NTSPP – 158 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 158

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 158

A Puzzle by Halcyon

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Today we have an excellent puzzle from Halcyon, his first in the  NTSPP series.  He has had three previous puzzles published on Alberich’s site (see the NTSPP Index).

NTSPP - 158

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle follows.

Halcyon makes a barnstorming debut in the NTSPP series with an excellent crossword that delighted and amused on solving it and did so yet again on writing the review.  We hope to see him back before too long.


1 Bad karma going round – no rent – went berserk (3,4)

{RAN AMOK} – An anagram (bad) of KARMA going around the individual letters of NO.  Rent tells us to separate the N and O in the solution.

5 Get her a pyjama jacket for treatment (7)

{THERAPY} – The solution is hidden (jacket) in the words GET HER A PYJAMA

10 Beer’s a perk working – in a saloon? (10)

{BARKEEPERS} – … who might be found there.  An anagram (working) of BEERS A PERK

11 See me for one (4)

{NOTE} – A word meaning see is also part of the musical scale (me).

12 Monarch invested in fossil fuels from the East for palace (8)
{SERAGLIO} – Put an R for monarch (Rex or Regina) inside (invested in) two types of fossil fuel with the letters reversed (from the East)

13 A kid chilling out (2,4)

{AT EASE} – The answer split 1,5 gives the A from the clue and a word meaning kid or rag.

14 Artist’s detailed retrospective showing maturity (4)

{AGED} – Take the last letter off (detailed) the name of an artist and reverse the remaining letters (retrospective)

16 Westminster lady has unlimited fun with sex in costume (8)

{SWIMSUIT} – … one for bathing.  The postcode for Westminster is followed by the modern form of address for a lady, the central letter (unlimited) of FUN and a two letter word meaning sex.

19 Slack, footloose office junior could be a regular at the Savoy! (4-4)
{PLAY-GOER} – A word meaning slack (as in having room to move) is followed by an informal term for an office junior with the F removed (foot-loose).

20 Broadcast of Charity Shield often shows them (4)
{ARMS} – A homophone (broadcast) of a four letter word for charity (often followed by the word houses).

23 Sticky blackcurrant juice tonic as sister prescribes (6)
{CASSIS} – Hidden by (prescribes) TONIC AS SISTER.

25 In all probability it’s two tone – Madness? (3,2,3)
{TEN TO ONE} – … very good odds.  An anagram (madness) of TONE TONE (two tone).

27 Why heretic was declared to be a myth-believer! (4)
{LISP} – What would cause someone to pronounce misbeliver as myth-believer.

28 Massive spendthrift promises to pay for a lobster starter (10)
{PRODIGIOUS} – Take a word meaning spendthrift and remove the AL (a Lobster starter) at the end and replace it with IOUS (promises to pay).

29 Repair under licence? (7)
{REMARRY} – Getting hitched again after a divorce?

30 Shock in King George after male nurses start to embrace (7)
{STAGGER} – Take the letter by which King George was known and put them after a word meaning male.  These letters then go around (nurses) the first letter (start to) of embrace.


2 Anarchist gang leaders have Annie’s bottom under circular saw (5)
{ADAGE} – … as in a saying.  The first letters (leaders) of Anarchist Gang are followed by the last letter (bottom) of Annie.  The all go under another word for a circular or advertisement.

3 Ineptly designed walkway over road (9)
{AWKWARDLY} – An anagram (designed) of WALKWAY around the abbreviation for road.

4 Just getting to grips with gymnastics in public (6)
{OPENLY} – A word meaning just goes around (getting to grips with) an abbreviation for gymnastics.

6 Iberian geezer’s a grass (8)
{HISPANIC} – The male possessive pronoun (geezer’s) followed by a type of grass of the genus Panicum.

7 Wind up the right to start a row (5)
{RANGE} – A word meaning wind up or annoy has the R at the end moved to the start.

8 Metal toy with miao! Puss tempted at first (9)
{POTASSIUM} – An anagram (toy with) of MIAO PUSS T (tempted at first).

9 Manifestation of devils pulling chicken heart out (13)
{DEMONSTRATION} – Another word for devils followed by a word meaning pulling (often followed by engine) with the C removed (chicken heart out).

12 Blue, black, white, red or yellow? (3)
{SEA} – A mildly cryptic reference to any body of water that is preceded by any of these colours.

15 Illegal van? I secure clamping plate (9)
{GALVANISE} – Hidden inside (clamping) ILLEGAL VAN I SECURE

17 Ocean air abounding in salt? (9)
{SEASONING} – Another word for ocean (see 12d) followed by word meaning an air (in the musical meaning of the word) with an IN put inside (abounding = full of)

18 Telltale in Tennessee reveals small drop drunk by runner (8)
{GOSSIPER} – An American word (in Tennessee).  The abbreviation for small and a word meaning a small drop go inside (drunk by) a word for a runner (as in something that is likely to succeed).

21 Some of the usual characters return to seek legal redress (3)
{SUE} – Hidden and reversed (some of … characters return) inside THE USUAL

22 Rub oil all over Ann – mostly into bum (6)
{ANOINT} – The first two letters (mostly) of ANN followed by an anagram (bum) of INTO.

24 Cuttlefish and its ink? Easy as pie! (5)
{SEPIA} – An anagram (easy) of AS PIE

26 A lack of exercise pants (2,3)
{NO USE} – Double definition for not being utilised or being of little help.

13 comments on “NTSPP – 158

  1. Really excellent and most enjoyable – thanks to Halcyon. My favourites were 27a, 28a and 22d (and I won’t mention the dodgy homophone at 20a).

  2. I had to leave this one to cogitate in order to get on Halycon’s wavelength but would agree with Gazza’s summation – enjoyable Saturday lunchtime entertainment. You won’t be surprised to learn that my favourites are the same as his too, and I agree about the dodgy homophone.

    Thanks to Halycon and to Prolixic in advance for the review which I am sure will be equally excellent!

  3. Still laughing about 27a which was last in .Looking forward to the review for one answer in particular .
    Congrats and Thanks very much .

  4. A really enjoyable debut from Halcyon. I managed to understand most (but not all) of the wordplay – so thanks to Prolixic for explaining the missing bits. Lots of clever wordplay and witty clues! Favourites: 27a, 28a & 16a.

    ps. I don’t think the homophone (20a) is dodgy at all.

  5. We enjoyed this on a warm Sunday morning after a round of golf and a beach and estuary walk. 27a was our last in and kept us scratching our beaks for much longer than it should have. Still can’t work out what “pants” has to do with 26d despite the review.
    Thanks Halcyon (looking forward to your next one) and Prolixic.

    1. Pants is a slang word for rubbish or useless. It is sometimes also used as an anagram indicator in cryptic clues but not here.

        1. Obviously the use of pants in this context (mainly in my experience by teenage boys ten or so years ago) didn’t spread to NZ.

          1. That must be right Sue. We all know “knickers” of course, mainly from Bad Jelly the Witch. We had looked in BRB but only looked at “pant”. A second look with the “s” added comes up trumps we see. Cheers.

  6. Many thanks to all of you – in particular to Prolixic for the review and kind words and, of course, to BD for letting me have a go and for wise editorial words to help to knock it into shape!

  7. Rather on the late side to comment on this one. I thought it was really good.
    I did the right side with some difficulty and then, for ages, had almost nothing in the left side.
    Have to confess that a fair bit of guessing and then untangling the result was involved – all down to my lack of experience as everything was completely fair.
    My two favourites were 22 and 26d.
    With thanks to Halcyon and Prolixic.

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