NTSPP 705 – 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.

A review by Prolixic follows:



1a  One can't help but to be up in casino careless over money (9)
INSOMNIAC: An anagram (careless) of IN CASINO around the abbreviation for money.

6a  Overheard crying and rows (5)
TIERS: A homophone (overheard) of tears (crying).

9a  Made better copper colour (5)
CURED: The chemical symbol for copper followed by a three-letter colour.

10a  Remarkable events amid catastrophe - no men argued! (9)
PHENOMENA: The answer is hidden (amid) the final four words of the clue.

11a  Winston leaves The Ministry's building, leading to harm (3)
ILL: The surname of the prime minister Winston without (leaves) the first six letters that are a building where ministers hold religious services.

12a  Make an advanced manoeuvre part of instructions for tying shoelaces? (4,3,4)
LOOP THE LOOP: Double definition, the second part cryptic.

14a  She thinks about core of thesis and starts again (7)
RESUMES: A five-letter word for someone who thinks reversed (about) followed by the central two letters (core) of thesis.

15a  Top arrangement of eighths (7)
HIGHEST: An anagram (arrangement) of EIGHTHS.

16a  News items on e.g. rugby, cycling (7)
REPORTS: The two-letter word meaning on or about followed by a five-letter word for something of which rugby is an example with those five letters cycled around.

19a  Force providing weapons for management of livestock (7)
FARMING: The abbreviation for force followed by a six-letter word meaning providing weapons.

22a  Dancing lone cancan without husband, showing casual indifference (11)
NONCHALANCE: An anagram (dancing) of LONE CANCAN around (without) the abbreviation for husband.

23a  Many years are left (3)
ERA: Reverse (left) the are from the clue.

24a  Effect of blow - it makes you feel cooler! (4-5)
WIND-CHILL: Cryptic definition.

26a  Five books, after which editor made a choice (5)
VOTED: The Roman numeral for five followed by the abbreviation for old testament (books) and the abbreviation for editor.

27a  Give up ground after heading to the other side of fifty (5)
YIELD: A five-letter word for a playing ground with the first letter changed to the last letter (other side) of fifty.

28a  Breathe in supply to sleep for a long time (9)
HIBERNATE: An anagram (supply) of a BREATH IN.


1d  The thing with Switzerland that is right but increasingly irritating (7)
ITCHIER: A two-letter word meaning the thing followed by IVR code for Switzerland, the abbreviation for that it and the abbreviation for right.

2d  Almost inevitable to get bonus extra (7)
SURPLUS: A four-letter word meaning inevitable or certain with the final letter removed (almost) followed by a four letter word meaning bonus.

3d  Book from 12pm on 16/03? (11)
MIDDLEMARCH: The time would be the pivotal point in the month indicated.

4d  Arrogant when dismissing former monarch, not showing reverence (7)
IMPIOUS: A nine-letter word for arrogant without (dismissing) the regnal cipher for Queen Elizabeth II.

5d  One's spotted hostility to ethics oddly rising (7)
CHEETAH: A four-letter word meaning hostility or odium and the odd letters of ethics all reversed (rising).

6d  Tango with over the required number? (3)
TWO: The letter represented by Tango in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by the abbreviations for with and over.

7d  He rose yelling, somewhat upset - it's not a pretty sight! (7)
EYESORE: The answer is hidden (somewhat) and reversed (upset) in the first three words of the clue.

8d  Hold the position, delay, then throw a shot (4,3)
STAY PUT: A four-letter word meaning delay and a three-letter word meaning to throw a shot.

13d  Average beer ordered for someone keen to show willing (5,6)
EAGER BEAVER: An anagram (ordered) of AVERAGE BEER.

16d  Out of control area hidden in part of airport (7)
RUNAWAY: The abbreviation for area inside (hidden in) a six-letter word for part of an airport.

17d  Act of atonement from two knights independently breaking treaty (7)
PENANCE: The chess abbreviation for knight inserted in two different places (independently breaking) a five-letter word for treaty.

18d  What traders do at Billingsgate, reportedly acting in their own interest (7)
SELFISH: A homophone (reportedly) of sell fish (what traders do at Billingsgate).

19d  Spread out over disco to find group sharing in passion (3,4)
FAN CLUB: A three-letter word meaning spread out followed by a four-letter word for a disco.

20d  Tendency to remain at home with secret cigar regularly (7)
INERTIA: A two-letter word meaning at home followed by the even letters (regularly) of secret cigar.

21d  Frightfully enraged political heavyweight (7)
GRANDEE: An anagram (frightfully) of ENRAGED.

25d  Chip shop food is cash on delivery (3)
COD: Double definition, the second being the abbreviation for cash on delivery.

14 comments on “NTSPP 705
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  1. A repeat of how I started my comment on Meles’ last NTSPP in June – Thanks Meles – a very pleasant start to my Saturday with caffeine ‘on the side.’

    Smiles for 1a, 14a, 3d, and 8d.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to Prolixic(?).

  2. Really enjoyable, thank you Meles. A great accompaniment to lunch. We completed the bottom half first, NW corner last to be completed. Several favourites – 3d, 11a (when the penny dropped!) and 18d. More crosswords, please.

  3. Excellent! Great fun and just right for the NTSPP slot.

    Unless I’m missing something, both sides of 24a seem to be the same; and in 3d, I think “midday” would have been preferable as the existence of 12 pm is a bit of a moot point.

    I had ticks aplenty with 11a, 12a, 23a, 2d & 4d my top picks.

    Many thanks to Meles and in advance presumably to Prolixic.

  4. Another most enjoyable puzzle from Meles, shame we don’t see more from him. No problems here beyond the fact that I’m not sure I’ve parsed 27a as our setter intended.
    Podium places going to 26a plus 4,8&18d.

    Thank you for a fun solve, Meles.

  5. A perfect Saturday puzzle, this cheered me right up after this morning 😁 Thanks Meles.
    1a my favourite, beautifully pennydropish 🤦

  6. A late start to our Sunday as we stayed up late to watch a women’s world cup quarter-final.
    A thoroughly enjoyable competently put together puzzle..
    Thanks Meles.

  7. A lovely pre lights out quiptic enjoyable from first to last if all over a wee bit too quickly. Feel certain that this guzzle would be enjoyed by the vast majority, if not all, of those commenting on the SPP yet only 8 comments before mine which is such a shame. Agree with RD’s suggested clue amendment for 3d but it was still my fav just ahead of 1a.
    Thanks Meles

    1. Hi Huntsman! Your comment really made me think. I agree about the low number of comments on this and do hope more people had a go at it. I really enjoyed this puzzle and (to be painfully honest) it’s only the second NTSPP I’ve finished having printed off quite a few. In the DT30377 comments and other posts recently there has been quite the debate about difficulty, and backpagers vs Toughies. One thing evident to these eyes and ears is that many BD residents have skills vastly superior to mine! And why shouldn’t they of course 😁

      I was wondering, depending on quality/quantity of submissions here, is it possible to have a */** NTSPP and a ***/**** NTST(oughie) each Saturday? Seems it could be an easy way to delight everybody. Perhaps do a bit more promotion of them too so occasional visitors know what they are exactly and difficulty level.

      That’s my two pennies spent 🪙🪙, have a great Sunday everyone ✌️

  8. Not the most solver-friendly of grids with only two links between top and bottom halves. But having said that, there was no great difficulty as the links, 3dn and 13dn, were readily solved and gave me a flying start on the rest; in fact it was all over a bit too quickly. Some great clues, too. I particularly liked the aforesaid 3dn, as well as 5dn, 22ac and 28ac. Thanks, Meles.

  9. A busy Saturday meant this puzzle was postponed until today. Having solved the Sunday Toughie first I had a strong sense of deja vu when I came to 13d, especially as both clues involved ‘beer’! My favourite clues were 22a – for a very nice surface, the short and sweet 23a and the amusing 18d.
    Thanks for the fun, Meles.

  10. Many thanks for the review, Prolixic, particularly for showing me the way I should have arrived at the answer to 27a!
    The airbus shown in the clip did my stomach no good at all!
    Thanks again to Meles for the puzzle.

  11. Thanks Prolixic for the review and to all who solved / commented, very much appreciated. I like the adjustment to midday in 3d to improve the surface, will have to remember that on the off chance that word comes up again!

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