NTSPP – 111 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 111 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 111

A Puzzle by Gazza

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Welcome back to Gazza who seems to have taken a leaf from the Chancellor’s book with the first two clues in this crossword to bash the elderly!  Is it me, or is he wearing sturdier footwear when setting crosswords these days?  Not quite hob-nailed boots but certainly no pink fluffy slippers today.

I greatly enjoyed solving this crossword.  Many thanks to our setter for a fine Saturday afternoon challenge.  Drop by and let us have your thoughts.


1a Provision for gagging cruel old lady (4,3)
{SICK BAG} – This provision for gagging (which might be needed on a turbulent flight) comes from a synonym for cruel followed by a synonym for an old lady.

5a Kill granny? On your head be it (7)
{TOPKNOT} – This hairstyle comes from a synonym for kill followed by another name for a granny (a device for joining pieces of rope together).

9a Ignorant kind rather restricted after ill treatment (2,3,4)
{IN THE DARK} – A phrase meaning ignorant comes from a anagram (after ill treatment) of KIND RATHER with the final R removed (restricted).

10a Councillor takes on BT for example. Well done! (5)
{CRISP} – A word meaning well done (in the culinary sense) comes from the abbreviation for councillor followed by the generic term for what BT (alongside AOL and other internet companies) is.

11a ICC pins corruption on junkets (7)
{PICNICS} – A word for junkets comes from an anagram (corruption) of ICC PINS.

12a Mindful of a wild beast, having lost its tail, biting surgeon (5,2)
{ALIVE TO} – A phrase meaning mindful of comes from the A in the clue and a wild beast found in Africa with the final letter removed (having lost its tail) around (biting) another word for a surgeon that operates on animals.

13a Play rough – nose is running (6,3)
{NOISES OFF} – This play by Michael Frayn comes from an anagram (rough) of NOSE IS followed by a synonym for running (which is often used in horse-racing).

15a Bird renounces love for posh married man (5)
{HUBBY} – A word for a married man comes from the name of a bird (a fairly small member of the falcon family) with the O (love) in its name replaced  a U (posh).

17a Dumb? I’m bodily outstanding (5)
{BIMBO} – An all in one.  Hidden in the words “dumb i’m bodily” is a word that describes someone who it thick on top and around the chest.

19a Slip up with my page (6,3)
{ERRAND BOY} – Another word for a page or servant comes from a word sum of synonyms for slip up, with (as in alongside) and my (as in goodness me).

22a Revitalised Clark Kentmisses riding with the Queen in his day job (7)
{NEWSMAN} – The day job of ClarkKent comes from a word meaning revitalised followed by the name of his alter-ego from which you remove words meaning riding and the Queen.

25a Supplementary code is licensed for everyone in Bremen potentially (1,6)
{E-NUMBER} – This code for listing food supplements comes from an anagram (potentially) of BREMEN inside which you put the abbreviation for a film that everyone can see.

26a Rate of interest’s one pound a month (5)
{APRIL} – This month comes from the abbreviation for an interest rate used in credit arrangements followed by an I (one) and the abbreviation for pound sterling.

27a Hunter not inebriated but becoming nosey (2,3,4)
{ON THE TURN} – A phrase for becoming nosey (as in having a rank smell) comes from an anagram (inebriated) of HUNTER NOT.

28a Is in final 16 here but gives up (7)
{DISOWNS} – A word meaning gives up comes from putting the IS in the clue inside the general description of the final 16 clues in this crossword.

29a Stops sister taking over from bishop in duties (7)
{DESISTS} – A word meaning stops comes from a word meaning duties with the B (bishop) replaced by (taking over) a diminutive form of the word sister.


1d Fool around during season at training ground’s treacherous surface (7)
{SKIDPAN} – The definition here is “training ground’s treacherous surface” a surface that may be used on advanced driving courses.  The answer comes from putting a word meaning fool around inside (during) a word meaning season (as in a period of time).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d Flawed schematic gives rise to lots of questions (9)
{CATECHISM} – An anagram (flawed) of SCHEMATIC gives a word describing a form of religious training that involves the asking of a lot of questions for which there are set answers that have to be given.

3d Endless drink holds African runner back from going straight (7)
{BEELINE} – A word for going straight (as the crow flies being another expression meaning the same thing) comes from a type of alcoholic drink served in pints with the final letter removed around the name of a river (runner) in Africa reversed (back).  Strictly speaking, the structure of the clue should be “answer from wordplay” or “wordplay for answer”.  Wordplay from answer jars slightly.

4d Watts is one to follow, delighted to make PM (9)
{GLADSTONE} – The name of this former Prime Minister comes from a word meaning delighted followed by a description of Charlie Watts given the band for which he is the drummer.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5d Presoak kit to cover up some flavour of India(5)
{TIKKA} – This flavour ofIndia (a type of curry) is hidden an reversed (cover up) in the words presoak kit.

6d Looks like Gregory’s after a nibble (7)
{PECKISH} – Someone who looks like the noted actor whose first name is Gregory describes someone after a nibble.

7d Natural mother’s lost shirt (5)
{NAIVE} – A word for natural or unaffected comes from a word for mother (as in mother country) with a T (shirt) removed.

8d Dominant ape is easiest to read (3,4)
{TOP COPY} – A word for something that is the easiest to read (because it has not be reproduced using carbon paper) comes from synonyms for dominant and ape (as in mimic).

14d Gave up fish and sex, gripped by iron determination at first (9)
{FORFEITED} – A word meaning gave up comes from putting the name of a type of fish and a synonym for sex inside the chemical symbol for iron and following this with the first letter of the word determination.

16d Labour’s followers or Young Conservatives? (4,5)
{BABY BLUES} – A word for a mild form of post natal depression (labour’s followers) comes from a whimsical description of young conservatives.

17d Temporary cover providing help for second boy in guest-house (4-3)
{BAND-AID} – This temporary cover (in the form of a sticking plaster) comes from the full description of a guest house with the final B (second boy) replaced with a word meaning help.

18d Expression of current prospects bearing in mind anticipated resistance (4,3)
{OMHS LAW} – A cryptic definition of the rule that specifies that the current in an electrical circuit is measured by the voltage divided by the resistance.  I don’t think that my physics teacher has ever quite forgiven me for asking innocently just before the end of double physics at the end of Friday “Sir, if the current is a circuit is increasing, does that mean it’s a raisin?”

20d Fixes periodically once aunt learns (7)
{NEUTERS} – A word meaning fixes or spays comes from the alternate letters in ONCE AUNT LEARNS.

21d French working to cut old training scheme and tackle supporters (1-6)
{Y-FRONTS} – These supporters of a gentleman’s tackle (a form of underwear) comes from the abbreviation for the old Youth Training Scheme round the abbreviation for France and word meaning working.

23d Kinks in conflict on intros for ‘Preservation Society’ (5)
{WARPS} – A word for kinks (as in buckles) comes from a word for a conflict followed by the initial letters (intros for) preservation society.

24d Is everyone against cavities? (5)
{NOOKS} – A word for cavities if split 2, 3 may indicate that everyone is against something.

15 comments on “NTSPP – 111 (Review)

  1. Nice one Gazza :grin:

    Lots of good laughs in this one. Particularly liked 21d with its cheeky definition. Too many other good ones to mention.

    Never heard of the play in 13a but got the answer eventually (last in) and was wondering if the stage direction has anything to do with it!

    Thanks for the fun Gazza and to Prolixic for sorting out 13a for me.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, Gazza. Hard to pick favourites, but I marked 22a and 21d as I did them.
    Thanks, Prolixic for the review.

  3. I loved this crossword. On first read through I didn’t even have one answer but after a bit of “perservation” I finished the top half then most of the bottom half. It all went a bit wrong in the bottom left corner and needed the hints for three. Far too many wonderful clues to mention them all so just a few of them are 1, 5 and 15a and 16 and 21d. Best of all, for me, was 6d which really tickled me. With thanks to Gazza for such a great puzzle and to Prolixic for the hints.
    One minor quibble, Prolixic – I think F is the IVR code for France – Fr is in BRB as France and French – not trying to be bloody minded!

    1. Hi kath

      Agree about 6d – very funny :lol:

      BTW – You’re right about the IVR code, or at least all the French cars around here just have an F on the number plate.

  4. My favourites in this very enjoyable puzzle were 3a, 6d, 16d and 21d. Thanks to Gazza for the crossword and to Prolixic for the review. The latter might like to note for future reference that one of Gazza’s forthcoming puzzles shows every sign of his having borrowed Vlad’s boots to try them on for size :D

    1. Oh no – don’t know who Vlad is but he sounds as if his crosswords could be just a little bit tricky! This is only the second one (I think) of Gazza’s that I’ve had a go at – didn’t think that I was going to get anywhere with it but then most of it went OK. Could someone give me a warning of when Gazza is trying on Vlad’s boots?!!

      1. Vlad the Impaler is how people refer to Elgar when he sets a very tough toughie, usually while wearing hob nailed boots, although he does from time to time set easier(ish) crosswords while wearing what Prolixic refers to as the pink fluffy slippers. Gazza, and indeed Prolixic, do seem to be trying out the boots for size lately but they are still setting lovely accessible crosswords so no need to panic yet.

        1. .. so just please give me a warning when I DO need to panic … ! I would never attempt an Elgar toughie – I rarely attempt a toughie at all unless someone says that it really is “do-able” by most, and even then it has to be raining or I don’t have the time anyway …

  5. I thought puzzle solving was a serious business! Lovely puzzle which made me laugh at some of the answers.
    Once I’d got in the groove it all fell into place quite nicely with a few which took some working out.
    Thanks to Gazza and Prolixic for an entertaining end to the day.
    Now for some authentic Dover/Bangladeshi cuisine.

    1. Solving a Gazza puzzle is never a serious business! Hard maybe but always with a load of laughs along the way :grin: “Serious” they are not!

  6. Thanks gazza – This made me laugh even after losing at darts. 21d in particular rised a grin and 20d reminded me that I am looking after a couple of kittens for my brother. One is getting done on Monday and the other may be too late judging from the behaviour last night…..

  7. Very enjoyable. 10a tickled my fancy, so i’ll quote it back: Well Done!
    Embarrassingly 28a was a guess, couldn’t see how DOWNS could be the last 16 here.

  8. Many thanks to Prolixic and to all who commented here and on the other post. May I confirm that I have no ambitions to slip into the heavy footwear!

  9. Nice puzzle – well done Gazza and thanks for the hints Prolixic. Needed them for a couple – 12a in particular wouldn’t come to mind.

  10. Thanks to Gazza – “the Poacher turned gamekeeper extraordinaire” – for the entertainment and to Prolixic for the review.

    I liked the surface readings! Favourite: 21d – very amusing definition of “tackle supporters”.

    With regard to difficulty, I’ve just finished today’s Virgilius in one sitting – Gazza’s puzzle required many, many attempts!

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