NTSPP – 077 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 077 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 077

Rivals by Radler

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This week we enjoy one of Radler’s gentler puzzles.  The theme is based on a well known cartoon series with 11 rivals driving across America.  The themed clues are highlighted in blue and the two words leading to the cartoon series in red.
Radler received a rave review in a recent article by Anax on Crossword Unclued where he said:

“Sil van den Hoek. Boaz. Radler. Who? Who indeed. Well, these guys represent some of the most outstanding unpublished setting talent around, and we should all be enjoying what they do.”

Many thanks to Radler for another enjoyable puzzle.


7a Mob TV presenter and racing driver (3,4)
{ANT HILL} – The first of our rivals is this mob.  Take the name of one of a due of TV presenters (Britain’s Got Talent, etc) and the name of a former racing driver to find the answer.

9a Pat takes his lead at the finish (7)
{PENDING} – The second of our rivals (first name Pat) comes from the first letter of Pat (takes his lead) and a word meaning the finish.

11a Stepped over us before with strides (9)
{TROUSERED} – A word meaning with strides (a type of clothing) comes from a word meaning stepped around (over) US.

12a Office workers largely appeal to head of Sales (5)
{TEMPS} – These office workers comes from a word meaning appeal (as in entice) with the final letter removed followed by the first letter (head of) sales.

15a Inversion of time or space (4)
{ROOM} – This space in a building comes from a two letter for a short period of time and the or, all of which is reversed (inversion).

16a What’s too complicated for Rufus’s companion? (8)
{SAWTOOTH} – The third of our rivals and the companion to Rufus Ruffcut comes from an anagram (complicated) of what’s too.

19a Rally champion’s low ebb after losing finals (4)
{LOEB} – This rally champion (not one of the rivals but fitting for the theme) comes from the words low ebb each losing the final letter.

21a People’s careers (5)
{RACES} – A double definition gives us the second word of the theme for this puzzle.

22a Slip away after the Spanish left for recess (4)
{APSE} – A word for a recess often found in churches comes from a word meaning slip away from which the initial EL is removed (the Spanish left).

24a Jazz fan’s tastes may indicate middle of the road (4,4)
{CAT’S EYES} – These indicators that shine in the headlights to indicate the middle of the road come from a word meaning a Jazz fan followed by a word meaning tastes.

26a Do they sing treble? (4)
{TRIO} – This number of singers would also make a word that means treble.

28a H for honours? (5)
{BARTS} – H is the abbreviation for a hospital.  We are therefore looking for the name of a hospital that matches the abbreviation for Baronets (honours).

31a Film re alcohol abuse (5,4)
{LOCAL HERO} – The name of a film is an anagram (abuse) of re alcohol.

32a Scavenger exposes romp after defamatory allegations (7)
{MUDLARK} – This scavenger of the bird world comes from a word meaning defamatory allegations (that may be slung) and word meaning a romp.

33a Miss competing with worst and best (7)
{PITSTOP} – The fourth of our rivals comes from a word meaning the worst and a word meaning the best.


1d He could be a tad sly hogging road (9)
{DASTARDLY} – The fifth of our rivals comes from an anagram (could be) of a tad sly around an abbreviation for road.

2d Rain’s not advanced east to cause washout (5)
{RINSE} – A word meaning washout (as may be done with clothes) comes from the word rain from which the A has been removed (not advanced) followed by the abbreviation for east.

3d Hymn replacing original’s not popular (6)
{GLORIA} – The word for a type of hymn comes from an anagram (replacing) of original after first removing the IN (not popular).

4d Charlotte possibly not half so sweet (4)
{SPUD} – This vegetable has a cultivar called Charlotte.  It comes from half the word SO followed by a three letter word meaning sweet (as in dessert).

5d Problem that isn’t talked about (4)
{KNOT} – A word for a problem comes from a homophone (talked about) of a word meaning isn’t.

6d Gets on as image somehow shows (4)
{AGES} – A word meaning gets on is hidden inside (shows) image somehow.

8d Gruesome possibility, 26 with one lopped off (7)
{TWOSOME} – The sixth of our rivals (first name Gruesome) comes from a word that describes two people (the answer to 26a reduced by one).

10d System equals mass (3)
{ISM} – A word (mostly used as a suffix) for a system comes from a two letter word meaning equals followed by an M for mass.

13d Former leader of RBS in thanks for bonus (5)
{EXTRA} – A word for bonus comes from a two letter word meaning former followed by a two letter word meaning thanks into which an R (leader of RBS) is included.

14d Shows off foremost of ships in fleet (6)
{BOASTS} – A word meaning shows off comes from putting the first letter of ships inside a word describing those craft found in a fleet.

16d Result of starting to strain after rest’s ordered (6)
{STRESS} – A nice &Lit here.  Take an anagram of rests (ordered) and put the first letter of strain inside and you have the result – a word that means tension.

17d Wife’s lacking good taste being topless and wild (5)
{WACKY} – The first word of our theme requires a W for wife followed by word meaning lacking in good taste from which the first letter has been removed (topless).  The resulting word also means wild.

18d Muscular individual romps home after training (9)
{MESOMORPH} – A word for a muscular individual comes from an anagram (after training) of romps home.

20d Sergeant’s report (5)
{BLAST} – The seventh of our rivals (first name in the series being Sergeant) is a word that means report (as in a loud noise).

23d Good schoolboy swaps RE to become boy racer (7)
{PERFECT} – The eighth of our rivals (first name Peter) comes from a word for the position a good schoolboy may hold with the letters R & E swapped.

25d Wherein a smidgeon of solitude and peace can be found (6)
{ESCAPE} – Another &Lit.  An anagram of S (smidgeon of solitude) and PEACE gives a word where solitude and peace may be found.

27d Letters, the last of them offensive (5)
{BLITZ} – A word meaning offensive (as in a wartime attack) comes from the letters someone might receive when they have their degree followed by the last letter of the alphabet.

28d 20 and Mob’s car (4)
{BOMB} – Not one of the rivals but the car that they drove (the bulletproof ****), is also a word that describes the answer to 20d.

29d Like Max, oddly lacking friends (3)
{RED} – The ninth of our rivals, last name Max comes from the word friends removing the odd letters.

30d Brothers driving girls around (4)
{SLAG} – The tenth of our rivals (known as the **** brothers) comes from a word meaning girls reversed.

31d Book lazy driver (4)
{LUKE} – Our eleventh rival (a lazy driver) is also the name of one of the books in the New Testament.

3 comments on “NTSPP – 077 (Review)

  1. Some thank-yous from me to…
    … Prolixic for his usual excellent and particularly well illustrated review
    … Crypticsue who test-solved the puzzle
    And Anax for his very flattering mention

  2. Well I enjoyed it even if nobody else seemed able to comment…I guess it’s the rare event of a warm & sunny weekend. Thanks to Radler & to Prolixic for the review. My only other comment was that I had a heck of a job printing it off & had to resort to the “old cut paste into word” trick.

  3. I enjoyed it too! Just a bit irritated with myself about the theme. I remember it well and can even ‘see’ most of the characters but the names just wouldn’t come to me! Got Penelope Pitstop of course and, for some obscure reason, the Slaggs and Sawtooth but the rest . . ? Think I might be in need of therapy!
    Anyway, thanks Radler and Prolixic (splendid illustrations).

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