Prize Puzzle – 047

Monthly Prize Puzzle (April 2016)

A Puzzle 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 April 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. KiwiColin
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    That was fun. I surprised myself by actually having heard of the majority of them and the others were readily found with a bit of Google help. Last of all was the Googling to find birth and death dates for all the contenders until the right one appeared. Very clever and much enjoyed.
    Thanks Alchemi

  2. pommers
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed this puzzle and, even though I can’t win the prize, I did consult Wiki to find the odd one out. Fortunately I’d heard of everyone so didn’t need to investigoogle while solving. If it was a back-pager I’d give it **/****.

    I thought it clever to have got all those names into the puzzle without having to resort to complete obscurities to fill the grid.

    Thanks Alchemi for a pleasant diversion.

  3. dutch
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Well done Alchemi

    when I saw the instructions I thought oh no, this is going to be a general knowledge google job – but I was able to complete the puzzle without a single lookup (ok, once surely I did check in brb) – a credit to your clueing, not my knowledge! I hadn’t heard of several of the answers.

    I then wrote down all the people (clever grid fill) ready to google birth dates – luckily I hit the jackpot soon, and I’ll take your word that the rest were born in xx16.

    Some lovely bits of clueing – décolleté clothing, cut cut, and loads more. Very enjoyable, thank you

    • Alchemi
      Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:30 am | Permalink

      Thanks to everyone who’s commented (even Jane :) ), but this is my favourite. Enjoyable is the number one, but I’m getting nearly as concerned to make sure that obscure(-ish) words are clued well enough for the solver to be confident of their answer from the wordplay, so it’s great to have that confirmed.

      • Jane
        Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        Sorry again, Alchemi – it’s just that I was disappointed after solving your previous puzzles. I do realise that MPP’s need to have some sort of theme in order to result in a question to be answered and I appreciate the extra effort that is demanded of the setter in that scenario – it’s bound to put considerable restraints on the rest of the grid fill.
        Will still look forward to your next one!

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Very clever. I had heard of all but 23D and had to Google that one. 8D came early. My last one in was 24A and I had to Google to confirm the bit that was puzzling me. Also had to Google to confirm 22A and to verify the dates. I’m not a big fan of puzzles that require so much internet checking, but I did find it satisfying to have completed in reasonable time. Thanks Alchemi.

  5. Jane
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Very clever to fit in so many famous names but I’m afraid the puzzle as a whole didn’t really ‘float my boat’.
    Also, there were at least two instances where the answer could have been one of two people – equally famous.
    Sorry, Alchemi, I have enjoyed your previous puzzles much more than this one.

  6. silvanus
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Extremely cleverly assembled and not too tricky, even if Google was required to check dates.

    As is often the case with puzzles having to satisfy a particular theme, the surfaces did suffer on occasion, but one notable exception was 7d which was my overall favourite.

    Many thanks to Alchemi for an enjoyable solve.

  7. stanXYZ
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    A very clever puzzle from Alchemi – surprised to see that two of them are still alive – 99 and not out!

  8. Kath
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m enjoying this but think that I’ll make it last a bit longer and come back to it tomorrow.
    In case I’ve managed to fool anyone this is euphemistic Kathese for I’m a bit stuck with my last five answers.
    I do have an answer to the whole thing and I love 2d – I’m such a sucker for the ish’s – they always make me laugh.
    Thanks for the entertainment so far, Alchemi – back tomorrow or in a few days, or whatever.

  9. Doughnut
    Posted April 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Silvanus that 7d was very good – had me scratching my head right to the end of the solve.
    I wasn’t expecting quite so many themed answers either – some feat. Thank you, Alchemi.

  10. Rabbit Dave
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks very much, Alchemi. I really enjoyed this. As a cricketer and a chess lover, a couple of the clues really appealed to me. I still can’t get the answer to 8d but that hasn’t stopped me identifying the odd one out.

    It’s quite hard to pick a favourite. 2d was a LOL moment, but I’ll settle for 7d – once again agreeing with Silvanus!

    Talking of cricket – come on England in the 20:20 World Cup final against the West Indies this afternoon!

  11. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 3, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Always a pleasure to solve one of Alchemi’s puzzle.
    Only had to Google a couple and just check the d.o.b on the others to find the relevant answer.
    For me, my favourite Alchemi was the one with the “c” missing or superfluous.
    Thanks for the fun.