NTSPP – 160 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 160

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 160

A Puzzle by Alchemi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 160

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle follows.

I didn’t particularly notice on either of the two occasions when I solved this crossword, but as I typed I did think there were an awful lot of those ‘remove a few letters’ from a word type of clue in this nice crossword from the extremely prolific Alchemi, not to mention two clues where solving was so much easier than providing a hint.

There is a hunger-inducing theme so this is a puzzle best solved just before a meal, as otherwise you definitely be tempted into snacking!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1 Mixing cored apple and peel with sesame makes a fab offering (6,6,2)
{PLEASE PLEASE ME}   An anagram (mixing) of AP[P]LE (cored tells you to remove the ‘middle’) plus the letters of PEEL and SESAME produces the second single produced by that fab four, the Beatles.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

8 In a short time, at last, unleavened 27 part 1 (5)
{MATZO}   Insert into a two letter moment (short time) AT (from the clue) and the last letter of the alphabet.


9 Assistance for soldier about to replace stock exchange’s head (8)
{RECOURSE}   Follow the abbreviation for a Royal Engineer (soldier)with the name of the French Stock Exchange, once you have changed the first letter to a C (circa, about).

11 Pixie fix omits football club as a factor (7)
{ELEMENT}   Take a type of pixie (3) and a verb meaning to fix or join firmly.   The last letter of the former  and the first letter of the latter are the abbreviations for Football Club and should be removed to leave an ingredient or factor.

12 Invigorate two men in black, the second silent rather than loud (7)
{REFRESH}   The men in black would take charge at a football match.   So you need two sets of the abbreviated way we refer to  this official, the second one of which should have the F (musical abbreviation meaning loud) removed and replaced with the two letters used when telling someone to be quiet.

13 Score military educational facility inside the walls of Nazareth (5)
{NOTCH}   A verb meaning to score or make an indentation in –  Insert into the outside letters (walls) of NazaretH, the abbreviation for the Officers’ Training Corps (who provide military training to students at universities).

14 Sunhat crew chasing after gold without thinking on this (9)
{AUTOPILOT}  The chemical symbol for gold + a type of pith helmet worn in the tropics and finally a quantity or number of something (crew being a gathering of people).

16 Wagon carrying setter honoured for 27 part 2 (9)
{CAMEMBERT}  Insert into a type of wheeled vehicle without springs, the way Alchemi might refer to himself, and the abbreviation for the honour awarded to a Member of the British Empire.


20 Type of 27 part 2 made from drug wrapped in stuff (5)
{CREAM}   Insert the abbreviation for Ecstasy into a verb meaning to stuff.

22 Call back before limitless water can issue forth (7)
(EMANATE}   A reversal of a verb meaning to call followed by the middle (limitless) letters of wATEr.

24 Incline to take part in issue of a 27 part 2 (7)
{STILTON}    Insert into a male child (issue) a verb meaning to lean over or slope.


25 Space psychic makes 27 part 2 (8)
{EMMENTAL}   I have learned a lot  about ‘spaces’ used by printers since I started blogging crosswords.  Here you need one of them  equal to the width of a lower case ‘m’, followed by a word meaning related to the mind (psychic).

26 27 part 1 is mine, thanks (5)
{PITTA}   A three-letter coal mine followed by the way a baby might say thank you.

27 Heard bees dance wildly producing food (5,3,6)
{BREAD AND CHEESE}  An anagram (wildly producing) of HEARD BEES DANCE makes the simple meal that consists of various items elsewhere in the crossword.


1 European left supports uprising over many harmful debts written off with Denmark’s last 27 part 1 (12)
{PUMPERNICKELObvious from the theme what the solution had to be once I had the checking letters from the Acrosses but how did the wordplay work?  Start with a reversal (rising) of UP, next M (I presume ‘many’ refers to the fact that it is an abbreviation for million, in addition to being the Roman numeral for 1000), then an adjective meaning harmful or destructive from which the IOUS at the end should be removed (debts written off), then K (Denmark’s ‘last’) and finally E (European) and L (left).  Phew!

2 Digest contains good book about appeal (7)
{ENTREAT}    A verb meaning to consume food (digest) into which are inserted the abbreviation for the New Testament (good book) and the two letters used to mean about – particularly in an email subject line.

3 Worriedly, he’d ask mom for sandwich filling (6,3)
{SMOKED HAM}   An anagram (worriedly)of HED ASK MOM produces one of my least favourite sandwich fillings.

4 Father, missing the queen somewhat, needs a 27 part 1 (7)
{PARATHA}  A familiar word for father, a synonym for somewhat from which the final two letters – ER – are removed (missing the queen) and A (from the clue).


5 Passage from former church report (7)
{EXCERPT}   EX (former) plus the abbreviation for the Church of England and an abbreviation for report.

6 Some unheard-of fun starting up gets right up your nose! (5)
{SNUFF}   Hidden and reversed (some..up) in oF FUN Starting is a powdered tobacco product for sniffing up the nose.


7 Wrongly hand out cards which make rude remarks about lunch at Spooner’s? (7)
{MISDEAL}   Spooner might have been said to DIS the MEAL.

10 Attendant has description of things lifted, even bits of poems and sonnets, in composite picture (12)
{PHOTOMONTAGE}   Another easier to solve than explain clue.   Insert into a boy attendant, firstly the description applied to goods that have been lifted or obtained dishonestly, and  then the even letters of pOeMs and sOnNeTs.


15 “Pink Peach Disaster” one of his films? (9)
{PECKINPAH}   The surname of the director of such films as The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs is an anagram (disaster) of PINK PEACH.

17 Gracious soul I leave on the run for Asian country (7)
{MYANMAR}   The country I still think of as Burma.   An interjection expressing surprise, a word meaning the soul or innermost part of the personality from which the I is removed (I leave) and R (abbreviation for run in a cricket score).

18 Tragedy as the Spanish financial district gets the picture upside down (7)
{ELECTRA}   Sophocles’ Greek tragedy.  The Spanish word for ‘the’, the area of London in which the financial district known as the city is situated and a reversal of a picture, drawing or painting collectively.

19 Struggled with halving of rank on toboggan (7)
{TUSSLED}  Remove the first three letters (halving) from a rank or position and follow with a type of toboggan.

21 Call for backup some felt it needed (7)
{ENTITLE}   Another reversed hidden word – this time in fELT IT NEeded.

23 A long time to get up to the stadium (5)
{ARENA} A reversal (up in a down clue) of the indefinite article used before a vowel and a period of time reckoned from a particular point (long time).

Thanks to Alchemi for some nice lunchtime entertainment – definitely made me want a sandwich or two!   I expect we will see you back here soon given how many other puzzles you have waiting in the wings.

24 comments on “NTSPP – 160

  1. Anybody else having problems getting to the puzzle, clicking the grid does nothing. Tried PC and iPad.

    1. I cannot access the NTSPP on my PC – but, no problems printing off the Prize Puzzle.

      1. The interactive version uses Java, which is blocked as a default by many browsers. You can try the Crossword Solver or AcrossLite versions.

        1. Firefox came up with a window which I had to tick a box to say I trusted the site, or something like that.

        2. I can’t even get to the page where the links to the other versions are. It’s OK on the prize puzzle, which gets me through to where I can decide whether or not to run the program, but not on the NTSPP.

            1. Works ok for me in Firefox too (although I get a warning about Java) but I’ve just tried it in IE and Chrome and it doesn’t work in either.

            2. Well I’m using chrome and safari. Internet explorer was consigned to the bin many years ago.

            3. It seems to be a problem with the link or the script. It just redisplays this page.
              I can access the puzzle via the crossword info site.

            4. It should be OK now. Although it was scheduled for noon, it was never published. Pommers, CS, Gazza etc have the authority to view unpublished pages!

    2. Yep no problems with the prize, still nothing on NTSPP.

      When I downloaded from prize I did get a permission to run notice, which i havent had before, which when answered yes, allowed normal download.

      As Alchemi this wont let me get past the grid on the title page.

  2. Thanks to Alchemi for the entertainment (fairly straightforward after I’d crossed out ‘extract’ in 5d). It has made me feel hungry and ready for lunch. My favourite clue was 12a.

  3. Thanks Alchemi & crypticsue.

    Luckily, I got the theme clue early on, which helped a lot. Yes, 12a was good, although I didn’t parse it properly at the time. Had to use a word search for PHOTOMONTAGE. Although I generally applaud non-obvious definitions, I thought AUTOPILOT=’without thinking on this’ was rather too vague. I suppose Alchemi wanted to get away from the usual ‘George,’ although that still fools some of the people some of the time.

    I did like the SNUFF up your nose.

    1. I was thinking more in a figurative sense of people doing things without conscious thought, such as making their way home after a night on the beer or making a sandwich which one then discovers to be cheese and strawberry jam.

  4. Only just had a quick look so have resisted looking at hints or comments so far but just thought I’d ‘pop in’ to say how much I liked 1a once I’d sorted out what the ‘anagram fodder’ was! :smile: to Alchemi.
    This will be worth ‘perservating’ with, as his puzzles always are, but I think it may have to wait until tomorrow, and it might take me quite a long time.
    Back some time in the future . . .

  5. Having put “extract” for 5d and convincing ourselves that it was correct, had us beak scratching in the NE corner for quite some time. A really good puzzle again from Alchemi.
    Just had time to finish before we head off to the airport on our way to visit family in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands for a couple of weeks. Hoping that we can still access the sites from there so we don’t miss our daily fix. Time zones will mess with our heads though as we change from being 13 hrs ahead of you to 11 hrs behind you.
    Thanks Alchemi and CS.

  6. Just about managed to finish this as long as having an answer for all the clues counts as finishing it!
    There were lots that I got from the checking letters without understanding how or why they were right. Getting 27a fairly quickly certainly helped.
    Favourites include 1, 25 and 27a and 3, 6 and 7d.
    With thanks to Alchemi for the crossword, and to crypticsue for the much needed explanations.

  7. Enjoyed this one so many thanks to Alchemi.

    Favourites among many good clues were 11a and 12a.

    Also thanks to CS for the review. And now for some lunch!

  8. Well eventually down loaded and printed.
    Worth the wait? Certainly was.

    Top and bottom anagrams set me off nicely, and the theme jogged me along in steady manner until the top right corner, misspelt paratha and can never get spoonerisms which put the mockers on it. Revert to CS’s excellent review and BRB and all came right.

    Thanks to CS, help definitely needed, and to Alchemi for an entertaining and clever puzzle

  9. Thanks to Sue for the blog and to those who’ve been kind enough to say they enjoyed it.

  10. A most enjoyable and wholesome puzzle.Tthanks to BD, setter & CS .
    Once I decided that “Extract” was unlikely to be the answer to both 2 & 5 ( Hope this is OK BD) things improved .
    I particularly liked the wordplay on 1D.



    1. You are quite safe Denis. It is only the Telegraph Prize Puzzles on a Saturday and SUnday where you mustn’t give the game away.

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