NTSPP – 121 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 121

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 121

A Puzzle by Gazza

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A super puzzle from our very own Gazza


NTSPP - 121

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.


Getting an email from Gazza with the heading ‘Puzzle Time’ always cheers me up, the test version of today’s crossword arriving in my inbox as a late Christmas present.   It is a pangram which I found tougher than some of Gazza’s puzzles, but with all the usual fun elements to ensure you smile as you solve.


1a           Ongoing saga of refit for useless ship set aside to accommodate queen (6)
{SEQUEL}  The resumption  of a story or saga already complete  in itself –  an anagram (refit) of USELE[SS} without the last two letters (ship set aside tells you to remove the abbreviation for a steam ship) with Q (queen) accommodated or inserted.

4a           Upsurge in members may be guaranteed by these unwelcome broadcasters (8)
{SPAMMERS} A typically Gazza cryptic definition of those people who send you unwanted emails, some of which offer  to increase a certain part of a gentleman’s anatomy!  And no, I am not  providing an illustration for this one!

10a         Battle with airline to take a case of Moselle on board (2,7)
{EL ALAMEIN}   A Second World War battle is obtained by following the Israeli national airline with the outside letters or case of MosellE and IN (on board).

11a         Underage driver? He rings a bell! (5)
{NODDY} I know he isn’t approved of by modern ‘experts’ on children’s literature, but I grew up with this young driver with a bell on the end of his hat.  He is one year older than me – nice to know we still count as ‘underage’  :)

12a         Get the rug in Bradford? (4)
{TWIG}  A verb meaning to get or suddenly understand – something which happens quite often when looking at cryptic clues – if split 1’3 might be how someone from Bradford or other parts of Yorkshire might refer to a rug in the sense of a hairpiece.

13a         Study and keep what’s pushed on one’s doorstep (10)
{WATCHTOWER}  It has been many a long year since I last saw a Jehovah’s Witness on any doorstep offering a copy of this publication –  a charade of a synonym for study or look over,  followed by the innermost and strongest part of a castle, also known as the keep.

15a         Discover young Australian solicitor (4,3)
{ROOT OUT}  To discover the source of something –   the abbreviation by which a young Australian marsupial is known followed by someone who solicits customers in an obtrusive aggressive way.

16a         Heartily contemptuous after old mate’s release (6)
{EXEMPT} To release or grant immunity from –   follow the two letters by which you might refer to a previous partner (old mate) with the middle four  (heartily) letters of contEMPTuous.

19a         Kinky spectator is opposed to our admitting the old (6)
{VOYEUR}  A kinky spectator or peeping tom –   The letter used to mean against, eg  when put between the names of two football times in a match followed by OUR (from the clue) into which is inserted the old-fashioned way of saying you (2).               

21a         First person in Quebec to get a look at us is protective (7)
{JEALOUS}  Protective or mistrustfully vigilant –  the main language in Quebec is French so you need the French word for the first person, A from the clue, then an archaic interjection meaning look ,and finally US (also found in the clue).

23a         Allegedly he was never on the level with his host (4,2,4)
{DUKE OF YORK} I am not sure here whether Gazza is cryptically referring to the current holder of the title or the chap in the nursery rhyme who marched his army (host) up the hill and then back down again.  According to his notes, it is the latter!

25a         Dairy product obtained from boy going around hotel (4)
{GHEE}  To  get some Indian clarified butter, insert the abbreviation for Hotel into an interjection expressing surprise such as ‘oh boy!’.

27a         Bring back sample of Shiraz I binged on in clubbers’ paradise (5)
{IBIZA} A holiday island known for its nighttime club scene is hidden (bring back) in ShirAZ I BInged.

28a         Edit film to tie into established theme (9)
{LEITMOTIF} An established or recurring theme in literature can be obtained from an anagram (edit) of FILM TO TIE.

29a         Logs have deteriorated and split (2,6)
{GO HALVES}  Another anagram (deteriorated), this time of LOGS HAVE, describes how two people might share a restaurant bill.

30d         Fall in with Tory scoundrel (6)
{CONCUR}  To agree or fall in with – a nice simple charade –  the abbreviation for a Tory (3) and a type of scoundrel or worthless dog (3).


1d           After dates sailors are in a daze (3,5)
{SEE STARS} Not  dates  on a calendar, but part of a verb meaning meets regularly romantically.   Follow this with one of the ways crosswordland always refers to sailors and split the result 3,5 and you get an expression meaning to experience bright streaks of light following a bash on the head or punch in the eye, which would also leave you stunned or in a daze.

2d           Second hoax in the wake of supposedly French novel (9)
{QUASIMODO}   The hero of a French novel (rather than the title of the novel which is what the clue implies) –  An adverb meaning supposedly or in appearance only (5) followed by the abbreviation for moment (second, short period of time), and a slang word meaning to hoax or swindle (2).

3d           I put away my brother’s mess (4)
{ESAU}   A cryptic definition of the hairy man in the Old Testament who sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for a ‘mess of pottage’.  Genesis 25:29-34 explains all.

5d           Reject sleep prior to long dash (7)
{PANACHE}  Dash or a sense of style – a reversal (reject) of a short sleep followed by a verb meaning to long for something persistently.

6d           Article on shortfall in support for charity elicits repeated warning down under (4,3,3)
{MIND THE GAP}   An instruction to those alighting from underground trains –  the leading mental health charity in England, followed by a definite article and a shortfall or disparity.

7d           Hand over property found in 18d (5)
{ENDOW I do like this type of clue where you have to write out the number in words and then the ‘d’  in full too.  Do that and then look very carefully to find hidden in the middle a verb meaning to enrich with a gift.

8d           Mystery author who’s created a lord (6)
{SAYERS}   A cryptic definition of the surname of the writer who created the famous detective, Lord Peter Wimsey.

9d           Change one’s mind about college worker (6)
{RECANT}  Another charade –  The two letter abbreviation meaning about, followed by the abbreviation for college and then an insect of which a soldier is a variety.

14d         Customary style of greeting among Afghans in close formation (4,2,4)
{NOSE TO TAIL}  My top favourite clue which merited a ‘double treble d’oh’ when I test solved it and the penny finally dropped.   It is a double definition – firstly the way any dogs, not just Afghan hounds, always greet each other; secondly closely following one another, an example being cars in a queue of traffic.  No pictures of the ‘greeting’ were available on line so I have gone for this one which illustrates the ‘close formation’.

17d         Copper hit out, providing a foretaste of what’s in store (9)
{PROPHETIC}  Another anagram  (out) of COPPER HIT gives us a adjective relating to an inspired prediction of what is to come.

18d         Wanted: Ford Ka SE Convertible (5,3)
{ASKED FOR}  Wanted or requested – an anagram (convertible) of FORD KA SE split 5,3.

20d         I translated into Queen’s English (5,2)
{ROYAL WE} A monarch such as a Queen’s use of the first person plural when speaking of herself.

21d         Jack, Queen and King in higher end of suit (6)
{JERKIN}  A short coat or sleeveless jacket which would form the top part or higher end of a suit of clothes.   J (Jack in a game of cards) followed by the cipher of our current Queen, the abbreviation for King and IN (from the clue).

22d         In no great hurry topped up, putting in last drop of fuel (6)
{IDLING} Passing the time in a lazy way.  Remove the first letter (topped) from a verb referring to what you are doing when up on a  horse and then insert the final letter (last drop) of fueL.

24d         ‘Some Like It Hot’ man (5)
{KEITH}    Not Tony or Jack, the stars of the film, but another man can be found  hidden in liKE IT Hot.

26d         Doctor holds up morning round (4)
{AMMO} A contraction of explosive military devices –   An abbreviation for a Medical Officer or doctor follows (holds up) the abbreviation used to mean in the morning.

Thanks to Gazza for another Saturday afternoon treat –  I do hope it isn’t too long before your name is back at the top of the NTSPP Setters Rota.

12 comments on “NTSPP – 121

  1. Many thanks to Gazza for an enjoyable and amusing crossword.

    Thanks also in advance to Crypticsue for stepping in to blog this crossword. My father died on Wednesday so it has been a traumatic week for me.

  2. After a promising start I am now completely stuck! But will try again later.

    14d – My favourite so far! :grin:

  3. Another splendid puzzle from Gazza, Funny, lots of blind alleys which as always I stumbled down.
    14d, 12a, 13a , 26d favourites.
    Many thanks for brightening up a dull afternoon.

  4. Brilliant! Thanks Gazza – now it’s back to the newbie which along with many others I am really struggling

  5. Many thanks to Gazza for a really enjoyable crossword, as usual, and to Crypticsue for the blog.

  6. I’ve finally finished this excellent puzzle from Gazza – well, I actually gave up with a few in the NE Corner unsolved!

    Some really great clues – 12a, 7d & 14d to name but three!

    Thanks to Gazza for the entertainment and to CS for explaining all the bits I missed!

  7. Thanks to CS for the review (and excellent pics) and to all those who commented. I’m glad that you all seemed to like it.

  8. Nice one Gazza so thanks for the fun! Particularly liked 14d and 23a (Sorry for the delayed reply, only got around to doing it this afternoon after dropping pommette off at the airport).

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