MPP – 015 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

MPP – 015 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 15 (August 2013) by Alchemi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A review by crypticsue

To find the answer all  (!!) we had to do was solve the crossword and then ADD UP  (27) THE N (16) UMBER (7) S IN G (18a) RID (28) –  some obvious and some extremely well-hidden – to reach a total of 150.  This was far from easy, even at the testing stage….   “You appear to have added up only three of the eight numbers in  the grid, so you don’t have the sum right”  !!!  I wasn’t alone – less than a quarter of the entries were correct.    Still confused?  Have a look at the end of the review.

Mrs BD has kindly once again picked out a winner – the lucky person this month being our occasional blogger , Jon Delfin.   As he lives in New York, however, he joins the rank of those entering for the HAG (Honour and Glory) and the prize rolls over to next month.


1a The better establishments ignore a lot of the fracas in Osaka (7)
CASINOS –   Hidden in fraCAS IN OSaka.

5a You heard books by baseball player are fiction (7)
UNTRUTH –   U (a homophone ‘heard’ of you)  NT (Books of the New Testament) and RUTH (Babe Ruth, the baseball player).

9a To grab the attention of right drip, beat regularly (5)
RIVET –  R (right) IV (intravenous drip) and the regular letters of bEaT.

10a  Recalling essentially everything (3)
ALL –   The essential or middle part of recALLing.

11a  One up in arms about sound measure (5)
REBEL  – RE (about) and BEL (a unit of sound measurement).

12a News channel has power to cover a collision (6)
CANNON – a collision or strike on the rebound –   Insert A from the clue) into the news channel CNN, and finish with  ON (has power, is working)

13a Little flag showing Widdecombe wearing a hat (8)
BANNERET –   Insert ANN (Widdecombe) into a BERET.


15a Smashing of beakers by archdeacon results in no loss (6,4)
BREAK S EVEN –   An anagram (smashing of) BEAKERS followed by VEN (Venerable being a title used by Archdeacons.

16a Chicken on time in the past (4)
THEN –   A HEN is placed on or after  T (time)

18a Tell all about record the French discarded (4)
SING –   Remove the French word for the from  a SINGLE record.

19a Flake needed for one   short of a ton (10)
NINETYNINE –   One number less than a hundred (a ton) is the name given to a type of ice cream cornet with a Cadbury’s Flake bar stuck in the top.


23a Extra bit of hesitation after active theologian’s death (8)
ADDENDUM –   A (active) DD (theologian, Doctor of Divinity)  END (death) and UM (hesitation).

25a Stature of ambassador taking computers round Ghana (6)
HEIGHT –  HE (His Excellency the ambassador)  followed by IT (information technology, computers) into which is inserted GH (the IVR code for Ghana).


27a  American dude occasionally happy to make sense (3,2)
ADD  UP –   A (American) DD (the ‘occasional’ letters of DuDe) and UP (happy, excited).

28a Republican papers are free (3)
RID –  R (Republican) and ID (identity papers).

29a  Medical practitioner feared by many discards books, being a believer (5)
DEIST –   Remove the NT (New Testament) from a DENTIST (a practitioner feared by many).

30a Cross, I rush back to get rid of American (4,3)
DEEP SIX –  An informal American expression meaning to get rid of or eliminate.   X (cross) I and SPEED (rush) all reversed (back).

31a  Depressed by first leisure centre for cruel people (7)
SADISTS –   SAD (depressed) IST (first) and S (the ‘centre’ of leiSure).


1d Croon about riding in taxi without a pipe? (7)
CORNCOB –    Remove the A from a CAB (taxi) and  replace with an anagram (about) of CROON.

corn cob

2d Not quite a majority understood about fair conclusion of assessment (9)
SEVENTEEN –   Eighteen being the majority or full legal age.   SEEN (understood) with EVEN (fair) and T (the ‘conclusion’ of assessment) inserted.

3d What some fishermen do is make business contacts (7)
NETWORK –   Split 3, 4 to get what fishermen do.

4d Talk about twelfth kill (4)
SLAY –   Insert L (the twelfth letter of the alphabet) into SAY (talk).

5d  International body’s permission to bring up study that won’t cause a rising (10)
UNLEAVENED    –  UN (United Nations, international body)  LEAVE (permission) and a reversal (bring up in a down clue) of DEN (study).

6d Run about in the lavatory (6)
THRONE –   Insert R (run) and ON (about) into THE.


7d Brown somewhat outnumbered (5)
UMBER –  A shade of brown is hidden in outnUMBERed

8d  Goalpost deviously stolen by brewer (7)
HOLSTEN –   A rugby goalpost looks like an H and this should be followed with an anagram (deviously) of STOLEN.

14d  Play I sexed up – or ruined! (7,3)
OEDIPUS REX –   An anagram (ruined) of I SEXED UP OR.

17d  Have a discussion about hollow grandeur in joints for lockkeepers (9)
HAIRGRIPS –   A lock can be defined in several ways but here refers to a piece, strand, tuft or ringlet of hair for which something is needed to keep t in place.    Insert into HIPS (joints)   AIR (have a discussion) and GR (the outside letters  of grandeur, hollow tells you there is nothing in the middle).


18d Society event’s first prize has a marine destination (7)
SEAWARD –   S (society) E (event’s first) AWARD (prize).

20d Wild-eyed, reckless women leave, having surrendered (7)
YIELDED –   Remove W (women leave) from WILD-EYED and make an anagram (reckless) of the remaining letters.

21d  Occasionally mess with stripped-out engines around rubbish cars (7)
ESTATES –   The even letters (occasionally) of mEsS, TAT (rubbish) and the outside letters (stripped out) of EngineS.

22d  Hollywood guy fixes up every third obelisk (6)
SNIPES –   Wesley SNIPES (Hollywood actor)   A reversal (up) of PINS (fixes) followed by the third and  sixth letters of obEliSk.

24d Avoid party with top BBC man before election begins (5)
DODGE –  DO (party) DG (Director General at the top of the BBC) and E (the first letter of election).

26d Poetry humble at heart (4)
ODES –   The heart of mODESt.


Thank you to BD for providing the following very helpful grid.

7 comments on “MPP – 015 (Review)

  1. Many thanks to crypticsue for the review. I would hasten to add that I accepted 646 (150 + 496, the total of the clue numbers) as an answer, but this was offered by only one of the entrants.

    A number of entrants submitted their answers twice. This month I accepted the second answer, but from September onwards all multiple entries will be disqualified. If you have any doubt as to whether or not your answer has been successfully submitted, then look for the confirmation email which is sent to all those who gave a valid email address.

  2. I finished this puzzle with my brothers help but would have added up all the actual clue numbers if I had submitted it

  3. Thanks for the review CS, needed to make any sense of the whole thing.

    Thanks to Alchemi for a very clever puzzle which occupied more of my time than it should have done. But having read the review I should have got more answers than I did.

    Great fun, and the prize puzzle should be difficult.

  4. Congratulation Jon. It was a really interesting experience, both with solving the puzzle and then solving the question. I did ponder whether all the clue numbers should be part of the answer too and the the possibility that 19a could be not just 99 but also 90, 9 and 9 as all these are there too. 2d also has 7 as well as 17 as an option. However, in the end I had chosen the intended and certainly most elegant solution but did appreciate considering the other possibilities on several beach walks.
    Thanks again Alchemi for the fun and CS for the review.

  5. I spent a little while considering the additional TEN reversed in 3d, and SEVENTH going across one of the middle lines, but eventually decided that 150 was a more realistic solution than 160 1/7!!
    Thanks to Alchemi, and to crypticsue.

  6. I demand a recount! I was only out by 12! :wink:

    Liked the 646 answer! :grin:

    Thanks to Alchemi, CS and BD!

  7. I think that I agree with everyone. Solving the actual crossword was nothing like as tricky as puzzles by Alchemi can be sometimes.
    Then the trouble started. I completely missed the ‘one’ in 6d and the ‘two’ in 3d so my answer was out by three. I did wonder if he (Alchemi) was being really devious and that we were supposed to count 19a as face value – ie 99 – or if we were meant to see it as 90+9+99. Similarly with 2d – was it meant to be 17 or 7+17? What the hell – it was good fun as his puzzles always are.
    With thanks to Alchemi and CS (plus huge admiration for untangling this one) and congratulations to HAG of the month.

Comments are closed.