NTSPP – 128 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 128

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 128

Projected Glory by Alchemi

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NTSPP - 128

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

After his monthly prize puzzle (today is the last day for entries), Alchemi returns to entertain use with a themed crossword. As will be evident from the title to the crossword and the solution to 9a, all the themed entries are screen idols (all men – maybe he has a counterpart in the wings?).

This was gently clued with some nice flourishes in the wordplay and very fair on the solver.


1 Light gold carriage (6)
{LANDAU} – A type of carriage comes from a word meaning light (as in disembark) followed by the chemical symbol for gold.

5 Fish going straight from Queen to Number Ten? (8)
{SKIPJACK} – If you were counting through a deck of cards and went straight from the Queen to the Ten, you would omit this card. A description of doing so gives the name of a fish.

9 Screen idol shoots sailor (4,4)
{FILM STAR} – Another name for a screen idol (and the theme of this crossword) comes from a five letter word meaning shoots (as with a movie camera) and a three letter word for a sailor.

10 Woman absorbs pressure getting on the ball (6)
{SPHERE} – Another word for a ball or globe comes from putting the abbreviation for pressure inside a pronoun for a woman and following this (getting) with a word meaning on or about.

11 Vehicle carrying half a hundredweight to intelligent 9 (5,5)
{CLARK GABLE} – This name of this screen idol comes from putting the Latin represent of 50 (half a hundred) inside a word for a vehicle and following this by an abbreviation for kilogram (weight) and a word meaning intelligent.

12 Some judges have quite a few to drink, first to last (4)
{WIGS} – An informal word for some judges (described by their headgear) comes from a word meaning have quite a few to drink moving the first letter to the end.

13 Dodge around sheep in strange costume (3,5)
{ODD GETUP} – An anagram (around) of DODGE followed by a word for a breeding ram gives a phrase for a strange costume.

16 Spooner orders blackleg to fib about satellite which fell to earth (6)
{SKYLAB} – This artificial satellite (a manned space station) which fell back to earth in 1979 might by how pronounced by Spooner as lie (fib about) scab (blackleg).

17 Straighten out trunk, noting contents (6)
{UNKNOT} – A word meaning straighten out is hidden inside (contents) TRUNK NOTING.

19 Introduces engineer posted after pressure succeeded (8)
{PRESENTS} – A word meaning introduces comes from the abbreviation for pressure (see 10a for the same use) followed by the abbreviation for a Royal Engineer, a word meaning posted and the abbreviation for succeeded. Interestingly, Chambers gives RE as an abbreviation for Royal Engineers in the plural but this abbreviation is often used by setters by cluing an engineer in the singular.

21 500 Asian cattle living in Borneo (4)
{DYAK} – The name of a tribe of people who live in Borneo comes from the Latin for 500 followed by the name given to some Asian cattle (a species of ox found inTibet).

22 9 Queen gets Harris, say, to take King’s place in seaside town (5,5)
{ERROL FLYNN} – The next of our screen idols comes from the abbreviation for the Queen followed by the name of a seaside town in Norfolk from which the KING has been removed and replaced by the first name of the Australian entertainer whose surname is Harris. I have never been to King’s Lynn so cannot confirm whether or not it is a seaside town but from the map the town itself looks to be inland on the river Great Ouse.

25 Author backing first-class bloomer (6)
{DAHLIA} – This flower or bloomer comes from the name of an author famous for books such as Matilda and James and Giant Peach followed by reversing (backing) an abbreviation for first class.

There was a young girl from Australia
Who painted her butt like a dahlia
The picture was fine
And the colour divine
But the scent on the whole was a failure

26 Movie-maker appalling about central casting getting nothing right (8)
{DIRECTOR} – This person who plays a key role in making movies comes from a word meaning appalling, on of the abbreviations for about, the middle letter (central) of CASTING, an O (for nothing) and an R (right).

27 Made further use of celery, stirring it up with slices of chicken and duck (8)
{RECYCLED} – A word meaning made further use of comes from an anagram (stirring it up) of CELERY with the initial letters (slices of) Chicken and Duck.

28 Festival of trees concealing a transformation (6)
{EASTER} – This festival comes from an anagram (transformation) of TREES with an A included (concealing).


2 Sharon’s detergent? (5)
{ARIEL} – The name of this soap powder (detergent) is also the first name of the former Israeli Prime Minister whose surname wasSharon.

3 Object to physician keeping bird (5)
{DEMUR} – Put the name of a flightless bird into one of the abbreviations for doctor to find a word meaning object to.

4 Jittery, but happy to note mercury rising before temperature (7)
{UPTIGHT} – A word meaning jittery comes from a two letter word meaning happy or elated followed by a two letter musical note, a reversal (rising) of the chemical symbol for mercury followed by the abbreviation for temperature.

5 Thoroughly clean faculty members at university raising the bar (5,2)
{SCRUP UP} – A phrase meaning thoroughly clean comes from the abbreviation for Senior Common Room (faculty members), the abbreviation for university and a reversal of another name for a bar or inn.

6 Spinster nearly ruined parts of shoes (7)
{INSTEPS} – An anagram (ruined) of SPINSTER with the final letter removed (nearly) gives a word for parts of a shoes.

7 Decline in public convenience reported by 9 (4,5)
{JOHN WAYNE} – The next of our screen idols comes from a slang word for a public convenience followed by a homophone (reported) of decline.

Not sure if this is a true story but during the filming of the Greatest Story Ever Told, John Wayn played the part of the soldier at the foot of the cross. After delivering his line “This truly was the Son of God”, the director shouted cut and said, “say the lines with awe, John”. On the next take, he did “”Aww, this truly was the Son of God.”

8 9 has, we hear, bear permit (4,5)
{CARY GRANT} – The next of our screen idols comes from a homophone (we hear) for a word meaning bear followed by a word meaning permit.

14 Turn any key and 9 appears (5,4)
{DANNY KAYE} – An anagram (turn) of ANY KEY AND gives the name of our next screen idol.

15 Broadly speaking, artist becomes half like 9 (4,5)
{GENE KELLY} – The next of our screen idols comes from a word meaning broadly speaking with the middle RA (artist) replaced by KE (half like).

18 Extremity’s extremity brings wild elation (7)
{TOENAIL} – An anagram (wild) of ELATION gives the name of part of the body found on the end of the foot (extremity’s extremity).

19 Marched as old man attacked, losing early initiative (7)
{PARADED} – A word meaning marched comes from a two letter word for an old man followed by a word meaning attacked from which the I has been removed (losing early initiative).

20 Lee and Grant mostly struggling to expand (7)
{ENLARGE} – An anagram (struggling) of LEE and GRANT (with the T removed (mostly) gives a word meaning expand.

23 Needs to sound lenient (5)
{LACKS} – A word meaning needs sound like LAX (lenient).

24 Absence of people negative about energy (2,3)
{NO ONE} – A phrase to describe the absence of people comes from a word meaning negative, a two letter word for about and the abbreviation for energy.

9 comments on “NTSPP – 128

  1. Thanks to Alchemic for a nice themed-ish challenge from Alchemi with several d’oh moments. For some mad reason my favourite was 18d.

  2. When I twigged what the theme was i was a bit wary as I’m not good on them, at least not the more modern ones. Thankfully there were none of those!

    Very pleasant puzzle and not too taxing. Favs were 18d and 5a.

    Thanks for the entertainment Alchemi.

  3. Very enjoyable to solve. A review will be posted later. Thanks to Alchemi for the crossword.

  4. Thanks to Alchemi for the lunchtime entertainment – pretty straightforward (after I’d crossed out stepins for 6d :D ). Favourite clues 22a and 18d.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments.

    A couple of points on Prolixic’s interpretations:

    In 12a, the break point is a little later in the clue; “some judges have quite a few” is meant to be a straight definition

    In 22a, on reflection, perhaps “coastal” would have been better than “seaside” in the clue, or even “port” rather than”xxx town”. KL is a sea port, but it’s now a little way up the estuary as the silt has mounted.

  6. This was far too difficult for me. I did have a go but didn’t get very far. What I did manage I enjoyed and have also enjoyed reading the hints and trying to get a few more answers.
    The hint for 7d reminded me of a (probably not true) story of a very religious Yorkshire woman who died. Her relatives wanted “She was thine” to be inscribed on her gravestone. When they went to see it the inscription was “She was thin”. They complained, saying “You missed out an E”. When they next went to see it, assuming that it would have been, as promised, put right the inscription read “Eee, she was thin”!
    With thanks to Alchemi and Prolixic.

  7. I am enjoying the NTSPPs now that I have given them a go. Thanks Alchemi for an excellent puzzle and to Prolixic for the revue. :)

  8. Had a crack at this one halfway across channel in brilliant sun shine on a fine reach…life is good!

    Very enjoyable, once the theme became clear it all fell into place quite nicely, loved the detergent clue.

    Thanks to Prolixic for the review and to Alchemi for the puzzle.

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