NTSPP – 068 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 068 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 068 (Review)

Map by Elgar / Enigmatist

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For the uninitiated, Sloggers and Betters (a spoonerism of Bloggers and Setters) is a convivial evening involving lots of alcohol and a meal when setters of crosswords, bloggers and solvers meet in a pub and then a nearby restaurant. It usually, but not exclusively, follows the lunch given by the Times for its crossword setters.

The 8th Sloggers and Betters meeting took place at the Ship & Shovell (whose address and other London landmarks appear in the crossword). Ignoring the first and last letters, the top left to bottom right diagonal of grid features the name of the pub.

It was a pleasure to meet many familiar setters this year including Cephas, Giovanni, Shamus, Notabalis, Micawber and many others including John Henderson (Elgar) who with his wife Jane organised this year’s meeting. In honour of the occasion, Elgar prepared this crossword for those attending which he kindly allowed to be published as a NTSPP.


1a 1-3 (16ac 24): Sloggers’ 8th — you may, unfortunately, get a whiff we’re about! (5)
{ATOCS} – Here is more of Enigmatist’s devious wordplay. Take the first three letters of the alphabet A TO C and add on the 8th letter of Sloggers and you get a word for skunks – very smelly animals. 1-3 is the postal address of the Ship and Shovell.

4a Roxy advised you to do this location (3,6)
{THE STRAND} – This location, near to the Ship & Shovell featured in the single by Roxy Music. The reference in the song is thought to be a reference to an unspecified dance.

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10a Visually locate a more particular boil (6)
{SEETHE} – A word for boil (as in be angry) comes from a word meaning visually locate followed by the definite article (more particular than A, the indefinite article).

11a (Suspicious?) activity anticipating disciple’s departure (6-2)
{GOINGS-ON} – If you are anticipating the departure of a disciple you might say “Going son?”. Split the sentence differently to get a word for an activity that might be described as suspicious.

12a Underneath this location in the air (6)
{ARCHES} – The location of the Ship & Shovell is underneath these architectural features referred to in song (air) by Flanagan and Allen.

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13a Turn up after time with a side-splitting lady’s hat? (7)
{PLATEAU} – A word for a lady’s hat comes from taking the word UP and turning it around and including within it a word meaning AFTER TIME and an A.

14a Printmaker depicting low terrain, then high, on journey through Europe (4,4)
{GLEN ALPS} – This printmaker comes from taking a word for a Scottish valley (low terrain) followed by a word for somewhere high (where you might go skiing). The reference to on a journey through Europe refers, I think, to the fact that you go from Scotland to the borders of France / Italy / Switzerland to find the answer.

16a In this location, yellow and black bird with coloured head…(see 24) (6)
{CRAVEN} – The first part of the address of the Ship & Shovell (which also means yellow or cowardly) comes from the letter C (coloured head) followed by a the name of a bird associated with the Tower of London.

18a In this position, for example (6)
{STANCE} – A word for an example with the initial IN removed gives this position.

21a Policeman turning over one fun guy, we hear, in testing location (1,7)
{B SPECIAL} – This name for a policeman comes from reversing the whole of a phrase that comes from a testing location (where chemists or physicists work for example) and putting inside an I (one) and a word for fungi (fun guy we hear).

24a (see 16ac)… makes step-wise migration (7)
{PASSAGE} – The second part of the address of the Ship & Shovell is also a word for migration. Split 4 / 3 you get words for step and wise.

26a Rather/very big lie (6)
{SOONER} – A word meaning rather comes from a two letter word meaning very and a four letter word meaning a big lie.

28a Walk miles with only one pound for toasting absent friend (4,4)
{MIKE LAWS} – The answer is an absent friend, a crossword setter and editor whose untimely death occurred the previous week. It comes from an anagram (toasting) of WALK MILES with one of the L’s (only one pound) removed.

29a Go into school language (6)
{SPEECH} – A word for language comes from putting a word for go (as in urinate) inside a three letter abbreviation for school.

30a Here 1, 4, the 12, 15, 16ac 24 and this or that nearly stabbed Old Father (3,6)
{THE THAMES} – The answer is a river known as Old Father ??????. If anyone knows how the wordplay for this works, please send your answer on the back of a £50 note to Prolixic, c/o the home for the terminally bewildered!  Stop Press – See the first comment from Big Dave below for the explanation.

31a Supine boozer ejected, full of sherry (5)
{JEREZ} – A word for type of sherry is hidden (full of) and reversed (supine) inside boozer ejected.


2d Get cutting stuck in remarkable album (3,4)
{THE WALL} – A remarkable album produced by Pink Floyd comes from putting a three letter word for cut inside a four letter word for remarkable (as in a remarkable story perhaps).

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3d Musical tin producing X-ray image (3,4)
{CAT SCAN} – A word for a type of X-ray image comes from the name of a musical based on TS Eliot’s poems of mischievous moggies followed by a synonym for a tin.

5d Drunk in Crow’s Nest? (4)
{HIGH} – If you were in a crow’s nest on a ship, you would be this far up. The same word also means drunk (as were several attendees of the Sloggers and Betters meeting last Tuesday by the end).

6d Accomplishment of mass killer (5)
{SKILL} – A word for an accomplishment is hidden inside mass killer.

7d Forgetting women, power right up for event on 30? (7)
{REGATTA} – A boating event held on the river (answer to 30a) at Henley every year comes from taking a word for power (that would be used to describe the power of an electric bulb), adding and R (for right) and dropping the initial W (for women) and reversing (up) the resulting word.

8d Unlikely compound for one so young? (7)
{NEONATE} – The answer is a word for a very young baby. The wordplay is, as best I can divine the mind of Engimatist, is a made up word for a compound of a gas used in lighting in the same way that a compound of sulphur would be a sulphate. As the gas in question is inert, it is unlikely that it would ever form a compound.

9d Lost? Out of Villiers Street, it’s right & south — begin with this (8)
{REVEILLE} – Soldiers may start the day with this wake up call. It is an anagram (lost) of VILLIERS STREET after removing the letters of ITS, an single letter abbreviation for South and a two letter abbreviation for Right.

14d Thrill’s good, so far (3)
{GAS} – An abbreviation for good followed by a word meaning so far gives a word meaning a thrill.

15d We are infiltrating this location (1,1,1)
{S&B} – Those who infiltrate an organisation may be referred to as the short form of a saboteur. Changing the middle A to an & gives you the initials of Sloggers and Betters, the location for this debut of this crossword.

16d Turning up, choose accommodation for US Lawmen? (8)
{COPHOUSE} – A word (not in the UK dictionaries) for a place where US policemen may be found is an anagram (turning) of UP CHOOSE.

17d Love dipping regularly into O’Neill (3)
{NIL} – A word for love (as in zero) comes from the even letters of O’Neill.

19d Bufo’s Ode in a Restaurant? (7)
{TOADISH} – A word meaning like a toad (bufo) split 2, 1, 4 would describe a possible ode in a restaurant. I am not sure whether bufo on its own is an adjective or can only be used as a noun. None of the dictionaries I have consulted assist.

20d An upward trail beginning to develop (7)
{NASCENT} – A word meaning beginning to develop comes from reversing the letters of AN (upward) and adding a word meaning trail (as dogs may follow).

22d Call together the odd characters in Crown… even odder! (7)
{CONVENE} – The odd letters in the word crown followed by an anagram (odder) of the word even gives a word meaning call together.

23d The Atrium beer contains acid (7)
{AURICLE} – A word for a chamber or atrium comes from placing the a four letter word for a type of acid inside a three letter word for beer.

25d Tough anagram masks African republic (5)
{GHANA} – The name of an African republic is hidden inside tough anagram.

27d Sad to depart seaside resort? That’s understood (1,3)
{I SEE} – Remove (to depart) the letters of SAD from SEASIDE. An anagram (resort) of the remaining letters gives a phrase meaning that’s understood.

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