NTSPP 748 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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A Puzzle by Jeemz

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


Jeemz brings you one of his enjoyable Saturday puzzles. Thanks to him.

1a Fashion firm's catalogue featuring hot top that's hard to find? (10,5)
CAMOUFLAGE SHIRT: Anagram (fashion) of FIRM’S CATALOGUE including the single-letter abbreviation for Hot

9a Started running when attacked (6,2)
TURNED ON: Double definition

10a Government committee - it's venomous! (5)
COBRA: Cryptic definition of the government committee whose acronym spells out a venomous snake

12a Acknowledges absence of Detective Sergeant (4)
NODS: Spilt the solution 2-2 to see the wordplay

13a Accepted view from incompetent official? No it's rejected (10)
ASSUMPTION: An informal way of describing an incompetent abbreviated match official and a reversal of NO plus IT

15a Better player like Serrano? (5,3)
CURED HAM: Synonyms of better in the sense of recovered and a player on a stage

16a Report to the top intern (4,2)
BANG UP: Synonyms of report and to the top. The solution is a verb

18a Halo effect of coach following game (6)
NIMBUS: Put together a game usually played with matches and a coach in the sense of transport

20a Mockery's made of peace when Redcaps oust nation's leader (8)
CONTEMPT: A synonym of peace with an abbreviation for redcaps or Military Police replacing (one of) the second occurrence of the letter N (nation’s leader).

23a Supplied with arms, troop intercepts criminal in demo (10)
MUNITIONED: A synonym of troop inside (intercepts) an anagram (criminal) of the following two words

24a High spot's a school's second master butting head of English (4)
ACME: A from the clue, the second letter of school, the abbreviation for Master next to (butting) the head of English

26a Call and wow two Europeans (5)
COOEE: Synonym of wow or charm plus Ex2

27a That man's inspired by right wingers' ideas (8)
THEORIES: A third person pronoun inside an informal name for some Conservatives

28a Quickly plaster cheek and lip wound (4,3,8)
LIKE THE CLAPPERS: Anagram (wound) of three of the four preceding words.



2d See red removing crust of strawberry crumble (7)
MOULDER: A synonym of see red or seethe less the first letter (crust of) strawberry.

3d Vessels, brought by Vanuatu sailor, in numerous finales (4)
URNS: The final letters of the four words preceding “finales”

4d Many thanks heard for guiding light (8)
LODESTAR: Homophone of LOADS plus TA (many thanks)

5d Envy principally involved in prosecuting rising virtuoso (6)
GENIUS: The initial letter of Envy in a reversal of a synonym of prosecuting. Here's one.

6d Crawlers officer apprehended between borders of Surrey and Hampshire (10)
SYCOPHANTS: An informal police officer between the outer letters of SurreY and an abbreviated Hampshire

7d Inspiring way Crosby introduced himself welcoming you in conversation (7)
IMBUING: An informal way that an old actor could introduce himself, his Christian name including the letter that sounds like you.

8d Obsessive type, Del Boy for one, bearing pains comically (12)
TRAINSPOTTER: The surname of Del Boy around an anagram of PAINS

11d Profligate uncle in Monaco - one name-dropping randomly (12)
UNECONOMICAL: Anagram (randomly) UNCLE IN MONACO less one nicely indicated N.

14d Tweak Australia Day stag event's ending (10)
ADJUSTMENT: Abbreviations for Australia & Day, plus a term (4-3) that could mean stag and the final letter of evenT

17d Telegraph's head count (8)
FORETELL: Split the solution 4-4 to see synonyms of head and count

19d Military music genre characterises blokes (7)
MENFOLK: A synonym of military and a (pretty dull) type of music

21d China's acquiring revolutionary harvesting tool (7)
MACHETE: Crosswordland's favourite revolutionary is acquired by a cockney China

22d Daring programme starts on television late evening... (6)
BOTTLE: A computer software application plus the initial letters of the last three words in the clue

25d …throw blame on the radio (4)
WRAP: A homophone of a synonym of blame. The throw is a noun



12 comments on “NTSPP 748
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  1. Very enjoyable lunchtime entertainment – thanks to Jeemz.
    I think the programme in 22d should be spelt differently.
    I have a lot of ticks on my printout including 16a, 6d, 14d and 25d.

    1. Thanks Gazza. Glad you enjoyed it. I know there has been previous debate in this forum over which spelling of programme/program to use. I thought long and hard about which spelling to use for this clue.
      My interpretation of the Chambers (and the OED for that matter) entry is that either spelling is appropriate in English English when its usage relates to computing. However, the version spelt “program” can only be used when it relates to computing. Therefore, I felt sure that “programme” was the correct spelling to use, particularly as it was the only version that could indicate the two different meanings of the word.

  2. Too difficult for us, sadly. We found six answers but brain fade set in. We revealed several starting letters – but we still struggled. Thank you for the challenge, Jeemz. We look forward to the review tomorrow – and an easier puzzle next time.

  3. Certainly a challenge for us but we stuck with it and eventually got everything sorted. Last one to fall was 14d so we’ll go with that for favourite although there were plenty of others to choose from.
    Thanks Jeemz.

  4. You certainly don’t believe in making life easy for us, Jeemz, this certainly took me some time. Crossed the finish line with something of a sigh of relief and awarded the prizes to 9,12&27a.

    Thanks for the challenge, Jeemz.

  5. I’m another who found this pretty tough going, Jeemz. Things did eventually parse – or back parse when I guessed a few from crossers – but you fooled me with plenty of your synonyms and a few definitions as well. Podium for me is 23a, 27a and 7d.

    Thanks for the workout.

    1. Thanks Postmark for giving it a go. Didn’t mean to fool you – only to make you think! Glad you enjoyed some of the clues.

  6. Sorry for the late response but gardening chores have rather taken over this weekend. Many thanks to those who have tried this puzzle and to those who have commented and of course to Stephen L for the review, I enjoyed you musical additions!

  7. Our family guests left this morning, so I have taken time out to relax with my favourite weekend puzzles. Nothing obscure here, but I did find this a bit trickier than today’s Sunday Toughie – however, a nice scattering of the more gettable clues provided useful checkers. I enjoyed several PDMs and smiles along the way, with my favourite clues being 28a, 6d and 14d.
    My thanks to Jeemz and to StephenL – and I always enjoy listening to Billy Joel :good:

  8. Many thanks for the review, Stephen, the penny has finally dropped over the ‘stag’! Fortunately, I got the right answer but the wordplay of that section had me fooled.
    Thanks again to Jeemz for the puzzle.

  9. A bit tricky in places but I just about got there in the end. There seemed to be only one possible answer to 17dn but I hadn’t come across as one meaning of Telegraph, but sure enough the BRB confirmed that it could be that.
    Thanks, Jeemz and SL.

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