MPP – 019 (review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 019 (review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – December 2013

A crossword by Radler

Reviewed by Prolixic

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Congratulations to Crypticsue for correctly solving and answering the question in this month’s prize puzzle.  For the avoidance of doubt, this was one of the prize puzzles that she did not test solve so she was free to enter the competition.

As prize puzzles go, this was as tough as they come requiring solvers to be fluent in four languages.  Radler pulled no punches when setting this one!  Well done to all who correctly solved it.


1 Sleep over in former benefits office (4)
DOSS – Insert the abbreviation for over into DSS (former benefits office).

3 It could be put into stash of ideas (10)
CONCEPTUAL – An anagram (it could be) of PUT inside CONCEAL (stash).

10 Old man drinking nothing with fast food (7)
POLENTA – A two letter word for old man included (drinking) an O (nothing) and LENT (fast).

11 Stop working, estimate required, ringing head of engineering (5,2)
SEIZE UP – SIZE UP (estimate required) goes around (ringing) an E (head of engineering).

12 It involves manoeuvres to vet street riding (7,4)
DRIVING TEST – An anagram (manoeuvres to) VET ST RIDING.

14 Put away finally inside a vault (3)
EAT – The final letters of insidA vaulT.

15 Salmon coloured, rejected darkened hue after change of heart (5)
COHOE – Remover the LOURED (rejected darkened) from COLOURED and follow this with HUE with the U replayed by an O (after change of heart).

16 Abrupt movement on simian evolution relating to belief in spirits (9)
ANIMISTIC – An anagram (evolution) of SIMIAN followed by three letter word for an abrupt spasm or movement.

18 Current character’s time sheets (3,6)
AIR STREAM – AIR’S (character or mien) followed by  T (time) and REAM (sheets of paper).

20 Bends, pierces, shakes and sprinkles (5)
DUSTS – US (bends) goes inside (pierces) DTS (the abbreviation for delirium tremens or shakes).

22 Haemorrhoids displayed – excuse me! (3)
HOI – The answer is hidden in (displayed) haemorrHOIds.

23 Lady clowns around, needs income (11)
COMEDIENNES – An anagram (around) of NEEDS INCOME.

26 Judge leaves contestant in charge at second evictions (7)
OUSTERS – Remove the J (judge leaves) from JOUSTERS (contestants in charge) and follow this by S (second).

28 A nice mixture, new books and old (7)
ANCIENT – An anagram (mixture) of A NICE followed by NT (New Testament – new books).

29 Top host‘s look-alike acquiring support (10)
RINGMASTER – RINGER (look-alike) has MAST (support) put inside (acquiring).

30 Notice, particularly at the end of May (4)
ESPY – The abbreviation for especially (particularly) followed by the final letter (end of) of May.


1 Retired from French, school’s out (5)
DOPED – Reverse (retired) the letters of DE (from French) and POD (school or a group of whales).

2 Small mischievous and mean (7)
SELFISH – S for small followed by ELFISH (mischievious).

4 Needing to get drunk, agreed on a drink (9)
ORANGEADE – An anagram (needing to get drunk) of AGREED ON A

5 Station announcer’s company (5)
CASTE – A homophone (announcer’s) of CAST (company).

6 It gives P for Paranormal Phenomena (3)
PSI – Pounds per square inch is a measurement of pressure (P) and PSI in a paranormal phenomena.
A change to this clue was inadvertently omitted from the initial release of the puzzle.  It was quickly amended to:
6  Bar alternative character from Greece (3)
Bar and PSI are alternative measures of pressure and psi is a Greek character

7 Not standing up, initially off centre (7)
UNERECT – The first letter (initially) of Up followed by an anagram (off) of CENTRE.

8 Make-up for cheek that doesn’t wear off (9)
LIPSTICKS – LIP (cheek) followed by STICKS (does not wear off).

9 Boring regional broadcast of BBC’s lengthy adventure film featuring capture of Troy (10)
ANTISCEPTIC – A regional homophone (regional broadcast) of AUNTY’S (BBC) followed by EPIC with a T (Troy) inserted (captured).

13 For a change, the rich world is renouncing slow return into state of war (5,5)
THIRD REICH – An anagram (for a change) of THE RICH WORLD IS after first removing (renouncing) the letters of SLOW.  As the letters are removed in the order W O L S the word return in the clue tells us that they are removed in reverse order.

15 Co-author novel about Charlie the busman’s holiday (5,4)
COACH TOUR – An anagram (novel) of CO-AUTHOR around C (Charlie).

17 In a frenzy, I made time without delay (9)
IMMEDIATE – An anagram (in a frenzy) of I MADE TIME.

19 Stops disclosure insinuating cover-up (5,2)
REINS IN – The answer is hidden (cover-up) in disclosuRE INSINuating.

21 Grandchildren in America getting unexpected introduction to sun sea and sin (7)
SANSEIS – These residents of the Americas, born of the offspring of Japanese immigrant parents, come from an anagram (unexpected) of S (introduction to sun) SEA SIN.

24 Having to secure base, Kate rushes baby (5)
MOSES – MOSS (The surname of the fashion model Kate) goes around (secures) E (the base for natural logarithms in mathematics).

25 Asian dish requiring fifteen hours at the weekend? (5)
SATAY – SATURDAY removing the URD leaves 15/24’s of the word (fifteen hours at the weekend).

27 Self-pruned diseased lime tree (3)
ELM  -Remove (pruned) the I (self) from LIME and make an anagram (diseased) of the remaining letters.

The numbers hidden in the grid are shown below.


Seize up 16
Driving test 20
Antiseptic 7
Unerect 1
Reins in 1
Selfish 11
Coach tour 8
Third Reich 3
Doss 2
Conceptual 11
Ancient 100
Sanseis 6

10 comments on “MPP – 019 (review)

  1. Warmest congrats to Crypticsue! That’s splendid.
    Alas! Radler is simply to difficult for me. I did try very hard, but only managed to solve fourteen of the clues. Reading through the review, there are a few more I should have managed but didn’t! I did enjoy what I was able to do.
    Thanks to Radler, and I’m sorry I couldn’t do justice to the puzzle. Many thanks Prolixic for your enlightenment.

    To all who celebrate Christmas, have a very happy one; to those who don’t, have a most enjoyable break.

  2. Failed on three solutions – one of them containing my last missing Spanish Number!

    Talking of which (21d) is it “SANESIS” as in the review or “SANSEIS” as in the completed grid.

    Also, 25d is still beyond my comprehension!

    (Congratulations to CrypticSue – Insider Dealing? Surely not!)

    1. 21d – the one with my last missing Spanish number took me ages to get. I think it has to be as per the grid otherwise the number isn’t there.

      Radler doesn’t send me his MPP candidates to test so that from time to time I can exercise my competitive streak

    2. 25d Fifteen hours is 5/8 of a day. Five eighths (i.e. 5 letters out of 8) of the word Saturday (the end of the week, i.e. weekend, if you start the week on Sunday) gives you the answer.

      1. Many Thanks, Gazza!

        Hmmm! Still needs a lot of thought for me … I will have another look the next time I’m sober!

        Happy New Year!

      1. Many thanks. I dashed this off at lunchtime and did not have time to amend when the error was pointed out. Apologies for the confusion.

  3. Congratulations Sue. A very much deserved victory. It seems like I was not the only one who had a real struggle in the SE corner and I have a satisfied feeling to know that I did eventually get to the right answer.
    As StanXYZ says there is still a mistake in the review where it gives the answer to 21d as SENESIS. It is correct though in the completed grid at the end.
    Thanks Radler and Prolixic.

  4. My thanks for your comments and to Prolixic for his test solve and review

    The puzzle turned out a little more difficult than I’d expected, and one or two of the draft clues that I’d planned to change were in the published version. Congratulations to crypticsue and to everyone else who had a go.

    Merry Christmas to all, enjoy the festivities, Radler

  5. Well done CS I was convinced 5d was CREWE which held me up for ages (ever) on 11a other than that for me fair play but a difficult challenge ,thanks again Radler and of course Prolixic .

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