NTSPP – 063 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 063 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 063 (Review)

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

I am going to blame the fact that I was sitting in the blazing sun when I started trying to solve this puzzle but , having put in a few of the straightforward solutions, I did have to go on-line and get a couple of letters to help me sort out the rest. Whilst at the trickier end of the Prolixic spectrum, it has a very nice theme (the themed clues I have spotted are marked with an *) and some great clues, so thanks to Prolixic once again for another great piece of Saturday afternoon entertainment.

1a One note on fair game (4,1,6)
* {JUST A MINUTE} The mini theme starts here! An adjective meaning fair or right, followed by A (one) and the sort of note that might be taken at a formal meeting.

7a Mark’s urge to leave one behind (3)
{DOT} You might urge someone to an action by saying “Do it”. Remove the I (leave one behind) and you will be left with a very small mark or spot.

9a Even disciples can be preachers (7)
* {PARSONS} A noun meaning even in the sense of equal (it also means matching the required number of strokes in golf) followed by SONS (disciples).

10a Guards wrap ambassador in trusses (7)
{SHEAVES} A term for trusses of harvested wheat is found by inserting HE (His Excellency, the Ambassador) into a verb meaning guards in the sense of keeps from harm.

11a Subject prays endlessly for return (10)
* {REPETITION} The act of returning by repeating something. The preposition meaning about or concerning followed by alternative word for prays with the final S removed (endlessly). This is not allowed in the rules of 1a.

12a Direct exchange (3)
{AIM} An obvious double definition.

14a Used subterfuge in English degree (8)
{EMPLOYED} Used as a means or agent. A charade of E (English) followed by the abbreviation for Master of Education into which has been inserted a term for a manoeuvre used to evade.

16a Boils fish before the Sabbath (6)
{BLAINS} This was one of my cheating ones, mainly because I hadn’t heard of the fish. Chambers defines this word firstly as boils or blisters. The second definition is a fish, also known as the bib or pout, which here should be placed before or followed by S for Sabbath to get the boils or blisters.

18a Relatives slain around about the beginning of Whitsun (2-4)
{IN-LAWS} If you are married, these relatives belong to your partner’s side of the family. W for Whitsun inserted (about) into an anagram (around) of SLAIN.

20a Unmarried princess almost gets handout (8)
{DISPENSE} Before she became the Princess of Wales, she was known as (Lady) DI(ana) SPENSER. Remove the final letter (almost) to get a verb meaning to deal out or distribute.

23a Kind of light brandy not medium (3)
{ARC} The application of a bit of punctuation works wonders here! Remove M for medium from a particular brandy and you are left with a type of light or lamp.

24a Bedding plant by Welsh pool described by lady (5,5)
{IRISH LINEN} You have no idea how long I spent thinking about flower beds! Thinking about punctuation led me to realise that what we need is the best sort of bedding you might sleep under. A flowering plant with tuberous roots followed by a term for a lady (or chicken) into which has been inserted LIN (a Welsh word for a pool at the bottom of a waterfall).

27a Formally wrote and signalled “About to leave” (7)
{INDITED} An archaic term meaning composed, wrote or dictated is obtained by removing CA (circa or about to leave) from the past participle of a verb meaning to signal, point out or show.

28a Animal in house with American partner (7)
{LEOPARD} The animal here is a spotty feline. A constellation named after a lion followed by an American abbreviation of their slang word for partner. Signs of too much Western watching in your youth, young Prolixic!!

29a Harry’s horse (3)
{NAG} An easy double definition – to scold, harry or annoy another or an inferior horse.

30a One entertained by outrageous sex options in shows (11)
{EXPOSITIONS} These shows are public exhibitions. An anagram (outrageous) of SEX OPTIONS with I inserted (one entertained). Prolixic always includes a cheeky clue like this one somewhere in his puzzles and I can always imagine him smiling to himself as he types it in!


1d Trick Orientals (4)
{JAPE} A synonym for jest, joke or trick. Two “orientals” – the abbreviation for Japanese, followed by E(astern).

2d Okay to acquire £1,000 in upturn (5)
{SURGE} An informal interjection meaning okay or certainly with G (a Grand is a slang term for £1,000) inserted.

3d Simultaneously redeem life (2,3,2)
{AT ONE GO} A phrase meaning simultaneously or all at the same time – when split (5,2) as opposed to (2,3,2) would produce a verb meaning to redeem or compensate for something followed by two letter word meaning life, energy or activity..

4d Remarkable summit in India (8)
{INSPIRED} An adjective meaning unexpectedly accurate, as in a guess. One of the many definitions of something I normally associate with a church inserted into the IVR code for India.

5d Nun’s aide conceals secret (6)
{UNSAID} Something that remains secret because no-one has talked about it. Is hidden in nUNS AIDe.

6d English fleet among others is enduring (7)
{ETERNAL} Insert into the abbreviation of the Latin term et alibi meaning ‘and other people or things’ E for English and the abbreviation for the Royal Navy. The definition is enduring or endless.

7d County adopts one endlessly at it for a change (9)
* {DEVIATION} put a county (the one where Gazza lives!) around I and AT I(T) endlessly to get a change

8d Mark tastes preparation for martinet (10)
{TASKMASTER} A strict disciplinarian can be found in an anagram (preparation) of MARK TASTES.

13d Abstract theoreticians losing record for scepticism (10)
* {HESITATION} As I had already sussed out the theme, I really shouldn’t have taken so long to get this one. An anagram (abstract) of THEORETICIANS with REC (losing record) removed. Scepticism here meanings doubt or wavering.

15d Pop group to follow one of the Searchers! (6,3)
{POLICE DOG} Although I am old enough to remember the Searchers, the group here was formed a decade later, Place the group’s name before a verb meaning to follow or track like a canine and you get the sort of canine used by Her Majesty’s Constabulary to track criminals.

17d Saint’s going commando some say (8)
* {NICHOLAS} Being a sheltered sort of lady (!), I don’t know from personal experience but understand that going commando means that you don’t wear any underpants – a homophone of what you would be if you were without knickers is the name of the Saint most associated with Christmas.

19d Take off painter’s suit (7)
{WHISTLE} Remove the R (recipe / take) from the name of a painter probably best known for a painting of his mother and you are left with the first part of the Cockney rhyming slang for suit – this word is normally followed by ‘and flute’ to get the rhyme with suit.

21d Settled one in increase (4,3)
{PAID OUT} Disbursed or settled your debts. Insert I (one) into a phrase meaning to add filling or increase something in size.

22d Tease some Ulstermen after success (4,2)
{WIND UP} To tease, irritate or annoy. A synonym for success followed by the initials of the Democratic Unionist Party (formed by men of Ulster) then split (4,2).

25d Moderator captures muse (5)
{ERATO} Everyone’s favourite crossword muse. As someone said the other day, what else can you put in a crossword if you have E*A*O. She’s hidden in modERATOr .

26d Wild geese regularly departing in these days (4)
{IDES} The odd letters (regularly [even letters] departing) of wIlD gEeSe – in ancient Rome this was the term for the 15th days of March, May, July and October and the 13th of the other months. Always reminds me of English literature lessons and Julius Caesar being told to beware the **** of March.

No special favourite clues for me but I did like the linking of all the themed ones. Hopefully Prolixic’s next NTSPP will be the one that Gnomethang and I have already test solved and for which Gnomey lined up to do the review! He shouldn’t feel guilty about me stepping in to do this one, it really is far too hot to sit in the garden!!

5 comments on “NTSPP – 063 (Review)

  1. Nice puzzle, many thanks to Prolixic.

    The theme worked very nicely, and I enjoyed solving it.

    Thanks also to CS for the review.

  2. Many thanks to CS for the fine review. Hopefully the next one won’t have you scratching your head so much!

    1. I just thought I had better mention the flute as someone was bound to ask how the whistle rhymed with suit :D

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