SP – 002 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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SP – 002

Special Puzzle – 002

“Anniversary” by Prolixic

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The 9th of November was a special day for two special people.  To celebrate, we have a crossword to mark the special occasion.

As the setter does not have access to upload files, it is available only as a PDF to print and solve from the following link:






A celebratory puzzle for Mr and Mrs BD – the Nina round the perimeter of the grid DAVE AND PAM GOLDEN WEDDING DAY explains the reason for this special crossword.


7a     Searches for those who perform marriages (7)
DIVINES A double definition, the first a verb, the second a noun

8a    Reel after finding nothing in the place the match takes place? (2,5)
GO ROUND Find (or insert) O (nothing) into the venue for a sporting match

5a    Imitates characters returning along the primrose path (4)
APES Found lurking in reverse (returning) in the primroSE PAth

10a    Tenor eating the deer, we hear, gets this after 28a (10)
MOTHERHOOD Tenor meaning in a general drift or purpose ‘eating’ THE (from the clue) and a homophone (we hear) for a type of deer

12a    Bonding lovers briefly becoming entangled with Charlie (6)
VELCRO Remove the final letter of LOVERS (briefly) and an anagram (becoming entangled) of the remaining letters plus C (NATO Phonetic Alphabet – Charlie) will give you a type of bonding

15a     Stand over appointee regularly going after job (8)
POSTPONE The regular letters of aPpOiNtEe go after a job

16a     At heart hopeless romantic shows brio (4)
ELAN The letters at the heart of hopELess romANtic

18a    Beautiful woman puts a dash of elderberry in drink (5)
DREAM The first letter (a dash) of Elderberry put in a small amount of alcoholic spirit (drink)

20a     Playwright‘s quiet expression of disappointment (4)
SHAW An instruction to be quiet followed by an informal expression of disappointment

22a     Everyone has to make signal (3,5)
ALL CLEAR A synonym for everyone and a verb meaning to make a net profit  (Yes I know the picture doesn’t illustrate the definition, but it made me smile!

25a     Love massage throughout birth (6)
ORIGIN The number representing love in a tennis score, a verb meaning to manipulate in a fraudulent manner (massage) and a preposition meaning throughout

28a     Term of base with second number in fractions (4,6)
NINE MONTHS A small period of time (second) and the abbreviation for number inserted into some fractions

30a    Challenge blogger to replace Victor with raw beginner (4)
DARE Replace the V for Victor in the name of our favourite blogger with the ‘beginning’ of Raw

31a    Most foolish opus that is putting Schubert’s work first (7)
DOPIEST Take the abbreviation for opus and the Latin expression meaning that is, and then put the D (Schubert work) first

32a     View held by Deputy to the Dail is complicated (7)
TANGLED A point of view is ‘held by’ the abbreviation for the Irish equivalent of a Member of Parliament (Deputy to the Dail)


1d     Reportedly why I quietly go hooray (6)
YIPPEE The letter that sounds (reportedly) like why, I (from the clue) the musical abbreviation meaning quietly and an informal way of saying pass water (go)

2d    Topless couple on bed, we hear, getting a bit of a breather (3-3)
AIR-SAC Remove the first letter (topless) from a couple and follow with a homophone (we hear) of a slang term for a bed

3d    Think of river maiden (4)
DEEM The crossword setter’s favourite (or perhaps most useful) river followed by the abbreviation for Maiden

4d     Players sacking fifty junior employees (6)
GOFERS Remove (sacking) the Roman numeral for fifty from some people who play a particular game

5d     Our Parisian Hotel’s built for wedding feast? (4-2)
NOSH-UP The French (as used in Paris) word for our, the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and a way of saying that something has been built

6d     This may prevent sawing wood in America (8)
INSOMNIA What we call snoring, an American would call ‘sawing wood’

11d     First Minister drops a line that’s hush-hush (3,6)
TOP SECRET Most important (first) and a Ministerial post dropping both A and the abbreviation for  railway (line)

13d    Blue Jay regularly seen in meadow (3)
LEA The regular letters of bLuE JAy

14d     Cooking this bean could get a blonde excited (3)
OLD Add your solution to BEAN and you get a friendly form of address to a gentleman. If you ‘cook’ or make an anagram of your solution with BEAN, you could have something that would be a result of an anagram (excited) of A BLONDE

17d     Sweet on-line comment over Botox treatment? (8)
LOLLIPOP An on-line abbreviated comment goes over (in a Down clue) an informal way of referring to Botox treatment on a particular facial feature

19d    Silly woman‘s way of working with orchestra’s leader (3)
MOO The abbreviation for a way of working with the ‘leader’ of Orchestra

21d     Hold Uranium in Mercury (3)
HUG The chemical symbol for Uranium inside the chemical symbol for Mercury

23d    Maybe Sebastian has trouble returning genus of orchids (6)
COELIA The surname of Sebastian the athlete with a reversal (returning) of a synonym for trouble

24d     In one go is maintaining self-interest (6)
EGOISM Lurking in onE GO IS Maintaining

26d     One of seven Independents try… (6)
INDIGO Not the dwarfs who helped Snow White, or the Deadly Sins,  but one of another well-known seven. Two different abbreviations for Independent (Independents) and a verb meaning to try

27d    … rioting proletarians after disgraced patron leaves country (6)
ISRAEL Remove the letters of PATRON (disgraced tells you that they aren’t in that order) from PROLETARIANS and an anagram (rioting) of the remaining letters will produce a country

29d     Bird has time for hot male (4)
STAG Change the H for Hot in the name of a bird to a T for Time

27 comments on “SP – 002

  1. A suitably delightful puzzle to grace such a wonderful occasion.

    My favourite clues were whittled down to 2d, 17d and 29d, but I could have chosen several others for the podium. For such a special crossword, I was more than happy to overlook the setter’s uncharacteristic repetition of “regularly” as an alternate letter indicator too ;-)

    Many thanks to Prolixic, to CS in advance for the review, and congratulations once again to the golden couple.

    1. Gosh, that took me a long time! I don’t think the puzzle itself was exactly what I was expecting – and I’ve got several question marks awaiting CS’s review – but the Nina was perfect for the milestone occasion.
      Think 17d was my favourite.

      Thanks to Prolixic for producing this ‘special’.

  2. Now look, this is getting ridiculous! Not only have I got today’s DT BP, the NTSPP, the codeword, the quickie & the FT cryptic to solve & now I get an SP as well. Can someone tell me how to tell Mrs S that I won’t be available to take her Christmas shopping this afternoon as I will be ensconced in my study until dinnertime?

    And to make maters worse (or better INMHO) the postman has just delivered ‘The Week’ magazine which always has an absolute belter of a puzzle.

    1. That mirrors my thoughts, Spindrift. Ah well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do …

    2. I’m in the fortunate position of having prepared the review of this one a couple of weeks ago, but in addition to solving and review-drafting today’s back pager, I’ve solved the NTSPP, collected a son from Canterbury and taken him to Whitstable, and am now about to type the NTSPP review while waiting for my mince pie pastry to ‘rest’.

      Once the mince pies are in the oven, I’m going to look at the Guardian, Times and Times Jumbo crosswords over a nice cup of tea and hope to get all solved, mince pies frozen and the ironing done before Strictly.

      Christmas shopping will have to be done on another day. You could suggest to Mrs S and Mrs RD that you sit quietly in a corner with the crosswords and keep an eye on the shopping bags while she shops without your ‘help’

  3. At least it’s raining so I don’t feel quite so guilty about doing yet another crossword, especially one as good as this with a splendid Nina as a fitting tribute to our wonderful boss and his wife.

    I learnt a new Americanism in 6d, and it took me a while to realise in what sense 7a can mean “searches for”. 28a was much easier to solve than to parse but I got there in the end, and I still can’t totally parse 26d unless there is a weird plural abbreviation involved.

    My joint favourites were 2d & 17d.

    Well done and thank you, Prolixic.

    … now for the NTSPP

  4. I’m seriously stuck now – a couple of gaps in each of the bottom corners and precious little in the top right corner.
    Going to have a go at the NTSPP and hope that inspiration strikes.

  5. Well congratulations D&P on this life milestone, a lovely Nina, and a lovely gesture.

    Took me a while to sort out NE & SW, once I got the 10a 28a combination things eventually clicked into place. Struggled with the orchid, doesn’t seem to be in chambers, and it took me a while to correct MUSE in 3D.

    I’m wondering if there is additional relevance I’ve missed, so I look forward to the review

    Thanks Prolixic, very nice with several chuckles

  6. I’ve finally finished if a few ‘bung-ins’ that I can’t explain count as having finished.
    Like Dutch it took me too long to correct 3d.
    Once I hit on the right ‘Sebastian’ in 23d there weren’t too many options for the last three letters.
    I liked all the three letter answers, except 14d which I don’t get, and several others too.
    With thanks to Prolixic for the crossword and, in advance, to CS for tomorrow’s review.

    A belated congratulations to BD and to Mrs BD – I missed the day as I haven’t been around much this week. :rose:

    1. 14d is one of your “favourite” clue types – a compound anagram. A BLONDE is an anagram (excited) of the answer plus BEAN; by the time you have removed the letters of BEAN from A BLONDE there is not a lot left!

  7. A lovely puzzle with a lovely sentiment, thank you Prolixic.

    Best wishes to Mr & Mrs BD too.

  8. Well done Prolixic for putting this together to mark the occasion. We were just over half way through and struggling so we looked for a potential Nina. When we found this it gave enough checkers to be able to get us rolling again.
    Thanks Prolixic and congratulations again Pam and Dave.

  9. Many thanks for your second review of the day, CS, and for sorting out my parsing problems with 28&30a.
    10a was not only an adorable picture but very apt given the location of our golden couple – well found.

    Thanks again to Prolixic although I’m still not sure that some of the answers eg 31a & 19d had a place in this particular puzzle!

  10. Thanks to CS for the review and I hope she is having a lovely birthday.

    I don’t think 28a is parsed quite correctly though. I read it as “e” (base (of logarithms)) + “mo” (second) * “n” (number) inside “ninths” (fractions). I think this is what Prolixic had in mind.

    1. That makes sense, Silvanus. I wonder whether CS, like me, saw ‘nine’ and added the ‘ths’ to it! There really is no hope for me……….

        1. Me too but, as Elder Lamb always says if I criticise her (which isn’t often as she’s amazing), “Honest Mum, I’m just good at other things.”

  11. Didn’t see the Nina until the very last moment. And yet the Anniversary theme was disappearing as I was solving clue after clue.
    Found it quite hard and some parsing took a while.
    A few new words to add to my memory banks.
    Congratulations to Big Dave and the Mrs on their golden anniversary.
    Thanks to Prolixic for the workout and to CS for the review.

  12. My thanks to Crypticsue not only for the review but for the idea of producing the crossword to mark the notable event. Thanks also to everyone for your comments. Finally congratulation to Pam and Big Dave on the anniversary.

  13. Oh Dear! This is most belated. Just to send warmest best wishes to Big Dave and Mrs BD for their Golden Wedding Anniversary. What a wonderful occasion! Huge apologies for the lateness of this greeting.

    Prolixic’s puzzles are always excellent. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this one with its Nina and interwoven theme. It is a beautiful tribute.

    Appreciative thanks to Prolixic and to CS for the review.

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