NTSPP – 084 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 084 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 084

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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Hieroglyph makes a welcome return to the NTSPP pages with an engaging crossword that should not leave you tearing your hair out.  I thought that this crossword was much better than his last with more variety in the cluing.  Favourite clues have been highlighted below in blue.


5a Early 21s finding American nonsense on the internet (5)
{WEBBS} – An early founder of the Fabians comes from an word for the internet (three letters) followed by a two letter abbreviation for an American term for nonsense.

6a See 9 across

9/6a Composer’s verse on a month with country singer, not the king (7,8)
{VAUGHAN WILLIAMS} – An English composer comes from an abbreviation for very, the abbreviation for the eighth month of the year and a country singer with the K (not the king) omitted from his first name.

10a Elizabethan bicycle? (7)
{RALEIGH} – A double definition for a bicycle manufacturer and a person of Elizabethan times.

11a N, E, G, A, indeed? (3,4)
{NOT HALF} – A word for indeed is also a cryptic definition for an eight letter word that, if divided in two, becomes NEGA.

12a Remain a stranger in Eastern Europe (7)
{ARMENIA} – Part of Eastern Europe is an anagram (stranger) of REMAIN A.

13a XX? (6-5)
{DOUBLE CROSS} – Write what you see on the page to get a phrase meaning diddle.  I am not sure that this is a cryptic clue as there is no definition!

18a A b-bum’s liabilities? (7)
{ARREARS} – A word for liabilities comes from the initial A in the clue followed by a word for bum with the first letter repeated.

20a Get lost when rubbish is rotten (4,3)
{NAFF OFF} – A phrase meaning get lost is a word sum of a word meaning rubbish and a word meaning rotten.

22a/12d 9/6’s work could be lacking adherents (3,4,9)
{THE LARK ASCENDING} – One of the famous works of the composer in 9/6 a is an anagram (could be) of LACKING ADHERENTS.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a Setter’s just in, say, giving up drug to get drunk? (7)
{IMBIBER} – A word for a drunk comes from a word for setter’s followed by the surname of the pop-star whose first name is Justin with an E (drug) removed from his surname.  On the grounds of good taste, no video of this popstar will be shown.

25a In shock loss? (8)
{RECEDING} – A cryptic definition of someone whose hairline is moving back.

26a Metal found in Rockall oysters? (5)
{ALLOY} – A word for metal is hidden inside Rockall oysters.


1d Snatched a second-rate tape for editor (8)
{ABDUCTED} – A word for snatched comes from the A in the clue, a letter indicating second-rate, a for a kind of tape and an abbreviation for editor.  I think that the “for” in the clue is not part of the wordplay but has been added for the surface reading.

2d Was the man dropping three points out of condition? (6)
{ASTHMA} – A medical condition that leads to breathlessness comes from the phrase WAS THE MAN removing three points of the compass.

3d Obscure band? (4)
{BLUR} – A double definition for a Britpop band and a word meaning obscure.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

4d Embryonic element of Minoan civilization? (6)
{AMINON} – An element of a embryo is an anagram (civilization??) of MINOAN.

5d Indicating acceleration and velocity in flight? (6)
{WAVING} – A word for indicating comes from the abbreviations for acceleration and velocity placed inside a word meaning flight when applied to parts of an RAF squadron.

6d Fruitful strokes of luck (9)
{WINDFALLS} – A word for strokes of luck also describes fruit that has been blown from a tree.

7d Lately, stuck? (2,5)
{IN LIMBO} – A cryptic definition for someone departed this life who is stuck between heaven and hell.

8d Revolutionary at 13 (5)
{CHEAT} – Another word for 13a comes from the name of a revolutionary followed by the AT in the clue.

12d See 22 across

14d We run around a couple of acres in the dark (7)
{UNAWARE} – A word meaning in the dark comes from an anagram (around) of WE RUN adding in two As for acres.

15d Cold war missile? (8)
{SNOWBALL} – A cryptic definition of a weapon used in playground fights after a cold snap.

16d Ray’s at the National Army Museum, initially 12d … (5)
{MANTA} – A word for a ray (as in the fish) comes from the first letters(initially) of At The National Army Museum reversed (12d).

17d …and following a very loud disturbance (6)
{AFFRAY} – A word for a disturbance comes from the A in the clue, the musical abbreviation for very loud and the name in the preceding clue.

19d Grass jacket? (6)
{REEFER} – A double definition of grass (pot) and a kind of jacket.

21d Socialist’s great man? (6)
{FABIAN} – A word for a Socialist comes from a word meaning great and a man’s name.

23d Spill ink on table-top and tie (4)
{KNIT} – A word for tie comes from an anagram (spill) of INK after the first letter (top) of table.

2 comments on “NTSPP – 084 (Review)

  1. Some really good stuff here and certainly kept me entertained as I was waiting for the rugby to start. Good stuff, Hieroglyph.

    13a is one of those ‘Dingbat’ type clues that seem to be a favourite of people who don’t do crosswords (GEGS is another than always seems to come up when people find out I’m into crosswords, but HIJKLMNO is another famous type of dingbat clue), and I have no problem with the odd one. Civilization is a bit of a stretch though as an anagram indicator!

    Favourite clue 15d. Thanks, Hieroglyph for the puzzle and Prolixic for the as usual, excellent write-up.

  2. Many thanks to Big Dave for posting and Prolixic for the review. Boaz – I, too don’t mind the odd ‘dingbat’ clue, although it’s probably a short-cut to the penny-drop moment more than anything else. And you’re right about GEGS – for some reason fairly prominent as an example of this – I think Jonathan Crowther mentions it with disdain in his A to Z of crosswords book (as in if ‘gegs’ is ok, why not ‘lirgl’ for mixed grill, etc.) But without pushing the envelope we would never have had Araucaria’s “Of of of of of of of of of of (10)”, which I think is a great clue, even if it departs from the Ximenean template. In my humble opinion, as it were, the crux of the cryptic is its solvability, above all else. And yes, you’re right – ‘civilisation’ for an anagram indicator probably is pushing it. Rather Edwardian in its reading (civilisation as bringing order, etc.) Anyhow, hope to be back on these pages before long, and thanks for the feedback :-)

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