NTSPP – 145 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 145

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 145

A Puzzle by Gazza

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NTSPP - 145

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Welcome back to Gazza with another gem of a crossword.  Favourite clues are highlighted in blue.


1 Balls dropped in front of partner (9)
{BEDFELLOWS} – A word for a partner comes from the diminutive first name of the shadow Chancellor (Mr Balls) and a word meaning dropped both of which are put inside (in) a word meaning front that is usually used of a boat.

6 Starts to drain radiator in plumbing system and makes wet patch (5)
{DRIPS} – What may make a wet patch comes from the first letters (starts to) Drain Radiator In Plumbing System.

9 Order to leave cancelled after broadcast (4,3)
{SEND OFF} – An order to leave comes from a word cancelled (as in rained ***) after a word meaning broadcast or post.

10 Poorly judge? (7)
{MISHEAR} – A cryptic definition of what a poor judge might do in trial that could lead to a re-trial.

11 Dire? It’s a nauseating piece that, in retrospect, is even more repugnant (7)
{NASTIER} – A word hidden and reversed (piece that in retrospect) inside DIRE IT’S A NAUSEATING gives a word meaning even more repugnant.

12 Be meticulous to keep a clear head (7)
{NITPICK} – A word meaning be meticulous could also describe the process of clearing your head from lice.

13 Howlers made by pupil expunged from bible’s racy translation (9)
{CRYBABIES} – A word for howlers comes from an anagram (translation) of BIBLES RACY after removing the L (pupil expunged).

15 Soldiers tuck into champagne en route to the theatre (3-2)
{PRE-OP} – A word that describes the period before surgery (en route to the theatre) comes from putting the abbreviation for Royal Engineers (soldiers) inside (tuck into) a slang word for champagne.

16 Note by academic fieldworker? (3-2)
{MID-ON} – This fieldworker is found on the cricket pitch.  The answer comes from putting one of the notes on the DOH-RE-MI scale by a word used to describe a university academic.

19 Genuine in one’s illusion (9)
{UNREALITY} – A word for an illusion comes from putting a word meaning genuine inside (in) a word meaning one.

22 Batting’s more positive for one prepared to take risks (7)
{INSURER} – This person who takes risks on your house not burning down (amongst other things) comes from a word describing the team batting followed by a word meaning more positive.

23 She’s thoroughly steeped in her faith (7)
{BAPTIST} – A cryptic definition of someone who is (usually) admitted to this church denomination by total immersion.

25 Intimidated by wine of a fresh variety (2,3,2)
{IN AWE OF} – A phrase meaning intimidated comes from an anagram (fresh variety) of WINE OF A.

26 Spooner’s headgear provides opening for queen (3,4)
{CAT FLAP} – How a domestic feline pet (queen) may get in and out comes from swapping the initial syllables (Spooner’s) of flat cap (headgear).

27 Again rally periodically, in the pink? (5)
{GIRLY} – A bit of sexual stereotyping of those who prefer the colour pink comes from the even letters (periodically) of AGAIN RALLY.

28 Spooner’s confused with news about one out of favour (3-6)
{NON-PERSON} – An anagram (confused) of SPOONER’S inside two N’s (news about) gives a description of one out of favour.


1 Animal issue could go either way? (5)
{BISON} – A type of animal could, split 2-3, describe one of your children whose sexuality is ambiguous.

2 Old show house (7)
{DYNASTY} – A word for a house (as in a family line, not a building) is also the name of an old American soap opera starring Joan Collins.

3 Tenor enthralled by Beethoven’s work – it’s rousing stuff (7)
{EROTICA} – A word for sexually rousing stuff comes from putting the abbreviation for tenor inside the name given to Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony.

What is small, brown and sits on a piano stool?  Beethoven’s last movement!

4 Porky fellow’s stuck in river – he won’t get out for ages (5)
{LIFER} – A word for a person who will spend a long time in prison comes from putting the abbreviation for fellow inside a word for a porky or fib followed by the abbreviation for river.

5 Injured in some war, he carries on (9)
{WOMANISER} – This person who carries on affairs comes from an anagram (injured) of IN SOME WAR.

6 Sat up guarding knight in iconic exhibition area (7)
{DESKTOP} – Where computer icons are displayed comes from an abbreviation for knight inside a word meaning sat that has been reversed.

7 Call over some colleagues I met in travelling north (7)
{ITEMISE} – A word meaning call over (as in going through a list) is hidden inside (some) and reversed (travelling north) the words COLLEAGUES I MET IN.

8 You’ll get it if you come out! (6,3)
{STRIKE PAY} – A cryptic definition of what those involved in a labour dispute receiver.

13 Arranging for reduced dose to be taken in future (9)
{COMPILING} – A word meaning arranging comes come putting another word for dose or tablet with the final letter removed (reduced) inside (to be taken in) a word meaning future.

14 Build up bonfire in preparation for clearing annoying problem (9)
{IBUPROFEN} – This proprietary named medicine comes from an anagram (build) of UP BONFIRE.

17 Anguish of old man consumed by endless passion (7)
{DESPAIR} – Take a word meaning passion and remove the last letter (endless) and put a word for an old man inside (consumed) to get a word meaning anguish.

18 Training ground for old linesmen where they worked round London area (7)
{NURSERY} – This training ground comes from the abbreviation for National Union of Railwaymen (old linesmen) followed by the abbreviation for railway (where they worked) around (round) one of theLondon area postcodes.

20 Mixed up English team, one short of members? (7)
{AMPUTEE} – A person who is missing a limb comes from an anagram (mixed) of UP E (abbreviation for English) TEAM.

21 After a couple of circuits the French get frozen extremities (7)
{ICICLES) – These frozen extremities comes from the abbreviation for an integrated circuit used twice followed by the French plural for “the”.

23 Business trapped by embargo may be Danish (5)
{BACON} – This breakfast staple that may be Danish (or Walls) comes from putting the abbreviation for company (business) inside a word meaning embargo.

24 Easy shot for soldiers put on hold (3-2)
{TAP-IN} – The abbreviation for soldiers or reserves (whose abbreviation must now change following their recent re-branding that probably took place after Gazza set this crossword) followed by a type of wrestling hold gives a word for an easy shot.

16 comments on “NTSPP – 145

  1. So I created a lovely filing system so that when a puzzle I tested appears in the NTSPP slot I would immediately know I had seen it before. Well that didn’t work today but I did realise that I had indeed seen this very nice gazza puzzle before. Lots of lovely misleads and d’oh moments so thank you to him – it’s about time you sent me another one! Thanks n advance to Prolixic too.

  2. Excellent stuff Gazza, really enjoyed it :grin: Thanks for the entertainment.

    Lots of good clues for me and a lot of laughs but stand out has to be 26a.

    A little harder than your previous puzzles I thought but maybe that’s just me.

  3. This provided the ideal entertainment for a dreary wet afternoon, quite tricky, with fun,misdirection, and sheer mischief. Lots of laughs.

    14d and 1d faves.

    Needed some hints, thanks Prolixic.

    Thanks Gazza.

  4. All done and dusted & most enjoyable it was too!
    Needed the explanation for 1a, Mr B not immediately springing to mind.
    27 was naughty but nice, and plenty of cricketing input to keep them happy.
    Cheers Gazza.

  5. Clever and entertaining puzzle. I particularly liked NON-PERSON for the misleading use of Spooner. I think I’ve seen the CAT FLAP/FLAT CAP Spoonerism somewhere before.

    Thanks Prolixic; I thought the BISON clue was the wrong way round until I saw your blog.

  6. Having overdosed on sport today I thought I better find an alternative before Match of the Day ! Smiled a lot .

    Thanks .

  7. I knew that I would enjoy this one – just occasionally it’s really nice to be right about something! I have stored it up to be done, and savoured, when time permits. So far I have done almost all of the left hand side but not much on the other one. I haven’t yet looked at the hints or comments and will ‘perservate’ a bit more tomorrow when visitors have gone.
    Just had to say how much I loved 1d (try explaining why you are laughing to husband and sister-in-law) 13a for no particular reason, and 27a. Back tomorrow . . .
    In the meantime thanks to gazza – thanks to Prolixic will follow tomorrow when I finally admit defeat and need bailing out tomorow.

  8. Right about something else – I did eventually have to admit defeat with a few and needed the hints to explain why for a few more. I couldn’t do 16a, 7d and 13d.
    A brilliant puzzle with lots of laughs and some really sneaky hidden-in-the-middle types of clue.
    Favourites include 12, 13, 26 and 27a and 1, 3, 4 and 5d.
    Thanks to gazza and Prolixic.

  9. Thanks to Prolixic for the review and to all who commented. I’m glad that you all seemed to enjoy it.

        1. I did try to compile a puzzle once but I’m pretty sure noboby would want to solve it. I might have another go one day but don’t hold your breath!

    1. . . . verging on Virgilius as the master of hidden in the middle stuff – I completely missed one and the other took me FOR EVER to get. Really good! :smile:

  10. We were away again for the weekend and so were able to resist temptation and save this one to do on our Monday morning. Really glad that we did. What a great puzzle. Lots of laugh out loud and clever misdirection. Failed to fully parse 1a as Mr Balls unknown to us but got the rest out OK after a lot of hard work.
    Many thanks Gazza and Prolixic.

    1. Mr Balls is also unknown to most of us here in the UK! Wonder why he didn’t change his name by deed-poll! Still – good for the Head-line writers.

      Thanks to gazza – definitely one for the Toughie envelope – but lots of good fun! Thanks, also, to Prolixic for the explanations!

  11. Had a go at this on a wet Northumbrian afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed
    it. I struggled a bit at first but then, perhaps, I was getting on to your wavelength. I think this puzzle is every bit as good as our regular offerings. Let’s have more please. :)

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