NTSPP – 065 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 065 (Review)

Smoke and Mirrors by Radler

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Radler has relented and given us a gentler crossword this week!  It was very enjoyable to solve with only a hint here and there of his more devious wordplay.  I have highlighted my favourite clues in blue.

To solve the puzzle, you need to look at 13d as this provides the key to many of the other solutions.


7a Without hesitation, lose concentration and stick with 13 (4)
{WAND} – A stick associated with 13 comes from a word meaning to lose concentration with the final ER removed (without hesitation).

8a 13 heard obscenities from prostitute and writer (5-5)
{HOCUS POCUS} – A word for 13 comes from a two letter word for a prostitute, a homophone for an obscenity,  a homophone for a writer, first names Edgar Allan, and a repeat of the homophone of the obscenity.

10a Place to view performance, 13 perhaps (6)
{CIRCLE} – A place in the theatre to view performances is also associated with 13 as the body to which magicians aspire to be members.

11a Male aliens with 13 balls (7)
{BULLETS} – Balls (or projectiles) associated with 13 comes from a word sum of a male cow and aliens of the Steven Spielberg variety.

12a It could make mass vibrate, literally (8)
{VERBATIM} – A word meaning literally  comes from an anagram of M[ass] VIBRATE.

14a 13 turn (5)
{SPELL} – A word for a turn or period of time is a synonym of a 13.

16a Smoke pipe, a 13 pipe but not a whiff of tobacco (4)
{FLUE} – A vent pipe for smoke comes from a magic pipe in a Mozart opera with a T removed (not a whiff of tobacco).

17a Have a go regularly with one’s sponsorship (5)
{AEGIS} – A word meaning sponsorship comes from the regular letter of hAvE a Go followed by an IS (one’s).

18a Fresh produce (4)
{MINT} – A  type of produce (a herb) is also a synonym for fresh.

19a 13 to favour sinister parts (5)
{BLACK} – A type of 13 (associated with the dark arts) comes from a word meaning to favour (or support) with an L (for sinister = left) inside (parts).

21a Constituents of schemes with knight (8)
{CHESSMEN} – The constituents found on a game board comes from an anagram (constituents) of SCHEMES + N (for knight).  The whole clue is an &lit.

23a Shakes with 13 song (7)
{MOMENTS} – A song by Perry Como associated with 13 also has the meaning of shakes (as in no great shakes).  We had alternative words as a schoolboy for this song.  “I’ll never forget the smell of the sweat, under her armpits, the way that it stank, it really was rank, I couldn’t stand it.  Smelly armpits, when BO is rising, smelly armpits, shave them off.”

25a John travelled North East (6)
{THRONE} – Another synonym for a John or toilet is an anagram (travelled) of NORTH + E.

26a 13 10? (10)
{ROUNDABOUT} – Put together the answers to 13 and 10 for a clue to a word that usually follows 13 in a children’s TV programme.  Time for bed said Zebedee.  Boing!

27a Ground Zero, not quite goodbye (4)
{OVAL} – A ground where cricket is played comes from an O (zero) and the first three letters (not quite) of a Latin word meaning goodbye.


1d Mayfair venue for Jimmy’s bash? (6,4)
{SAVILE CLUB} – An establishment in Mayfair comes from a word sum of the surname of the DJ first name Jimmy (who was also famous for his cigars and running in marathons) followed by a synonym for bash.

2d Bad clue re-written by me, finally could make the grade (8)
{EDUCABLE} – A word meaning could make the grade comes from an anagram (re-written) of BAD + CLUE + E (me finally).

3d Mad Hatter or crazy Hare after start to Tea Time hazard (6)
{THREAT} – A word for a hazard has two anagram definition in this clue.  The first is HATTER (mad) and the other is of HARE + T + T (start to tea time) indicated by mad.

4d One refusing to stop earning a crust (4)
{SCAB} – Someone who refuses to go on strike is also the name of a crust that forms over a wound.

5d Spoil transplant on top of sibling’s hair loss (8)
{PSILOSIS} – A word meaning hair loss comes from an anagram (transplant) of SPOIL followed by a three letter diminutive for a sibling of the female gender.

6d Wiped underneath step stool originally one used as doormat (4)
{WUSS} – A word for one used as a doormat comes from the initial letters (originally) of the first four words in the clue.

9d It needs to be seat’s stuffing to get well upholstered (5)
{OBESE} – A word meaning well upholstered is hidden inside (stuffing) to be seats.

13d It’s fab having smart threesome about (5)
{MAGIC} – The key word for this crossword which can mean fab comes from the name of the smart threesome who visited Jesus having followed a star followed by an abbreviation for about.

15d Chat under 13 light, provides cause of gaunt appearance (7,3)
{LANTERN JAW} – A cause of gaunt appearance comes from a word associated with an old form light used to project images (which is preceded by the word 13) and a three letter word meaning to chat.

17d A river and a state (8)
{ARKANSAS} – One of the states in the USA (and also the name of river that flows through it) comes from an A, an abbreviation for river and the name of another state (associated with Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz).  Another nice &lit clue.

18d Grow larger, like Alice if 13? (8)
{MUSHROOM} – A word meaning grow larger is loosely associated with a type of fungus (which preceded by 13) is a type of hallucinogen.  The link with Alice is that the answer is what the Caterpillar sat upon.  Eating from one side would make Alice grow smaller and eating from the other would make he grow bigger.

20d Group named Saatchi & Saatchi? (5)
{ADMEN} – Saatchi & Saatchi are an example (hence the ?) of these type of people.  The answer comes from an anagram (group) of NAMED.

22d Attempt to get sex for right body (6)
{ENTITY} – A word for a body comes from a word meaning an attempt (as may be put into a competition to win a prize) with the R removed and replaced with IT (sex for right).

23d Who’s Keith? (4)
{MOON} – A simple clue, I hope.  We need the surname of the drummer (first name Keith) from the band the Who.

24d Broadcast as Henry Cooper put in an appearance (4)
{SHOW} – Possibly the trickiest clue and sadly our ‘Enry will not be putting in any more terrestrial appearances.  A word for an appearance comes from a word meaning broadcast (as in planting of seed) around (cooper) an H for Henry.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    As you say, very nice to get a more user-friendly crossword from Radler. I did enjoy solving it and didn’t need any helpful letters. My favourite remains 23d for the D’oh moment. Thanks for the review.

  2. Radler
    Posted May 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you to Prolixic for the review and to all of you who took the time to do the puzzle. Although I have one or two crosswords already in the pipeline that are perhaps a little more difficult, I’ll bear in mind your comments about accessibility and will aim to produce more in this vein!