NTSPP – 110 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 110 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 110

A Puzzle by Isla

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Although it is over a year since Isla produced his debut puzzle, it was well worth the wait to solve this gem.  Some very nice surface readings and a good variety of wordplay devices made this a satisfying crossword to solve.


1 Hello sailor! With saucy opening, seizes ship (7)
{HIJACK} – A word meaning seizes ship comes from a phrase (2,4) that might be a greeting to a sailor with an S (saucy opening) added to the end.

5 Elaborate, no longer simple (7)
{EXPLAIN} – A word meaning elaborate (in the sense of provide further details) comes from the prefix for no longer and a word meaning simple.

9 Unsure, I fit certain component backwards, a diode perhaps? (9)
{RECTIFIER} – An electrical component is hidden and reversed inside UNSURE I FIT CERTAIN.

10 Carry around a good red pen (5)
{GULAG} – A red pen, in the sense of a communist prison, comes reversing (around) a word meaning carry, the A from the clue and the abbreviation for good.

11 Slyly break a trapeze – Aussie goes flying? (5,8)
{ZEBRA PARAKEET} – An Australian bird comes from an anagram (slyly) of BREAK A TRAPEZE.

13 Missiles shot inside temporary shelters (8)
{TRIDENT} – These missiles come from putting a word meaning shot inside a word for a temporary canvas shelter.

15 Output from sewer starts to stink terribly and it makes you scratch (6)
{STITCH} – What sewers produce with a needle and thread comes from the first letters (starts) of stink and terribly and a word for something that makes you scratch.

17 Heavy attack after end of shelling claims five (6)
{GRAVID} – A word meaning heavy or pregnant comes from putting a word meaning attack after the last letter of shelling and putting the Roman numeral for 5 inside (claims).

19 Ride in a Roller? Preposterous… (buys Ford) (8)
{BODYSURF} – An anagram (preposterous) of BUYS FORD gives a word meaning ride in a roller (of the kind seen breaking on the beach).

22 He gets benefit, pocketing entire global float (6,7)
{HELIUM BALLOON} – This round item that floats comes from the gas whose chemical symbol is He followed by a word for a benefit inside which (pocketing) is a word meaning entire.

25 No score for musicians (5)
{NONET} – A word for a group of musicians comes from the NO in the clue and word meaning score.

26 Used to be pretty without being absolutely gorgeous (9)
{EXQUISITE} – A word meaning gorgeous comes from the abbreviation for used to be followed by a word meaning pretty (as in almost or nearly) around (without) a word meaning being.

27 Most sophisticated American rejected a singlet (7)
{SUAVEST} – A word meaning most sophisticated comes from reversing a two letter abbreviation for American, the A in the clue and a word for a singlet.

28 Left embraced by even Vice President of Russia (7)
{YELTSIN} – This former president ofRussia comes from putting a word meaning even or still around the abbreviation for Left and following this with a word for vice.


1 Talk tediously of instrument (4)
{HARP} – A double definition for a musical instrument associated with Angels and the Welsh and to talk tediously.

2 Absorbed in music, one succumbs in the centre of hot tub (7)
{JACUZZI} – A word for a hot tub comes from a type of music and an I (one) inside which (absorbed in) you put the middle letter (in the centre) of succumbs.

3 Rise in chapter and branch (5)
{CLIMB} – A word for a rise comes from the abbreviation for chapter and a word meaning a branch.

4 Ignore workers to make clothing for moguls (3,5)
{SKI PANTS} – This type of clothing used on snowy slopes comes from word meaning ignore (4) and a word for workers (3) that is then split (3,4) for the answer.

5 Each river to increase muck in canal (6)
{EARWAX} – The type of muck in a canal that is traditionally removed using a paper clip or the top from a Biro comes from the abbreviations for each and river followed by a word meaning to increase.

6 Welcoming paradise at last, infidel shot in elaborate ceremony (9)
{PAGAENTRY} – A word an elaborate ceremony comes from putting the last letter of the word paradise inside a word for an infidel and following this with a word for a shot or go at something.

7 I ran amok with mental illness (7)
{AILMENT} – An anagram (ran amok) of I MENTAL gives a word for an illness.

8 Employees in the dark about close of plant, impending relocation (5,5)
{NIGHT SHIFT} – A phrase for employees who work after the sun had set comes from a word meaning about followed by the last letter (close) of plant and a word for an impending relocation.

12 Coach gives support to players (5,5)
{STAGE HANDS} – Those who support players in the theatre comes from a word meaning coach and a word meaning gives.

14 Polite behaviour and extraordinary quiet between back-to-back films (9)
{ETIQUITTE} – A word for polite behaviour comes from putting the most famous film in crossword land twice, the second time reversed and including an anagram (extraordinary) of QUIET inside.

16 Coolly demolished question included for formal discussion (8)
{COLLOQUY} – A word for a formal discussion comes from an anagram (demolished) of COOLY inside which you put an abbreviation for question.

18 Wanton harlot lay back regularly in US city (7)
{ATLANTA} – The name of a US city comes from the even numbered letters in WANTON HARLOT LAY when read backwards.

20 Takes out tack, for instance bread roll and escargots, though no starters (7)
{UNNAILS} – A word meaning takes out tack (or brads or clouts) comes from a word for a bread roll and an word for escargots in each case with out their initial letters (though no starters).

21 Wretched sailor caught in stream (6)
{ABJECT} – A word meaning wretched comes from one of the abbreviations for a sailor followed by a word for a stream of air inside which is the abbreviation for caught.

23 Oxford college that is replacing answer in exam (5)
{ORIEL} – ThisOxford college comes from the word for a verbal examination in which the A (answer) is replaced by the abbreviation for “that is”.

24 Pale swallowing drug, try to break habit (4)
{WEAN} – A word meaning try to break habit (as in cold turkey) comes from putting an E (drug) inside (swallowing) a word meaning pale.

I have highlighed my favourite clues in blue.  Drop by and let us have your comments.

6 comments on “NTSPP – 110 (Review)

  1. Just the job to get the brain working after an early Mothers’ Day celebration. An excellent pangram with 10a being favourite. Thanks to Isla and Prolixic.

  2. I’m finding this one really difficult but not ready, yet, to give in and look at the hints – will carry on battling. Tomorrow looks as if it could be wet so might have some time to keep going …. and, when I do admit defeat, I’ll use the hints and will be back then …. ! What I have managed I have enjoyed but I suspect that this one is a bit beyond me.

  3. I thought this was a great puzzle with some very clever definitions.

    Agree with the favourites but there’s lots of good stuff in this. 4d is worth a mantion IMHO.

    Many thanks to Isla, and please don’t leave it a year before the next one! Also thanks to Prolixic for a fine review.

  4. I’ve finally finished – I thought it was a really good puzzle. It stretched me about as far as possible and I needed the hints to explain a few. 22a – I missed the significance of “He” – should have remembered that from last week. Also I couldn’t unravel my answer for 6d. Favourites for me include 10, 11 and 19a and 4, 5, 14 and 18d. With thanks to Isla and Prolixic.

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