NTSPP – 427 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 427

NTSPP – 427

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Some of you may have already seen this puzzle as it was distributed at the Birthday Bash back in January.

The Nina round the perimeter of the grid reminds us that this crossword was one of two Prolixic created for the 9th birthday bash. It will also be useful for anyone trying to teach a child their nine times table!


7a Visit and provide shelter for con (4,2)
TAKE IN We start with a triple definition

8a Work with men attending old port (8)
ORATORIO The two-letter abbreviation for some particular soldiers (men) AT (attending) the abbreviation for Old and a South American port

9a One involved in fanciful details (8)
IDEALIST I (one) inserted into an anagram (fanciful) of DETAILS

10a Weak and heartless man gets real (6)
THINGY Who knew you could use the solution as an adjective meaning real? A synonym for weak and an informal term for a fellow without its middle letter (heartless)

11a Briefly remove the cream for a dessert manufacturer (3)
SKI Truncate (briefly) a verb meaning to remove the cream

12a Doctor got up and down (6)
MOROSE One of the abbreviations for doctor and a verb meaning got up. The clue disguises the fact that down here is a description of being miserable

13a Encourage grumpy Head of State to make way for old lover (6)
EXHORT Remove the S (‘head’ of State) from a way of saying curt or grumpy and replace it with an old lover (2)

14a Bizarrely designate me to get rid of Poles? (11)
DEMAGNETISE An anagram (bizarrely) of DESIGNATE ME

19a Torments poet leaving Kay before the judge (4,2)
EATS UP Take the K (leaving Kay) from the name of a poet and add a way of saying appearing in court (xx before the judge)

21a Allow Henry to get holy book (6)
GRANTH The Holy Book of the Sikhs is obtained by following a verb meaning to allow with the abbreviation for the SI Unit of inductance, the Henry

22a Nothing goes over waterfall (3)
LIN A reversal (going over) of nothing

23a Hardly ever seeing Mark before church (6)
SCARCE A mark left after a wound has healed goes before the abbreviation for the Church of England

24a Risking beginning to go wandering (8)
GAMBLING The letter at the beginning of Go and another way of saying wandering at an easy pace

25a Members of the aristocracy with no power after leader departs (8)
NOBILITY NO (from the clue) followed by some power (physical or mental) from which the ‘leader’ or first letter has ‘departed’

26a Mountain dweller has on-line friend in province (6)
NEPALI How you might refer to an on-line friend inserted into the province of the United Kingdom (the one where the best grandson in the world lives, but you don’t need to know that to solve the clue!)


1d Remove the top of sweet item of jewellery (7)
EARDROP Another take a letter off clue, this time removing the first letter (top) of my least favourite sweet

2d Demon ate wriggling worm (8)
NEMATODE An anagram (wriggling) of DEMON ATE

3d Report of judgment is prompt (6)
INCITE A homophone (report) of some judgement or awareness

4d Smartest Queen leaves interstate in a drunken state (8)
NATTIEST An anagram (in a drunken state) of INTERSTATE once you have removed the regnal cipher of our current Queen

5d Hotel I rebuilt with stone tool (6)
EOLITH An anagram (rebuilt) of HOTEL I

6d Selfish person briefly pulling over (7)
NIGGARD A reversal (over in a Down clue) of almost all (briefly) of a verb meaning pulling

8d Exceptionally trip around part of stadium ends on national holiday (13)
OUTSTANDINGLY Put a trip round part of a stadium and then finish the result with the ‘ends’ of nationaL and holidaY

15d Peel and a pip processed in dessert (5,3)
APPLE PIE An anagram (processed) of PEEL and A PIP

16d Ring involved in concessions for seafood (8)
SCALLOPS Ring on the telephone perhaps, inserted into (involved in) some concessions or gifts

17d Asian leaves house in Channel Islands carrying parcel we hear (3,4)
PAK CHOI Inserted an abbreviation for house into the abbreviation for the Channel Islands and put under (carrying) a homophone (we hear) of a parcel

18d North German wearing a hat is feeling excited (7)
ATINGLE A (from the clue) followed by the abbreviations for North and German inserted into the way a user of Cockney rhyming slang would refer to a hat

20d Injury revealed by artist in trip (6)
SPRAIN The abbreviation for artist inserted into a short trip in a motor car

21d Stars involved in village ministry (6)
GEMINI Lurking (involved in) villaGE MINIstry

The appearance of this puzzle today will make at least one person very happy as I keep being asked why I’m keeping certain crosswords in a pile near the computer. The answer of course is that I’m waiting for them to turn up on a Saturday afternoon as it is easier to find them in a small pile of crosswords rather than the large heap of literally hundreds of test-solved puzzles on a shelf on the other side of the room.


Review will be here soon.

27 comments on “NTSPP – 427

  1. I was lucky enough to pick this one up at the Birthday Bash and I see that I discovered three new words, none of which I appear to have remembered!
    There is a very helpful Nina which I definitely needed for the Americanism at 7a.

    Many thanks, Prolixic.

      1. In the context in which 7a is being used, the BRB has it listed as ‘esp. US’. Would you use it to describe your intention to visit somewhere? I certainly wouldn’t do so.

        1. Personally, no I wouldn’t use that expression in the context of visiting but I have very occasionally come across non-Americans who have, which is probably why it didn’t jar with me.

        2. Not even when ‘taking in a stately home’ while you were visiting a particular place?

  2. Very pleasant, completed while watching Southampton showing Chelsea how to score goals.

    Joint favourites – 8a and 16d.

    Thanks Prolixic.

  3. Oh – where is everyone today – don’t tell me – watching sporty stuff that I don’t understand. :roll:
    I thought this was difficult – brain really only just beginning to get back into gear.
    I was hoping for a shove from a nice kind and helpful person – anyone would do – towards my only remaining problem which is 6d – I have the second and and fourth letters (and possibly sixth)
    Maybe I just have to wait until the review tomorrow so, in the meantime, thanks very much to Prolixic for the crossword, and to CS for her review tomorrow.

    1. An 8 letter word meaning pulling with the final letter removed then reverse the remaining letters for a word for a selfish person

  4. I don’t remember picking this one up but done ok so far in the west. can’t help with 6d but prolixic has stepped up. Going to keep plugging away while I drink the proceeds of my fortune on the horses. Currently drinking a v nice Laphroaigh. Sorry no Dalwhinnie or Balvenie for Senf here.

  5. Really enjoyed this. We were on the lookout for a Nina and this proved to be a help with sorting out the last couple of answers. Off for our beach walk now on calm crisp Sunday morning here.
    Thanks for the fun Prolixic.

  6. Got there! Pleasantly enjoyable. Many thanks Prolixic. It’s another crossword involving numbers- it’s odd how these things come along like buses.

  7. Got there just before lights out a couple need their parsing checked but that can wait til am.
    Thanks to Prolixic.

  8. This was a very pleasant and quite tough challenge with a clever Nina which I didn’t get a chance to look at yesterday.

    I am still struggling with 10a. There are only two possible words which fit the checking letters, one of which parses nicely but doesn’t fit the definition “real” and the other sort of fits the definition “weak” but I can’t see any parsing for the first four letters :wacko:

    I learnt two new words in 21a & 22a but both were readily derivable from the wordplay.

    There was plenty of choice for favourite but 8a just edges it.

    Many thanks for the entertainment, Prolixic.

      1. Well blow me down. Thanks Gazza.

        I am normally very assiduous in looking up things I don’t understand in the BRB, but that just seemed utterly improbable.

        To misquote the bard, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Gazza, …”

  9. Thanks to Prolixic for the crossword which, somehow, I didn’t see on the day of the ninth birthday do.
    Thanks also to CS for the review and for the explanation for 13a.

    1. No, I didn’t see it either at the Birthday Bash. Jane was obviously very privileged!

  10. Lovely review, CS, although I have to question where the best grandson in the world lives. I think he’s on the Isle of Wight and I suspect that Kath may believe that he’s elsewhere in the UK!

    One question – I thought the ‘one’ from the 9a clue represented the ‘I’ in the middle of the answer rather than the first ‘I’ – have I got it wrong?

    Know what you mean about 1d – wrecked the roof of your mouth and the flavour wasn’t worth the pain!

  11. I know what you mean about P1dS but I quite liked them. On the other hand Grandma Bee’s Barley Sugar and Jesmona Black Bullets created shards so sharp I could have shaved with them. Fortunately I wasn’t old enough to shave then!
    18d had that new hat in.
    5d was a new word.
    4d my favourite.
    22a encountered in various Scottish locations but with 2n’s.
    11a do they still exist. Not had one since about the same time Grandma Bee was plying me with Barley Sugar.

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