NTSPP – 139

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 139

A Puzzle by Hieroglyph

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NTSPP - 139

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by follows below.

Greeting from the wilds of Debyshire.  I have finally managed to log-on to post the review on a laptop that is madly trying to update every program in sight as it has not be used in over a year.  This review is of necessity short as the computer wants to reboot every three minutes!

Hieroglyph has given an entertained themed puzzle today based on the works of the author identified as the answer to 24d.  Favourite clues are highlighted in blue.


1 Retiring after a party? (7)
{ASOCIAL} – A word for retiring comes from the A in the clue followed by another word for a party.

5 Hardly H2O3? (3,4)
{ICE CUBE} – This is a form of water you might put in your drink defined cryptically by H2O raised to the power 3.

10 See 17 Down

11 See 12

12/11 24’s struggle with volumes (6,2,3,5)
{BATTLE OF THE BOOKS} – One of our theme author’s works is defined cryptically  by the words “struggle with volumes”.

13 See 4 Down

14 Disdainful ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, tense, taking on novice (9)
{SLIGHTING} – A word meaning disdainful comes from an anagram (hurricane) of HIGGINS T (abbreviation for tense) with an L (novice or learner) inside it.

16 Girl hidden in answers? Yes! (4)
{NINA} – A theme hidden in a crossword is defined by this word, a girl’s name, that is also hidden inside the words HIDDEN IN ANSWERS.

17 Friend, if X = 0 (4)
{ALLY} – If X = 0 then at a stretch a friend might be described as being everything Y.

18 Smartest one involved in abuse? (9)
{MISTREATS} – An anagram (involved) of SMARTEST I (one) gives a word meaning abuse.

22 Novelist breaking metatarsal in Germany (8)
{SALINGER} – The name of an American novelist (the author of Catcher in the Rye) is hidden inside (breaking) METATARSAL IN GERMANY.

23 Conductor often seen on holiday (6)
{BUSMAN} – A cryptic definition of the person who proverablly takes a holiday that involves his occupation.

25 Cold quality of nameless river to the east of Scottish water (10)
{SEVERENESS} – Take the name of a well-known English river and remove the final N.  Follow this with the name of a famous Scottish loch and you will find a word that means cold quality.

26 A near-perfect notion? (4)
{IDEA} – Remover the final letter (near) of a word meaning perfect to give a word meaning notion.

27 Small fish starts rotting – foul! (7)
{OFFSIDE} – This foul in football (Tilsit as a trainer of referees will exaplain it to you in patient detail) comes from the abbreviation for small followed by a three letter word for a fish (only seen in crossword waters) before which (starts) you add a word meaning rotting.

28 From Glasgow, say: non-conservative and habitually drunk (7)
{SOTTISH} – Take a word describing a person from Glasgow and remove the C (non-conservative) to find  a word meaning habitually drunk.


2 Put out search for little green men around South American lake (3,4)
{SET SAIL} – A phrse meaning put out or depart from shore comes from the abbreviation for the Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence inside which you put abbreviation for South America all followed by the abbreviation for lake.

3 Explorer’s termination in arctic boat accident (5)
{CABOT} – The name of a famous explorer comes from an anagram (acciden) of C (final letter of artic) and BOAT.

4/13 24’s advice: do pastoral poems perplex? (1,6,8)
{A MODEST PROPOSAL} – The name of a satirical essay by our theme author comes from an anagram (perplex) of DO PASTORAL POEMS.

6 Dramatist’s stunning victory supporting revolutionary (6)
{CHEKOV} – The name of this Russian dramatist comes from the name of a famous revolutionary beloved of crossword setters, the abbreviation for knockout (stunning) and the abbreviation for victory.

7 Proverbially, it cried cool tears (9)
{CROCODILE} – An anagram (tears) of CRIED COOL gives the name of an animal that proverbially has fake tears.

8 Endlessly cook hot stuff for dessert (7)
{BAKLAVA} – The name of this sweet Greek desert comes from a word meaning cook (as you might do when preparing a cake for the naughty step) with the final letter removed (endlessly) followed by the name for molten rock.

9 Magistrates sit about and write journals (13)
{STIPENDIARIES} – Another word for magistrates comes from an anagram (about) of SIT followed by a word meaning write and a word for journals of the type written by Samuel Pepys.

15/20 24’s bird is consuming clergyman over time, dancing with lust, oddly (9,7)
{GULLIVERS TRAVELS} – The famous work by our theme author comes from the name of a bird (retaining the S from the ‘s in the clue) inside which you add and reverse the abbreviation for a vicar).  This is followed by the abbreviation for time and another word for dance often held in a warehouse and the odd letters of the word lust.

17/10 Totally flipped, however a rival city volunteers 24’s work (1,4,2,1,3)
{A TALE OF A TUB} – The final word by our theme author comes from reversing all of the following words (totally flipped); a word for however, a word for a rival, the abbreviation for a west coast city in the USA and the abbreviation for volunteer soldiers.

19 3 as cheeky sauce (7)
{TABASCO} – An anagram (cheeky) of the answer to 3d and AS gives the name of a piquant sauce.

20 See 15

21 It’s a sin, yes? (6)
{AGREED} – A word which may be said to indicate you expect the answer yes comes from the A in the clue followed by one of the seven deadly sins.

24 Satirist succeeded with independent newspaper (5)
{SWIFT} – The name of a famous satirist comes from the abbreviations for succeeded and with followed by the abbreviation for independent and the abbreviation for a daily newspaper.


  1. Prolixic
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to H for the “Quick” crossword. I will post a review later. It may be delayed as I am away from home visiting mum today.

  2. crypticsue
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The perfect lunchtime puzzle – particularly fond of the d’oh moment when I saw 5a. Thanks to Hieroglyph and in advance to Prolixic too.

  3. Windsurfer23
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice one, although Mrs Google had to help with a certain person’s books – I only knew the famous one.

    5a was a treasure and I liked the simple 17a, 27 &28.

  4. Tilsit
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    A nice pleasant solve from someone destined to be published in the future.

  5. Kath
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had a massive battle with this one – might have been considerably easier if I had been quicker to get the crucial satirist – oh dear! Anyway finished it now without needing the hints (I always read them anyway as so often I’ve missed something) apart from the explanation for 17/10 and 2d – didn’t know the abbreviation and got into a real pickle with that one. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen ‘hurricane’ as an anagram indicator before.
    Lots of really clever clues including 5, 23, 27 and 28a and 7, 8 and 9d.
    I really enjoyed it very much but now I’ve got brain ache – time to light fire, have glass of wine and supper and watch the dancing.
    With thanks to Hieroglyph and Prolixic.

  6. Hieroglyph
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for your comments & to Prolixic for the excellent review. Hope you get your laptop working again! Till next time :-).

  7. Posted October 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle. Thanks for sharing. Good work getting so many works in. Loved 16ac!

  8. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Had saved this one to do after the Monday Rufus. Really enjoyed it. Just the right level of difficulty for us. Thanks Hieroglyph and Prolixic.