NTSPP 738 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Chalicea

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A nice lunchtime diversion from Chalicea – although it wasn't immediately obvious, she’s been looking  at lists again.!  I saw three solutions that had a common link and after a bit of investigation, found seven more.  Did you spot the hidden theme ? military and civilian aircraft


8a  Ruler originally alienates old peasant commune (4)
AMIR: The original letter of Alienates and a peasant farming commune in pre-Revolutionary Russia (hence the ‘old’)

9a  Offensive description of Yeti (10)
ABOMINABLE: How the Yeti is often described although whether he could be offensive or not is up for debate, as is his existence

10a  Light brown colour of overturned cask left initially as worthless (6)
WALNUT: A reversed (overturned) barrel (cask), the abbreviation for Left and the initial letters of As and Worthless

11a  Small company getting into intricate e-money in activity carried out using Internet (1-7)
E-ECONOMY: An abbreviated (small) company inserted into an anagram (intricate) of E MONEY

12a  A hormone for space traveller (8)
ASTEROID: A (from the clue) and a hormone – those of us who have solved far too many crosswords would call it A Chestnut!

14a  US residential area incumbent on women, first and last (6)
UPTOWN: A two-word phrase meaning incumbent on and the first and last letters of WomeN

16a  Some modest verses (4)
ODES: Hidden in the second word of the clue

17a  Heavenly body to draw near on time (5)
COMET: Draw near followed by the abbreviation for Time

18a  Not keen to work, move furtively, not starting (4)
IDLE: A verb meaning to move furtively without its first letter (not starting)

19a  Emergency! Half ship's complement is in sickbay principally (6)
CRISIS: Half of a ship’s complement of personnel, IS (from the clue) and the principal letters of In and Sickbay

21a  Refuse to acknowledge record liberal objective (8)
DISCLAIM: A record, the abbreviation for Liberal and an objective

23a  Small buzzer at first heard before organised flyover (8)
HOVERFLY: The first letter of Heard followed by an anagram (organised) of FLYOVER

26a  Measure of printed matter, nothing sent back before period of time (6)
LINAGE: The number of lines in a piece of printed matter – a reversal (set back) of a synonym for nothing goes before a period of time

27a  Confused program regularly scatty, it's written in cypher! (10)
CRYPTOGRAM: An anagram (confused) of PROGRAM and the ‘regular’ letters of sCaTtY

28a  Sent back painful 12 across (4)
EROS: A reversal (sent back) of a synonym for painful



1d  Diplomat of highest rank; exceptional armada boss (10)
AMBASSADOR: An anagram (exceptional) of ARMADA BOSS

2d  Style of dress for royal lady (8)
PRINCESS: A double definition

3d  Military entertainment to produce skin design (6)
TATTOO: And another

4d  Pigeon in Yosemite descended nose first (4)
DOVE: How people in Yosemite or other places in America would say ‘descended nose first’

5d  Peer versus price cut (not duke!) (8)
VISCOUNT: The abbreviation for Versus and a price cut without the abbreviation for Duke

6d  Gent, an awfully greedy fellow! (6)
GANNET: An anagram (awfully) of GENT AN

7d  Fruit's mostly well filled out (4)
PLUM: Almost all of an adjective meaning well filled out

13d  With a large cupola raised, not entirely out of fashion (5)
DOMED: A reversal (raised) of almost all of an adjective meaning out of fashion

15d  Type of boot not primarily bulging with fashion (10)
WELLINGTON: A synonym for bulging without its first letter (not primarily) and the word meaning fashion that one or more people usually say “I didn’t know that …. meant fashion”

17d  About a quiet movement - a trading necessity (4,4)
CASH FLOW: The Latin abbreviation for about, an instruction to be quiet and a movement

18d  I make damaging statements about person from Stornoway, say (8)
ISLANDER: I (from the clue) and a verb meaning to make damaging statements about

20d  Reconstructed phrase could be invaluable to climbers (6)
SHERPA: An anagram (reconstructed) of PHRASE

22d  In Islam a different type of food (6)
SALAMI: An anagram (different) of ISLAM A

24d  Somewhat retrogressive monstrous tyrant (4)
OGRE: Hidden in the second word of the clue

25d  Bowl someone out in northern city (4)
YORK: A cricket term meaning to bowl someone out with a ball pitched on the popping crease so it passes under the bat; or a very nice northern city








16 comments on “NTSPP 738
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  1. A most enjoyable NTSPP pleasantly accompanied by the first caffeine of the day!

    Smiles for 9a (I got the spelling right at the first attempt!), 10a, 15d, 17d, and 25d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and in advance to CS.

  2. This was just the job for the NTSPP slot – light and fun.

    I know both spellings are considered correct but, without the middle E, 25a always looks like a typo to me.

    A big tick for the setter for including an American indicator in 14a, but surely a French one is needed in 13d. Although the answer was obvious, the latter took me ages to parse as I stubbornly refused to look up the reversal of the solution in the BRB thinking to do so would be of no help whatsoever – wrong!

    Many thanks to Chalicea for an entertaining puzzle, and thanks too in advance to CS.

    1. To get the definition that Chalicea requires, you definitely don’t need the middle E in 26a (which is the clue I assume you mean as there isn’t a 25a)

      1. Yes, sorry, the first letter of my answer partially obscured the clue number.

        The BRB gives both spellings as correct for the specific definition needed.

  3. A very pleasant puzzle, thank you Chalicea. We couldn’t fill in 8a until we had done 1d and 2d as we didn’t know the word for the old peasant commune. If there is a theme we haven’t found it! We look forward to your next one.

  4. A nice puzzle to solve as I sit with my new knee, a week old now, with a soothing Cryo-pak unit circulating ice cold water around the area. Feels better already than the old knee, that is now in the knackers yard somewhere!

    Favourites include 9a, 14a, 27a, 15d & 18d — with 18d the winner with a good chuckle .

    Thanks to Chalicea & CS

  5. A wonderful puzzle but I always like offerings from Chalicea. 8a was my last one in and it was a bung in because I have not heard of the word. Neither had I heard of the weight of print but it was gettable from the clue. My favourite clue is the US residential area at 14a

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

  6. Yes Hilton, there is a theme but it is well hidden. I am happy that the puzzle is pleasing. The theme will be more evident in the next one.

  7. Another sheer delight of a puzzle to keep us amused on a nippy autumnal Easter Sunday morning.
    Thanks Chalicea.

  8. Can’t find the hidden theme so will have to wait for the review from CS, but I have definitely got an ear worm from 14a! That one gets my gold star with smiles for the offensive description and the pigeon.

    Thanks to Chalicea for the NTSPP and to CS for the hints.

  9. Many thanks for the review, CS, and for managing to unearth pictures of all those aircraft, only a couple of which were known by me in an aviation connection.
    Sorry your theme was wasted on me, Chalicea!

  10. It being a Chalices puzzle I looked for a theme but failed to see it. An enjoyable puzzle nevertheless. Thanks to Chalicea and CS.

  11. Thank you so much CS, I live with an aircraft enthusiast and have one grandson who is besotted with them but had never seen several of those. I too am impressed that you managed to unearth all those pictures. And thanks, as always, for the hard work on this Easter Sunday.

    1. The hard work was done on Easter Saturday.

      As for the pictures, all you have to do is askGoogle images for a word plus the word ‘aircraft’

  12. Light, swift and enjoyable. A couple of unusually weak clues (11a, 23a) but otherwise a good challenge. Did not spot the theme and suspect that even in my 50s I’m possibly too young, or just insufficiently interested, to recognise the names of all bar 2 or 3 of the aircraft!

    Thank you Chalicea and Sue

  13. And there I was thinking I’d solved a Chalicea crossword with no theme… :unsure: I should have known better! Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle, Chalicea, and thanks to CS for enlightening me.

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