NTSPP – 055 (Review)

Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle – 055 (Review)

“Hearsay” by Radler

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Lots of hearsay and homophones in this lovely puzzle from Radler.  I twigged the theme early on in the solving process which may have helped with some of the clues.  Overall, I found this one of the more accessible Radler crosswords.

The hearsay in the crossword comes from the five clues highlighted in red below.  Together, they make up the phrase received when the original message read:


In addition to the well known, but alas apocryphal, phrase, 9a and 5d give alternative names for the game where this form of hearsay is exploited to comic effect.  Add in a good smattering of homophone clues and the usual Radler devilry and you have a cracking crossword.


1a Universal Cinema production featured in cryptic clue (10)
{ECUMENICAL} – A word meaning universal (often used in relation to the Church) comes from an anagram (production) of cinema inside an anagram (cryptic) of clue.

7a Turn on radio (4)
{SEND} – A double definition clue.  A word meaning radio (as in transmit) has the same meaning as turn on (as in excite).

9a Doctor arrested East German for careless talk (6)
{GOSSIP} – A word meaning careless talk comes from the abbreviation for your family doctor with a four letter word for an East German inside.  I was not familiar with the four letter word and spent too much time trying to fit OST (German for East) into the answer!

10a Stuck heading for Pole? (8)
{ICEBOUND} – Another double definition, part cryptic this time.  A word meaning stuck (as a ship in frozen water may be) could also describe where you would be heading if going to the far North or South.

11a Most sylphlike: perhaps Pussy Galore? (10)
{WILLOWIEST} – A word meaning most sylphlike may also describe a tree with lots of pussy willows.  A ready made clue for one of Gazza’s pictures.

13a Johnny’s ready (4)
{CASH} – A word for ready (as in money) is also the surname of a noted singer whose first name was Johnny.

14a Seven meandering hand-free during bicycle race (5,3,4)
{THREE AND FOUR} – Time for some maths.  A sum that makes seven comes from an anagram (meandering) of hand-free inside a four letter word for a bicycle race (as in the **** de France).

17a Given what was meant by 14 20, nerd gets irritated then goes inside (12)
{STRENGTHENED} – A word meaning reinforcements (what was meant by 14 20) comes from an anagram (irritated) of nerd gets with the word then inserted into it.

19a Stole and received sentence (4)
{WRAP} – A word for a stole (as in an item of clothing) is a homophone (received) of sentence (as in a conviction received for a crime).  Received is one of the better homophone indicators as it does not telegraph the existence of a homophone clue.

21a On edge in figure 20, it’s said (2,8)
{IN SUSPENSE} – A phrase meaning on edge comes from the IN in the clue followed by a homophone (it’s said) of words meaning figure (as in twig or work out) and the answer to 20d.

22a Product of a generic businessman (8)
{CARNIGIE} – A noted American businessman is an anagram (product) of a generic.

23a Echo Zero Charlie Echo Foxtrot? (1,5)
{A DANCE} – The answer is something of which Foxtrot is an example (hence the question mark in the clue).  Reverse (the first Echo in the clue) a word meaning zero (from the Spanish for nothing) and follow it with the letters of the alphabet represented over the radio by Charlie and Echo, to find the answer.

24a Grant produced every piece (4)
{CEDE} – A word meaning grant is hidden (piece) inside the words produced every.

25a Work’s dreadfully tiresome, but instrumental in determining vision (10)
{OPSIOMETER} – A piece of equipment used by an optician comes from an abbreviation for work followed by an anagram (dreadfully) of tiresomeNot the most friendly of words in the grid but fairly clued.  This is one of those occasions where having theme words in place often limits the remaining solutions to less well known words.


2d Settle down on bedding to talk amorously (4,2)
{COOL IT} – A phrase meaning settle down comes from a word meaning to talk amorously (think of the old song, we’ll bill and we’ll ***) on a word for bedding.

3d Parasite: use wrong name to point it out (9)
{MISTLETOE} – This parasite of the plant kingdom often seen at Christmas comes from a word meaning use the wrong name with the it removed followed by the word to and one of the points of the compass.

4d Sweep up and down (3)
{NAP} – A word meaning sweep (used in filming) is reversed (up) to give a word meaning down (as in the covering on something).

5d 9 apocryphally accredited with 7ac 14 20 12 23 (7,8)
{CHINESE WHISPERS} – This game gave rise to the apocryphal phrase at the heart of this puzzle.

6d Bananas eaten in lust, producing number twos (11)
{LIEUTENANTS} – An anagram (bananas) of eaten in lust gives the name of the seconds-in-command (number twos) in an army unit.

7d Against invading, so resigned (5)
{STOIC} – A word meaning resigned (as in accepting something for what it is) comes from a two letting word meaning against inside (invading) a three letter Latin word for so (or thus).

8d Northbound station commuting time to go astray but not a problem (3-5)
{NON-ISSUE} – A phrase meaning not a problem comes from taking the name of a London railway station and replacing (commuting) the letter T (for time) for a three letter word for go astray.  Finally reverse the whole thing (northbound) to find the answer.

12d Our goal is “Win or get drunk”, swallowing one’s pride (4,5,2)
{WE’RE GOING TO} – A phrase meaning “Our goal is” comes from an anagram (drunk) of win or get inside which (swallowing) is put a three letter word meaning “one’s pride”.

15d Sweet skirt and coat (5,4)
{FUDGE CAKE} – A kind of sweet (as in dessert) comes from a word meaning skirt (as in avoid) and a word meaning coat (as in cover).

16d Fantasise when male gets end caught in steamroller (8)
{STARGAZE} – A word meaning fantasise comes from a word for a male (as in a male deer) with the last letter (end) included (caught) inside a word meaning steamroller (or knock down).

18d Lover’s afterthought on unknown man giving cold embrace (6)
{PSYCHE} – This lover of Cupid in Greek legend comes from an abbreviation used in letters when an afterthought is added, a letter used in algebra to denote an unknown quantity and a pronoun for a man.  Put this around an abbreviation for cold (giving cold embrace) to find the answer.

20d 13 or one of the 13 states surrounded by water (5)
{PENCE} – A word for a type of money comes from an abbreviation for North Carolina (one of the original 13 States in the USA) inside (surrounded by) a word meaning water (such a you may pass on a daily basis).

23d Individual drive back (3)
{AGO} – A word meaning back (as in time) come from a one letter word meaning individual (as in one of something) followed by a  word meaning drive.


  1. Radler
    Posted February 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Prolixic for the review. I can only conclude from the lack of comments that the rest of you found the puzzle too easy. I’ll have to try harder!

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Some of us were in a darkened room by the time the review was published having really struggled to solve it at all!!