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MPP – 004 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 4 (September 2012) by Gazza

In association with Hamlyn Books,

the publishers of Telegraph Crossword Books

A review by Prolixic

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Our fourth Monthly Prize Crossword was set by Gazza. Solvers were asked to identify the name of the Captain who led four characters who graced the grid.  The solution is at the bottom of this review.

Without further ado, this month’s winner is Kath. Congratulations to her. Not only does she get to choose two crossword books published by our sponsor but also can elect to be known from henceforth as Mrs Slocombe or Ms Brahms when blogging.  To those who were unlucky this time, the next prize crossword will appear on Saturday 6 October.


8 Boast about rank (4)
CROW – A word meaning to boast comes from the abbreviation for circa (about) followed by a word meaning rank or tier.

9 Boffin whose career’s looking up (10)
ASTRONOMER – A cryptic definition of a scientist who studies the heavens.

10 Deeply-concealed threats once Posh and Becks introduced to Congress (1-5)
U-BOATS – These old threat to ships during WWII comes from the abbreviation for post, the first letter (introduced) of Becks and a word meaning congress (in the sexual sense).

11 Gutsy display in Japan? (4-4)
HARI-KIRI – A cryptic definition of the ceremonial form of Japanese suicide involving the ripping open of the belly with a sword.

12 Female boxing enthusiasts’ publication exhibits lack of vigour (8)
LAZINESS – A word for a female goes around (boxing) an informal term for a magazine read by enthusiasts to give a word meaning lack of vigour.

14 Leak has no comeback, as expected (2,4)
ON TIME – A word for due or as expected comes from reversing a word meaning leak (emit) and the no from the clue.

16 Agent chasing European spot (4)
ESPY – Put a word for an agent after (chasing) the abbreviation for European to give a word meaning spot or see.

17 Long-distance boot over the pond (5)
TRUNK – This part of the car (the boot in theUK) has this name in theUSA (over the pond).  The word is also used to describe a long-distance – usually followed by the word call.

18 Flags down in East End troubles (4)
AILS – A word meaning troubles or bothers comes from a word meaning flags down (as you may do to stop a taxi) with the initial H removed (inEast End).

19 Australiaand South Africainvested in pub market (6)
BAZAAR – A word for a market comes from putting the abbreviations forAustralia andSouth Africa (the IVR code) inside (invested in) a word for a pub.

21 Source of First Lady’s extra support? (5,3)
SPARE RIB – Put together a word meaning extra or over and a word for a support to find the reputed source of Eve in the story of the Garden of Eden.

23 Second journalist in case locked up and abused (8)
MOLESTED – Include (locked up) a word meaning “in case” inside words meaning second and journalist to give a word meaning abused.

26 Start a raffle to cover deposit (6)
TARTAR – This form of deposit found on your teeth is hidden inside the words START A RAFFLE

27 Top airline’s relocated to Gainsborough, say (3,7)
OIL PAINTER – An anagram (relocated) of TOP AIRLINE give a phrase that describes Gainsborough and other artists.

28 Bristle at retiring following case of sabotage (4)
SETA – A word for a bristle comes from reversing (retiring) the AT in the clue after the outside letters (case of) sabotage.


1 An airbase redeveloped by a stretch of water (7,3)
ARABIAN SEA – This stretch of water comes from an anagram (redeveloped) of AN AIRBASE.

2 You and I got posed artistically around deadheaded flower in a drippy way (8)
SWEATILY – A word meaning in a drippy way comes from putting a word meaning posed artistically around the pronoun meaning you and I followed by the name of a flower with the initial letter removed (deadheaded).

3 Struggle to squeeze bottom into tight spot with nothing scratched (6)
HASSLE – Put a word meaning bottom inside (squeeze into) a word meaning a tight spot with the O removed (nothing scratched).

4 Laugh at unhappiness to disguise upset state (4)
UTAH – This state of the USA is hidden inside (disguise) and reversed (upset) the words LAUGH AT UNHAPPINESS.

5 Turn up supporting North African bird (8)
MOORCOCK – Put a word meaning turn up (as you might a hat) after (supporting) a word for a North African to find a word for a type of bird.

6 Miniature sink is appropriate (6)
POCKET – A word meaning to sink a ball into a small hole on a snooker table means the same as to appropriate or steal.

7 One may be apparent in radio broadcast (4)
HEIR – A homophone (broadcast) of a word meaning radio (as a verb) give a word for someone who is apparently entitled to something.

13 Averts one’s eyes from pushed up small buttocks (5)
SNUBS – A word meaning averts one’s eyes from comes from reversing (pushed up) the abbreviation for small and a slang word for buttocks.

15 ‘U’ film that I produced is not concerned with a single religion (5-5)
MULTI-FAITH – An anagram (produced) of U FILM THAT I gives a description of something that covers more than one religion.

17 Run away from dog after scare (4,4)
TURN TAIL – A word meaning run away from comes from a word meaning scare followed by a word meaning dog or follow.

18 Growth transformed US marine (8)
ANEURISM – This form of growth comes from an anagram (transformed) of US MARINE.

20 Gangster and comic brother head off for place in the Middle- East (6)
ALEPPO – The name of this Syrian city comes from the first name of a well known American gangster followed by the name of one of the Marx brothers with the first letter removed (head off).

22 Course cut short after a bit of fuss (6)
AFTERS – Take the A from the clue, the first letter (a bit of) fuss and a word meaning short with the final letter removed (cut) gives a word for a course that is otherwise referred to a pudding or dessert.

24 Extremely deficient notice concerning organ (4)
OTIC – Remove the outer letters (extremely deficient) from the word notice to give a word meaning concerning the ear (organ).

25 Dorothy’s freckles? (4)
DOTS – A final double definition.  The diminutive form of Dorothy with the S gives a word that might loosely describe freckles.

Looking around the perimeter of the grid we find four of the characters in Are You Being Served (HUMPHRIES, BRAHMS, SLOCOMBE and LUCAS).  The captain that led them was, of course, CAPTAIN PEACOCK.  The word in the clue that the characters grace the perimeter refers to Grace Brothers, the fictional owners of the department store where the programme was set.

12 comments on “MPP – 004 (Review)

    1. Thank you CS and Kiwis,
      Have just managed to dig out the crossword from all the heaps of stuff in our house (one of the few joys of living in chaos is that life is a constant surprise!) – I have to say that, although I enjoyed this one lots, a huge amount of guess work went into it which is why I feel like an imposter! Who knows? I’m still delighted and feel honoured to have won it so thanks to Gazza for setting it and to Prolixic for explaining some of my guess work!!
      I think I’ll probably just still call myself Kath!!

  1. Congratulations Kath. (Are you now not glad you took the advice and entered )
    Many thanks to Proloxic for the review. (and Gazza for the puzzle)
    Looking forward to next month.

  2. Congratulations to Kath and thanks to Prolixic for the write-up.
    One minor point – 6d was meant to be a triple definition with pocket meaning miniature as in a pocket battleship or pocket edition.

  3. Thanks axe, Gazza and Mary,
    I’m quite proud of me too!! And, yes, I’m glad that I took the advice and entered the competition – I’ve never done anything like that before – you’ll all turn me into a gambler yet!! :grin:

  4. A bit late but sincere congrats, Kath, for winning this month’s X-word — I’ve only just read the answers. Well done! I always read the blog so feel I know you quite well, shilly-billy me.

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