIDGE: The fictional diary-writing Miss Jones abandons the first and last letters of her forename, which just happen to be the name by which a telephone company is known

2d Lewisham poorhouse accommodates Barnet cleaner (7)
SHAMPOO: Hidden in (accommodates) LewiSHAM POOrhouse, the reference to Barnet referring to the fact that someone from Lewisham would know their Cockney Rhyming Slang

3d Low gear deployed in Anchorage (7)
MOORAGE: The sound made by a cow (low) and an anagram (deployed)of GEAR

4d Persuaded bachelor to leave dizzy blonde (3,2)
LED ON: An anagram (dizzy) of bLONDE without the abbreviation for Bachelor

5d Colours of types of trees (9)
STANDARDS: Flags (colours) or types of standing trees

6d Knitted start of woolly Easter jumper (7)
SWEATER: An anagram (knitted) of the ‘start’ of Woolly and EASTER

7d Educated Landseer rejecting small changes (7)
LEARNED: An anagram (changes) of LANDsEER without (rejecting) the abbreviation for small

8d Consequently take note about city closing early (9)
THEREFORE: A musical note goes ‘about’ a city without its final letter (closing early)

13d Organised sport includes opening for underground explorers (9)
POTHOLERS: An anagram (organised) of SPORT into which is inserted an opening

14d Remarkably sanctimonious person phoned cathedral (9)
STRANGELY: An abbreviated sanctimonious person, another way of saying phoned and the cathedral often found in crossword clues/solutions

17d Deleted “hand” in dictionary (7)
OMITTED: A slang term for a hand inserted into the abbreviated name of a dictionary

18d Webmasters restored pride within seconds (7)
SPIDERS: An anagram (restored) of PRIDE inserted between abbreviations for second

20d Confirm daughter will attend English college (7)
DECLARE: The abbreviations for daughter and English followed by a college at the University of Cambridge

21d Spotted cake was unfinished? (7)
NOTICED: Split the solution 3, 4 to see why the cake was unfinished

23d Supports topless careers (5)
RACES: Remove the first letter (topless) from some supports

24d Mess up homework? That’s about right (5)
DIRTY: The abbreviation for work done at home goes ‘about’ a two-letter abbreviation for right


19 comments on “NTSPP 682
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  1. Shabbo, as usual, gives us a very entertaining puzzle with smooth surfaces throughout. Many thanks to him.
    When solving I had the impression that there were a great many anagrams but I think that was because many of them were concentrated in a sequence of down clues.
    The most enjoyable clues for me were 26a, 2d and 18d.

  2. Thanks Shabbo for this anagramatic (9) lurker (3) fest accompanied by my first, but unnecessary, caffeine of the day. Although in fairness, most of the anagrams were ‘partials’ to some degree.

    Smiles for 17a, 22a, 27a, 28a, 8d, and 21d.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to CS.

  3. A perfect NTSPP accompaniment to Saturday lunch. A joy from start to finish with brief, accurate, smooth clueing all the way.

    Bravo, Shabbo.

  4. Very enjoyable Shabbo, completed with a smile. Elegantly and naturally clued throughout.
    I particularly liked 11,22,26&28(such a timeless song) plus 2,13&17d….with 18d just shading top spot.
    Many thanks and thanks in advance to Cryptic Sue.

  5. The poorly educated little orphan boy has today given us a barrowload of fun which I for one appreciated a lot. N came in ahead of the S. Fav was 8d. Thank you Shabbo – here’s to the next time!

  6. Am a fan of Shabbo’s style of clueing & this was a typically enjoyable puzzle. Breezed through it until heaven knows why I suffered a complete brain freeze at 1d & 9a. Rigsby & Rising Damp entered my head & Bridget didn’t get a look in until I impatiently revealed the checker. 16a solved from the wordplay but not sure I get the definition. 8d my pick of many ticks. Such a shame that more of the regular SPP commenters apparently haven’t followed the NTSPP plug by Jane, Steve & RD or don’t comment – I thought this one knocked spots of the Cephas puzzle, which I also enjoyed.
    Many thanks Shabbo

  7. Good evening to my fellow cruciverbalists.
    Many thanks to all who have commented above – your positive comments are much appreciated.
    I try not to have more than 6 straight anagram clues in any one puzzle and I think I have achieved this here. There are also a number of partial anagrams, as Senf has rightly pointed out, so I will try to keep an eye on this going forward.
    Thanks again to you all for taking the time to comment and I am looking forward to CS’s verdict tomorrow!

    1. For what it’s worth, I didn’t register the number of anagrams while solving. I just enjoyed solving the clues individually. As a solver, I rarely look at the big picture in that way, which is probably why I habitually miss themes.

  8. Shamed by Huntsman above, and while waiting for tomorrow’s toughie to drop I came here and really enjoyed this. I have answers for 6a and 8d but not sure I really understand them. I will try to check the review tomorrow but meanwhile thanks to Shabbo

  9. Thank you, Shabbo, much enjoyed but it took us a while get the brain cells working yesterday evening.
    We look forward to CS’s review to clarify a few parsings. We like anagrams and lurkers, always a help. We look forward to your next one.

  10. What a wonderful puzzle. I did have a few queries but I am now on my iPad so can’t remember what they were. Nevertheless, it was most enjoyable and somewhat “refreshing” in that the clues came from a slightly different direction to the norm – if that makes sense.

    Thank you, Shabbo for a great puzzle and the entertainment. 👍

  11. Been saving this for a slack moment – which occurred this morning.
    Really enjoyed it, just right for me.
    Loved when the p dropped for “webmaster”.

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