NTSPP – 051 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 051

A puzzle by Qix

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

This was a very enjoyable puzzle from Qix.  I found this a little easier than his last crossword.  Many thanks to him for a nice diversion on a Saturday afternoon.


1a & 18a Thrashing inept scholar on rump? (8,10)
{CORPORAL PUNISHMENT} – A great all in one clue to begin the proceedings.  An anagram (indicated by thrashing) of “inept scholar on rump” gives a phrase meaning the thrashing that used to be meted out by sadistic teachers wielding a cane.

4a Cook gets tea made centrally (5)
{STEAM} – A word mean cook is hidden inside (indicated by centrally) gets tea made.

8a Sounded bullish about initial tryst, and proposed (6)
{MOOTED} – A word for proposed comes from the sound that a bull or cow made (sounded bullish) around the letter T (initial tryst).

9a Editor’s first documentary inside nuclear facility (8)
{REDACTOR} – A word for an editor comes from putting the letter D (first documentary) inside a word for a nuclear facility.

11a Second husband having ball in public went too far (8)
{OVERSHOT} – A word meaning went too far can be found by taking the abbreviations for second and husband and the letter O (having ball) inside a word meaning public.

12a Associate diplomat (not English) (6)
{ATTACH} – The definition here is associate (as in join).  The answer comes from taking the final E (not English) from a word meaning a diplomat.

14a Starts to set wheels in motion for exercise (4)
{SWIM} – The initial letters (starts to) in “set wheels in motion” gives form of exercise.

15a Disheartened academics’ studying involves university, normally (2,3,5)
{AS PER USUAL} – A phrase meaning normally comes from the outside letters (disheartened) of academics followed by a word meaning studying split 3,4 with a U (for university) inserted into the final section.

18a See 1a (10)

19a A female Wimbledon winner? (4)
{ASHE} – This Wimbledon winner in the Men’s Singles in 1975 comes from the letter A plus a feminine pronoun.

22a Exercises painful? That’s OK (6)
{PEACHY} – A word meaning “that’s OK” comes from an abbreviation for physical exercises followed by a word meaning painful.

24a Wanting to understand “The Return of the King” in French (8)
{INFERIOR} – A word meaning wanting comes from a word meaning to understand followed by the French word for a king that is reversed.

26a In retrospect, a pillar of her community (4,4)
{LOT’S WIFE} – This caused me a little bother until I discovered that the enumeration (8) should have been (4,4).  The answer to this cryptic conundrum can be found by thinking of the person who was turned into a pillar of salt when she turned to look back to see Sodom’s destruction.

27a Quarter note (6)
{BILLET} – A double definition.  A word for a quarter (where soldiers may stay) is the same as a note – usually heard in association with the word DOUX.

28a Competed with expert getting in the way (5)
{RACED} – A word for competed comes from putting a three letter word for an expert inside an abbreviation for a road (the way).

29a Unpredictable woman gets into whips from the east (8)
{SPORADIC} – One of the dreaded triple unch clues.  I spent a lot of time trying to fit “cats” into the answer.  A word for unpredictable comes from putting a woman’s name inside a word for whips (as in hunting *****) and reversing the lot (from the east).


1d Greens house? (7)
{COMMONS} – A double definition.  One of the houses of Parliament shares a name with greens (as in open spaces).

2d Two blokes following Greek character and historic African (9)
{RHODESIAN} – This historic African, who lived in what is now Zimbabwe, comes from a Greek letter followed by two boys names.

3d Port explodes; sangria – to some extent (6)
{ODESSA} – This port on the Black Sea is hidden inside (indicated by to come extent) the phrase “explodes sangria”

4d Begin to be celebrity solicitor (5,3)
{START OUT} – A phrase meaning to begin comes from a word meaning celebrity followed by a word for a solicitor (not the legal variety).

5d Very English vote to retain aristocratic leaders (5)
{EXTRA} – The answer is a word meaning “very”.  It comes from an E for English followed by the mark you make when voting and the leading letters of “to retain aristocratic”

6d Distribute spoils with hard gangster (7)
{MARSHAL} – A word meaning “distribute” comes from adding together a word meaning spoils followed by an abbreviation for hard and the first name of an American gangster (last name Capone).

7d Soldiers from central Armenia (3)
{MEN} – A word for soldier is in the middle (central) of the word Armenia

10d Overwhelm cheat with some arithmetic and English (7)
{CONSUME} – A word for overwhelm comes from a word for a cheat followed by the first four letters of a five letter word meaning arithmetic and a final E for English.

13d Inclined to remove last slipcover from study (7)
{LEANING} – A word meaning inclined comes from taking the final letter of slipcover out from a word meaning study.

16d Incompetent initial scribblings rubbed out after letter to the Corinthians turned up (9)
{UNSKILLED} – A word meaning incompetent comes from taking the Greek letter for N, reversing it and then adding the first letter of scribblings and an expression for “rubbed out” or eliminated.

17d Surgery primarily considered after drug is rejected (8)
{ESCHEWED} – A word for rejected comes from an E for drug followed by the initial letter of surgery and a word meaning considered (as in mulled over).

18d Celebrated for all to see in tree (7)
{POPULAR} – A word for celebrated comes from putting the letter U (for all to see – in film classification) inside the name of a tree.

20d Volatile traitor captured by Clapton? (7)
{ERRATIC} – A word for volatile comes from putting a three letter word for a traitor inside the first name of the famous musician Mr Clapton.

21d Naysayer used to describe hosiery (6)
{DENIER} – A double definition.  A word used to describe how sheer stockings are is the same as an expression for someone who says no to everything.

And one for Gnomethang!

23d Truck from the north unloading 20% of cargo (5)
{ARTIC} – A type of truck comes from taking a word for the frozen northern wastes and taking out the letter C (20% or 1 fifth of the word cargo).

25d Under way, having left ducks behind (3)
{AFT} – The definition is behind.  Take a word meaning under way and remove two Os from it (left ducks behind).



  1. Posted January 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent review, Prolixic, gazza would be proud!.
    Also thanks for reminding me of the thoroughly excellent &lit at 1/18.
    Thanks again to Qix for an excellent puzzle pitched at a level that is accessible to all, I would suggest.

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Hover over the last picture!

      • Posted January 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Thanks – I just got in and hovered.
        And you a man of the cloth as well – Deary, deary me……

        • Prolixic
          Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          I have added another to cater for the more staid among our number!

          • pommers
            Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            I have to say I prefer the first one!

  2. crypticsue
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Love the review and the caption is superb :D

  3. gazza
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting review – thanks Prolixic.

  4. Qix
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice review, although in 15A there is a “U” (from “university”) inserted into the word meaning study (at third-from-last position) to give the answer.

    Interesting choice of illustrations!

    • Prolixic
      Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Oops. Forgot to add that bit! Now included.

      • Qix
        Posted January 30, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

        Thank you.

        It’s quite spooky having one’s own puzzle dissected like this, and it feels a little like having a book that you read long ago made into a film.

        I’m very grateful for everyone’s comments, and to Prolixic in particular for the analysis.

        I hope that BD will find space for another of my puzzles at some point, and I promise to avoid triple unches in future!

        • Posted January 31, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          The triple unches didn’t actually cause me too many problems which is quite unusual!

        • pommers
          Posted January 31, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          To be honest I didn’t even notice the triple unches until they were mentioned on here! Can’t have caused me a problem either.
          Be happy not to see them again though!

        • Prolixic
          Posted January 31, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          I heroically refrained from mentioning them this time :)

  5. tilly
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Been out all day but unable to go without my Saturday NTSPP fix! Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Favourite was 15a. Many thanks to Qix and to Prolixic for the review.