NTSPP – 294 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 294

NTSPP – 294

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

This puzzle marks a significant landmark for the setter – see if you can work out what it is, but keep it to yourself!

A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:

50 Lantern

A momentous occasion in the world of the Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle, Prolixic, our very own Mr Saturday Afternoon [well if he hasn’t set the puzzle, more often than not, he’s reviewed it!]   has reached the fantastic milestone of 50 solo NTSPPs.   I’m the world’s worst spotter of Ninas but even I worked out what was going on round the edge of the puzzle halfway through the solving process.

This one contains the usual mix of entertainment, education and several  clues that I certainly wouldn’t dare to illustrate, 22a for a start,  and I was quite  surprised at two or three images of scantily dressed ladies that turn up when all you are looking for is a picture of a 23d!


8a           Intricate ornamentation includes a bit of gold in relief work (8)
FILIGREE     I and a bit or one letter of gold inserted in an anagram (work) of RELIEF.

9a           Learning about type of light in art gallery (6)
LOUVRE   A type of light inserted into special or traditional learning produces a famous art gallery.


10a         Football team has to contend with Sun’s grillings? (10)
INTERVIEWS An Italian football team, a verb meaning to contend, the abbreviations for with and sun.

11a         Call shepherdess to leave work… (4)
BEEP   Remove the abbreviation for work from a nursery rhyme shepherdess.  My original test-solving sheet has a big * and ‘brill’ by the side of this clue.

Bo Peep

12a         … her many sheep and garden plants we hear (6)
FLOCKS   A homophone (we hear) of some garden plants.


14a         Maybe James has joint academic tenure (8)
DEANSHIP   The surname of an American actor called James followed by a joint of the body.

15a         Able to grasp story about working duke (7)
TALONED   A preposition meaning with respect to (about) is inserted into a story, the result followed by the abbreviation for duke.

17a         A Test involves pitch rolled over for game (7)
TOMBOLA   A (from the clue)and a test for cars put round (involves) a ball pitched into a high arc and the result reversed (rolled over).

20a         See transport officer’s hollow victory in American battle site (8)
YORKTOWN   This see is a northern diocese and should be followed by the abbreviation for Transport Officer and a word meaning victory with its middle letter removed (hollow).

22a         Excited mating lynx holds it in (6)
TINGLY   Hidden (holds it) in maTING LYnx.

24a         Possibly top class type of bristle (4)
SETA   Split 3,1 this would possibly refer to a top class.

25a         Replica bus destroyed in Latin commonwealth (3,7)
RES PUBLICA   An anagram (destroyed) of REPUBLIC BUS.

27a         Pensioners head off troops without resistance (6)
OLDIES   Remove the ‘head’ or first letter from some troops and then the abbreviation for Resistance found later in the word.


28a         Sheltered adult leaves getting abused (8)
INSULTED   Remove the A for adult from a verb meaning sheltered.


1d           Mark has to enlist a pupil (6)
SIGNAL   A verb meaning to enlist followed by A (from the clue) and the letter used to indicate a learner (pupil)>

2d           Rage after the opening of England’s green and pleasant land? (4)
EIRE   The ‘opening’ of England followed by some rage or anger.


3d           Crack vicar’s a fool to enter church (8)
CREVASSE     Insert an abbreviated clergyman and another word for fool into the abbreviation for the Church of England.

4d           Sea nymphs playing in reeds (7)
NEREIDS   An anagram (playing) of IN REEDS.

5d           Alias describing the Spanish state (6)
ALASKA   The formal Spanish plural for them, you, goes inside an abbreviation for an alias

6d           Refuse collector‘s briefly chafing about mistake (7,3)
RUBBISH BIN   Remove the last letter of a word meaning chafing and insert a silly mistake.   I always associate this word for a silly mistake with the wonderful books by Anthony Buckeridge where Jennings was always making a xxxx of things.  Until yesterday afternoon when the review was being prepared, neither your setter, his testers, one of whom is your blogger,  had noticed that the ‘chaffing’ in the published clue should actually have been ‘chafing’ 

7d           A tour retailer organised this route (8)
ARTERIAL    A compound anagram (organised) of A TOUR RETAILER, which when the letters of ROUTE are removed gives you the name of the route.

13d         Hit broadcast could be an eye-opener? (5,5)
CLOCK RADIO   Something that might open your eyes in the morning –   a verb meaning to hit followed by a broadcast.

clock radio

16d         Most importantly a version of lovable (5,3)
ABOVE ALL –   A (from the clue) followed by an anagram (version of) LOVEABLE.

18d         Absent rector caught in woman’s breasts creates a furore (8)
OUTBURST   An adverb meaning not in (absent) followed by the abbreviation for Rector inserted into what the BRB refers to as the upper front part of a woman’s body.

19d         Inability to smell a short bouquet carried by Ms Farrow? (7)
ANOSMIA   A (from the clue) and the Christian name of the actress Ms Farrow into which are inserted the first three letters (short) of a word meaning a scent or aroma (bouquet)

21d        What a pilgrim made without publicity for a dominatrix? (6)
OGRESS    Remove the two letters used to refer to publicity from the journey made by a pilgrim.  I remain unconvinced that a dominarix and the solution are quite the same thing.

23d         English Philosopher runs cabinet (6)
LOCKER   The surname of an English philosopher followed by the cricketing abbreviation for runs.


26d         Singer making a comeback in Zululand (4)
LULU   Hidden and reversed (making a comeback) in ZULULand.


Congratulations and thank you to Prolixic – I’m sure it won’t be long before you’re back here with another Saturday afternoon treat.

22 comments on “NTSPP – 294

  1. There I was, armed with dusters and hoover and then – ping, up pops a Prolixic puzzle.
    To hell with the housework! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

      1. Bed at 1:00 am. Awake at 4:30 am. Laid down for a nap at 2 pm. Just woke up at 6:30 pm! Never had jet lag problems coming from UK to US before. Must be getting old!!

  2. Hope you’ll pop in to take a bow, Prolixic – a superb collection of puzzles, greatly enjoyed by us all http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    Three new words today – masses of big ‘ticks’ and favourite slot goes to the LOL 18d.
    Many thanks.

  3. Many congratulations and a terrific puzzle. 18d was indeed a laugh out loud and there were many others to savour, including 8a, the 11/12 combination 28a, 2d and 5d. Bravo!

  4. Thanks Prolixic, enjoyed most of this. It was a reasonably quick solve. Nice NINA and congrats! Very nice start with the semi&lit in 8a. Liked “sun’s grilling” in 10a and “able to grasp story” in 15a.

    But Zululand? I thought 18d had potential but was clunky. 7d isn’t working for me, I may be missing something. 21d, I thought both halves were a stretch – no indication of book title and many dominatrices might not be described as thus. 24a I did not find convincing. Why is philosopher capitalised in 23d? 25a new to me, struggled with this.

    Many thanks for the entertainment

    1. I knew 25a, Dutch, so it must be reasonably well-known! However, I more than made up for it by not knowing 24a,4&19d – thank goodness the word play was fair. I’m with you on not fully ‘getting’ 7d – wanted to make it an anagram, but that doesn’t seem to work. 21d I thought was OK – the book is surely sufficiently widely known to not need anything more by way of indication and the ladies in question do have a ? I’d agree that 26d could have been better clued.
      Sorry you didn’t like 18d – it really made me laugh!

      1. By the way – 24a split 3,1 is exactly how our top stream at grammar school was described so I guess it’s fair enough – just didn’t know the bristle!

  5. Wonderful stuff. When we first looked at the grid we noted that there could be a message here and we were not disappointed, so, heartiest congratulations Prolixic. Too many good fun and penny-drop clues to single one out and we chuckled and smiled all the way through.
    Many thanks Prolixic.

  6. Only started looking at this one far too late to get going properly, and too knackered anyway.
    More ‘perservation’ needed but will have to wait until tomorrow evening – twelve people here for Sunday brunch at 11.00am so http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif now and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif tomorrow.

  7. Many thanks for the review, CS. My podium list remains as it was when I completed the puzzle – 11,12,14&17a plus 13&18d.
    Seems as though only Maize and I really enjoyed 18d!
    In 19d I interpreted the short bouquet as NOS(egay) – don’t imagine it matters much either way?
    Can you explain what in 7d gives the instruction to remove ROUTE – I can’t find an indicator.

    By the way – I understand your reluctance to pepper the review with scantily clad ladies, but I did think we might have been treated to a pic of Mr. Dean!

      1. Ah! The light dawns – thank you, BD. Don’t recall meeting that construction before – must try to remember it for the future.

          1. 7d

            I know that “Indirect” anagrams are verboten.

            And I always enjoy a cleverly constructed “reverse” anagram.

            But I’ve never heard of a “compound anagram” before … I might have to give it some more thought after drying out after a very liquid lunch!

            Thanks to CS for the review & prolixic for the puzzle.

  8. My thanks to Crypticsue for the review and too all for the comments. Apologies for being too loud in 6d!

    Special mention must go to Gazza and Crypticsue who have test solved most of the first 50 and those to which I have contributed and to Big Dave who launched me into the world of setting.

    Here’s to the next 50!

  9. Didn’t have time for this at the weekend, but well worth the wait.

    Congratulations Prolixic, very nice puzzle. I particularly enjoyed ARTERIAL.

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