NTSPP – 097 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 097

A Puzzle by Alchemi

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We welcome back Alchemi with a gentle crossword that should not cause anyone too many problems today.  Alchemi’s Guardian roots show with some more libertarian clues such as the use of forerib and legend that have to be split to get the wordplay instructions that you would not find in some crosswords.


1a Saying everyone can expect direct elections, starts to declare independence (6)
{SECEDE} – A word meaning declare independence comes from the initial letters (starts) of Saying Everyone Can Expect Direct Elections.

4a Maybe Dundonian scams not unusual (8)
{SCOTSMAN} – A Dundonian is an example of this national.  It comes from an anagram (unusual) of SCAMS NOT.

9a Pays next year’s subscription for up-to-date sapper info (6)
{RENEWS} – A word that means paying next year’s subscriptions (with the implication that you have already paid this year’s ones) if split 2,4 might mean up-to-date information about army engineers (sappers).

10a Just in: safe-break reveals what philanderer has (8)
{AFFAIRES} – That which a philander has comes from a word meaning just inside an anagram (break) of SAFE.

12a Bullpen I’m sorting out for measuring depth (9)
{PLUMBLINE} – Something that might measure depth comes from an anagram of BULLPEN IM.

13a People support forerib (5)
{TRIBE} – A word for people comes from a support used in golf and replacing the middle E with the word RIB.  The word forerib has to be split FOR E RIB to make sense of this.

14a I neglect mum to develop modern working practice (13)
{TELECOMMUTING} – A modern working practice that involves staying at home to do the gardening whilst pretending to read e-mails and write reports comes from an anagram (develop) of I NEGLECT MUM TO

17a Frighten wonk with one nasty weapon (8,5)
{THROWING KNIFE} – A type of weapon comes from an anagram (nasty) of FRIGHTEN WONK I (one).

21a Unit One somehow comes from far north (5)
{INUIT} – A person from the far north comes from an anagram (somehow) of UNIT I (one).

23a Musical group loses nothing in return for cleansing (9)
{PURGATIVE} – A word meaning cleansing comes from reversing the title of an Andrew Lloyd-Weber and Tim Rice Musical and the word GROUP omitting the O (loses nothing).

24a Fussy photo featuring journalist and social worker (8)
{PEDANTIC} – A word meaning fussy comes from taking a diminutive word for a photo and putting words meaning journalist and social worker inside it.

25a Give hint to legend to go quietly (6)
{TIPTOE} – A word meaning to go quietly comes from a word meaning to give an hint (as you might for a fancied horse) and the word for part of the body found on the end of the leg (legend).

26a Eased off fast when forest animals came back round (8)
{RELENTED} – A word meaning eased off comes from a word meaning fast (as in a time when you do not eat) with the name of a forest animal reversed and placed around it (came back round).

27a Restless drones slept noisily (6)
{SNORED} – A word meaning slept noisily comes from an anagram (restless) of DRONES.


1d Gets rid of southern dice game (6)
{SCRAPS} – A word meaning gets rid of comes from the abbreviation for Southern followed by the name of a dice game.

2d Direct party on Tube (7)
{CONDUCT} – A word meaning direct comes from the diminutive name of a political party followed by another word for a tube or pipe.

3d Perhaps new blood will begin at the bottom (4,5)
{DOWN BELOW} – A word meaning at the bottom comes from an anagram (perhaps) of NEW BLOOD followed by the first letter (begin) of will.

5d Fees from cake used to build drink dispensers (12)
{COFFEEMAKERS} – These drink dispensers comes from an anagram (to build) of FEES FROM CAKE.

6dVehicle reversing in dry area (5)
{TRACT} – A word meaning an area of land comes from reversing the name of a vehicle inside the abbreviation for teetotal (dry).

7d Swallow one cocktail (7)
{MARTINI} – A word for a cocktail comes from another name for a swallow followed by an I (one).

8d Following rise in Malaysian currency, Thailand’s leader urges savings (4,4)
{NEST EGGS} – A word for savings comes from reversing (rise) the currency of Malaysia and following this with the first letter of Thailand and a word meaning urges.

11d Actor has French wine and a little caviar to tempt pair inside (7,5)
{VINCENT PRICE} – A famous actor comes from taking the French word for wine and following this with the first letter (a little) of caviar and a word meaning to tempt with the abbreviation for pair inside.

15d Aunt Irina converts to monotheistic denomination (9)
{UNITARIAN} – The name of a monotheistic denomination comes from an anagram (converts) of AUNT IRENA.

16d Canonised serial killer usually ends up naked (8)
{STRIPPER} – The name of someone who ends up naked when performing comes from how an infamous serial killer might be referred to if he were canonised.

18d Aircraft logo depicts circular railway (7)
{ROUNDEL} – The name given to an aircraft logo comes from a word meaning circular and a two letter word for an elevated railway.

19d Top-secret timescales hold back broadcaster (7)
{EMITTER} – A word for a broadcaster is hidden and reversed inside top-secret timescales.

20d Ambitious deputy wants to decapitate (6)
{BEHEAD} – A word meaning decapitate if split 2, 4 describes what a deputy might want to be.

22d Projection for one-off cricket team?
{TENON} – A projection forming part of a word-working joint comes from how you might describe (3,2) a cricket team if one member is off.


  1. crypticsue
    Posted December 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Apparently when I first saw this puzzle back in September, I found it on the hard side. Even though I didn’t remember solving it when I looked at it earlier, I did solve it in a fairly quick time so my brain must have retained some memory of it somewhere deep down.

    I hope that I get the chance to remember even more of Alchemi’s puzzles as there are some good ones in the pipeline. Thanks to him and to Prolixic too.

    • Alchemi
      Posted December 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      What is also possible is that having done a whole load of mine, you’re now used to the way I set puzzles, whereas when you saw it first you had no idea what sort of things I do. And as Prolixic says, I’m of the Guardian school, my idols being Araucaria and Bunthorne, which can take a bit of getting used to compared to the very Ximenean Telegraph.

      Thanks to you and everyone else for the kind comments.