Prize Puzzle – January 2013

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 8 (January 2013) by Alchemi

In association with Hamlyn Books

(the publishers of Telegraph Crossword Books)

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Why not have a go at our eighth Monthly Prize Puzzle?  The winner will receive their choice of any two of The Telegraph All New Cryptic Crosswords Books or The Telegraph All New Toughie Crossword Books published by Hamlyn. 

Please note that, due to punitive postal charges,  while the competition is open to all, the prize is only available to UK solvers.

A review will follow after the closing date (19th January 2013).

MPP - 08

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

I’ve left this post open for comments, but if you don’t want your comment to be deleted then avoid asking for or giving help with the clues.

[NB This post has been restored from a back-up copy. Unfortunately the comments made on the day are no longer available.]



  1. Posted January 6, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    A summary of yesterday’s “lost” comments:

    Many thanks to Alchemi for an enjoyable crossword – fun to solve and clever theme.

    Ditto what Prolixic has said.

    Many thanks to Alchemi for his excellent addition to the MPP. I still have one to complete, fortunately it’s position on the grid has no relevance to the answer.
    Looking forward to the review, especially the one eluding me.

    It definitely helps when the first clue you happen to solve is one of the themers, and you can be on the lookout for others of the same!

    Only fools:
    Completed this (I think) at a pace an infirm snail would be ashamed of.
    Thanks for the challenge, it certainly was for me.
    I am also looking forward to the review.

    I’ve done about 3/4 of this, or maybe a bit more. Think that it’s really difficult and have now got bad brain ache. I’m going to carry on tomorrow, and probably the next day and the one after that . . .
    I’ll reserve final judgement but at the moment my favourite clue is 10a because it made me laugh. It reminds me of a clue in a NTSPP (I think one of gazza’s and it also made me laugh) and I was about to quote the clue and give the answer but would probably be deleted so I won’t!
    Wish me luck.

         Good Luck!

    Thanks very much to Alchemi for a very enjoyable puzzle! Not too difficult – everyone should have a go.

    I will now have to wait very patiently for the review to clarify a few bits of wordplay!

    The most difficult bit was submitting the answer – but that now seems to have been rectified.

    (ps. BD – It’s still snowing!)

    I’m finding it really difficult – and it’s stopped snowing here! I’ve only just noticed.

  2. Heno
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I must be thick, but I can’t understand the instructions.!

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      When you have solved the puzzle, you will find a number of the solutions have a common link. Think about this and then find the one that is missing!!

      Not the clearest explanation ever but I haven’t got time to be put in the corner this afternoon :)

      • spindrift
        Posted January 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks CS – I was in the same boat as Heno so here goes…stand by for blast off – Doh – wrong crossword

    • Kath
      Posted January 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      Neither can I! Think that we haven’t yet spotted the theme . . . No-one else seems to be having problems! Must be you and me then!

  3. Franco
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Alchemi for a very entertaining puzzle. I didn’t understand the instructions but half way through solving it – all became clear! Very clever!!

    Do entries submitted yesterday have to be re-entered?

    Ahhh! It has stopped snowing! Excellent!

    • Posted January 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      The emails do not appear to be stored on the same database, and all those that were there yesterday are still there (including yours!).

  4. 2Kiwis
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    A very good puzzle. Took a long time to work out what the theme was, but then, having spotted it, the last few sticking ones became much more understandable. Great entertainment.
    Thanks Alchemi.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted January 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to have submitted entry twice BD. Nothing seemed to be happening on my screen so I pressed send again. My apologies.

      • Posted January 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        No problem – I’ve deleted the duplicate.

  5. Only fools
    Posted January 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    As I said yesterday took an inordinate amount of time with this but now see that there were instructions which I didn’t get .No complaints if it is just the theme because rather late in the day I did latch on to it and that helped with one clue in particular which after seeming impossible became rather clever .
    Still looking forward to the revue and other comments.
    Thanks to Alchemi but it was at the upper end of the difficulty for me and perhaps that is as it should be .

    • Alchemi
      Posted January 6, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      That is certainly how I intended it to be.

      It’s meant to be about one grade harder than an NTSPP, and judging by the comments above, that’s what it is. It also appears that those who have solved it have enjoyed doing so, which is even better.

      Thanks for the kind comments.

      • Kath
        Posted January 6, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

        Even though I’m one of the mugs who hasn’t yet solved it I enjoyed what I have managed so far. I really loved 10a!

  6. jezza
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    A very clever puzzle! Tricky in places, but I think I got there in the end…
    Thanks to Alchemi for the enjoyment.

  7. pommers
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s my brain still behaving very strangely but I found this pretty straightforward.

    Guessed the theme fairly quickly from ** and ** so just got the list from Wiki and went hunting for the others. Once you know what you’re looking for they all fall into place pretty easily. After I’d got them I sort of lost interest in the rest of the puzzle – sorry Alchemi but I did enjoy the bits I completed – 10a fav..