MPP – 011 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 011 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 11 (April  2013) by Prolixic

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A review by crypticsue

Congratulations to Pete Cohen who was the winner of this month’s prize of one of Hamlyn’s Telegraph Puzzle Books [Pete has declined the prize, which will be carried over to the may competition.  BD].  His name was drawn from the electronic ‘hat’ by Mrs BD as he was one of the solvers who had correctly spotted all the excuses (6d’s) that are used for travel  delays (listed at the end of the review) –  our Prolixic being a person who commutes to work by train, I am sure he has heard these many more times than he would like!



1a           Defeated destitute Knight (6)
BROKEN –   BROKE (destitute, poor) followed by N (the abbreviation for knight in a game of chess).

4a           Excitement about return of the Spanish sword (6)
TOLEDO – A sword made in Toledo, Spain.    Insert a reversal of the Spanish word for ‘the’ – EL – into  TO DO (excitement)

toledo sword

8a           When society philosopher becomes an examiner (7)
ASSAYER –  AS (when)S (society) and AYER (the philosopher A J Ayer, who apparently promoted logical positivism!)

9a           Unlimited work out worried coach (7)
EDUCATE –  Remove the outside letters (unlimited) from dEDUCe and follow with ATE (worried) – coach here being a verb rather than a noun.

11a         Capital charge levied on neo-gnostic organization (10)
CONGESTION –   The charge for travelling through Central London is an anagram (organization) of NEO GNOSTIC.

12a         Fatty tissue regularly seen in students (4)
SUET –  The regular or odd letters of StUdEnTs.

13a         Direct   process (5)
TRAIN –   Double definition – to direct/aim ; to process or bring along.


14a         Cities go amok displaying selfishness (8)
EGOISTIC  – an anagram (amok) of CITIES GO.

16a         Article removed from dirty book in America? (5,3)
UNCLE SAM –   Remove the AN (article) from UNCLE[AN}  and follow with an abbreviation for the Book of SAMuel in the Bible to get the personification of America.

18a         Calm welcome for Caesar (5)
SALVE –   A verb meaning to calm or soothe is also a Latin interjection used as a greeting – the Roman Emperor Caesar would have received many such greetings.

20a         Party opponents at a disadvantage (4)
DOWN –   DO (party) followed by two of the opponents in a game of bridge, West and North.

21a         Batsman wearing headphones found in the kitchen (3-7)
CAN-OPENERS –  Insert OPENER (a batsman who opens or starts the innings) into a slang term for headphones – CANS

Can openers

23a         Deny part of word is a vowel (7)
DISAVOW – hidden in part of  worD IS A VOWel.

24a         Fuel and air mixture results in breakdown (7)
FAILURE – an anagram (mixture) of FUEL and AIR.

25a         Sediment covers bible pages (6)
LEAVES –  Insert AV (the Authorised Version of the Bible into LEES (sediment that forms in an ageing alcoholic drink).

26a         Diminutive girl drinking gin cocktail is a siren (6)
SIGNAL –   Insert into the diminutive girl  SAL a cocktail or anagram of GIN.


1d           Polish king dismissed chorister (5)
BRASSO –   Simply remove R (Rex, king) from BRASSO, the polish I think our mothers used more than we do these days, to  get a bass singer in a choir.

2d           Ali got a terrible complaint (7)
OTALGIA –   Earache is a terrible anagram of ALI GOT A


3d           Archdeacon blocks on-line music perhaps for services (9)
EVENSONGS –   Insert the abbreviated title for an archdeacon –VEN[erable} into E-SONGS (on-line music perhaps).

5d           School denied harbouring antique (5)
OLDEN –   Harbouring indicates that there is a hidden word in schoOL  DENied.

6d           Overlooks old stubborn man taking drug (7)
EXCUSES –  EX (old)followed by CUSS (stubborn person) into which is inserted E (ecstasy).

7d           Where washing may be at risk (2,3,4)
ON THE LINE –   An all-in-one or a double definition – either way it is a very nice clue.

leaves (on the line)

10d         Where, in Cumbria, rats are drowned in brief ceremony! (5,4)
RIVER MINT –  A Cumbrian river I didn’t know but the wordplay is clear.   Insert VERMIN (rates) in RIT(e) (an abbreviated or ‘brief’ ceremony).

13d         Performing well in audition of barbers (9)
TONSORIAL –  Insert into TRIAL (audition)  ON (performing)and SO (well).

15d         Tubes of goo I shape improperly (9)
OESOPHAGI –  An anagram (improperly) of GOO I SHAPE.

17d         Flower described by plant anatomy (7)
LANTANA – A tropical American shrub is hidden in, or described by, pLANT ANAtomy.

19d         Wool extract delivered by road or rail after docking (7)
LANOLIN –   Truncate or dock (remove the last letter or tail of) LAN[e] O[r] LIN[e].

21d         Many enjoy spice (5)
CLOVE –   C  (hundred in Roman numerals) and LOVE (enjoy).


22d         Pastoral painting maiden left for king (5)
RURAL –   Change the M (maiden) at the front of MURAL to an R (Rex).

Commuters can be frustrated by ‘Leaves on the line’ ‘Signal failure’ a ‘broken down train’ and, for road commuters –  ‘congestion’.

3 comments on “MPP – 011 (Review)

  1. Many thanks to Crypticsue for her review and to all who entered.

    Rail commuters too are affected by congestion, particularly into and out of Waterloo where a frequent reason for delays is congestion between Vauxhall and Waterloo. Add to that the perils of cows and swans on the line, unexploded bombs and many others, it is surprising that any train arrives on time!

    My favourite announcement though always came from the South West Trains guard who would let us know:

    “We are now arriving at London Waterloo, our last and final destination where this train terminates.”

  2. Congratulations Pete.
    It was great fun sorting out the answers and then searching for the “excuses”.
    Thanks Prolixic and CS.

  3. Congratulations to Pete. Many thanks to Prolixic for an excellent puzzle , unfortunately

    I have heard them all (and many others) over the years and CS for her review.

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