NTSPP – 049 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 049 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 049 (Review)

With thanks to…  by Prolixic

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was sent to a number of us just before Christmas as a thank you from Prolixic for our help with his puzzle setting.   It was on the difficult side and, indeed, I seem to remember taking a couple of days off and on to solve it and needing checking letters/Chambers to finish it off.  A very enjoyable puzzle – Thank you Prolixic.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1  Old rider’s offer unfortunately led to depression. (11)
(BIDDLECOMBE)    A charade of  another word for offer, especially at an auction;  an anagram of LED (unfortunately) and a word meaning a depression or hollow.    The ‘old rider’ was a National Hunt jockey in the 1960s/70s.   Prolixic’s thank you here is to someone well-known to fans of this blog as amongst other things the previous reviewer of Sunday Prize Puzzles and now the Editor of the Sunday Times Crossword.

7   Older search engine’s not new (3)
(BIG) – remove the N (not new) from the name of a web search engine to get a word which you will need to put with 2d for ‘thank you’ purposes!   The definition older refers to big as in ‘brother’.

9  Compose Instant Five cleverly in a changeable manner (7)
(MOVABLY)   A way of saying in a changeable manner  is found in a  charade of a two letter word meaning instant, V (Roman numeral  5) and an alternative word for cleverly or skilfully.

10 In the same place bishop replaces learner in fool’s settlement (7)
(KIBBUTZ)  a settlement in Israel –  this clue is much easier to solve than to explain!  Take the North American slang term for an awkward, stupid person, remove the L and substitute with  IB  the Latin abbreviation for ibidem (in the same place) and  B (Bishop replaces Learner)

11 Template never incorporates part of a typewriter (6)
(PLATEN)  It helps here if you are old enough to have learned to type on a typewriter and thus  know the name of the roller – if you aren’t, its hidden in temPLATENever.

12 Networks put broadcast about Egypt (5)
(RETIA)  The plural of a network of blood vessels is obtained by putting the IVR code for Egypt  inside a reversal of a synonym for broadcast.   This was one of my checking letter/is there such a word in Chambers solutions!

14 Reintroduce nuclear supply before end of March (8)
(RELAUNCH)  an anagram (supply) of NUCLEAR plus the last letter (end) of MarcH) –  minor changes to products are often reintroduced by this means.

16  Small man in Waverly, say, gets a drink?
(STREGA) A sweet, bright-yellow herb-flavoured Italian liqueur –  Waverly is the famous Edinburgh station so you need the abbreviation for station into which should be inserted the diminutive of Reginald (small man).

19 Falcon’s first to be entertained by admirer – the dog? (6)
(WOOFER)   An old-fashioned term for some who courts a lady with F (falcon’s first) inserted.  Dogs aren’t often referred to as this these days, the term is more commonly used for a musical speaker.

20  Draw of Krishna in organised scam (8)
(CHARISMA) a personal quality or gift that impresses or influences others –  Take the word that normally precedes Krishna when one talks about this religious movement and inserted it into an anagram (organised) of SCAM.

23  In wrath and anger – it’s an American thing (5)
(THANG)  – hidden in wrath (and) anger  is the way you would say thing with an American accent.  A very nicely disguised word which goes with 24d in the Thank You’s!

25  On return Queen embraces holy man’s insect form (6)

(INSTAR)  Reverse (on return) the wife of a raja around the abbreviation for saint.  I hadn’t heard of this form of an insect between moult and moult – good old Chambers to the rescue again.

28 Prayers – maybe Roy’s lack breadth… (7)
(ORISONS) –  these prayers took me a while to get, and for the penny to drop –  one of BD’s favourite singers, he with the dark glasses – think Pretty Woman – with B for breadth removed.

29  …  As Christian Union in Persia’s finally persecuted and short tempered (7)
(IRACUND)  Insert into the modern name for Persia  the initial letters of Christian Union.   Follow the result with the last letter of persecuteD (finally)  – an adjective meaning to be easily angered).  Chambers to check the word again for me!

30  Allegedly brave girl (3)
(SUE) – A girl’s name (now I wonder what that could be!) which sounds like (allegedly) one of the Native American tribes.   Linked to 4d.

31  Deadly results from preparation of insect toxin (11)
(EXTINCTIONS)  An anagram (preparation) of INSECT TOXIN tells you what happened to dodos.


1 Hump and knock off! (4)
(BUMP)  A nice double definition – another word for a knock (on the head?) and those annoying things that slow you down in the road.

2  Dutch hail TV station(4)
(DAVE)  the abbreviation for Dutch and the Latin for hail – this TV station repeats old BBC programmes such as Top Gear and QI on an endless loop.  Link this answer to that of 7a and you get the reason we are all here and the person who deserves the biggest thank you of all.

3  Defamation law king changed for liberal French Emperor!? (9)
(LIBELLULE) a French dragonfly –  take a word for defamation and another for law and regulations, change the R for an L (king changed for liberal).   This is another of Prolixic’s thank you’s, this time to our Monday cryptic reviewer.

4  This is ambiguous! (7)
(CRYPTIC)  Clues in our favourite crosswords are this!  A thank you linked to 30a.

5  Creating covering – not square (6)
(MAKING) –  a synonym for creating  – covering, for example, the face with the S removed (not square).

6  Hesitate to accept award on these days (5)
(EMBER) The three fast days in each quarter of the year – The hesitation here is not um but the other one with the abbreviation for Member of the British Empire inserted.

7 Spy head shows frank quality (9)
(BLUNTNESS)   The surname of one of the spies who passed secrets to Russia and another name for a headland.   People with this quality say what they think.

8 Zidane’s first to wear strip for footballer (5)
(GAZZA)   The famous much fought over strip of land in Palestine with Z (Zidane’s first inserted) – the sobbing footballer or thanks to our blogger so fond of pictures of scantily clad young ladies?!

13  Garden regularly weeded before wallflowers initially did this (4)
(GREW) The first, third and fifth letters of GaRdEn followed by W (wallflowers initially) – all well-looked after plants did this.

15 John King has one as a doppelganger (9)
(LOOKALIKE)  Here John is the American informal term for a lavatory so you need to replace it with our informal term for the same, follow this with K (king) and an adjective meaning to resemble –  a double of a person would be said to be this.

17  Nasty woman manager brawling in race (9)
(TERMAGANT) A nasty scolding woman is an anagram of MANAGER (brawling) inserted into the abbreviation for a Tourist Trophy race.

18  Some French leave dome’s location returning one like 3d (4)
(ANAX) Remove the French word for some from the place where the Stately Pleasure Dome was in Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan.   Reverse (returning) the result  gives you the name of a genus of dragonflies or another thank you, this time to the setter of clever crosswords.

21 Sacking in Ashes debacle (7)
(HESSIAN) An anagram (debacle) of INASHES gives you the material from which sacking is made.

22  Arising from Atlantis litigation – a treaty(6)
(TILSIT)   This clue refers to treaties signed by Napoleon I in 1807 in a town of the same name.   When I first solved this, I just saw the name of a fellow blogger reversed inside (arising from)  atlanTIS LITigation so I have learned something new.

23  Rishi’s first getting in drinks – reds? (5)
(TROTS) – an abbreviation for followers of Trotsky is created by placing R (Rishi’s first) into another word for a small dram of alcoholic drink.

24  Chef oozing rum cooked for one of Zurich perhaps (5)
(GNOME)   A disparaging term for Swiss bankers  – remove “OF ZURICH” from an anagram (cooked) of CHEF OOZING RUM – add the answer to 23a for the thank you.   See Prolixic’s comment below regarding compound anagrams!

26  British alien visitor’s toad (4)
(BUFO)   The final thank you or the genus of true toads?   B (British) plus the way in which visitors from outer space are supposed to arrive.

27 Does pretty badly in poetry (4)
(ODES)  an elaborate poem is an anagram of DOES (pretty badly).

This is the second  occasion on which I have received a mention in a cryptic crossword and I am just as chuffed as the last time.   I am in awe of anyone who can set a cryptic crossword and to produce one that includes setters, fellow bloggers and so on is a magnificent feat of cruciverbalism.   Thanks to Prolixic from all of us.  Thanks also to Gnomethang for dealing with all the magic technology for me.

6 comments on “NTSPP – 049 (Review)

  1. Many thanks for the review. All the names appear in the list of bloggers on the main Big Dave site. I could not squeeze Rishi and Falcon into the grid so they get mentions in the clues.

    The more obscure words come from fitting the main protagonists into the grid leaving some really odd letter combinations to fill!

    The other thing I wanted to do with this was to have each name stand on its own with a non-blogging definition. Certain bloggers caused more problems than others.

    A couple of comments on the answers.

    In 7a the definition is “older” as in my *** brother. The wordplay require the name of Microsoft’s new(ish) search engine without the N.

    24d is a compound anagram where the answer forms part of a phrase produced from the anagram fodder.

    1. Thank you for the further explanations. I have amended the review to take account of these and other errors spotted by BD. If only my technological wizard hadn’t been in such a hurry to get to his post golf match pint, he might have spotted them for me. I suppose I could refer to them as deliberate errors to see if anyone was reading my prose but I don’t think I would get away with it :D

  2. My apologies – I was on a golf day and the après golf is still continuing.
    Many thanks to Prolixic for the challenging puzzle.

  3. At the end of an exciting and tiring day, and after copious amounts of extremely pleasant fizzy liquid, I finally found myself able to sit down and try to concentrate on what was an excellent brain workout. Many thanks Prolixic for this puzzle and your kindness this morning, Thanks CS for the review. Off to bed to try and stave off an inevitable, but worthwhile, hangover!

  4. Thanks for the explanations of the ones I couldn’t get (about a third of them I guess!).
    Too many obscure words for me but at least they were fairly clued. I like Prolixic’s explanation of the reason for the obscure ones!
    Anyway, thanks again crypticsue and thanks for the brain strain Prolixic.

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