MPP 027 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 027 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 027

August 2014

A crossword by Prolixic

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Congratulations to Rob Ford who was the winner of this month’s prize puzzle and wins a copy of recently published 13th  edition of the  Chambers Dictionary.

The question to be answered by solving this month’s crossword  was “Eight consecutive answers form a pun on a famous song. Who had a hit with the original version?”

Starting at 9 Across – YEW PICTURE FIN THYME TWO LEAVED MEAL LOOSE HEEL can, if you say it correctly,  sound like the song title “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille’ which was originally  a hit for  Kenny Rogers.


8a           An alderman then becomes a reactionary person? (11,3)
NEANDERTHAL MAN –   An anagram of AN ALDERMAN THEN becomes an informal term for an extremely old-fashioned and reactionary person.

9a           Sound of sheep in wood (3)
YEW is a homophone (sound of) of EWE (sheep).


10a         Film of old man by river (7)
PICTURE –   PICT (an ancient people, old man) and the river URE.

11a         Part of a plane‘s almost slender (3)
FIN is almost all of FINE (slender).

13a         Medicinal plant eaten by wealthy men (5)
THYME is hidden in (eaten by) wealTHY MEn.

14a         Like some plants, loved wet ground around the beginning of April (3-6)
TWO-LEAVED –   An anagram (ground) of LOVED WET ‘around’ the first letter of April.

17a         Hit back over oriental food (4)
MEAL –   A reversal (back) of LAM (hit) with E (eastern, oriental) inserted.

19a         Disreputable place to go – Kent! (5)
LOOSE –   LOO (place to go) and SE (South East, where Kent is).  As a resident of the fine county of Kent, I got extra fun from the wordplay as the Kent village of Loose has a Women’s Institute… I leave you to work out the obvious  and smile too.  :D

21a         List of the elements (4)
HEEL – List here meaning lean over – HEEL is hidden in tHE ELements.

24a         Fool helping with chemical process (9)
TITRATION –   TIT (fool) and RATION (helping).

26a         Material regularly extracted from your blood with tip of needle (5)
ORLON – A type of acrylic fibre can be extracted from the alternate letters of yOuR bLoOd and the ‘tip’ of Needle.

28a         An honour to welcome superior’s young son? (3)
CUB –   Insert U (upper class, superior) into CB (Companion of the [Order of the] BATH.

30a         The Monty Hall problem reportedly requires you to do this for a fighter (7)
PICADOR –   The Monty Hall problem being one where you have to pick one of three doors.   So the solution is a homophone of PICK A DOOR.


32a         Wander around with one of Jacob’s sons (3)
GAD –   To wander about, often restlessly or one of the twelve sons of Jacob.

33a         Creature seen when another growled furiously (5,6,3)
GREAT HORNED OWL is an anagram (furiously) of ANOTHER GROWLED.

great horned owl

1d           Version of Tuscany Times is confused (12)
UNSYSTEMATIC is a confused anagram of TUSCANY TIMES.

2d           Go astray and delay returning to Irish port (6)
GALWAY – A reversal (returning) of YAW (go astray, deviate from a course) and LAG (delay).

3d           Changed notice editor holds to be fitting (7)
ADAPTED –   AD (notice) APT (to be fitting) and ED (editor).

4d           Make short dress and jacket without using a woolen fabric (6)
TRICOT –   Remove the last letter (make short) from TRIM (dress) and the A (without using A) from COAT (jacket) to get a hand-knitted woolen fabric.

5d           You maybe found in lighthouse (4)
THOU (an old way of saying you) is found in lighTHOUse

6d           Beam‘s an unexpected hit (7)
SLEEPER – A double definition – a horizontal beam or a record or film that becomes popular after an initial period of not being so.


7d           Old Prince meets fellow for drink (4)
HALF – Prince HAL and F (fellow).

12d         Move unsteadily when new mass is removed from inner brain (6-6)
NIDDLE-NODDLE – A verb meaning to waggle (move unsteadily, often with a nodding head) – N (new) MIDDLE (inner) with the M removed (Mass is removed) and NODDLE (an informal term for the brain or head).

15d         Father’s first to leave works (3)
OPS – Remove the first letter from POPS (father’s).

16d         Contend with life in France (3)
VIE –   A double definition –a verb meaning to content with or the French word for life.

18d         A measure is stern (3)
AFT – A (from the clue) and FT (foot, measure).

20d         Means of drawing attention about bishop’s fetish (3)
OBI – OI (an interjection to draw attention) put round B (bishop).

22d         Cape Asian’s remapped discovering this sea (7)
CASPIAN SEA is an anagram (remapped) of CAPE ASIANS.

23d         Hear lots about ancient city’s pilgrimage site (7)
LOURDES –   The ancient Biblical city of UR is inserted into LODES (a homophone (hear) of LOADS (lots)).

25d         Lowest points of leaders in North American democrats in raunchy scandal (6)
NADIRS – the ‘leaders’ of North American Democrats In Raunchy Scandal.

27d         Means of restraint not right for many (6)
LEGION –   Remove the R (not right) from LEG-IRONS (means of restraint).

29d         Save time for composer (4)
BART –   BAR (save) and T (time)


31d         Make appreciative noise about hot salmon (4)
COHO – COO (make appreciative noise) with H (hot) inserted.



Thanks once again to Prolixic for another splendid crossword.  Does  anyone else find that when song titles turn up in crosswords they spend hours and hours with the tune going round and round in their head? Just in case today’s theme song  isn’t going round your head yet, I offer the following

ARVE Error: need id and provider



5 comments on “MPP 027 – Review

  1. Congratulations to Rob Ford. What a super prize!

    Don’t quite know how to say this, but I’ve never heard this song until now. Think I must live in a bubble! Never mind. I did have enormous fun, reading the answers in numerical order as well as consecutively across and down.

    This was indeed a splendid puzzle. Plenty of lovely clues, of which my fave was 19a, followed by 8a, 10a, and 23d.

    Only one of the clues was a problem to parse — 12a. I got part correct, but had ‘noodle’ instead of ‘noddle’ and obviously couldn’t find a way to swop the ‘d’ for an ‘o’. Many thanks for the enlightenment, Crypticsue.

    Big thanks and much appreciation to Prolixic for a most entertaining and enjoyable puzzle, and to Crypticsue for the excellent review and for putting my out of my misery by providing a clip of that tune.

  2. Congratulations Rob. Enjoy the prize.
    Once I had sorted out the answer, it stayed with me as an ear-worm for ages. Lots of really good clues to work with too,
    Thanks Prolixic for the puzzle and CS for the review.

  3. Congratulations to Rob Ford – I think we have a Rob on the blog – I do hope that it’s someone we “know”! If it’s him please could he “come out”?
    I loved the crossword.
    Got into two terrible pickles. The first was 12d – I really couldn’t get it.
    My second problem was who had the hit – my immediate thought was Kenny Rogers but there was another version and I wondered if it was a trick question – it wasn’t!
    With thanks to Prolixic for yet another wonderful crossword and to CS for all the deciphering.

  4. Hi all,
    Thank you for your congratulations. I am absolutely delighted to have won.

    I really enjoyed this puzzle. Thanks very much to Prolixic for so expertly setting it. The pun made me laugh a lot, and my favourite clue was 19a which also made me giggle out loud. As with several others I also had the tune going round in my head for days afterwards – in fact I’d only just got rid of it – so thanks to CS for her YouTube link above which has rekindled it…

    I’m sorry, I’m not really a regular poster on the site, although I have commented occasionally. I normally only do the DT puzzles at the weekend as I just don’t have time during the week, and hopefully I finish it and then check the site to read the comments, but by that time it often feels too late to post. I promise I’ll try to be a more active participant going forward. I did meet some of you at the Wapping Sloggers & Betters event back in May which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Thanks again to Prolixic, and to Crypticsue for the review, and of course to Big Dave for running the best site on the web.

    All I need to do now is find something to replace the prize on my Christmas list!

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