NTSPP – 001 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 001

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 001

An Independent Puzzle by Anax

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The first in a series of puzzles for anyone who finds that the Saturday Telegraph Prize puzzle leaves them wanting something more challenging.

We mentioned on Saturday, 30th January that Anax was the setter for that day’s prize puzzle in the Independent (#7267). Now that the closing date for entries to the competition has passed, Mike “Eimi” Hutchinson, Crossword Editor, has kindly given permission for the puzzle to be published here.

Please click here to view the puzzle

Next week we have a brand-new puzzle from Prolixic – our latest contributor turns setter.

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I have deleted several off-topic comments from Giovanni together with my responses as they are no longer relevant.


18 comments on “NTSPP – 001

  1. At last, a Saturday Toughie! Thanks, Anax. I admit I got some answers and then had to work out the wordplay – but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

    And thanks, BD, for introducing the idea.

  2. Just realised I clicked to soon, I was going to say that it will be interesting to see if you illustrate the answer to 13d!

  3. It’s great puzzle. I bought the paper 2 weeks ago for the puzzle alone.
    Still hanging out for the illustration to 13d
    from memory I struggled a bit in the top left.

    1. 1 down was, for me, the only iffy clue. The definition, useless, allegedly comes from the Urban Dictionary and using that is somewhat akin to opening Pandora’s Box.

      1. 1d
        Yes, when I sent this to Eimi it was the only query he had. The odd thing is that the dictionary def is one I didn’t know – I only knew the word as meaning useless/broken/not fit for purpose, yet my dictionaries didn’t list it as such. An internet search took me to the Urban Dictionary which confirmed the meaning I was aware of. After Eimi’s query I asked as many friends as possible if they’d heard of it – without exception they all (at least a dozen of them) recognised my “interpretation” without prompting. And it wasn’t a regional thing – some of them are local, others scattered between North Yorkshire and London.

  4. I had to have a go at this puzzle. It proved to be far beyond my ability – the indicators were very subtle and the definitions even more so. I am fascinated by the crossword as an art form and would dearly love to see an explanation of the whole puzzle by Anax, should he have the time – it would be fascinating. I do feel that this is a very positive developement of the site, although my own level of skill is well below that required.

    Once again, thanks to Anax and BD for allowing me to see an excellent puzzle that I would have missed otherwise.

    1. I’ll certainly give it a go. Right now I’m half way through the second of three puzzles for a new newspaper contract (first puzzle approved, two more requested) – as soon as that’s done I’ll do a write-up explaining the clues to this one.

      Unless of course someone beats me to it and writes a review…

      1. Anax, I will save you the work. A setter trying to explain his clues? It doesn’t look nice!

        I am just beginning and I will try to put it up later today or by noon Fri IST.

        BD: I will save the draft and let you decide where and how to display my masterpiece.


          1. Thank you Rishi.

            I got to the end of the acrosses and now find myself bogged down with more setting work. Looks like I have a busy weekend ahead.

  5. I may be a bit behind the 8-ball, but it just occurred to me that GO IN VAIN is an anagram of Giovanni!

    Guess who got up very early because she couldn’t sleep … !

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