NTSPP – 197

NTSPP – 197

A Puzzle by Prolixic

– + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

NTSPP - 197

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle follows.

Another fine Saturday afternoon diversion.   It is on the tricky side in places,  but that is to allow for  something very clever about  the across solutions.   If you can’t see what I mean, all is revealed at the end of the review.


1a           International  group  backing patent  form of energy (7)
{NUCLEAR}    A reversal (backing) of the two letter abbreviation for an organisation with members from many nations and an adjective meaning obvious, patent.

5a           Price    offensive (6)
{CHARGE}   A double definition – the cost or price of something;  offensive in the sense of attack.

8a           Film man in group (5)
{SHEET}   Film here means a strip of plastic.   Insert the male third person pronoun into a group of persons or things.

9a           Becoming more cheerful without Ecstasy – that’s impetuous! (9)
{LIGHTNING}   Remove the E (without Ecstasy) from a noun meaning to make brighter.

10a         Carry out logical function  for leader (9)
{CONDUCTOR}   To carry out or transmit plus the abbreviation for a  logic circuit in computing.


12a         Take trouble to use abusive language (4)
{RAIL}   The single letter used on prescriptions to signify ’take’  and a verb meaning to trouble or afflict.

15a         Way back from Deaconry regularly overlooked (4)
{ROAD}  Reversed (overlooked ) the regular letters of DeAcOnRy reveal a way.

17a         Second contest for Rocky? (5)
{MOVIE}  The informal abbreviation for a very short period of time (second) and a verb meaning to contest in rivalry combine to produce a form of entertainment of which Rocky is an example, hence the question mark at the end of the clue.


19a         Endlessly look at idol (4)
{STAR}  Remove the last letter from a verb meaning to look with a fixed gaze.

20a         Character   witness (4)
{SIGN}   A character or symbol, or a verb meaning to witness in writing.

21a         Underground railway  for Americans in area of East London (5)
{BELOW}   Underground or beneath –  insert the American informal term for an elevated railroad into an area of East London.

22a         Go for troop leader on island (4)
{COST}   The price that something goes for is obtained by following a Greek island with the ‘leader’ of Troop.

25a         Unemployed  sovereign (4)
{FREE}  Unattached and available or free from arbitrary government.

26a         Rich saint converted a believer (9)
{CHRISTIAN}   An anagram (converted) of RICH SAINT.

28a         Therefore  agents register  comrade (9)
{SOCIALIST}   A member of a left-wing party who might be referred to as a comrade.    A synonym for therefore, the abbreviation for the agents of an American intelligence organisation and a register or catalogue.

31a         Composer has time for second never-ending celebration(5)
{PARTY}   The composer of the music for ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’ has two instances of the ending of never in his surname.   Remove the second one and replace with T for time to get a celebration.


33a         The Italian bird rejected a brute (6)
{ANIMAL}  A reversal (rejected) of the Italian word for ‘the’ and a bird which can be taught to imitate human speech.

34a         Coach built from rare tin alloy (7)
{TRAINER}   Built from an anagram (alloy) of RARE TIN.


1d           University  group  finds radioactive material in Canadian Province (3)
{NUS}  Insert the chemical symbol for a radioactive element into the abbreviation for the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia.

2d           Entirely   inoffensive (5)
{CLEAN}   Quite or entirely;  free from dirt or corruption.

3d           Encroach upon every solicitor (3,3)
{EAT OUT}    The abbreviation for every one separately considered and an aggressive solicitor.

4d           Briefly depend on diminutive aunt? (3)
{REL}  The first three letters (briefly) of a noun meaning to depend on form the abbreviation for a family member such as an aunt.

5d           Drivers welcome doughboy returning in Havana?  (5)
{CIGAR}   Insert  the well-known abbreviation for a US soldier (doughboy being military slang for such a person) into a motoring organisation (drivers) and reverse (returning) the result  to get a fine quality item made for smoking in Havana.


6d           I will leave guns in vessel (6)
{ARTERY}   A blood vessel is obtained by removing the abbreviated way of saying ‘I will’ from the branch of the military using heavy offensive weapons of war.

7d           Roguishly describes a feature of Windows? (3)
{GUI}   Hidden in (described by) roGUIshly is the abbreviation used in computing for the use of icons  and other images.


10d         Body of rook found in coppice (6)
{CORPSE}   Insert the abbreviation for Rook in chess notation into a small wooded area.

11d         Figure of speech from the northern painter? (5)
{TROPE}   A figure of speech such as a metaphor –   The single letter Northern dialect way of saying ‘the’ and an item used to fasten a boat (painter).

13d         Enthusiastic about Ravel’s first prelude (5)
{INTRO}    The first letter of Ravel is inserted into an informal way of saying enthusiastic about.

14d         Bronte translated into Celtic tongue (6)
{BRETON}   An anagram (translated) of BRONTE.

16d         Park attendant loses his head in a fit of pique (5)
{ANGER}   Simply remove the first letter from a park attendant.

18d         Virtual journey  through Italy – on time after heading off (5)
{ITOUR}  A virtual journey using the  internet –   the IVR code for Italy followed by a period of time with its first letter removed (heading off).

23d         Pacify a follower of Tooting with endless charity (6)
{BECALM}   The Tooting area of London has a second part to its name.   This should be followed by the first three letters (endless) of charity given to the poor.

24d         Employ quiet secretary in Florida island (6)
{USEPPA}   I didn’t know the island but the wordplay is so clear –   a verb meaning to employ, the abbreviation in music for quiet, and the abbreviated name for my job  when I work for the boss alone rather than the whole office.


26d         Chaplain’s bad cold (5)
{CHILL}   The abbreviation for chaplain and bad or sick.

27d         Pakistani politician married in Persia today (5)
{IMRAN}   The Pakistani cricketer turned politician –   Insert the abbreviation for married into the name of the country formerly known as Persia.

29d         Direct every other account (3)
{CON}  A nautical verb meaning to direct the steering is hidden in the even letters (every other) of aCcOuNt.

30d         Tawdry article – one in Times (3)
{TAT}   Insert the indefinite article (one) between T and T (times).

32d         Fish returned in river (3)
{YAR}  A river on the Isle of Wight is a reversal of a large fish.

Prolixic likes to include a Nina in his puzzles – many people missed the fact that he had hidden the names of fellow Independent setters in the solutions of his last crossword for that newspaper.

If you read across each across solution  of this NTSPP, you will find that the words on each row join to give another meaning.    I particularly like the 15/17/19 combination which is why I used that particular illustration at 17a.


  1. Kath
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gifI found that really difficult.
    I needed the hints to explain a few and I did have to look up lots of things – there was a fair bit of stuff that I didn’t know, mainly to do with computer terminology which I’m hopeless at.
    My last two, not counting the answers I didn’t understand, were 21a – I know we’ve had the ‘el’ before but it took me a long time to remember – and 11d which took ages and I’d almost given up.
    I really like clues that are so clear that even if you’ve never heard of the answer you can work it out and look it up – 24d.
    I also liked 28a and 1, 6 and 10d.
    I hadn’t spotted the connection between the across clues – clever.
    With thanks to Prolixic for a really good crossword and to CS for explaining the bits that I couldn’t.

  2. Expat Chris
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I loved it and finished without hints, but I was wrong on 22A. I had “root” as in “root for the home team”. Tenuous at best. I didn’t know the meaning of 29D or the R for take in 12A. I have to quibble just a bit with 21A…I know only one US city where the elevated railway is called “The El”.

    Loved 17A and 11D in particular. Many thanks to Prolixic for a fun puzzle and to CS for the review.

  3. andy
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    That’s decided, I need a printer for Christmas, so much easier on paper. Another excellent prolixic ntspp and thanks to Csue

  4. 2Kiwis
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    We found this quite tough and ended up with one wrong as we had settled for ‘Goat’ Island for 22a. We had not picked the NINA.
    We often find short words harder than long ones and that was true today. Good challenging fun.
    Thanks Prolixic and CS.
    PS. Sue, think you might have the wrong answer in the brackets for 1a. U and N transposed.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      AH. See that the 1a answer in brackets is now corrected.

  5. Prolixic
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Crypticsue for the review and too all for their comments. Had an (and am having an increasingly) hectic weekend so am a bit late in proffering my thanks but I did have time whilst out to swap the UN around correctly in 1a – WordPress for the iPhone is a wonderful thing sometimes but don’t tell BD that something on the Apple actually works!)

    Apologies for lots of short words (particularly in the down clues) – it was a consequence of the theme of Word Association Football with the across clues.

  6. Hieroglyph
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Came to this late but really enjoyed it. Thanks Prolixic & Cryptic Sue. As an aside, for some reason the PDF I downloaded didn’t have any grid numbers. Gremlins, no doubt!

    • Posted November 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Looks fine to me – you could try right-click and “Save Link as”.