NTSPP – 260
A Puzzle by Prolixic
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
This puzzle has been set especially for the Blog Birthday Party at the Bridge House in Little Venice, and copies were circulated at the venue.
Windsurfer has also written a special puzzle which I hope to be able to publish next Saturday.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:
It is only fitting that Prolixic, the setter who has done more NTSPPs than most, not to mention the considerable number of reviews, should provide this special Birthday Puzzle for us to solve.
This is the weekend when he’d normally provide his End of Year Summary – his Quinquennial Report (yes it really has been five years) can be found at the end of the review.
1a Couple cover heartless scoundrel with cheese (6)
BRIDGE There are lots of informal terms for scoundrel – here you want the one meaning like a canine, from which you should remove the middle letter (heartless) and insert into a type of French cheese.
4a Stop pound dropping with bank’s gearing mechanism (8)
COGWHEEL A verb meaning to obstruct [usually with thick or sticky matter] with the L removed (dropping the L used to represent £ = pound), the abbreviation for with and a verb meaning to bank or lean over.
10a It can be found in ravioli or apricot tagine (7)
RICOTTA An Italian cheese often used to stuff ravioli is hidden in apRICOT TAgine.
11a Insect has to work hard carrying bread back (4,3)
LION ANT Put some Indian bread into a verb meaning to work hard and then reverse (back) the result.
12a Talk into substituting hearts for clubs in trick (4)
HOAX Change the C at the start of a verb meaning to talk into with an H (substituting Hearts for Clubs).
13a Flier swooped balletically over dry lake (7,3)
SPOTTED OWL An anagram (balletically) of SWOOPED into which is inserted the two letters used to mean ‘dry’ in the sense of not drinking alcohol; the result is then followed by the abbreviation for Lake.
15a Mail arrives containing memorandum of understanding (6)
ARMOUR Not post but chain mail. The abbreviation for arrives into which is inserted (containing) the abbreviation for Memorandum Of Understanding.
16a Terrible to-do about Sandhurst lackey (7)
DOORMAT An anagram (terrible) of TO DO into which is inserted the abbreviation for the Royal Military Academy which has its home at Sandhurst.
20a Nothing in East Coast city is bad (7)
NAUGHTY An archaic way of saying nothing inserted into the abbreviation for an American East Coast city.
21a Start of basketball game results in warning (3-3)
TIP-OFF The act of starting a basketball game – the ball is put into play by the referee throwing it high between two opposing players; a warning or hint, especially one given confidentially.
24a Moloch’s ram sacrificed for mistress (10)
SCHOOLMARM An anagram (sacrificed) of MOLOCHS RAM.
26a Stage animals making a comeback (4)
STEP A reversal (making a comeback) of domestic animals generally.
28a Important rugby agents visiting Sri Lanka (7)
CRUCIAL The abbreviation for rugby union and the American intelligence gathering agency inserted into (visiting) the IVR code for Sri Lanka. It helps if you know what the original name of Sri Lanka was!
29a Poor actor parting company is a goat (7)
CHAMOIS A poor actor inserted into the abbreviation for company and the result followed by IS (from the clue).
30a Invigorate doughboy in serene setting (8)
ENERGISE A doughboy is an informal term for a member of the US Army – the usual abbreviation for such a soldier is inserted into an anagram (setting) of SERENE.
31a Deductions from wages pinched by five Europeans in Italian city (6)
VENICE The abbreviated way of referred to deductions from your pay is inserted between the Roman numeral for five and two lots of E (Europeans).
1d Reportedly bed old American actress for anniversary (8)
BIRTHDAY A homophone (reportedly) of a bed found in a vessel or train followed by the surname of an American actress/singer who has been around for a while!
2d Inadequate flow of blood – one ends up nursing awful ache (9)
ISCHAEMIA I (one) and a reversal (up) of a word meaning ends in the sense of intentions, into which is inserted an anagram (awful) of ACHE.
3d Barbarian scored his goal! (4)
GOTH – Another word for scored, followed by the shape of a goal in a game played by teams of which the Barbarians are an example.
5d Demand leaders of Italian government leave for sacrifice (8)
OBLATION Remove the ‘leaders’ of Italian and Government from a demand or requirement.
6d Question the French over small amount of cereal? (10)
WHOLEGRAIN The word used when asking ‘which person’ (question), the French word for ‘the’ and the smallest avoirdupois weight.
7d Leaders of Egham Residents Association take opium as a source of inspiration (5)
ERATO The Muse of Lyric Poetry (a source of inspiration) is obtained from the ‘leaders’ of Egham Residents Association take opium.
8d Thallium found in low-fat peanuts (6)
LITTLE The chemical symbol for Thallium inserted into an American way of saying low-fat.
9d Bohemian leaves India for America with a smile? (5)
HAPPY Removed I for India from a bohemian and replace with A for America.
14d Shooting with Bren-gun, I go amok (10)
BURGEONING An anagram (amok) of BREN GUN I GO.
17d With stronger reason, a castle on independent island is invaded by soldiers (1,8)
A FORTIORI A (from the clue) a type of castle, the abbreviations for Independent and Island, between which is inserted the usual abbreviation for Other Ranks of soldiers.
18d Encouragement to raise hat during court proceedings (8)
STIMULUS This particular hat goes on a chimney and should be inserted into some law court proceedings and then the whole lot reversed (raise).
19d Striking pose with headless stiff is unconventional (3-5)
OFF-PISTE An anagram (striking) of POSE and TIFF (headless tells you to remove the S from stiff).
22d Spirit drunk by tipsy chef (6)
PSYCHE Drunk by, or found hidden in, tiPSY CHEf
23d Helpful person with a stretcher? (5)
BRICK Double definition – one an informal term for a helpful person and the other a piece of building material.
25d Call home (5)
HOUSE A bingo call or where you live.
27d Anglicans eat a vitamin tablet.
CAKE The Church of England ‘eat’ A (from the clue) and a vitamin.
Now we are five
As well as being the sixth birthday of the blog, this weekend also marks a notable landmark, the Quinquennial of the Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle. As is therefore customary, an end of term review follows.
The continuing success of the NTSPP led the headmaster, Big Dave, to open an preparatory school that meets once a week on Mondays. The Rookie Corner gives potential pupils the opportunity to submit crosswords for solvers to solve that have not been through any editorial process. This has been a tremendous success and two students, Soup and Imsety have joined the NTSPP as setters. Others will, I am sure, follow. Bucko and Chalicea have also made their debut appearances during the year.
Old boys and girls of the school continue to provide sterling support week by week producing high quality crosswords. After a flurry of graduations in previous years to the national press, this year has not seen any major promotions although Radler has continued to make forays into the Inquisitor territory. Thanks are also due to John Henderson (editor of the Inquisitor crosswords and known to us as Elgar) for publicising the work of Big Dave in publishing crosswords from new setters. He has also provided several crosswords for the NTSPP.
It is hard to believe that our headmaster remains largely invisible (actually it is very hard to believe that he could ever be invisible) working behind the scenes to ensure that crosswords are published each Saturday and Monday with the monthly prize puzzle as well. Thanks, as ever, are due to him for his work in nurturing new talent.
The school is also staffed by a friendly matron, Crypticsue. As a solver (though sadly not as a setter) she does a tremendous amount of test solving and reviewing the NTSPP each week when Prolixic or one of the other nationally published setters has set the crossword.
As the NTSPP enters its sixth year, we continue to look forward to the delights that our setters bring us each week.