NTSPP – 147 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 147

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 147

An Alphabetical Jigsaw by Hieroglyph

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NTSPP - 147

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

It is good to welcome Hieroglyph back with another cracking Alphabetical Jigsaw.

The key to solving these crosswords is to solve as many of the clues as possible before beginning to put anything in the grid.  It helps considerably that you know the first letter of each answer.  A spare piece of paper is useful to jot your answer down.

My approach is to list the answers according to their word length so that I end up with a list of words that I can refer to when trying to fit them into the grid once I have enough answers  to begin doing so.  Any missing answers are also include in the list with their first letter in place.

With many Alphabetical Jigsaws the entry point is found where two solutions begin with the same letter where there is an across and a down clue that intersect.  However, in today’s grid, although there are two sets of answers M and Z that begin with the same letter, there is no intersection in the grid where they would fit.   My approach was therefore to being with the 9 letter answers and ask if I put in one of them in the first long across clue, would I be able to fit any of the down clues with the cross-checking letters.  Using this approach I was able to piece together the correct fit.   My solution is shown below.

On to the answers:

A American academic is a handsome fellow (6)
{ADONIS} – Take the abbreviation for American and add the name of an university academic and the IS from the clue to find another word for a handsome fellow.

B Shopper starts to butter up young English rose (5)
{BUYER} – Another word for a shopper comes from the initial letters (starts to) of Butter Up Young English Rose.

C Conservative’s down at the end (7)
{CLOSING} – The one letter abbreviation for Conservative followed by a word meaning down (as you would be if you were one goal down in a football match) gives a word meaning at the end.

D Comically like Beau Brummell (8)
{DANDYISH} – The description of Beau Brummell might also cryptically describe this comic from the same era as the Beano.

E African rain-tree cultivation (8)
{ERITREAN} – This African comes from an anagram (cultivation) of RAIN TREE.

F Fish flail about (8)
{FLOUNDER} – A simple double definition of a type of fish and a word meaning to flail about.

G Like a dish of unfinished soup – cooked to swallow, for starters (8)
{GORGEOUS} – A word for someone who is good looking (like a dish) comes from a word meaning swallow before (for starters) and anagram (cooked) of SOUP with the P removed (unfinished).

H Scotsman almost runs outside and rants (9)
{HARANGUES} – A word meaning rants comes from putting a word meaning runs around (outside) an archetypal Scottish name (also the first name of TV personality Mr Deayton) with the last letter removed (almost).

I Heavy metal club (4)
{IRON} – Another simple double definition for a type of gold club and a common heavy metal.

J Film-star needs a jam roly-poly (5,4)
{JAMES DEAN} – A anagram (roly-poly) of NEEDS A JAM gives the name of a 1950’s film actor probably best known for his starring role in “Rebel Without A Cause”.

K Racing vehicles beginning to keep a right speed, having gone off (5)
{KARTS} – These racing vehicles come from the initial letter (beginning to) of Keep, the A from the clue, a two letter abbreviation for right and the word speed after removing the final four letters (having gone (peed) off).

L Games manufacturer s tablet, with zero rising stocks (8)
{LINEAGES} – These stocks (in an ancestral or genetic sense) comes from the name of a games manufacturer, the abbreviation for a tablet of Ecstasy and another word for zero all reversed (rising).  I think that this clue is potentially unfair as rising is a reversal indicator used in a down clue but when solving an Alphabetical jigsaw, you do not know whether the answer will be an across or a down clue – unless this is a hint as to the orientation of the answer in the grid!

M Disguise minute grill (4)
{MASK} – A type of disguise comes from the abbreviation for minute followed by a word meaning grill or question.

M Confuse beast of burden bearing designated driver (6)
{MUDDLE} – A word meaning confuse comes from the name of a beast of burden like a donkey inside which (bearing) you put the abbreviation for designated driver.

N Wine in the home is most distasteful (8)
{NASTIEST} – Put the name of an Italian sparkling white wine inside another word for a home to give a word meaning most distasteful.

O Nervous young hooligan with bruised ego outside (2,4)
{ON EDGE} – A phrase meaning nervous comes from a three letter word for a young hooligan (a Scottish slang term) with an anagram (bruised) of EGO around it.

P Horse is quiet when tied to a tree (5)
{PACER} – Another name for a horse comes from the abbreviation for quite followed by a type of tree of the maple genus.

Q Suspect mirage appearing by Queen s University bog (8)
{QUAGMIRE} – A word meaning a bog or soggy ground comes from an anagram (suspect) of MIRAGE after the abbreviations for Queen and University.

R Once again change tableware for material boxes (8)
{REFORMAT} – A word meaning once again change is hidden inside (boxes) THE words TABLEWARE FOR MATERIAL

S Marks anonymous driver on motorway – a skinhead (7)
{STIGMAS} – These marks come from the name of the anonymous Top Gear driver followed by the abbreviation for motorway, the A from the clue and the first letter of Skinhead

T Illicitly, can he go out of rate of- exchange arrangement like the Cayman Islands? (3-4)
{TAX FREE} – A description of the fiscal status of the Cayman Islands from an anagram (arrangement) of RATE OF EXCHANGE after removing (out) the letters of HE CAN GO.  The illicitly in the clue is a secondary anagram indicator to tell us that the letters to be removed are out of order in the phrase from which they are to be removed.

U Employers‘ note: one lies about hangover’s culmination on Sunday (9)
{UTILISERS} – Another word for employers or people who employ things comes from an obsolete musical note (now referred to as doh on the musical scale) followed by an anagram (about) of I LIES (the I being one), the last letter (culmination) of hangover and the abbreviation for Sabbath or Sunday.

V Theatrical diva, draped over piano, is flat (5)
{VAPID} – A word meaning flat comes from an anagram (theatrical) of DIVA around (draped over) the abbreviation for piano.

W Late celebration, in all respects with vigilance (9)
{WAKEFULLY} – A word meaning with vigilance comes from the word used to describe the function after a funeral followed by a word meaning in all respects.

X Noel‘s cross about Liam’s last two singles, ultimately (4)
{XMAS} – A word meaning Noel or Christmas comes from the letter represented by a cross, the final two letters of LIAM reversed (about) and the final letter (ultimately) of singles.

Y Arab enemy turned international leader (6)
{YEMENI} – An anagram (turned) of ENEMY followed by the first letter (leader) of International gives the name of person from particular Arab country.

Z Oddly hyper-sensitive, to begin with, after last character s yarns (7)
{ZEPHYRS} – This type of yarn comes from the final letter of the alphabet (last character) followed by an anagram (oddly) of HYPER and the first letter (to begin with) of sensitive.

Z Spot starter of Italian pasta (4)
{ZITI} – This pasta comes from the slang word for a blackhead, spot or pimple followed by the first letter (start of) Italian.

26 comments on “NTSPP – 147

  1. I really do enjoy an alphabetical jigsaw so thanks to Hieroglyph for a very enjoyable one. Even with almost all the clues solved I still found it tricky starting to fill in the grid. Favourite clues: D, G and J.

    1. Solve as many clues as you can before you think about where any of the answers fit. When you get to the stage of filling in the grid start by trying to place the longest answers first (i.e. the four 9-letter ones) – at least that’s the way I tackled it.

  2. Tricky little rascal but I do like the occasional alphabetical jigsaw. Makes a nice change.

    Not the most user-friendly grid for this sort of puzzle I thought. Took a while to get started on the filling as we had too many possibilities.

    Really enjoyable so many thanks to Hieroglyph – I’m already looking forward to your next one.

  3. I am not a fan of the alphabetical jigsaw crossword, but I did enjoy this one more than most – so a semi-convert. Thanks to Hieroglyph for the puzzle – hope it isn’t too long before we see you in this spot again.

  4. This is only the second alphabetical jigsaw that I’ve done. I loved the last one so was really pleased to have another. This has nearly finished me off completely, as the previous one did. When will I learn? I really enjoyed it.
    Everything is now in and it all seems to fit so I suppose it must be OK. I don’t understand my answer for G or K.
    Favourites D (which took me ages) H, O (didn’t know Ned), T and Z (didn’t know that either!)
    With thanks to Hieroglyph.

    1. K – take away ‘having gone’ (when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go) from speed and you’re left with just the S :D
      G – definition is ‘like a dish’ (i.e. very attractive).

      1. As a quick PS I’ve just remembered one of the answers in the previous alphabetical puzzle that prompted lots of comments that really made me laugh. It was ‘faggoting’! Anyone else remember? :grin:

  5. I was aware when checking this puzzle that the L clue contained a down clue construct but decided to leave it in as a sneaky bit of help. There was a similar construct in another clue but this was changed as it was an across clue.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks Prolixic & Heiroglyph.

    I always think it is worthwhile to list all the potential answers according to the number of letters included before starting. I began with the 4’s, then looked at the 7s and 9s and left the eight 8s until last.

    My favourite clue was GORGEOUS, which had a nice misdirection with ‘dish.’

  7. Something’s not right with your K and V in the grid,
    you have the right answers in the narrative though.

    1. Mea culpa

      I replaced Prolixic’s grid with one I had prepared earlier – unfortunately it was before some changes were made. I’ll sort it asap.

  8. That was something different for us. Never done one of these before so rather daunting to look at the empty numberless grid. When we realised that each answer started with the stated letter, it all started to make sense. Our starting point was ‘ziti’ which was the only place that got the Z out of the way and then had ‘Yemeni’ as the only sixer ending in ‘I’. Last in were ‘gorgeous’ and ‘lineages’ for which we needed the checking letters to complete.
    Thanks Hieroglyph and Prolixic.

  9. BTW, I parsed ‘K’ differently, using the beginning of ‘To Keep A Right Speed’ gone off i.e. anag. Maybe that was not intended but it sort of works, although I suppose it then should have been ‘beginnings’ (?)

  10. All done apart from the L word which was not helped by misspelling the Y word! Enjoyable nonetheless & a nice change from the norm. Thanks to H & to P.

  11. Oooh, a step into the unknown for me, great fun to do and whiled away a good part of yesterday afternoon and some of this morning.

    Many thanks to Heiroglyph for the entertainment and to Prolixic for the review.

    Now back to the prize, tricky little beggar!

  12. I enjoyed this so much that I was even distracted from watching England’s annihilation of the All Blacks!

    Thanks to Hieroglyph and Prolixic. More of the same, please!

    1. Hope that the “More of the same” refers to the puzzle and NOT the rugby.
      Cheers, from a nation in mourning.

      1. According to the news bulletin I saw last night, the Kiwis were apparently all recovering from a lurgy – if it is the same one as I had recently, it takes over a week before you stop feeling both queasy and exhausted, so I am surprised they had the strength to turn up and play as well as they did.

        1. Typically British response!
          Don’t make excuses for the Kiwis – they were stuffed big time by a far better team on the day so just make the most of it. Doesn’t happen very often! You can be sure they wouldn’t make excuses for us were the situation reversed!
          Just enjoy the icing on the cake of a wonderful year for UK sport – Wiggo for King, or at the very least a Knighthood IMHO.
          What happens next time we meet the Kiwis is anyone’s guess.

  13. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle even though it took me most of the weekend to complete. More please Heiroglyph. :)

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