MPP 038 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 038 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 038

July 2015

A puzzle by Alchemi

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Congratulations to Roger Harrison who correctly identified Saint Petersburg (I also accepted St Petersburg) as the city that is the answer to the question, posed in two vertical columns (6 and 12) in the completed grid, “Where is nineteen?” – the answer to 19 Across was “Hermitage”. He receives his choice from the Hamlyn Telegraph Puzzle Books. I changed both the question, to avoid getting Russia as an answer, and the clue, to avoid being told that there were a number of lesser-known galleries of the same name – I still got answers that ranged from Newcastle to Moscow via York and Amsterdam.


1a Woodlanders we rode around after a tumble (6,4)
FALLOW DEER: an anagram (around) of WE RODE follows a FALL (tumble)

6a Women as astronauts? Some here (4)
NASA: hidden (some) in the clue

10a Note second old solver’s grass (7)
TIMOTHY: TI (the seventh note of the scale in sol-fa notation) followed by MO (second) and THY (old word for your; solver’s / of the solver) gives a type of grass which is also known as cat’s-tail grass

11a Perhaps merchandise Hirst’s convoluted last pair of exhibits (1-6)
T-SHIRTS: An anagram (convoluted) of HIRST followed by the final two letters (last pair) of [exhibit]TS

12a Inventors of unit besieged by banks (8)
PIONEERS: ONE (unit) inside (besieged by) PIERS (banks)

13a Artist concerned with film genre (6)
RENOIR: RE (concerned with) followed by NOIR (film noir – a style of cinema film in which the darker side of human nature is presented)

15a Evil owner tortured vicious animal (9)
WOLVERINE: an anagram (tortured) of EVIL OWNER

16a The home counties can become persistent (3,2)
SET IN: SE (south east / home counties) followed by TIN (can)

17a Asked Brown to leave and cheered (5)
EGGED: [B]EGGED (asked) without (to leave) the B(rown) – B = Brown is not supported by Chambers

19a Woman’s wizard keeping computers in a famous art gallery (9)
HERMITAGE: HER (woman’s / of the woman) and MAGE (wizard) around (keeping) IT (information technology / computers)

21a Art gallery‘s historical knowledge covers invisible light (6)
LOUVRE: LORE (historical knowledge) around (covers) UV (ultra violet / invisible light)

23a Is next to meet detective about university cricket club (8)
SUCCEEDS: SEE (meet) and DS (detective sergeant) around U(niversity) and CC (cricket club)

26a The rejection of perestroika is surprising for some old European power (7)
PRUSSIA: hidden (some) and reversed (rejection of) inside the clue

27a Duck plucked stringed instrument for 15th century artist (7)
UCCELLO: [D]UC[K] without its outer letters (plucked) followed by CELLO (stringed instrument)

28a Number one foreign song begins “Sisters!…” (4)
NUNS: N(umber) followed by UN (French / foreign for one) and the initial letter (begins) of S[ong]

29a Placidity of ship on dried-up English river (10)
SERENENESS: SS (steamship) on (preceded by in an across clue) SERE (dried-up) and NENE (river in the east of England)


1d Place provided for erecting frame (3,2)
FIT UP: PUT (to place) and IF (provided) reversed (for erecting) gives a verb meaning to frame or incriminate

2d Poll I am conducting to find what wise virgins have (4,3)
LAMP OIL: an anagram (conducting) of POLL I AM – in the “Parable of the Ten Virgins” a party of virgins, are chosen to participate in a wedding. Each of the ten virgins is carrying a lamp. Five of the virgins are wise and have brought oil for their lamps. Five are foolish and have only brought their lamps

3d Improving cricket side our opponents finish off (2,3,4)
ON THE MEND: ON (the leg side in cricket) followed by THEM (our opponents) and END (finish off)

4d A hot dry gin cocktail at any time (3,2,5)
DAY OR NIGHT: an anagram (cocktail) of A HOT DRY GIN

5d Artist extremely threatening to yesterday’s leaders (4)
ETTY: the initial letters (leaders) of E[xtremely] T[hreatening] T[o] Y[esterday’s]

7d Irish river flows through sort of gallery which has shops, restaurants and lounges (7)
AIRPORT: IR(ish) and PO (Italian river) inside ART (sort of gallery)

8d Causes trouble about artist getting new guarantee (9)
ASSURANCE: an anagram (trouble) of CAUSES around RA (Royal Academician / artist) and N(ew)

9d Trainer possibly against leaving barge (4)
SHOE: drop (leaving) V (versus / against) from SHO[V]E (barge)

14d Funeral almost disrupted by workers concerned with what’s coming soon (4,6)
NEAR FUTURE: an anagram (disrupted) of most of FUNERA[L] followed by TU (Trade Union / workers) and RE (concerned with, just as in 13 Across!)

15d Non-progressive revolutions with 9 parts to fix (9)
WHEELSPIN: W(ith) followed by HEELS (9 / shoe parts) and PIN (fix)

16d Revamped polytechnics missing hot part of machine washing (4,5)
SPIN CYCLE: an anagram (revamped) of P[O]LY[T]EC[H]NICS without the assorted letters of HOT – when the letters to be removed are not in the order given it is usual to provide a second anagram indicator

18d Artist spending two-thirds of the month in drink (7)
GAUGUIN: two-thirds of the month of AUGU[st] inside GIN (drink)

20d Agree to Sloane’s oddly coloured rings (7)
AREOLAE: the odd letters of A[g]R[e]E [t]O [S]L[o]A[n]E

22d Republican remains reckless (4)
RASH: R(epublican) followed by ASH (remains)

24d Exhibitions quiet old women finally dismiss (5)
SHOWS: SH (quiet) followed by O(ld), W(omen) and the final letter of [dismiss]S

25d Rubbish English art gallery (4)
TATE: TAT (rubbish) followed by E(nglish)

In order to solve the puzzle, it was not necessary to spot the underlying theme of artists and art galleries.

15 comments on “MPP 038 – Review

  1. First of all, my heartiest felicitations to Mr. Roger Harrison for winning the Monthly Prize Puzzle – 038. I am also finally happy that between my two options ‘Where is nineteen?’ taking me to a city (Philadelphia) having a restaurant by the same name ‘Nineteen’ and ‘Where is nineteen across?’, that is, Hermitage, which landed me in another city (St. Petersburg) having a museum called ‘Hermitage’, I had opted for the latter, that is, St. Petersburg. However, the answer of 18d now showing above as GAUGIN should actually be GAUGUIN [Two-thirds of the month of August is AUGU inside GIN (drink)].

    1. By the way, I would never allow a question as obscure as looking for somewhere called “Nineteen” as it is too open to multiple interpretations.

    2. Hi RA,
      Don’t know whether you looked through the previous ‘comments’ on the blog re: this puzzle. You will see that I also finished up in the Nineteen restaurant – thought it looked quite a decent place! Fortunately, I gave it another coat of thinking as, obviously, did you.

  2. Many thanks for the review, BD – cleared up the parsing problems I’d had with a couple of these.
    Was intending to mention the AUGUst issue but RA beat me to it!

  3. Congratulations Roger. I remember this puzzle as being a very pleasant one to solve.
    Thanks again Alchemi and BD.

    1. Good to see you back, Ks – you’ve been missed! Hope you had an enjoyable week away.

      1. Thanks Jane. We are not quite home yet, we cross Cook Strait later today, but we are back in electronic contact. It has been a good time away. Cheers.

  4. Congratulations to Roger Harrison – are you someone we “know” or one of the many (and going by the statistics of BD’s blog there must be several thousand of them) who “pop in” for a hint or two or to get another crossword or a prize but don’t ever leave a comment? Whatever . . .
    Thanks to Alchemi for the crossword and to BD for sorting out a couple of problems that I had with my answers.

  5. Congratulations to Mr Harrison.
    If the prize was a trip to visit the Hermitage, I would have been really jealous.
    I dream to go to St Petersburg one day.
    Thanks to Alchemi and to BD.

    1. I visited the Hermitage in the late 60s when the city was still called Leningrad. Halfway round our group was shepherded to one side because a VIP was coming through. It was President Georges Pompidou of France with entourage. They strode through the gallery at great pace, looking neither to left nor right – obviously Pompidou was not a great art lover.

    2. We visited it in January 1996. One of our sons was working at the NZ embassy in Moscow and we spent a glorious mid-winter month there with a short side trip to St P. A very special memory for us.

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