Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 060
A Puzzle by Prolixic
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It is always great to open one’s emails and find one from Prolixic with the subject line containing the words “test solve’’. This particular crossword was entertaining from start to finish, with a great theme, and some very nice clues, so thank you once again Prolixic.
[Gnomethang – I have placed an asterisk against the Themed clues and illustrated with blasts from the past}
1 Heartlessly badmouths complex medical procedures (3, 5)
(MUD BATHS) A medicinal bath in heated mud. Remove the O from BADMOUTHS (heartlessly). The anagram indicator complex tells you to rearrange the remaining letters.
5 Support for Golden Orb (6)
(SPIDER) Double definition – a type of spider or a rest or support used in snooker.
9 Soften as friend hugs tree (8)
(MACERATE) to soften by soaking in water. Insert the genus of the Maple tree, the ACER into MATE, an informal term for a friend.
10 Tip alien for 12 (6)
*(HORNET) The first of the themed clues. A charade of HORN (a tip of land, such as Cape Horn) and ET (the lovely film alien). A British boy’s 12 from the 1960s to early 1970s when it was merged with 4d.
12 Rich leader accepts award (5)
*(COMIC) The theme! The leader is the Commander in Chief or CIC. Insert the abbreviation for the award of the Order of Merit, OM, to obtain a type of magazine containing humorous stories in picture form.
14 Rodin initially rejected pretty poor design for model (9)
(PROTOTYPE) To find an original model for something remove R (Rodin initially rejected PRETTY POOR and make an anagram (design) of the remaining letters.
15 Prudish boy leaves 12 (6)
*(VICTOR) Queen Victoria’s subjects were known to be prudish. Remove IAN (boy) from the adjective relating to her and her reign to get a 12 full of boy’s own type adventures.
17 Run back after hell’s pervert (7)
(DISTORT) A synonym for pervert in the sense of using wrongly or badly. One of the mythological names for hell is DIS. Follow this with a reversed synonym for run TROT = TORT.
20 White line’s received by party (3, 4).
(CUE BALL) – the white ball on a snooker table – a CUE is a hint or line given so that an actor can remember their lines and a BALL is a grand party.
24 Acts to cut legal documents (5,4)
(DEEDS POLL) – DEEDS or acts and POLL (clip, shear or cut off the horns of cattle). I had never really thought about the plural of these legal documents that are made by one party only, especially one by which a person changes their name, but obviously it is the documents that are plural rather than their description.
26 Colonel in Belgium’s oddly quiet (5)
(BLIMP) – Colonel Blimp was an incurably conservative elderly military officer in the cartoons by David Low. The odd letters of BeLgIuM plus P (piano, musical term for quiet).
28 Pirate – one in a murder possibly (8)
(MARAUDER) – Someone sustained by looting – an anagram (possibly) of A MURDER plus another A (one) inserted.
30 Canons strip head to toe (6)
(CREEDS) – Move the first letter from SCREED (a strip of wood, plaster or metal) to the end of the word – Canons or CREEDS are statements of systems of beliefs or principles, usually connected with religion.
31 Character studies got Hoyle perplexed (8)
(ETHOLOGY) An anagram (perplexed) of GOT HOYLE – These are studies of the behaviour of animals in their normal environment.
1 Copies notes on civil service (6)
(MIMICS) – two musical notes MI and MI on the abbreviation for the Civil Service – copies in the sense of imitating someone, especially for satirical effect.
2 Storage space reduced for wine controller (3)
(DOC) remove the last letter (reduced) from DOCK (here meaning a storage space in the theatre) . DOC or Donominazione di Origine Controllata – a method of recognising the quality of a product such as wine and maintaining its international or national reputation.
3 Nouveau riche owns things of gold (5)
(AURIC) – Hidden inside nouveAU RIChe is a term meaning of or containing gold.
4 Hard sprouts pared and boiled for 12 (7)
*(HOTSPUR) – Another boy’s comic. Apparently this one featured school stories. – H (hard) plus an anagram (boiled) of SPROUT(S) (pared instructs you to remove the final S)
6 Governor’s for and against short temper (9)
(PROCONSUL) – a governor of a colony or other dependency. A charade of PRO (for) CON (against) and SUL (sulk – a resentful mood or temper – with the last letter removed (short).
8 Pulls back from harbours (8)
(RETREATS) Double definition – to withdraw from a confrontation with an enemy or seclusion/shelter.
11 Link notes not hard (4)
(CORD) – a cord joins things. Remove the H (not hard) from a series of notes or CHORD.
13 Prime number – 23rd in the USA (5)
(MAINE) MAIN plus E – The 23rd of the United States of America – MAIN (prime) plus the type of number we have to watch out for in food – the E number.
16 Silly nerds can’t excel (9)
(TRANSCEND) – An anagram (silly) of NERDS CANT produces another way of saying surpass or exceed.
18 Old spirit’s mixed for African native (5)
(OKAPI) – an African animal, not a tribesman – O (old) KA (an Egyptian term for the spirit or soul within a person) and PI (mixed – pi is a printer’s term for confusingly mixed type).
19 Don’s of no practical use (8)
(ACADEMIC) A very amusing double definition, particularly given the type of person I encounter in the day job! A don is an academic member of staff in a university and, if something is academic, it is purely theoretical.
22 Climbing plant pruned in tub for 12 (7)
*(VALIANT) – A tub or VAT into which is inserted the first four letters of a type of long-stemmed woody vine – the LIAN(A) – pruned in the clue tells you to cut the word short. This 12 was started in the early 1960s, and was a weekly mix of war stories and detective fiction.
23 Place in Seychelles for 12 (6)
*(SPARKY) This 12 wasn’t known to me but it was obvious from the wordplay – the IVR code for the Seychelles SY into which is inserted a PARK (an area of recreational land). A similar 12 to the Dandy and Beano, possibly aimed at the slightly younger reader.
25 Bailiff beheaded for 12 (5)
*(EAGLE) – Remove the first letter from a BEAGLE (I had heard of dogs and sharks with this name, but apparently it can be a bailiff too) – Probably the most famous boy’s 12 from the 1950’s – everyone has heard of Dan Dare.. I used to sneak a peek at my brother’s copy.
29 Some in Paris love Flanders and Swann? (3)
(DUO) – Flanders and Swann were a famous double act who sang some wonderful songs, including “Mud Mud Glorious Mud”. DU (the French word for some) and O (love – no points score in tennis)
I didn’t have a particular favourite – all the clues were very good – and it was nice to return to the days when I used to pinch my brother’s 12s. Shame Prolixic couldn’t have fitted in the Tiger as then he/I could have mentioned Roy of the Rovers. Also what about 12s aimed at the fairer sex? Perhaps they’re being lined up for the next one. Can’t wait!