NTSPP – 117 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 117

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 117

You’re my Favourite by Prolixic

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Starting from today, all puzzles will be available in interactive format right here on the blog

A review by Crypticsue is available below the puzzle

NTSPP - 117

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review  by Crypticsue

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Were it not for the fact that Mr CS and other gentlemen also enjoy 1/12/17, I would say that this crossword might represent Prolixic’s response to a request for a puzzle for the ladies, ie one without cricket or football.   Thanks to Prolixic once again for another fine puzzle just right for a Saturday afternoon brain stretching – a pangram  with a  theme* which is easy to get, but with a number of other sneaky clues which require head scratching and cogitation.  My top favourite clues are marked in blue


*1a         One getting in beer to miss 17a (3,3)
{SIT OUT}  Insert I (one) into a type of dark beer to get an expression which means not to join in with the 17a.

*4a         Graceful name returned on occasion for 17a (8)
{BALLETIC}  One of the sneaky clues – I was looking for another type of 17a.   Instead it is an adjective  meaning fluid and graceful as in a particular form of 17a.   Follow a formal occasion for 17a with a reversal of a noun meaning to refer to by name in a document or testimony.

10a         Intoxicating substance found in nasty latrines after lifting the lid (7)
{RETSINA}  A Greek alcoholic refreshment which can be found (in this clue anyway) in an anagram of (nasty) [L]ATRINES once you have ‘lifted the lid’ or removed the first letter.

11a         Fallibility of English Bishop about to enter a city(7)
{ERRANCY}  A fallibility or tendency to sin. Quite a complicated  bit of wordplay,  needing  E  (English)  plus the two letter abbreviation for Right Reverend (which is how a Bishop should be addressed), A (from the clue)  and then C (circa, about) inserted into the abbreviation for the city of New York.

12 See 1 Down

13a         Sets off industrial action in public (7,3)
{STRIKES OUT }  A double definition –  sets off in a determined fashion  or takes industrial action in public.

15a         Dog’s bottom covered by crap (6)
{LASSIE}  – a canine star of many an adventure film is obtained by inserting a very informal way of referring to a bottom into a type of falsehood,  a slang or vulgar synonym for which is crap (thanks to BD and his  handy Chambers Thesaurus).

17 See 1 Down

*21a      Five children from Kent – they sparkle when 17a (7)
(SEQUINS}  Spangles or sparkles applied to garments, these days mainly on dresses used in 17a.   Kent is, of course, in the South East, the abbreviation for which should be followed by the informal short form for  five children born as a result of one pregnancy.

22a         Some blood from a stone! (6)
{PLASMA}  A double definnition – I knew the liquid part of blood but apparently this word is also the name of a bright green chalcedony.

*25a      Lancer shot around a form of 17a (10)
{CHARLESTON}  Part of the repertoire of 17a is an anagram (around) of LANCER SHOT.

*27a      In France I hold drip for a form of 17a (4)
{JIVE } Another example of the theme.   Just insert the abbreviation for an intravenous drip into the French word for I.

*30a      Fool has to run a form of 17a (7)
{FOXTROT}   To get another method connected to the theme you need a verb meaning to fool, outwit or confuse (3) followed by a pace between a walk and a run.

31a         Second hernia maybe has end turned in treatment (7)
{SHIATSU}   A Japanese therapy using acupressure is obtained by follow S for Second with a type of hernia  with the final letter moved from the end to second to last place.

32a         Caligula’s left nun in province – just the opposite (8)
{SINISTER} The Latin for left (Caligula being a Roman!) – just insert NI (the Province of Northern Ireland) into the way you might address a nun.

33 See 5 Down


*1/12/17 How Tom’s Tricycle is made to be seen on TV! (8,4,7)
{STRICTLY COME DANCING}  As the clue suggests,  by using the third word (17a) as an anagram indicator and rearranging TOMS TRICYCLE, you should  get the  theme of this crossword which just happens to be the highlight of my winter viewing schedule.

2d           Carry money for Mark (5)
{TOTEM } A symbol or mark – An originally American synonym for carry followed by M (money, notes and coins in current circulation).

3d           Cancel support for universal operation system (4)
{UNIX}  A multiuser computer operating system for handling large amounts of data  – follow U (universal) with an American slang word meaning ‘you’ll get no support from me’.

*5/33d  To me harmonicas represented a form of 17a (8,6)
{AMERICAN SMOOTH }  more theme – just make an anagram (represented) of TO ME HARMONICAS.

6d           Epic climb of Everest? (5-5)
{LARGE-SCALE}    A cryptic definition of how you might view a climb of Everest can also be defined as epic or very grand.

*7d        Drink a form of 17a (5)
{TANGO } An orange fizzy drink or part of the theme.

8d           Welcome in home for wolf? (6)
{COYOTE} A small prairie wolf –  Insert an informal greeting (2) into a home or place of shelter for doves.

*9d        Disney’s received a form of 17a (5)
{WALTZ}   Another of the methods used in 17a sounds like ‘belonging to Mr Disney’ (received being the homophone indicator).

14d         Latvia and USSR worked together making films, for example (6,4)
{VISUAL ARTS }   Painting, and films as opposed to literature or music – an anagram (worked together) of LATVIA and USSR

16d         Lady docks the tail of John Noakes’ dog (3)
{SHE}   Hope you remember the name of Blue Peter’s naughty dog – if so, it will be easy for you to remove the last letter (docks the tail) to get the female third person pronoun.

18d         New high school organisation (3)
{NHS}  An organization that takes charge of doctors,  hospitals and so on is so easily made from N (new) and the abbreviation for  high school.

19d         Drink made in tea set perhaps (8)
{ANISETTE)  An alcoholic drink similar to pastis and ouzo  is an anagram (perhaps) of IN TEA SET.

20d         Diamond Geezer! (4,4)
{BABE RUTH}  I originally tried to connect this one to the theme* but it is just a cryptic definition of one of the most famous baseball players (diamonds being part of the playing area used in baseball). *the name of the leader of the band on 1/12/17 is 4,4 but sadly I was on entirely the wrong tangent with that one.

23d         Grazes obtained withdrawing the French from  fighting (6)
{SCUFFS}  Remove the French word for the from some confused struggling or fighting and you should be left with scrapes or scratches.

24d         Freedom to move South in wood (5)
{COPSE}  Take the first letter from a word meaning freedom to move or range and replace it further down the word to make a type of small wood.

26d         A 3d prepared for growth hormone (5)
{AUXIN }  A type of growth hormone is obtained by following A from the clue with an anagram of the solution to 3d.

28d         Start to train troops inside (5)
{INTRO}  Hidden in traIN TROops is the opening passage of a jazz or popular music piece.

29d         Long-standing concern (4)
{FIRM} A very obvious double definition to end with.   Something arranged that is definite or long standing or a way of referring to a company or business concern.

Fans of Prolixic puzzles will be pleased to know that he has now produced enough  splendid puzzles to  keep BD going with NTSPPs (allowing for all the other lovely setters to fit into the rota too)  until well into next year.

Fans of SCD may be envious to learn that I am going to see   Vincent and Flavia’s  Midnight Tango show on Wednesday.   Can’t wait!

8 comments on “NTSPP – 117

  1. Possibly my favourite Prolixic crossword to date. Really good fun and a pangram to boot! Difficult to pick a favourite, so many smile-inducing moments. Many thanks, Prolixic

  2. Thank you to both Prolixic and Cryptic Sue. Most enjoyable and a real treat to solve after last Saturday’s puzzle. Favourite clue has got to be either 14d or 6d.

  3. Very entertaining puzzle, thanks Prolixic.

    Thanks also to Crypticsue; I got into the theme via CHARLESTON. I wasted some time initially with the anagram by adding ‘is made’ – and got nowhere.

    I hadn’t heard of AMERICAN SMOOTH, but then I don’t watch SCD (sorry, Sue!) The Bridge is more my cup of tea. Great surface and anagram for VISUAL ARTS. I also particularly enjoyed SINISTER and the dog’s bottom. Not sure I remembered BABE RUTH. I, too, had not heard of PLASMA as a stone.

    I liked the variety of cluing – well done, Prolixic.

  4. A joyful entertainment for a dreary Saturday afternoon, always takes me a little while to get into Prolixic’s. But once in always great fun.
    Got most of it without hints, but a couple really foxed me.
    Thanks to CS for the needed hints and to Prolixic for a very clever puzzle.

    I wish to state publicly that I’ve never watched an episode of “strictly”.

    The interactive didn’t work on iPad, kept asking for Java.
    Worked well on Netbook (windows xp).

  5. Really loved it even if it did effectively scupper my afternoon gardening plans! I didn’t think that I was going to be able to do it at all and almost gave up – everything seemed to take me back to 17a which I just couldn’t get. Got it eventually and then got going and finished it apart from 22 and 31a and 20d. What a good theme – beats football/rugby/golf – I could go on but I won’t! Favourites include all the ones relating to the theme and 8d because it reminded me of a great clue that gave me the giggles for ages. It was something to do with an “inappropriate salutation to a monarch…. ” can’t remember the rest but it was “Yoking”! With thanks to Prolixic and CS – lots of us are going to see Vincent and Flavia at the beginning of July.

    1. My notes on the test grid say that it took me a Toughie time to solve and that the LH went in faster than the RH side for some reason. But as you found it is always worth perservating with a Prolixic puzzle (and come to that a Gazza or a Radler or a….. well all of them really!)

      Will report back on Vincent and Flav – the reviews all look as though we are going to have a good time.

  6. Many thanks to Crypticsue for her excellent review and to all for your kind comments.

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