NTSPP – 142 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 142

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 142

Searchin’ by Radler

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NTSPP - 142

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

I am publishing this review slightly earlier than intended as the buttons to format the review and to schedule for later publication have mysteriously disappeared.  I am still not convinced that this copy of the review will not disappear into the ether giving something else to be searchin’ for!

Radler entertains us today with a themed crossword of things real and imaginary they people have or are searching for.  I found it about mid-range for a Radler crossword with some devious and some clear wordplay.  As ever with one of his crosswords, the trick is knowing which is which.

Many thanks to him for the challenge today.  I have underlined my favourite clues in blue.  The hidden word in 24a ranks as my favourite today.


1 Till married, divorced, agreed second marriage (6)
{DIAGMY} – Another word for a second marriage comes from a word mean till or cultivate followed by the abbreviation for marriage which splits (divorces) a two letter word meaning agreed.

4 Rally course switched, suspect detained (4,2)
{DRUM UP} – A word meaning to rally support comes from reversing (switched) a diminutive word for the final course of a meal around (detained) a word for suspect or odd.

9 Jewellery box (4)
{CLIP} – A double definition for a type of jewellery and box (as in to hit around the ear).

10 Short of a litre, adulterated camel spit with ear wax (10)
{SPERMACETI} – An anagram (adulterated) of CAMEL SPIT EAR first removing the A and L (short of a litre) gives a word for a type of wax that comes from whales.

11 Stuff that’s put back behind (6)
{GLUTEI} – The muscles of the backside (behind) come from a word mean stuff followed by reversing (put back) the abbreviation for that is (that’s).

12 End of the old road developed into much sought location (8)
{ELDORADO} – The first our much sought after answers comes from an anagram (developed) of E OLD ROAD (the E being the final letter (end of) THE).  The answer is a legendary golden city sought after inSouth America.

13 Inexperienced motorist cuts into cyclist, fumbling a girl’s much sought item (4,5)
{HOLY GRAIL} – The second of our much sought after answers comes from putting an L (inexperienced motorist) inside the surname of a famous cyclist (Sir Chris) and following this with an anagram (fumbling) of A GIRL.  The answer is the chalice used by Jesus during the Last Supper.

15 One much sought finding one originally much distraught (4)
{NEMO} – The third of our much sought after answers (a fish in the title of a film) comes from an anagram (distraught) of ONE M (the M being the first letter (originally) of MUCH).

16 Upset, you briefly stopped therapy (4)
{HURT} – A word meaning upset comes from putting the letter used for you in text messaging inside (stopped) a type of therapy used by women of a certain age.

18 Call round unexpectedly, encountering much sought individual (4,5)
{LORD LUCAN} – The next of our much sought answers (an absent peer sought by the police) comes from an anagram (unexpectedly) of CALL ROUND.


21 Location much sought by Stalin after revolution (8)
{ATLANTIS} – The next much sought after answer (the city that disappeared beneath the waves) comes from a word meaning by (as in I am by the post office) followed by an anagram (after revolution) of STALIN.

22 When is building not much used? (6)
{NEWISH} – An anagram (building) of WHEN IS gives a word for comes not much used.

24 As a show of unorthodoxy, gent enters patient’s enclosure (6,4)
{OXYGEN TENT} – Hidden inside (as a show of) UNORTHODOXY GENT ENTERS is a phrase for an enclosure in which a patient may be kept to assist breathing.

25 See 3 Down (4)

26 Foot or maybe a toe (6)
{DACTYL} – As used in poetry this word means a foot (the meter of the poem) and in biology this word means a toe.

27 Gems from lab “quite inferior” say legal experts conclusively (6)
{BERYLS} – The final letters (conclusively) of lab quite inferior say legal experts give the name of some gems.


1 Shearer’s on the rampage – all hide! (7)
{DELILAH} – This famous biblical hairdresser who caused Samson great distress comes from an anagram (on the rampage) of ALL HIDE.  If you solved this (as I did) using the AcrossLite version of the crossword, the  apostrophe in Shearer’s disappeared making the clue harder to solve.

2 Acquired houses without issue in much sought location (1-4)
{G-SPOT} – Put the abbreviation for sine prole (Latin for without issue) inside a word meaning acquired to find a much sought after location of a sexual nature.

3 &25a: Much sought predecessor’s page not found? (7)
{MISSING LINK} – If you get a page not found error whilst on the net, you may well have clicked on one of these.  The same phrase described the much sought after predecessor in the evolution of homo sapiens.

5 Alter shape of T? (7)
{REMODEL} – This of the early Ford cars.  If you alter the shape of them, you might be doing this.

6 Tongues mixed pasta with cheese topping (9)
{MACARONIC} – These language inflexions (tongues) come from a word for a type of pasta following by the first letter of cheese (topping).

7 German settlement funds wall (7)
{POTSDAM} – This German settlement (after the end of WW II) comes from a word for funds (as in a kitty of money) and a type of wall that hold back water.

8 Signs of impartiality factor over very roughly half the clues (6,7)
{GENEVA CROSSES} – These signs of impartiality (used by medics in areas of conflict) come from a type of factor from DNA followed by a V (for very) and a description of about half the clues in this crossword that have a horizontal orientation.

14 Hideous witch, first off large, heavy too (9)
{LETHARGIC} – An anagram (hideous) of WITCH LARGE without the initial W (first off) gives a word meaning heavy.

17 Dismissed after nut got off scot free (7)
{UNTAXED} – A word meaning scot or duty free comes from an anagram (go off) of NUT followed by a word meaning dismissed.

18 Departed before snow in New York caused delay (7)
{LATENCY} – A word meaning delay comes from a word for departed (as in deceased) followed by the abbreviation for cocaine (snow) inside the abbreviation forNew York.

19 Take home filling to seal opening (7)
{LUNETTE} – This arch shaped opening comes from putting a word meaning take home or earn after tax inside (filling) a word meaning to seal by covering in cement, clay or other protective material (many thanks Chambers)

20 Abandoned snog restraining lust, perhaps making cautious advances (7)
{NOSINGS} – A word for cautious advances comes from a anagram (abandoned) of SNOG around (restraining) a word that describes lust.

23 Much sought man gets woman to marry (5)
{WALLY} – Our final much sought after answer (that children look for in books) comes from an abbreviation for women and a word meaning to marry.  (Chambers gives W as women, not woman as given in the clue).

14 comments on “NTSPP – 142

  1. I printed this one off as I didn’t remember testing it but once I got going I realised that I had tested it in May when it had a different name. The memory is obviously not what it was, as I still struggled a bit with some of the wordplay (interestingly looking at my notes afterwards, my struggles were with the same clues as before) but got there in the end. Thanks to Radler for diverting me for longer than I should have been spending on crosswords this lunchtime and to Prolixic in advance for the review.

  2. Many thanks to Prolixic for his comprehensive review, and to Crypticsue for solving the puzzle twice. I see from the notes she provided after the test solve, that the first answer she input correctly was 2 down!
    I should also point out and apologise for an incorrect definition in 20d; I carelessly copied and pasted an early draft of the clue when preparing the electronic version of the puzzle on Thursday evening. It ought to read…
    Abandoned snog restraining lust perhaps, edges to the stairs (7)

  3. Had real problems trying to solve this puzzle and only got about a third unaided. Too difficult to enjoy.

    As a matter of interest how would it rate in difficulty terms with a back pager.

    1. I agree with Crypticsue. This would not have been out of place as a Toughie in terms of its difficulty level.

  4. Quite difficult, although my computer seemed to know the answers!

    I loved DELILAH and the cleverly hidden OXYGEN TENT.

    MACARONIC was new to me, and I failed to parse BERYLS.

    G-SPOT very Dada/Mudd/Punk/Paulian.

  5. Enjoyable but very hard. I got about a third of the way and then decided to treat it as another training exercise.

    So, thanks to Prolixic, and to Radler too! :-)

  6. Thanks to Radler for a seriously good workout and to Prolixic for the review. My favourites were 24a and 2d.

  7. I agree with steve_the_beard and decided to use it as another training exercise! Very nice way of putting it – sounds much better than saying I did about ten clues and gave up!! This was far too difficult for me with lots of words that I didn’t know and that combined with general deviousness and an unfamiliar style completely defeated me.
    With thanks to Radler for the puzzle and to Prolixic for the lesson.

  8. We had saved this one to do on Monday morning. It proved much too hard for us and we gave up and went to the review with only ONE answer in! Thanks Radler for putting us in our place and Prolixic for enlightening us.

    1. Yes – I always feel put back in my box when I can hardly do any – glad that I’m not on my own here. Very dark and chilly now . . .

    2. I’m hopeless when it comes to solving, and I’m sure you’ll have progressed much further that I would have done.
      I do hope the clues made sense when you read the review and although hard are not perceived as unfair.
      I will try to make the next puzzle more approachable.

      1. I didn’t find your puzzle unapproachable – it was just too difficult for my standard of solving. All the clues made perfect sense with the help of the hints and were not unfair at all. 20d was one of the very few that I DID manage – probably wouldn’t have got it from the different definition.

      2. Thanks for the response Radler. We find ourselves comparing this one with the only other of yours that we have done, the October prize puzzle, which we found challenging but thoroughly enjoyable. Think that they were about the same level of complexity but the “theme” in the prize puzzle gave points of entry, especially as we got to the last few sticky clues with only a limited number of starting letters. Thought that the final twist with W and UU was brilliant. Looking forward to your next offering. Cheers.

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