NTSPP – 039 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 039 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 039 (Review)

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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[Crypticsue] – This Saturday’s alternative puzzle has been provided by Prolixic.  As is usual with his crosswords, we found it very enjoyable and would recommend to all as a puzzle which should suit all levels of solving ability, having as it does some very nice clues and wordplay.

[Gnomethang] – Thanks to Crypticsue for doing the type-work; All I had to do was write the amended clues, fill in some wordplay and provide some pictures!

As always, you can reveal an answer by highlighting the word or words between the curly brackets.  Do let us have your comments on the puzzle as well.  It is always good for the setter to get feedback and acknowledgment of the hard work that has gone into creating the crossword.

Many thanks to Prolixic for this week’s challenge.


1a           Dry ice cadets supply (9)
(DESSICATE)  An anagram (supply) of ICE CADETS – coconut is usually dried in this manner.

6a           Important exams are unfinished (5)
(GREAT) The final exams for either the Scholl of Literae Humaniores or Modern Philosophy at Oxford without the final letter gives a word meaning important

9a           Careless girl quits broadcasting (2, 3)
(ON AIR)  A synonym for careless or carefree with the abbreviation for debutante removed, gives the well-known term for broadcasting live.

10a         Governor returns a gun to head of regiment (9)
(REGULATOR)  A reversal of A plus the name of a type of German pistol plus TO and R (head of Regiment) –  this type of governor is a controlling device, especially of a clock or watch.

11a         Different underworld god holds two edged sword (10)
(DISSIMILAR) – a word meaning unlike or different is a charade of the underworld (not Pandemonium), an African two edged sword and a household God (Two main roman household gods were Lares et Penatas – the word we need is a contraction of the former)

12a         Mere water obtained from Qatar nightclub (4)
(TARN)  This small mountain lake is hidden in QaTAR Nightclub.

14a         Settlers from corrupt regimes (7)
(EMIGRES) – an anagram (corrupt) of REGIMES produces those who have moved abroad, usually for political reasons.

15           Endlessly cautious about steel drum or drums (7)
(TIMPANI) –   Remove the last letter from a synonym for cautious (endlessly) and place the result round the name for a hollow metal instrument played by a steel band – the plural name for a set of drums should result.

17a         Remove end before firing (4,3)
(TAKE AIM) –  A synonym for remove coupled with another for end, the whole being something you would do before firing a gun.

19a         Thoughtful dear old husband leaves (7)
(PENSIVE) – Remove the abbreviation for old husband EX from a word meaning high in price to get a synonym for thoughtful or preoccupied by thoughts.

20a         Imitate regular email to setter (4)
(MIME)  The even (regular) letters of eMaIl plus the compiler’s useful word for themselves gives a form of conveying meaning without words.

22a         Ramesses in desperate attempts, falling just short of the mark? (4,6)
(NEAR MISSES)   An anagram (desperate) of RAMESSES IN – these shots don’t quite reach their targets!. Note that Ramesses here does not mean female rams – that would be silly!. It is an alternative spelling of an Egyptian god)

25a         Oscar managed corporation with a new primate (9)
(ORANGUTAN) –   Oscar is the NATO Phonetic Alphabet word for the letter O – a charade of O plus a synonym for managed, another word for stomach (corporation) and A and N (new) produces one of the more lovable but endangered members of the primates.

26a         Order a railway pronounced (5)
(ALIGN) – a very nice homophone – think what a train runs on, say it out loud and you get a word meaning to order by putting it in a straight line.

27a         Take action on measure and succeed (5)
(ENSUE) – A word for succeed or follow on. We need to place a word for take (legal) action after a short measure (the single space in typesetting). The construction of A ON B in an across clue means that A goes after B.

28a         Declaration of one in a hurry made its mark(9)
(IMPRESSED) – If you were short of time you might split this word 2, 7, the whole meaning to have made a mark or stamp on something.


1d           Small robot gives ancient priest a change of heart (5)
(DROID)  These ancient priests were and can still be found at Stonehenge. Change the third letter (change of heart) to find the abbreviated form of a humanoid-like robot.

2d           Comedy hits, correct? (9)
(SLAPSTICK)   A synonym for hits (with the palm of the hand) and the symbol you get when you get a school maths problem correct – The three Stooges were exponents of this form of comedy.

3d           Transport for one infectious old lady?  (7, 3)
(CARRIER BAG)  This transport for shopping is a charade of a word meaning someone who is infected by a disease and an offensive colloquial term for a woman.   For CS it conjured up a vision of those ladies of the street – a nice all-in-one clue.

4d           Fool gets to annoy one in vacuous greeting (3, 4)
(AIR KISS)  –   Insert into a synonym for fool, a word meaning to annoy and I (one) – an insincere greeting. Gnomethang’s favourite clue! Lovely to see you daahling, mind the lippy!

5d           Geordie returns to work hard and join… (7)
(ENGRAFT)  –  the reversal of the area of the UK associated with the adjective ‘Geordie  and a word meaning to work hard produces a synonym for ‘to fix’ or join a shoot from a tree onto root stock to produce a new tree.

6d           … overseas winger for swindle (4)
(GULL) –  a double definition – a type of large noisy seabird or an old-fashioned word meaning to cheat or deceive. (Note that there is another bird that also means to swindle – the clue was modified to include overseas to define the seabird)

7d           Old art returns dividend (5)
(EXTRA)  Something old or no longer would be EX, add this to reversal of ART (returns) to get an additional benefit.

8d           Satyr, 9, dissected cow (9)
(TYRANNISE) – an anagram (dissected) of SATYR and the word for the number 9, in this clue cow means to frighten into submission.

13d         Awful ape-men I act to free (10)
(EMANCIPATE) – another anagram (awful ) of APE MEN I ACT – to set someone free from slavery.

14d         Suddenly without secretary men start to err (9)
(EXTEMPORE) – an adverb or adjective meaning without planning or preparation – EX (without) TEMP (secretary)   OR (abbreviation for soldiers – other ranks) and E (start of Err).

16d         Young girl’s head drops having joints somewhere on board (9)
(AMIDSHIPS)  Take a expression meaning belonging to a young girl – MAID’S, move the initial letter (head drops) and add the joints between the thigh bone and the pelvis to produce an adverb meaning towards the middle of a boat.

18d         Masters flogging timeshare he vacated (7)
(MAESTRI) – the plural of a musical virtuoso or renowned conductor is an anagram (flogging) of TIMESHARE having first removed HE

19d         Dad allegedly cut vegetable (7)
(PARSNIP)  A homophone of a word meaning Dad added to a word meaning to cut with scissors – a sweet-flavoured root vegetable.

21d         Complains one is in battlefield (5)
(MOANS) In Crosswordland One can mean A or I. Place one of these inside the site of the first major action by the British Expeditionary Forces in WW1 to get a word for complains.

23d         Giovanni’s come back over unknown council (5)
(SYNOD) – the Council of the Church of England –  Dons (Giovanni the opera and Mr  Manley’s setting nom-de-plume in the Telegraph) reversed round one of the mathematical terms for an unknown – Y.

24d         Essentially feel good returning stare! (4)
(OGLE)   A hidden reversal here – a word meaning to stare at someone in an amorous or lecherous way is hidden in feEL GOod.

Crypticsue’s favourites include 25a, 1d, 3d, 8d, and 21d. Gnomethang enjoyed 25a, 26a, 3d & 4d. Thanks for the excellent puzzle Prolixic – looking forward to the next one!

2 comments on “NTSPP – 039 (Review)

  1. Many thanks to CS and the Gnome for the review (and the hard work beforehand test solving the puzzle).

  2. Thanks for the hints Gnomethang. Needed the explanation for 11a. Got the answer from the checking letters but didn’t understand the wordplay. Not keen on this clue but the rest is very good! Favourite is 3d!
    Thanks Prolixic.

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