MPP – 024 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

MPP – 024 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – May 2014

A crossword by Gazza

Reviewed by Prolixic

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

Congratulations to Pegasus who is the winner of the May Monthly Prize Puzzle.  Solvers had to identify the actor who was stepping down – a reference to the fact that his name appears in one of the left to right downwards diagonals of the crossword – see the solution below if you could not find the answer.

This was one of Gazza’s tougher crosswords as befits the Monthly Prize Puzzle but still full of fun and inuendo.  I hope that I have done justice to the wordplay in the solutions that follow.


1 It may be brought up when you run across someone accidentally (6)
AIRBAG – A cryptic definition of a safety device that inflates when a car is involved in an accident.

5 Plan pared down science parks in the Home Counties (6)
SCHEME – An abbreviation (pared down) of chemistry (science) inside (parks in) the part of the country where the Home Counties are found.

10 Something personal to communicate by phone (7)
CHATTEL – … a personal effect.  A four letter word meaning to communicate or talk followed by a three letter abbreviation for telephone.

11 United brought in Butt and achieved turnaround (7)
WHEELED – A four letter word for the end or butt of something inside a word meaning united or married.

12 Regularly sat near tenor to acquire all-round experience (6)
STEREO – The even letters of SAT NEAR TENOR.

15 Top brass met Europe’s first lady in Brussels (6)
MADAME – The senior prostitute (brass) in a brothel followed by the first letter of Europe.

16 Gets up the nose of king with inferior joints (7)
RANKLES – The abbreviation for Rex (king) followed by the name of the joints in your feet (inferior).

17 There’s more to be said about England’s foremost old currency (4)
PESO – The abbreviation for postscript (there’s more to be said) around the abbreviation for England followed by the abbreviation for old.

18 He joined paramilitary group (4)
HESS- An all in one clue – the HE from the clue followed by the abbreviation SS (paramilitary group).

19 Reverse parked in bloke’s private space and hid (7)
STASHED – Reverse a three letter word for parked as in having settled in a chair inside a garden structure beloved of men as a private retreat.

20 Squad‘s in poor shape, essentially not strong (4)
UNIT – Remove the abbreviation for strong or loud from the middle of a word meaning in poor physical shape.

22 Exhausted ineffectual newspaperman (4)
USED – An abbreviation for unserviceable (ineffectual) followed by the abbreviation for an editor (newspaperman).

25 Scale route to the top in broadcasting (5,2)
WEIGH UP – A homophone (broadcasting) of WAY UP (route to the top).

27 Proceed tentatively and be even receptive to opt-out (6)
TIPTOE – An anagram (out) of OPT goes inside (receptive) or a word to be level on score (be even).

28 Face down recruit (4,2)
TAKE ON – A double definition for entering into a confrontation and to employ.

31 Go against order by youth leader after insult (7)
DISOBEY – A three letter word (short for disrespect or insult) followed by the abbreviation for Order of the British Empire and the first letter (leader) of youth.

32 Angela’s saucy Italian? (7)
LASAGNE – … a type of Italian food.  An anagram (saucy) of ANGELAS.

33 He may have one foot in the grave but it’s no time to retire (6)
SEXTON – … when digging it.   A three letter word meaning it followed by a reversal (to retire) of NO T (time).

34 Extremely dull filling for plum, say (6)
TOMATO – A three letter word meaning extremely with a word meaning dull inside (filling).


2 Is mobbing celebrities out of order? (2,1,4)
IN A MESS – The IS from the clue goes around (mobbing) a word meaning celebrities.

3 Fellow unionist has no right to nag (6)
BOTHER – Another term for a co-working in a trade union without an R.

4 Remove nuts from serving of Angel Delight (4)
GELD – The answer is hidden inside ANGEL DELIGHT.

5 Saying nothing at first, gets cut off (4)
SAWN – Another word for a saying or proverb followed by the first letter (at first) of nothing.

6 Has she any bubbly for those having a laugh? (6)
HYENAS – … animals that do so.  An anagram (bubbly) of SHE ANY.

7 Means to sabotage quantity of formal war equipment (7)
MALWARE – The answer is hidden inside (quantity of) FORMAL WAR EQUIPMENT.

8 Misbehaves in the Footlights at college? (4,2)
ACTS UP – Double definition, the second part referring cryptically to appearing on stage at University.

9 Suppliers of milk shakes without a drop of juice (6)
UDDERS – Remove the J (without a drop of juice) from a word meaning shakes.

13 Certainly eating a lemon, say, evokes an image of strength (3,4)
OAK TREE – A two letter word meaning certainly goes around the A from the clue followed by a type of plant represented by a lemon.

14 Highly-visible advert‘s evidence in support of broadcaster (3,4)
SKY SIGN – A satellite broadcaster followed by a word meaning evidence or an indication of something.

15 Distribute food at a barbecue, by the sound of it (4,3)
METE OUT – A homophone (by the sound of it) of an MEAT OUT (barbecue)

20 Muddled note in German and Spanish also (6)
UNTIDY – TI a musical note goes inside UND (German for and) followed by Y (Spanish for and).

21 26 cycling round Spain come to a standstill … (7)
IMPASSE – An anagram (cycling) of the answer to 26d followed by the IVR for Spain.

23 … seeing that the French engaged in sharp practice (7)
SLEIGHT – The French masculine for the goes inside a word meaning seeing.

24 Repudiates study into educational standards initially (6)
DENIES – Another word for a study followed by the initial letters of Into Educational Standards.

25 Graduate wearing pullover’s a native Australian (6)
WOMBAT – A word meaning pull is reversed (over) around the abbreviation for someone who has a master’s degree in business administration.

26 I don’t know the answer; this setter’s all over the place! (6)
PASSIM – What you would say if you don’t know the answer in Mastermind followed by a word for this setter’s.

29 Holy men both disembowelled in Jerusalem? (4)
HYMN – The outer letters (both disembowelled) of HolY MeN.

30 Corporation conceals large  (4)
GLUT – Another word for a corporation or big stomach goes around (conceals) the abbreviation for large.



6 comments on “MPP – 024 (Review)

  1. Congratulations Pegasus.
    I thoroughly enjoyed solving this excellent puzzle. Lots of clues to chuckle over.
    Thanks again Gazza and Prolixic for the review.

  2. Congratulations to Pegasus from me too – also to gazza for the crossword and Prolixic for the untangling – I did find this one difficult.
    I had answers to everything except 33a and 29d. I never found the film star – I’m just not devious enough for this game.
    I thought that 18a and 4d were brilliant.
    I loved the battle so thanks to gazza and Prolixic.

  3. Congratulations to Pegasus and many thanks to Prolixic for the comprehensive write-up and illustrations. Thanks also to all who left comments here and in the other place.

  4. Thanks to all for the congratulations and to Gazza for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, also thanks to Prolixic for the review.

  5. Congratulations to Pegasus.

    This was a really super puzzle! Impossible to have just one fave, with the likes of 33a, 4d, 9d, 26d and 29d to choose from.

    I managed to solve all correctly except 1a! I had ‘bin’ for the first half of my answer Even so, I wouldn’t have spotted the name. (I’ve only ever discovered one nina. Have difficulty keeping to the right lines with the diagonals.) Not finding it didn’t dent my enjoyment any. It was great fun trying to spot it.

    Big thanks and appreciation to Gazza for this most entertaining challenge. And big thanks and appreciation to Prolixic for this lucid and beautifully illustrated review.

Comments are closed.