NTSPP – 070 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 070 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 070 (Review)

A Puzzle by Quaiteaux

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One of the joys of the Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle is the diversity of the setters from young (and no so young) beginners to established hands. Today, we have a puzzle from one of the established hands, Qauiteaux, whose puzzles periodically grace the pages of the Independent. I think that I this may be the first NTSPP by a female setter – I don’t know why, but women are greatly underrepresented in the pantheon of crossword setters. On the evidence of this crossword, this is a great shame.


7a Rapid growth resulted from his efforts to deceive (9)
{PINOCCHIO} – A gentle cryptic definition of the boy whose nose grew when he told lies.

8a Dull, British and repressed (5)
{BANAL} – A word meaning dull comes from an abbreviation for British and a word meaning repressed.

9a For poor service, sued seven Parisian saleswomen (9)
{VENDEUSES} – A word for Parisian saleswomen comes from an anagram (for poor service) of SUED SEVEN.

10a Its grapes could be divine (5)
{WRATH} – A double definition for the type of grapes featured in the John Steinbeck novel and the anger of the gods.

12a Isle that needed exploration at first in its interior (6)
{THANET} – This island (though it now forms part of mainland Britain and is the easterly most point of Kent comes from putting the first letter of Needed Exploration inside the word THAT.

14a Killing cut short service (holy) in France (8)
{MASSACRE} – A word meaning killing comes from taking the first three letters of a type of religious service (short service) followed by the French word for holy.

15a Get rid, get rid of film network (4)
{GRID} – A word for a network comes from taking the name of a schmaltzy Steven Spielberg film out of the phrase “get rid”.

17a People possessing a bit of nous have their attractions (5)
{BONDS} – These attractions, that hold atoms together, comes from putting the first letter (a bit of) of nous inside an informal word for people.

18a Nice and keeping footballers from going (4)
{EXIT} – A word for going comes from putting the number of people in a football team (in Roman numerals) inside the French word for AND (Nice being the French city).

19a For this much port, not a problem (3,5)
{PRO TANTO} – A Latin expression meaning for this much comes from an anagram (problem) of PORT NOT A.

20a One who is able to grasp nothing becomes barrel maker (6)
{COOPER} – A word for a barrel maker comes from putting an O (nothing) inside a word that describes a person who is able.

22a Angel, say, is cast out of heaven (5)
{FALLS} – Angel is an example of this water feature. The same word also describes someone (an angel possibly) cast out of heaven.

23a News when great opera is abridged in performance (9)
{REPORTAGE} – A word for news comes from an anagram (in performance) of GREAT OPER(A) with the final A removed (is abridged).

26a Being a Romantic type, he embraced a German (5)
{HEINE} – The surname of a 19th Century romantic poet comes from putting the German for A inside HE.

27a Trying to resolve whether 26th or 32nd (9)
{ROOSEVELT} – The surname of the 26th and 32nd Presidents of the USA comes from an anagram (trying) of TO RESOLVE.


1d Dutch network I traded for English (4)
{WIFE} – A word for Dutch (as in my old Dutch) comes from a type of network that allows wireless connection with the final I changed to an E.

2d Chicken out of seeing lord’s younger son embracing paramilitaries (6)
{HOUDAN} – A breed of chicken comes from putting the abbreviation for protestant paramilitaries inside the abbreviation for the title give to the son of a Lord.

3d Secret originally often concealed by sect (6)
{OCCULT} – A word for secret comes from the initial letters of Often Concealed followed by another word for a sect.

4d Tina initially joins husband to create little one (4)
{TIKE} – An informal word for a small child comes from the first letter of Tina followed by the first name of a famous Tina’s husband.

5d This might require mousse to be prepared from richer ingredients, with a hint of almond (8)
{HAIRCARE} – Something that requires mousse as part of a beauty regime comes from anagram (to be prepared) of RICHER with an A and the first letter (hint of) Almond.

6d Fifty days that changed dire estate (10)
{EASTERTIDE} – These fifty days forming part of the church year up to Pentecost come from an anagram (changed) of DIRE ESTATE.

11d Profession of sorority to god (4)
{ISIS} – An Egyptian god, if split 1,3 would indicate a profession of sisterhood (sorority).

13d Cheer up, finding protection for inventor (10)
{HARGREAVES} – This inventor, credited with the invention of the spinning jenny comes from a three letter word for a cheer reversed (up) followed by a type of armour (protection) worn on the legs below the knee.

14d Mountain of interest to Hector, numerate to some extent, if backward (5)
{MONRO} – This mountain (or more specifically a series of mountains) in Scotland is hidden and reversed inside Hector numerate.

16d Lean diet designed to be feature of prominence in news reports (8)
{DATELINE} – A feature of prominence in news reports (identifying when the story was written) comes from an anagram (designed) of LEAD DIET.

17d It connects A with C (4)
{BAND} – Something that connects comes from the letter between A and C followed by a synonym for with.

20d Will echo reverberate around massive… (6)
{CHOOSE} – A word meaning will (as in select or opt for something) comes from an anagram (reverberate) of ECHO around an abbreviation for massive.

21d …old court when Braun returns on eighth day? (6)
{OCTAVE} – A word for the eighth day comes from abbreviations for Old and Court followed by the first name of Braun (Hitler’s wife) reversed.

24d God, it’s painful to climb (4)
{EROS} – The Greek God required (and found in Piccadilly Circus) comes from reversing a word meaning painful.

25d Wind up, say, around a foot of metal (4)
{GALE} – A word for wind (as in the weather) comes from reversing the abbreviation for say (as in for example) and putting inside an A and the last letter (foot of) metaL.

18 comments on “NTSPP – 070 (Review)

  1. After a somewhat fraught day and a bit of puzzle setting I needed to relax with a solve… but came across this Quaiteaux puzzle instead! Blimey, it had some tough bits, and I was left with four SW lights unfilled plus a couple in the centre. Annoyingly, though, these clues beat me fair and square – all completely fair, and stuff I should have spotted; full marks to Q for hiding it all so well.

    Looks like I’m the first to mention the hidden message. Really, Q, what possessed you to make my day like that? I needed a good giggle and you provided it.

        1. I haven’t yet made sufficient progress to look for a nina. However, of the handful of clues that I have managed so far, I notice that the gentlemen in 26a and 27a both make an appearance in today’s GKcrossword! (GK 24a + 26a). Coincidence???

  2. Lovely stuff. A trickier proposition than the usual NTSPP fare, but excellent fun.

    Many thanks to Quaiteaux!

  3. Ok I’ve now completed the rebus (thanks to Quaiteaux) with the aid of Prolixic’s review ( many thanks) & I’ve looked at the completed grid from left to right, top to bottom & I’ve even held it in the mirror but cannot see the Nina at all. I know I’ll kick myself when one of the more erudite among us deigns to provide me with an answer but somebody , somewhere please put me out of my misery…

  4. Quite a tough job for me – my first attempt at an NTSPP puzzle! Only just discovered how to download them!
    A certain French flavour in the puzzle. 2d for example and 9a among others.
    Merci bien Quaiteaux.

  5. Lovely stuff, thanks Quaiteaux. The chicken did for me and I don’t know how to spell 7a which didnt help!. I had to check up on 13d as well. THanks for an excellent puzzle and thanks to Prolixic for the review.

  6. A bit beyond me but the stuff I solved I though excellent.
    Managed about 2/3 before resorting to some hints and then saw Anax’s comment!
    Feel better now! Let’s face it – if Anax is defeated what chance do I have?
    Thanks to Quaiteaux for the brain strain and Prolixic for the much needed help.

    1. Setters don’t tend to be the greatest solvers, Pommers. Sometimes it’s because available solving time is limited, but mostly it’s because a setter’s individual clue-writing style tends to be unique, so it’s easy to get caught out by another setter’s approach. Solvers avail themselves of a much wider range of styles, and more regularly – generally quite an advantage!

      1. Fair point Anax but it still cheered me up to see that someone with your experience struggled in the same parts of the puzzle as I did!
        Must have a look at the COW site again soon, not been there for a while.

  7. I too missed the NINA. On the difficulty level, I agree it was slightly tougher than some of the crosswords in this series but it was all fairly clued and solvable with a bit of perservation.

    1. You’re right Prolixic, I should persevated longer but the motor bike racing was about to start!

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