NTSPP – 138 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 138

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 138

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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NTSPP - 138

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Crypticsue follows.

Firstly apologies for the late arrival of this review but I was held up, amongst other things,  by an altercation with a member of the clergy on the subject of wedding fees for bellringers.

A typical Prolixic puzzle to brighten up a Saturday lunchtime.  Some tricky stuff, some cheeky stuff and a couple of bits of stuff I didn’t know.  It’s a pangram too, which I didn’t need to check as unlike the rest of you, I know this one started life as one of Prolixic’s and my pet hates, an alphabetical puzzle.    There is also a Nina in column 7, the less said about which the better!  



 3a           One in ill health gets bill (3)
{TAB}  –  Insert the indefinite article (one) into the abbreviation for the disease formerly known as consumption.

8a           Show a means of design in sixth form? (6)
{FACADE}   –  the appearance shown to the world.   Insert the abbreviation for Computer Aided Design into the abbreviation for schooling past GCSEs.

9a           Have Paul shot in revolution (8)
{UPHEAVAL}  An anagram (shot) of HAVE PAUL.

10a         Bakers and cooks need racks (but not many) (8)
{KNEADERS}   Remove the C (representing 100 so not many) from NEED RA[C]KS and rearrange the rest (cooks) to get people who prepare dough for bread.

11a         Liberal spirit’s first to be sensual? (6) 
{ANIMAL}   The innermost part of the soul (spirit) followed by the first letter of Liberal.

12a         Singer in company touring Arabic states (6)
{CARUSO}   One of the most famous Italian tenors – insert into the abbreviation for company, the abbreviation for Arabic and the shorter abbreviation for America (states).

13a         Explanation of six geese flying around (8)
{EXEGESIS}  A critical interpretation of a text, especially a Biblical one.  An anagram (flying around) of SIX GEESE.

15a         Designs about alien worlds (7)
{PLANETS}  Insert the usual abbreviation for alien from outer space into some designs.

17a         Agile supermodel returns covered in make up.
{LISSOME}   A reversal of a supermodel’s surname inserted in a word meaning make up or fib.

21a         Enemy of turtles may be found in the office (8)
{SHREDDER}  The enemy of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (how my sons loved them!) is also a useful piece of office equipment.

24a         In Cyprus, gannet regularly has time for young bird (6)
{CYGNET}   A young swan – the IVR code for Cyprus followed by the odd letters (regularly) of GaNnEt and T (has Time).

26a         Screw a German agreement with the Italian men (6)
{JAILOR}   Screw being the informal way of referring to a prison warder.   The German word for yes (agreement) followed by the abbreviation for Italian and then the two letters by which the Other Ranks of soldiers are known.

27a         Key conceit does not begin to describe folly (8)
{INSANITY}    Key?  Ah! – one of those on your computer keyboard!   Follow the ‘key’ with a word meaning conceit or ostentation from which the first letter (does not begin) has been removed.

28a         Psychologist reportedly is hot but not very old (8)
{YOUNGISH}   A homophone of the surname of the founder of analytical psychology followed by IS (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Hot usually found on taps.

29a         Latin sex god originally seen in these (6)
{VIDEOS}  Sex is the Latin word for six so you need the Roman numerals for six followed by the Latin word mean for or with god, and finally the first (originally) letter of Seen.

30a         Almost drop a book (3)
{SHE}  A famous book by Rider Haggard – simply remove the last letter (almost) from a verb meaning to drop or cast off.



1d           Artist in autumn shower (8)
{RAINFALL}   A quantity of water from the sky but definitely not as much as chez Pommers.   The abbreviation used for an artist and the American word for autumn.

2d           Texan adult goes round site of summer retreat (6)
{XANADU} –  Kublai Khan’s summer capital is hidden in TeXAN ADUlt.

3d           Move thoughtfully (8)
{TELEPORT}    A cryptic definition of the production of motion at a distance by willpower.

4d           After one leaves, resubmit design for style of trouser (7)
{BUMSTER}   Remove the I (one leaves) from RESUBM[I]T and an anagram of the remaining letters will produce a style of trouser contributing much to the phenomenon of builder’s bottom!

5d           Love to be lifted up in praise for sign of resistance (6)
{OHMAGE}  A measurement of electrical resistance.   Take a word meaning praise or reverence and move the O (love to be lifted  up) to the front of the word.

6d           Head off Asian’s Zen movement showing idiosyncrasy (8)
{ZANINESS}  Idiosyncrasy or eccentric behaviour – Remove the A (head off) from ASIAN S ZEN and make an anagram (movement) of the remaining letters.

7d           Arab national who sounds full of phlegm! (6)
{QATARI}   A homophone which sounds like someone full of cold.

14d         Question is ignored in appeal (3)
{SUE}   To entreat or petition (especially in a court of law).  Remove IS (is ignored) from a question or point on which a decision depends. 

15d         Fool stands up for dance (3)
{PAS}   Reverse an informal term for a fool or ninny to get a dance, especially in ballet.

16d         Demand for female in affair is irritating (8)
{NEEDLING}  Take a brief sexual affair, and replace the F at the beginning of the word with a synonym for demand or require (demand for female).

18ad      Astute American company is supported by four in cut.
{INCISIVE}  It is only when you come to explain this you find that it isn’t quite right.   If the American company is INC, followed by IS (from the clue)  and IV (four), where does the E come from?   If it s meant that you insert IV (four) into INCISE (cut), what does the American company have to do with it?  I have done a web search and can’t find anything helpful in the way of American companies. 

19d         Experts spank Tom’s arse (8)
{MAESTROS    Masters, especially in matter musical.   An anagram (spank) of TOMS ARSE.

20d         Anger envelops one beginning to sip spirits (7)
{WRAITHS}   Insert I (envelops one) into violent anger and follow with the first letter of Sip to get some apparitions.

22d         Direct from the Adonis (4-2)
{HEAD-ON}  Another hidden word – this time in tHE ADONis.

23d         Protege with revolutionary heart turns up in Cambridge College (6)
{DARWIN}  Not a Cambridge College we hear of much but…    Take a protégé or person with a guardian (4), swap over the middle two letters (revolutionary heart) and  reverse the result and then follow with IN from the clue.

25d         Half-hearted thug with onset of attention deficit syndrome – its the glands (6)
{GONADS}  Organs that produce sex cells.   Remove one of the middle letters from a hired thug and then follow with the initial letters (onset) of Attention Deficit Syndrome.


Prolixic is a prodigious producer of cryptic crosswords and I hope it isn’t long before his name comes back to the top of the NTSPP rota as there are a large number of similarly entertaining puzzles to come.   For all I know, he’s probably finished another one off this afternoon while waiting for the blog to appear.

19 comments on “NTSPP – 138

  1. Thanks to Prolixic for the entertaining pangram. I presume that ‘phelm’ in 7d is a typo and should be ‘phlegm’.

  2. Quite difficult I thought.

    I didn’t know the enemy of the Teenage Ninja Mutant Hero Turtles. Grandson is not quite old enough yet.

    1. In the late 80syou couldn’t move in our house for models of the Turtles and mock battles with the ‘office equipment’ all over the place.

  3. Found this challenging and enjoyable though totally defeated by 8a. Both the allusions foreign to us I’m afraid. Found the pangram but not the Nina. Thank Prolixic and CS.

  4. Evening everyone.

    The setter has been dining on humble pie. Apologies for the blooper on 18d (shown as 18a in the review). I have tried to look at what went wrong but as the puzzle was set back in February this year, trying to divine any lost intention has proved impossible. Simplest to say that your setter is an idiot – which is certainly how I felt when I tried to solve this cold this morning wondering how on earth the clues worked.

    Thanks to Sue for her review and closing words, though after the cock-ups in this one, it may be sometime before I am let out from the setter’s naughty step – like the prize puzzle naughty step but without the cake!

    I am pretty certain that the nina was accidental on this occassion.

  5. Finally finished without needing the hints apart from a few explanations. It’s taken me a long time and I enjoyed it very much.
    I only got 8a because I’d already read that it was a pangram and the F was my only missing letter but I didn’t understand the rest of the clue – not good on computer terminology. I had so many letters already in 21a that it couldn’t have been anything else but, having daughters rather than sons, I know nothing about these “turtley things”! Didn’t understand the first three letters of 27a and still don’t – don’t think there’s anything like that on my keyboard. 7d took me ages – have to confess that I even went so far as to look up “snotti” to see if there was any such word – there isn’t!! I got 25d but still can’t work out the “half-hearted thug” bit.
    Too many really good clues to write them all down so thanks to Prolixic for the crossword and CS for the much needed help.

    1. Well done Kath.
      8a – we keep having to squeeze more people into offices than there is space to swing a cat so we have a CAD man to prove it can be done.
      27a You probably have a key called ‘insert’. I have a small keyboard so it is reduced to INS.
      25d The thug is a GO[O]N.

      1. Thanks very much CS.
        The middle bit of 8a was just something that I didn’t know.
        27a We don’t have a key called ‘insert’ or even ‘ins’ – i’m now used to the occasional use of ‘esc’ for ‘key’ but have never dared to press it in case I disappear completely!
        25a I was just being slow, plus it’s not a word that I’m very used to but had just guessed and looked up in Chambers – I know that we’ve had it before.

      1. You are, of course, quite right! How lucky I was that I missed it when I was doing a quick “round-up” of letters otherwise I wouldn’t have got 8a! :roll:

  6. Struggled with this one and took recourse to a few hints to give me an insight, when I got into the swing of it, enjoyed it greatly.

    Thanks to Prolixic and to CS for the review.

    1. I have only ever done one alphabet puzzle – it was an NTSPP by, I think, Hieroglyph but could be wrong there. It took me a whole day – I absolutely loved it – the rest of the family wasn’t so impressed as I was completely incommunicado!

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