NTSPP – 157 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 157

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 157

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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NTSPP - 157

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows.

Another enjoyable Saturday diversion from Prolixic.   People who remember to look for such things (unlike your reviewer!) will, I am sure, have spotted the appropriately-positioned Nina.



7a           Reinforced concrete finally installed in part of a swimming pool (8)
{DEEPENED}  –  Insert the final letter of concretE into that part of a swimming pool that should be used by more experienced swimmers.

deep end

9a           Soldier in cast-iron base (6)
{ORIGIN}   –  One of the much-used abbreviations for soldier (this time the American one) is inserted into an anagram (cast) of IRON.

10a         Invalid returned from Hull University (4)
{NULL}   An adjective meaning of no legal force is hidden in a reverse manner (returned from) HuLL UNiversity.

11a         According to Spooner, Hades circled the rich (4-6)
{WELL-HEELED}   I’m not a great fan of a Spoonerism clue but this one isn’t too groan-inducing.   You need another word for Hades and a word meaning circled or turned on an axis, pronounced as only the Reverend Spooner would.

12a         King in a w-whimsical skirmish (6)
{AFFRAY}   Both skirmish and the solution are words used to mean a minor fight.  Follow A  (from the clue) with a word meaning whimsical or slightly mad, the first letter of which should be repeated (as indicated by the w-whimsical) into which should be inserted the single letter that is the abbreviation for the Latin word for king.

14a         Sarongs I designed for seller (8)
{ASSIGNOR}   A legal term for someone who transfers rights or assets is an anagram (designed) of SARONGS I.

15a         Scotland Yard initially acknowledges courts (6)
{SYNODS}  Ecclesiastical courts –   the initial letters of Scotland Yard followed by a short word which means acknowledges with a quick forward motion of the head.

16a         Words of wisdom now and forever (6)
{ADAGES}  The two letters used to indicate the current system of dating (since the birth of Christ) followed by  a word used to describe a long time (forever).

19a         Limping more and more  like a cartoon dog? (8)
{DROOPIER}  Lovely double definition – Growing more and more weak and faint or resembling Tex Avery’s cartoon dog

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a         Independents turn blue (6)
{INDIGO}   Two abbreviations for independent  (3) and (1) followed by a word meaning a turn, spell or attempt combine to make this blue colour obtained from the leaves of a plant with the same name.


23a         Lunatic lay at sea in a shipshape fashion (10)
{NAUTICALLY}  An anagram (at sea) of LUNATIC LAY.

24a         Lover in East End broadcast (4)
{BEAU}     A homophone (broadcast) of part of the East End of London produces a lover or (old-fashioned) boyfriend.

25a         Extortionist certain to be found in old city (6)
{USURER}    Insert a synonym for certain into Crosswordland’s favourite two-letter Old Testament city.

26a         Vicar’s tea without milk and sugar?(8)
{CHAPLAIN}   Split 3, 5 this clergyman attached to an institution or establishment might sound like  an informal term for tea taken without any additions.



1d           Brush off and polish again (6)
{REBUFF}   Another double definition – a snub or slight which if split 2-4 would mean to polish again using a piece of leather.

2d           Stone  pot returned by gangster (4)
{OPAL}  A reversal of the sort of bedroom pot our grandparents used followed by the Christian name of one of America’s most infamous gangsters.


3d           Cold nude was cavorting around yard (8)
{UNSWAYED}    Cold in the sense of being uninfluenced or indifferent.   Insert the abbreviation for Yard into an anagram (cavorting) of NUDE WAS.

4d           Lunches just for men (6)
{NOSHES}   An informal way of saying eats (lunches), if split 2, 4 might indicate that females were not joining the eaters on this occasion.

5d           Caesar maybe returns promised to be free (10)
{DISENGAGED}  This Caesar is an American comic from the 1950s and you need to know his Christian name in order to reverse it (returns) and then follow it  with another way of saying promised (in the sense of betrothed).

6d           Orientals lose time rebuilding parts of an aircraft (8)
{AILERONS}  Remove T (lose time) from ORIEN[t]ALS and then rearrange (rebuilding) the remaining letters.

8d           Idol largely hoards money (6)
{DOLLAR}   Another hidden word   – this time in iDOL LARgely.

13d         Bishop embraces organist playing for Richard Starkey (5,5)
{RINGO STARR}   There is a two letter abbreviation used when referring to a Bishop.   Insert an anagram (playing) of ORGANIST between these two letters.

Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr)

15d         Donkey on board small ship weed! (8)
{SARGASSO}   S (small) followed by the vessel used by Jason to search for the Golden Fleece into which has been inserted another work for donkey.    The weed is found in the ocean of the same name, rather than a flower bed.

17d         Master locks up sprightly maiden for farmer (8)
{DAIRYMAN}  A farmer who supplies milk.    Insert into (locks up) a master in Japanese combative sports (3) an adjective meaning sprightly or jaunty and the abbreviation used for a Maiden over in cricket scores.

18d         In play, Romeo drinks some acid – quite the reverse (6)
{FROLIC    Do the reverse of what the first part of the clue says, and insert R (Romeo) into an acid in the vitamin B complex taken by pregnant ladies and those with pernicious anaemia.

20d         Pass state paper? (6)
{ID CARD}  The abbreviation for the American state of Idaho followed by a type of stiff paper, hence the question mark at the end of the clue.

22d         Greek singer returns pregnant (6)
{GRAVID}  The abbreviation for Greek followed by a reversal of a great female singer, especially an operatic prima donna, produces a medical term meaning pregnant.

24d         Throw up a weapon (4)
{BOLA}   A reversal of A from the clue followed by a verb meaning to throw (a ball) high up in the air.  Interestingly searching for this on the interweb, all references to this weapon had the word as a plural.  However, searching for an image produces many instances of the word in the singular.


If you haven’t seen the Nina yet, start at square 4 in the bottom row and proceed in a clockwise direction to reveal {round and round and round}


Fans of Prolixic puzzles like me may rest assured that there are lots more in the pipeline (well quite a few in a heap by the side of my computer, anyway).


7 comments on “NTSPP – 157

  1. I always enjoy Prolixic’s puzzles even though I’m usually defeated by a few of the clues. This was an exception in that not only did I enjoy it but I finished it :smile: Does this mean I’m getting better or is Prolixic going easy on us today?

    Particularly liked the vicar’s tea clue but never come across the weapon without an S on the end. One lives and learns!

    Thanks for the entertainment Prolixic.

  2. Thanks Prolixic, a bit above my skill level so only got about two thirds through before throwing in the towel and peeping at CS’s hints.
    But still good entertainment on a Saturday PM.

    Thanks CS for review, definitely needed, as were a few tissues.

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Last one in was 4d. Worked out what it probably should be, but took us ages to parse (D’oh!). And, much to our everlasting shame, missed the NINA completely. Worried about 24d as we could not find it without an “s” in BRB.
    Thanks Prolixic and CS.

  4. First time attempting this crossword so it took quite a while. I managed two thirds before coming to a grinding halt. I peeked at selected hints which helped me with a few more, but then was utterly defeated by 17D, 19A, 4D and 18D, so needed to reveal the answers. Many thanks, Crypticsue. I could not have done this without you! Thanks to the setter also. Looking forward to making this a regular part of my weekend from now on.

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