NTSPP – 012 Comments

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 012

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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Welcome to the twelfth in our series of weekly puzzles.

Prolixic reaches his fourth on this site – and don’t forget he has a further puzzle on DIY COW (see the main Crosswords page for a link).

The puzzle by Prolixic is available by clicking here:

NTSPP - 012

Feel free to leave comments about this puzzle.


  1. tilly
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle, Prolixic. Thanks. Particularly liked 1a, ( a wonderful word) 29a and 9d.

  2. mark
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi Prolixic. Many thanks for this puzzle. I have just printed it out. I haven’t had a look yet, but I am sure it will keep me busy all afternoon!

  3. Posted May 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations and thanks for this one, Prolixic. Bearing in mind that I only ever do three forms of Cryptic crossword (DT Cryptic – try to get to it every day – for best part of 30 years, DT Toughie, but not every day and that’s recent stuff, and the Guardian – certain compilers only and again only since it’s been free online….some of the clue constructions were a bit alien to me. I used the ‘Check letter’ button a few times, but didn’t have to reveal any letters or otherwise cheat. I’ve spent around an hour on this – enjoyed it very much (if I hadn’t, I’d have closed the window and moved on) to the extent that I haven’t glanced at today’s Grauniad.
    Hope more people comment , and have a go at this. I’m sure it’s a hell of a lot of work – but definitely not in vain.
    PS, although 13a was last in and not a difficult guess – I’m light-years away from following the clue…………………

    • gazza
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Since Prolixic doesn’t seem to be around to answer, can I suggest that it’s MILLION (large number) + G (last letter, closer) of riotinG with the O (blood type) being removed (spilt).

    • Prolixic
      Posted May 1, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      I am around but heroically refrain from commenting on my own clues! Gazza, as ever, is spot on with his analysis and many thanks to him for explaining the clue.

      I am touched by the Chairman’s comments. Although producing the puzzles is a lot of work, they are tremendous fun to put together and that is its own reward; nonetheless but it is good to get feedback such as this.

      I have missed the Claire and Sarah show this week!

      • Claire
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Hi Prolixic – I’m here, but only just got round to looking at it. At first glance it looks tricky but here I go …..

  4. Posted May 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Gentlemen – many thanks. Despite reaching the same destination, I was never going to get there via Karachi, Vanuatu and Skegness. I’d love to see how Rufus might approach such a word, with grindings and fightings and marking the edges of coins to prevent clipping – or much cleverer…
    Looking forward to Monday’s ‘minellium’ offering. ‘Mean old serpent’ is an an anagram of Peter Mandelson which would work better in the DT than the Grauniad – but they’ve had a slight volte-face pro the Cleggies at the moment.
    Always appreciate Gazza’s analysis of such matters – cheers and have a good Bank Hol. This week’s Private Eye suggests that the Guardian is so skint that all free online content may have to disappear a la Murdoch Org., so Gazza I suspect the splendid crossword pages may be on borrowed time. Let’s face it, they are too good to be true sometimes, compared to ScrewedUp’s £30’s-worth.

    • gazza
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Chairman, like you I noticed in the Eye that the main supporter of free internet content is leaving the Guardian, but I won’t begrudge 50p a week (or whatever) for regular doses of Araucaria and Paul. Meanwhile, of course, you can get the excellent NTSPP series on this site absolutely free!
      I liked your anagram :D

  5. Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Just printed out to solve over a pint at lunchtime. A quick glance at 1a looks extremely promising!

  6. mark
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Prolixic – Have now completed this puzzle. Excellent! Thank you so much.
    I agree with Tilly – 1a is a really excellent clue for a wonderful word!
    I also really enjoyed 5d, 25a and 9d.
    Shot myself in the foot with 12a by putting in another word with the letters for a synonym for “caper” in it that begins with and “l” :(
    Thanks for all you hard work on this puzzle.

  7. gnomethang
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle, Prolixic.
    Many thanks. To give you an idea of difficulty I completed this in about 30 minutes (40 on and off). Last to go in were 9d/14a as I had the alternative spelling for 9d. I also struggled on ID but that was just me!
    1a, 12a and 18a (which I was looking out for!) were great.
    Not sure on first bit of wordplay for 24d.

    • gazza
      Posted May 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      ten is short for tenuto (it’s in The Mine, as BD would say!)

      • gnomethang
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Thanks gazza! Mea Culpa!

        • Posted May 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          Well, it is now! It wasn’t there on Friday.

          I’ve made significant changes to the Musical Terms over the last day, including adding a separate section on abbreviations.

  8. Claire
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Having tried to find an anagram for dance album to be I finally realised the error of my ways! What a word – it came up at home a while ago with a challenge to use it in conversation, not so easy!! Have now managed to do 13 clues but have ground to a halt…….. :-(

  9. Claire
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Well – I persevered for a while longer but with about a third of the clues to go resorted to clicking for a few letter clues. Still don’t understand some of the wordplay – will there be a review?
    Thanks Prolixic – much enjoyed!
    Sarah – where are you??

  10. Lea
    Posted May 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    OK – I think I am crossworded out – this is the third one I have done today and guess what – I haven’t done anything else. What a lovely way to spend a miserable bank holiday Monday.

    Got a bit frustrated at times cause I couldn’t get on the wave length but finally got there and enjoyed it in the end.

    I do have one query –
    25a Take in East End trial of a stud (7)
    – why is it what it is. I get the definition part – stud – but don’t understand the rest – help please. I got the right answer cause I checked but….


    • Posted May 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s that old “harder cryptic” chestnut – take = recipe = r inside ‘earing (East End / Cockney) = hearing = trial.

      • Lea
        Posted May 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave – just thought of it (when I went for a cup of tea) being hearing without the “h” – makes sense now but didn’t know the take = recipe – another to add to my lists.