Monthly Prize Puzzle – 043
A puzzle by Prolixic
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Congratulations to our regular commenter Werm, whose name was drawn from the electronic hat by Mrs BD and so wins his choice of a Hamlyn Telegraph Puzzle Book. All we had to do this month was to solve the puzzle, and then spot the Nina round the edge of the crossword – “three point one four one five nine” – which even the least mathematical of us (me!) knows is PI (π), a symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter . The solutions to three clues, 17a 31a and 21d contain the letters PI, and so three was the answer to the question ‘how many solutions describe the Nina? “
8a Nice to be cycling with an old actor (4)
TREE – This actor from the 1870s (Beerbohm Tree) is obtained by moving the E at the front of the French (as spoken in Nice) word for to be to the back – thus ETRE becomes TREE.
9a Heather maybe good for bachelor – one getting married (5)
GROOM – Replace the B for bachelor at the front of BROOM (heather) with a G for good.
10a Author‘s identity (4)
SELF – Double definition, the first being a reference to the author Will Self.
11a Gangster loves to bewitch (6)
HOODOO – HOOD (gangster) O O (‘loves’ where O = love).
12a Praise rock group’s appearance after moving university (8)
EULOGISE – Move the U (university) from GUISE (appearance) to ELO (rock group)
13a Devout carer in lapse (8)
REVERENT – EN (Enrolled Nurse – carer) inserted into REVERT (lapse)
15a Right island for sheep? (3-3)
YES-MAN – YES (right) MAN (island).
17a Letter‘s almost impressive wording lacks unknown quantity (7)
EPISTLE – EPIc (almost impressive) ST[y]LE – STYLE (wording) lacking the mathematical unknown Y.
19a Children’s character who recycles flower! (7)
ORINOCO – This recycling Womble is named after the South American river (flower)
22a Folk welcomed by Elizabeth and Nicholas (6)
ETHNIC – Hidden in (welcomed by) ElizabETH NICholas
24a Rival cut up plant (8)
CULTIVAR – An anagram (up) of RIVAL CUT.
26a Nicer column describes soldiers on the wagon (8)
PRETTIER – PIER (column) ‘describes’ or goes round RE (Royal Engineers, soldiers) and TT (teetotal, on the wagon).
28a Synopsis of a copper pursuing one (6)
APERCU – A (from the clue) PER (one, each) CU (copper).
30a Aware of cognition being regularly overlooked (2,2)
ON TO – The ‘regular’ letters of cOgNiTiOn
31a Grit put in seed oddly (5)
SPINE – PIN inserted into the odd letters of SeEd.
32a Group held back in choir tour (4)
TRIO – Hidden and reversed (held back) in chOIR Tour.
1d Therefore say nothing about rector (4)
ERGO – EG (say, for example) O (nothing) ‘about’ R (rector).
2d Syringe’s point is dispensable (8)
NEEDLESS – NEEDLES (syringe’s) S (compass point).
3d Overlook erection of old king riding soldier (6)
IGNORE – Reverse (erection of) ER (Edward Rex, old king) ON (riding) GI (American soldier)
4d Ditzy girl leaves revoltingly awful knick-knack (7)
NOVELTY – Remove GIRL (ditzy tells you that the letters aren’t in that order) from REVOLTINGLY and then make an anagram (awful) of the remaining letters.
5d Boss‘s European master plan supported by monarch (8)
EMPLOYER – E (European) M (master) PLOY (plan) ER (Elizabeth Regina, monarch).
6d Insults veterinary surgeon holding function we hear (1-5)
V-SIGNS – VS (Veterinary Surgeon) holding SIGN, a homophone (we hear) of SINE (function).
7d Evils of liberal left infiltrating Iceland (4)
ILLS – Insert L (liberal) and L (left) into IS (the IVR code for Iceland).
14d Overseas resident heads off argument after intercourse (5)
EXPAT – Take the ‘heads’ or first letters off sEX (intercourse) and sPAT (argument)
16d Bow cases raised in African port (5)
ACCRA – A reversal (raised) of ARC (bow) and CA (an abbreviation for cases)
18d Most successful variety of Silk Cut includes drug (8)
LUCKIEST – An anagram (variety of) SILK CUT plus E (ecstasy, drug).
20d Hazelnut flavoured cut of meat (8)
NOISETTE – Double definition.
21d Crops threshed by priestess in house (7)
SCORPIO – This house of the Zodiac is obtained by following an anagram (threshed) of CROPS with IO (priestess).
23d India blocks unacceptable idea (6)
NOTION – I (IVR code for India) blocks NOT ON (unacceptable).
25d Subtly influence to go north (6)
LEAVEN – LEAVE (to go) N (north).
27d Hindu princess published Independent (4)
RANI – RAN (published) I (Independent).
29d Officer provided Number Two? (4)
COIF – CO (commanding officer) IF (provided). One of the definitions of COIF in the BRB is “a hairstyle (inf)”. Being a mother of boys who at one time did have their hair this short, I did know that a Number Two is also an informal term for a haircut – the two referring to the size of guard on a pair of hair clippers.
Thanks to Prolixic, BD and Mrs BD for their parts in the December Prize Puzzle ‘process’.