MPP 042 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 042

November 2015

Pangra by Radler

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The instructions said: This puzzle is a pangram, except for one letter. Work out which letter is missing and follow the instruction hidden in the completed grid to find out where to place it. What word or phrase is created when you do that?

Congratulations to Geoffrey Telfer   who worked out that X was the missing letter, followed the instructions round the outside of the grid, put the X in the space between MAN and CAT,  making  ‘MANX CAT’, the answer to the question posed by Radler.   Geoffrey’s name was pulled out of the electronic ‘hat’ by Mrs BD and so he wins a Telegraph Crossword Book of his choice.



9a           A little sensitive, Oliver below the waist? (4-5)
HALF-HARDY   – If you looked at Oliver Hardy (he of Laurel & Hardy fame) below the waist you’d be looking at HALF [of] HARDY.

10a         Brute breaking many a lady’s heart (5)
NYALA –   It is a shame that lovely creatures like antelope  are ‘brutes’ or lower mammals. This one  is hidden in ‘breaking’ maNY A LAdy.


11a         New religious teaching about vehicle to absolute enlightenment (7)
NIRVANA – N (new) , a reversal (about) of RI (religious instruction) VAN (vehicle) and A (absolute)

12a         Controversial engineer’s initial basis for decision (7)
EMOTIVE – E (Engineer’s initial) MOTIVE (basis for decision)

13a         Given drug in parties, took drug then died (5)
DOSED – DOS (parties) E (ecstasy, drug) D (died).

14a         Grill within sight of burial? (9)
INTERVIEW –   Split INTERVIEW (grill) 5, 4 and our setter is suggesting that you might be in view of burial?


17a         Express newspaper heir (3)
SON –   A homophone (express) of the SUN (newspaper).

18a         Whereabouts of Douglas and one of his ilk (3)
MAN –   Double definition – Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man; another person of Douglas’s type (ilk) would also be a man.

19a         Lash around tree at the left (3)
CAT – A type of whip (lash) –   CA (circa, about) and T (the left hand letter of tree).

21a         Starts off in Vales, Yorkshire climber (3)
IVY –   the ‘starts’ of In Vales Yorkshire.

22a         Contest Irish town cut short after 31 days (9)
DECATHLON – DEC (December having 31 days) ATHLONe (an Irish town ‘cut short’ or with its last letter removed.


24a         Consumed by regret, turn back miscreant (5)
ROGUE –   GO (turn) reversed (back)  and inserted into RUE (regret).

26a         Beadle’s About, getting caught in fiasco (7)
DEBACLE –   An anagram (about) of BEADLE with C (caught) inserted.

29a         Game bird clipped at hunt, second escaped (7)
CROQUET –   CROw (bird ‘clipped’ or without its last letter) and QUEST(hunt), the S for second having ‘escaped’


30a         Middle Eastern aid and US bombs (5)
SAUDI –     An anagram (bombs) of AID and US.

31a         Old couple can’t progress from here (9)
STALEMATE – STALE (old) MATE (couple)

1d           Using qualification to leapfrog one rung (6)
PHONED –   PHD (qualification) ‘leapfrogs’ or goes over ONE (from the clue).

2d           Alto incurs abuse as notes out of range (10)
ULTRASONIC –   An anagram (abuse) of ALTO INCURS

3d           Modular hut erected heartlessly by slave state (8)
THRALDOM –   A reversal (erected or put up in a Down clue) of two of the words in the clue with their middle letters removed (heartlessly) – MOD[u]LAR H[u]T.

4d           Entirely absurd, or just the last two-thirds(10)
IRRATIONAL –   Apparently a surd (the last two thirds of absurd) is an IRRATIONAL  quantity in mathematics.

5d           Everything reduced going up, it’s subject to inflation (4)
TYRE –   Hidden and reversed (going up) in evERYThing

6d           Under cover, I cross Norway from the South (6)
INDOOR –   I (from the clue) N (Norway) and a reversal (from the south) of a ROOD (cross).

7d           Toy with an interminable zip: Barbie? (4)
NAZI –   Klaus Barbie, the Nazi war criminal (a definition by example)   an anagram (toy) of AN plus ZI (zip [life] ‘interminably’ or without the P at the end).

8d           What provides stomach with a course? (8)
TAKEAWAY –   TAKE (stomach) A WAY (a course).

take away

15d         Utilise chance in IT training to become specialist (10)
TECHNICIAN –   An anagram (training) of CHANCE IN IT.

16d         Jerk arguing, is inhaling cocaine – a white powder (5,5)
ICING SUGAR –   An anagram (jerk) of ARGUING IS ‘inhaling’ C (cocaine).

icing sugar

17d         Took position roughly for extra food (4,4)
SIDE DISH –   SIDED (took position) ISH (roughly).

20d         Backfiring ordinary dry coal propelled engine (8)
TURBOJET –   O (ordinary) BRUT (dry) reversed (backfiring) and JET (coal).

23d         Unexpected movement masks Bill s approach (6)
TACTIC – TIC (unexpected movement) masks or covers ACT (Bill with a capital B indicating Act of Parliament).

25d         Touring Tenerife without providing right of admission (6)
ENTREE –   Remove (without) IF (providing) from TENERIFE and then make an anagram (touring) of the letters you have left.

27d         Broadcast blasted Tory (4)
BLUE –  A homophone (broadcast of BLEW (blasted).

28d         Lose sleep over part that s different (4)
ELSE – Reversed and hidden in part of losE SLEep.


Thanks to Radler, BD and Mrs BD for their parts in the November Prize Puzzle ‘process’.



  1. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Although I got it right, I thought the answer was a bit simplistic given the clue in 18a.
    Congratulations again to Radler for the Nina/Pangram.
    Congratulations also to Geoffrey for the win.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to thank CS for the review.
      Thanks to CS for the review.

  2. KiwiColin
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Geoffrey.
    Thanks again Radler and CS for the review.

  3. Jane
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for the review, CS. I certainly needed your help to fully understand the wordplay in both 4&7d!
    Congrats to Geoffrey – enjoy your prize.

  4. Rahmat Ali
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Heartiest felicitations to Geoffrey Telfer for winning the Monthly Prize Puzzle – 042 . Thanks to Crypticsue for the brilliant review and thanks once again to Radler for the splendid entertainment. Save for one letter, the puzzle was a pangram. Interestingly, the word pangram is itself shown without ‘m’ in the title above ‘Pangra by Radler’, probably indicating that the puzzle was a near pangram.

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      The instructions did make clear that it was not quite a pangram which was indeed the whole point of the competition question

  5. Kitty
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I remember enjoying this one – Thanks Radler. And many thanks also to crypticsue.

    Congratulations to Geoffrey, though I admit to having had a special hope that this might be my month. Number 42, and a central cat … I even submitted my name as “Kitt” to fit with the theme. Oh well, it was not to be.

  6. Kath
    Posted November 22, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes – thanks to CS for the review and congratulations to Geoffrey – as always I want to know if we “know” you – i.e. are you a regular commenter?
    I didn’t understand my answers to 4 or 7d – thanks CS.
    My favourite was 9a – loved it.
    Possibly the first time I’ve finished a Radler crossword – thanks to him and, again, to CS.

  7. Expat Chris
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the winner, who obviously follows the blog since he accessed the puzzle but does not appear to be a regular commenter,came forward and identified himself? That goes for every winner, too.

  8. Radler
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to Geoffrey
    Thank you to CrypticSue and to Mr & Mrs BD and to all who have provided feedback