MPP 036 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 036 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 036

May 2015

A puzzle by Prolixic

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Many congratulations to Liz    – I hope she enjoys her Hamlyn Telegraph Crossword Puzzle book prize.

Semordnilap (palindromes spelled backward) is a name coined for words that spell a different word in reverse.   Once you knew what you were looking for It was relatively easy to spot DIAPER/REPAID, DEVIL/LIVED, SMART/TRAMS and GOD/DOG.     Looking at the other solutions, there were three more words that could be reversed to produce new ones REVILED, TIDE and LOOP and so, providing you’d read the instructions carefully, your entry to the competition should have read:   DELIVER, EDIT and POOL



1a           Lavished attention on one leaving religious festival after Mark (5)
DOTED –   DOT (mark) followed by the religious festival of EID from which the I is removed (one leaving).

4a           Was angry when second island ceded to Spain (5)
LIVED – Change the second I (island) in LIVID (angry) to an E (IVR code for Spain).

9a           Popular guy heartlessly destroyed nursery (9)
PLAYGROUP –   An anagram of POPULAR GUY (‘heartlessly’ tells you to remove the U in the middle of GUY)


10a         Non-commissioned officer’s trick is clever (5)
SMART –   SM (Sergeant-Major, non-commissioned officer) ART (trick).

11a         Not so busy with class (6)
LESSON –   Split 4, 2, you might be said to be not so busy.

13a         Tear-drop shed for pirate? (8)
PREDATOR –   An anagram (shed) of TEAR DROP

14a         Help rejected with a nappy (6)
DIAPER –   A reversal (rejected) of AID (help) followed by PER (a as in each, per head).


16a         Follows Oriental partners (8)
ESPOUSES –   E (Eastern, oriental) SPOUSES (partners)

19a         Ringing English relative trapped by storm (8)
RESONANT –   E (English) SON (relative) trapped by RANT (storm).

20a         Avenged when extreme pressure is applied in attack (6)
REPAID – EP (extreme pressure) inserted into RAID.

22a         An event organized to welcome Italy’s gondolier? (8)
VENETIAN –   An anagram (organized) of AN EVENT and I (IVR code for Italy).


24a         Boy at college contracting a touch of influenza is confined to bed (4,2)
LAID UP –   LAD (boy) UP (at college) with I (a ‘touch’ of influenza) inserted.

27a         Saddo‘s nearer to leaving college (5)
LOSER –   Remove the C (leaving College) from CLOSER (nearer to).

28a         Enter and abruptly oversee examination (5,4)
GOING OVER – GO IN (enter) and GOVERN (abruptly tells you to remove the last letter from GOVERN, oversee).

30a         Pieces of silver received independently by British subject for boat (5)
BARGE –   The two letters of the chemical symbol for silver – A G – are independently or separately inserted into B (British) and RE (school subject).


31a         Police officer drinking beer in region of Yorkshire (5)
DALES –   DS (Detective Sergeant, police officer) drinking ALE (beer).

1d           Spotted theologian eating forbidden fruit? (7)
DAPPLED –   DD (Doctor of Divinity, theologian) eating APPLE, the Biblical forbidden fruit.

2d           Derby County loses gas powered vehicles (5)
TRAMS –   Here you have to know that Derby County Football Club are informally known as THE RAMS.   Then you just remove HE, the chemical symbol for helium (loses gas).


3d           Follow leaders of Opus Dei returning to Gabon (3)
DOG –   Reverse (returning) the ‘leaders’ of Opus Dei and follow with the IVR code for Gabon.

4d           Hank has quiet place to go first (4)
LOOP –   LOO –a place to go! – precedes P (the musical instruction to play something piano or quietly).

5d           Zap diseased ovaries with an injection of phosphorus (8)
VAPORISE –   An anagram (diseased) of OVARIES plus P (chemical symbol for phosphorous).

6d           1a has change of heart being medicated (5)
DOSED –   Just change the ‘heart’ or middle letter of your solution for 1a.

7d           Maybe Victor’s son gets older (7)
MATURES –   The surname of Victor MATURE the actor followed by S (son).

8d           Piece of music for Disney film (8)
FANTASIA – Music by Vaughan Williams, Thomas Tallis, Schubert or Mozart; or the 1940 Walt Disney film


12d         Origin of each octopus, crab, eel and narwhal? (5)
OCEAN –   the ‘origins’ of Octopus, Crab, Eel, And Narwhal.

15d         He may fire up cast of Stars On Ice at first (8)
ARSONIST – An anagram (cast of) STARS ON plus I (the first letter of ice).

17d         Old theatre company making a comeback with a musical production (5)
OPERA – O (old) followed by a reversal (making a comeback) of REP (theatre company) and then A (from the clue).

18d         To compromise, starts off to fix crib (8)
ENDANGER –   Remove the “starts” of MEND (fix) and MANGER (crib).

19d         Hated cleric told a fib after demoting novice (7)
REVILED –   REV (reverend, cleric)and LIED (told a fib), the L being moved further down the word (demoting L, learner, novice).

21d         Goes with 1970’s group to acquire record (7)
DEPARTS – DARTS (a 1970’s nine-piece British doo-wop revival band [I seem to remember the songs more than the band name]) into which is inserted EP (record).

23d         Beat idol lacking courage (5)
THROB –   Remove the HEART (lacking courage) from a HEARTTHROB (idol)

25d         Deep vein regularly filleted by Latin cook (5)
DEVIL –   Take the odd letters of DeEp VeIn and follow with L (Latin).


26d         Tenor constrained by secret identity (4)
TIDE –   Hidden in or constrained by secreT IDEntity

29d         Senseless bird’s expression of amazement (3)
GOD –   Remove the WIT (sense less) from a GODWIT.



Thanks once again to Prolixic, Hamlyn, and Mrs BD for their parts in this production.

9 comments on “MPP 036 – Review

  1. According to my notes at the time I started off badly in a state of panic but once I applied myself I felt rather pleased with myself. The penny drop when I realised that OH THAT’S IT was magic. Thanks to Mr P for a cerebral workout and CS for the decode.

  2. Congratulations to the winner. I remember it being good fun to solve.
    Thanks again Prolixic and CS.

  3. Congratulations to the winner and to Prolixic for the great crossword.
    Loved the smooth surface of 22a and 17d particularly.
    Thanks to CS for the review.

  4. Wow! I won! Can’t believe it! Never won a competition before, let alone one where I had to use the old grey matter. Took me a while to get used to putting in the letters online, and had a couple of snags when I accidentally pressed the wrong button and wiped everything out….. but I have to say that using this site and having the help and encouragement of my fellow bloggers has been invaluable and improved my solving skills immensely. Thanks to you all.

  5. Congratulations to Liz and thanks to Crypticsue for the review and to her and Gazza for test solving this at short notice. Glad that you all enjoyed the challenge and many thanks for the feedback here and on the original post when the puzzle was published.

  6. Congratulations Liz – i was just as excited and surprised when I won one last year, and I echo your comments about how this site has also helped me to progress from an occasional solver – usually unsuccessful – to one who now relishes each new challenge (although I don’t get time to attempt much more than the weekend puzzles and the MPP). Thanks Prolixic for a most enjoyable puzzle – very clever indeed. Thanks also to CS for the review (and belated congratulations for passing 400 blogs on Friday) and of course to BD for a brilliant site.

  7. Congratulations to Liz.

    I enjoyed this puzzle very much, so many thanks to Prolixic and of course to Cryptic Sue for the review.
    I can only echo the others above in their oraise of this site.
    I am still very much a beginner but after finding this site I am so much better than I used to be.

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