NTSPP – 078 (Review)

NTSPP – 078 (Review)

A crossword by Hieroglyph

Hieroglyph marks his return to the NTSPP with a crossword that will delight those who like anagrams. 14 of the clues involve full or partial anagrams – 21 if you count the separate words in the long anagram at 1a.

The preponderance of anagrams made this a very easy crossword to solve – one of the easiest to date in the NTSPP series. Being able to get the long solution from just the enumeration undoubtedly helped but a little more variety in the clues would have been welcome for this solver.


1,28,9,21,19ac,15,26,12 Poetic beasts set out to peel a banana with a laugh – we deter funny nonsense by 11 (3,3,3,3,5-3,4,2,3,2,1,9,3,5,4)
{THE OWL AND THE PUSSY-CAT WENT TO SEA IN A BEAUTIFUL PEA GREEN BOAT} – The solution to this long anagram is the opening lines of a nonsense poem by the author 11d. The anagram is indicated by nonsense and the preceding words give the letters that have to be rearranged. To fit such a long phrase into the grid is quite a a feat – worthy of Araucaria! Personally, I am not a fan of long anagrams. You either see them straightaway and write in the answer without thinking or else you have to wait until you have sufficient checking letters to eliminate some of the letters. The problem is that the long anagram may take up so much of the grid that you have few other entry points into the crossword to find the checking letters. As I say, this is a personal preference and others enjoy them.

5a Finally, lunar eclipse affected Shakespearian (8)
{PERICLES} – This character who gives his name to the title of a Shakespeare play is an anagram (affected) of R (finally lunar) and ECLIPSE.

9a See 1

10a Find fold (4,2)
{TURN UP} – A double definition. A word meaning find has the same meaning as the kind of fold you may get at the bottom of a pair of trousers.

11a Poet’s shifty dealer hangs around part of a hospital (6,4)
{EDWARD LEAR} – This poet and author of nonsense rhymes is an anagram (shifty) of DEALER around the name of that part of the hospital where patients stay.

12a See 1

13a Beyond E.U. regulation, it’s never observed (8)
{UNOBEYED} – A word meaning never observed is an anagram (regulation – not sure that this is an anagram indicator) of BEYOND EU.

16a Cheap literature – it’s the source of a lesson? (6)
{PULPIT} – The source of a lesson (when the minister is preaching) comes from a four letter word describing cheap fiction or literature and the IT given in the clue.

17a Get on when setter returns 2’s ruff, say(6)
{EMBARK} – A word meaning get on (as to get on a ship) comes from reversing a two letter word for the setter followed by the sound a dog makes (2’s ruff, say).

19a See 1

22a As fast as the S-car goes, it’s said? Not very fast (6,4)
{SNAIL’S PACE} – A homophone of “S-CAR GOES” gives you a kind of creature that does not go very fast. This phrase describes its movement.

25a Tee-off shot is sweet (6)
{TOFFEE} – This type of chewy sweet is an anagram (shot) of TEE-OFF. As you only have to move two of the letters, this one should not take you long!

26a See 1

27a Sled aces crashed, having come down in the world (8)
{DECLASSE} – A word describing someone who has come down in the world is an anagram (crashed) of SLED ACES.

28a See 1


2d Badger canine (5)
{HOUND} – A double definition. A word for a canine is also a word meaning badger (as in pester).

3d Oasis, perhaps – a musical alternative (5)
{OSSIA} – A musical term meaning alternative is an anagram of OASIS.

4d Clearly dull and icy conditions (7)
{LUCIDLY} – A word meaning clearly is an anagram (conditions) of DULL ICY. I am not sure that conditions works as an anagram indicator at the end of anagram fodder.

5d Stoner crumbling dope that’s nearly finished (7)
{POTHEAD} – A word for a stoner (someone who uses drugs) comes from an anagram (crumbling) of DOPE + THA (that’s nearly finished).

6d Exterminator’s equipment uses tartar sauce laced with poison, to begin with (3,4)
{RAT TRAP} – A piece of equipment used to catch rodents is an anagram (sauce) of TARTAR around the letter P (poison, to begin with).

7d Beer brewed in a basement – recipe wanted brains, in part (9)
{CEREBELLA} – A word for part of your brains comes from an anagram (brewed) of BEER inside a word for a basement from which the final R has been removed (recipe wanted).

8d Auctioned off letters? (9)
{EDUCATION} – Our sixth successive anagram. A word for letters (as someone who is learned has after their name) is an anagram of AUCTIONED.

14d First successful record (6,3)
{NUMBER ONE} – A word meaning first (as in the boss or of prime importance) is also the position a successful record achieves in the pop charts.

15d See 1 Across

18d Impassioned sorts of skiers tumble at beginning of slope (7)
{KISSERS} – People full of passion may be described as such by the action of osculation. It comes from an anagram (tumble) of SKIERS followed by an S (beginning of slope).

19d Pressure on public transport, extremely large crush (7)
{TRAMPLE} – A word meaning crush comes from a four letter word for a type of public transport (coming back into fashion) followed by a P for pressure and the outer letters (extremely) of LargE. In a down clue A on B usually means A on top of B not A underneath B.

20d Fruit and nuts à la mode (7)
{SULTANA} – A type of dried fruit is an anagram (mode) of NUTS A LA.

23d Cut standard edition (5)
{PARED} – A word meaning cut comes from a three letter word meaning standard followed by the abbreviation for edition.

24d Said to hold tongue (5)
{CZECH} – This language is a homophone (said) of a word meaning to hold or restain.


  1. Spindrift
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    The long anagram was solved very quickly & after that it was plain sailing all the way . Favourite clue has got to be 22a even if only for the simple reason it’s not an anagram!

    Thanks to H for the puzzle & to P for the review.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Ditto absolutely everything Spindrift says. Nice diversion over a mid-big-house-clean cup of tea.

  3. gnomethang
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Prolixic’s sentiments but thought that there were some exceptionally smooth and I think the setter is to be applauded for creating a straightforward puzzle that provided so much enjoyment.
    5d was superb and I also highlighted 25a, 16a, 23d as making me smile.
    Regarding the long anagram at 1a (et al) I saw it straight away but still enjoyed pulling it apart!

    Many thanks to Hieroglyph and to Prolixic for the review.

  4. AnnB
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    A nice way to spend a Sat afternoon with the rain “teeming down” here in Northumberland.
    Anagram went in very quickly but still first time ive done one of these.Cheers

  5. pommers
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I repeat my post on the puzzle thread. Never Know which thread is better to post on!

  6. Hieroglyph
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Hi all, sorry for not posting earlier but I’ve been off coms at a wedding in the west of Ireland. Really glad you enjoyed the puzzle, thanks to Dave for posting it and to Prolixic for the review – particular praise for finding the illustration for 22ac! Hopefully will make a return to these pages before too long.