MPP 032 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 032 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 032

January 2015

A puzzle by Radler

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

The ‘casting of the sacred runes’  (thank you Mrs BD) has resulted in a second MPP win for Pegasus – congratulations to him.   He wins a choice of Telegraph Puzzle Books from Hamlyn.   All we had to do was find all the hidden money in the grid and add it up to get the sum of £1,633.01 – if you didn’t get the right total, all is revealed at the end of the review.



1a           They take on board outside broadcast; decide what to wear (10)
PICNICKERS –      A homophone (broadcast) of PICK KNICKERS (decide what to wear).

7a           Jazz group terminates after bandleader means to part (4)
COMB –   A COMBO or jazz group terminates after the B (band ‘leader’).

9a           Device to view mole attached to skin of girl’s bottom (8)
SPYGLASS –   SPY (mole) G L (the skin or outside letters of girl) and ASS (bottom).

10a         Goofy’s eaten third of cashew nuts (6)
INSANE –   INANE (daft, goofy) ‘eating’ the third letter of caShew .

11a         He drives quickly, though not in reverse (6)
BUTTON –     BUT (though) and TON (a reversal of NOT).

12a         Pretends to be ready by one, note recalls (8)
IMITATES –   A reversal (recalls) of SET (ready) AT ONE (by one) MI (musical note).

13a         Team leader goes on last day of month (4)
IDES – Remove the ‘leader’ of SIDE (team) and replace it at the end of the word.

15a         Scraps paper becoming good for unions (3-5)
LEG-OVERS –   G for Good replaces the FT (as the Financial Times is commonly known) in LEFTOVERS (scraps).

18a         Killer Queen by Queen succeeds hit comeback (8)
MURDERER –   A reversal (comeback) of DRUM (hit) followed by ER (Queen) succeeding or going after ER (Queen)

20a         Take exercise, it could help you sleep (4)
DOPE –   Split 2, 2 you get DO PE (take exercise)

22a         Barcode reader sham helping thieves primarily (5,3)
LIGHT PEN – An anagram (sham) of HELPING plus the T from thieves (primarily).

24a         Advances heartlessly, new Y-fronts and stockings (6)
NYLONS –   N (new) and Y (from the clue) ‘front’ or go before LOANS with the middle letter removed (heartlessly).

26a         Dawn air men inhaled (6)
AURORA –   OR (other ranks of soldier, men) ‘inhaled by’ AURA (air).

27a         Coloured ring with dark centre covering Uranium metals (8)
IRIDIUMS –   IRIS (coloured ring in the eye) with DIM (dark) ‘covering’ U (uranium).

28a         While heading West, withheld information, but not all of it (4)
IDLE – a word meaning to while away some time is reversed (heading west) and hidden in (not all of) withhELD Information.

29a         Hat’s lighter, shown by nearby tie (5,5)
DERBY MATCH –   DERBY (an American hat similar to a bowler hat) and MATCH (lighter).


2d           Seizes first person upon breaking into doctor’s (8)
IMPOUNDS –   I (first person) followed by MD[s] (doctors) into which has been inserted an anagram (breaking) of UPON.

3d           Nearly time? It’s late! (5)
NIGHT –   NIGH (nearly) and T (time).

4d Groovy American’s open to legally enhanced tripping (9)
CHANNELED –   The American spelling of a word meaning with grooves is an anagram (tripping) of L (the opening to legally) and ENHANCED.

5d           Guaranteeing right away or later (7)
ENSUING –   Remove the R (right away) from ENSURING (guaranteeing).

6d           Some made-up scientific stories (3-2)
SCI-FI –   Hidden and reversed (up in a down clue) in scientIFIC Stories.

7d           Took lead with salad, Jack has beetroot (2-7)
CO-STARRED –   COS (lettuce eaten in salad) TAR (Jack, sailor) and RED (beetroot).

8d           Fool‘s got 1000 in funds (6)
MONKEY –    K (1,000) in MONEY (funds)   Thanks Rabbit Dave.

14d         Building plot with house down under? (5,4)
SOUTH POLE –   An anagram (building) of PLOT and HOUSE.

16d         Each scratches head, Radler’s penetrating, probing and piercing (4,5)
VERY NOISY – Scratch or remove the ‘head’ from EVERY (each) and then insert I (how Radler would refer to himself) into NOSY (probing).

17d         Having a name like Hamlet (alternatively, copy mine) (8)
EPONYMIC –   An anagram (alternatively) of COPY MINE.

19d         Rained, flowing into river, becoming hotter (7)
RANDIER –   An anagram (flowing) of RAINED plus R (river).

21d         Madame’s who’s filled bottomless pool, with this? (6)
LIQUID –   The French (madame’s) word for who – QUI inserted into the first three letters of LIDO (pool).

23d         Up a mountain, I’d dress for the Highlands (5)
PLAID –   A reversal (up) of ALP (mountain) followed by ID (from the clue)

25d         Clear ink was used intermittently on sacrificial animal (5)
LAIKA –   The alternate letters of cLeAr InK wAs – ‘sacrificial’ animal because she was the first dog sent into space by Russia.

The amounts of money are:

Grand                      £1000
Monkey                  £500
Ton                           £100
Pony                        £25
Fiver                         £5
Pound                     £1
Quid                         £1
Nicker                      £1
Penny                      £0.01

TOTAL                      £1,633.01


17 comments on “MPP 032 – Review

  1. Didn’t win either. I added 1 million pounds for 2d. Didn’t get the grand or the fiver. Very clever crossword and as I remember, extremely enjoyable.
    Congratulations to the winner and to Jane for successfully downloading a gravatar.
    Thanks to Radler and CS.

    1. Can’t help much with your 1 million pounds (happy to help you spend it though, if it ever comes your way!) but as for the grand & fiver – we were given a clue in the prologue that some amounts could run across more than one answer. Made sense that one or more would do just that, so I guess I just looked for them.

      As for the avatar – no credit to me, I’m afraid. BD sent me the picture and No. 1 daughter called in for a coffee today and was press-ganged into putting it on for me.

      1. I did get the penny and saw the rand but dismissed it as we were not in South Africa. I did however add some more pennies and pounds here and then from the odd letters. A real impro.

        1. Ps: Tonight I shall watch Brenda Blethyn in that inspector Vera Stanhope character series. I don’t know why it took so long for it to cross the Channel. Last week the episode was about a murder or two in the world of bird lovers and she wasn’t very kind towards your community. But irreverence is such an in-thing in France at the moment I’ll carry on watching, this week at least.

          1. Good series, Jean-luc, keep on watching. As for the bird-watching community – I think her comments had more to do with her relationship with her father than anything else!

  2. This was a very enjoyable puzzle and, like Jane (with her splendid new gravatar!), I am pleased to have arrived at the right amount of money.

    I am not sure that 27a is a valid plural, but that is a very minor quibble. CS, I think your review for 8d is missing part of the wordplay, i.e 1000 (K) in funds (money). Monkey is slang for £500, but I am not sure that it is cockney rhyming slang.

    Many thanks to Radler and to Crypticsue.

    1. I’m with you on the ‘monkey’ -that’s how I worked it out. I think it is a Cockney expression by derivation, but not part of the rhyming slang. What would it rhyme with?

      Glad you like the gravatar – believe me, it won’t be changing any time soon!

    2. He was right and I have admitted so in the revision in the review. I do like to leave something for people to find although not always deliberately ;)

  3. Yay – I too got the right amount :) and I’m also happy with that, since I’m really not in desperate need of any more crosswords. I decided that the words on their own being the amounts fitted better with the instructions, but would not have been surprised if I’d been wrong.

    Thanks to Radler and CS, and congrats to Pegasus on being favoured by the sacred runes.

    1. Hi Kitty – hope you and Mr. K are enjoying making up for lost time. Where did you go to for your theatre trip?

      Apologies if this takes a while to get through – I seem to have been ear-marked for ‘moderation’ a lot recently!

      1. Hi Jane. Thanks – lots of enjoyment is being had here, but all the theatre is booked for the coming week. A radio recording and a couple of musicals

        It’s funny how being moderated can be perturbing even though it’s completely random. It still feels personal and makes you think “what have I done?

  4. Enjoyed this one immensely and got the answer right! Didn’t find ‘ton’ as a sum of money as such in Chambers (“a score, total etc. of 100”) but intuitively it had to be one of the components of the answer. Thought I was being clever in finding several old pennies (“1d”) in the grid but that would have made more than 9 components. Thanks to Radler & Crypticsue.

  5. Congratulations to Pegasus on the win and to Jane for the new piccy.
    Right – now on to the crossword.
    I have to confess that I’m really quite pleased to see the back of this one – it’s been sitting on the kitchen table making faces at me for too long!
    I always find Radler’s crosswords really difficult and this was no exception although I did enjoy it very much.
    I didn’t find the ton – and didn’t know it was an amount of money.
    Found three amounts that could have had different interpretations – 1a and 2 and 21d.
    15a and 16d have to tie for joint favourites.
    With thanks and congratulations to Radler for thinking it all up and to CS for sorting it all out.

  6. PS – CS – I’m absolutely not nit-picking at all just saying . . . I think that the answer for 4d is CHANNELED rather than CHANELLED and that the underlined definition for 15a should be UNIONS rather than SCRAPS.

  7. Congratulations to Pegasus and to all the others who solved the puzzle.

    Thank you Sue for the review and for your valuable test-solve earlier.

    As Kitty has indicated, the instructions required the solver to find nine words, so any preceding Roman numerals and non-word abbreviations such as “p” and “d” didn’t count.

    @Rabbit Dave – I was initially reluctant to include “Iridiums”, (though all the alternatives I attempted resulted in more obscure words in the grid.) Chambers Word Wizard says it’s allowable in Scrabble and I think you can contrive a legitimate sentence referring to the isotopes. E.g. “The naturally occurring Iridiums are Ir-192 and Ir-193.”

  8. Congratulations to Pegasus.

    As I mentioned previously, I found this very difficult in places and it took me simply ages. I did find all nine words and added correctly, so that is most pleasing. Like several others, I was a little puzzled as to the Roman numerals preceding some of the clues. I finally discounted them, however, as Radler specified ‘nine words’.

    I eventually managed to work out all except two clues. I really should have seen the anagram in 14d! I kept thinking of some kind of Aus slang — so I was well and truly red-herringed! 28a was the other which beat me. Oh dear!

    Many thanks to Radler for a brain-stretching but very enjoyable puzzle, and to CrypticSue for the lucid review.

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