MPP 026 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 026 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 026

July 2014

A crossword by Radler

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Congratulations to Keith Williams who was the winner of this month’s prize puzzle who wins a copy of Tim Moorey’s book.  Keith correctly deciphered the instructions set for the solver.  Eight of the across clues omitted a letter from the wordplay which, when added, gave the definition.  For these eight clues, the wordplay also gave a word in its own right linked to 16a.  Having found the solutions, the eight missing letters could be rearranged to give another example of a 16a.

The answer to 16a was flower.  Each of the eight clues produced the name of a river (flower) which, with the additional letters added gave the solution words.  Those eight letters could be rearranged to give the answer MARIGOLD (a botanical rather than a cryptic flower).


*1a Short effeminate god of love (4)
CAMA – A word meaning effeminate without the final letter (short) followed by an A (one of the missing letters.  River Cam – The River Cam is the main river flowing through Cambridge, in eastern England. After leaving Cambridge, it flows north and east into the River Great Ouse to the south of Ely at Pope’s Corner.

*3a Average couple (4)
PAIR – An I (one of the missing letters) goes into PAR (average).  River Par – The Par River, also known as the Luxulyan River is a river draining the area north of St Blazey in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom).

*6a One of theirs during the Parisian spring (5)
LUNGE – The French masculine (of theirs referring to Parisian) goes inside (during) the French masculine form of “the”.  Add in a G (one of the missing letters).  River Lune – The River Lune is a river in Cumbria and Lancashire, England. The river is formed at Wath, in the parish of Ravenstonedale, Cumbria, at the confluence of Sandwath Beck and Weasdale Beck.

9a They prefer blondes with soft hands (9)
GENTLEMEN – A six letter word meaning soft followed by a another word for a group of people (hand).

11a Perhaps I love women in an unconventional way (5)
VOWEL – An anagram (in an unconventional way) of LOVE W (W being the abbreviation for women).

*12a Not so immodest twerking her bum (7)
HUMBLER – An anagram (twerking) of HER BUM adding in an L (one of the missing letters) – The River Humber.  The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal rivers Ouse and Trent.

13a Passage outside court (7)
EXTRACT – A give letter word meaning outside followed by the abbreviation for court.

14a To the West I’m Eastern King (4)
EMIR – Reverse (to the west) the abbreviation for Eastern and the I’M from the clue and add an abbreviation for King at the end.  The whole clue is a definition of the answer.

16a Crème de la crème from France and further South (6)
FLOWER – The abbreviation for France followed by a word describing further South as it would be on a map.

18a Score 5 times, it’s by no means over (3)
TON – Reverse (over) a word meaning by no means.  The answer is another word for 100 (5 time 20 – score).

21a Flipping Penny’s drop (3)
SIP – The abbreviation for a penny followed by the expansion of ‘s to IS all reversed (flipping).

22a After massage, I spy hot tart’s first to leave therapist (6)
PHYSIO – A anagram (after massage) for I SPY H (H being the abbreviation for hot) followed by an O – ho being a prostitute with the first letter removed.

*23a At least one of herd close to wild cattle and geese (4)
DEER – The final letters (close to) of wild, cattle and geese followed by an R (one of the missing letters).  River Dee – The River Dee is a river in the United Kingdom. It flows through parts of both Wales and England, and also forms part of the border between the two countries.

25a Identifying lines from poem after recurrent grumble (3,4)
BAR CODE – A three letter word for a poem goes after the reversal (recurrent) of a word meaning grumble.

*27a Rector’s bible translation produces drivel (7)
DRIBBLE – An anagram of R BIBLE preceded by a D (one of the missing letters).  River Ribble –  The River Ribble is a river that runs through North Yorkshire and Lancashire in Northern England.

*29a Shy person requires love practice (5)
MOUSE – An M (one of the missing letters) if followed by an abbreviation for love or zero and a word meaning practice.

30a Building up from a decrepit base (9)
PREDICATE – An anagram (base) of A DECREPIT.

31a New books on woman from first episode (5)
EVENT – The abbreviation for the New Testament followed the name of the first women.

32a Miss hearing ladies? (4)
LOSE – A homophone of LOOS (ladies?)

*33a Young filly partial to half a lager (4)
FOAL – An O (one of the missing letters) goes inside the middle letters (partial to) HALF A LAGER.


1d They engage teeth to find a bit of gristle in cheap meat (9)
COGWHEELS – The first letter (a bit of) gristle goes inside a phrase (3,5) for cheap meat.

2d It could appear in scales and likewise scales (5)
MINIM – This musical note is palindromic (likewise scales).

4d Might it provide order to tidal army? (9)
ADMIRALTY – An anagram (provide order to) of TIDAL ARMY.  The whole clue provides the definition.

5d Colour circle lacking variety (5)
RANGE – The name of a colour lacks the original O (circle lacking).

6d Tax invested in restyled royal throne (8)
LAVATORY – The abbreviation for value added tax goes inside (invested in) an anagram (restyled) of THRONE.

7d Place: St Lawrence (not river, city) (9)
NEWCASTLE – An anagram (place) of ST LAWRENCE without the R (not river).

8d Splendid success turning up white powder, an illegal drug (5)
ECLAT – Reverse (turning up) the abbreviation for ecstasy (illegal drug) and a white bathroom powder.

10d Singer finished early, left silence (4)
LULL – Remove the final letter (finished early) from the name of a singer and follow this with the abbreviation for Left.

15d Bring in a foreign badger (9)
IMPORTUNE – A six letter word meaning bring in foreign goods followed by the French feminine form of A.

17d Oddly wired head, how odd! (9)
WEIRDNESS – An anagram (oddly) of WIRED followed by a four letter word for a head of land.

19d Face American mobile signal transmitter (5,4)
NERVE CELL – A word meaning face or bravado followed by what the Americans call a mobile phone.

20d Open top design ultimately reproduced by competitor (8)
OPPONENT – An anagram (reproduced) of OPEN TOP N, the final N being the last letter (ultimately) of design.

24d Hello when echoed by sound equipment (2-2)
HI-FI – A two letter word meaning hello followed by a word meaning when reversed (echoed).

25d Sweet smell given award (5)
BOMBE – A two letter word for a smell that comes from unwashed armpits followed by an abbreviation for an award conferred by the Queen.

26d Peel off clothing – adults only bar (5)
EXPEL – An anagram (off) of PEEL goes around (clothing) an abbreviation for adult only.

28d Do clip for YouTube anonymously (5)
BEANO – The answer is hidden inside (clip) YouTube anonymously.



4 comments on “MPP 026 – Review

  1. Thanks for the review, Prolixic :). I never quite worked out the why of 32a – silly me! Thanks again to Radler for a great challenge, and congratulations to Keith Williams.

    Just one thing: there is a river Marigold, too, which is why it’s such a lovely solution.

    EDIT: oh dear, maybe there isn’t… I just went to check my facts and can’t find it anywhere. :oops:

  2. Congratulations Keith.
    I found it quite a challenge with several of the rivers needing a bit of investigoogling. The real icing on the cake was the different type of ‘flower’ for the solution. Good challenge, good fun.
    Thanks again Radler and Prolixic for the review.

  3. Many thanks to Prolixic for his wonderfully illustrated review and to those who have provided feedback both here and earlier.

    My congratulations to Keith.

  4. Congratulations to Keith.

    I enjoyed this puzzle. It was challenging and did take quite a bit of time. Clues I liked most were 9a, 16a, 6d, 8d, 19d, and 28d.

    I had seven of the letters. The final letter of 1a eluded me; I had the ‘cam’ and considered ‘cama’ but thought that it was spelled with an initial ‘k’. I did look for ‘cama’, but clearly not in the right sources. Even so, I doubt I would have made the leap from the cryptic flower to the marigold!

    Apart from 1a, all answers were correct. Had a few uncertainties though: didn’t realise that 14a was an all-in-one, and incorrectly made 30a an all-in-one! Also, needed the explanation for the ‘Fi’ in 24a.

    Many thanks to Radler for a most interesting, challenging and enjoyable MPP. Many thanks and appreciation to Prolixic for the invaluable review.

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