NTSPP – 052 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 052 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 052

A puzzle by Gazza

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

Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Gazza makes a welcome return to the NTSPP fold with an enjoyable and accessible crossword that should be well within the range of all solvers from the CC to the ACC. Favourite clues for me were 4a, 22a, 3d and 6d. Let us know your favourite and any feedback below.


1a Part-time copper’s behind search for windfalls (6)
{SCRUMP} – A word meaning search for windfalls (as in fallen apples in a neighbours garden perhaps) comes from an abbreviation for a part time policeman (special constable) followed by another word for behind (as in your bottom).

4a Advocate staying out of the Euro? (8)
{PROPOUND} – A word meaning advocate is defined cryptically by this clue. If you want to stay out of the Euro, presumably you are in favour of the UK’s currency.

9a Scruffy peacekeepers get respectable (6)
{UNTIDY} – A word for tidy comes from the usual abbreviation for peacekeepers (the international organisation) followed by a word for respectable often used to describe a large amount of money.

10a I had admitted being well in arrears and got cut off (8)
{ISOLATED} – A word meaning cut-off (as in stranded) comes from putting an expression (2,4) meaning that you are well in arrears (or behind time for an appointment) inside the abbreviation for I had.

12a Skirt around a state of hostility (8)
{INIMICAL} – A word meaning of hostility or hostile comes from reversing the name of a short skirt followed by an I (a as in one) and an abbreviation for a Western state of the USA. I feel a Gazza picture moment approaches!

13a Bar sandwiches? First round’s made fast (6)
{STARVE} – A word meaning fast (as in the Lenten discipline) comes from a word for a bar used in music notation going around (sandwiches) the first letter of round. I wonder whether made in the past tense works as link word?

15a Welsh RU backs reselection of flamboyant dare-devil (12)
{SWASHBUCKLER} – A word for a flamboyant dare-devil (think of Errol Flynn films) comes from an anagram (reselection) of Welsh RU Backs.

18a A gnome’s irate at fault in asymmetrical arrangement (6,1,5)
{MENAGE A TROIS} – This French expression for an asymmetrical arrangement between more than two partners in a relationship comes from an anagram (at fault) of a gnome’s irate. As far as I am aware, there is no link between this clue and a well known blogger on this site!

21a Makes an impression thanks to representative on board (6)
{STAMPS} – A word meaning makes an impression comes from taking the abbreviation for a ship and putting inside a two letter word meaning thanks and a two letter abbreviation for a parliamentary representative.

22a Idle Hove get a terrible stuffing (8)
{VEGETATE} – A word meaning idle is hidden inside (indicated by stuffing) Hove get a terrible. It seems that Gazza has been taking lessons from Virgilius, the master of the hidden word.

24a Ready as I can be, supposedly (1,4,3)
{I DARE SAY} – An expression meaning supposedly comes from an anagram (can be) of ready as I.

25a Council challenge blocks boozer (6)
{SOVIET} – This Russian word meaning a council comes from putting a word meaning challenge inside (blocks) a word for a person who is a boozer.

26a Valuable collection jars are rusty (8)
{TREASURY} – A word for a valuable collection (of money, art, silver, gold, etc) comes from an anagram (jars) of are rusty.

27a Body count has us necessarily pulling back to some extent (6)
{CENSUS} – A word for a body count, carried out in the UK every 10 years, is hidden and reversed (back to some extent) inside has us necessarily


1d Cheekiest move causes it (8)
{SAUCIEST} – A word for cheekiest comes from an anagram (moves) of causes it.

2d Desert giant spooked playwright (8)
{RATTIGAN} – This 20th Century playwright comes from a word meaning desert (or betray someone) followed by an anagram (spooked) of giant.

3d Very early highspeed film (8,7)
{MIDNIGHT EXPRESS} – This 1978 film involving drug smuggling in Turkey is defined by word for very early (in the day) and highspeed.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d Hoax note takes in American (4)
{RUSE} – A word for a hoax comes from a two letter word for a musical note inside which (takes in) is an abbreviation for American.

6d I don’t believe it! You’re trying it on with the wrong girl! (4,3,5,3)
{PULL THE OTHER ONE} – A double definition. A phrase meaning I don’t believe it may also be said to someone trying to date the wrong one of a pair of girls.

7d Surprising result with bottom pair leading recovery (6)
{UPTURN} – A word for recovery (often used of an economic recovery) comes from a work meaning a surprising result (that’s ****** for the books) with the final two letters moved to the top (bottom pair leading).

8d Bumpy ride in American car to opening of mall (6)
{DODGEM} – This bumpy ride with everyone hell bent on bashing into each other in comes from a make of American car followed by the first letter (opening) of mall.

11d Italian broadcaster coming under endless abuse after it styles Japanese mercenary (7)
{SAMURAI} – A word for a Japanese mercenary comes from an abbreviation for it (as in sex appeal) followed by a word for abuse (what may be thrown or what your name may be) with the final letter removed followed by a three letter word for an Italian broadcaster.

14d Bloodsucking American flier’s hesitation after pigeon shooting (7)
{SKEETER} – This word is the American slang word for a mosquito. It comes from a word for clay pigeon shooting followed by a two letter word expressing a hesitation.

16d Lives with company procedures (8)
{COHABIT} – A word meaning lives with comes from an abbreviation for a company followed by a word for ingrained procedures.

17d Heat-resistant material is without equal in an emergency (8)
{ASBESTOS} – A word for a heat-resistant material comes from an expression for an emergency (as may be sent out by a sinking ship) inside which is put a word meaning without equal.

19d Jenny’s first to pitch in (6)
{ASSIST} – A word meaning pitch in or help comes from another word for an animal whose female appellation is a Jenny followed by an abbreviation for first.

20d Short holiday used up leave (6)
{VACATE} – A word meaning to leave (as when you give up your seat or possession of a house) comes from a short word for a holiday followed by a word for used up (or consumed).

23d Just where 8d’s to be found (4)
{FAIR} – A word meaning just or equitable is also where you would find the entertainment that is the answer to 8d.

End of year review

The first NTSPP appeared on 13 February 2010. As can be seen from today’s puzzle number, we are at the end of the first year of this series of puzzles. A little tongue-in-cheek review may therefore be in order.

The arrival of the NTSPP in the crossword school was not without incident. Early indications were that he would turn out to be a troublemaker with the older boys. I am pleased to say that he soon settled down and got into his stride.

The NTSPP has mixed well. The professional hands such as Anax, Tim Moorey, Elgar and more recently Qix have given him lots of support with the assistance of some of the more experienced boys such as Biddle and Bufo and Tilsit.

What has been very encouraging to see has been the way in which new boys have befriended him as well. Radler, Prolixic, Isla, Chas and Gazza have become close companions. Sadly the NTSPP does seem to thrive in a very male dominated environment and it would be nice to see him widening his circle of friends to include those of the fairer sex.

The Headmaster’s influence on the NTSPP has been substantial. He took a bold move in allowing the NTSPP to join the school in the hope that he might chivvy up his classmates. His firm and wise guidance has helped the NTSPP to shine. Poor sloppy work will not be tolerated. Although the Headmaster graduated from St. Ximeans, he has allowed the NTSPP to develop its own style, even those adopted by the comprehensive school of St Araucaria down the road. Much of the Headmaster’s work is unseen but we own him a big debt of gratitude for his behind the scenes work.

The NTSPP can appear a little standoffish and difficult to approach by outsiders. I can assure them that he is very friendly and approachable. Do not be put off by his appearances. It would be nice in the coming year if more people would come up and say hello to him. He really enjoys getting good reviews and, more importantly, learning from his mistakes. Constructive feedback helps him to thrive.

At the end of the first year, I can honestly say it has been a pleasure to know NTSPP and to see him develop so well. I wish him every success in the coming year.

15 comments on “NTSPP – 052 (Review)

  1. And so say all of us!
    Excellent puzzle and review – thanks to gazza, Prolixic and then to all other NTSPP providers.

  2. Absolutely agree with both of you. I always look forward to the NTSPP.

    By the way, does this school have a motto?

  3. Good review Prolixic and thanks for 13a. Got the answer but couldn’t see wood for trees when it came to explainig the wordplay!

  4. Many thanks to Prolixic for his review and encouraging words, and also for the very entertaining end-of-term report.

  5. Has anybody else had trouble printing this? in “print preview” all I can see is the header. Checked page settings & they are standard. Any ideas?

    1. I printed out ok yesterday.

      I have just checked it out and the only time it didn’t show in print preview was when i was in ‘interactive’. But it’s ok when i clicked on pdf and went to print. Hope this makes sense and it helps.

    2. Spindrift,
      Once you have the pdf version on screen, click on the printer icon rather than trying to print via the “File” tab.

      1. Thank you to both – it worked fine. That’s my Sunday afternoon sorted.
        Thanks to Prolixic for the review & for the excellent spoof report.

  6. Forgive my ignorance but what exactly is the NTSPP (I know what it stands for) and where do I find it?

      1. Thanks Dave. I have had a go but I have more chance of knitting fog!! Is there a 7 star for difficulty rating :-)

  7. Without the help of Prolixic, Bradford & Seiko I would never have finished this! My thanks go to the aforementioned & I doff my chapeau in your general direction Gazza.

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