Monthly Prize Puzzle – February 2014
A crossword by Alchemi
Reviewed by crypticsue
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Congratulations to Jez Wagg who followed the instructions in rows 2, 8 and 14 of the grid and correctly spotted that not only were there 11 ‘aitches’ in the solutions to this crossword but that there were two black H shapes in the grid, making a total of 13. [Some entrants included the word “aitch” as a 14th occurrence and these were also included in the draw. BD] He wins a copy of The Telegraph Centenary Crossword Collection, The book was kindly donated by Phil McNeill, the Telegraph Puzzles Editor, and has been signed by Phil and six of the Telegraph setters who are featured in the book (Elgar, Roger Squires/Rufus, Micawber, Peter Chamberlain/Cephas, Notabilis and Don Manley/Giovanni).
1a Towers over policeman restraining conflict by force (6)
DWARFS – A DS (Detective Sergeant, policeman) restraining (having inserted) WAR (conflict) and F (force)
5a Muscle-bound Mark decides not to take part (8)
ABSTAINS – STAIN (mark) is bound by, or inserted into ABS (abdominal muscles).
9a Domestic aid in appalling conditions cut off quietly (4,4)
HOME HELP – IN (home) and HEL
L – appalling conditions cut off, or with the second L removed and replaced by P (quietly) .
10a Back four can be sufficient to get things done (6)
VIABLE – A reversal (back) of IV, the Roman numeral for four, plus ABLE (can be)
11a Solid month, 23 leaving Australia behind and not coming back (10)
DECAHEDRON – DEC (the month of December) , the solution to 23d omitting the second A (leaving Australia behind) and a reversal (coming back) of NOR (not)
14a Celebrated dynasty (4)
SUNG – double definition – celebrated or the Chinese dynasty from 960 – 1279.
15a Sound broadcast one likely to succeed (4)
HEIR – A homophone (broadcast) of AIR (sound).
16a Anger follows lifeless tie (4,4)
DEAD HEAT – DEAD (lifeless) followed by HEAT (anger).
19a Result of fight possibly sees devoted servant having to live outside (5,3)
BLACK EYE – A LACKEY (devoted servant) is inserted into BE (to live).
20a Bugs fight back (4)
TAPS – Places a bug to listen secretly to telephone calls – a reversal (back) of SPAT (fight).
22a Malfunctioning computer left in lobby (4)
HALL – The malfunctioning computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey: HAL with L (left) inserted .
24a Disinclined to join in action as I break with Labour leader (10)
ANTISOCIAL – An anagram (break) of ACTION AS I followed by the ‘leader’ of Labour.
25a At Lourdes, this person possibly clubs religious devotee (6)
JESUIT – JE, the French word (Lourdes being in France) for I (this person) and SUIT (clubs possibly being an example of a card suit).
26a Old fight about dry dish (8)
OMELETTE – O (old) and MELEE (fight) with TT (teetotal – dry) inserted.
28a Extra bit to gladden Dumas’s heart (8)
ADDENDUM – Hidden in the heart of glADDEN DUMas
29a Hit back at commercial enterprise closing in March (6)
PARADE – Misleading capital time. A reversal (back) of RAP (hit) followed by AD (commercial)and the last (closing) letter of enterprisE
2d What bread can be, but probably isn’t (9)
WHOLEMEAL – A very nice &Lit.
3d Eggs right round Spain (3)
ROE – R (right) O (round, like a circle) and E (the IVR code for Spain).
4d Country our people study after completing applications (6)
SWEDEN – S (the completion or end of applications) WE (our people) and DEN (study).
5d Makeover missing vicar’s current measurement (3)
AMP – Remove the REV (missing vicar) from a
6d Somewhere in Georgia, leading group in hospital express surprise (8)
SAVANNAH – Insert VAN (leading group) into SAN (hospital) and finish with AH (express surprise).
7d Teaches Latin badly, lacking lecturer’s number (11)
ANAESTHETIC – Not a mathematical number but something that produces a loss of feeling – an anagram (badly) of TEACHES
LATIN without the L (lacking Lecturer).
8d Stocking some vinyl once (5)
NYLON – Hidden in some of viNYL ONce.
12d Curtail urge to disrupt country pursuit (11)
AGRICULTURE – An anagram (to disrupt) of CURTAIL URGE.
13d Monkey coming in not long ago worth damn all in the US (3,4)
RED CENT – Formerly made of copper, this coin was considered to be worth a very small amount. A monkey is a slang term for £500 so the Roman numeral for 500 – D – should be inserted into RECENT (not long ago).
17d Stopped after snake covered the road (9)
ASPHALTED – ASP (snake) followed by (after in a down clue) HALTED (stopped).
18d Occupied before getting nurse around (8)
TENANTED – ANTE (before) is inserted into TEND (nurse).
21d Probably in bed when former PM got up (6)
ASLEEP – AS (when) followed by a reversal (got up in a down clue) PEEL (a former Prime Minister.
23d American chief getting up (5)
AHEAD – A (American) HEAD (chief).
26d A measure of resistance to old queen (3)
OHM – O (old) HM (Her Majesty the Queen).
27d Queen gets Republican to make a mistake (3)
ERR – The abbreviation for Republican inserted into the Queen’s cipher – ER.
Thanks to Alchemi for the crossword – one where reading the instructions for the competition very carefuly helped no end!