NTSPP – 120 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 120

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 120

A Puzzle by Radler

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A puzzle from NTSPP regular Radler with a mini-theme

A review by Prolixic follows below.

NTSPP - 120

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


9a Highbrow comedy (6,3,6)
{BEYOND THE FRINGE} – A cryptic definition of a famous Cambridge Footlights comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival.

10a Being indignant, 20’s gone off (7)
{DUDGEON} – A word meaning being indignant comes from the diminutive first name of the comedy star at 20d followed by an anagram (off) of GONE.

12a “He’s an actor and author!” exclaimed Gordon (7)
{BENNETT} – A famous actor and playwright who appeared in 9a comes from the word that follows Gordon in a well known exclamation.

13a Funny man to come to nothing, requires fix (5,4)
{PETER COOK} – Our next comedy star who appeared in 9a comes from a word meaning come to nothing (often followed by out) followed by a word meaning fix (in the fraudulent sense as you may do to accounting books).

14a Big girl twisted cowboy’s tool (5)
{LASSO} – A cowboy’s tool comes from reversing (twisted) an abbreviation meaning big and the diminutive of a girl’s name.

15a Rod’s cheers for drink supplier (7)
{BARISTA} – This drink supplier provides coffee.  The word comes from another word for a rod followed by the expansion of the “’s” and a two letter word meaning cheers.

18a Crowd broke free, rioting to change plans (7)
{REFRAME} – A word meaning change plans comes from an anagram (rioting) of FREE inside which (broke) you include an word meaning crowd as in push in.

21a Put in for wayward Michael when he’s not there (5)
{CLAIM} – An anagram (wayward) of MICHAEL after removing the letters of HE gives a word meaning put in for.

23a Fun for a change (9)
{DIVERSION} – A double definition for a word meaning fun (as in an amusement) and a change.

25a I took in newbie, an immigrant (7)
{SETTLER} – Another word for an immigrant comes from another word for a crossword compiler (the I in the clue) inside which (took in) you put in the abbreviation for a newbie or learner.

26a Works to make mockery of bore entering regiment (7)
{SATIRES} – A word meaning “Works to make a mockery” (a staple of 9a) comes from a word meaning bore or exhaust inside the famous army regiment whose motto is “Who Dares Wins”.

29a Notice time, make funny remark and be comical (10,5)
{COMMERCIAL BREAK} – An anagram (funny) of REMARK BE COMICAL gives a phrase for “notice time” when adverts may be shown.


1d A young lady Rose … or not? (4)
{ABED} – Use the A from the clue and reverse (rose) a word for a young lady in her first season on the society circuit to find a word meaning someone who has not yet risen.

2d “It’s not natural” and once spoken, stopped working (4)
{DYED} – This word that may describe someone’s hair that is not its natural colour is a homophone (once spoken) or a word meaning stopped working.

3d Unorthodox nun having succeeded embracing Edward discards habit perhaps (8)
{UNLEARNS} – A word meaning discards habit (as in an ingrained pattern of behaviour) comes from an anagram (unorthodox) of NUN inside which (embracing) you put the surname of the nonsense poet whose first name was Edward.  After this put the abbreviation for succeeded.

4d Dump boy taking new love for a drink (6)
{STINGO} – A slang word for strong malt liquor comes from the name of the boy in the story **** of the Dump inside which you put an N (new).  Follow all of this by the abbreviation for love.

5d Bear Pie? Right label (3,5)
{TED BAKER} – This cloths label comes from a diminutive form of a teddy bear followed by a word for pie  and the abbreviation for right.

6d Where to go for a little detour in a limo (6)
{URINAL} – This place to go (toilet) is hidden inside (a little) DETOUR IN A LIMO.

7d Submarine neared US, got torpedoed (8)
{UNDERSEA} – An anagram (torpedoed) of NEARED US gives a word meaning submarine.

8d Went over the top then went on top (8)
{BESTRODE} – A word meaning went over comes from a word meaning “the top” followed by a word meaning “went on top” as you might on a horse.

11d Painful emasculation, having parts cut off by mullahs (5)
{ULEMA} – Remove the outer letters (having parts cut off) of PAINFUL EMASCULATION to find a word for a collection of mullahs.

15/17d Fire placed under posterior – first-rate too as pile treatment (4,4,3,5)
{BACK SACK AND CRACK} – I sincerely hope that Radler is not including this clue from personal experience as it sounds painful.  The male beauty treatment involving the removal of body hair (pile) comes from a word meaning posterior followed by a word meaning fire (as in dismiss) and AND (too) and a word meaning first-rate.

16d Note I’m getting in late, drunk as it happens (4-4)
{REAL-TIME} – A word meaning as it happens comes from the name of one of the notes on the musical scale followed by an anagram (drunk) of LATE inside which you include (getting in) the I’M from the clue.

17d See 15

19d Set off on public transport, getting passage in steam locomotive (4-4)
{FIRE-TUBE} – This passage (part of the steam locomotive’s engine) comes from a word meaning set off or detonate followed by a word for the underground (public transport).

20d Funny man fell for the audience (5)
{MOORE} – Our next comedy star of 9a comes from a homophone (for the audience) of a word meaning fell (as in an area of land).

22d Director and writer, an athlete with two hearts (6)
{MILLER} – Our final star of 9a comes from the name of a type of athlete (like Roger Bannister) with the middle letter doubled up (with two hearts).

24d Slave girl covers bottom (6)
{VASSAL} – A word for a slave comes from the diminutive of the girl’s name Valerie around (covers) a vulgar word for your bottom.

27d Ecstasy, though embarrassed holding vibrator (4)
{REED} – This vibrator (forming part of some wind instruments) comes from a word meaning embarrassed around the abbreviation for the drug ecstacy.

28d Benefit of alcohol (4)
{SAKE} – A final double definition for a type of Japanese alcohol and a word meaning benefit.

3 comments on “NTSPP – 120

  1. Crypticsue has ventured from the safe haven of Kent so has asked me to commend Radler’s crossword which is tough(ish) and highly enjoyable with plenty of d’oh moments. I will post a review later.

  2. Loved it – some hilarious clues. I didn’t think it was as tough as some of Radler’s previous puzzles, probably because I got the theme fairly early on. Lots of top clues but the one that stands out is 15/17d.

  3. Thanks Radler; yes, I found this quite tough as I took ages to get the theme. It didn’t help that I had forgotten Stig of the Dump, so the top half went very slowly.

    Thanks Prolixic for the usual entertaining blog. I loved URINAL, which was cleverly hidden.

    Back to the Guardian SPP, which also seems tough.

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