NTSPP – 114 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 114 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 114

A Puzzle by eXternal

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External returns with a highly enjoyable crossword today.  There is lots of wit, inventive cluing and misdirection to keep you amused and guessing.  More of the same, please.

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


1 Southern salesman rejected ringing hotel for drink (8)
{SPRITZER} – This drink (a mixture of wine and soda water) comes from the abbreviation for Southern followed by the name of a travelling salesman reversed (rejected) inside which (ringing) you put the name of a famous hotel.

5 End of spear missing a wild beast (6)
{IMPALA} – This wild beast (an African antelope) comes from a word meaning to spear with the final letter removed (end of … missing) followed by an A.

10 When rude theatre turned blue (5,3,7)
{UNDER THE WEATHER} – An anagram (turned) of WHEN RUDE THEATRE  gives a phrase meaning blue (as in not feeling well).

11 Scientist right about old guide (7)
{COURIER} – A word for a guide comes from putting the name of the scientist famous for discovering radium around the abbreviation for old and following this with the abbreviation for right.

12 Bang end and hurt nuts (7)
{THUNDER} – A word for a bang comes from an anagram (nuts) of END HURT.

13 Despite everything being detailed, concept failed in the end (8)
{ALTHOUGH} – A word meaning everything with the final letter removed (de-tailed) followed by a word for a concept also with its final letter removed (failed in the end) gives a word meaning despite.

15 Businessmen overheard double-cross (5)
{EXECS} – Pronouncing XX (double-cross) gives a homophone for businessmen (a shortened form of executives).

18 Badge from Maine small child brought back (5)
{TOTEM} – A word for a badge comes from putting the abbreviation for the US state of Maine next to a word for a small child and reversing the resulting word (brought back).

20 Careless type half-cut in hospital department (8)
{CASUALTY} – The name of a hospital department comes from a word meaning careless followed by half of the word TYPE (half-cut).

23 Pestcontroller and trampolinist, maybe (7)
{BOUNCER} – This person is responsible for keeping pests out of nightclubs.  The word may also describe a trampolinist.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25 Found back in same rut at summer’s height (7)
{STATURE} – A word for height is hidden and reversed (found back in) SAME RUT AT SUMMER.

26 Given equal billing, finalist wins over another taking drugs (4,3,3,5)
{LAST BUT NOT LEAST} – This phase means given equal billing.  Describing the word play is tricky!  You need a word for a finalist (as in they have made the final round).  If that finalist beats another they are not in bottom place (so you need a phrase that means they are not bottom).  Put an E inside (taking drugs) and you have the answer.

27 Clear backing to protect the hedge (6)
{DITHER} – A word meaning to hedge or prevaricate comes from reversing (backing) a word meaning clear around the THE in the clue.

28 Little boy catches bug (8)
{SMIDGEON} – A word meaning little comes from putting a word for a bug inside (catches) a word for a boy.


1 Spring a leak (6)
{SOURCE} – A double definition.  A word for spring (as in the origin of something) also describes someone who may have leaked information.

2 Swimmer’s wine order written up with hesitation (3,6)
{RED MULLET} – This fish (a swimmer) comes from the colour of a type of wine followed by a word meaning order or command and a two-letter word expressing hesitation with these last two then reversed (written up).

3 Muddy like lake? (7)
{TARNISH} – A word meaning muddy (as a verb) could whimsically describe a lake.

4 Encountered headless woman in chemical compound (5)
{ETHER} – This chemical compound comes from a word meaning encountered with the first letter removed (headless) followed by a word for a woman.

6 Found hiding in simple surroundings, America toppled ruler (7)
{MEASURE} – A word for  ruler (often made of wood or plastic and 30cm or so long – 12” in old money) comes from reversing (toppled) the abbreviation for the United States of America inside (founding hiding in … surroundings) a word meaning simple.

7 A quietly concealed bug (5)
{APHID} – Another bug.  This one comes from the A in the clue, the musical abbreviation for quietly and a word meaning concealed.

8 Tax collector’s admitted to a gentle touch to change image (8)
{AIRBRUSH} – A word meaning to change image comes from putting the abbreviation for Inland Revenue (tax collector) inside the A from the clue and a word meaning a gentle touch.  The Inland Revenue no longer exists.  The tax collectors are now part of HMRC.

9 Society gets a load of samples (8)
{SWATCHES} – Samples carried by a salesman comes from the abbreviation for society followed by a word meaning gets a load of (as in get a load of this meaning to see something).

14 Form sore about a lecture (8)
{ULCERATE} – A word meaning to form a sore comes from an anagram (about) of A LECTURE.

16 Anger about trip cut short in train (9)
{ENTOURAGE} – A word meaning train (as in a retinue) comes from putting a word meaning anger around a word meaning a trip with the final letter removed (cut short).

17 Having small growth drained after objections raised (8)
{STUBBLED} – A word meaning having small growth (designer beards!) comes from putting a word meaning drained after a word meaning objections that has been reversed (raised).

19 Grim experience that’s bad eating place for truckers (7)
{MACABRE} – A word meaning grim comes from putting a word describing where truckers are fond when driving inside a word for an experience that’s bad (a shortened form of the word nightmare).

21 A secret’s said to have been of benefit (7)
{AVAILED} – A word meaning to have been of benefit comes from the A in the clue followed by a homophone (said) of a word meaning secret.

22 Physicist’s original model working (6)
{NEWTON} – This physicist (think apples and gravity) comes from a word meaning original followed by a model describing the old Ford car and a word meaning working.

24 Spill out of bed before class (5)
{UPSET} – A word meaning spill comes from a word meaning out of bed followed by a word meaning class.

25 Frenchman turns up for rave (5)
{STORM} – A word meaning rave comes from the abbreviation for monsieur followed by a word meaning turns (as in goes bad) all of which is reversed (up).

1 comment on “NTSPP – 114 (Review)

  1. Why hasn’t anyone else commented yet? I loved it – I’ve never EVER been the first to comment before so I’m taking the plunge now – have been holding off all day to see what all the “clever chaps and chapesses” say!
    To begin with I found it quite difficult but then began to get going. I was eventually defeated by 15a and had to use the hint (thanks to Prolixic) – good clue though – just couldn’t see it. My second to last was 8d.
    I thought that there was lots of cleverly misleading stuff in it.
    I was fooled into thinking that 1a had an H in it and then worked it out. I could see that 12a was an anagram but it took me a ridiculously long time to find the definition and the fodder.
    REALLY enjoyed it over two days! Far too many wonderful clues to pick out any other than 10, 13 and 23a (loved that one) and 9 and 19d.
    With thanks to eXternal and Prolixic.

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