NTSPP – 053 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 053 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 053 (Review)

Tender Memories by Radler

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A warm welcome back to Radler with a very enjoyable puzzle based on the theme of the decimalisation of the United Kingdom’s currency 40 years ago on 15 February 1971. Many of the answers to the clues in this crossword are terms for pre-1971 currency – some very pre!

I think that Big Dave gave you a big helping hand referring to the anniversary. I test-solved this crossword without the knowledge of the theme and it took quite a while for the penny (d not p) to drop!

Do let us know what you think about the crossword below. As has been said many times, good feedback (positive and constructive) is very helpful for the setters of the NTSPP. Don’t be backward in coming forward!


6a 26 contested borders Middle Eastern country applied retrospectively (8)
{DENARIUS} – An ancient form of Roman currency comes from a word meaning contested (as in took legal action) around (bordered) a Middle Eastern country with the resulting word reversed (applied retrospectively).

8a Nurse docked tail for 26 (3,3)
{TEN BOB} – A pre-decimalisation form of UK legal tender comes from a word meaning nurse with the final letter removed (docked) followed by a word for a tail.

10a/18d Head after 1 of 2 26 (4,5)
{HALF CROWN} – A pre-decimalisation form of UK legal tender comes from a word of head after a word meaning 1 of 2 or (1/2).

11a Wherein one has apes with treat possibly (3,7)
{TEA PARTIES} – A semi &lit clue. An anagram (possibly) of “apes treat” gives an occasion where apes were given treats – think of the old PG Tips adverts!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

12a Bowl over first love, having gone in 26 (6)
{FLORIN} – A 19th Century form of pre-decimalisation UK legal tender comes from a word meaning bowl over (as in amaze or stump) with the first letter O (love) removed (having gone) followed by the word IN.

13a United States 26 (7)
{SOLIDUS} – At first sight, more of a general knowledge clue than a cryptic one. An old form of US currency (the pre-cursor to the dollar) is the answer. However take another word for united and add an abbreviation for the States and you have the answer.

14a 26 because of depression admits needless stamp (10,3)
{THRUPPENNYBIT} – A pre-decimalisation form of UK legal tender comes from a shortened form of the word through (because) followed by a word for a depression in the ground inside which is placed the name of one of the first stamps issued with the final letters LACK omitted (needless). Although I love the wordplay in this clue, the surface reading suffers being slightly clunky.

17a/25a D Day’s base aims? (7,6)
{DECIMAL POINTS} – A cryptic definition of the aim of decimalisation comes from a number base followed by a word for aims (as in trains a gun on a target).

20a Elsie hides converter for 26 (6)
{TANNER} – A double definition for a pre-decimalisation form of UK legal tender. Think of a well loved character in Coronation Street and the name of someone who may convert hides (as in animal skins) to find the answer.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

22a Take away: make independent? (10)
{DECOLONISE} – A highly sneaky clue here. The punctuation in the middle is highly significant. If you think of a word that may mean remove (take away) the “:” from something, you have a word that means “make independent”. There are two spellings of this word. One ends ISE and the other IZE. As the grid and the wordplay allows for either option to be entered as the answer, either will be accepted as the correct solution (though not in the interactive version)! In a competition puzzle, this would lead to disputes!

24a Temple’s member of religious order at start of worship (4)
{BROW} – A word for the temple (as in part of the body) comes from an abbreviation for a member of a religious order followed by the letter W (start of worship).

25a See 17 Across

26 Pre-D Day aristocracy? (3,5)
{OLD MONEY} – The key clue for the remainder of the puzzle. An expression meaning the aristocracy also describes UK’s former legal tender before D-Day (Decimalisation Day).


1 About to follow market (6)
{RETAIL} – A word meaning market (as in sell something) comes from the usual abbreviation for about followed by a word meaning to follow (as in shadow someone’s movements).

2 Walker reported considerably better weather (8)
{WAYFARER} – A word for a walker comes from a homophone of how you might describe an improvement in the weather.

3 Pay attention and translate il est un piano (6,2)
{LISTEN UP} – A word meaning pay attention comes from an anagram (translate) of “il est un p”, the p being the abbreviation for piano.

4 Letter writer set up Raquel with every other one (2,4)
{ST PAUL} – This New Testament letter writer comes from taking the alternate letters (every other one) in “SeT uP rAqUeL”.

5 Hit TV compilation (5,3)
{BOXED SET} – A collection of DVDs of a hit TV series could also describe what you might do if you hit the TV with your fists!

7 Danish Prince’s troubles – the drink! (3)
{SEA} – A word meaning drink (as in the ocean) is described by Hamlet (Danish Prince) in his famous soliloquy (beginning in the theme of this crossword as “2p or not 2p, that is the question”) as his troubles.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

9 Well-known 8 perhaps with 6 (5)
{NOTED} – A word meaning well-known comes from the form in which the answer to 8a was found (not a coin but a ****) followed by an abbreviation for the answer to 6a.

13 Provide letters in order to trade, enclosing first of permits (5)
{SPELL} – A word meaning provide letters in order (as you may need to do with your name on the phone when the person at the other end of the line does not know how to type it into his or her computer) comes from a word meaning to trade with the first letter of “permits” inside.

14 Fashion editor of Best (2,3,3)
{TO DIE FOR} – A word meaning best (as in something that is highly desirable as the epitome of its kind) comes from an anagram (fashion) of “editor of”. Clue of the crossword for me.

15 Unprepared as most of bill requires cash (3,5)
{NOT READY} – A word meaning unprepared comes from a word meaning a bill (as in not a coin) with the final letter removed followed by a slang word for cash.

16 Side-order transaction record (4,4)
{BANK BOOK} – A transaction record (as in a statement of a financial account) comes from a word meaning side (as in the side of a river) followed by a word meaning order (as in reserve a table).

18 See 10 Across

19 Chairman’s supporter has yours truly stumped without answer (6)
{MAOIST} – A supporter of a well known Chinese leader who had his little red book comes from a pretentious word for me (yours truly) followed by an abbreviation for stumped inside which is put an abbreviation for “answer”.

21 Virtual successor to Capital D? (1-5)
{E-MONEY} – Payments made virtually (on-line) are now taking over from the use of hard cash (Capital D). The letter that follows D will lead you to the answer.

23 Language of self love (3)
{IDO} – A form of language (an offshoot of Esperanto) comes from a word describing the self in psychological terms followed by a letter O (for love). Hands up all those who intially tried to justify EGO as the answer!

7 comments on “NTSPP – 053 (Review)

  1. I did enjoy solving this one and must agree that it did help having the hint about the theme. My favourite clue is the sneaky 22a – I nearly always miss those ones where the actual punctuation marks are the key to the whole thing. Thanks to Radler for the crossword and Prolixic for the review.

  2. Some really good clues here, and I’d go with Prolixic’s vote for 14D as the pick, although 22A runs it close!

    As for -ize versus -ise endings, that is a source of perpetual discussion.

    Thanks to setter and reviewer. This was a very nice puzzle, and a great review, too.

  3. I didn’t realize that SOLIDUS is also the more formal way of saying “forward slash”. It sounds much more elegant I must say.

  4. I am intersted in NTspp 053, but the code has me beaten. Where are these crosswords published so we can at least have a go.

    1. Look at the top right of this page under Recent Posts you will find NTSPP 53 (Comments). Click on that and it will take you to the puzzle.

  5. Presently enjoying a short break in Berlin, but able to use the computer in the hotel reception for just long enough to thank Prolixic once again for his generous and thorough review and the rest of you for your comments.
    6a & 13a are of course the words that provided the D & S of the pre-decimal LSD – hence their inclusion in the theme.

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