NTSPP 725 – 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 provided a perfect Saturday lunchtime crossword


1a Broadcast return of stags to outskirts of Aberdeen? (8)
REPORTED: A reversal (return) of the type of animal a stag is goes around (outskirts) a harbour such as Aberdeen

5a Train dolphins? (6)
SCHOOL: A verb meaning to train or the collective noun for dolphins

10a Band's roles are reversed (5)
STRAP: A reversal of some roles

11a Putting together waste paper syndicate (9)
PREPARING: An anagram (waste) of PAPER and a syndicate

12a Lewd clues broadcast about celebrity (9)
LECHEROUS: An anagram (broadcast) of CLUES goes about a person revered and idolised (celebrity)

13a Broker right out of silver (5)
AGENT: The abbreviation for Right removed from an archaic or poetic word for silver

14a Nicest copper is on trial (6)
CUTEST: The chemical symbol for copper on a trial

15a Military leader is superior American army type (7)
OCTOPUS: An Officer in Command (military leader), a synonym for superior and an abbreviation for American

18a Uneven terrain restricts horse rider (7)
EVENTER: Hidden in the first two words of the clue

20a Sisters sure to evolve into bridge partners (6)
NURSES: An anagram (to evolve) of SURE inserted between two abbreviated bridge partners

22a Writer heading west encountered Cornish visitor (5)
EMMET: A reversal of how Shabbo (writer) would refer to himself and a simple way of saying encountered

24a Entrance fee concession (9)
ADMISSION: Double definition

25a Tall insect? (3-6)
SIX-FOOTER: A tall person or a description of an insect

26a Picture that is included in publication? On the contrary (5)
IMAGE: The opposite (on the contrary) of how the first part of the clue reads – A publication inserted (included) in the abbreviation meaning that is

27a Pacific country introduces small pastry (6)
SAMOSA: The abbreviation for small introduced into a Pacific country

28a They get under the skin of less famous names? (8)
BLISTERS: If A-Listers are the most famous names, what would you call less famous names?


1d Outcome of Ulster assembly (6)
RESULT: An anagram (assembly) of ULSTER

2d Normal to have cabin in first class showing plane's safety equipment (9)
PARACHUTE: Average or normal and a cabin inserted into a synonym for first class

3d Illustrations depict articulate Chinese? (15)
REPRESENTATIONS: A synonym for depict and a homophone (articulate) of some people from a particular continent, Chinese for example

4d Capitalise on former pilot error (7)
EXPLOIT: The usual two-letter 'former' and an anagram (error) of PILOT

6d Features of eccentric independent clubs announced (15)
CHARACTERISTICS: An eccentric person, the abbreviation for Independent and a homophone (announced) of some clubs

7d Cromwell overlooks king in tree (5)
OLIVE: The forename of the Roundhead Mr Cromwell without (overlooks) the Latin abbreviation for king

8d The brightest rest soundly before exam (8)
LIGHTEST: A homophone (soundly) of a verb meaning to rest goes before an exam

9d 17? Come on! (4,2)
LETS GO: A synonym of the solution to 17d or an informal encouragement to do something (come on)

16d Pressure to serve up cider at English base (9)
PREDICATE: The symbol for Pressure, a reversal (to serve up) of CIDER, AT (from the clue) and the abbreviation for English

17d Sees real change in publications (8)
RELEASES: An anagram (change) of SEES REAL

19d Tailor-made Venetian tourist attraction (6)
RIALTO: An anagram (made) of TAILOR

20d Figure miners have some time left (7)
NUMERAL: The abbreviation for the Miners' Union, a period of time and the abbreviation for Left

21d Winds up in French city (6)
ANGERS: Double definition

23d Saw thousands surrounding a football team (5)
MAXIM: Two of the Roman numeral meaning 1,000 'surrounding' A (from the clue) and the number in a football team expressed in Roman numerals

22 comments on “NTSPP 725
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  1. Great fun and pitched just right for a lunchtime solve – thanks to Shabbo.
    I have loads of ticks including 2d, 6d, 21d and 23d but my favourite is the LOL 15a.

  2. Simply superb! Shabbo consistently produces super-smooth surfaces even in conjunction with mostly brief clueing.

    This was light and fun – a joy to solve. My page is littered with ticks and my top picks are 24a, 25a, 28a, 2d, 3d, 21d & 23d.

    Many thanks to Shabbo and in advance to CS.

  3. Thanks Shabbo, very entertaining with caffeine almost needed to get across the finishing line.

    Two or three for which I am uncertain of the parsing but I will await CS’s analysis.

    Smiles for 20a, 16d, 23d, and the biggest smile for 22a.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to CS.

  4. Absolutely wonderful and a joy to solve. I loved the things that get under the skin of less famous names.
    Thank you, Shabbo. More please. 👍
    Thank you in advance to CS.

  5. ‘Strictly’ fans will recognise this… Fab-U-Lous!
    I will echo RD’s opening comment – succint clueing with delightful, smooth surfaces. I could have ticked so many but reserved my podium places for 11a, 12a and 16d – until I came across 15a which subsequently knocked them off the top of the pedestal :smile: In addition, the lurker in 18a was very nicely crafted and the three homophone components brought smiles.
    Many thanks, Shabbo, for a light and bright start to the New Year’s Eve weekend.

  6. Suspect I found this a fair bit trickier than most & not an unaided finish either having failed to peg the wind up context of last in 21d until I revealed the first letter – didn’t help that hadn’t heard of the city either. Really liked the 2 long ‘uns but top 3 for me were 25&28a & best of all 23d.
    Lovely stuff Shabbo. Many thanks.

  7. Many thanks to all who have commented to date. You are all too kind.
    It appears that most enjoyed the puzzle, which is the whole object of the exercise!
    HNY to you all.

  8. Nice puzzle that entertained a lot, I found it a bit trickier in the east, but the BRB came to the rescue
    Thanks to Shabbo and CS, whose parsing I will check back for when I have had another nip

  9. Many thanks for the nicely illustrated review, CS, and thanks to Shabbo for a great puzzle. A very Happy New Year to you both.

  10. Thanks, CS.
    15a was my favourite clue and it has also given rise to my favourite illustration :smile:
    Happy New Year to you and to all!

  11. Thank you, CS, for the review and for all of the hard work that you did for the BD faithful. It is much appreciated.

  12. Late to this but glad I eventually got around to it, as I enjoyed it a lot.
    Top three for me were 22a (we have grockles here in Devon!) plus 2d (cabin/hut very smart) and 21d (lol) but several ran them close. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to Shabbo and to Sue for the review

  13. A very late comment from me.
    I found this a lttle tricky as I had a bit of difficulty picking up the right wavelength. Even so, I got there in the end and enjoyed it very much.
    I have many ticks on my printed copy, including 22a, 25a, 28a, 3d, 6d, 7d (beautifully illustrated by Crypticsue), 16d, 21d and 23d.
    Much appreciation, Shabbo, for this entertaining NTSPP.
    Thank you very much, Crypticsue for the review and lovely illustrations.

  14. An even later comment from us but catching up after our holiday. This was great, Shabbo! 15a was our favourite but lots to appreciate and admire. Very many thanks to you – and to CS, of course. Looking forward to your next one.

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