NTSPP – 108 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 108 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 108

A Puzzle by Bufo

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Welcome back to Bufo after a long absence with a silky smooth, straightforward and satisfying crossword.  It was not especially difficult but was marked out for me by the clean cluing and polished surface readings.


1a Looking after military position (11,4)
{OBSERVATION POST} – A type of military position comes from two words, the first meaning looking and the second meaning after.

9a What causes locks to become stiff? (4,3)
{HAIR GEL} – A mild cryptic reference to a product such as Brylcreem.

10a Where the Hoosiers can be found working on a Paul Anka number (7)
{INDIANA} – The residents of this State inAmerica are called Hoosiers.  The name of the state can be found by taking another word for working on followed by the title of one of Paul Anka’s hit records.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

11a Statecapital not on a river (5)
{TRENT} – The name of this river comes from the name of the State Capital of New Jersey from which the final ON is removed “not on”.

12a Pensioners smothered in brownish-grey form of talc (9)
{SOAPSTONE} – This form of talc, a mineral, comes from the abbreviation for old age pensioners inside a word that describes the colour brownish-grey.

13a Lost all hope of French head of state having made an agreement to abstain (9)
{DESPAIRED} – A word meaning lost all hope comes from the French word for OF, the first letter (head of) STATE and a word that describes someone in Parliament who has made an arrangement with another MP in an opposing party that they will both abstain from voting.

16a Tasty selection from Tsushimaor Yatsushiro? (5)
{SUSHI} – This tasty fish dish or selection is hidden inside (from) both TSUSHIMA and YATSUSHIRO.

18a Large architectural feature made of wood (5)
{LARCH} – This type of wood comes from the abbreviation for large followed by an architectural feature.

21a “Teletubby with pension irregularity” reveals writer showing malice (6,3)
{POISON PEN} – The name of one of the Teletubbies (Bufo watches them on a daily basis) followed by an anagram (irregularity) of PENSION gives a generic term for someone who writes malicious letters.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

24a Recalled no law restricting Kathleen’s charity event (9)
{WALKATHON} – This charity event comes from putting (restricting) one of the diminutive forms of KATHLEEN inside the words NO LAW after they have been reversed (recalled).

26a What bullfighting fans do in a Yorkshire town (5)
{GOOLE} – The name of aYorkshire town split 2, 3 may describe what bullfighting fans do when cheering.

27a Well-known entertaining centre-half scored (7)
{NOTCHED} – A word meaning scored (as in cut) comes from putting the abbreviation for centre-half inside a word meaning well-known or famous.

28a Capital city where silly season is around the beginning of July (3,4)
{SAN JOSE} – The capital city of Costa Rica comes from a anagram (silly) of SEASON put around the first letter (beginning of) JULY.

30a Splendid managers such as provide no resistance (15)
{SUPERCONDUCTORS} – The name given to substances that conduct electricity without any resistance, if split 5 10 could also describe splendid managers.


1d Rings husband. That’s nice! (3)
{OOH} – A word meaning that’s nice comes from two Os (rings) followed by the abbreviation for husband.

2d See stars and end up with black eyes (7)
{SHINERS} – A descriptive word for black eyes could also describe stars in the sky.

3d Former England cricket captain takes part in very brief sporting event (7)
{REGATTA} – A sporting event held say, at Henley, comes from putting the nickname of a former England cricket captain (Mike Gatting) inside (takes part in) a word meaning very with the final letter removed.

4d Portslade turns out to be somewhere that inspired a poet (9)
{ADLESTROP} – An anagram (turns out) of PORTSLADE give the name of a sleepy Gloucestershire village that inspired the poet Edward Thomas to write some lines when he passed through on the train.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d Current Internet domain name for companies on a holiday island (5)
{IBIZA} – The name of a holiday island comes from the abbreviation for current (as in electricity), the three letter prefix that some companies use in their internet name followed by an A.

6d Crazy about pretty girls, he’s going for those with no clothes on (7)
{NUDISTS} – A word for those with no clothes on comes from a word meaning crazy put around a derogatory term for pretty girls (implying that they can be devoured) from which the HE has been removed.

7d They speak of men eaten by animals (7)
{ORATORS} – A name give to speakers comes from the short version of OF as in six o’ clock means six of the clock followed by some animals of a rodent variety around an abbreviation for men (other ranks).

8d Actress in great need is suffering (11)
{TRAGEDIENNE} – The description of a type of actress noted for dramatic suffering roles comes from an anagram (is suffering) of IN GREAT NEED.

11d Game in which king plays a part in tight victories (11)
{TIDDLYWINKS} – This game played with squidgers and a pot comes from a word meaning tight (as in drunk) followed by a word for victories inside which is put the abbreviation for king.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

14d Announcement of the best film (3)
{PIC} – A homophone of the word best gives an diminutive form of another word for a film.

15d Purified water is indeed nothing new (9)
{DEIONISED} – A word describing purified water comes from an anagram (new) if IS INDEED O (nothing).

17d Sub shelled by Royal Navy vessel (3)
{URN} – A word for a vessel or vase comes from the inner letter of SUB (shelled) followed by the abbreviation for Royal Navy.

19d Like a desk where Internet user, with head lowered, gets on top of work (7)
{ROLLTOP} – The name of a type of desk comes from the description of someone who leaves inane, inflammatory or irrelevant comments on blogs (no not setters) with the intention of derailing them with the first letter moved from top to bottom (head lowered) followed by an abbreviation for work.

20d How might you get this girl warmed up? (7)
{HEATHER} – A girl’s name split 4, 3 describes how you would warm her up.

22d Like some food that’s rotted in cargo (7)
{ORGANIC} – A description of some food grown without the use of chemical products comes from an anagram (rotted) of IN CARGO.

23d In favour of rock star working for nothing? (3,4)
{PRO BONO} – A phrase meaning working for nothing comes from a word meaning in favour of followed by the name of the rock star who heads up U2.

25d Electricity generated using a mixture of dry hydrogen and oxygen (5)
{HYDRO} – A form of electricity (from how it is generated) comes from an anagram (mixture) of DRY and the chemical symbols for  hydrogen and oxygen.

29d Golfer getting legless every now and then (3)
{ELS} – The golfer who usually appears in the wordplay for clues makes an appearance as the answer.  It comes from the even letters (every now and then) of LEGLESS.

10 comments on “NTSPP – 108 (Review)

  1. It was a fun crossword, must admit the Tellytubby reference passed me by!
    The reference to Portslade made me laugh, a less likely place to inspire poetry is hard to imagine.

    Thanks for the review.

  2. Superb illustrations for a great review of an perfect Saturday crossword. Your introduction sums the whole thing up perfectly. I also like the image of our Bufo watching the Teletubbies before popping out for his crossword-solving-assisting pint or two :D

  3. Loved it, especially 6d – brilliant and made me laugh – also 1d. I came to grief and needed the hints for 11a – got the river but couldn’t see why – 24a – never heard of it even though the middle bit is my name – 26a – just couldn’t do it – and 30a. Also 15d – could see it was an anagram but just couldn’t do it. I’m not sure that I understand 3d although I got the answer and knew the cricketer. With thanks to Bufo for a great crossword and to Prolixic for helping me to fill in the gaps.

    1. 3d – I don’t fully understand it either. I understand – Gatt – “he who eats all the pies” + the definition……….

      …….but what is the word meaning “very” with the final letter removed?

      Thanks to Bufo for the puzzle & Prolixic fot the review! (Nice to see the “Big Easy” again – he’s been missing for quite a while.)

      1. 3d REA(L) – (mainly ungrammatical American usage, e.g. “he was real slow”).

  4. Entertaining puzzle with some clever clues. Favourite was 26. Needed help with the explantions for 13, 3 and 7, even though I’d got the answers. Many thanks to setter and reviewer.

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