MPP – 023 (review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 023 (review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – April  2014

A crossword by Prolixic

Reviewed by crypticsue

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Congratulations to Milvus who solved this fine crossword (I thought there were some lovely surface readings) and then spotted “the who, where and with what” needed to solve the mystery and enter the competition, winning a choice of  Hamlyn Telegraph puzzle books.   If you still haven’t solved the crime, there is a handy grid at the bottom of this review which reveals all.


1a Hurried away to house bishop in nighttime accommodation (4,3)
BUNK BED – BUNKED (fled or hurried away) with B (Bishop) inserted.

5a It’s food and drink for French dynasty (7)
BOURBON – A triple definition – a chocolate biscuit which in my childhood was only eaten as a special treat at Christmas!; maize whiskey originally made in Bourbon County, Kentucky; or the French royal family ruling in France and elsewhere between the 16th and 20th Centuries.

Bourbon 1

9a Delivery from working Asian mill (5,4)
SNAIL MAIL – An anagram (from working) of ASIAN MILL.snail mail
10a Wants massages we hear (5)
NEEDS is a homophone (we hear) of KNEADS (massages).

11a Examine a shell (5)
TESTA – A zoological term for a hard shell – TEST (examine) followed by A from the clue.

12a Even I urge reconciliation with Arthur’s wife (9)
GUINEVERE – An anagram (reconciliation)of EVEN I URGE.

13a Get expert treatment (7)
PROCURE – PRO (expert, professional) and CURE (treatment).

15a To be in France welcomed by Judas in hideaway (7)
RETREAT – Insert ETRE (the French verb meaning to be) into a RAT (Judas).

17a Flannel coming from foolhardy comedian when exchanging introductions (7)
WASHRAG – Swap over the first letters (exchanging introductions) of RASH (foolhardy) and WAG (comedian).


19a One who serves composer touring Iceland with alto (7)
BARISTA – Insert IS (the IVR code for Iceland) into BART (Lionel, the composer) and finish with the abbreviation for Alto.

21a American essayist returns record about a pickpocket (4,5)
GORE VIDAL – Insert A DIVER (a slang term for a pickpocket) into LOG (record) and reverse (returns) the result.

23a Nick‘s sample of Pinot Chardonnay (5)
NOTCH – Hidden in (a sample of) PiNOT CHardonnay.

25a Reportedly rests on legal rights (5)
LIENS – A homophone (reportedly) of LEANS (rests on).

26a Persuade one to replace commanding officer in meeting (9)
INFLUENCE – I (one) replaces CO (commanding officer) at the beginning of a CONFLUENCE (meeting place).

27a Transform a sphere (7)
RESHAPE is an anagram (transform) of A SPHERE.

28a Escape from refuge carrying a King’s silver (7)
LEAKAGE – Insert into LEE (refuge, shelter) A (from the clue) K (King) and AG (the chemical symbol for silver).

1d Where to get on with breast surgery with a bit of silicone implanted (3,4)
BUS STOP – BUST OP (breast surgery) with S (a ‘bit’ – the first letter – of silicone) inserted.

bus stop

2d Miserly son approaches (5)
NEARS – NEAR (miserly, tight-fisted) and S (son).

3d Put pressure on Brazil to adopt European measure (9)
BELEAGUER – Insert into BR (the IVR code for Brazil) E (European) and LEAGUE (measure of length).

4d Drive leaderless crowd into trail (7)
DRAGGLE – DR (drive) and GAGGLE (crowd) with the first G removed (leaderless).

5d More prominent Republican in Belgium briefly gets smashed (7)
BULGIER – An anagram (gets smashed) of R (republican) and BELGIU (briefly tells you to leave the M off).

6d Bones regularly seen in Rutland hospital department (5)
ULNAE – The regular letters of rUtLaN d and AE (the A&E department of a hospital).

7d Cooks touring garden without new guidebooks (9)
BAEDEKERS – BAKERS touring or going round the garden of EDEn (without new (N) tells you that only the first three letters are inserted).


8d North America’s money is burgeoning (7)
NASCENT – NAS (North America’S) and CENT (money).

14d Witnesses objections about altar boy (9)
OBSERVERS – OBS (observations) with SERVER (altar boy) inserted).

16d A truant disturbed pupil with a spider (9)
TARANTULA – An anagram (disturbed) of A TRUANT followed by L (learner, pupil) and A (from the clue).

17d One who squirms when fusspot has change of direction (7)
WIGGLER – Change the N (north)for a W (west) at the start of a NIGGLER (fusspot).

18d Divine encouragement for Eisenhower to imprison deputy lieutenant (7)
GODLIKE – The abbreviation for Deputy Lieutenant inserted into GO IKE, an encouragement for President Eisenhower, known as IKE.

19d Sinister like a Christian?! (7)
BALEFUL – Somewhat like the surname of the actor Christian BALE.

20d Articles about hinderance for Olympian (7)
ATHLETE – A and THE (articles) with LET (hinderance) inserted.

22d Prospect of sex in Rome’s station (5)
VISTA – VI (sex being the Roman number six) and STA (abbreviation for station).

24d Secret society’s a friendly place (5
TONGA – TONG (a Chinese secret society) and A (from the clue) produces an archipelago affectionately known as the Friendly Islands

Entries with REV or REVEREND, GREEN, KITCHEN and DAGGER were entered into the draw. If you had as much trouble as me spotting whodunit – including a gnoment spent wondering whether the BEAR revealed in row 8 was VILE TO someone (row 12) in some strange previously unknown version of Cluedo – the grid below should hopefully make everything clear!

MPP April colour solve

Thanks once again to both Prolixic and Mrs BD without whom this review would not be possible!!


4 comments on “MPP – 023 (review)

  1. Well, I did complete the grid correctly and got one world of the whodunnit (the obvious one). It was fun trying though. 17A surprised me because I think of it as such an American word. Many thanks to all concerned.

  2. It was not until I saw the high-lighted grid above that I finally realised who the murderer definitely was. Despite spending ages looking for NINAs, I had not spotted that one. If I had submitted an answer it would have been accepted because I had seen the ‘REV’ in column 12, but was not happy with it. Why it was so hard really escapes me now. An excellent challenge that defeated me hands down.
    Congratulations Milvus (are you someone we know from comments?)
    Thanks Prolixic and CS for the review and responding to my emails two weeks ago.

  3. Congratulations to Milvus!

    Loved this crossword! Did I manage to solve the mystery? Alas, no. But that didn’t dent the enjoyment any because I had much fun looking. On seeing the answers, my response is, ‘How brilliant!’

    It’s difficult to select a fave clue from so many excellent ones. Among those particularly noted are 9a, 17a, 1d, 7d and 17d. I managed to complete this puzzle, and needed just one explanation — 19a.

    Thank you very much, Prolixic for a super puzzle.

    Thank you very much, too, Crypticsue for your excellent review and revealing the answer to that mystery.

  4. My thanks to Crypticsue for the review and to those who commented. Congratulations to Milvus on solving the mystery.

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