NTSPP – 118 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 118

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 118

Gold Run by Alchemi

  + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A puzzle with a gentle theme from Alchemi

A review by Prolixic follows below

NTSPP - 117

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Apologies for the late posting of the review.  I solved this earlier but domestic duties intervened and with the new system of adding the review to the original post, I could not add this and schedule it for later publication.

Alchemi has given us a gentle (and in parts genital) crossword today with a mini-theme based around this hit TV show 11a in which adolescents competed to cross a board of letter and adolescents of all ages waited for someone to say the immortal line  in 5/9 across.


1 Snapper with American flower (6)
{CROCUS} – This flower comes from a word sum of the diminutive form of a creature that snaps and for whom you should never smile (not a wedding photographer) and the abbreviation for the United States.

5/9 Save each apple in a terrible cliché from 11 (3,1,4,1,1,6)
{CAN I HAVE A P PLEASE} – This cliché from the TV show is an anagram (terrible) of SAVE EACH APPLE IN A.

10 Mugs first pair of cheats before cricket officials’ anger is dispelled (6)
{CHUMPS} – These mugs or fools come from the first two letters of CHEATS and the name of the main cricket officials with the IRE removed (anger is dispelled).

11 Regular rush after security device gets broken in live show (12)
{BLOCKBUSTERS} – The TV show that forms the theme for this crossword comes from a four letter word for a security device and a four letter word for broken put inside a two letter word meaning live (or exist) followed by the odd letters (regular) of RuSh.

13 See 22 Down

14 Grey skies seen from Dover Castle(8)
{OVERCAST} – A word meaning grey is hidden inside the words DOVER CASTLE

17 Larcenous, unethical at heart, bringing on terrible hives (8)
{THIEVISH} – A word meaning larcenous comes from the middle letters in UNETHICAL followed by an anagram (terrible – again!) of HIVES.

18 Has nothing with poles (4)
{OWNS} – A word meaning has (or possesses) comes from an O (nothing) and W for with then the poles North and South.

20 Grasses surround poor cobbler who dribbles a lot (12)
{SLOBBERCHOPS} – A word for someone who dribbles a lot comes from a word meaning grasses (as in drops someone in it) around an anagram (poor) of COBBLER.

23 Quick kisser and inhabitant of LBJ’s pocket? (6)
{PECKER} – A double definition for someone who is a quick kisser and a slang word for the penis.  The US president Lyndon B Johnson once famously said that he would not trust someone unless he had their ****** in his pocket.

24 Disentangles a French bolero? (8)
{UNRAVELS} – A word for disentangles comes from the French masculine for A followed by the composer famous for his music for the bolero who shot to greater fame when Torville and Dean used the music for their ice dance routine.

25 Hungry from ill-use, I am overwhelmed by cost of accommodation (8)
{ESURIENT} – A word meaning hungry comes from an anagram (ill) of USE followed by word to describe the money paid by a tenant as a cost of accommodation around an I.  Pet peeve time: “I am” should be “I is overwhelmed” for the wordplay to make sense.  You would not say B am overwhelmed by so you should not do so when using I as the letter.

26 See 21 Down


2 Endlessly decorous line (4)
{ROPE} – This line is formed of the inner letters of PROPER (decorous).

3 Is concerned about small dog beginning to eat vegetable (9)
{CALABRESE} – This vegetable comes from a word meaning is concerned about around the diminutive form ofLabrador followed by the first letter of EAT.

4 Follow display featuring our times (6)
{SHADOW} – A word meaning follow comes from a word for a display inside which you put the abbreviation for Anno Domini (our times).

5 Leo hurt Crockett badly, witnesses swear to him (5,2,3,5)
{CLERK TO THE COURT} – This legal official is the person to whom the witnesses swear oaths before giving evidence.  It comes from an anagram (badly) of LEO HURT CROCKETT.

6 Bats, almost countless bats! (8)
{NOCTULES} – The bats (the creature) come from an anagram (bats) COUNTLESS after removing the final letter.

7 Stamping ground of last rich relation (5)
{HAUNT} – Another word for a stamping ground comes from the final letter of rich followed by the name of a relation (the sister of your mother or father).

8 Annihilating five, even in Camp Four – setter to tell all (10)
{VAPOURISING} – A word for annihilating comes from the Roman for five, the even letters in CAMP FOUR, an I (setter) and a word meaning to tell all.

12 Stud cuddles blonde, not ditzy to start with, worried about her introduction to host of 11 (3,7)
{BOB HOLNESS} – The presenter of our TV show comes from a word for a stud (as used to affix things) to around an anagram (worried) of BLONDE after removing the D and putting this around the first letter of HER.

15 TV’s Jonathan protected by insurance policy defect (5,4)
{CROSS OVER} – A phrase for a defect or short circuit comes from the surname of TV’s Jonathan inside a word for an insurance policy.

16 Story with internal rhythm bearing fruit (4,4)
{LIME TREE} – Something that bears fruit comes from a word for a story or falsehood around a word for rhythm.

19 Dancing baronet gets up after a short time, right? (6)
{MORRIS} – A form of dancing comes from a two letter word for a short time followed by an R (right) and the form of address used of a baronet reversed.

21/26 Retest break, surprisingly featuring saxophone solo not played by 12 (5,6)
{BAKER STREET} – This song by Gerry Rafferty features a saxophone solo which (as a spoof in the New Musical Express) was said to have been played by the host of our TV show.

22/13 Oddly noble use for puritan (8)
{BLUE NOSE} – Another phrase for a puritan comes from an anagram (oddly) of NOBLE USE.

13 comments on “NTSPP – 118

  1. Recommended. It has a few to make you stop and think but is well worth finding time for this afternoon.

  2. Thanks to Alchemi for the enjoyment. The theme certainly brought back memories. Favourite clues: 14a and 16d.

  3. Many thanks, Alchemi, for a very enjoyable crossword. Liked 20a just for the sound of the word! 21/26 also brought back pleasant memories. Seems like the programme in question is scheduled to reappear later in the year.

  4. Learnt 2 new words in 3d & 6d. Struggled to finish and not helped by the fact that I put Bob Hoskins instead of….thanks Alchemi & I look forward to Prolixic’s explanation for 23a….

    1. Are you looking forward to it because you know the reasoning or because you don’t?
      If the latter try entering your answer and LBJ into Google.

      1. I thought he meant he was looking forward to seeing what illustration Prolixic might use He’s not Gazza, is he so we will just have to wait and see!! :D

        1. I’d forgotten the LBJ reference (what a charming man) and I’ve just seen the pictures! Too much detail and that’s before the family Sunday Big Breakfast….I think I’ll stick to corn flakes.

  5. Entertaining solve, although I don’t remember much about BLOCKBUSTERS – Countdown didn’t seem to fit in the squares!

    Thanks Prolixic for your good pictorial blog. I don’t really understand your comment about ‘I am overwhelmed;’ it seemed OK to me. I didn’t know NOCTULES or BLUE NOSE.

    I particularly liked CHUMPS and VAPORISING.

  6. Your explanation of 18a is incorrect. Nothing O + with W + poles NS. As to 25a, I was going to put “setter is”, which would satisfy your demand for grammatical accuracy in the wordplay, but it just read so much better with “I am”.

    Thanks to all for the comments indicating entertainment and enjoyment, which is what I aim to provide.

  7. Solved after a bit of head scratching , but once I’d twigged the theme, which was obvious from the title….doh. It all fell into place nicely.

    14a an accurate reflection of Dover most of the year but it’s been quite quite nice today.

    Thanks to Prolixic for review and to the compiler for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Off subject, visitors to Dover should visit the castle, it’s a good day out, but take your own sarrnies as food on site is mediocre and expensive.

    1. Last year, Mr CS and I went to see the castle after English Heritage had done all that lovely work in the keep with the beautiful red and gold decorations etc – good job we had only really gone to see the indoors bits – the fog was so thick you couldn’t see the castle.

  8. I’m admitting defeat with about seven that I can’t do. Crosswords and gardening are great antidotes but I’ve had a surfeit of both over the last couple of days. I’ve really enjoyed this. I was completely let down by my lack of knowledge of 14a. I’ve never met 25a or 6d. I don’t know how I didn’t get 21/26 – it’s one of my all time favourites.
    Loved 10 and 20a and 3, 7 and 15d.
    With thanks to Alchemi for a great puzzle, and Prolixic for the very much needed hints.

  9. Sorry Alchemi – should have posted earlier as I did this over the breakfast cuppas. Excellent stuff but a bit of a mixture for me. The theme needed a lot of brain scratching as it’s a dim and distant memory – surely unfair to the younger audience – but the rest was fine!

    More like this would be welcome but without the aged theme please, (actually, a more modern theme would be a lot worse as I don’t watch much telly nowadays :grin: ). As you might have guessed I’m not keen on themed puzzles because if you know about the theme they’re relatively easy and if you don’t they’re well-nigh impossible.

    Thanks a lot for the fun anyway and also to Prolixic for the review.

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