NTSPP – 102 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 102 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 102

An Alphabetical Jigsaw by Hieroglyph

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Welcome back to Heiroglyph with a different kind of crossword. I have to admit that alphabetical jigsaws are not my cup of tea but I did enjoy this one. The clues were all relatively gentle and fitting them into the grid was not at all difficult.

For those new of alphabetical jigsaws, each clue has to be solved without putting it into the grid. The answer always begins with the letter indicated. When you have sufficient answers worked out, you can begin to fit them jigsaw-like into the grid.

For this puzzle, I worked through the letters jotting down the answers. After a couple of passes, I was confident that I had solutions to all clues except those for H, F S and T with a couple of them being “provisional” where I wanted checking letters to confirm my answer.

Looking at the clues, those for E, J, K and P each had two solutions. Some of these must therefore go where there is an across and a down clue with the same number. Looking at the grid and the enumerations for the clues, it was clear that the clues for J and K must be at the intersections, but without more, it was not possible to determine which went where. The E and P clues were red-herrings for intersections.

I therefore looked at the two 10 letter answers. Not having the one beginning with F was a slight handicap but looking at the answer for B, it was clear where this must go by checking it with the two five letter answers that intersected. Getting B in the grid then enabled me quickly to fill the top half of the grid with the exception of the S and T clues. However, the cross-checking letters quickly enabled those to fall into place. With the top of the grid filled, I could then fill in the two K solutions in the bottom of the grid and complete the bottom leaving the F and H clues to complete. These were the two trickiest for me to solve. Again, having the cross-checking letters helped to crack the wordplay on the F clue and a flash of inspiration helped with a possible answer to the H clue. Both were verified in Chambers.

The hints are set out normally below. The second set of brackets shows were in the grid the answer appears.

A A throwback is hard to get rid of (7)
{ABOLISH} {20d} – A word meaning to get rid of comes from the A in the clue, a word meaning throw reversed (throwback), the IS in the clue and the abbreviation for hard.

B Poet read a blue composition involving setter (10)
{BAUDELAIRE} {9a} – The name of a French poet comes from an anagram (composition) of READ A BLUE with the letter I (setter) inserted.

C Struggle’s over when learner has absconded (7)
{COMPETE} {6d} – A word for struggle comes from a word meaning over with the L (learner) removed.

D Fed up, overdue and let down? (7)
{DEFLATE} {18d} – A word meaning let down comes from reversing FED in the clue and following it with a word meaning overdue.

E Former lover I judge and find innocent (9)
{EXONERATE} {14d} – A word meaning to find innocent comes from a two letter word for a former lover, the word for I (as in the number) and a word meaning judge.

E Hole in landlord’s admission, it’s said (6)
{EYELET} {16a} – A type of hole is a homophone (it’s said) of how a landlord might describe what he does.

F Embroideries of sagging t-tapestry? (10)
{FAGGOTINGS} {22a} – A word for embroideries comes from an anagram (tapestry) of OF SAGGING T. Nice misdirection with the t-tapestry suggesting a double letter repetition in the answer.

G Grand to be idle at the finish? (5)
{GLAZE} {24d} –A word for a type of finish applied, for example, to pottery comes from the abbreviation for grand followed by a word meaning to be idle.

H Elizabeth’s game? (6)
{HURLEY} {28a} – A game similar to hockey and more usually referred to as hurling is the same as the surname of the actress Elizabeth.

I Here in Paris, the queen is colder (5)
{ICIER} {23d} – A word meaning colder comes from the French word (inParis) for here followed by the abbreviation used to indicate the Queen.

J Joe’s odds-on to cause pain when telling jokes (7)
{JESTING} {5d} – A word meaning telling jokes comes from the odd letters in JOE followed by a word meaning to cause pain.

J Fun when harassed stoic is overcome by happiness (8)
{JOCOSITY} {5a} – A word for fun comes from an anagram (harassed) of STOIC inside a word meaning happiness.

K Anoraks look back over Silver Surfer’s first appearance (7)
{KAGOOLS} {19d} – A word for anoraks (as in the item of clothing not nerds) comes from reversing the word LOOK and putting the chemical symbol for silver inside and then following this with the first letter of surfer.

K King – pulp author’s introduction to Misery is capital (8)
{KHARTOUM} {19a} – The capital ofSudan comes from the abbreviation for king followed by an anagram (pulp) of AUTHOR and then the first letter (introduction to) Misery.

L Advance in playground activity? (8)
{LEAPFROG} {13a} – A double definition for a word meaning advance and a game played in the playground involving jumping over people’s backs.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

M Satellite republic’s alternative glass (6)
{MIRROR} {10a} – A word for a glass comes from the name of an artificial satellite (the Russian space station) followed by the abbreviation for Republic and then a word indicating an alternative.

N American cupcakes, etc., Susan baked (8)
{NUTCASES} {9a} – A word for a mad or eccentric person (in America sometimes referred to a cupcake) comes from an anagram (baked) of ETC SUSAN.

O Unexpected first? (8)
{ORIGINAL} {26a} – A double definition of a word that may indicate something unexpected (as in novel) or the first of something.

P Temple deep in worship a god appears (6)
{PAGODA} {25a} – A word for a temple is hidden inside (deep in) WORSHIP A GOD APPEARS.

P A proud mop styled into a hairdo (9)
{POMPADOUR} {15d} – A type of hairdo comes from an anagram (styled) of A PROUD MOP.

Q Flight case in motion (6)
{QUIVER} {1a} – A double definition describes something in motion and a case in an arrow (flight) may be stored.

R Lower thief may be heard in the bushes (7)
{RUSTLER} {4d} – A cattle (lower) thief may describe the sound of something moving in the undergrowth.

S Most keen adversity, oddly ignored by Katharina? (9)
{SHREWDEST} {7d} – A word meaning most keen comes from a word describing Kate in a play by William Shakespeare followed by the even letters (oddly ignored) in ADVERSITY.

T Union outfit initially trashed by confessor (9)
{TROUSSEAU} {8d} – An outfit for a wedding (union) comes from the first letter of Trashed followed by the name of an author noted for his autobiographical work Confessions.

U Source of guttural sounds, following strangely unchivalrous omission of Cornish pasty (5)
{UVULA} {2d} – That part of the throat responsible for guttural sounds comes from an anagram (strangely) of UNCHIVALROUS after removing the letters in CORNISH (pasty presumably being a novel anagram indicator in show that the letter are not removed in order).

V Gripped by divorce settlement, lacking alternative (5)
{VICED} {3d} – A word for gripped comes from an anagram (settlement) of DIVORCE after removing the word indicating an alternative.

W Paint with charcoal? (4)
{WASH} {12a} – A word for a kind of paint comes from the abbreviation for with followed by a word loosely describing charcoal.

X High fliers failing exam (4)
{XEMA} {21a} – These high flyers, related to the gull, come from an anagram (failing) of EXAM.

Y Those longing for variable bread-makers (8)
{YEARNERS} {27a} – A word for those who long comes from a one letter word used for unknown variable followed by a word for those who make money (bread makers).

Z Animals by the sea moved quickly (6)
{ZOOMED} {17a} – A word for moved quickly comes from a word for the place where animals are kept in captivity followed by a word for the sea.

9 comments on “NTSPP – 102 (Review)

  1. Hi Prolixic and thanks for an excellent and comprehensive review.

    Have to confess that pommette did more of this than me as my brain wasn’t in gear for some reason but it was good fun all the same. The F word gave us some problems as well!

    Never heard of the gull before but that’s one to be remembered – you never know when some setter wants to create a pangram!

  2. Never done one of these before – finally finished without needing hints – what fun – feeling very triumphant AND my brain hurts. Almost gave up quite quickly but got going. It’s the same as one of the puzzles that happens around a bank holiday when we get a massive pull-out of puzzles – think it might be called “letter logic” or something similar – the difference is that THEY supply the words to be fitted in and here we have to work them out for ourselves – far more challenging and fun. With thanks for the initiation to Hieroglyph and to Prolixic for the hints – not needed this time but who knows about next time – how often do these puzzles happen?

    1. In all the time I have been test solving, I have only seen three or four. The Guardian setter Aracauria is quite famous for them so they can be found fairly regularly in that paper and online.

      1. Thanks to both for answers – let’s have another one soon please – they’re fun, challenging and something a bit different. Loved it!

      1. I seem to remember pommette saying she was not up to it (I can’t do that sort of stupid mind-game!) but then, when it started to unravel, got really keen! We did it sat at a table in the street outside the local one evening while having a pre-prandial.

  3. Completed this using the conventional grid & found it very difficult. I doff my cap to all those who used the ABC style – beyond me I’m afraid. Thanks to Heiroglyph & to Prolxic for making a very cold & windy afternoon pass by pleasantly.

    1. I reckon that it’s probably easier solving the clues in the “ABC style” because you know the initial letter of each answer before you start.

  4. Thanks to Big Dave for posting, Prolixic for the excellent review and for all your comments. It was my first attempt at an alphabetical puzzle, so glad it passed muster. Hope to be back before long :-)

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