NTSPP – 030 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 030 (Review)

NTSPP – 030 (Review)

A Puzzle By Prolixic

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Afternoon All!. When Prolixic emailed this to me to test solve he said that he wanted to create a puzzle that would include definitions and terms that would be more accessible to younger solvers.

This was in response to a comment from a 22 year old on the DIY COW forum complaining that as a youngster he couldn’t possibly be expected to know some of these old words.
For anyone over the age of 40 there are still plenty of clues that are accessible but you may have to ask your kids to confirm a couple of answers! I think this puzzle succeeds in its goal and I found it rather fun to solve.

Please let us know what you think and as always, the answers are available by dragging your mouse between the curly brackets.


1/10a     Brittle antagonist organised wannabes’ show (8,3,6)
{BRITAINS GOT TALENT} – An anagram (organised) of ‘Brittle antagonist’ gives an excruciating yet strangely popular show where wannabee’s display their questionable entertainment abilities

5a           Greek character ran back before finding site of temple (6)
{DELPHI} – The definition is the site of a temple of an Oracle in Greek mythology. Take a 3 letter Greek character and in front of this add reversal of a synonym for RAN (as in being at the front of a team)

10a         See 1

11a         Bonus disclosed by Wessex trains (5)
{EXTRA} – An additional something is hidden (disclosed by) ‘Wessex Trains’

12a         Nothing in memory box perhaps (4)
{ROOM} – Putting O for nothing in a type of computer memory gives an area in one’s house, this example (box) being one used for storage

13a         Man in pub returns for therapy (5)
{REHAB} – This type of therapy is used commonly by Celebs who have overindulged in one way or another (see image below and name one of her songs!). Put word meaning ‘The man’ in a drinking establishment and reverse the lot (it all returns). Very nice surface reading here!

“The tried to make me go to ____, I said “No!, No!, No!”

14a         Theatre warehouse wants to spoil mafioso (3)
{DON} – A famous Covent Garden theatre, once used as a warehouse, is lacking (wants) a synonym of ‘spoil’. The definition is a mafioso type, typically the Godfather

18a         Great to understand that negative produces film (8,7)
{TOWERING INFERNO} – A charade of words for ‘Great’ or ‘Tall’, ‘understand’ and a negative answer lead to a disaster movie from the Seventies

21a         Queasier single I re-recorded for singer (7,8)
{ENRIQUE IGLESIAS} – A singer with a famously attractive dad (to the ladies at any rate!) is an anagram (re-recorded) of QUEASIER SINGLE I. I Loved this one!

22a         Servant quietly departs in time (3)
{AGE} – A long time period. Remove P (piano – quietly in musical notation) from a young court or wedding attendant

23a         Barchester chaplain’s a rake (5)
{SLOPE} – A chaplain in the ‘Barchester Chronicles’ (played famously by Alan Rickman) is also a synonym of ‘rake’ meaning pitch or incline

25a         Graduate returns second rounds (4)
{AMMO} – Think rounds in the military sense. Reverse a graduate and then add an abbreviation for a word meaning second

30a         Group East End bird calls on the phone (1-4)
{N-DUBZ} – A Rap Group with a ‘dappy’ singer is also a homophone (on the phone) of how an Eastender may say that a farm bird calls/names

31a         Star has box containing article for Sarkozy in conservatory (3,6)
{SUN LOUNGE} – A conservatory with large windows that catch the light all day. Start with our local star, then take a word for a theatre box (originally French) and include in this a French indefinite article (an article for Sarkozy)

32a         Ford’s range (6)
{SIERRA} – A double definition. A model of car manufactured by Ford and also a mountain range in Southern America

33a         Young boy with yen to stifle a singer (4,4)
{LADY GAGA} – An arriviste singer with outrageous dress sense. Make a charade of a young boy, the symbol for the Yen currency, then a word meaning stifle or silence followed by ‘A’. Top Clue!


1 Reputedly Friar Tuck’s show house? (3,7)
{BIG BROTHER} – A description of the famously fat friar from the Forest of Sherwood is also the name of a closed house on TV that we can watch 24/7 (should we wish!)

2 Keen on cornering, racer initially makes a start (5)
{INTRO} – A relatively new word for ‘keen on’ cornering (holding) R(acer) leads to a start in musical productions or books.

3 A service returned in the distance (4)
{AFAR} – An adjective meaning ‘in the distance’. Add the reversal (returned) of the Air arm of the British military to A.

4 New man heading off to see relative (5)
{NIECE} – One of your brother’s children is a charade of N(ew) with a generic term for a chessman minus its first letter (heading off)

6 Crock sheep-hand (4)
{EWER} – This jug (crock) is another charade of a female sheep and an abbreviation of one of your hands (Take your pick!)

7 Byzantine Prior up to get jumble (9)
{POTPOURRI} – An anagram (indicated here by Byzantine) of PRIOR UP TO leads to a jumble or mixture. Note that ‘byzantine’ as an adjective can mean tortuous or intricate – what do you think of this anagram indicator?

8 Address publicity for computer (4)
{IPAD} – A new tablet computer is a charade of an Internet Protocol address and an abbreviation for publicity. It most emphatically is not simply four iPhones taped together as reported in The Onion!

9 Angry crime (8)
{STEAMING} – A double definition. Fuming with anger and also the act of a gang charging through a train stealing easy valuables.

15 Middle Eastern force supports terrorists (5)
{IRAQI} – A description of a person from a specific Middle Eastern country. An alternative spelling of a Life Force is below (supports – this is a Down clue) an abbreviation for a former Terrorist group associated with ‘The Troubles’

16 Swore that Iron Duke supported serfs evenly (5)
{EFFED} – Another supporting role in a Down clue – this time for the chemical symbol for Iron and an abbreviation of Duke. They are both supporting the even letters of SERFS. The result is a slang word for ‘swore’, usually found before ‘Blinded’

17 Western drug production (5,5)
{HORSE OPERA} – One slang term for Heroin (think H) followed by a musical production (from the Latin for Work). The answer is another name for a Cowboy film (Western)

19 Cable’s measure, “I urge wage review” (4,5)
{WIRE GAUGE} – An anagram (review) of I URGE WAGE gives a standard of Electrical cable sizing, particularly in America. Nice to see Prolixic jumping on the political Vince Cable wagon – I think that just about everybody has done it since the Election!

20 Provokes society to luxury (8)
{NEEDLESS} – An adjective for luxury (in the sense of wanting for nothing) is a charade of a verb meaning provokes or annoys followed by S for Society.

24 Bear’s father and father follows… (5)
{PANDA} – Take an abbreviation for yer Dad, then a single letter for AND, and then another one (follows) for yer Dad (particularly in the North). The AND in the middle should be shortened in the way of the phrases ‘Fish and Chips’, ‘Pic and Mix’ or ‘Assault and Battery’.

26 …mother touring a province for excitement (5)
{MANIA} – Closely followed by an abbreviation for  yer mother going around (touring) A and a UK Province to give a word for excitement or frenzy. I love the way that these clues run together with no thematic reference – just the mention of Father and Mother to complete a great surface reading.

27 Working, not working it’s a liability (4)
{ONUS} – This liability or burden is a charade of a short word for working and an abbreviation for unserviceable or useless (not working or broken)

28 Drivers return to collect final character for Bulgarian leader (4)
{CZAR} – One of the two famous UK driving clubs, when returned, and including (collecting) the final letter of the alphabet. The definition means a Bulgarian or other Eastern European leader

Nicholas II: Bad judge of character, lovely eyes!

29 Inquisitive inventor losing head is upset (4)
{NOSY}- The inventor of many new ingenious gadgets, when reversed and losing his first letter, could be seen as inquisitive or prying.

Favourites for me amongst many fine clues were 8d, 19d, 13a, 21a and in particular the excellent 33a.

Let us know what you thought by leaving a comment below.

5 comments on “NTSPP – 030 (Review)

  1. Great review of a great puzzle. I will resist saying ‘I told you so’ with regard to people knowing 30a! I think the anagram fodder words in 1/10 are a brilliant description of its organiser. Byzantine as an anagram indicator confused me too initially, particuarly with jumble in the same clue but one of the Chamber’s definitions does seem to fit the anagram context. Can’t wait to test the next one. Thanks Prolixic and Gnomethang.

  2. Many thanks to Gnomethang for an undeservedly glowing review. I had great fun coming up with some more modern references and, even if they were too modern for some, I hope that some of the fun shone through.

  3. I struggled with this mainly because of lack of knowledge on the theme. I am lousy with modern music and had never heard of 30a and only just heard of 33a – which was good and easy to get from the clue.

    I did enjoy 32a and several of the others – well done Prolixic. Fault is mine for lack of knowlege – not yours for the clueing which was superb

  4. I forgot to say that I ageree with Gnoemthang’s review – 24 and 26d are very clever. BTW thanks for the review Gnome – helped me enormously.

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