NTSPP 676 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 


Another Song by Chalicea

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

We haven’t had a Chalicea NTSPP for some time, and I will say you probably have to be a certain age to find the connections between the solutions and a particular song in this one!


9a Precise performance pursuing one-time mate (5)
EXACT: A performance going after the usual ‘former partner’ (one-time mate)

10a They could make roans drip (9)
RAINDROPS: An anagram (could make) of ROANS DRIP – this one led me to believe I might be searching for another song, but it turned out not to be the case

11a Poorly remunerated with this miserable wage? (4,3)
SICK PAY: Perhaps it is all the flu and the dreaded virus but this is the third time in a couple of days that we’ve the wage given to workers when they are poorly

12a Take round peeled peach delicacy served in the afternoon (7)
TEACAKE: TAKE (from the clue) goes round the inside (peeled) letters of pEACh

13a Horned ruminant; hybrid ass with Indian and Nepalese origins (5)
SASIN: The blackbuck or common Indian antelope is obtained from an anagram (hybrid) of ASS with the ‘origins’ of Indian and Nepalese

15a Oddly slier title (3)
SIR: The odd letters of SlIeR

16a Deceitful device couple of kings rejected in involuntary response (3)
TIC: A deceitful device without (rejected) the Latin and chess abbreviations for king

17a Girl losing direction, foolish person (3)
ASS: A girl without the abbreviation for left (losing direction)

19a Strangely mimicking but not in a clever stratagem (7)
GIMMICK: An anagram (strangely) of MIMICKinG without using the IN

20a Deplorable seasonal affective disorder (3)
SAD: Double definition – a synonym for deplorable or the abbreviation for Seasonal Affective Disorder

23a Unlimited party trick (3)
ART: The inside (unlimited) letters of pARTy

24a First lady‘s poetic decline (3)
EVE: The first lady in the Bible or a poetic word for the decline or end of something

25a Section of computerese we stitch up again (5)
RESEW: Hidden in a section of computeRESE We

27a Husband and wife with time for bit of poetry (7)
COUPLET: A pair such as a husband and wife with the abbreviation for Time

29a Quiet, mostly unwell, gloomy person travelling for religious reasons (7)
PILGRIM: The musical instruction to play quietly, almost all of a synonym for unwell and an adjective meaning, amongst other things, gloomy

32a Wrongly complain about English force member (9)
POLICEMAN: An anagram (wrongly) of COMPLAIN ‘about’ the abbreviation for English

33a Young lad embracing fashionable dream-girl? (3-2)
PIN-UP: An informal name for a young lad ’embracing’ the usual ‘fashionable’


1d Some maybe essentially social insects (4)
BEES: Hidden in some of mayBE Essentially

2d Scandinavians admit Conservative balls (6)
DANCES: Some Scandinavians ‘admit’ the abbreviation for Conservative

3d Halt large sums of money being put up (4)
STOP: A reversal (being put up) of some informal large sums of money

4d Dismal SI unit (4)
GRAY: A synonym for dismal or the SI Unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation

5d Cold season‘s curiously wet interim (10)
WINTERTIME: An anagram (curiously) of WET INTERIM

6d Not entirely perfect notion (4)
IDEA: Almost all of a synonym for perfect

7d Book of the Bible includes church stories (8)
ROMANCES: A book of the Bible ‘includes’ the abbreviation for the Church of England

8d Rising like small US coin (6)
ASCENT: A two-letter word meaning like and a small American coin

13d Main office of bishop, we hear (3)
SEA: This definition of main sounds like (we hear) the office of a bishop of a particular diocese

14d Chessman heard at the end of the day (5)
NIGHT: A homophone (heard) of a particular chess piece

15d Opposite of 5d, period for mathematicians? (10)
SUMMERTIME: This period of the year sounds like it might be just right for someone who enjoys maths

16d One accepting offer thanks pair of royals (5)
TAKER: An informal work for thanks, the chess abbreviation for King and the regnal cipher of our much missed late Queen

18d Observe, we’re told, easily-fooled people – these Aussie dock-labourers (8)
SEAGULLS: A homophone (we’re gold) of a verb meaning to observe followed by some easily-fooled people

21d Five hundred we returned yet to be paid to old folks (3)
DEW: The Roman numeral for 500 and a reversal (returned) of WE produces an obsolete (to old folks) spelling of a word meaning ‘yet to be paid’

22d Flee edges of enormous headland (6)
ESCAPE: The outside letters (edges) of EnormouS and a headland

26d Issue gin (6)
SPRING: A verb meaning to issue and a type of trap (gin)

28d Deficiency of chessplayer losing bishop (4)
LACK: A chess player without (losing) the chess abbreviation for Bishop

29d Drink of piebald horse unfinished (4)
PINT: A piebald horse without its last letter (unfinished)

30d Long stride in revolutionary fire-policy (4)
LOPE: Hidden in reverse (revolutionary) in firE-POLicy

31d Brood‘s brief time before sport (4)
MOPE: A short period of time and some abbreviated school sport

Ten solutions were words from Dana’s 1970 Eurovision Song Contest winner ‘All Kinds of Everything’.

18 comments on “NTSPP 676
Leave your own comment 

  1. This was light and fun although I have no idea at all about the theme. I did wonder if is might be connected to the Badly Drawn Boy song Summertime in Wintertime but I can’t see anything else in the grid apart from those two words which would fit with that.

    Full marks to the setter for indicating the Australianism in 18d and the archaism in 21d! 👍

    I knew neither the ruminant in 13a nor that 26d and “gin” could be synonymous, but my BRB helped me out with both.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Chalicea for a very pleasant lunchtime diversion, and in advance to the very hard working CS.

  2. A very enjoyable start to my Saturday morning and, not for the first time, we have Chalicea ‘doubling up’ on the SPP and NTSPP.

    Like RD – the 13a ruminant was new to me but it had to be and the 26d synonymity with gin needed a quick check, even though we know that all of Chalicea’s clues and answers are thoroughly researched.

    Smiles for 27a, 7d, and 18d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and in advance to CS.

  3. Despite having a whopping 37 clues I can’t have done many puzzles quicker than this one.
    Funny that 11a appeared in very similar form in both yesterday’s Telegraph back-pager and Toughie…must be all the 5d bugs around.
    I think the neat 12a was my favourite in a pleasant romp.
    Thanks Chalicea and in advance Cryptic Sue.

  4. It would seem that Tilly has found our setter’s song but I haven’t as yet.
    I needed to check on the ruminant, the dock-labourers and the SI unit, sadly not much chance that I’ll remember any of them!
    Favourite here was 27a.

    Thanks to Chalicea for an enjoyable NTSPP.

    1. The theme is explained in the preamble that is presented to you if you solve using the .puz file (I download it and use the Puzzazz app). Since this explanation is not given in either the web app or the pdf, I wonder if it’s that’s a mistake. Either way, it didn’t help me at all – I’m too young to remember the song in any detail.

  5. Most enjoyable and Chalicea at her best. I’m not sure about the 13a ruminant but it could be nothing else. However, I can find no information about it on Mr. G. I could see nothing about other songs but I didn’t look too closely.

    Grateful thanks to Chalicea for the fun and to CS in advance.

  6. Just what was needed after a couple of hours raking up leaves. It’s not often that I can complete a puzzle so quickly even though I didn’t know either the SI unit or the ruminant but they had to be what they were. Many thanks to Chalicea for providing such enjoyment for me and, I’m sure, an easy ride for CS! I look forward to discovering the hidden song!

  7. Same unusual words for me but the BRB confirmed them, I am eponymously obliged to pick 1d today but the whole thing was just a delight. 2 for 2 with Chalicea today, let’s see how I fare elsewhere.
    Thanks to Chalicea and CS.

  8. Now that’s the Chalicea I know and love, a delight from start to finish. 13a was new to me, but assuming it was an anagram, a quick google search provided a picture of one. Lots to enjoy in this puzzle.

  9. Never heard of the blackbuck or the dock labourers & haven’t pegged the theme but an otherwise pretty straightforward & typically enjoyable solve.
    Thanks Chalicea

  10. Many thanks for the review, CS, and for setting my mind at rest over the required song. Silly really – not only am I old enough to remember it but I was watching the Eurovision on TV the night Dana won the contest. Back in the day when ‘politics’ didn’t seem to come into the equation – wouldn’t dream of watching it now!

  11. Thanks for a nicely illustrated review, CS, and well done for identifying the song! I may be old enough to have heard it but it didn’t 26d to mind. Echoing RD, the puzzle was light and fun – and I had the same list of unfamilar words as other commentators. I wasn’t happy to conclude that 26d was a synonym of the trap, but I did find that ‘gin’ is an archaic from of ‘begin’, so settled on that option. My podium consisted of 11a, 29a and 7d. Thanks, Chalicea.

  12. Indeed, one has to be quite old to remember Dana’s delightful performance of this song, but you didn’t need to know the song to solve the puzzle, of course. It was Big Dave’s original requirement that an NTSPP could have a theme but it mustn’t be essential.
    I’m delighted that it pleased and many thanks, as always to CS for the beautifully illustrated review.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.