NTSPP – 135 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

NTSPP – 135

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 135

“Cryptic colleague yielded by One Across (4)” by Nimrod

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

This puzzle was set especially for the Birthday Boy and was distributed at today’s Sloggers & Betters meeting in Bowdon

NTSPP - 135

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic.

A very happy birthday to Anax who is celebrated in this fiendish (in places) crossword by Nimrod / Elgar.  Hidden within the answers (sometimes) split across  two answers are eight occureances of Anax’s name (discounting the one that appears in the answer to 1a).


1 Altrincham greeting on day that’s special – and that frightens me! (4-3-4)
{HIDE AND SEEK} – As stated in the instructions, the answer to this clue is not defined but specified a game for the solver to play.  The answer comes from how you might greet Anax at his party in Altrincham (2,4) followed by the abbreviations for Day and Special followed by a three letter exclamation that you might utter if confronted by something frightening (like a crossword set by Nimrod / Elgar).

8 It bears instructions, but it’s forgotten in previously referenced lines (6)
{OPCODE} – This part of a set of instruction for a microprocessor comes from the Latin phrase for previously cited (2,3) from which the IT is removed (forgotten) followed by a three letter word for a poem or lines.

9 Stags often are and aren’t led on heading East (8)
{ANTLERED} – Something that stags often have comes from an anagram (on heading east) of ARENTLED. the words ARENTLED with the two letter word for on or about being moved to the right (on heading east).

11/13 MO of Jack Merridew’s this rude, getting invalided out (6,3,4)
{DIVIDE AND RULE} – How Jack Merridew tried to gain control of the island in the Lord of the Flies comes from an anagram (out) of RUDE INVALIDED.

15 Top academics resolving Daytona scuffle (5,2,7)
{DEANS OF FACULTY} – These top academics come from an anagram (resolving) of DAYTONA SCUFFLE.

18 Nuts on river close to attack caroused till morning (4,1,5,2,2)
{MADE A NIGHT OF IT} – A word for nuts (3) followed by a dialect word for a river (2), a word meaning close or near (4), the TO in the clue and a word meaning attack (3)

22/23 Do choose and learn discipline here? (7,6)
{ROEDEAN SCHOOL} – An anagram (discipline) of DO CHOOSE LEARN gives the name of a famous girl’s institution where discipline may be learned.

26 Slush did at the outset elicit alpha brainwave (4,4)
{GOOD IDEA} – A phrase for a brainwave comes from a three letter word for slush, the DID from the clue and the first letter (at the outset) of Elicit and a final A for Alpha.

27 The family’s promoted the best selected table-linen (6)
{NAPKIN} – A word for some table linen comes from a word for family put after (promoted) a word meaning the best selected.

28 “The finest nose!”, thought music-man, not one to keep within limits (5,3,3)
{PRIDE AND JOY} – A phrase for the finest comes from a word meaning nose (as in investigate) inside which (limits) you put a word meaning a thought or notion and a word for man who plays music and a word meaning not one (the music man inside the word meaning not one ‘to keep within’).  There is probably a better explanation of this.


2 Underestimate of deception at Westminster, reading between the lines? (7)
{IMPLIED} – A phrase (1,2, 4) indicating that a single elected representative has been untruthful (an underestimate in reality!) put together gives a word meaning reading between the lines.

3 Natural residents of The Green Mile? About 33% (1,4)
{E-COLI} – These natural residents of the intestinal tract come from a three letter word meaning green followed by a Chinese measure of distance measuring about 1/3 of a mile.

4 Earl ensnared by delightful kinswoman (5)
{NIECE} – This female relative (kinswoman) comes from putting the abbreviation for Earl inside a word meaning delightful.

5/25 Monotonous system that pays to raise knight’s cover (8)
{SCABBARD} – This cover that a knight would use comes from a word meaning monotonous followed by the abbreviation for the Bank Automated Clearing System (system that pays) all reversed (to raise).

6 Living Death inset displayed in heraldry (9)
{EXTENDANT} – A three letter word for death put inside a word meaning living gives a word used in heraldry for displayed.

7 A red setter beginning to realise destiny (6)
{MERLOT} – This red wine comes from a two letter word for the setter, the first letter (beginning to) of realise and a three letter word for destiny.

10 Divers are going to miss winter warmer (7)
{EARMUFF} – An anagram (divers) of ARE followed by a word meaning to miss gives an item of clothing that keeps you warm in the winter.

12 One’s evicted from fifty-year-old pit… (3)
{DEN} – The name of the birthday boy with an A (one) removed gives a word for a pit.

14 …now old enough, I turned up penning football columns (2,3)
{OF AGE} – Reverse (turned up) the Latin word for I and put inside the abbreviation for the Football Association to find a phrase meaning now old enough.

16 Changed what happened at High Noon (7)
{AMENDED} – A word for changed if split 2, 5 described what happened at 12:00 pm today (and every day).

17 In hospital soldier upset wine and port (9)
{SANTANDER} – This Spanish port comes from a three letter word for a hospital, a two letter for a soldier (who is a volunteer) and then a reversal of a type of wine and a one letter word used for and (as in fish ‘n chips).  A better exaplanation is to put a three letter word for a soldier inside the word for hospital and follow it by the type of wine reversed.

19 Very eager to hear very large bells (6)
{AGOGOS} – These bells frequently heard in samba and salsa music (not in Chambers) comes from a four letter word meaning very eager to hear followed by an abbreviation for very large.

20 Rings ogre/canine (3)
{ORC} – This ogre found in Lord of the Rings comes from a two letter word that the “/”  may represent in A / B followed by the abbreviation for canine.

21 I’m a little bit upset, having no shape (7)
{TROMINO} – Reverse (upset) the IM in the clue and a three letter word meaning a little bit and follow this by the NO in the clue to find a type of shape.

23 Present-day provider turned that nasty, essentially (5)
{SANTA} – Hidden inside (essentially) and reversed (turned) inside that THAT NASTY gives the name of someone who provide presents.

24 Had aspiration of gym occupying location of bricks? (5)
{HOPED} – Put a word for gym or physical exercise inside a place where a builder carries bricks to find a word meaning had aspiration.

25 See 5

32 comments on “NTSPP – 135

  1. A great puzzle for the birthday boy. I solved it all but I still have 3 more of the answers to find but will say once you cotton on to the theme, it does help solve certain of the clues. Thanks to Nimrod. Quite a few favourites including 1a, 26a as well as others too numeous to mention.

  2. Very enjoyable – thanks to Nimrod. Favourite clue: 2d.
    Happy birthday to Anax – I hope that all at Bowdon have an enjoyable time.

  3. Thanks to Nimrod for an enjoyable crossword and many happy returns to Anax. Sorry that I cannot be in Bowden to celebrate. I will be back with a review later in the day when the chores are done.

  4. Tricky, but the theme opened it up a bit. Couple of new words for me so a bit of help required but I thought it an entertaining puzzle and very cleverly constructed!

    Wasted some time trying to fit the theme into down clues!

    Thanks to Nimrod and Happy Birthday to Dean.

  5. If my life depended on being able to do this one I’d be a goner! :sad: Will wait for the hints, put a few in, and then have another go.

    1. Thank about the proper name of the person for whom the crossword is intended and then look for it!

          1. Thanks again. Will perservate a bit more tomorrow but going out this evening and haven’t even thought about getting changed out of grubby gardening stuff yet.

            1. It’s well worth a good perservation! The pennies will drop when you twig how the theme works.

              Enjoy your evening!

    2. In case you didn’t know, ‘Nimrod’ is better known on here as ‘Elgar’. Need I say more?

      1. But that fact shouldn’t deter anyone from having a go, it’s like all those people who say ‘its a Ray T, I can’t solve them’, you don’t know what you can do until you try.

        1. But I didn’t know that he’s Elgar so didn’t go into it with any preconceived ideas of “Oh, it’s Elgar, therefore I can’t do it”. But I can’t!! Have managed seven – six if you don’t count the one I’m pretty iffy about.

  6. But at least you know what you’re in for, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when you read all the clues and only get 5 or 6!

  7. Thanks to Prolixic for the decoding. For 17d I think that the soldier is ANT which is inserted in SAN (in hospital soldier) followed by RED reversed. For 28a I wasn’t sure where the N came from but eventually thought that it was ‘not one’ as in ‘I had N attempts to solve this clue’.

    1. I agree with that interpretation of 17d. In 28a I reckon that “not one” is simply a 2-letter word (featuring consecutive letters of the alphabet) which encloses (keeps within limits) the “music man”.

      Also, 9a isn’t an anagram – “on heading east” means that a 2-letter term for “on” (or “regarding”) is moved to the right.

  8. Struggled mightily but were eventually beaten by 4 clues before we went to the hints. These were 7d, 19d, 21d and 28a. Enjoyed the fight though. Thanks Nimrod and Prolixic.

  9. Hi everyone

    Right, I’ve recovered! Huge thanks to everyone who turned up yesterday/last night, and of course the Nimrod for this brilliant puzzle which is now framed and proudly on display alongside my computer. Thanks too to Sarah Hayes (Arachne/Anarche) who provided a lovely puzzle in the Independent, among whose Ninas was my daughter’s name – so she really has got something major to show off at school tomorrow!

    It’s been a wonderful weekend – ongoing actually, off out again very shortly. Many thanks to all for your kind wishes and gifts; this has been a uniquely memorable celebration for me.

    1. Recovered by 11.21 that’s very good going.

      Thanks for thanking Anarche – I was struggling with her puzzle but having read your thank you was able to finish it off.

  10. Lovely puzzle. What fun. Hope the party was a good’un. Happy birthday!

    (Still can’t pick 28A and 3D apart and I don’t get 20D at all. Other than that, very good indeed. Challenging but very rewarding.)

    1. 28a “The finest nose!”, thought music-man, not one to keep within limits (5,3,3)

      Definition – the finest

      PRY (nose) around all of the following – IDEA (thought) + DJ (music man) inside NO (not one)

      1. Yeah, that was a bit tricky! As Dean is a bass guitarist I had his name down for the ‘music man’ and spent ages frying to work out where the rest came from!

    2. 3d Natural residents of The Green Mile? About 33% (1,4)

      definition – natural residents

      ECO (green) + LI (Chinese measure of approximately 33% of a mile)

    3. 20d Rings ogre/canine (3)

      Definition – an ogre in the Lord of the Rings trilogy

      OR (/ as in A/B, A or B) + C (a term used in dentistry for a canine tooth)

      1. Thanks. I like to think I’d have got there in the end. Part of the problem with 3D is that I had the definition as “Natural residents of green” ;)

  11. For anyone interested, there’s a Nimrod in today’s Indy which is also a cracker, although not as fearsome as some of his.

  12. Brilliant crossword – I’m surprised how much I managed of it (maybe getting better in my old age!) but the them certainly helped.

    Nice too to see “Dean’s of age” hidden from15a turning down at 14d.

    Good stuff.

Comments are closed.