Prize Puzzle – 041 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Prize Puzzle – 041

Monthly Prize Puzzle (October 2015)

Tour of Africa by Alchemi

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Why not have a go at our latest Monthly Prize Puzzle?

The winner will receive their choice of any of the Telegraph Crossword Books published by Hamlyn.

Please note that, due to punitive postal charges, while the competition is open to all, the prize is only available to UK solvers.

 A review will follow after the closing date (17th October 2015).

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

I’ve left this post open for comments, but if you don’t want your comment to be deleted then avoid asking for or giving help with the clues.


16 comments on “Prize Puzzle – 041

  1. Nice one Alchemi, I enjoyed this. Nice level, nice clues, took me a while to parse 19a and LOI was 17d, duh, took me a while to see the first part. I liked 4d, 7d knew the answer but had to check before i fully understood the clue.

    Lots of fun, and I confess I pulled out a map to check the borders.

    Many thanks

  2. That was a lot of fun. All well constructed clues and a level of difficulty that should ensure heaps of entries. Like Dutch, I had to consult an atlas once I had completed the puzzle.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  3. Lovely puzzle although it exposed my ignorance of a few things I probably should know (golf clubs, puppets and Messrs McGuinn and Molesworth) 4d was my favourite clue for a clever surface.

  4. Grrr! I typed this once but became victim to the wretched time out problem.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif

    I agree this was a very enjoyable puzzle, and, although I had a hunch which country was the correct answer, I too needed to check a map to be sure. One very slight concern is that the same letter has been clued identically in two intersecting answers, but that is being very pernickety.

    I agree with Beet that 4d is the best of an excellent selection.

    I am going to treat myself now by listening to Roger McGuinn’s band.

    Well done and many thanks to Alchemi.

    1. I noticed the device duplication late last night and thought “damn”.

      I reckoned that everyone would have to check the map to get the answer: I suspect you’d have to be a native of the country in question to be sure that that was the one without looking.

      Thanks to all who’ve been complimentary so far – and it’s quite fun to have one of the “special” clues emerging as a favourite. (I admit I was rather pleased with it when I wrote it.)

      1. Thanks to Alchemi – think I’ve got the answer!

        But I’ve spent far too much time looking for the “device duplication” – still looking.

        The first single I bought was by the “Roger McGuinn”’ band. Far better than the original – though Miffypops may disagree?

  5. Quite delightful, Alchemi – thank you so much.
    Must go along with others and nominate 4d as best clue but my actual podium list is 6,8&22d – in the hope that all three might make an appearance in the review!
    Oh yes – quick smile for 7d as well. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  6. Timed out again. Let’s see if this gets through…

    Loved it. Needed to verify my answers for 30A and 14A, and having a bit of trouble parsing the first bit of 16A. 24A is my pick. Thanks Alchemi!

  7. Terrific stuff, many thanks Alchemi.

    Like others, I loved 4d, but also equally liked 24a, 30a and 15d. My only very minor quibble with an excellent puzzle was the repeated use of “posh” to clue the intersecting letter of 1d and 11a, sorry to hear it was spotted too late! I had no idea who Mr McGuinn was, but Google, as ever, compensated for my lack of knowledge.

    Thinking of 4d, and the Dignitas clinic, I’ve always wondered if the breakfast cereal of choice there is Cheerios? Just a thought.

  8. I always love Alchemi’s crosswords – I think they vary a lot in difficulty – didn’t find this too tricky although I haven’t quite untangled a few of my answers.
    I didn’t notice the two poshes – not the kind of thing I spot – I don’t usually even see ninas or pangrams.
    I did notice that there was only one anagram – I think!
    I liked 10 and 30a and 4 and 6d.
    Off to hunt the atlas . . .
    Thanks to Alchemi – brilliant. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  9. Thanks to Alchemi for this terrific crossword.
    Needed a bit of electronic help for the people mentioned and to check the neighbourhood countries. Totally forgot that 6d played the bass.
    I liked a lot of the clues including 4d of course but 8d and 30a brought a smile.
    Favourite 24a.
    I wish Alchemi a lot of participants for the draw and
    I think Mrs BD should let an Englishman win.

  10. Thanks to Alchemi for this superb crossword. I started with 26d and 4d, the easier ones, but have to admit that the latter was par excellence. My other favourites were 24a, 30a, 7d, 17d and 22d. It was also particularly nice to see a letter appearing thrice in succession in the grid. Although sure about my answer, I still went for a glimpse of the continent in Google’s map before sending it in. Google also helped me to learn a lot about Roger McGuinn, Molesworth, the bass player, the Irish singer and, of course, Watch with Mother.

  11. I’ve discovered that these things become less difficult if you read the preamble about some of the answers being undefined.
    Once I managed that, I really enjoyed this – I’ve still got a few to go, mainly in the north-east, but none can possibly be countries that border my answer. Many of the undefined clues were in my favourites, so as not to give hints I won’t list them. 24a was close to the top, very nifty wordplay and surface, although I did wonder whether the single letter indicator was strictly synonymous with the person (although obvious) – he was known as a representation of this. I also really liked 30a, 22d, 2d, and 15d (which seems to have been a bonus clue from a previous crossword). I’ll join the club going for 4d as my favourite.
    Many thanks Alchemi, I will try to finish it now.

  12. Thought the McGuinn reference was a bit iffy for anyone under the age of about 55 but the rest of it was great. The Jim McGuinn clue is actually on my podium (as I’m well over said 55 years) and I hope for a suitable video when the review gets published. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Here’s one to keep us going: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ymkBEhdHBE

    Agree with others about 4d shading the top step of said podium but there’s a lot of great clues in this.

    Many thanks to Alchemi.

  13. Dear Alchemi, I enjoyed this – thank you!
    I was particularly impressed with the clues that didn’t have a definition not standing out; when I first read the idea of the puzzle I thought they would. I’d be interested to hear if it took extra work when setting the puzzle to disguise these or whether it happened naturally.
    Like others I particularly enjoyed 4d, and 25d brought back memories!
    Any feedback? When I first read through the clues there were perhaps one or two too many -ing words. I prefer simple present tense, though Molesworth would be happy: if this was a planned oblique reference to the ‘Private Life of a Gerund’ then you are at least 2 steps ahead of me and I take my hat off to you!
    Thanks again.

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