NTSPP – 109 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 109

A Puzzle by Alchemi

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Debt Crisis

Alchemi returns with a crossword that has, as a theme, the current Greek debt crisis.  I was enjoyable to solve though again a little high on the anagram count (Gazza will need to take his shoes and socks off)!  My favourite clue was the topical and well constructed themed clue in 15a.


 1 Hasten new seat of government for Greece (6)
{ATHENS} – The capital city ofGreece, where their government sits comes from an anagram (new) of HASTEN.

4 Don’t drum around this city in 11 (8)
{DORTMUND} – This city is an anagram (around) of DON’T DRUM.

9 Tessa’s extraordinary items on balance sheet (6)
{ASSETS} – These items on a company’s balance sheet come from an anagram (extraordinary) of TESSAS.

10 Waste a little time on very rare event (4,4)
{BLUE MOON} – A colourful description of a very rare event comes from a word meaning waste or squander (as in he **** the lot (not spelled blew!!)), followed by two letter word meaning a little time and the ON from the clue.

12 Ram crosses by way of places where birds live (8)
{AVIARIES} – This place where bird are kept in captivity comes from the formal name for the astrological sign represented by the ram around the word meaning by way of.

13 Maestro, say, interleaved with his furniture (6)
{CHAIRS} – These items of furniture come from a three letter word for a vehicle of which a Maestro is an example interleaved with the letters of HIS.

15 She would give all Greek men a beating (6,6)
{ANGELA MERKEL} – This lady, the president of 11d, comes from an anagram (beating) of ALL GREEK MEN A.

18 News of the World, say, as the candles went out (7,5)
{SCANDAL SHEET} – A derogatory term for papers such as the former News of the World comes from an anagram (went out) of AS THE CANDELS.

21 Get new equipment back: stolen by this fellow? (6)
{LOOTER} – A word meaning get new equipment (2-4) when reversed (back) gives a word describing someone who steals things.

22 Regret, in hindsight, giving little weight to individual in financial regime (8)
{EUROZONE} – This financial regime (which is heavily involved in the Greek debt crisis) comes from reversing (in hindsight) a three letter word meaning regret and then adding the abbreviation for ounce (a little weight) and a three letter word for an individual.

24 Liechtenstein’s capital evacuated, filled with curare manufactured in Mexican city (8)
{VERACRUZ} – This Mexican city comes from putting an anagram (manufactured) of CURARE in the outer letters of the capital of Lichtenstein (Vaduz).

25 Looking angry – because a lager was spilled? (6)
{AGLARE} – A word meaning looking angry comes from an anagram (spilled) of A LAGER.

26 Souvenir in which to preserve Japanese booze (8)
{KEEPSAKE} – A word for a souvenir if split 4, 4 might also mean preserve Japanese booze.

27 Breathing difficulty? Ask the man (but not Ken)! (6)
{ASTHMA} – This breathing difficulty comes from the phrase in the clue ASK THE MAN from which the letters of KEN have been removed.


1 …. gum! A fish eats up another cannibalistically (4- 4)
{AGAR-AGAR} – This type of gum comes from putting a fish reversed (up) inside the name of a fish.

2 Belgian’s dim sidekick on battleground (8)
{HASTINGS} – This battleground shares a name with the sidekick to Hercule Poirot.

3 Academic field has unchanged notes on ugly Channel Island scene (7,8)
{NATUAL SCIENCE} – This academic field comes from a word used in music for notes that are unchanged (not sharp or flat) followed by an anagram (ugly) of CI (Channel Island) SCENE.

5 Hector and Lysander linked by airport (4)
{ORLY} – This airport outside Paris is hidden inside the words HECTOR LYSANDER.

6 There’s these to go, failing to be funnymen (3,5.7)
{THE THREE STOOGES} – This funny men come from an anagram (failing) of THERE’S THESE TO GO.

7 Hunt for primal, even perfect, world (6)
{UTOPIA} – A word describing a perfect world comes from the even letters of HUNT FOR PRIMAL.

8 Platter containing a northern pastry (6)
{DANISH} – This type of pastry comes from putting an A and the abbreviation for Northern inside a word meaning platter.

11 Led by 15 and central to the 22, but out of my range (7)
{GERMANY} – An anagram (out) of MY RANGE gives the name of the country at the centre of this crosswords, theme.

14 Baker irritated, out of bed, to end his relationship (5,2)
{BREAK UP} – A phrase meaning to end his relationship (or her) comes from an anagram (irritated) of BAKER followed by a word meaning out of bed.

16 Memorial to Horace not a phoney, internal examination reveals (8)
{CENOTAPH} – A word for a war memorial is hidden inside (internal examination reveals) HORACE NOT A PHONEY.

17 Sale then free-for-all where Napoleon once lived (2,6)
{ST HELENA} – The place where Napoleon once lived comes from an anagram (free-for-all) of SALE THEN.

19 Maybe Bratislavan drunk crosses line and takes a sip of vodka (6)
{SLOVAK} – A word describing someone who is a Bratislavian comes from a word meaning a drunk inside which is placed the abbreviation for line and the first letter (a sip of) vodka.

20 Oh! You are reportedly in the grip of mad cow disease from Parisian market (6)
{BOURSE} – The name of the Paris Stock Exchange comes from the abbreviation for mad cow disease inside which are placed the letters sounded out (reportedly) by OH YOU ARE.

23 Polish premier piece of ivory (4)
{TUSK} – The surname of the Polish premier is also the name for a piece of ivory on an elephant.


  1. Kath
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this very much – not too difficult, although I thought that it was going to be when I first started it. Lots of anagrams which I like. I needed the hint to understand my answer for 19d – completely missed the word for a drunk – stupid! I’ve never heard of 6d. 13a – was thinking of the wrong kind of “Maestro”. 18a – I tried to fit “gutter” into it somewhere but it didn’t work. I didn’t know the name of the French Stock Exchange and got the middle bit but tried to make the rest an anagram of (mad) “cow”. With thanks to Alchemi and Prolixic.

  2. Kath
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    PS – I’ve never been the first to comment on anything before!! :grin:

  3. Bufo
    Posted March 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle, not too taxing. I’d never heard of the Polish premier but that was my only question mark

  4. ISLA3
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I reached the answer for 10 ac differently: “VERY RARE” = BLUE as in how you cook a steak, and just about convinced myself mooning around was wasting time.

    Obviously not possible, it would require very rare to be doing double-duty as wordplay and definition. But equally I’m worried about there being no homophone indicator.

    • Prolixic
      Posted March 11, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog ISLA3.

      A homophones indicator is not required. Chambers gives BLUE as a verb meaning to squander. Waste in the clue therefore is blue.

  5. Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Most enjoyable and different from the norm. thanks to Alchemi & to Prolixic

  6. Posted March 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Anagrams not my favourite clues but somehow this worked well despite having so many, so 4* enjoyment from me.

    15a must be favourite but lots of other good stuff here :grin:

    Thanks to Alchemi and Prolixic.

    • Kath
      Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      So you and pomette are back from your holiday? Hope that you both had a good time. I really enjoyed this crossword – I think that my favourite clues would have to include 10 and 13a and 2d.

  7. Posted March 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of 15a – how the hell does someone (Alchemi in this case) spot such an apposite anagram? Genius?