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SP – 005

Special Puzzle – 005

In Memoriam – 2018 by Prolixic

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Today we have a Special Puzzle, compiled by Prolixic.

A review by crypticsue

Prolixic provides an end of year crossword, with a theme reminding us of many people who passed away during 2018.


1a Fruitful setter here has following for Times (8)
PROLIFIC Swap the X (times) for F (following) in the name of the setter of this crossword

6a Successful people maybe astronauts (4-6)
HIGH-FLYERS Astronauts could be described as this

12a Original alumnus returns with gameshow host (5)
BOWEN A reversal (returns) of an abbreviation for an alumnus and a synonym for original

13a Teaching aunt and I arranged with co-ed (9)
EDUCATION An anagram (arranged) of AUNT I CO ED

14a Leaders of United Dairies meeting the German milk producer (5)
UDDER The ‘leaders’ of United Dairies meeting the German definite article

15a Prime Minister’s perfume for actor (7)
MAYNARD The surname of the Prime Minister at the time this crossword was created plus an alternative name for a plant with aromatic roots (perfume)

17a Characters with new leader in Midlands town (9)
KETTERING Change the first letter (new leader) of some characters

18a Managed part of Lesser Antilles (3)
RAN Hidden in part of the LesseR ANtilles

10a Determined gender from chromosome in nucleus (5)
SEXED One of the chromosomes inserted into a synonym for nucleus

21a A lot indicate agreement over directions (2,3)
NO END A way of indicating agreement goes over two compass directions

23a Old lady with Scottish seagull (3)
MAW An abbreviated way of saying mother (old lady) and the abbreviation for With

25a Drink a large amount (5)
TOTAL A small (alcoholic) drink, A from the clue and the abbreviation for Large

27a Continued with one replacing English gameshow host (6)
WINTON Take a two-word phrase meaning continued and replace the E (English) with I (one)

28a Assistants describing Head of State’s incidental comments (6)
ASIDES Some assistants ‘describing’ the head of State

30a In favour of series ignoring independent computer code (7)
FORTRAN A simple way of saying in favour of and a series ‘ignoring’ the abbreviation for Independent

31a A guy’s viola is manufactured in former state (10)
YUGOSLAVIA – An anagram (manufactured) of A GUYS VIOLA

33a Note report of decrepit joints in processors (10)
MICROCHIPS A musical note and a homophone (report) of a way someone might refer to decrepit joints

37a Organised traitors leave strait and narrow on the rampage with African (7)
RWANDAN Take the words STRAIT AND NARROW, remove the TRAITORS (organised tells you that they aren’t in that order) and then an anagram (on the rampage) will provide the solution

39a Prepare to come back securing old policemen in ceasefires (6)
TRUCES A reversal (to come back) of a verb meaning to prepare ‘securing’ the abbreviation for some former policemen in Northern Ireland

40a A hospital in Indian village for evangelist (6)
GRAHAM A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for hospital inserted into an Indian village

42a Nevertheless Iceland has mythical creatures (5)
YETIS A synonym for nevertheless and the IVR code for Iceland

43a News grips adult relative (3)
NAN Two lots of the abbreviation for New (news plural) ‘grip’ the abbreviation for Adult

44a Attacks journalists (5)
HACKS Attacks (with an axe for example) or an informal term for journalists

46a Briefly call unit to get bones (5)
RADII Almost all of a way of saying call and I (unit)

47a Brother sent back ceremonial item (3)
ORB A reversal (sent back) of an abbreviated way of saying brother

49a Prohibitionist welcomes first athlete (9)
BANNISTER Insert IST (welcomes first) into a prohibitionist

52a Selling wares for physicist (7)
HAWKING Part of a verb meaning selling wares

54a Mafia boss meets North American lady (5)
DONNA A Mafia boss meets the abbreviation for North American

55a Respected politician from, say, small island (9)
STATESMAN A verb meaning to say, the abbreviation for Small and an island

56a South Island sheep become startled (3,2)
SIT UP The abbreviations for South and Island and a male sheep

57a Finest whistle? (6,4)
SUNDAY BEST A cryptic definition of a Cockney’s finest whistle (and flute)

58a Big red book for actress (8)
CHAMBERS A clue to make you smile and sad at the same time. Our BRB has the same name as a much-loved actress


2d Noisy fight on the outskirts of Derby (5)
ROWDY A fight goes on the ‘outskirts’ of DerbY

3d Curtailed part of motorway network (3)
LAN Curtailed instructs you to remove the last letter of part of a motorway

4d What cricketers may be doing with actress (8)
FIELDING What crickets may be doing when they are not batting, or the surname of an actress

5d Get rid of the French comedian (7)
CHUCKLE An informal way of saying get rid of plus the French definite article

6d Consider origin of team spirit (5)
HEART Consider in the sense of listen to something followed by the origin of Team

7d Maybe Sam lied outrageously about young girl following usher? (6,7)
GUIDED MISSILE Here we have a case of misleading non-capitals as the solution is actually a SAM. An anagram (outrageously) of LIED goes about a young girl, and the result follows a verb meaning to usher

8d Amusing soldier in kingdom (5)
FUNGI There’s an element of an old cracker joke about this one. A word meaning amusing is followed by the abbreviated way we’d refer to an American soldier

9d Mary finally cooked sturgeon and small fry (9)
YOUNGSTER The final letter of MarY followed by an anagram (cooked) of STURGEON

10d One up for amendment to contract (5)
RIDER Someone up on a horse or an amendment to a contract

11d Fellow almost vexing singer (8)
FRANKLIN The abbreviation for Fellow and almost all of a synonym for vexing

12d Adage in Mumbai once – words used by the Dambusters? (5,4)
BOMBS AWAY An adage or saying inserted into the original name for Mumbai

16d Difficult couple in Australia getting to grips with reading (7)
ARDUOUS A couple inserted into an abbreviation for Australia into which is inserted an R (getting to grips with reading, one of the three Rs)

20d Texan frog dissected in medical procedure (9)
XENOGRAFT An anagram (dissected of TEXAN FROG – in case you were wondering, the procedure is a tissue graft or organ transplant from a donor of a different species from the recipient

22d Dukes holding ball for comedian (4)
DODD Three lots of the abbreviation for Duke ‘holding’ the letter that is ball-shaped

24d Official stands up to support Washington host (5)
WAFER A reversal (stands up) of a match official supports (or goes after) the abbreviation for Washington

26d Roof of ice hut below mountain lake is dilapidated (9)
TARNISHED The ‘roof’ of Ice followed by a hut goes below (in a Down clue) a mountain lake

29d Penny involved in consultation that is introducing periodical TV programme (8,5)
SPITTING IMAGE The abbreviation for Penny involved in a consultation followed by the abbreviated way of saying that is into which is inserted an abbreviated periodical

32d Girl with new UN secretary (5)
ANNAN A girl’s name followed by the abbreviation for New

34d Native American adopts old sailors’ hairstyle (7)
CORNROW A Native American ‘adopts’ the abbreviations for Old and Royal Navy (sailors)

35d Mention of some Chinese porcelain in court’s closing speech (7,2)
SUMMING UP A homophone (mention) of SOME followed by some Chinese porcelain and the two letter way of saying ‘in court’

36d Belize incarcerates American president (4)
BUSH The IVR code for Belize ‘incarcerates’ the abbreviation for American

37d Drunk only reds with actor (8)
REYNOLDS An anagram (drunk) of ONLY REDS

38d Panel has to frustrate company directors (9)
DASHBOARD A verb meaning to frustrate and a group of company directors

41d Abnormal loss of strength immediately upon entering continent (8)
ASTHENIA A way of saying immediately upon ‘entering’ a continent

45d Military leader possesses rearing horse made of pottery (7)
CERAMIC A reversal (rearing in a Down clue) of a hose inserted into the abbreviation for a military leader

48d African tribesmen hiding in Theban tunnels (5)
BANTU Lurking in TheBAN TUnnels

50d In-laws stay regularly unpleasant (5)
NASTY The regular letters of iN-lAwS sTaY

51d Pinching top of t-bar lift (5)
THEFT The ‘top’ of T-bar followed by a verb meaning to lift

53d Parkinson, for one, dropping off member of his audience in Bury (5)
INTER Drop the ‘member of his audience’ from the role that Michael Parkinson is most famous for. The capital B in Bury is there to mislead

56d Cry “Son of a bitch” (3)
SOB The abbreviation for the part of the clue in ” “

With fond memories also of June Whitfield who died too late in the year to be included in this crossword



8 comments on “SP – 005

  1. Thanks Prolixic for a very enjoyable challenge, assuming that I have completed it successfully! Not sure about some of the parsings and a little surprised to find that some of the 1a 6a who I thought passed some time ago only passed this year. Also, some were bung-ins that required Google checks to confirm.

    Thanks again.

  2. All done, but not without some significant googling involved and a couple of letter reveals for the last two in. A challenge for this expat since some of the ‘names’ were new to me. Also there are a couple that I can’t parse. Good fun though. Thanks Prolixic.

  3. Thoroughly enjoyable. Not usually a fan of either themed puzzles nor names in puzzles, but this was not too tricky and there were no obscurities (for me), even though I have never watched TV.

    That was great fun and must have taken an awful lot of preparation, so thank you Prolixic for brightening up a dull day. Bravo!

  4. That was a lot of fun, Prolixic, many thanks. It was very well done indeed, and all achieved with smooth surfaces, accurate cluing and very little in the way of obscurities – I just needed to check on the perfume in 15a, the Scottish seagull in 23a, the kingdom in 8d, and the medical procedure in 20d.

  5. Certainly quite a challenge for us with several words and names that we needed to check as we went along, but that is to be expected with this type of puzzle. Very enjoyable and very satisfying.
    Thanks Prolixic.

  6. Certainly a challenge and five words that were new to me – the perfume in 15a, Indian village in 40a, medical procedure in 20d, hairstyle in 24d & loss of strength in 41d. Doubtful that I’ll remember them but interesting to look them up!
    Like Senf, I was surprised to see how recently we lost some of the 6a’s – the memory definitely plays tricks.

    Many thanks, Prolixic, I very much enjoyed that one – particularly liked 45d.

  7. Liked this a lot but will have to check the review for a couple of parsings and bios. I think the BRB is more obvious to peeps here than the person it refers too. Thanks for the chance to pause and reflect.

  8. Many thanks for the review, CS, and the pictorial reminders of the 6a’s.
    I used to particularly enjoy watching Alice in The Vicar of Dibley and Greengrass in Heartbeat. Oh for a bit more light-hearted TV entertainment like that!

    Thanks again to Prolixic for the reflection on those sadly lost in 2018.

Comments are closed.