MPP 028 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 028 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 028

September 2014

Latitude by Alchemi

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Congratulations to this month’s winner – A. Weir – who correctly gave Harare (17:51 S) as being nearest to “eighteen degrees S” – the parallel of latitude found in across rows four and 12 of the crossword.

I don’t know whether they used Google to find out which of the places named in the solutions was on this parallel of latitude, but I used an atlas when I test-solved the crossword, which led to our setter changing the wording of the question so that entrants would know that Harare was the answer needed to win the Chambers XWD – A Dictionary of Crossword Abbreviations. Incorrect entries included Port-au-Prince (18:32 N)(my original answer) , Rio de Janeiro (22:54 S) and Mogadishu (02:02 N)



1a           Paid for chip’s body colour (5)
HIRED –   HI (the ‘body’ of cHIps)followed by the colour RED.

4a           Academic who gives parts to actors in Yorkshire (9)
DONCASTER –   DON (an academic fellow at a university) and CASTER (someone who allocates parts to actors).

9a           African city cat very pretty, you announced (9)
MOGADISH –   MOG (cat) A DISH (very pretty person) and U (you ‘announced’ or said out loud).

10a         Russian writer is ungainly, they say (5)
GORKI  – the Russian writer sounds like GAWKY (ungainly).

11a         Travelled across Italy a month before Spain, Ireland and old South American resort (3,2,7)
RIO DE JANEIRO –   RODE (travelled) with I (Italy) inserted followed by JAN (the abbreviated month of January) E (IVR code for Spain) IR (abbreviation for Ireland) and O (old).

14a         Thank heavens for stewed bear pies (6,2)
PRAISE BE is an anagram (stewed) of BEAR PIES.

15a         Artist stops tortoise’s rival reaching African city (6)
HARARE –   RA (Royal Academician, artist) inserted into (or ‘stops’) the rival of the tortoise in the fabled race – the HARE.

17a         Delay entering self-help group following month in Spain (6)
MALAGA –   M (the abbreviation for Month) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous, self-help group) with LAG (delay) inserted.

19a         Left having affected parts removed? (8)
DECAMPED – Sounding like one might have ‘camp’ or affected parts removed.

22a         Porn picture a problem for Caribbean capital (4-2-6)
PORT-AU-PRINCE is an anagram (a problem) of PORN PICTURE A.

26a         Requisition gold article from 23 (5)
ORDER –   OR (gold) and DER (the German (as used in 23d) definite article).

27a         Church backing immobility over the introduction of ecumenical raptures (9)
ECSTASIES –   EC is a reversal (backing) of CE (the abbreviation for the Church of England), followed by STASIS (immobility) with E (the introduction of Ecumenical)inserted.

28a         Uses machines to replace regular faculty members with no friends (9)
AUTOMATES –   A U T (the regular letters of fAcUlTy) O MATES (no friends).

29a         Part of a joint – often only part (5)
TENON is found in part of ofTEN ONly.

1d           Pigeon    poet (5)
HOMER –   A type of pigeon or a famous Greek poet.

2d           Ignore new friend in parts of the country (10)
REGIONALLY –   An anagram (new) of IGNORE followed by N (new) and ALLY (friend).

3d           Those working at the Pentagon need valuable items from cars deliberately crashed (7)
DODGEMS – People employed by the Department Of Defense work at the Pentagon – the abbreviation for the department should be followed by GEMS (valuable items).

4d           Quiet sailor carrying note expected outside Asian city (8)
DUSHANBE –   DUE (expected) is put outside SH (quiet) and AB (sailor)with N (note) inserted.

5d           Render impotent amphibian heard to hesitate (6)
NEUTER   sounds like (heard) NEWT (amphibian) ER (hesitate).

6d           Biggles’s friend not quite getting up-river in Africa (7)
ALGERIA –   ALGY (not quite all the name of Biggles’s friend) followed by a reversal (getting up) of the River AIRE.

7d           Inflatable     port (4)
TYRE is both an inflatable tube and an ancient Mediterranean port.

8d           Control announcement of wet weather (4)
REIN is a homophone (announcement of ) RAIN (wet weather).

12d         Exercise in caution over vice – there’s nothing in it which will benefit a military family (3,7)
WAR PENSION – WARN (caution) with PE (exercise) inserted followed by SIN (vice) with O inserted (nothing in it)

13d         Wuss    went (4)
WEED – An ineffectual person (wuss)  or the childish way of saying urinated (went).

14d         Uprising over medium American sportswear company (4)
PUMA – A reversal (rising) of UP over M (medium) and A (American).

16d         Asks about adventures in search of valuables (8)
REQUESTS – RE (about) and QUESTS (adventures in search of valuables).

18d         Coarse cloth is good stuff, holding fearsome giant losing his footing (7)
GROGRAM –   G (good) RAM (stuff) with OGRE inserted (fearsome giant losing his ‘footing’ or last letter).

20d         A couple of brawlers enter A & E side by side (7)
ABREAST –   BR (a couple of letters in the word BRAWLERS) go between A (from the clue) and EAST (E).

21d         Part of theatre stays still (2,4)
AT REST is hidden in part of theATRE STays.

23d         German city to get smaller, not large in the first place (5)
ESSEN –   Remove the L for large from the start of LESSEN (get smaller).  This particular city would appear to be crossword setters’ word of the month – it has been seen in loads of cryptic crosswords recently.

24d         Starts to demolish oldest houses around city (4)
DOHA is obtained from the starts of Demolish Oldest Houses Around.

25d         Change one of those things that won’t wait for someone getting up (4)
EDIT is a reversal (getting up) of TIDE (one of those things that won’t wait).

Thanks to Alchemi for the crossword, Mrs BD for her sterling work in picking a winner, and whoever donated the prize too!

11 comments on “MPP 028 – Review

  1. Thanks to Alchemi for the enjoyable puzzle (which made me realise just how out-of-date my atlas is) and to Crypticsue for the write-up.
    Congratulations to A Weir (not Arabella Weir, the actress, by any chance?).

  2. Congratulations to A. Weir on winning the MPP !

    Like gazza, my atlas is also quite old – Salisbury was somewhere in Rhodesia (Northern or Southern)?

  3. Congratulations A Weir.
    I had used Google as my Atlas as I think that our printed one probably dates from the 1950s. It was a good fun puzzle to solve.
    Thanks again Alchemi and Sue for the review

  4. Thank you all for the congratulations.

    Sadly I am not Arabella Weir….but I wouldn’t mind being an Arabella.

    And I did use Google to find the latitudes as I cannot find our atlas.
    There must be some irony there.

  5. Congratulation to A Weir from me too.
    I loved this crossword and I admit to using Google to find the answer.
    I need the hint to understand my answer to 19a.
    With thanks to Alchemi and CS.

  6. Thanks to Sue for the review and to others for the kind comments.

    Why people are being slightly shamefaced about having to consult a work of reference to find which city is nearest to 18^o S is quite beyond me, though. Surely nobody is sad enough to know the latitude of every major city on the planet?

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