NTSPP – 088 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 088

An Alphabetical Jigsaw by Radler

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

For those unfamiliar with this form of torture, an Alphabetical Jigsaw requires the solver to solve the clues and then fit the answers in to the grid without knowing which answer goes where.

There are a number of tactics to filling the grid that I used when solving the crossword.

Look for clues with unique clue lengths or clues that have only two or three solutions of that length.  In this grid, the answer at 14 across is the only one that is 13 letters long so this must be the clue beginning with D.  Similarly 7a and 26 across are the only solutions with 10 letters so must be the ones beginning with A or Y and 12a and 21a are the only two solutions with 5 letters so must be the one beginning with T and L.

Look for clues where there are two answers that begin with the same letter.  In this grid, the clues beginning with T and K are the only two.  Looking at the enumeration, the T pair must go as 21a/21d and the K pair must go at 13a/13d.  Remembering that the two five letter solutions are T & L words, this means that we can confidently say that 12a must begin with an L.

Jot down on a separate piece of paper all of the potential answers by word length.  Here you will have:

  • Four letters: B _ _ _, E _ _ _, H _ _ _ , V _ _ _
  • Five letters: L _ _ _ _, T _ _ _ _
  • … and so on.  This will help when slotting in the solutions into the grid as we can quickly check possible solutions by the length required to fill the grid.

Work through the clues given.  Having the first letter of each answer is a help but the setter will make it hard to see which part of the clue is the definition and which is the wordplay.  Jot down possible answers both by the clues and in the list of solutions by word length.

Work tactically through the grid.  Given that we know that the D solution is as 14a and the K and T solutions at 13 / 21, concentrating on these solutions will give us a good start to fill in the grid.  Once solutions start to go into the grid, we can use cross-checking letters in the grid to work out where other solutions are likely to fit the grid.

Anyway, on to the clues themselves with their explanations.  The second set of brackets shows where the answer appears in the completed grid.

A Ran out rebelling against the Med’s substance and style (3,7)
{ART NOUVEAU} {7a}– A style comes from an anagram (rebelling) of RAN OUT plus a V for against and then a three letter French for water (Med’s substance).

B Letter P for Pip (4)
{BEEP} {4d} – A word meaning pip comes from a letter spelled out followed by the P from the clue.

C Bent copper arrested hacker finally; politician gave direction (8)
{CRUMPLED} {1d} – A word meaning bent comes from putting the final letter of hacker in the chemical symbol for copper and following this with the abbreviation for a politician (member of parliament) and a word meaning gave direction.

D Declines treat – regained stone (13)
{DEGENERATIONS} {13a} – A word for declined is an anagram (treat) of REGAINED STONE.

E Woman’s new uniform (4)
{EVEN} {9a} – A word for uniform comes from the name of the first woman in the bible followed by an N for new.

F Leads to Ian’s greenhouse where part keeps plants (8)
{FIGWORTS} {18a} – Plants (or a species of them) comes from the first letters (leads) of Ian Greenhouse and where inside (part) a word for keeps (as in castles).

G Like Dennis’s dog, Midge’s tail docked by Carol (reportedly drunk) (8)
{GNASHING} {2d} – A word that described Denis the Menace’s dog in the Beano comes from taking another word for a midge (as in a fly) followed by word (slurred – reportedly drunk) for carol (as in making music).

H G’day, nearly Down Under (4)
{HELL} {23d} – A word for Hades (down under) comes from taking a word meaning good day and removing the final letter (nearly).

I International C&A store, a Parisian’s summer refreshment (3,3)
{ICE TEA} {19d} – A refreshing drink comes from an I (International) followed by C & A inside which (store) is placed the French word for summer.

J Setback to Muslim act of worship involving one pure biblical man (8)
{JEREMIAH} {22a} – A biblical prophet comes from taking one of the Muslim acts of worship and putting inside an I  (one) and a word meaning pure.  Reverse the whole of this to find the answer.

K Making United’s name in supply of sportswear (8)
{KNITTING} {11a} – A word for making united or joining comes from putting the letter N (name) inside a word meaning supply of sportswear.

People quoted product of R (5)
{KURDS} {13d} – These people of northern Iraq sound like (quoted) the product obtained from milk when the answer to the R letter is added to it.

L Capital stolen from Tony’s hiding places (5)
{LAIRS} {12a} – A word for hiding places comes from the surname of a former Prime Minister (first name Tony) from which the first letter has been removed (capital stolen).

M One making fun of mate, not posh but old (6)
{MOCKER} {24a} – A word from someone who makes fun comes from a word for a mate from which the U has been removed and replaced with an O (not posh but old).

N Anxiously Chamberlain clutching writing perhaps, dismissing the European policy’s conclusion (7)
{NERVILY} {15d} – A word meaning anxiously comes from the first name of the former Prime Minister (surname of Chamberlain) around (clutching) an R (writing perhaps) from which the final LE has been removed (dismissing the European) and adding a final Y (policy’s conclusion).

O Exposed working of public company (8)
{OPENCAST} {16d} – A word for the exposed working of mines comes from a word meaning working followed by a word for a company of actors.

P Bad-tempered Clark Kent’s half-cut? (8)
{PETULANT} {11a} – A word for bad tempered comes from the name of the old female singer whose first name was Clark followed by the final two letters of the word Kent (half-cut).

Q Re loss, applies for searches (6)
{QUESTS} {3d} – A word for searches comes from a word meaning applies (as in asks) from which the first two letters RE have been removed.

R Lauren 9, fully exposes cheese maker (6)
{RENNINE} {6d} – A word for an active ingredient used in cheese making is hidden inside lauREN NINE.

S Essentially asked and revealed plan (8)
{SKELETON} {17d} – A word for a plan (?) comes from the inner letters (essentially) of aSKEd and a word 2,3 meaning revealed.

T Married, divorced, once you provide with motive (5)
{THEME} {21a} – A word meaning motive comes from putting the abbreviation for married inside (divorced) an old fashioned word for you (once you).

Tough miss, you nearly retired but grave came first (6)
{TOMBOY} {21d} – A word for a tough miss comes from a word for a grave before the word YOU with the final letter removed and then reversed.

U Separate upper-class twits with no balls (7)
{UNTWIST} {8d} – A word for separate comes from a U (upper class) followed by an anagram (balls) of N for no and TWITS.

V On the way back, bought several clothes to put on (4)
{VEST} {25a} – A word for to put on is hidden (clothes) and reversed (on the way back) inside the phrase broughT SEVeral.

W Loop supplying running hot water (6)
{WREATH} {20d} – A word for a loop comes from an anagram (running) of H (for hot) and WATER.

X Holidays by ordinary people gone South (6)
{XMASES} {10a}– A word for holidays comes from a letter for by (times) and a word meaning people from which an S has been removed.

Y Easily frightened Sam’s first, directly on trail of huskies? (6,4)
{YELLOW SNOW} {26a} – A word that might describe the trail of huskies comes from a word meaning easily frightened, the first letter of Sam and a word meaning directly.

Z Fanatic Yankee follower Earl scores (6)
{ZEALOT} {5d} – A word meaning a fanatic comes from the letter Z (follows Yankee in the Nato alphabet) followed by an E for Earl and a word meaning scores (as in many).

One Comment

  1. Radler
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you Prolixic for the review, to Cryptic Sue for the earlier test solve, and to those who left comments – feedback is always useful and appreciated.
    I hope most solvers liked the alphabetical challenge and that those who aren’t so keen were nevertheless able to enjoy this crossword as a conventional puzzle via the interactive puzzle and its corresponding pdf.