NTSPP – 076 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 076 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 076

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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Prolixic has given us an excellent puzzle with thematic material ( I have highlighted these in green). I didn’t notice it at the time and you don’t need to know it to solve the puzzle but it was great when I realised what it was. This puzzle was written some time ago and it was fortunate that there was no reference to a certain Sunday tabloid otherwise the puzzle would have been out of date!


1a Base rope for camping gear (11)
{GROUNDSHEET} – A word for base or floor and a nautical rope gives some camping gear that lines a tent.

7a Brown articles removed from steam room (3)
{SUN}* – To brown on the beach perhaps (an intransitive verb). Remove all the articles from a steam room.

9a Saints in meal returning for blessing (5)
{ASSET} – A blessing or boon. Two abbreviations for Saint inside the reversal (returning) of a light evening meal.

10a French bread and cakes (9)
{NAPOLEANS} – A well spotted double definition. Both an old French Coin and also a puff pastry cake with cream, custard or jam

11a Cockchafer bolted here perhaps without husband (3-6)
{DORBEETLE} – A dung beetle or cockchafer. An anagram (perhaps) of BOLTEDHERE having removed (without) H(usband)

12a Government to attack cherished ambition (5)
{GRAIL} – The abbreviation of Government and a verb meaning to attack leads to a cherished ambition or prized goal.

13a Havens established to protect hardy plants (7)
(AVENSES) – A plural of a  hardy plant (previously unknown to me) is hidden in the first two words. A cracking clue that is incredibly simple in itself but so smooth that one cannot find the way in. Excellent stuff!

15a Celebrity makes special pitch (4)
{STAR}* – S(pecial) and another name for pitch leads to a name or celebrity.

18a Money essentially nails the post (4)
{MAIL}* – An abbreviation for Money and the interior letters (essentially) of NAILS for ‘the post’.

20a Rotund lady’s breaking flipping legs (7)
{SPHERAL} – An unusual word for round or rotund. Place a possessive of a lady inside the reversal (flipping) of legs or stages in a race.

23a Poetic Dame gives changes to Henry (5)
{EDITH} – A famous dame and poet. A word for ‘changes’ (of a document perhaps) and the SI unit of inductance (Henry).

24a Vegetables and underwear displayed by gallery on board ship (9)
{BRASSICAS} – An article of women’s underwear and an abbreviation for the Institute of Contemporary Arts (gallery) inside the usual abbreviation for a Steam Ship. The definition is ‘vegetables’ of the legume family.

26a Attack shown by soprano during song cycle (3,6)
{AIR STRIKES} – These attacks are carried out by military aircraft on ground targets. Place S(oprano) inside synonyms for a song and a kid’s  three-wheeler.

27a By metres (5)
{TIMES}* – A double definition. The first being a synonym for ‘by’ – think multiplication – and also metres in the sense of musical tempi.

28a Supporting uneven floors (3)
{FOR} – Take the odd (uneven) letters from FLOORS to get a word meaning supporting or ‘in favour of’.

29a Smart relative’s unattached (11)
{INDEPENDENT}* – Hip and a relative that relies on you for cash – The definition is unattached or without political side.


1d Air Uganda flying around without a trustee (8)
{GRAUNIAD}* – An anagram of AIR UGANDA without the letter A is a trustee or chaperone.

2d Witness Buddhist tree uprooted by altar-boy (8)
{OBSERVER}* – The famous BO tree!. It is a sacred fig tree and when reversed and placed in front of SERVER (Altar Boy) one will find a witness.

3d Dope engineer’s explosive (5)
{NITRE} – An explosive mixture of a dope and the abbreviation for the Royal Engineers.

4d Thus the enemy returned some music (7)
{SONATAS} – A musical piece is a charade of a word for thus and the reversal (returned) of Nick or Lucifer (the Enemy).

5d Force out say (7)
{EXPRESS}* – A double meaning. Force out (breast milk for example) and also to say or utter. [The self acclaimed ‘world’s greatest newspaper’!!]

6d Allege prophet sculpted this pole perhaps (9)
{TELEGRAPH}* – One of these clues that I don’t like but have been traind to spot by Prolixic – a compound anagram!. Make an anagram of ALLEGE PROPHET after removing POLE to get a type of pole used in communications via wire.

7d Chelsea girl scratching bottom describes German motto (6)
{SLOGAN} – A lovely image of a less that demure Deb!. The SLOAN(e) – Chelsea girl, Sloane Ranger, with the last letter removed (bottom scratched – ace!). Put her around (describing)  G for German (note that the abbreviation for Germany is D!) to get a mooto.

8d Nationalist is the French confectioner (6)
{NESTLE} – A purveyor of confectionary across the world. An abbreviation for Nationalist with the French words for ‘is’ and ‘the’.

14d Extended cheer for the Italians? (9)
{SPAGHETTI} – A cryptic definition for Italian food (cheer) that is elongated (extended)

16d Old Greek coins charmed a criminal (8)
{DRACHMAE} – A criminal anagram of CHARMEDA is also a Greek coin – maybe they would have been better off sticking with it!

17d Home Counties in secret compact (5-3)
{CLOSE-SET} – The area of England associated with the Home Counties inside an adjective meaning secret or ‘in camera’. The definition is ‘compact’ as in fitting tightly.

19d Sought to influence inclusion of song in old books – quite the reverse (7)
{LOBBIED} – Sought to influence in parliament perhaps. Start with a German song (in fact it is the word for song in German). The wordplay says place this inside the abbreviations for Old and Books (twice). ‘Quite the reverse’ actually tells us to  place these abbreviations inside the word for song.

20d Disturb Arab in lecture at university (5,2)
{SHAKE UP} – A homophone of an rich Arab prince and a short word meaning ‘At university’ for a verb meaning disturb. [I know that this isn’t in the theme but I had a gap in the pictures and couldn’t resist the temptation!]

21d C-Covered up hot drink (6)
{DECAFF} – A stuttering clue where the C-Covered tells us to double the first letter for a word meaning covered (the surface of e.g. a wall or brick) and UP tells us to reverse it. The result is a warm drink that looks like coffee but does nothing for you!

22d Leader’s men returning to take copy (6)
{MIRROR}* –  The definition is copy (as in a reflection). Take an unusual word for a Muslim ruler (we are more used to seeing it with an E at the start) then reverse (returning) the Ordinary Ranks and finally add R (recipe/take).

25 Demonstrated material (5)
{SATIN} – A double meaning to finish, did take part in a demonstration (by occupying a building) and also a glossy sheer material.

Thanks to Prolixic for a very enjoyable thematic puzzle and apologies for the tardiness in the review – duty called yesterday I am afraid.

1 comment on “NTSPP – 076 (Review)

  1. Many thanks to Gnomethang for the usual excellent review and for everyone’s comments on the other thread.

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