NTSPP 666 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 


A Puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Prolixic’s turn to provide our Saturday lunchtime entertainment


8 Well known member of the Pope’s household (8)
FAMILIAR This synonym for well-known can also mean a member of a pope or bishop’s household

9 Laugh and joke about item in the bath (6)
LOOFAH A reversal (about) of an interjection meaning to laugh and a verb meaning to joke about

10 Pictures of vaccine manufacturers (6)
CINEMA Hidden in vacCINE MAnufacturers

11 French region‘s comics – neither Jackie ____________? (8)
NORMANDY If you aren’t old enough (or possibly a female) you may remember neither Jackie xxx another comic

12 Go away with patent officer (5,3)
CLEAR OFF A synonym of patent or obvious and an abbreviated officer

13 Ruler‘s last month in hospital (6)
SULTAN The Latin abbreviation meaning last month inserted into a hospital

14 Reprogramed utilising code by financial institution (8,7)
BUILDING SOCIETY An anagram (reprogrammed) of UTILISING CODE BY

18 Old king leaving a fishing boat gets lost (6)
ADRIFT A (from the clue) and a fishing boat, the latter without the regnal cipher of an old king

20 Material about the eastern Mediterranean? (8)
RELEVANT The usual way of saying about, on the subject of, and the name given to the Eastern Mediterranean

23 US politician‘s protest about traitor (8)
DEMOCRAT An abbreviated protest, the Latin abbreviation meaning about and a traitor

24 Adult’s covered by milk in party game (6)
PINATA The abbreviation for Adult is ‘covered’ by an informal term for a quantity of milk

25 Supreme authority of military police invading Ireland (6)
EMPIRE The abbreviation for Military Police ‘invading’ another name for Ireland

26 Playing a beauty in Witness (8)
ONLOOKER Another way of saying playing or working and an informal term for a beauty



1 Nigella oddly omitted to support expert’s book (6)
DANIEL The even (oddly omitted) letters of nIgElLa go under (support in a Down solution) an expert in Japanese martial arts

2 Security measure from amendment to rifle law (8)
FIREWALL An anagram (amendment) to RIFLE LAW

3 Amazon soldiers recruited by Spanish city (6)
VIRAGO Some abbreviated members of the Royal Artillery (soldiers) inserted into (recruited by) a Spanish city

4 Austria fronting riotous Christian festival (15)

5 Murray maybe painting in the open air (8)
ALFRESCO The name of the comedian Mr Murray and a type of painting

6 Lord’s declaration “Lord over everyone” (2-4)
NO BALL An informal term for person of wealth or social rank (lord) and a synonym for everyone

7 Limits of Hellenic painting? A miniature version of The Hay Wain? (8)
HANDCART The limits or outside letters of Hellenic could be said to be X XXX X. Follow this with a term for painting

15 A French pop group’s opening to track “Inconceivable” (8)
UNDREAMT The French indefinite article, a pop group and the ‘opening’ to Track

16 New design to refit canteen in this cafe (8)
INTERNET An anagram (new design) of REFIT CANTEEN gives you the work CAFÉ and a type of such establishment

17 Tesla, say, appears in short list (8)
INVENTOR A truncated (short) list

19 Scornful of long-standing companion leaving for Italy (6)
IRONIC The abbreviation for Companion of Honour leaving an adjective meaning long-standing and being replaced by the IVR Code for Italy

21 Parts of Ulster and Chesterfield? (6)
LAPELS As well as being the names of places, Ulster and Chesterfield are both type of coat

22 Speak of some marihuana terms including derivation of THC. (6)
NATTER Insert a T (derivation of THC) into a word hidden in some marihuaNA TERms

11 comments on “NTSPP 666

  1. Thanks Prolixic – not the ‘beast’ possibly predicted by its number but not quite a ‘pussycat’ either but I did manage to complete pre-caffeine, which I now desperately need, on my Saturday morning.

    I learned that I could wear a Chesterfield as well as sit on it!

    I did have one stumble in the SE over the intersection of Tesla and the party game.

    Smiles for 12a, 20a, and 6d.

    Thanks again and thanks in advance to CS.

  2. I found this less tough than usual for one of Prolixic’s puzzles but it was still very challenging with 16d an easy answer to identify but not so easy to parse.

    The mind boggles at the breadth of the setter’s reading material as indicated by 11a, which had me checking with Google to confirm the parsing.

    My top three were 20a, 6d & 15d.

    Many thanks to Prolixic and in advance to the birthday girl.

  3. Definitely hard enough for me but I did appreciate 9a being spelt in the only way that ‘feels’ right and I laughed at 11a.
    No.2 daughter has some rather frightening tales to tell about 24a’s at children’s parties – I’m very relieved that they weren’t popular when my two were small!

    Thanks to Prolixic for the Saturday challenge.
    PS Microsoft have, today, suddenly turned against my beloved Internet Explorer so my apologies to the previous two contributors who will be expecting deliveries from me – Edge is refusing to send any of my e-mails so I’ll have to wait for an expert to give me some assistance.

  4. A steady solve which admittedly took a while as I’m not familiar with one or two references – showing my ignorance again
    Many thanks for the challenge Prolixic
    Happy Birthday Sue :rose:

  5. As above, a steady solve for me. Dropped in the answer for 11a because of the checkers without really understanding the clue, until reviewing at the end, upon which I had my LOL moment. Although as a male type person, I confess to never having read either of the comics referenced…
    I have, however read the Bible, so appreciated the couple of biblical references.
    Thank you Prolixic, and to CS for the ensuing blog. Happy birthday.

  6. We found this hard work but slowly it all came together with a little bit of Google help along the way.
    Lots of penny-drop moments and fun to solve.
    Thanks Prolixic.

    1. When I checked before posting, the T wasn’t hidden but the rest of the word was, so I thought I’d corrected it, but obviously not

  7. An enjoyable and mostly straightforward solve, except that I wasn’t 8ac with the second meaning of 8ac. Thanks, Prolixic and CS.

  8. Late to the NTSPP party but that was because we had a large family party on Saturday, with everyone staying over to attend the annual Remembrance Sunday gathering at the ‘Airmens Grave’ memorial on the Ashdown Forest. I was definitely not at my sharpest when I started solving this puzzle today, but managed to get there in the end. The SE corner held me up for a while until a couple of moments of inspiration (or maybe lifting of the brain fog) put me back on track. I had to check a few answers en route as I was more of an Eagle/Dandy/Beano chap than those titles in 11a, wanted to put the Clapton/Bruce/Baker combo into 15a but had to settle for an unknown and very forgettable girl group, and wasn’t 8a with the Christian festival until after I had unscrambled the anagram. My favourite three clues were 6d, 7d and 14a. I don’t often put anagram clues on my podium but I thought 14a was particularly deft.
    Thanks, Prolixic, for another highly enjoyable challenge; and also to CS for the nicely illustrated review.

  9. I saved this super NTSPP for later and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I found some clues very tricky, but I ended with a complete correct grid.
    My fave clue was 7d — loved it! 6d was a runner-up but there were too many others to choose from.
    Much appreciation to Prolixic for a splendid puzzle. And much appreciation too to crypticsue for her review with lovely illustrations.

Comments are closed.