NTSPP – 327
A Puzzle by Prolixic
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
A review of this puzzle by crypticsue follows:
Prolixic makes a welcome return to the Saturday afternoon spot, and not just because it gives me the chance to use one of my favourite photos from last summer.
1a Excited electrons briefly flame up providing light (11,4)
FLUORESCENT LAMP An anagram (excited) of ELCTRONS FLAMe UP (briefly telling us to remove the last letter of flame)
9a Principally air detection radar is for those off course (6)
ADRIFT The ‘principals’ of Air Detection Radar Is For Those
10a One who protests about alien shopkeeper? (8)
RETAILER Someone who protests in a ranting manner goes about Mr Spielberg’s alien.
11a Agent given on-line access with initial key (8)
DELEGATE One of the keys on your computer keyboard, the letter used to denote electronic/over the internet and an entrance (access)
14a Homeless organisation accommodates its saviour? (6)
LESSOR Someone who rents a property to someone homeless would be their saviour. He (or she) is hidden in (accommodated by) homeLESS ORganisation
17a Drunk going by the bar produces a reason for everything? (3,4,6)
BIG BANG THEORY An anagram (drunk) of GOING BY THE BAR
20a A poetic character heartlessly intended to stop funfair (9,4)
AMUSEMENT PARK A (from the clue), an inspiring poetic character, a synonym for intended without its ‘heart’ or middle letter, and a verb meaning to stop in the sense of place and leave.
23a Plant disease I reportedly see in country (6)
RUSTIC A fungal plant disease, I (from the clue) and the letter that sounds like see (reportedly)
25a Provided unknown dish without right type of condiment (3,5)
SOY SAUCE An adverb, conjunction or interjection meaning provided, a mathematical unknown and a particular type of dish without the R (right) at the end.
28a Encourage test that is to include tax (8)
MOTIVATE The abbreviation for the annual test on your vehicle, and the abbreviated way of saying that is, into which is inserted a tax.
29a Top off plaster vase with reddish-brown colour (6)
AUBURN Remove the ‘top’ or first letter from some plaster and then add a vase.
30a Report of Greek character’s dastardly con baffled police (3,8,4)
NEW SCOTLAND YARD A homophone (report) of the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet followed by an anagram (baffled) of DASTARDLY CON
2d Steps taken to remove head from cyst? (6)
LADDER Another ‘remove the head’ clue, this time from a type of cyst (the definition can be found in the Collins Dictionary).
3d Suppose compliance is oddly deficient (5)
OPINE Oddly deficient indicates that we need the even letters only of cOmPlIaNcE
4d Additional passage court omitted (5)
EXTRA The abbreviation for court is omitted from a passage selected from a book, for example.
5d Heals final pair returning with plague (5)
CURSE Reverse the last two letters of part of a verb meaning heals.
6d Prohibit consumption of drug in short memo (7)
NOTELET Insert (consumption of) the abbreviation for Ecstasy (drug) into a simple way of saying prohibit.
7d Retreats from west coast city’s US tax men (5)
LAIRS The abbreviation for an American west coast city followed by the abbreviation for the US tax collectors.
8d Described predatory lunatic (9)
PORTRAYED An anagram (lunatic) of PREDATORY
12d Unionist in European concert stands up to dance (5)
GIGUE An 18th century lively dance form – Insert the abbreviation for Unionist between the abbreviation for European and a concert (usually a one-off performance by a band or pop group) and then reverse (stands up in a Down clue)
13d Vocally supports badger (5)
TEASE Here badger is a verb meaning to pester or worry – a homophone (vocally) of some supports used when playing golf.
15d Beginning to sip white wine in jar (5)
SHOCK Another ‘is it a noun, or is it as here a verb?’ definition – the ‘beginning’ to Sip and some German white wine.
16d Skiffle group who worked with the Stones? (9)
QUARRYMEN John Lennon’s original skiffle group could also be people who worked with stones.
17d British toboggans maybe no good for sportsmen (5)
BLUES Sports people who’ve represented the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (or Harrow School) are obtained by removing the G (no good) from some B (British) toboggans
18d Hit dog (3,2)
GET TO A double definition that makes me glad Brian doesn’t solve NTSPPs. Hit here meaning arrive at, reach a place and dog to worry or plague.
19d Toilet chairs? (5)
HEADS Nautical term for ships toilets or people in authority (chairs)
21d Toy Prolixic is able to put into business (7)
MECCANO The pronoun Prolixic might use, followed by an abbreviated business into which is insered a verb meaning ‘is able to’
22d Cricket official is more upset describing century (6)
SCORER The abbreviation for Century is inserted into a way of saying more upset.
24d Gets kindling? (5)
TWIGS Understands (gets) or small pieces of wood used as kindling
25d Brace erected in Fleet Street (5)
STEEL Hidden and reversed (erected in) fLEET Street
26d Long story involving Spain (5)
YEARN A lengthy story into which is inserted (involving) the IVR code for Spain
27d Turkish official carries American graduate into church (5)
ABBEY A Turkish governor (official) carries (or holds up) the American abbreviation for a Bachelor of Arts
On Friday, Prolixic and I discussed the fact that his NTSPP End of Year Review was due a few weeks ago, but had been missed mainly due to the fact that I‘d reviewed the Saturday puzzles around that time.
The success of the NTSPP slot means that more of the regular NTSPP setters have gone on to have their crosswords published in national newspapers, which in turn has led to my reviewing the majority of any NTSPPs provided by ‘published’ setters, including Prolixic puzzles such as this one. Looking at the full list of NTSPPs, Prolixic puzzles used to appear far more frequently than they do now, mainly due to the wealth of talent vying for the Saturday afternoon position – this particular puzzle is only his fourth one since April 2015. There have been some promotions to this slot for members of Rookie Corner, and I’m sure there’ll be lots more of them in the next year, given how good the Monday puzzles are these days.
Once again we have to thank Big Dave for providing us with the opportunity for Saturday lunch time diversions and to all their setters for the enjoyment they bring to our Saturday afternoon solving.
PS: Isn’t it time for another Gazza, or a Bufo, or a … and didn’t Chalicea promise us a special puzzle?