NTSPP – 100 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 100 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 100 (Review)

Happy Anniversary

A Puzzle by Prolixic

(with a little help from his friends)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Prolixic prepared this special puzzle to mark the fact that the best alternative Saturday puzzle in the world has reached no 100.    He has set more of these puzzles than anyone else and this time had a bit of assistance with the clue writing from Gazza and Radler who, along with Anax, Bufo and Hieroglyph,  feature in the top six of the NTSPP setters table.

As you would expect from a crossword with these three setters involved, it is full of clever clues, with a hint  of the risqué and other delights including the fact that that seven of the clues connect to a theme  and there is a Nina too.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post. 


1a           This TV presenter is embroiled in bad language  (9)
{CROSSWORD}   Insert the surname of a controversial TV Presenter  into a slighter nicer way of using a  particular example  of  very unpleasant  bad language – think carefully about ‘here’ and you should have the solution!

6a           Traffic officer heading off after opponents  (4)
{SWOP} Traffic in the sense of exchange.  Follow two of the opponents in a game of bridge with a informal term for a policeman with its first letter removed.

10a         Get support from silent criminal (6)
{ENLIST}  An anagram (criminal) of SILENT rearranges to a verb meaning to obtain support or help for a cause.

11a         Detailed rubbish admitted in statement (8))
{BULLETIN}  remove the last letter (detailed) of a slang  term meaning rubbish or nonsense  and follow this with a simple way of saying admitted (3, 2) to get a statement or official report.

12a         Reported hitch in logical statement (3)
{NOT}    If you were a Girl Guide like me you will know that a hitch is one example of a method of joining two pieces of string or rope together.   If you say this out loud, it sounds like a logical statement or, as I prefer to think of it, a simple refusal.

13a         Problem slut  (6)
{PUZZLE}  A double definition – a synonym of problem or poser  is apparently also a term for a slut.

14a         Produce note yours truly returned (4)
{TEEM}   To produce in abundance.    Follow the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation with a reversal of a simpler way of referring to oneself than ‘yours truly’.

16a         For Rene is his weather about storms?  (8)
{TEMPESTS}  To get these violent windstorms, you will need to dust off your school French (Rene being a Frenchman) and insert the French word for IS into their word for WEATHER.  

17a         Informally John Thomas or William (5)
{WILLY}   A childish  name for a piece of the male anatomy also sometimes called a John Thomas is also a diminutive form of William.

20a         Dug up adder father discarded (5)
{UDDER}  Remove the PA (father discarded) from UP ADDER and you are left with the anatomical meaning of ‘dug’.

21a         Fence in pigs and birds (8)
{SWALLOWS}  Migratory birds are derived by inserting a fence or boundary into female pigs.

23a         Cultured sommeliers bottle wines (4)
{REDS}  Another hidden word –  a description of particular types of wine is hidden in cultuRED Sommeliers.

25a         One who controls the image of Republicans (6)
{MAHOUT}    If you know your American politics, you should know the animal that is the symbol of the Republican Party.    If you have solved enough crosswords, you should also  know the name of the person who controls such an animal when it is working.

26a         Macbeth for example loses an article (3)
{THE}  Macbeth was the Thane of Cawdor.   Remove AN (article) from his title to get another ‘article’.

28a         Crazy old leery communicator (8)
{YODELLER}   Someone who communicates from the top of a mountain is an anagram (crazy) of OLD LEERY.

29a         Shy Earl follows protest (6)
{DEMURE}  To get an adjective meaning shy or modest, follow a verb meaning to protest or object with E for Earl.

30a         French art overlaps with scripture and Gaelic 4)
{ERSE}  This former name for  Gaelic  used in the West Highlands often appears in crosswords so putting in the answer was easy.   Working out the wordplay took somewhat longer.   French ‘art’ isn’t a painting by Monet but a hint that we need to translate the  English word art, an archaic way of saying is in the second person singular into French: so [tu] es.  ‘Overlaps’ indicates that we should alternate the E and S with the two letters by which we all referred to our school Religious Education lessons. 

31a         Tracing  precise legal ownership (9)
{COPYRIGHT}  A way of ensuring legal ownership of something –   follow a replica of something made using tracing paper with an adjective meaning  precise, true or accurate.


2d           Have enough semen to go down the tubes (3, 2, 4)
{RUN TO SEED}   A two word expression meaning to have enough for,  followed by the literary or poetic term for semen,  produces another expression meaning to go to waste.

3d           Turn back abruptly (4)
{SPIN}    To get a verb  meaning turn round and round, abruptly indicates that you should remove the last letter from a word meaning  back (of a book or a vertebrate).

4d           Pamper wee runts (3,5)
{WET NURSE}   An anagram (pamper) of WEE RUNTS makes someone who pampers the very young.

5d           Silly American support engineer making scarves (7)
{REBOZOS}  I didn’t know the name of the long scarves worn over the head by women in Latin American  countries, but the wordplay is very clear:  the abbreviation for Royal Engineer plus the American slang for idiots.

7d           With fervour deal with farmer’s responsibility (10)
{WHEATFIELD}  W plus a synonym for fervour or ardour (4) and a verb meaning deal with, for example, difficult questions.   This area would be the responsibility of a  farmer of arable crops.

8d           Reportedly lift trophy (5)
{PRIZE}  A homophone clue –  a word meaning lift sounds like an award of which a trophy is an example. 

9d           College athletes, not British, found in 1a (5)
{CLUES}  The abbreviation for College followed by the term for someone who has represented Oxford, Cambridge  or Harrow at sport,  with the initial letter (not British) removed.    The solution is found in a 1a.

15d         Rests uneasily after sons went in fast cars (10)
{SPEEDSTERS}   Types of cars that go fast –  S (sons) plus a synonym for urinated followed by an anagram (uneasily) of RESTS.

18d         Evangelical building without a steeple? (3,6)
{LOW CHURCH}  A particular group of the Church of England holding evangelical views of theology might also describe the height of a religious building without a steeple.

19d         When I appear astride a stool perhaps (8)
{SATURDAY}   This clue links to today’s celebration.   Insert  A (from the clue) and a lump of dung  into a verb meaning speak or utter.

21d         Old Zulu’s standing to welcome singer in lively movement (7)
{SCHERZO}   To get a musical term for a lively movement:   Standing indicates that you should reverse the initial letters of Old and Zulu and the S from the ‘S and then insert crosswordland’s favourite female singer.  

22d         Walk in Lake District area leaving camp behind  (5)
{AMBLE}  To walk at an easy pace.   Remove a camp, party or team, from a town at the head of Lake WIndermere.

24d         Raise central level around elevated floor (5)  
{EVOKE}  Raise or call up, especially memories –  Insert into the central letters of LEVEL a reversal (elevated) of the two letter abbreviation for a Knock Out (floor here meaning to knock to the floor).

27d         One thousand good warriors (4)
{IMPI}   Zulu Warriors are obtained from a charade of  I (one) followed by the Roman numeral for a thousand and a two letter term meaning sanctimonious or  excessively good.

Did you miss the Nina like I did?   Have a look down the one side of the puzzle and you should see {CENTURY}.    The clues linked to the celebratory theme were {12a NOT 26a THE 19d SATURDAY 8d PRIZE  and 13a PUZZLE; together with 1a CROSSWORD and 8d CLUES}

Very many thanks to Prolixic and his fellow  setters for this special puzzle.    Let’s hope the next one hundred NTSPPs are just as entertaining.   Thanks also to BD for starting off the Guest Puzzle slot, what would we do on Saturday afternoons without them?

18 comments on “NTSPP – 100 (Review)

  1. Er, Sue, why do you have the anagram fodder for 10a as TINSEL? It is an anagram of SILENT but . . .

    Excellent review of an excellent puzzle. Never heard of that meaning of 13a.

    Thanks to CS for the review and to Prolixic for the entertaiment – don’t think I’ve ever come across 19d clued quite that way – it appealed to my schoolboy sense of humour!

    1. Because when I started to draft the review of this puzzle some time ago that clue read ‘Tie up tinsel loosely’ and although I thought I had checked everything thoroughly, that one slipped through the net. If you knew how many times this had been checked….

      1. I know the feeling well! During my time in marketing I must have produced more than a hundred of bits of sales literature but if you proof read it yourself you see what you think you wrote, not what’s actually on the paper! I used to get colleagues to proof read for me and vice versa. You still get typos sneaking through though!

        1. And I remember my time in sales being the recipient of marketing materials with said striping terrors. We also used to refer to marketing as the sales prevention department…

  2. Excellent stuff! More of a lurker on here, but moved to comment on not only the excellent crossword (fave clues, 17a and 2d, naturally!) but also on the milestone! Proud to have played my own very small part in the early history of the NTSPP, and looking forward to the next 100!

    Respect and thanks to Dave though for providing an outlet for the amateur (and occasional professional!) setter.

    1. There are, of course, other outlets like Alberich but not many that allow feedback.

      I look forward, as do many others, to your own contributions in the second hundred.

  3. For the sake of fairness I should point out that my contribution to this excellent puzzle was exceedingly minor in nature and that all plaudits should be directed to Prolixic. Thanks too to CS for the review.

  4. I would echo Gazza’s comments.
    Many thanks too to Big Dave for all his work getting these puzzles ready for publication in each of the last 100 weeks.

  5. Congratulations to BD on reaching the hundred. A nice puzzle. 5 down was new to me and I was held up for a time after entering EMIT at 14 across

  6. Evening all!

    Thank you to CrypticSue for the review. I am relieved that she did not attempt to illustrate 2d! Thanks also to Gazza and Radler who, despite their denials, did much to improve the first draft of the crossword.

    However, on the 100th NTSPP, the real thanks must go to Big Dave for the hard work he puts in editing and improving the crosswords and for giving us rookie setters a place to cut our teeth alongside some of the luminaries of crossword world. It has been fantastic to see many new regulars in the past few months. I know that Alberich publishes crosswords on his site and that the DIY Clue site is featuring more new crosswords but I think that the NTSPP series is unique in giving regular slots, reviews and feedback for new setters.

    Here’s to the next 100 crosswords.

  7. Thanks to Prolixic and to Crypticsue for the review & hints. On the first read through I only got 3 answers, so I went for the hints & ended up getting a further 15 answers. Found it too difficult to really enjoy, but the clues were well constructed & clever.

  8. Thanks to all involved in this 100th edition of the NTSPP. It was a challenge but also very entertaining and I would never have completed it without the hints of CS. Thank you very strong!

  9. Bit late to the party here, but just thought I say how much I enjoyed this crossword. Congratulations BD on the milestone, thanks to Prolixic & pals for the puzzle, and CrypticSue for the excellent review. Here’s to another ton! :-)

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