NTSPP – 148 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 148

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 148

A Puzzle by eXternal

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NTSPP - 148

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.


1 A cold fish entertains female showing weakness (8,4)
{ACHILLES HEEL} – This legendary weak spot comes from the A in the clue followed by a word meaning cold and a slippery kind of fish inside which (entertains) you add a female pronoun.

8 English maiden followed by media is stately lady (7)
{EMPRESS} – A title given to a female ruler comes from the abbreviations for English and Maiden followed by one of the type of media by which we obtain news.

9 Mate recalled setter’s denial following arrest (3,2,2)
{GET IT ON} – A word meaning mate or copulate comes from a word meaning arrest followed by the reversal (recalled) of two words (3,1) saying how the setter might make a denial.

11 Bump about a splinter (4-3)
{REAR END} – This bump (which gives a wonderful Gazza moment for a picture) comes from the two letter Latin word for about followed by the A in the clue and a word meaning splinter or split.

12 One who scoffs cereal covered in sherry, oddly (7)
{SCORNER} – Put a kind of cereal inside (covered in) the odd letters of the word SHERRY to get a word for someone who is critical.

13 Introduce pressure to buzzers to get electronic sounds (5)
{BEEPS} – Put the abbreviation for pressure inside (introduce pressure to) the name of a buzzing insect to get some electronic sounds.

14 Wire support to grip the bust (9)
{TIGHTROPE} – A wire support used by circus artistes comes from an anagram (bust) of TO GRIP THE.


16 Pain suppressant, one for a parentless child, given on purpose (9)
{ENDORPHIN} – This chemical produced by the brain as a pain suppressant comes from the word for a parentless child with the A replaced by an I (one for a) after (given no) a word meaning purpose or objective.

19 Tree-dwelling creature heading for arboreal parts rejected Oklahoma City (5)
{KOALA} – This tree dwelling marsupial comes from putting the first letter (heading for) Arboreal inside (parts) the reversal (rejected) abbreviation ofOklahoma and the abbreviated name of a West Coast American city.

21 Food manufacturer left diary hidden in cask (7)
{KELLOGG} – The name of the Cornflakes manufacturer comes from putting the abbreviation for Left and a word for a diary inside (hidden in) another word for a cask.

23 Where one might find kipper, perhaps, that is being eaten by dog (3,4)
{TIE RACK} – A kipper is an example (perhaps) of a piece of clothing.  Where you might purchase this item comes from putting the abbreviation for that is inside (eaten by) a word meaning dog or follow.

24 With bad stomach, cook’s thrown up in demonstrations (7)
{RALLIES} – Put a word meaning bad or poorly inside (stomach) a word meaning cook (as you might do to meat to brown the outside) and reverse this (thrown up) to get a word meaning demonstrations.  I am not convinced that thrown up works as a reversal indicator in an across clue.

25 Outskirts of London around mid-sixteenth century, soak up book’s setting (7)
{LECTERN} – Where a book may be placed in church or during a public reading comes from taking the outside letters (outskirts) of the word LONDON and putting inside (around) the middle letter of SIXTEENTH, the abbreviation for Century and a word meaning soak which is reversed (up).  Once again, I don’t think that up works as a reversal indicator in an across clue.

26 After time, drunk provocative girl becomes a joke (5-7)
{THIGH SLAPPER} – A corny type of joke comes from putting a word meaning drunk after the abbreviation for time and following this by a derogatory term for a girl who is promiscuous or sexually provocative.


1 Using vegetable in recess to give gratification (7)
{APPEASE} – A word meaning to satisfy comes from putting the name of a small round green vegetable inside another word for a recess.

2 Plain drunken lushes needing energy boost (7)
{HUELESS} – Put the abbreviation for Energy inside (needing) an anagram (drunken) of LUSHES for a word meaning plain or without colour.

3 Dying to exist with abandon (4-5)
{LAST DITCH} – A phrase meaning dying (as in a final futile effort) comes from a word meaning exist followed by a word meaning abandon.

4 Creeps defaced countryside boundaries (5)
{EDGES} – Take the first letter off (defaced) a word for the types of boundary that line countryside lanes to get a word meaning creeps.

5 Care taken over frequently getting up in haste (7)
{HOTFOOT} – A word meaning haste comes from putting a word meaning care (as in I don’t give a ****) around (over) a word meaning frequently which as been reversed.  I don’t like A over B to mean put A around B in a down clue as the sense of over in a down clue means above and not around.  However, you do occasionally see this construction.

6 Bearing on a vessel to corrode (3,4)
{EAT INTO} – A phrase meaning corrode comes from a bearing (as in a direction) followed by the A in the clue and a word meaning a vessel or can and the final TO in the clue.

7 With the Queen underneath, take her bra off and flirt (12)
{HEARTBREAKER} – A another word for a person who is a flirt comes from an anagram (off) of TAKE HER BRA followed by the abbreviation for the Queen.

10 With audacity, heading off very fast is stressful (5-7)
{NERVE-RACKING} – A word meaning stressful comes from a word meaning with audacity followed by a word meaning very fast with the initial C removed (heading off).

15 Privates find information on foreigner’s European country (9)
{GENITALIA} – These anatomical privates come from a word meaning information followed by how the Italians refer to their country.  A picture clue here would be out of order though Gazza might rise to the occasion.

17 Temptress cheered up, grabbing pal’s behind (7)
{DELILAH} – The name of this biblical temptress comes from putting the final letter (behind) of PAL inside the reversal (up) of a word meaning cheered or called.

18 Retreating soldiers of Indianafind good shelter (7)
{ROOFING} – This shelter (or something that provides it on a house) comes from reversing (retreating) the abbreviation for Ordinary Ranks (soldiers), the OF from the clue, the abbreviation for the state ofIndiana and the abbreviation for good.

19 Not one peacenik on the march that’s found with joint (7)
{KNEECAP} – Something that is found with one of the joints of the leg comes from an anagram (on the march) of PEACENIK with the I removed (not one).

20 Buff a china pot endlessly (7)
{AMATEUR} – A word for a buff (as in an enthusiast or non-professional expert) comes from the A in the clue, another word for a friend (china – Cockney rhyming slang) and a word for a pot or vase with the final letter removed (endlessly).

22 Tests egg-cosies so regularly failed (5)
{GCSES} – These Year 11 tests come from the even letters (regularly failed) of EGG COSIES SO.


22 comments on “NTSPP – 148

  1. Excellent puzzle, perfectly pitched for the NTSPP slot.

    eXternal is one of the brightest setting prospects to have emerged in recent times, and this is another piece of quality work.

  2. The trouble with having visitors is that you don’t get to the NTSPP until late and then you find that gazza and Qix have said what you want to say.

    Thank you to eXternal and Prolixic.

  3. This was completed to cries of “what are you giggling at”. Great fun, loads of misdirection, but all the wordplay very fair, best solve of the week for me, and I didn’t have my electric cheating box with me.

    Thanks to Prolixic for the review.

    Thanks to. xTernal for first class entertainment..

  4. I thought this was very enjoyable. I took it with me for a pre-dinner couple of pints at my local. Many thanks to eXternal, and to Prolixic for the comments. My last in was 5d.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Got it all out except for 22d which was unfamiliar to us. Several of the clues have the sort of humour we associate with and appreciate from RayT. Looking forward to your input (we hope) into the up-coming Monday Toughies.
    Thanks eXternal and Prolixic.

  6. I have just completed the puzzle ,using the across lite version and much to my surprise I got a message telling me I had completed the crossword but there was at least one error (cheek of it !) .On correcting the typo I got a message telling me I had successfully completed the crossword (much more acceptable ) .Are the answers lurking in the back ground ?
    When I used this for Gazza’s last week it did none of this and was very laborious .
    Full of admiration eXternal and indeed Prolix .Thanks .

  7. Thanks for the comments. In retrospect I did seem to be channeling Ray T more than usual, as some commented (I assume Colmce’s bastardisation of my name was also a reference). Prolixic is spot on with his criticisms, I seem to have mixed up my downs and acrosses a bit. Must do better next time. I have my national debut in the Independent in a few weeks if you want more eXternal.

    Thanks Prolixic for the blog and BD for hosting

  8. Thanks .Will only use across lite to print off from in future . Bit restricted with iPad only at moment. Chances of me submitting prize crossword are approximately zero and falling

  9. Thanks to eXternal & Prolixic for their time and effort in providing us with this week’s NTSPP puzzle & Review!

    Very RayT-ish and Gazza-esque!

    Congrats on the Independent Debut.

  10. Great puzzle – managed all but 22d – I could see what I was supposed to do but never thought of THOSE tests! :roll: I also needed the hints to explain a few of my answers. Very Ray T/gazza style I thought – someone else also goes in for those types of clues – is it Radler or am I getting in a muddle? Too many good clues to pick favourites.
    With thanks for the crossword and congratulations to eXternal on the national debut, and thanks to Prolixic for the hints.

    1. The picture hint for 11a reminds me of the old lady who had never seen an elephant before. One escaped from the local circus and ended up in her garden – she rang the local police and said “There’s the most extraordinary animal in my garden – it’s pulling up my cabbages with its tail and if I told you what it was doing with them you simply wouldn’t believe me”!!

    1. I believe this is a puzzle by Dean Mayer (Anax / Elkamere).

      Without checking letters it’s a bit tricky, and it is a prize puzzle so don’t ask for any further help, but I’d plump for “out of this world”.

      1. you are a genious ! and an angel! There is no chance that I am going to complete it, so no worries on the prize aspect. I am simply following CS advice to do as many cryptics as I can in order to improve.

  11. Enjoyed this but had to come to Prolxiic for the hints to fully solve the puzzle. I do hope eXternal dials it down a tad when he produces his first NTMT (Not The Monday Toughie) as this was worthy of a mid week middle paper puzzle IMHO.

    Many thanks to P & to e

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