MPP 039 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 039 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 039

August 2015

A puzzle by Radler

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A particularly difficult challenge from Radler for the August MPP slot –   I am not alone in the view that, if he hadn’t made the misprinted words bold, it would have been impossible to solve the puzzle

Take all the ‘changed’ letters – I A M O F A L L I S U R V E Y and if you know The Solitude of Alexander Selkirk you will know that the solution to 17a MONARCH is the missing word you needed to put on the entry form for the August competition.   The top and bottom Across rows are a Nina with part of the poem’s third line.

Many congratulations to Jane who did just that and wins a Hamlyn Telegraph Crossword Puzzle Book as a prize.


9a           Quiet Scotsman punches raver (5)
PIANO –   IAN (Scotsman) inserted into (punches) the river  PO.


10a         I lead, heading off Penny by road transport (9)
AEROPLANE –   Here the I is changed for an A which is followed by [h]ERO (lead with its ‘heading’ off) P (penny) LANE (road).

11a         High-powered Jessy Green’s name rejected (9)
ENERGETIC –   Change   Jessy to Messy, an anagram indicator, telling you to rearrange GREEN, and then follow the result with a reversal (rejected) of CITE (name).

12a         Broad concern (5)
ISSUE –   Change broad to brood which can mean issue in the same way as concern can.

13a         Right winger’s article written in trance (5)
TITLE –   trance changes to France – so TIT (winger) and LE (definite article in France).

14a         Competition clearer by design (5,4)
RELAY RACE – by changes to AY which with CLEARER is used to make an anagram (design).

relay race

15a         Spice used for dishwasher powder (3)
ASH – Spice becomes slice – slice here being a hidden word indicator as ASH (powder) is hidden in dishwASHer.

17a         24 hours say, as a butterfly (7)
MONARCH –   say changes to sly – sly = ARCH, which then goes after MON (Monday, 24 hours)


20a         Tame retiring animal like a rabbit (not horse) (3)
ERA –   tame becomes time –   remove the H (not horse) from a HARE (animal like a rabbit) and reverse (retiring).

21a         Full fat, suitable for all (9)
SATURATED – fat becomes SAT plus U RATED (suitable for all).

24a         Wind up, claimed note, and drag to extend (5)
RANGE –   RAG (wind up) claiming N (note) and E (drug not drag).

26a         Hums song, principally after sex, getting alarmed expression (5)
REEKS – sex changes to Rex – R (Rex) EEK (alarmed expression) S (song, principally).

27a         Mary teaches it. That s pleasing (9)
AESTHETIC –   Mary changes to vary, another anagram indicator telling us to rearrange TEACHES IT.

29a         Ride for Bobby and Carole, part driven fast away (6,3)
PATROL CAR –   Fast changes to east – An anagram of CAROL PART (the E (east) at the end of Carole having been driven away)

patrol car

30a         Wears shirt, ironed at the edges (5)
TIRED –   wears becomes weary – T (shirt) and IRonED (the edges of ironed).

1d           Niche programs on the radio (4)
APSE –   A homophone (on the radio) of APPS (programs).

2d           Complain about fast drinks before noon (6)
LAMENT –   LENT (fast) drinks AM (before noon).

3d           Above medium, more extensive time-framing (4-4)
LONG-TERM – LONGER (more extensive) framing T (time), the result going above (in a Down clue) M (medium).

4d           Lost men hunting bird (6)
RAPTOR –   RAPT (lost) OR (men, ordinary ranks of soldiers).


5d           Count 500 to zero, arithmetic perhaps ambiguous (8)
ORACULAR –   Change the D (Roman numeral for 500) at the start of Count DRACULA for an O (zero) and put an R at the end (arithmetic being one of the 3 Rs).

6d           Cocky Jack ahead of Ruth (6)
UPPITY – UP (in the sense of jack up prices) and PITY (ruth).

7d           Controversial USA Senate initially suppressed revolt (8)
NAUSEATE –   An anagram (controversial) of USA ENATE (Senate being ‘initially suppressed’).

8d           Champagne’ s from VIP, having reduced price to ease up (10)
DECELERATE – DE (the French, as used in the champagne region, word for from) CELE(b) (‘reduced’ VIP) and RATE (price).

13d         Copy animation of completely unloved cartoon strip (10)
TRANSCRIPT –   Remove the Os (completely un’loved’) from CARTOON STRIP and make an anagram (animation) using the remaining letters.

16d         Previously top-selling record The Undertones, Kicks covers (8)
HITHERTO –   HIT (top-selling record) H ERTO (tHe undERTOnes with the outside letters (covers) removed).

18a         Block plan to expose one of the singers (8)
NUTHATCH –   NUT (block) HATCH (plan)


19a         Firm failed maths, losing lead for US Conservatives (4,4)
HARD HATS – HARD (firm) followed by an anagram (failed) of [M]ATHS (‘losing lead’ tells you to remove the M).

22a         Forgetting the sequence, others had another go (6)
RESHOT –   An anagram (forgetting the sequence) of OTHERS.

23d         Fancy daughter meeting father online? (6)
DESIRE – D (daughter) E-SIRE (on line father?)

25d         Woman s bottom, fully-developed, no top Mother? (6)
NATURE – N (the ‘bottom’ of woman) and MATURE (fully developed without a top or first letter).

28d         Unplanned turning leaves husband in passage at end (4)
CODA – AD HOC – (unplanned) reversed (turning) having  left out  H for Husband .

Thanks to Radler, Mrs BD and Hamlyn Books for their parts in this month’s Prize Puzzle competition








11 comments on “MPP 039 – Review

  1. Congratulations Jane. I agree with Sue that it was a real challenge to work out and very satisfying to eventually come up with correct answer. Good fun too.
    Thanks Radler and CS.

    1. Thank you, ColinK – can’t believe either that I won or that I actually managed to complete that fiendish Radler.
      The whole thing has quite gone to my head!

  2. First of all, my heartiest congratulations to Ms.Jane for winning the Monthly Prize Puzzle – 039. Next, I must confess that it was the irresistible pulchritude of the crossword that attracted me to spend time for it, solve it and complete it and my thanks once again goes to Radler for setting up such a challenging task. Verily, what a fine piece of artistry by Radler! The answer ‘monarch’ ruled ‘from the centre’ of the grid, ‘all round to the sea’ (third line of the poem beginning with ‘I am monarch of all I survey’) being also displayed on the first and last lines in the grid (In fact, I first came across those lines years ago in The Golden Treasury while doing BA).

  3. Well done, Jane! to you. I think you’re allowed to feel big headed today.
    I have to confess that I gave up very quickly – I always find Radler’s crosswords difficult and I thought this one was verging on fiendish.
    Congratulations again to Jane and to CS for all the unravelling and to anyone else who managed to do this one.
    Thanks to Radler.

  4. Congratulations to Jane.
    Thanks to Radler for the great fun and to CS for the review.

  5. Congratulations to Jane !

    Many thanks to Radler for this brilliant crossword – even though it did disrupt my sleep pattern that week-end.

    Thanks to Rahmat Ali & CS for reminding me of the Nina in the top & bottom rows – I noticed it at the time – Honest Guv!

    Thanks to CS for the review – must have been a lot of hard work putting in all the red letters.

    Seeing a crossword like this makes me wonder if I am stupid or whether the setter is a genius – probably both!.

  6. Thank you everyone!
    I think I was exceedingly lucky – a) a lot of those more able than myself live outside of the UK so can only enter for the ‘honour & glory’ prize – b) I had hours and hours of free time to devote to it (which was just as well!) and c) Mrs. BD just happened to pick out my entry.

    Doesn’t actually matter, of course, I’m still delighted.

  7. Congratulations to Jane, and indeed to everyone else who completed the puzzle.

    I knew it was going to be one of my more difficult puzzles, but if it’s any consolation, it was harder to construct the clues too.

    Thank you to Sue for the review, and to Mr & Mrs BD, and to all who commented here and earlier

    1. You’d smile if you could see my print-out copy of the puzzle, Radler – covered in lists of conceivable alternative words to fit in the across clues! 14a was a stinker……..

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