NTSPP – 155 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 155

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 155

Pieces of Eight by Radler

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NTSPP - 155

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

Radler loves a themed puzzle.  The Pieces of Eight referred to in the clues title are the names of the pieces or tokens that you find in the game indicated by the answer to 8 down.  Researching the theme, these tokens have a remarkable history.  The ones you get with the game depend on the edition you buy and when you bought it – which would explain why I hunted in vain for a ship and had not appreciated that 1d and 7d/17d also feature in some versions of the game.  I have highlighted the relevant themed clues in blue below.

For those who know how devious Radler can be, you will be pleased to know that this is one of his gentler crosswords but with all the fun and enjoyment that we have come to expect.


1 Sources etc., for the most part firmly established (4-3)
{WELL SET} – Sources of water or oil followed by the first two letters (for the most part) of ETC.

5 A little one, but ultimately long (5)
{TITCH} – The final letter (ultimately) of BUT followed by a word meaning long for yearn for.

9 Leaves for season or returns on time (7)
{OREGANO} – … a herb used to season food.  The OR in the clue followed by a reversal (returns) of the ON in the clue and a word mean time.

10 Holidaymaker, one on high (7)
{TRIPPERS} – Double definition, the second describing those who have taken drugs.

11 Something to squirt? Nothing I left has the power to do that (3,3)
{OIL CAN} – … to lubricate something.  A letter representing nothing followed by the I in the clue, the abbreviation for left and a word meaning has the power to do that or is able to.

12 Film shows yours truly drinking barmen’s rum (8)
{MEMBRANE} – A two letter way of referring to the setter (yours truly) inside which (drinking) is added an anagram (rum) of BARMEN.

15 Shimmers of secrets alternating across picket (9)
{OPALESCES} – The odd letters (alternating) of OF SECRETS around (across) a four letter word for a picket (as in a fence).

16 Retrospective tune about Conservative led by E Heath (5)
{ERICA} – The E in the clue followed by a three letter word for a tune reversed (retrospective) around the abbreviation for Conservative.

18 Switched points trapped article in railway lines (5)
{YARNS} – Reverse (switched) two points of the compass and the abbreviation for railway around (trapped) an A (article).

20 Engineer related to bore (9)
{TOLERATED} – … as in grudgingly accepted.  A anagram (engineer) of RELATED TO.

22 French comic reportedly shed light on unexpected purchase (4,4)
{DAWN RAID} – … another word for an unexpected share purchase as part of a corporate takeover.  The first name of the comedienne Dawn (think Vicar of Dibley) and a homophone of RAYED (reportedly shed light on).

23 Duty of the tenth French king (6)
{OCTROI} – The abbreviation for the tenth month followed by the French word for King.

25 Silvery grey colour made out to be red (7)
{ASHAMED} – … as in embarrassed.  A word meaning silvery grey followed by an anagram (out) of MADE.

27 On bike to do ones bit for the environment (7)
{RECYCLE} – Another word meaning on or about followed by word for a bike.

28 Sexy woman lacking sense of proportion, cleared out tiny clothing (5)
{TOTTY} – The outer letters (cleared out) of TINY around (clothing) the abbreviation for over the top (lacking a sense of proportion).

29 Regular or large brew cups measure (7)
{GENERAL} – An anagram (brew) of LARGE around (cups) a printer’s measure.


1 Token women’s kick at pub brawl (11)
{WHEELBARROW} – The abbreviation for women followed by a four letter word meaning kick, a three letter word for a pub and a three letter word for a brawl or argument.

2 Loss disguised by Neville, (aka Geoffrey) (7)
{LEAKAGE} – Hidden inside (disguised by) NEVILLE AKA GEOFFREY

3 Token leave announced (4)
{SHOE} – A homophone (announced) of SHOO (leave or go away).

4 Cloth and rags wholesale (10)
{TATTERSALL} – A seven letter word for rags followed by a three letter word meaning wholesale or everything.

5 Token for digital protection (7)
{THIMBLE} – A cryptic reference to what sewers use to protect their finger(s).

6/26 Token that’s broken by surgery (3,3)
{TOP HAT} – A two letter abbreviation for surgery inside the THAT from the clue.

7/17 Token drug including supplement (5,3,5)
{HORSE AND RIDER} – The slang name for heroin followed by a word meaning with or including and another word for a supplement (additional words added to a contract).

8 Domination of one over many (8)
{MONOPOLY} – A word meaning one followed by a word meaning many.  Think of old records with one sound channel for the first and a word meaning many sound channels for the second.

13 No whiff of browning, Clair struggles after “Ah Bisto!”, unconcerned with tradition (11)
{AHISTORICAL} – An anagram (struggles) of CLAIR AH BISTO after removing the B (no whiff (first letter) of browning).

14 Token tax, duty to follow (7,3)
{SCOTTIE DOG} – A four letter word for a tax followed by a word meaning a duty or binding obligations and word meaning to follow or shadow someone.

17 See 7

19 Group at rugby party expressing flair for strong drink (7)
{SCRUMPY} – Another word for a group manoeuvre in rugby followed by the word party after removing the letters ART (expressing (removing) – flair).

21 Token energy input to vehicle on reflection (4,3)
{RACE CAR} – The abbreviation for energy inside a three letter word for a vehicle on the same word reflected.  I am not sure that this clue quite works.  In a down clue, A on B usually means A above or over B.  Here the reflected word for a vehicle is on or over the normal word where the clue suggests that it is the other way around.  In an across clue A on B can mean B followed by A.  As the clue itself is read across left to right, you possibly get away with using the construct for a down clue!

22 Rough bloke’s bottom emission, farted explosively (5)
{DRAFT} – An anagram (explosively) of FARTED after removing (emission) of the E (bloke’s bottom or last letter).

24 Token bitterness; take year off (4)
{IRON} – Another word for bitterness or sarcasm with the Y at the end removed.

26 See 6

7 comments on “NTSPP – 155

  1. A lovely themed puzzle which,as I couldn’t quite remember testing it, I enjoyed solving all over again while cooking the lunch.

    Thanks to Radler for being doubly entertaining, if rather quiet lately! Thanks in advance to Prolixic for the review in due course.

  2. Thanks to Radler for a very enjoyable puzzle with some great clues of which my favourites were 16a, 22a and 28a.

  3. I found this really difficult so if it’s one of Radler’s gentler puzzles I’m not surprised that I’ve never managed one of his before.
    I was very slow to catch on to the kind of tokens we were talking about and it wasn’t until I got ‘monopoly’ and ‘wheelbarrow’ that I realised. After that things began to make sense although, having never been a great fan of the game I did have to look up the rest of them. I’ve never heard of 23a.
    I enjoyed this very much.
    Favourites 9, 12, 22 and 28a and 3 and 4d.
    With thanks to Radler and Prolixic.

  4. Found this really difficult as the theme evaded me, having never played the game, however Prolixic’s preamble to his review put me on the right track.

    When the dust settled it was still difficult but I eventually filled in all the gaps. Couple of new words didn’t help!

    Still all in all an enjoyable way to spend some of a Saturday afternoon in sunny Dover.

    Prolixic thanks for the review, definitely needed.

    Radler, an ingenious puzzle, well done theme puzzles always amaze and confound me in equal measure, thanks.

  5. Slow to latch on at first but then enjoyed it .Favs 28a ,14d and particularly 23a which was my last in .Couldn’t tell you when I last played the game but it is many moons ago .
    Thank you very much to both .

  6. Took us a long time as we are away visiting family and kept being interrupted by having to be sociable. Strange that. Actually picked up the theme very early and it really helped although we did try and find a place for a battleship for a while. A good challenge with a few really tough clues.
    Thanks Radler and Prolixic.

  7. Many thanks for the review and the comments.
    A quick search will show that there have been a number of other tokens over the years. I tried including Battleship as well, but it would have required obscure words and compromises to the grid. (I like to ensure that at least 50% of the letters in every word are checked and that the corners aren’t particularly isolated from each other.) My choice of title for the puzzle was a further constraint, because the game had to go into 8 down.

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