A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 27 February, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK solvers, the latest edition of The Chambers Dictionary – ring the word 'Dictionary'). Entries to: Crossword 1196, The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL.
Brewer confirms that the unclued lights (one of three words, and one doubly hyphened), individually or in one case as a pair, would have been suitable prizes at the 1A (two words).
Name Address Dictionary prizes are sent out by the 'Post-a-Book' service. ACROSS 9 Gem, a stone one's given during important date (7)
11 Put me possibly close to infinite number? (7) 12 Oxford college window (5)
14 Daftly risk ice cutting one's ears in Scotland (6) 20 Withdraw discarded coins Hellene has stored (7) 21 Stick round cask by a round building (7) 23 Kangaroo boxing learner's loaf?
24 Working earns gin (5) 25 Old Frenchman has time for series of beds (5) 27 Infantry regiments, sort ice disconcerted (7) 30 Love expressed in sigh on sadly driving away (7) 31 Everyone backs emperor plain man? (7) 36 What's come from lichen forcing out of borders? (5) 37 Old Caribbean denizens, sea bream with offspring returned (6) 38 Tenth time they moved (5) 39 Embraces being given outside church (7) 40 Ice and rocks round river marked by men (7) DOWN 1 Flower lives in light (5) 2 Appease Australian temper (5) 3 Language, before indepen- dence, always upset (5) 4 Temptress — an artist indeed! (6) 5 Judge's exact formality (7) 6 Reproaches for Jock breaking tars (cup) (7) 7 Bore poured (6) 8 Mount unusual line about Saint Alban? (9) 10 Timely blue — black's kept on the table (10) 13 Substance, somewhat green, of prep I do terribly (7) 21 Told circling Earth froze together again (9) 22 Cupid's activity with dear piercing arrow? (7) 26 Shaky sound Moor let out (7) 28 Ultimate in voice attained, is tenor boastful type? (7) 29 Sailor, one with very loud set of duties (6) 30 Grab tin in church (6) 32 Design repeated check on vehicle condition (5) 33 British tribe freeze in rising (5) 34 What's some fad in cocktails thrown up — stinger? (5)
Solution to 1193: Serpentine
The six remaining unclued lights were the stars of MONTY Pyrtiores FLYING CIRCUS (4 14).
First prize: Dick Jones, Cambridge. Runners-up: Mrs C.R. Alyal, Cam- bridge; Timothy Stewart, Newbury.