NTSPP 722 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Hubble

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review by Prolixic follows.

Thanks to Hubble for our Saturday entertainment.


1a  Murray for example bored by German joining game (5,5)
RUGBY UNION: The first name of the Irish singer Murray includes (bored by) the abbreviation for German and is followed by a five-letter word meaning joining.

6a  Gosh! Bar's new name being rejected (4)
PHEW: A two-letter abbreviation for a bar or public house followed by the new from the clue without (being rejected) the abbreviation for name.

10a  Earl’s occupying temporary accommodation, it’s believed (5)
TENET: The abbreviation for earl inside (occupying) a four-letter word for temporary accommodation used by campers.

11a  Victor's Luton and Ayr redesign not paid for (9)
VOLUNTARY: An anagram (redesign) of V (Victor) LUTON AYR.

12a  Sort of skirt, bras and wrap essentially (2-2)
RA-RA: The inner letters (essentially) of bras and wrap.

13a  Family in Matlock returning regularly (4)
CLAN: A reversal (returning) of the even letters (regularly) in “in Matlock”.

14a  Book fight for mate at hotel (4)
RUTH: A three-letter word for a fight for a mate that stags perform followed by the abbreviation for hotel.

17a  Volumes covering liberal first-class painter (7)
MILLAIS: The abbreviation for millilitres (volumes) around (covering) the abbreviation for liberal and a two-letter word meaning first-class.

18a  Colour signs, doing so evenly (6)
INDIGO: The even letters in the second to fourth words of the clue.

20a  Dickens's little girl's shedding a pound performing wrestling manoeuvre (6)
NELSON: The name of the Dicken’s character “Little …” in the possessive form without one of the letters L (shedding a pound) followed by a two-letter word meaning performing.

21a  Italian port's efforts to introduce both taxes and excise initially (7)
TRIESTE: A four-letter word meaning efforts followed by the initial letter of taxes and excise.

23a  Motoring group backtracking behind small rocky outcrop (4)
SCAR: A reversal (backtracking) of the abbreviation for a motoring organization after (backing) the abbreviation for small.

24a  Golfer possessing a thousand trees (4)
ELMS: The surname of the golfer Ernie includes (possessing) the Roman numeral for 1000.

25a  With soldiers leading Navy's first female sailor (4)
WREN: The abbreviations for “with” and “Royal Engineers” (soldiers) before (leading) the initial letter (first) of navy.

28a  Job tracking market's benevolent commercial policy (4,5)
FAIR TRADE: A five-letter word for a job after (tracking) a four-letter word for a market.

29a  Crowded cave finally discovered at the rear of other caves (5)
DENSE: The final letter of cave after (finally discovered at) a four-letter word for caves or lairs.

30a  Kent area hosting popular function (4)
SINE: The area of the country where Kent is located includes (hosting) a two-letter word meaning popular.

31a  How Dean may appear to show potentially risky outlay
INVESTMENT: Split (2,8) this may describe the dean of a cathedral in their robes.


1d  Withdrawal of flat fee that includes rising benefit before end of lease (10)
RETIREMENT: A four-letter word for the payment made under a lease (flat fee) includes a reversal (rising) of a five-letter word for benefit and the last letter (end) of lease.

2d  Disgruntled Orange clientele providing means of choosing members (7,8)
GENERAL ELECTION: An anagram (disgruntled) of ORANGE CLIENTELE.

3d  Legendary mountain man finishes off very nice breakfast muesli (4)
YETI: The last letters (finishes off) the final four words of the clue.

4d  Writer - new one on street (8)
NOVELIST: A five-letter word meaning new followed by the letter representing one and the abbreviation for street.

5d  Post expressing Juliet's desire for shape (6)
OBLONG: A three-letter word for a post or career without (expressing) the letter represented by Juliet in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by a four-letter word meaning desire.

7d  Sick Chilean unearths way to pay for treatment (6,9)

8d  Verbally evaluates habits (4)
WAYS: A homophone (verbally) of weighs (evaluates).

9d  Coming home on vacation nurses inspired by quality (2,7)
IN TRANSIT: A two-letter word meaning home followed by the outer letters (on vacation) of nursed inside (inspired by) a five-letter word for quality.

15d  Ribbons appeal to me ultimately, darling (9)
FAVOURITE: A six-letter word for ribbons followed by a two-letter word for sexual appeal and the final letter (ultimately) of me.

16d  Chap taking over New Mexico's ruling body (10)
GOVERNMENT: A four-letter word for a chap includes (taking) the OVER from the clue and the abbreviation for the state of New Mexico.

19d  Rush marked by Bruce at last (8)
STAMPEDE: A seven-letter word meaning marked or impressed followed by the final letter (at last) of Bruce.

22d  Stay on the sea (6)
REMAIN: A two-letter word meaning on followed by a four-letter word for the sea.

26d  Mysterious craft concealed amidst Magaluf osiers (4)
UFOS: The answer is hidden (concealed amidst) the final two words of the clue.

27d  Manage issue created by rocketing trend (4)
EDIT: A reversal (rocketing) of a four-letter word for a trend.

16 comments on “NTSPP 722
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  1. A very pleasant lunchtime diversion. Thanks to Hubble.
    The 10a clue is largely unreadable but the answer can only really be one word from the checkers.
    Top clues for me were 1a, 14a and 16d.

  2. About as light as you can get but still good fun.
    I don’t know what’s happened to 10a (I see Hubble has just popped in to clarify) but I bunged it in anyway.
    The Italian port was immediately obvious as I’ve recently clued it (very differently) for one of mine.
    Top clues for me were 1&14a plus 5,16&19d with it’s reference to the two old warhorses
    Many thanks Hubble and in advance Prolixic

  3. Caffeine required towards the end of an enjoyable challenge or perhaps it was the fact that I entered the answer for 26d in 27d!

    No problems with the strange and repeated indication of apostrophes in 10a.

    Smiles for 14a, 17a, 4d, and 22d.

    No enumeration shown for 31a but it turned out to be (10) and not an indeterminate (x, y).

    Thanks to Hubble and in advance to Prolixic.

  4. It was a shame that the text strings included 10a had not been replaced by readable text. A question for Mr K, has the program developed a bug as this is not the first time this has happened recently? It was also a shame that the enumeration was missing for 31a.

    However neither of this niggles detracted from the enjoyment of a very entertaining puzzle. My only struggles were with the parsing of 6a & 5d but the pennies dropped for both eventually.

    My favourite is a toss-up between 1a & 16d.

    Many thanks, Hubble. I see it’s been almost a year since your previous NTSPP submission. Please don’t leave it so long before your next one. 🙏

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the puzzle RD. The problem with scrambled text in 10a and the missing enumeration in 31a is my fault. For submission, I export the finished puzzle into Acrosslite (.PUZ) format and Acrosslite interpreted the apostrophes as single quotes, which apparently it cannot handle. I have no idea why it misinterpreted these apostrophes, especially as it correctly interpreted other apostrophes in the clues. Unfortunately, I did not spot the scrambled text or missing enumeration following the export

      1. I also missed both errors. Sorry about that. As Hubble says, it is very odd that the character set encoding problem occurred only in one clue. Both issues are now fixed.

  5. Came up with two incorrect Murrays before hitting on the one needed today, should have thought of the Cockney curry!
    Having decided to leave 10a alone until the end of the solve and done a quick count of the number of letters in 31a, I made quite good progress with only the crowded cave giving much pause for thought.
    Ticks here went to 14&31a plus 7&16d.

    Thanks to Hubble for an enjoyable NTSPP.

  6. Enjoyed this one Hubble despite attempting to solve it on a mobile phone – never the best solving experience & particularly so for the NYSPP & RC format. Abandoned with a few still to get but quickly solved once able to view in full on the ipad. Was a bit slow to twig one or two parsings but reckon I have them figured out now except 16d. I particularly liked the wee ones at 6,14&24a but my fav was 5d.
    Many thanks & in advance to Prolixic too.

  7. It took us much longer to twig 1a than it should have done considering where we live. Quite a lot of head-scratching throughout the solve but plenty to enjoy along the way.
    Thanks Hubble.

  8. I didn’t find this as straight forward as some of the other commentators. However there was much to enjoy- 20a 31a 1d and 9d stood out but 1a took the biscuit once I’d got the right Murray! The plethora of individual letter indicators certainly helped but there are still a couple I’ve failed to parse so I await our reviewer’s explanations with interest.
    Thanks Hubble for the fun

  9. Another late night solve but it didn’t occasion any nightmares. I particularly enjoyed the 29a ‘crowded cave’, the clever 7d anagram and 22d for it’s surface brevity. Last to go in were 14a and 9d; a satisfying PDM for 14a and then 9d quickly followed.
    My thanks to Hubble and Prolixic.

  10. My thanks to everybody for the feedback – I’m glad the puzzle provided some enjoyment. Thanks also to Prolixic for the parsings and the accompanying graphics.

  11. Thank you Hubble, we enjoyed your puzzle and managed to parse all but a couple at the end. Really enjoyed the two anagrams, 2d and 7d. We look forward to your next one. Thank you also to Prolixic.

  12. Very enjoyable. Thank you Hubble and Prolixic.
    Ticks for 1a, 6a, 12a, 14a 31a, 1d, 16d, 22d & 27d.
    In 5a I don’t think I have seen “expressing” used in this way, but it works well.
    CoD has to be 1a, but then I am slightly biased. Great win for the Chiefs yesterday, Gazza!

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