NTSPP – 140 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 140

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 140

A Puzzle by Robi

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Today we have another promising new setter.  Robi is a regular contributor to the comments on fifteensquared.net, and some of you may have met him at London S&B meetings.  BD

Today he makes his debut in the NTSPP series.

NTSPP - 139

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle follows.

Welcome to Robi (aka Windsurfer) with his first NTSPP crossword.  It was enjoyable to solve and we look forward to more of his offerings in the months to come.

There was a good range of wordplay devices and some easier clues to get you started and more tricky ones to make you think.   Favourite clues are highlighted in blue.


1 Indolent, back-biting, posh! (6)
{SUPINE} – A word meaning indolent (in the sense of lazy or lying back doing nothing) comes from a word for back around (biting) a one-letter word meaning posh.

4 Joke horse (8)
{CHESTNUT} – A double definition for an old corny joke and a horse of a particular colour.

9 Showing bottom? It tends to result in hands covering (6)
{MITTEN} – A covering for the hands is hidden inside (showing) BOTTOM IT TENDS

10 Regarding the matter about flipping clock (8)
{REGISTER} – A word meaning clock as in notice or see comes from the abbreviation for regarding or about followed by a word meaning the matter or nub of something followed by the same word for about, this time reversed (flipping).

12 Wine Circle that’s extremely social inside (8)
{RIESLING} – A type of German white wine comes from a word for a circle inside which you add the abbreviation for “that is” (that’s) and the outer letters (extremely) of social.

13 Revenge for decider left out (3-3)
{PAY-OFF} – Take a description of a decider (in terms of a game where two teams battle it out to see who goes forward to the next round) and remove the abbreviation for left to find a word meaning revenge.

15 Special rate I activated to finance again (12)
{RECAPITALISE} – An anagram (activated) of SPECIAL RATE I gives a word meaning to finance again.

18 Pen universal daft saying in Monte Carlo 25 (4,2,2,4)
{RIEN NE VAS PLUS} – An anagram (daft) of PEN UNIVERAL gives a phrase meaning no more bets please that may be used in Monte Carlo at the roulette table.

21 Every stoic rejects part-rations (6)
{ALLOTS} – A word for rations (as a verb) comes from a word meaning every followed by a reversal (rejects) of part of the word STO(IC).  I am not sure that using part to remove the final two letters is strictly fair but you do see it in the Guardian cryptic crossword.

22 Complaints from endless, very immature crowd in front of hospital department (8)
{VERRUCAE} – These painful infections of the foot “complaints” come from the first three letters of very (endless telling us to remove the last letter), a word for a crowd (also a term in rugby) with the final letter removed (immature, meaning not fully developed) and the abbreviation for “Accident and Emergency”, the hospital department.

24 Sounds like bet on a split game (8)
{BACCARAT} – A card game comes from a homophone of a word for bet (as you might a horse) (the word produced from the homophone is not a word in its own right but this is often seen in cryptic crosswords) followed by the A from the clue and a word meaning split (as in inform on someone).

25 I replaced a short lover in Playhouse (6)
{CASINO} – A place where you might play roulette, poker, etc comes from the name of a famous Italian adventurer and womaniser with the final two letters removed (short) (again is using short to indicate removing the final two letters strictly fair?) with the second A in the word replaced by an I.

26 Bird with pink behind grabbed note and laughed (8)
{TITTERED} – A word meaning laughed comes from a three letter word for a bird and another word for pink inside which (grabbed) you add the name of a musical note on the DO-RE-MI scale.

27 The French revolutionary little monster in shower (6)
{LEONID} – The meteor shower (usually referred to in the plural when used on its own or in the singular as the “XXXX meteor shower) comes from the French masculine version of THE followed by an abbreviated (little) form of prehistoric monster which is reversed (revolutionary).


1 Serious reactionary alternative to hat (8)
{SOMBRERO} – A type of Mexican hat comes from a word meaning serious followed by a two letter word meaning alternative to which is reversed (reactionary).

2 Dock restraint (8)
{PATIENCE} – A double definition of a word meaning restraint and a type of dock (a plant).

3 Astonishingly, Lee noticed panel embroidery (11,4)
{NEEDLEPOINT LACE} – A type of embroidery comes from an anagram (astonishingly) of LEE NOTICED PANEL.

5 Sounds like he will list (4)
{HEEL} – A homophone (sounds like) of the contracted form of HE WILL gives a word meaning list (as in lean over).

6 Stars’ special air force in flight (6,9)
{SPIRAL STAIRCASE} – The name of a flight (used to move between floors in a building) comes from an anagram (force) of STARS SPECIAL AIR.

7 Element into different state? (6)
{NATION} – A word for a state or kingdom comes from the chemical symbol for sodium (element) followed by an anagram (different) of INTO.

8 Difference of opinion describing a religious beginner’s duty (6)
{TARIFF} – A word for a duty or tax comes from a word meaning a difference of opinion around (describing) the A from the clue and the first letter (beginner’s) of religious.

11 Urgent occasion (7)
{INSTANT} – A double definition of something that it urgent (I want it done this XXX) and meaning an occasion (at this moment in time).

14 Covered, perhaps, when cheated (7)
{FLEECED} – A word meaning cheated also means covered in furry material.

16 Return defaced pick (8)
{ELECTION} – Take a word meaning pick (as in those that have been chosen) and remove the first letter (defaced) to get a word meaning return (in voting terms).

17 Love God’s heavenly body (8)
{ASTEROID} – This heavenly body (orbiting between Mars and Jupiter) requires you to know that the name of the love God, Eros, is the name given to one of the larger examples of its kind.

19 Chatter may be Dutch or Polish (6)
{RABBIT} – A word meaning chatter could be Dutch, Polish or even lop-eared or dwarf.

20 Obtain, and even reclaim, odd chintz (6)
{ELICIT} – A word meaning obtain comes from the even letters of reclaim followed by the odd letters of chintz.

23 Shows limited speed (4)
{RACE} – A word meaning shows with the first and last letters removed (limited) gives a word meaning speed.

8 comments on “NTSPP – 140

  1. An enjoyable mix of straightforward and some to think about. I thought it was particularly good to hve 4a in a crossword as that the main thing people mutter about :D Thanks to Robi and Prolixic (in advance) too.

  2. Another enjoyable puzzle for today.
    Did about 7/8ths of it but had to resort to cheating to get the rest, getting the spelling of the wine wrong did not help. Stickers were 22a,1d, 2d, and16d.
    On reflection they were fair clues, they just didn’t click.
    Must brush up on breeds of rabbits.

    Thanks to the Robi for a stretching and enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks to Prolixic for the review which explained the wordplay nicely.

  3. I totally agree with Crypticsue and Prolixic, an enjoyable mix of clues, liked 12, 18 and 21A 1, 5 and 6D Thanks to Robi and Prolixic, needed hints for 22A 17 and 23D

  4. I REALLY can’t do this one – it is far too clever for me. We have younger daughter home for the weekend so I’m blaming distraction on my total lack of ability. Haven’t read hints or comments yet and will have another go tomorrow in peace and quiet but I suspect that it’s just beyond me. I have managed two! :sad:

  5. Thanks to Robi for an entertaining puzzle to keep me occupied on a non-toughie day.
    Most of this went in without too much problem, although I got bogged down in the SE. Completed bar 27a.
    Thanks also to Prolixic for the review.

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