NTSPP – 066 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 066 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 066 (Review)

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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A very warm welcome to our new setter Hieroglyph with an entertaining and not too difficult debut puzzle with a good range of clues and not many niggles.   More of the same please!  Let us know your comments and leave words of encouragement for the newcomer below.

I am off to a wedding today so am preparing this in advance.  Many thanks to Big Dave for advance sight of the puzzle and congratulations to John and Naomi on their big day.

This crossword contains a mini-theme based around the events of May 5th which may help in filling in some of the answers.


1a Extremely savvy, staunch logic (6)
{SYSTEM} – A word for logic comes from the outer letters (extremely) of savvy followed by a word meaning staunch (as in cut off).

5a Oddly a bit over-idle? (8)
{ABORTIVE} – A word for idle comes from an anagram (oddly) of a bit over.

9a Small amount of claret in goblet, wiping mouth after serving? (8)
{PLATELET} – A word for a small amount of blood (claret is another word for blood) comes from a word meaning a serving (in terms of food) followed by the word goblet after word for the mouth has been removed from it (wiped).

10a Close to a gutless liberal tendency to destruct, totally (3-3)
{END-ALL} – A phrase meaning to destruct totally comes from a word meaning close (as in finish) followed by an A and the outside letters (gutless) of liberal.  This may described the eventual outcome of the current alliance with the Conservatives and the result of the theme of this crossword!

11a Inferior actor could be showing restraint (12)
{UNDERPLAYING} – A word meaning showing restraint comes from a word meaning inferior (as in below) followed by a word describing what an actor could be doing on stage.

13a Starters can enter race, tipping a sure thing (4)
{CERT} – A word meaning a sure thing comes from the opening letters (starters) of Can Enter Race Tipping.

14a Hypothetical mice chewed by a rat (8)
{ACADEMIC} – A word meaning hypothetical comes from an expression meaning a rat (as in a despicable person) followed by an anagram (chewed) of mice.

17a Capital I held? (3,5)
{NEW DEHLI} – The capital city of India comes from how you would write a clue (complete with anagram indicator) whose solution would be I held.

18a Matching flush (4)
{EVEN} – A double definition.  A word meaning matching means the same as flush (in the sense of flat).

20a Sly shot ‘Rocky’, he blew bottle (5,3,4)
{BELOW THE BELT} – A phrase for a sly shot comes from an anagram (rocky) of he blew bottle.

23a Post no bills, not a rule to stick to (6)
{ADHERE} – A word meaning stick to comes from a cryptic reference to a breach of a prohibition on not posing adverts in a particular location.

24a Spectator close to Federer, following transmission, then shot (8)
{OBSERVER} – A word for a spectator comes from an abbreviation describing a transmission (not made from the studio) followed by a tennis shot followed by a final R (close to Federer).

25a Having melted away in club, lead dancer goes out to prepare for a fight (8)
{EMBATTLE} – A word meaning prepare for a fight comes from an anagram (away) of melted having removed the D (lead dancer goes out) and putting inside (in) a word for a club (as in an item of sporting equipment).

26a Hit mural? (6)
{WALLOP} – A word meaning hit comes from a cryptic definition of a mural.  If a mural is a work of art on a wall, change round the order of the words slightly.


2d Sounds burdensome, could be soft for soldiers (4)
{YOLK} – Something soft that you might dip your soldiers in at breakfast sounds like a word for something that is burdensome.

3d Edward’s familiar after King twice voiced disapproval (3-6)
{TUT-TUTTED} – An expression meaning voiced disapproval comes from the repeated diminutive form of an ancient Egyptian King who has been the subject of many an exhibition followed by a short form of the name Edward.

4d Setter’s reaping benefit, back-strain (6)
{MELODY} – A word for strain (as in music) comes from a word meaning setter’s containing a word meaning benefit (as may be received by the unemployed) reversed (back).

5d Possible outcome of recent 12 on the 15, 1: a tentative lover, fumbling (11,4)
{ALTERANTIVE VOTE} – The recent poll held on how we elect MPs could have resulted in an outcome that is an anagram (fumbling) of a tentative lover.

6d Field softly after balls go too far (8)
{OVERLEAP} – A word meaning go to far comes from a word some for a series of balls in cricket followed by a word for a field followed by an abbreviation for softly.

7d Former/present source of morning news? (5)
{TODAY} – A source of morning news is the name of the current Radio 4 news programme and the name of a former newspaper.

8d Lovers’ farewell, having played tennis… (10)
{VALENTINES} – A word for lovers comes from the Latin word for farewell followed by an anagram (played) of tennis.

12d … umpire played under me held to divine opinion (10)
{REFERENDUM} – Something held recently to divine public opinion comes from a word for an umpire followed by an anagram (played) of under me.

15d College sort preferred unwritten examination (9)
{ELECTORAL} – A kind of college (used in voting) comes from a word meaning preferred followed by a word for an unwritten examination.

16d Basic charge initially tempers copper’s complaint? (4,4)
{FLAT FEET} – A complaint that may be suffered by policemen comes from a word meaning a basic charge or rate followed by the first letter of tempers.

19d Commonplace after date for swinger (6)
{SEESAW} – This swinger (which goes up and down rather than to and fro) comes from a word meaning date (as in walking out with someone) followed by a word meaning commonplace (as an old adage might be described).

21d In home game to reach final? (5)
{OMEGA} – A word meaning final (coming from the last letter of the Greek alphabet) is hidden inside home game.

22d 5d outcome – ‘no’ (4)
{VETO} – A word whose outcome is No comes from treated the answer to 5d as a cryptic clue.

3 comments on “NTSPP – 066 (Review)

  1. Hi Prolixic and thanks for the review.
    I took 26a to be Mural = Wall, Work = Hit

  2. Hi Prolixic,

    Thanks indeed for the kind review – more definitely in the pipeline! Happy solving, solvers :-)

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