NTSPP – 478 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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NTSPP – 478

NTSPP – 478

Bridge Crossword by Prolixic

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Some of you may have already seen this puzzle as it was handed out at the recent 10th Birthday Bash.

This was one of two celebratory crosswords produced by Prolixic for the 10th Birthday Bash. This puzzle has a Nina that even famed non-Nina spotters could spot fairly early on in the solving process! If you really couldn’t see it, then Starting in the bottom left-hand corner and proceeding in a northerly direction, the letters round the perimeter of the puzzle spell out BIG DAVES TEN GLORIOUS YEARS (something I ‘borrowed’ for the message on the birthday cake).



7a Also leaving trash in bag (6)
VALISE Remove a synonym for also from a verb meaning to trash

8a Voluntary platoon I organised (8)
OPTIONAL An anagram (organised) of PLATOON I

9a Something small in empty cash machine (4)
ATOM If something was empty it would have nothing (O) in it. So do as the clue says and empty a cash machine

10a Performed with Spice Girl before party with old instrument (10)
DIDGERIDOO A verb meaning performed, a Spice Girl, a party and the abbreviation for Old

11a Help over cordial form of musical scale (8)
DIATONIC A reversal (over) of some help followed by a cordial

13a Deliver a sermon wearing rubber (6)
ERASER Lurking (wearing) in delivER A SERmon

14a Engineers battle sign for traditionalists (13)
REACTIONARIES The Royal Engineers, a battle and a Sign of the Zodiac

17a Starts to get erotic in seedy hotel with a hostess (6)
GEISHA The starts to Get Erotic In Seedy Hotel with A (from the clue)

19a Liberal poetess loses old saints books (8)
LIBRETTI The three-letter abbreviated form of liberal and a poetess without the O SS (old saints) in her surname

21a Doctor skiing with Cate for winter sport (3-7)
ICE-SKATING An anagram (doctor) of SKIING with CATE

22a Copy of letter in broadcast (4)
ECHO A sound copy or a letter in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet (broadcast)

23a Tendency to include, say, skin of onion plants (8)
BEGONIAS A tendency ‘includes’ an abbreviation meaning say, for example, and the ‘skin’ of OnioN

24a Redecorated room with hints of lemon and umber gilding (6)
ORMOLU An anagram (redecorated) of ROOM with L and U (hints of Lemon and Umber)


1d Cruder animal’s home that is on river (8)
EARTHIER An animal’s home, the abbreviated way of saying that is in Latin and the abbreviation for River

2d Country once in Asia Minor (4)
SIAM Lurking in aSIA Minor

3d Part of joint holding key ligament (6)
TENDON Part of a carpentry joint ‘holding’ a musical key

4d Virgil’s continuing in the same way (2,6)
ET CETERA For this cryptic definition, you need to think about which language Virgil would have used when writing his poetry

5d Naming the subject, son carries order through (10)
NOMINATIVE A son of a country ‘carries’ the Order of Merit and IN (through)

6d “Material Girl” leads in abundance (6)
GALORE An informal girl leads a raw material

8d Signs of loyalty in games between Eton and Harrow? (3,6,4)
OLD SCHOOL TIES Signs of loyalty to your school or some games between Eton and Harrow

12d Iron starts to be transformed in electronic device (10)
TRANSISTOR An anagram (to be transformed) of IRON STARTS

15d Cheers start of musical number downing a drink (3,5)
TIA MARIA A very informal way of saying thank you (cheers) ‘downing’ I (a) followed by the start of Musical and an operatic number

16d The class designed school bags (8)
SATCHEL An anagram (designed) of THE CLASS

18d Engraves boats but not the prow (6)
ETCHES Remove the prow or letter at the front of some sailing boats

20d Digital site that may show growth of corn? (3,3)
BIG TOE A cryptic definition to make you think and then say d’oh

22d Setter returns setter’s award (4)
EMMY Reverse the way a setter might refer to himself and follow with a way he’d say that something belonged to him (setter’s)



8 comments on “NTSPP – 478

  1. Thanks Prolixic, a pleasant interlude in the ‘MPP Battle’ enjoyed while multi-tasking with watching the Canaries taking another step towards the Premier League and that’s just with the first half completed.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 8d, and 19d.

    Thanks again.

  2. As I always look forward to Prolixic’s crosswords, I was disappointed when I read this one had been handed out at the Birthday Bash as I left that highly enjoyable event with a bundle of puzzles and assumed this would have been one of them.

    Nevertheless I decided to try solving it and, as I worked through it, it didn’t ring any bells. That could be due to one or any combination of three reasons:
    – I had never seen it before
    – I had too much to drink at the BB and couldn’t remember it
    – My memory is not what it used to be

    Whatever the truth, one thing is indisputable. This is a cracking good puzzle – not too tough but nicely challenging and a lot of fun with 7a, 8d & 22d on my podium.

    Many thanks, Prolixic.

  3. I’m not at all sure of my answer to 5D, but otherwise i loved the puzzle. My favorites are 7A, 9A, 10A 19A and 20D. Thanks Prolixic.

  4. A very enjoyable puzzle that raised a lot of smiles along the way. Thanks to Prolixic!

  5. I did remember this one from the birthday bash but still enjoyed reading through it again. Ninas don’t come more perfect than that.
    Think my leaders were 8a/d but there were plenty of others in close contention.

    Many thanks, Prolixic, always enjoy your puzzles.
    Thanks also to CS for the nicely illustrated review – think there’s a letter missing from your answer to 3d.

  6. This was one that escaped me at the Birthday Bash – don’t know how but suspect that I was too busy nattering!
    I didn’t think that it was as tricky as some crosswords set by Prolixic although I had one that I couldn’t do and a couple of guesses, one of which was wrong.
    I missed the Nina – dim – I should have guessed there would be one given the day for which it was set.
    Lots of really good clues – I think my favourite was probably 19a, or it might have been 8d . . . don’t know!
    With thanks to Prolixic for the crossword and to CS for the review (and for showing me the error of my ways).

  7. It was a big treat to find this lovely puzzle by one of my fave setters. It was new to me as I wasn’t at the Birthday Bash.

    As soon as I saw the grid, I was on the alert for a Nina. It is a most fitting one indeed.

    So much to like in this crossword, top of my choices being 10a, 11a, 19a, 1d, 20d (big chuckle!), and 22d.

    Most appreciative thanks to Prolixic for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and to Crypticsue for the excellent illustrated review.

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