NTSPP – 101 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 101 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 101

A Puzzle by Gazza

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A welcome back to Gazza with an enjoyable crossword with lots to amuse and entertain.  It was maybe not a cheeky as some of his earlier ones and had more than its fair share of abbreviations and remove the final letter of a word clues.  However, this did not detract from the fun of solving it and there were lots of penny drop moments.  My favourite clues are highlighted in blue.


1a Returning Amnesty International head is held in foreign country (7)
{TUNISIA} – The name of a foreign country in Africa comes from the abbreviation for Amnesty International followed by a three letter word meaning head, all reversed (returning) which then has the IS from the clue inserted (held in).

5a Frivolous production’s almost sold out (7)
{PLAYFUL} – A word meaning frivolous comes from a type of stage production followed by a word meaning sold out with the final letter removed (almost).

9a Regularly scoffs in a European city (5)
{SOFIA} – This European city (the capital of Bulgaria) comes from the odd numbered letters (regularly) in SCOFFS IN A.

10a Not a bit worried about artist’s transport (4,5)
{BOAT TRAIN} – A form of transport to take people from the station to the docks comes from an anagram (worried) of NOT A BIT around the abbreviation for an artist who is a member of the Royal Academy.

11a Assessor’s shocking treatment during home game cut short (9)
{INSPECTOR} – Take a word meaning home and a general word for game (as in what game do you play) with the final letter removed (cut short).  Put an abbreviation for a form of treatment that involves electric shocks inside to give you a word meaning an assessor.

12a Church adopts religious education department’s mission statement (5)
{CREED} – A word for a mission statement comes from putting the abbreviation for religious education inside the abbreviation for the Church of England and following this with the abbreviation for department.

13a After endless deceit the German was ready for the Dutch (7)
{GUILDER} – The currency (ready) of the Dutch (pre-Euro) comes from a word meaning deceit with the final letter removed (endless) followed by the German definite article.

15a Blouse got ripped taking part in personal promotion (3-4)
{EGO-TRIP} – A phrase for personal promotion is hidden inside (taking part in) BLOUSE GOT RIPPED.  I am not sure the wordplay quite works here as it should be definition takes part in wordplay, not wordplay taking part in definition as the wordplay is not taking any part in the definition.

17a Bishop intervenes in takeover by one old airline of another, much to Pat’s surprise (7)
{BEGORRA} – An exclamation of surprise for an Irish person (Pat) comes from the abbreviation of an old airline company inside which is put the name of a current bargain basement airline company and the abbreviation for a bishop.

19a Most of these stick around, primarily as believers (7)
{THEISTS} – A word for believers comes from taking most of the word THESE (ie drop the final letter) and putting this around an abbreviated way of writing “first” (primarily).

21a Dandy, possibly one cracking up on stage (5)
{COMIC} – Dandy is an example of this type of magazine.  It also describes someone up on stage telling jokes (cracking).

23a Reluctant to comply with order for cheese (6-3)
{CAMERA SHY} – When the photographer asks them to say cheese, a person who is this will be reluctant to comply.

25a Contamination of salt is due to fatigue (9)
{LASSITUDE} – A word meaning fatigue comes from an anagram (contamination of) SALT IS DUE.

26a Foreign teacher banks on asylum in Westminster area (5)
{SWAMI} – This foreign teacher comes from putting the outer letters of the word ASYLUM (banks on) inside the postcode of the Westminster area.  I think that you would normally have to say that the outside letters are found in the banks of the word – banks on is more usually used to mean rely on something, not either side of something.

27a Parts of speech prompting cheering and heckling? (7)
{GERUNDS} – Prompting, cheering and heckling are all examples of this part of speech.

28a Exaggerate length of bird’s limo (7)
{STRETCH} – Triple definition time.  The same word describes a word meaning exaggerate, the length of a prison sentence (bird) and a type of limo.


1d Drunk falls over Carol, throwing up (7)
{TOSSING} – A word meaning throwing up (as you might do with a ball) comes from reversing (falls over) a word for a drunk and a word meaning carol (as in perform a piece of music).

2d Ruling out catchphrase? (2,7)
{NO FISHING} – Sneaky Gazza.  To understand this clue you need to split the word catchphrase.  You are therefore looking for a phrase that rules out a catch – as may be found on the banks of a river or the side of a lake.

3d/14d Exit, say, heading down below platform (5,9)
{STAGE DIRECTION} – Exit is an example this instruction that might be found in a script.  The phase comes from a word meaning platform followed by a word meaning heading.

4d He’s right to judge rarebit badly cooked (7)
{ARBITER} – An anagram (badly cooked) of RAREBIT gives the title of someone who has the right to judge.

5d Couple welcome end of affair, that’s plain (7)
{PRAIRIE} – A word for a plain comes from putting the final letter of AFFAIR inside a word meaning couple and following this with the abbreviation for that is (that’s).

6d Old are well up after I provide vegetable (9)
{ARTICHOKE} – This vegetable comes from the old English way of saying ARE followed by an I and a word meaning well up.

7d/16d Unmoved by sweetheart, with a firewall in place? (5,9)
{FLAME RESISTANT} – An expression that possible means having a firewall in place comes from a word for your sweetheart following by a word meaning unmoved.

8d Arranged policy with Irish group (5,2)
{LINED UP} – A phrase meaning arranged comes from a word for policy followed by the abbreviation for one of the Irish political groups.

14d See 3

16d See 7

17d Second record’s a heap of work to get through (7)
{BACKLOG} – A word describing a heap of work to get through comes from a word meaning second (or support) followed by a word for a record.

18d Fresh rescue finally ruled out after bill mounts up (7)
{ACCRUES} – A word meaning mounts up comes from putting an anagram (fresh) of the first five letters of RESCUE (finally ruled out) after an abbreviation for a bill or account.

19d Declines to accommodate married doctors (7)
{TAMPERS} – A word meaning doctors comes from a word meaning declines  with an abbreviation for married inside.  Not my favourite clue.  For taper to mean decline it is usually followed by off.  Also to doctor something is to tamper with something.

20d Very eminent broadcaster’s drunk (3-4)
{SKY-HIGH} – A word meaning very eminent comes from the name of a satellite broadcaster followed by a word meaning drunk.

22d He’s near but short of total despair (5)
{MISER} – A person who is near (or stingy) comes from a word meaning despair with final letter removed (short of total).

24d Portion of rare sirloin served up in section of flight (5)
{RISER} – A section of a flight of stairs is hidden and reversed inside RARE SIRLOIN.

4 comments on “NTSPP – 101 (Review)

  1. You always know you are in for fun with a Gazza puzzle and although as Prolixic says this wasn’t quite as cheeky as some of his puzzles, it certainly made me smile. Thanks to him for the fun and Prolixic for the review.

  2. I’ve never done a NTSPP puzzle before but it’s too cold to do anything in the garden and I just thought “I’ve got time so why not?” I loved it!! Came to grief a bit in the bottom right hand corner and ended up needing the hints for 23 and 26a and 19 and 20d. Thought that lots of the clues were brilliant, especially 15, 17 and 27a and 1 and 2d. Thanks to Gazza for a great crossword and to Prolixic for getting me out of trouble with the ones that I couldn’t do!

  3. A splendid puzzle from Gazza once again!

    I did have a rather strange experience while solving it though. I kept thinking ‘I’ve seen that clue’ before, especially 17a, 23a and 2d. Just as I was filling in the last one the penny finally dropped – I have seen ALL the clues before as I was one of Gazza’s test solvers back in early November of last year! D’oh!

    Anyway, thanks (for the second time) for a geat puzzle and also to Prolixic for the entertaining review – at least I haven’t seen that before!

  4. Many thanks to Prolixic for the review and to all those who commented on this and the other post.

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