NTSPP – 096 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 096

A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Another fine puzzle from Prolixic.  I have to say that I didn’t spot the triple unches for which he apologises, but then I rarely notice the obvious! Slightly tougher than some of his puzzles, including  some clues which were easier to solve than to explain!

As he knows, I am not a fan of a crossword where you have to use the web to find out some of the answers relating to a theme,  but it didn’t take me long this time as 14d was easy to work out.  Had I been testing it at home, however, I wouldn’t have needed the internet, as I only had to say the name in 14d to Mr CS, and he reeled off all the themed answers without any hesitation at all!   I hope that, whichever way you solved it, you enjoyed this puzzle as much as I did.


*1/6D/2               Operation opening king’s hips maybe provides seasonal enjoyment for 14d (9,7,2,3,4)
{poisoning pigeons in the park}  The first of the themed clues.   An anagram (maybe) of OPERATION OPENING KINGS HIPS gives the title of one of 14d’s works.    

6              Pose on a potty to postulate (5)
{POSIT}  To postulate or lay down a subjection for discussion.   A simple charade of an informal term for a potty and a synonym for pose (for an artist).

9              Offering bird pardon on return(5)
{TITHE} The tenth part of someone’s income paid as a offering  to the church is a reversal of a two letter interjection expressing a failure to hear and a small bird.

10           Touching comment about pine (9)
{ALONGSIDE} To get a preposition meaning close to the side of, or touching, insert a word meaning  pine for or desire very much,  into a comment separate from the main subject of a conversation.

11           Necessary to be attentive after Henry leaves for Norway (7)
{NEEDFUL}  a synonym for necessary is obtained by removing the H which is the first letter of a word meaning attentive and replacing it with the capital letter of Norway.

12           Historical prince found after robe’s returned (7)
{EPOCHAL}   Relating to a major period of history – a reversal of a robe worn by clergy on ceremonial occasions followed by a prince often found in crosswords as well as in Shakespeare’s Henry V.

13           Among varieties of gold, Pierre’s said to be a judge (7)
{AUDITOR}   This judge is qualified to judge accounts.    A charade of the  chemical symbol for gold, the French word for said (Pierre of course being a French name) and finally the colour of gold as used in heraldry.

15           Rage after old books are removed from home of provincial assembly (5)
{STORM}  Remove the abbreviations for Old and New Testaments from the home of the NI Provincial Assembly to get a violent rage or reaction.

17           Porter embraces knights in low joint (5)
{ANKLE}  Porter is a type of strong dark beer,  so you need a three letter word for beer into which is inserted the two different abbreviations for knight (the first one used in chess, the second more generally) – the low joint isn’t a shady night club!   Not sure the picture reflects Gnomey’s recently expressed complaint at my lack of pictures of shapely joints, but it’s the best I can find.

19           Second time I have succeeded in aims (7)
{MOTIVES}  Aims or reasons for  doing something –    another charade – this time an informal term for a short time or second plus  T for time,  the short form of I have and S (succeeded).

21           Stamp regularly applied on public transport (7)
{TRAMPLE} Another way of saying stamp or tread on roughly is formed by an electrically-owered form of public transport that runs on rails on streets, followed by the even (regularly) letters of aPpLiEd.

23           Company returns beat American conglomerate? (7)
{OCTOPUS}   Conglomerate refers to a figurative term for a person or organisation with widespread influence which describes the creature after which, presumably, it is named. Reverse the two letter abbreviation for company, follow it with a word meaning beat or win, and then the two letter abbreviation for the United States of America.  

24           Article removed from underclothes thrown for a dog (9)
{SCOUNDREL}  Not a canine but an unprincipled rogue.   Remove THE (article) from UNDERCLO[THE]S and make an anagram (thrown) of the remaining letters.

25           Chapter 2 “Pastor goes to find the President” (5)
{CHAIR}   This President presides over a meeting –  A charade of the abbreviation for Chapter followed by a noun meaning a set of two with the first letter, a P, removed (Pastor goes).

27           Sex offender’s not an Anglican! (5)
{NONCE} A slang term for a sexual offender –   a prefix signifying the opposite of something followed by the two letter abbreviation for the Church of England.

28           Quoting “Having a change of heart”, having a change of heart. (9)
{REPENTING}  An expression meaning ‘having a change of heart’ or regretting, is derived from part of a verb meaning quoting or saying again with its middle letter(its heart) replaced by an A.


1              Something stony in the heart of malice? (3)
{PIT}  a stone found in a fruit is hidden in the middle of a word meaning malice or malicious hurt.

2              See 1 Across

3              Obese US agent supports his old boss dismissing NY prostitute (7)
{OVERFED}  Being this  can cause you to become obese .  The slang term for an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation follows (supports) the first Director of the FBI [J Edgar] Hoover with the first two letters of his name  removed (the two letters are, of course, American slang for a prostitute – dismissing prostitute).  One of those easier to solve than explain clues.

4              Thoroughly unwell touring continent (2,3)
{IN ALL}   An expression meaning thoroughly.   Insert  the abbreviation for the continent of North America into  a synonym for unwell or poorly.

5              Theatre run to go worldwide? (5-4)
{GLOBE TROT} –  Shakespeare’s theatre followed by a word meaning run  gives an expression meaning to travel the world.

6              See 1 Across

7              Stylish sound (5)
{SWISH}   A lovely double definition – an adjective meaning stylish or a rustling sound.

*8           Nestle theme composed by 14d (3,8)
{THE ELEMENTS}  An anagram (composed) of NESTLE THEME gives another of 14d’s works  

11           Fair refusal by craftsman to adopt new practices at first (3-8)
{NON-PARTISAN} Fair in the sense of impartial –  A charade of the most common ‘refusal’, the initial letters of New and Practices (adopt … at first) and then a synonym for craftsman or skilled manual worker.

14           Real mother missing a crude satirist (3,6)
{TOM LEHRER}  An anagram (crude)  of RE[A]L MOTHER without the A (missing a)  produces a musician known for his satires.  

16           Old English girl almost acquires German company making tubes (9)
{OESOPHAGI}   The plural form of the passage by which food gets to the stomach.   The abbreviation for Old English followed by all but the last letter of a girl’s name into which is inserted (acquires) AG (the German abbreviation for Aktiengesellschaft meaning a  company, in a similar way that we might use Ltd).  

18           Plain old tosh on the radio, so some say (7)
{EXPANSE} here plain means a wide open space –  A two-letter prefix meaning former or old,  followed by a homophone of a slang expression mainly used by young people to mean tosh or rubbish.  

*20/26 The Catholic News Service for14d? (7,3)
{VATICAN RAG}    The Catholic News Service might be described by this informal expression which is also the title of another of the works of 14d.  A charade of the State ruled by the Pope and a derogatory term for a newspaper.

22           Embellish article about a beetle (5)
{ADORN}   Insert Prolixic’s favourite beetle (well he’s used him before!!) into an indefinite article to get a verb meaning to embellish or decorate.

23           Deck hands seen in old observation post (5)
{ORLOP} The bottom deck of a ship with four decks –   Insert the abbreviations for Right and Left hands into O (old) and the military abbreviation for Observation Post.

It is always a pleasure to solve a Prolixic puzzle.   However,  I feel I should warn everyone that I have ‘seen the future’ (well, tested a couple more) and while he hasn’t yet borrowed Vlad’s boots, he has certainly been trying on those 1950’s Clark’s school shoes that my then five year old brother  used to refer to as his “clompy shoes”!!


  1. spindrift
    Posted December 11, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle which was an “overnighter” for me. In fact I only managed to work out why 23d is what it is while putting this morning’s breakfast pots away! Thanks to Prolixixc & to CS for the review. I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to his next offerings though…

  2. Prolixic
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Many thanks to CrypticSue for the review and to all for your comments.