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NTSPP – 015

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 015

Going a bit Elgar by Anax

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Welcome to the fifteenth in our series of weekly puzzles.

This week Anax has provided a puzzle with a personal touch.

Setter’s Notes

After deciding to place a couple of personal answers in the grid, it struck me that Elgar is the prime candidate for doing this sort of thing and that – were he to do so – the clues would be littered with fun, sometimes very Libertarian elements. I can’t emulate Elgar’s talent but I thought it would be interesting to try and incorporate some of his playfulness and occasional risk-taking.

So, as on previous occasions, this is Anax doing a bit of play-acting and temporarily throwing off some of the Ximenean shackles. It’s quite a tough one I think; 4 stars for difficulty would probably be fair, maybe even 5 for some, but I hope you’ll persevere and get the same fun out of solving it as I did writing it.

Some of you may be puzzled by one clue which appears to have no definition, so I’ll just mention that regular contributor Moonstruckminx and I are now a very happy item, and she makes quite regular visits to my northern lair.

The puzzle

A Puzzle by Anax

If you prefer your puzzles on paper, click on the grid to download a pdf of the puzzle.
Additionally there is an interactive version of the puzzle here

Across Down
1 Nearly all guards available to take crowd out to lunch (10) 1 I’m going north to meet Anax regularly (4)
6 That’s a stop! (4) 2 Award for accepting old woodwind instrument (4)
9 Nazi pervert sits on face (10) 3 Half a dozen fences protect part of spike (6)
10 A German’s excessive love (4) 4 Reason direction changes? (15)
13 This starts to play it after loading number? (7) 5 Cellist’s leisure wear (not uniform) (6)
15 Small piece of luggage that’s unopened – soft and neat (6) 7 Free-thinking alien protected by ideal mistress (10)
16 Ford car that is a classy vehicle – get into it (6) 8 PayPal’s CEO ordered book (10)
17 Full ID required to see film (12,3) 11 Mum’s red skirts I have repeatedly left to get dry (10)
18 Book a flight (6) 12 You and I entering list you’d rearranged deliberately (10)
20 King the other king rejected (6) 13 So, pump furiously to keep tyre’s shape inflated (7)
21 Sat around playing while producing classical pieces (7) 14 Letters initially are / is longer (7)
22 Cat’s call as he’s content (4) 19 Rather like this expert (6)
25 An old lady’s to cackle about odd stuff (10) 20 Film certificate (adult) and a forged certificate (for all) (6)
26 The German axis breaks in at least 48 hours (4) 23 Turned up behind or with the others (2,2)
27 Attempt to fit a new spine with ease (10) 24 Joke spectacles by blind man called Charles (1-3)