MPP – 012 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 012 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 12 (May  2013) by Alchemi

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A review by crypticsue

Congratulations to Dave Howell, the winner of the May Prize Puzzle competition.   This time we not  only had to solve the  crossword but also  read the Nina in rows 3, 13 and 11.   These instructed you to look at four down, reverse it and then split the solution 2, 4  thus leaving DE TROP to be submitted as the competition entry to win the choice of a Telegraph Puzzle Book from Hamlyn Books.


9a           Men look around and find US resort (7)
ORLANDO  –  OR (men, Other Ranks, soldiers) followed by  LO (look) with  AND from the clue inserted (around).

10a         Look back at dead boy with unknown grandmother? (3,4)
OLD LADY –   A reversal of LO (look ‘back’) followed by D (dead) LAD (boy) and Y (algebraic unknown).

11a         Approaching child to be around later on? (7)
TONIGHT –  Insert NIGH (approaching) into a TOT (child).

12a         Play this card first, then the last spade, in case the ace is needed (7)
CELESTA –  ‘Play this’ keyboard instrument which produces bell-like sounds.    C (the first letter of card), E ( the final letter of spade), LEST (in case) and A (ace).

13a         How to save faces a point agreed with the underworld (9)
EYESHADES –   E (the compass point East)  YES (agreed) and HADES (the underworld).


15a         Fools seen in American quarter when old boy leaves (5)
TWITS –   The American quarter coin is also known as TWO BITS.   Remove the OB (old boy) to get TWITS.

16a         The wealthy act fast when in trouble (3,4)
FAT CATS –   An anagram (when in trouble) of ACT FAST.

fat cat

19a         Partners drench protesters’ leader in seconds (7)
SPOUSES –   Insert P (protesters’ ‘leader’) into SOUSE (drench) and finish with S (seconds).

20a         One to profit a second time (5)
AGAIN –   A (one) plus GAIN (profit).

21a         Eternal taboo broken by the first of seven angry neurologists (9)
INCESSANT –    Insert into  INCEST (taboo) the first letters of Seven, Angry and Neurologists.

25a         The worst-looking fruit is French (7)
UGLIEST –   the UGLI fruit (which isn’t as unattractive as it sounds)  followed by EST (is in French).

26a         Insect meeting terrible fate in drink (4,3)
BEEF TEA –   BEE followed by an anagram (terrible) of FATE.

28a         Eavesdrops on queen, eating a syrup sponge at first (7)
EARWIGS –  Insert (eating) A (from the clue) into ER (the Queen’s cipher) follow with a  WIG (syrup being cockney rhyming slang for wig) and S (sponge at first).


29a         Small glass vessel sufficient to contain old uranium (7)
AMPOULE –   Insert O (old) and U(uranium) into AMPLE (sufficient).



1d           Wimp with very loud neckwear (6)
SOFTIE –   SO (very) F (forte, loud in music) TIE (neckwear).


2d           British on their own – blocked by Germany, to be fair (6)
BLONDE –   B (British) and LONE with D (IVR code for Germany) inserted.

3d           Warm and cosy with arms aloft (4)
SNUG  –   A reversal (aloft) of GUNS (arms)

4d           Carried soft alternative to regular tweeds (6)
PORTED –  P (piano, soft in music) OR (alternative) and the regular letters of TwEeDs.

5d           School accountants finally permit small audio files to be downloaded (8)
PODCASTS – POD (a school of whales) CAS (Chartered Accountants) T (the final letter of permit) and S (small).

6d           Heretical vow our last mistake (10)
IDOLATROUS –  I DO (an example of a vow) followed by an anagram (mistake) of OUR LAST.

7d           Cases where cabinet minister wears formal dress? Quite the opposite! (8)
LAWSUITS –   If the Cabinet Minister (David) LAWS was to wear  formal dress the  SUIT would be outside him, but here LAWS is outside the SUIT.

8d           During drowsy naps, essayist makes internal connections (8)
SYNAPSES are hidden in drowSY NAPS ESsayist.

14d         In love with her, a distraught monkey might cover his ears to this (4,2,4)
HEAR NO EVIL –   One of the three wise monkeys covers his ears to HEAR NO EVIL – a distraught anagram of IN LOVE WITH HER.

hear no evil

16d         Highlights achievement sure to fail (8)
FEATURES –   FEAT (achievement) followed by an anagram (to fail) of SURE.

17d         External regulations underpinning Walter wrecked fishing boats (8)
TRAWLERS –  A ‘wrecked’ anagram, of WALTER followed by the outside letters (external) of RegulationS.


18d         Opponents provided criterion extremely fast (8)
SWIFTEST –   S(outh) and W(est) (two opponents in a game of bridge), IF (provided) TEST (criterion, standard).

22d         Business supports poisoners (6)
COBRAS –   CO (company, business) and BRAS (supports).


23d         East End arrogance of pretentious director (6)
AUTEUR –  A film director, specially of a particular genre, sounds like someone from the East End (where people are renowned for leaving off Hs at the beginning of a word) was saying HAUTEUR or arrogance.

24d         Exchanged upside-down pictures of French duke (6)
TRADED –   A reversal (upside-down)  ART (pictures) followed by DE (French word for of)and D (duke).

27d         Observe online agent (4)
ESPY –  Well we have e-mail and e-trading so why not an E SPY?


3 comments on “MPP – 012 (Review)

  1. Congratulations Dave. Remember this puzzle as giving a lot of fun. It had a beautifully hidden answer, that needed a finished (or nearly so) grid to be able to work it out.
    Thanks again Alchemi and CS.

  2. This feels like a long time ago but did manage to dig the crossword out from old toast crumbs, marmalade and cat hair on the kitchen table! What chaos we do live in!! Congratulations to Dave.
    I failed to spot what we were after – finished up with three answers that I really couldn’t do but I remember having fun with the puzzle even though it ended up defeating me.
    With thanks to Alchemi and thanks and congratulations for untangling it all to CS.

  3. Well done Dave. Thanks to CS for the review and to Alchemi for his part
    in a most enjoyable Bank Holiday afternoon.

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