NTSPP – 090 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 090

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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

The prolific Prolixic returns with another splendid puzzle which I originally solved some weeks ago leaning on a sea wall  on a lovely sunny morning.    Apart from having a very dense moment with one clue (I am not saying which one!), I found this very easy going and as enjoyable as all puzzles by Prolixic tend to be.

Favourite clues are highlighted in blue.


1a           Keep prisoners ever reformed (8)
{CONSERVE}       A charade of an informal term for prisoners and an anagram (reformed)  of EVER

5a           Opposing players encompass mostly stupid values (6)
{ETHICS}  Insert the first four letters of a word meaning stupid or dense into the initials of two of the opposing players in a game of bridge.  The values here refer to systems of morals or behaviour.

10a         Forsake recklessness (7)
{ABANDON}  A double definition clue.

11a         About to leave in a trice – perhaps this may stop you! (7)
{INERTIA}  Remove an abbreviation taken from the Latin word for about  from an anagram of IN A TRI(C)E – this type of inaction would certainly stop you moving.

12a         Half-hearted cry downstairs (5)
{BELOW}  Removing one of the middle letters of from a synonym of cry, for example one made by a bull,  leaves a preposition meaning under or downstairs.

13a         Remove a French Duke from difficulty (9)
{UNHARNESS}   A charade of the French word for A followed by a word meaning difficulty  from which the D (duke) has been removed.

14a         Where a dancer and driver may be found (4,8)
{POLE POSITION}  This clue is a cryptic definition of where a type of scantily clad lady might be found dancing or alternatively someone like Jensen Button might place his car when he had produced the fastest time in the qualifying sessions for a Grand Prix.  A picture for Gazza?  a picture for Pommers?… decisions, decisions – I hope this one pleases both of them!

19a         Merge and turn pants and vest? (12)
{UNDERGARMENT}  An anagram (pants) of MERGE AND TURN produces the type of clothing of which a vest is an example.  And now an illustration for us ladies!

20a         Fastidious saint supports Jewish feast after leader of movement quits (6)
{PURIST}  Someone over fastidious.   Remove the last letter, an M (leader of Movement), from the Jewish Feast of Lots and replace it with the abbreviation for saint.

22a         We hear a masterstroke lasts for sound science (9)
{ACOUSTICS}  A homophone of a synonym for masterstroke or clever stratagem followed by another way of saying lasts sounds like the science relating to sound or the theory of hearing.

24a         Move two rivers (5)
{ROUSE}  To stir up or move – the abbreviation for river followed by the name of a river in Yorkshire.

25a         Instrument in a radio car in Amsterdam (7)
{OCARINA}   Hidden in a radiO CAR IN Amsterdam is a musical instrument

26a         Greatly admired intricate doilies (7)
{IDOLISED}  An anagram (intricate) of DOILIES – celebrities are often greatly admired in this way.

27a         Rock & Roll Support with Queen touring Thailand (6)
{TEETER}   A verb meaning to rock, roll, sway or wobble is a charade of a small support used by a golfer and the cipher of our current Queen, into which is inserted (touring) the IVR code for Thailand.

28a         Uranium inspection described by Edward before trial?
{UNTESTED}   Something that hasn’t been tried out is this.    Start with the chemical for Uranium,  then one of the familiar forms of Edward into which is inserted another word for inspection or examination.


1d           Exclamation about a very black cross (6)
{CRABBY}    Insert A and the two letter abbreviation used on very black pencils, into a noun meaning a loud shrill sound or exclamation to get a synonym for cross or grumpy.

2d           Aristocrat in a state.   Not quite! (6)
{NEARLY}  -An adverb meaning not quite is obtained by inserting an aristocratic title into the abbreviation for an American state.

3d           Bless a Germanic deity returning after moving North (5)
{ENDOW}   Reverse a German god (after whom Wednesday is named) and while doing so move the N for north up one space –  bless here means to enrich with a gift or faculty.

4d           Funding from volunteer’s ideal (7,7)
{VENTURE CAPITAL}  Money supplied by individual investors for a new enterprise.   Two synonyms are required here – one meaning volunteer or offer to do something hazardous and the other meaning ideal in the sense of important, excellent or just right.

6d           A possessive beneficiary is after treasure initially (5)
{THEIR}  Belonging to them –  The first letter (initially) of Treasure followed by someone who succeeds to property as a beneficiary of a will.

7d           Work I printed in bold (8)
{INTREPID}  An anagram (work) of I PRINTED makes an  adjective  meaning bold or brave.

8d           B-ballad about feeble final performance (8)
{SWANSONG}  The key thing here is to note the stuttering at the start of b-ballad.   The type of musical item of which a ballad is an example has its first letter repeated and then a synonym for  feeble inserted to get the last work or performance by a poet, composer or actor.

9d           Steep price paid for the Tibetan embassy? (4, 10)
{HIGH COMMISSION}  My favourite clue – a super cryptic definition of a type of embassy representing a member of the British Commonwealth in another such country.

15d         Topless tart belongs to us (3)
{OUR}  Remove the first letter from an adjective meaning tart or acid to get the possessive adjective meaning belonging to us.

16d         Place where judge loses spirit – quite the reverse (3)
{INN}  Removing the one-letter abbreviation for  judge from a Muslim spirit leaves you with a place where spirits and other alcoholic beverages can be purchased.

17d         Vagabond’s car  (8)
{RUNABOUT} I only knew this word to mean a small light car, but Chambers also defines it as a vagabond.

20d         Recommend a Scottish lawyer (8)
{ADVOCATE}  A fairly obvious, well it was to me, double  definition.

21d         Drop dynamite in to kill (6)
{BEHEAD}  To kill, for example as Anne Boleyn was, put the abbreviation for High Explosive (dynamite) into an alternative word for drop, quite often used in the plural with sweat.

23d         Slack runner’s to contend without one (5)
{SKIVE} –   A type of runner used on snow and a verb meaning to contend with I removed (without one).

24d         Nothing for one in one river or another (5)
{RHONE}   Take two rivers with almost the same spelling – remove the O (nothing) from the French one and replace with an I (one) and you get the spelling for the German one.

I usually end a review of a Prolixic NTSPP saying that I can’t wait for the next test solve.   However,  I have test solved three more of his puzzles since I did this one, so he can probably rest for a  while.  Mind you, by the time you are reading this, I will have spent the afternoon at the Cruciverbalist’ Convention, so will probably be in need of a rest too!!!


  1. Prolixic
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I am glad that Gazza and CrypticSue enjoyed the crossword. Is anyone else there?

  2. Posted October 30, 2011 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    There on the internet? Or there at the convention with CrypticSue?

    I’m here on the internet, and I really enjoyed this… no distracting theme, no gimmicks, no trying to be too clever, just a good honest crossword with very succinct and precise cluing. Excellent!


  3. spindrift
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Slow to begin with then got into my stride only to fail on the final furlong. I had to resort to CS & to her review for the SW corner. Thanks to both & now onwards to Virgilius!

  4. Posted October 30, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this one so thanks to Prolixic. Agree with the sentiments in #2.

    As I solved it while watching the Indian Grand Prix I can’t believe how long it took for the penny to drop on 14a – D’oh!
    Good reveiw CS – just one thing though, it’s usually Sebastian Vettel rather than Jenson on pole! Nice piccy anyway!

  5. Franco
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed this although I didn’t find it as easy as gazza suggested yesterday. Had the same experience as pommers on 14a!

    Thanks to Prolixic and to CS for the review, especially for explaining 11a, 16d and 20d.

    CS – Think you’ve mixed up the Rhine & Rhone. Also, I inadvertently double clicked on one of the pics with surprising, though not damaging, results.

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I have corrected the countries, thank you Franco. I could say it was my deliberate mistake to see if anyone read my prose…. but sadly it wasn’t.

  6. Jezza
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I just got around to looking at this today. Thanks to Prolixic for a fun puzzle; not too tricky, although I had a few in the SE to unpick. I had not heard of the Jewish feast, which slowed me down, although the wordplay made it fair. 11a possibly my favourite.
    Thanks also to crypticsue for the review.