NTSPP – 358 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 358

NTSPP – 358

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Prolixic returns to Saturday lunchtime with one of those ‘educational’ crosswords where the BRB will definitely be your friend.   It also has the sort of grid where even the solver who never notices a Nina can’t fail to be impressed by this one!



8a           Goodness of Prolixic’s promise (2,4)
MY WORD A mild interjection expressing surprise is obtained by following a possessive adjective (belonging to Prolixic) and a promise

9a           Breach part of left-field (8)
INFRINGE Split 2,6 this would be part of the left border

10a         Hopeful Spartan I sorted out (8)
ASPIRANT A hopeful person is an anagram (sorted out) of I SPARTAN

11a         Artist in trip injury (6)
SPRAIN The abbreviation for an artist (one who is a member of the Royal Academy) inserted into a short trip in a motor car

12a         North American helps one going west with spirits (6)
NAIADS River nymphs – the abbreviation for North American and  a verb meaning helps, the I in which should be moved one space to the left (one going west in an Across clue)

13a         Sending hostile texts over leggy bird (8)
FLAMINGO I didn’t know this term for sending hostile texts or emails, but it should be followed by the cricketing abbreviation for Over

15a         Most glamorous Kent side is in Paris (7)
SEXIEST The area of the UK where Kent can be found, the Roman numerals used to indicate a side or team in cricket or football, and the French (as used in Paris) word for ‘is’

17a         It creates demise in the outskirts of the French city (7)
TENANCY   The ‘outskirts’ of ThE and a North-Eastern French city – demise here referring to the transfer of a lease for a property

20a         Transporter of short logs and batons at sea (8)
LONGBOAT An anagram (at sea) of LOG BATON (‘short’ or truncated LOGS and BATONS)

22a         Try drink after small talk (6)
GOSSIP A two-letter word meaning try and verb meaning to drink in small quantities, the latter going after the abbreviation for Small

23a         Pelts extravagant Queens (6)
OTTERS The brown fur pelts of an aquatic fish-eating carnivore – the three letters used to indicate extravagance, and the cipher of both Queens called Elizabeth, hence the need for the S at the end

25a         Finishing translation of Septuagint after holy man departs (6,2)
EATING UP An anagram (translation of) SEPTUAGINT once you have removed the abbreviation for saint (holy man departs)

26a         Two outwardly heartless women lobby council office (4,4)
TOWN HALL Outwardly tells you that you only need the outside letters of TwO, and heartlessly that you only need the outside letters of WomeN, and these should be followed by another word for lobby when used as a noun rather than a verb

27a         A religious group describes that man’s sacred doctrine (6)
AHIMSA The duty of sparing animal life.   A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for the Salvation Army (religious group) describe or go round the possessive pronoun used to indicate ‘that man’s’


1d           I heard ghost gets protection (8)
EYESHADE A homophone (heard) of I and a literary term for a ghost

2d           Thinking about confused congregationalist leaving New Orleans behind (10)
COGITATING An anagram (confused) of CONGREATIONALIST once you have left out the letters of ORLEANS – ‘new’ indicating that these are in anagram form and not in order

3d           Models of old port in Iceland (6)
IDEALS An old port here in Kent is inserted into the IVR code for Iceland.  The illustration for 6d is one of the things you’ll see when you visit the port, where mobile phone networks always welcome you to France!

4d           Leave sign on broken elevator? (4,3)
LIFT OFF A verb meaning to depart (quite often in a space rocket) could also be put on a broken elevator to indicate that it wasn’t working

5d           Briefly propose to embrace man behind the scenes (3-5)
OFF-STAGE A word for a male of various kinds is embraced by or inserted into almost all of a word meaning to propose

6d           Confusion over river jetty (4)
PIER A printing term for a confused mess of type goes over the abbreviation for River.   The printing term isn’t in BD’s Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing list but perhaps it ought to be!

7d           Getting on with part of language in Germany (6)
AGEING  Lurking in part of languAGE IN Germany

14d         Travelling in a basinet whilst away (2,8)
IN ABSENTIA An anagram (travelling) of IN A BASINET.   I knew about bassinet with 2 S’s but learnt something knew about the word with only one S.   I’ll leave you to find out too!

16d         Island supporting taxes for paper (8)
SCOTSMAN An island found in the Irish Sea goes after (supporting in a Down clue) a historical tax

18d         Exclusive – “Long Island queen is in church” (8)
CLIQUISH The abbreviations for Long Island and Queen plus IS (from the clue) go inside the abbreviation for church

19d         Play a game like Reversi (7)
OTHELLO One of Shakespeare’s plays or a board game based on the  game Reversi where a captured piece is not removed from the board but turned upside down to show the captor’s colour. 

21d         Official city tax raised on imports originally (6)
OCTROI The original letters of the first six words of the clue

22d         Annoys leader evicted from ramshackle cottages (4,2)
GETS AT An anagram (ramshackle_) of COTTAGES after you have evicted the letters used to abbreviate Commanding Officer (leader)

24d         A long time with hungry ensign? (4)
EONS If the ensign was hungry, he’d have nothing (O) inside him, although here he is just represented by his abbreviation

25 comments on “NTSPP – 358

  1. I am still waiting to hear back from Prolixic and BD, but while bashing out the draft review while our guests are stuck on the M25, I think that the first word of 17a should be IT rather than IN and I thought this information would assist anyone attempting the puzzle before it is corrected.

  2. A very enjoyable lunchtime solve, in which I learnt several new words, namely the answers to 27a and 21d and the term for “sending hostile texts”, and discovered from the BRB that “basinet” is not an alternative spelling for “bassinet”, but that it means something completely different.

    I warmed to four clues especially, i.e.15a, 17a (lovely misdirection), 26a and 2d (very cleverly constructed). A couple are still to be parsed fully. The Nina was the icing on the cake, and I defy anyone not to repeat it out loud as they find it!

    Superb stuff, many thanks Prolixic.

  3. Oops almost forgot the Nina, and I was determined to look for one when I first saw the grid – thanks Silvanus for the reminder. I remember the term for hostile texts but it seems dated now that we have trolls. I did not know the sacred doctrine.

    Yes thought there had to be a typo in 17a, did not detract from enjoyment.

    I liked 8a, 17a, 22a, 26a (like use of lobby), 19d. I did think some things were a little stretchy, which added to difficulty, but got there in the end.

    Many thanks Prolixic

  4. Thanks Prolixic, enjoyable solve.

    Bah, forgot to look for the NINA – I now understand why 21 & 27 were such unusual words.

    I vaguely remembered the meaning of demise from some time ago – 17 was my last one in and a good clue.

    I also liked 15 & 26.

  5. I didn’t know either the sacred doctrine or the 19d game and had never considered that the first part of 16d is a tax – that explains a lot!
    Still wrestling with a few bits of parsing but my favourite has to be 8a.

    Thank you, Prolixic – most enjoyable and the NINA made me smile.

  6. Done in a big rush as we are going away for a couple of days and as a result totally missed the Nina. A few obscure words that had us head scratching but all sorted now. Good fun.
    Thanks Prolixic.

  7. I don’t understand 22d. As I see it, we have an anagram of a “leaderless” eight letter word to fit a six letter light..

      1. hmm OK thanks cs I see what you mean, of course. I wouldn’t mind reading Prolixic’s own review of this puzzle!

        1. In deception here was intentional. “leader” or more specifically (leader of) can be used as a first letter deletion indicator but the word play was to remove the abbreviation for leader from the letters to be rearranged. Interestingly, the structure was similar to 25a where you remove the abbreviation for a holy man and this one did not raise an eyebrow among the comments.

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle – many thanks Prolixic.

    Went looking for the Nina early on and despite the unusual start point and direction got it from ICEMAN_L_T, whereupon I did a little jig, and it certainly helped the solve thereafter
    Really liked 12a, 17a, 22a, 26a, 5d, 7d, 24d and 2d which is now my favourite subtractive anagram (taking over from something to do with schoolteacher and chocolate). 21d was new, so pleased to have the helpful acrostic, and for 27a I was pleased to be corrected on the spelling – it’s a lovely concept, that. Only got 19d from the crossers though.

    Terrific stuff.

  9. Good old Google gave me the other name for the game in 19d.
    No problem with 21d as I live in a French medieval city.
    27a however was new to me and assumed that flaming was sending hostile texts in that old chestnut in 13a.
    I found the clues very fair from our resident tutor.
    Thanks to Prolixic and to CS for the upcoming review.

  10. Many thanks, CS – I certainly needed your help with the parsing of 6&24d.

    A couple of queries if you have the time –
    9a I still don’t understand why the answer refers to the ‘left’ border in particular – no doubt just being dim!
    23a Surely an otter is an animal that HAS a pelt and is not a pelt in itself?

    Thanks again to Prolixic.

    1. For 23a one of the definitions in the BRB is ‘its short brown fur’ – There were lots of images of said fur when I did a search but I preferred to show the living examples

      I was hoping no-one would mention 9a as I am not sure why either :scratch:

      1. I thought that both fringe and left-field (as adjectives) mean ‘outside the mainstream’ or slightly unorthodox.

        1. Yes. The intended construction was in (part of – as in I am in / part of the production) + fringe (left-field)

        2. Yes. The intended construction was in (part of – as in I am in / part of the production) + fringe (left-field)

    2. Had the same thought about 23a but Sylvanus gave us Syrup = Maple the other day and it passed Prolixic’s review with flying colours. The two are obviously complotting.:smile:

  11. 21D and 17A were my last two in, and Google was certainly my friend for them and also for 27A. Definitely needed the review to parse a couple more. Thanks CS and Prolixic. Not a walk in the park but fun nevertheless.

  12. Oh well – better late than never.
    I missed the Nina – I always do – but having given up on 17a and 14d I came here for help and read the introduction which meant I then got them.
    I found the top half much easier than the bottom.
    There were lots of things that I didn’t know.
    I liked 8 and 15a and 4d. My favourite was 26a.
    With thanks to Prolixic and to CS.

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