NTSPP – 123 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 123

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 123

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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Hieroglyph returns to entertain us with another excellent puzzle.

NTSPP - 123

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

 Welcome back to Hieroglyph with an excellent crossword with plenty to keep you amused, including the brilliant 17 across, which gets my vote as clue of the day!


1/4 Revisionist reasserting centrality of Irish historical event (6,6)
{EASTER RISING} – An anagram (revisionist) of REASSERTING and I (centrality of IrIsh) gives a noted historical event in Irish history which was the prelude to the establishment of an independentRepublic ofIreland.

9 Dickens’s Oliver, at the beginning, is a fool (4)
{BOZO} – A word for a fool comes from the nickname used by Charles Dickens followed by the first letter (at the beginning) of Oliver.

10 Oddly, almost accepts less for shows (10)
{SPECTACLES} – An anagram (oddly) of ACCEPT (almost telling us to delete the final letter) and LESS gives a word for shows or displays.

11 Medicine-man shows pictures (6)
{CINEMA} – A word for pictures is hidden inside (shows) the words mediCINE MAn.

12 It’s angry, potentially, and dangerous in the main (8)
{STINGRAY} – An anagram (potentially) of ITS ANGRY gives us the name of a sea creature that it potentially dangerous.

13 Domineering woman’s campaign cut (6-3)
{BATTLE-AXE} – A phrase for a domineering woman comes from a word for a campaign or war followed by a word meaning cut.


15 President Eisenhower’s staff… (4)
{PIKE} –  An abbreviation for President followed by the nickname of Eisenhower gives a word for a staff used by old soldiers as a weapon.

16 … band of elite soldiers with variety of bomb (4)
{SASH} – This band, used as an item of formal dress, comes from the abbreviation for the Special Air Service (elite soldiers) and a variety of nuclear bomb.

17 Fidelity? (9)
{CASTROISM} – A bit of lateral thinking is required here.  The question mark alerts us that something fishy is going on.  We need a word that means having the quality of Fidel, used to coin the political philosophy of that leader.

21 Careless, applying make-up on the run (4-4)
{SLAP-DASH} – A word for careless comes from an informal word for make up followed by a word meaning run.

22 Rubbish re-mix? (6)
{REFUSE} – A word for rubbish (or garbage) comes from the RE in the clue followed by a word meaning mix.

24 Play dirty, snatching victory at the last in penalty-area (5,5)
{UNCLE VANYA} – This Chekov play comes from a word meaning dirty inside which you put a V for victory.  Follow this be the last letters of penaltY areaA to find the answer.

25 Starts of mozzarella, olives and Neapolitan beef (4)
{MOAN} – The initial letters (starts of) Mozzerella, Olives, And Neopolitan give another word meaning beef or complain.

26 Catch spouse returning, having run off (6)
{ENTRAP} – A word meaning catch comes from reversing a word for a spouse having removed the final R (run off).

27 16d – proverbially – is intrinsic to studying Old English (6)
{GOLDEN} – In the proverb this describes 16d.  The answer is hidden (intrinsic) in studyinG OLD ENglish.


1 Titillating stuff seen in account I ripped up (7)
{EROTICA} – A word for titillating stuff (like Gazza’s picture illustrations) comes from putting together the abbreviation for account, the I from the clue and a word meaning ripped and reversing the lot (up).

2 Sound asleep? Possibly (5)
{SNORE} – A mild cryptic definition of the sound many people make when asleep.

3 Ignoring the odds, seen to work hard at subject (7)
{ENSLAVE} – A word meaning subject (as a verb) comes from the even letters (ignoring the odds) of sEeN followed by a word meaning work hard at.

5 One Night in Paristakes time to comprehend (6)
{INTUIT} – Take an I (one) and the French word for night with a T for time inserted in it to find a word meaning to comprehend.

6 Disguised gin & tonic mixture with fourth piece of lemon… (9)
{INCOGNITO} – A word meaning disguised comes from an anagram (mixture) of GIN TONIC and O (the fourth letter of lemon).

7 … dropping in syrup and pineapple (7)
{GRENADE} – A weapon sometimes referred to as a pineapple comes from the name of an alcoholic syrup removing the letters IN.

8 Examined such a hackneyed plot device (4,2,7)
{DEUS EX MACHINA} – A phrase for a plot device comes from an anagram (hackneyed) of EXAMINED SUCH A.

14 Cricket conspiracy covering one professional flyer (4,5)
{TEST PILOT} – This flyer who flies experimental planes comes from a word for an international cricket match followed by a word for a conspiracy inside which (covering) you put an I (one).

16 Rest of Hamlet’s mum? (7)
{SILENCE} – Brush up on your Shakespeare.  Hamlets dying words end with the phrase “The rest is *******”.  The missing word can also mean mum (as in keeping quiet).

18 Dot and Nora playing Twister (7)
{TORNADO} – A anagram (playing) of DOT NORA gives a word for a twister.

19 Support South American volunteers at home (7)
{SUSTAIN} – A word meaning support comes from the abbreviation for South, an abbreviation for American, an abbreviation for army volunteers and a word meaning at home.

20 Almost departed by way of Eastern European country (6)
{LATVIA} – The name of this Eastern European country comes from a word meaning departed (dead) with the final letter removed (almost) and the Latin word meaning by way of when used to describe a journey.

23 In the morning, ate outside and celebrated (5)
{FAMED} – A word meaning celebrated comes from the abbreviation used for morning with a word meaning ate put around it (outside).

14 comments on “NTSPP – 123

  1. Another fine puzzle from Hieroglyph. On the slightly trickier side as we expect from him and there is one word where I will admit to putting the checking letters into Crossword Solver and then saying Ah Clever clue. Thanks to Hieroglyph – I would say I look forward to the next one, but I think I have already seen it :)

    1. Great stuff from Hieroglyph again! A mixture for me, mostly fairly benign but then with 3 or 4 clues that really had me trawling the dim recesses of the brain. Threw in the towel on 17a and did the same as CS – bet it was the same clue! Very clever stuff and too clever for me :grin:

      Many thanks to Hieroglyph.

  2. Thanks to Hieroglyph for a very entertaining puzzle. Even with all the checking letters 17a still took me ages before the penny dropped. Favourite clues: 1/4a, 24a and 16d.

  3. Good puzzle with a few difficult ones that I solved with the help of a wordsearch.

    17a needed all the crossing letters but was a clever clue.

    I particularly liked 16d for its misleading surface.

  4. My spell checker has melted.
    Did all but three clues on paper and have come to a grinding halt.
    I look forward to the review.

  5. I finally cracked 17a as I was cycling to the library, funny how the mind works! (that was after trying to get a beast of burden to fit the clue)
    16d I derived from 27a, Hamlet not one of my favourites.

    Really good puzzle,and a good distraction for a Saturday PM, many thanks to the setter.

    Thanks to Prolixic for the review, not needed in the end but it was a close run thing.

  6. Thanks Prolixic; out of interest, I found this about ‘Boz’ : ‘He chose it for himself. One of his favourite characters in Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield was called Moses. Moses became Boses which became Boz.’

  7. So 17a wasn’t CARTHORSE then? Most enjoyable for a Baltic afternoon in Middle England.

  8. Another excellent puzzle from a very talented young setter. Tackled over breakfast this morning and found lots to make me smile.

    Kudos to my co-conspirator!

  9. Thanks to all for the comments, and thanks to Prolixic for the predictably sterling review. Where you found that pineapple/grenade image I’ll never know (the internet is a wonderful thing). Classic example of ‘think of a clue’ (17 ac.) and the rest will follow. See you here anon :-)

    1. For some reason I wrote a response to this on Saturday afternoon but clearly didn’t hit ‘send’. Thanks for the puzzle H!. The pineapple/hand grenade was one of my favourites!

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