NTSPP – 005

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 005

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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Welcome to the fifth in our series of weekly puzzles.

This is the second by Prolixic – one of our rising stars.

The puzzle by Prolixic is available here

Prolixic has been a regular on the site for some time now, but if you would like to know a little more about him just select “The Bloggers” from the “Pages” widget in the sidebar.

Feel free to leave comments about this puzzle. I have set Prolixic up as the “owner” of this post so that he gets all the emails! (An email is sent by WordPress to the owner of a post each time a comment is left.)



  1. moonstruckminx
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Good one…loved 19 a and 11a…….That really took me a long time to get.

    • whaleomelette
      Posted March 14, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      But hated19d. This is obscure as.

      • gazza
        Posted March 14, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Hi whaleomelette – welcome to the blog.

        • whaleomelette
          Posted March 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Cheers Gazza. An explanation of 19d would be appreciated!

          • gazza
            Posted March 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            whaleomelette – see my response to comment #6 below.

            • whaleomelette
              Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

              Ah – many thanks gazza. Knowing the 5 letter word helps then.

  2. Claire
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Well – I’ve made a start. 8d easy for me being a Baptist but fear the rest will be much more challenging! Thanks Prolixic

    • Sarah
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      I’ve certainly found it challenging Claire! Trying really hard not to go straight to interactive – have managed 1 & 4 d and 19 & 13a but progress over last hour has been zilch – anyone got a couple of teeeeeeny hints going spare? Once I start looking at the interactive I find it too easy to slide into a revealathon. I’m guessing 17a is an anagram but havnt cracked it …. oh well …I’ll keep at it. Not very many post as yet .. was it too easy for everyone … or … is it perhaps a tricky one so no wonder I’m struggling :sad:

      • Sarah
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Now feeling daft for being pathetic ‘cos just got half a dozen!! yay! ……oops! :oops: famous last words?

      • moonstruckminx
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Sarah think of what type of boat a u boat is…then use the shortened version and add on message sent by a mobile phone…hope that helps!

      • gazza
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        17a Ben argues excitedly, “It’s between a genus and a species” (9)
        It’s an anagram (excitedly) of BEN ARGUES.

        • moonstruckminx
          Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

          Whoops having a blonde moment…gave clue for 17d not 17a……As for 17a I had to use andys anagram solver.

        • Sarah
          Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Ah Gazza, now I can see that i didnt include the U in my anagram “patch”. Just out of interest do most people “draw” an anagram “circle” of the selected letters as I have read elsewhere – for some reason I just plonk my letters down in a sort of patch and find that works fairly well – if necessary I start a new patch from scratch (!) if I get stuck.

          • gazza
            Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            I favour the circle. I think it helps not to have any obvious starting letter. But I’d stick with whatever works for you.

      • gazza
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        moonstruckminx’s hint is for 17d, but the u-boat might also apply to the start of 17a.

  3. moonstruckminx
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Got 2d as only word that will fit but cannot understand it from the clue. Anyone?

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Think of stock-taker as someone who steals cattle.

      • moonstruckminx
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Ah so the st stands for stone…gotcha…thanks!

        • Sarah
          Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Thanks moonstruckminx and gazza – that should get me over the next hill .. much obliged.

        • Claire
          Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          Has 2d got st in it? – if so I’m terribly wrong somewhere!! Just been struggling over dinner but much of lower half is still beyond me! :-(

          • gazza
            Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            The answer doesn’t have st in it, but you have to remove st (throws a stone) from a word meaning stock-taker to get the means of measuring.

          • Claire
            Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            Oops – silly me! Get it now…. of course it’s the st that’s missing. Can anyone help out with the bottom half? Maybe 14d or 16d?

            • gazza
              Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

              14d. Chamber Pearl kept old preserve in (5,4)
              It’s hidden (kept) in the clue
              16d. Film society gets roles allocated around a couple of cuties (9)
              The answer is the name of a film. Start with S(ociety) and add another word for roles around A and a couple of the letters of CU(ties)

              • Claire
                Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

                Thanks Gazza – just got 14d – never heard of it though!! 16d clever – wouldn’t have got it without your help. Just left with 4 to do now….. no doubt I’ll be back! How are you doing Sarah?

  4. Sarah
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Guys, is there significance to the use of … ie. the dots – at end of 2d and beginning of 3d?

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      They only serve to make the surface reading of the two clues better and to show that the answer to 3d is something that can be measured.

      • Sarah
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Gazza, by surface reading do you mean whether the sentence could almost make sense as a stand alone phrase outside of a crossword puzzle? Sorry to be so dense but this learning curve goes round a long bend!

        • gazza
          Posted March 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          You can read the two clues together and they fit together well (i.e. the surface reading of the two together is very smooth). But, each can be solved individually (the first is a measuring tool and the second something that can be measured).

  5. Tilly
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this puzzle. Been to a reunion and maybe the wine slowed me down a bit … ! Liked 3d and 16d. Well done, again, Prolixic.

  6. Claire
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    OK – just down to 18d and 19d – don’t think I’ve a hope of getting them! Have a possible answer for 19d but no idea what it’s got to do with Brazilian aardvark – are you still there Gazza??

    • Sarah
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      We’re getting there tho Claire – I have 18 & 19d – let me think how I can help – think of another word for sort – that forms last 4 letters but its not sort as in “sort out” more like the kind of something and the first three letters are to do with being green but not envy more like save the whale…… 19d defeats me too as do 5 and 27a and 8d these are the last ones for me – really trying not to look at interactive tho have consulted thesaurus etc! Hope my mangled explanations might help a bit – i’m not as succint as Gazza bless him.

    • gazza
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      19d Brazilian aardvark’s no good for fur, for example (7)
      The first 5-letters are a South American racoon-like animal – follow this with N(o) G(ood). The whole is a thin covering – fur perhaps, or possibly paint.

      • Claire
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Aha – thanks you two. Had got 28a wrong which didn’t help! All done now :-) 8d is the name of an old Baptist preacher with ‘p’ missing to get someone who might specialise (in operations) – hope I haven’t now made it too obvious!

        • Sarah
          Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          thanks Claire – I did have the right word in the end just couldnt see the see connection! but can now – hopefully that connection will stay with me for another time.

          goodness me – now I get 8d and should have got it sooner as I am sure there is a blue plaque to this guy in my village!

          one teeeeny hint for 5a please then i can lay my weary head down!!

          • Sarah
            Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            well now i think i have the word for 5a but cant 100% see how it’s arrived at. – hopefully its the right word cos thats me done …… several hours later ….. but no interactive …. and many thanks for all the help from you guys.

            • Claire
              Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

              I don’t really see how 5a comes about either – guess we’ll have to wait for the review next week! Have a good week – hope the children behave themselves. :-)

          • Claire
            Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

            Didn’t know he came from Kelvedon – I lived in Chelmsford for many years.

          • gazza
            Posted March 13, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            5a. Such trouble arises from boisterous rule breaking (7)
            You need to remove the letters of TROUBLE from BOISTEROUS RULE and make an anagram (breaking) of what remains. The resulting word often appears before trouble (hence “such trouble” in the clue).

            • Claire
              Posted March 14, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

              Ah -I get it by looking at it from the answer but don’t think I’d have worked out the working out… if you see what I mean! Thanks

  7. Sarah
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m guessing (obviously!) that in 8d “quietly” is indicating use of letter “p” for piano? Should i also be thinking along biblical lines – so fustrating now – only three to go ….so near………………………

  8. Sarah
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps with 27a – an anagram of rest jumbled amongst most of a word for to see? and would “perhaps” in some obscure way indicate “l” for learner?

    • Claire
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      You’ve got the first bit right but it’s not that sort of see. I think perhaps is the indicator for the anagram of rest.

    • Claire
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      See (so I learnt quite recently) is, in crossword speak, often to do with Bishops and their diocese. The whole is another word for briefly.

  9. Claire
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Prolixic for a good challenge. At first glance I thought I’d have no hope but have enjoyed the solve – with a little help!

    • Sarah
      Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Well there’s a thing – have googled for more info – and he was born in my village on June 19th, 1834!
      Thanks for all your help tonight – here’s to the next one! The Everyman in the Observor for me tomorrow. Then odds and ends during the week tho usually too tired. Roll on the Easter hols (I work in a school) think how much head scratching I will do then :smile:

      • Claire
        Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Me too – tricky to fit much crosswording in to weekday evenings; as you say – roll on Easter hols! – gardening and crosswords

  10. Sarah
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    The same from me Prolixic – i was stumped for quite some while – had a lot of help – but was also able to get some by myself. Really enjoyed it anyway – here’s to your next challenge.

  11. gnomethang
    Posted March 14, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I put it in front of my brother yesterday and re-solved it myself – amazing how much you forget from one month to the next. It was just as much fun this time!.
    Nice one Prolixic!

  12. Lea
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    What a lovely puzzle – some excellent clues. Still working my way through it – about half way there but have to go out so will come back to it. Thanks Prolixic for a lovely challenge. So far I really like 5d and 2d.

  13. Lea
    Posted March 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Finished – nice puzzle – still my favourites as above but didn’t like 8d and really had to research that one s know nothing about Baptists – only got it fdrom trhe cross letters and then looked it up.

    Well done Prolixic

  14. Posted March 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Solved in the same time as an easyish Times, with 5 and 8 entered last – just about recalled the preacher. A few quibbles:
    13: “out of this world” is a description rather than a definition – maybe “is somewhere out of this world” might have been better
    17: The answer is a plural, so the clue should really say “they are between genera and species”
    14: I’ve never heard of the answer and (more important) can’t find it in a dictionary. I know the clue was easy, but I think a reworking of the grid content to get real words would have been better.
    20: not sure that budget is really “spend”
    17 & 4: style/difficulty issue: arbitrary names like Ann and Ben are rather obvious as anagram fodder.

    Favourite clues: 12A for the antiseptic soap, 5A for a bit of fiendishness.

    • Prolixic
      Posted March 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Fair comments though for 14d, the solution was suggested by the software. I did some research on the web and found sufficient references to old recipies to convince me that it was a valid, if outdated, phrase. Given that it was an old term, I ensured it was clued simply and well signposted as an old form of preserve. It certainly wasn’t two words stringed together to fit the grid!

    • Radler
      Posted March 16, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Weekend away and then busy with work so only got round to Saturday’s NTSPP today.
      I would say “budget” and “spend” are frequently used interchangeably in business-speak but otherwise I tend to agree with PB’s other comments. It’s sometimes necessary to include the occasional obscure word in themed puzzles, but better to avoid them where practical.
      However, any criticism from me would be rather like the pot calling the kettle black and I did enjoy the puzzle, so well done again Prolixic.