MPP 040 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 040 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 040

September 2015

A puzzle by Prolixic

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Those of us who watched television in the late 1960s (not to mention those who’d had seen repeats in later years) would hopefully have not taken long to spot that CLARENCE [THE] CROSS EYED LION, was to be found in the solutions to 13a 27a 26d 4d.

Clarence the Cross Eyed LionThe question asked was ‘what series do some of the answers point to?’.   Clarence the Cross Eyed Lion was the original film on which the TV series, DAKTARI was based , and so Daktari was what you needed to put on the entry ‘form’.


Congratulations to Roger Mallett who did just that and was the lucky winner pulled from the electronic hat by Mrs BD.   He wins his choice of one of the  Telegraph puzzle books.


1a           Gerbil’s soul reincarnated in wimp (5,6)
GIRLS BLOUSE   – An anagram (reincarnated) of GERBILS SOUL

9a           Iceland’s old hills shelter the French separatists (9)
ISOLATORS –  IS (IVR code for Iceland) O (old) LA (French definite article) TORS (hills)

10a         Domestic  company (5)
HOUSE – Double definition

11a         Dream of policeman fleeing from conflict (6)
VISION – DI (Detective Inspector, policeman) fleeing from DIVISION (conflict).

13a         Cambridge college regularly knocked form of transport (8)
CLARENCE – CLARE (Cambridge college) and the regular letters of kNoCkEd go together to produce a horse-drawn carriage.


14a         Bid for short jacket – on the contrary (6)
DOUBLE – A bid in a game of cards is a DOUBLET (jacket) without its last letter (short).

16a         One converted with mercy in service (8)
CEREMONY – An anagram (converted) of ONE and MERCY.

19a         Keen on men in a revolutionary state? (8)
ORBITING – OR (Ordinary Ranks of soldiers, men) goes on, or is followed by’ BITING (keen).

20a         Small small person’s pain (6)
STITCH – S (small) TITCH (small person).


22a         Add the finishing touches to book that is about tax (8)
TITIVATE – TIT (the New Testament  Book of Titus) and IE (that is) put ‘about’ VAT (tax).

24a         Nothing’s the same in Monaco before start of tomorrow’s sunrise (6)
ORIENT – Because as everyone knows, the sun rises in the East (orient).   O (nothing) RIEN (nothing again [the same] but this time in French (as spoken in Monaco) T (the ‘start’ of tomorrow).

27a         What’s in micro’s software makes you annoyed (5)
CROSS – Hidden in miCROS Software.

28a         Without publicity gents maybe measure some universities (3,6)
IVY LEAGUE – Remove PR (without publicity) from PRIVY (gents maybe) and add LEAGUE (measure).

Ivy League

30a         Outline design of German bidet (11)
ABRIDGEMENT – An anagram (design) of GERMAN BIDET.

1d           First mate cracked part of crossword and cried (7)
GRIEVED – EVE (the first ‘mate’ on Earth) cracked or inserted into GRID (part of crossword).

2a           Origins of rifles changing hands (5)
ROOTS   – Change the L at the start of LOOTS (rifles) to an R – left hand changing to right hand.

3/4d       Close to one performing animal (3,4)
SEA LION – SEAL (close) I (one) ON (performing).

sea lion

5d           How I start but don’t want to finish? (8)
UNSOLVED – A cryptic definition of this crossword and/or its setter.

6d           Medium    number (5)
ETHER – The medium formerly believed to fill all space or a ‘number’ or anaesthetic.

7d           Part of set‘s screenplay rewritten without authority? (7)
SCENERY – Remove the PLA (Port of London Authority) from SCREENPLAY and then make an anagram (rewritten) of the remaining letters.

8d           Renegade‘s tense about capturing navy officer (8)
TURNCOAT –   A reversal (about) of TAUT (tense) into which is inserted (capturing) RN (Royal Navy) and CO (Commanding Officer).

12d         Hotel worker holds back representative of Minerva (5)
OWLET   – The little baby owl that represents Minerva the Roman Goddess of Wisdom is reversed and hidden (holds back) in hoTEL WOrker

Minerva's owl

15d         Release one racing driver (8)
UNBUTTON – UN (a spelling of one used to reflect a dialectal or informal pronunciation eg That’s a big ‘un) and Jensen BUTTON (the racing driver).


17d         Go into hospital departments (5)
ENTER – The hospital departments ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) and ER (Emergency Room).

18d         Speed drop we hear is more of a problem (8)
KNOTTIER – KNOT (speed) and a homophone (we hear) of TEAR (drop).

19d         Visual representation of Capitol (7)
OPTICAL – An anagram (re presentation) of CAPITOL.

21d         Leaders of the military elite involved in search for their camp? (7)
HUTMENT – A chiefly military term for a number or group of huts.   The ‘leaders’ of The Military Elite inserted into (involved in) HUNT (search).

23d         Prospect of old volunteers supporting force (5)
VISTA – VIS   A Latin word meaning force or strength supported by TA (Territorial Army – old volunteers as current army volunteers join the Army Reserve).

25/26d  Old comic I had heard to be discerning (5-4)
EAGLE-EYED – EAGLE (old comic) and a homophone (heard) of I’D (I had).

29d         River dividing male and female? (3)
EXE – The river EXE divides the sEXEs (male and female?).   Your blogger really wishes she hadn’t pointed out to our setter that he originally had EVE twice in the ‘test’ version of the crossword so the original clue for 29d was changed.   There is a River EWE and a female sheep is a EWE too, leaving one very confused blogger!    Memo to self: don’t make things more complicated than they need to be!


Thanks to Prolixic, BD and Mrs BD  for their parts in this month’s prize competition.

13 comments on “MPP 040 – Review

  1. Many thanks for the review, CS. Because of the time lapse between completion and blog, it often surprises me that I ever got the answers in the first place!
    I needed your help to parse the TIT in 22a and the VIS in 23d – I’ll try to remember them (fat chance!).
    Appreciated the pic. for 13a – I wondered what it looked like and commend you for the suitable restraint exercised in the pic. for 15d – I doubt that our male bloggers would have quite envisaged it that way.

    Congratulations to Roger – isn’t it just the best feeling.

  2. Congratulations Roger.
    I really made a dog’s breakfast of this one. Had solved the crossword correctly but the TV series that I came up with after much Googling was “Nearest and Dearest”. I’m going to have to trace my reasoning all over again to find how I came to that.
    Thanks again Prolixic and CS for the review.

    1. I’m sure I remember watching that series, ColinK. However, I cannot bring to mind a single cross-eyed lion ever putting in an appearance. Really looking forward to hearing how you came to opt for that one!!!

        1. Hi Jane,
          Yes you’re right.
          I didn’t read the blog before posting.
          I use to love her malapropos. I’ll always remember her “Illegitimate Bachelor”.

  3. Congratulations Roger, and thanks to Cryptic Sue for the answer to 29d, plus its fiendish parsing – it seems like I’ve had to wait an age to scratch that particular itch.

  4. Thanks to CS for putting me out of my misery with 29d and also the theme which escaped me completely – I haven’t forgotten it – just never met it before.
    I did need the hints to understand a few of my answers so thanks to CS for those too.
    Thanks also to Prolixic for a great crossword.
    I’m going to stick with my original comment and say that 1a was my favourite – it made me laugh.
    Congratulations to Roger Malllett – do we ‘know’ you or are you just someone who happened to find the competition puzzle and decided to have a go?

  5. Congratulations to Roger.
    When solving 1a, I thought about a comedy with Hilda Baker. OOh you big girls blouse!
    Brought back some great memories of The Good Old Days and Nearest and Dearest.
    But once I got the carriage the game was up.
    Loved the Double Vision of 14 and 11a.
    Thanks to CS for the review and to Prolixic again for a very enjoyable crossword.

    1. I used to love her expression…’I must get a little hand put on this watch!’…we still use that in our house today!
      I never got round to finishing this puzzle but even if I had it would have been to no avail as I have no recollection whatever of that particular Clarence the Lion series!
      Congrats to the winner..well done!

  6. Heartiest congratulations to Roger. Thanks to Crypticsue for such a wonderful review and once again thanks to Prolixic for a very entertaining crossword puzzle. Although I could solve it correctly after desperately accepting the French ‘un’ without the knowledge of dialectal or informal pronunciation ‘un’ for one in 15d, I could not go beyond ‘Clarence’ to arrive at the name of the series, despite search in Google and using my poor style of permutation and combination. Finally, I sent my answer as ‘Clarence’ itself despite knowing it pretty sure that it would not be the correct one. I shall now be eagerly waiting for the October puzzle.

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