NTSPP 687 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Meles

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Our thanks to Meles for a splendid crossword and a very happy Easter to all our readers, bloggers, setters, lurkers and anyone else I have missed!


1a  Daft, cowardly or like robot in the heart? Walk this way! (6,5,4)
YELLOW BRICK ROAD: An anagram (daft) of COWARDLY OR LIKE B (roBot in the heart).

9a  Rush working doctor (7)
SURGEON: A five-letter word meaning rush followed by a two-letter word meaning working.

10a  Playwright pens article for artist (7)
PAINTER: The name of the playwright Harold around (pens) the indefinite article.

11a  Some people venerated religious figure (3)
EVE: The answer is hidden (some) of the second and third words of the clue.

12a  Present method by which company infiltrated the City (6,5)
TROJAN HORSE: Cryptic definition of the present that led to the downfall of an ancient city.

13a  Hedonists frolicking, why broadcast cheating? (10)
DISHONESTY: An anagram (frolicking) of HEDONIST followed by a homophone (broadcast) of why.

15a  Sample bias was regularly forgotten in retrospect (4)
SWAB: A reversal (in retrospect) of the odd letters (regularly forgotten) in “bias was”.

18a  Stay at the back before retiring in activity for posers? (4)
YOGA: The last letter (at the back) of yoga followed by a reversal (retiring) of a three-letter word meaning before.

20a  Offer increases, sharing rupees and pounds (10)
TENDERISES: A six-letter word meaning offer ending in R and a five-letter word meaning increases beginning with an R are added together sharing the letter R (rupees) in the solution

23a  Meeting criminal by roadside, initially not clandestine enough (11)
CONVERGENCE: A three-letter word for a criminal followed by a five-letter word for the roadside and the first letters (initially) of the final three words of the clue.

25a  End point (3)
AIM: Double definition.

26a  Great travelling around US city, in general (2,5)
AT LARGE: An anagram (travelling) of GREAT around the abbreviation for Los Angeles (US city).

27a  One out of three in excursion given permit (7)
TRIPLET: A four-letter word for an excursion followed by a three-letter word meaning permit.

28a  Accept defeat and put some laundry on? (5,2,3,5)
THROW IN THE TOWEL: Double definition, the second part cryptic.


1d  McCartney finally ready, set to perform Beatles number (9)
YESTERDAY: The final letter of McCarney followed by an anagram (to perform) of READY SET.

2d  Fat zebras oddly shunned food stores (7)
LARDERS: A four-letter word for fat followed by the even letters (oddly shunned) of zebras.

3d  Went past public appearance, covering head (8)
OVERTOOK: A five-letter word for a public appearance followed by a four-letter word for appearance with the first letter omitted (covering head).

4d  This activity might involve a house call? (5)
BINGO: Cryptic definition.

5d  Badly timed housing scheme gets fixed (9)
IMPLANTED: An anagram (badly) of TIMED includes (housing) a four-letter word for a scheme.

6d  Imagine holding good upstanding man (6)
KNIGHT: A five-letter word meaning imagine includes (holding) the abbreviation for good and is reversed (upstanding).

7d  Mature beyond youth, rejecting outsiders over grand argument (7)
OUTGROW: The inner letters (rejecting outsiders) of youth followed by (over) the abbreviation for grand and a three-letter word for an argument.

8d  Clear about “Angels” essentially being a mournful song (5)
DIRGE: A three-letter word meaning clear is reversed (about) and followed by the middle letters (essentially) of angels.

14d  Never agree on cutting top parts off spruce? (9)
EVERGREEN: Remove the first letters (cutting top parts off) from the first three words of the clue.

16d  Maybe copper‘s mates able to be corrupted? (4,5)
BASE METAL: An anagram (to be corrupted) of MATES ABLE.

17d  Bonus of unrestricted talent (4,4)
FREE GIFT: A four-letter word meaning unrestricted followed by a four-letter for talent.

19d  Fellow student with hesitation, becoming less aggressive (7)
GENTLER: A four-letter word for a fellow or man followed by the abbreviation for learner (student) and a two-letter word used when expressing hesitation.

21d  Everyone entering theatrical production is superficial (7)
SHALLOW: A three-letter word meaning everyone inside (entering) a four-letter word for a theatrical show.

22d  Bloody and sore, lay out boundaries again? (6)
REDRAW: A three-letter word meaning bloody followed by a three-letter word meaning sore.

23d  Plot attraction with time not money (5)
CHART: A five-letter word meaning attraction with the final M (money) replaced by a T (time).

24d  Lead characters in heist to con desperate mark (5)
NOTCH:  An anagram (desperate) of HT (the initial letters (lead characters) in heist to) CON.

17 comments on “NTSPP 687

  1. Gentle and entertaining lunchtime entertainment – thanks to Meles.
    Top clues for me were 12a, 3d and 14d.

  2. I agree word for word with Gazza including his podium choices, of which 12a was for me my absolute favourite – brilliant!

    I got held up slightly by writing “lotto” in at first for my answer to 4d, but it turned out to tbe the other one that was needed.

    Very well done, Meles.

  3. Very enjoyable, thanks Meles, many very good clues so I have come up with a different ‘list’ to Gazza.

    10a – I liked the way it went from specific to generic.
    23a – just a good charade.
    6d and 22d – both quite clever.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to, I presume, Prolixic.

  4. What an enjoyable NTSPP giving many a good laugh along the way.
    Big ticks here went to 12&27a plus 4,17&21d but I could mention several other worthy podium contenders.

    Many thanks to Meles for the fun.

  5. Very enjoyable, thank you Meles. Favourites were 10a, 23a, 6d and 22d. Thanks in advance to Prolixic also.

  6. Nice accompaniment to an early evening glass of Guinness (other beers are available) Meles.
    As my girlfriend is very much into 18a (and it’s a great clue) I’ll mention that along with 12&20a plus 1d as it’s a timeless classic and you clued it with the Beatle who wrote it, excellent.
    Many thanks and in advance to Prolixic.

  7. Well that helped to ease the disappointment of play abandoned at The Masters. Very enjoyable. 12a my fav from a number of ticks. Thanks Meles

  8. Thanks Meles, top stuff. Podium for me 20a, 25a, 1d though could easily pick plenty of others. Thanks again & in advance to Prolixic.

  9. Thank you Meles. A very enjoyable exercise.
    I too find myself in the 12a / where’s the golf gone camp

  10. It is said, “Never go to sleep on a cross word” (or something like that), but I had pleasant dreams after doing this crossword at bedtime! A very enjoyable puzzle, Meles, with my favourite clues being the very adroit 1a, closely followed by 20a, 1d, 14d and 16d. Many different favourites are listed by commentators, so clearly there is something for everyone here.
    Thank you, Meles, and thanks to our reviewer – is it Mr K? I expect Prolixic must be very busy this weekend.

  11. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic. I reckon Meles brought us the best of the Easter weekend puzzles!

  12. Thanks to all who commented and of course to Prolixic for the review. Hope everyone is having an enjoyable Easter!

  13. Many thanks for the review Prolixic and it was nice to see that I was in the same ‘company’ as our resident Reverend Gentleman for selection of music for the day.

  14. Thanks, Meles, a lot of nice clues and good fun.
    I particularly liked 16d, but the outstanding ones for me this time were 1a and 1d.

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