Prize Puzzle – 044

Monthly Prize Puzzle (January 2016)

Zoology 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 (16th January 2016).

The competition is now closed

Crossword logo

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.


  1. Alchemi

    Happy New Year to all. I can mildly recommend looking up the animals you’ve not heard of on Wikipedia or some such – some of them are really quite cute and most of them are moderately interesting.

  2. Jane

    Happy New Year to you as well, Alchemi.
    Certainly some ‘unfamiliar’ animals but eminently 29a with a bit of research. Think I’d rather like a 3d if you can arrange it!
    Actually, those were also the top two clues for me, with a mention for 16a.
    Very clever of you to fit in the characteristic so well whilst maintaining the smoothness of the puzzle.
    Many thanks – very much enjoyed the trip through the zoo.

  3. Expat Chris

    Trouble posting comment this morning. Second try…

    Loved it. Found the relevant animal early on. The only clue I had to use Google to solve was 16A. Favorites include 12A, 2D, and 6D. Special mention for 10A because I used to read my boys a poem about that one. Many thanks, Alchemi!

    • Jane

      Thanks, Chris – I couldn’t remember where I’d come across 10a before. Completely forgotten about old Benjamin!

  4. Kitty

    I can echo everything Jane said above. I enjoyed this romp around a zoo which didn’t leave me exhausted, unlike having had the zoo brought to the house in which I live. Ah, the joys of the holiday season. Nearly over!

    Thanks very much for the puzzle, Alchemi, and all the best for the coming year.

  5. Kitty

    24d reminded me of a certain character which I can’t mention until after the closing date (and not entirely sure I should then). It led me to listening to a song which generated the morning’s only smile, so extra thanks for that.

  6. Rabbit Dave

    Thank you very much, Alchemi. This was great fun and I enjoyed looking up the details of the animals that I had never heard of. Perhaps not surprisingly I was rather taken with 26d.

  7. jean-luc cheval

    Thanks Alchemi and a happy new year to you too.
    Great start of the year. Managed to understand the instructions.
    Discovered some new animals but the wordplay was very good and fair.
    Loved 11a and the description of 19a.

  8. KiwiColin

    Excellent fun. Used BRB to check on several of the creatures after working them out from the wordplay and they were all there. Now just for fun I will explore them in Wikipedia. I did most of it before bed last night and filled in the last two this morning.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  9. Hilary

    Well my NY resolution was to be brave and try MPPs, not sure if it was a very good idea but I think I may have got the answer even though I have a couple of clues still to solve. Thank goodness for dear Mr Google, off to file my entry.

  10. Sheffieldsy

    Some semblance of normality is slowly returning to the Sheffieldsy household so, for the first time in quite a while, we got to a crossword on the day it was published. Alchemi deserves plaudits for this delightful puzzle within a puzzle pointing to an answer therein….. Loved it and learned about some animals we’d never heard of before. 28a was a learning experience too. Favourites were 20d and 19a.

  11. Rahmat Ali

    Wishing Alchemi and all others a New Year prefixed with all the ‘good’ adjectives available in the English dictionary. It was great fun, having enjoyed the trip to this zoo. It was again particularly nice to see a letter appearing thrice in succession in the grid as it did in October 2015, with Alchemi turning that ‘very cold water’ into this carnivorous mammal by adding a pound. The verb ‘gut’ appeared twice in the clues, albeit in different forms. However, the hyphen of 13a troubled me till the end and I had to take a tour to the northwest suburb of Geneva before choosing 16a as my favourite. My other favourites were 4a, 10a, 12a, 19a, 25a, 27a, 2d, 3d, 6d, 8d, 18d, 20d, 22d and 26d.

  12. Maize

    Quite a feat of grid construction and some cracking definitions in there – perfect for a MPP and a lot of fun.
    1d, 14d and 16a were, for me, the pick of a fine crop. Many thanks Alchemi and Happy New Year.

  13. dutch

    Well, that was an education. Many thanks Alchemi, very enjoyable. Very nice end game.

    I liked 1a, 27a, 21d and 26d particularly, but many more.

  14. Doughnut

    Almost forgot in the post-Christmas haze that I had this lined up to do. Very nice puzzle, and no little achievement in the construction, as has already been said.
    Favourite among some good ones, 18. Least favourite, the slightly judgmental 19 .

    PS I deserve a pet 3 more than Jane does.

  15. Robert Little

    I’m delighted to have been first out of the hat on a really interesting puzzle. I must say a big thank you to BD and his blog which I have been reading for a couple of years (albeit about 6 months behind, which is why I rarely post). 2 years ago I wouldn’t have stood a chance of finishing a MPP – I’m really chuffed.

Comments are closed.