MPP 047 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 047

April 2016

A Puzzle by Alchemi

Congratulations to Jean-Luc Cheval who correctly worked out that although ten of the people in the grid were born in a year ending 16, it was Cervantes who died in one.  His name was drawn from the electronic hat by Mrs BD and he can now choose one of the Hamlyn Telegraph Crossword Books as his prize, although he may have to wait until he comes over to the UK next January to collect it!.  And well done Alchemi who managed to squeeze no less than eleven famous names into the grid.

1a Having understood the team owner’s needs, heads for cricketer (6)
HUTTON: the initial letters of six words in the clue

4a King meeting intelligent actress (6)
GRABLE: King George’s regnal cipher followed by an adjective meaning intelligent or accomplished

9a Writer once surely outside the leading group (9)
CERVANTES: a rather obscure word meaning surely or truly around the three-letter leading group

10a Cardinal stops doctor getting a kebab (5)
DONER: a cardinal number inside (stops) an abbreviation for D(octo)R

11a Main port not right for auk (3,4)
SEA DOVE: a three-letter word for the Main, as in the Spanish Main, followed by a port without (not) the R(ight)

12a Fool (not Kelvin) gets old navy hat (7)
TRICORN: a verb meaning to fool or hoax without (not) its final K(elvin) followed by O(ld) and the abbreviation for the Royal Navy

13a King blocks military intelligence scan (3)
MRI: the Latin abbreviation for king inside (blocks) the abbreviation for Military Intelligence

14a Italian engineer is over hiring strange product of 19 earlier (11)
LAMBORGHINI: O(ver) and an anagram (strange) of HIRING preceded by the young (product) of the answer to 19 Across

16a Decollete clothes perhaps left around house by actress (2,9)
DE HAVILLAND: the outer letters (clothes) of D(ecollet)E followed by a direction that may (perhaps) be left (or right) around a superior middle-class house

19a Bearing shock without a sheep (3)
EWE: a compass bearing followed by a word meaning shock or dread without the A from the clue

20a Nick throws away novelist (7)
ROBBINS: a verb meaning to nick or steal followed by a verb meaning throws away

22a Try posh music in Scottish town (7)
GOUROCK: a try or attempt followed by the letter used to indicate posh and a type of popular music

24a Cake heading for Irish broadcaster (5)
TORTE: a two-letter preposition meaning heading for followed by the abbreviation for an Irish broadcasting company

25a Have an important interest in pearl eBay flogged (2,1,6)
BE A PLAYER: an anagram (flogged) of PEARL EBAY

26a One trying to bring people back together misses Northern Ireland newsman (6)
REUTER: a word for someone who is trying to bring people back together without (misses) the abbreviation for Northern Ireland

27a Numbers  topics (6)
ISSUES: two definitions – numbers or editions and topics or subjects


1d Causes offence removing small pieces of ham (5)
HOCKS: a verb meaning causes offence without the first S(mall)

2d Like jungle-dweller to go off-colour around South Africa (9)
TARZANISH: a verb meaning to discolour around the IVR code for South Africa

3d As cheese being eaten may be having repeated success (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL: two definitions – how cheese may be eaten with a type of bread and phrase meaning having repeated or continual success

4d Cut! Cut! It’s a lot of fun (3)
GAS: a deep open cut without its final letter (cut)

5d Confusing Luxembourg expanding all round (7)
ADDLING: the IVR code for Luxembourg with a verb meaning expanding all round the outside

6d 1A to play slowly (5)
LENTO: The first name of the answer to 1 Across followed by TO

7d English tree in pictures of plants (5,5)
STEEL MILLS: E(nglish) and a tree inside some pictures or photographs

8d Old woman carrying equipment for American newsman (8)
CRONKITE: An old woman around (carrying) some equipment

12d Creepy Mary, a ghost poet (6,4)
THOMAS GRAY: an anagram (creepy) of MARY A GHOST

13d OK team rode poorly (8)
MODERATE: an anagram (poorly) of TEAM RODE

15d Please remain with Goofy, acting up in international unit (1,3,2,3)
I BEG OF YOU: a two-letter verb meaning to remain and an anagram (acting up) of GOOFY inside the abbreviation for International Unit

17d Wearing underwear Scots own is extremely pointless (7)
VAINEST: the Scottish word for own inside (wearing) an item of underwear

18d So glad you texted surprised actor (7)
DOUGLAS: an anagram (surprised) of SO GLAD U (you texted)

21d Shove pub, say, up (5)
BARGE: a pub followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of the Latin abbreviation of say / for example

23d Make restitution (partially) for chess-player (5)
KERES: hidden (partially) inside the clue

25d Except British Gas (3)
BAR: B(ritish) followed by the chemical symbol for a gas



  1. Jane
    Posted April 17, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I recall being somewhat less than flattering in my comments about this one! It was, nevertheless, an incredible feat to get all those famous people (with the correct DOBs) into one puzzle.

    Well done indeed, JL – I’m so pleased that you are being permitted to claim your prize, even though you will have to wait a while to collect it. Couldn’t just be that BD is ensuring that more of those famous macaroons make an appearance at the next birthday party could it?!!!

  2. KiwiColin
    Posted April 17, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations JL. A worthy winner of what was an enjoyable challenging puzzle.

  3. Kath
    Posted April 17, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Can neither find nor remember this one but just popped in to say congratulations to JL – I’m always SO pleased when someone we ‘know’ wins – it’s so much better than when someone we’ve never heard of pops in, grabs a crossword, is pulled out of the hat and then disappears again.
    Well done to you JL.
    Thanks again to Alchemi, BD and Mrs BD too for doing the honours.

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted April 17, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Well done, JL! I love it when a BD regular wins.

  5. Miffypops
    Posted April 18, 2016 at 12:11 am | Permalink


    • Hanni
      Posted April 18, 2016 at 1:28 am | Permalink


      Well done Jean-Luc. Love that you’ve won.

  6. Posted April 18, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for the review, BD.

    Well done and thanks to Alchemi for the puzzle, and congratulations to Jean-Luc. I can’t think of a more worthy winner – and am liking that you will have to come to one of the meet-ups to collect your prize. :yes:

  7. dutch
    Posted April 18, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    well done JL – hope to see you when you collect

    and thanks for the review BD – I think I might have had cronrige instead of cronkite – duh.

  8. jean-luc cheval
    Posted April 18, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    So strange to be in the limelight.
    Wasn’t expecting to have my name pulled from Mrs BD’s hat ever!
    Thanks to everyone for their kind comments and to Mr & Mrs BD.
    Hope to come over at least once this summer.

  9. Doughnut
    Posted April 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I can’t say I discriminate over the monthly prize winners – unknown name or a regular, I resent them all equally. *
    Jane, I still can’t work out which entry it is that you said could have had two legitimate answers. I’m putting on my self-kicking shoes in preparation for when the moment comes.

    * I jest. Congratulations Jean-Luc.

    • Jane
      Posted April 18, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Doughnut,
      No need to reach for the self-kicking shoes! Unfortunately, I no longer have my copy of the puzzle (not like me, I usually keep them carefully stashed until the review is published) but I do recall that when I started the solve, my first three ‘name’ answers were Hutton, Robbins and Douglas. There are three cricketing Huttons that get prominent online mention, two successful authors named Robbins and definitely two famous Douglas actors. Fair enough, only one of each seemed to have a birthday with the requisite ’16’ in the number but I began to think that Alchemi was being even more devious than usual and there was going to be more to his question than met the eye.
      Think I’ve just been doing too many crosswords!

      • Doughnut
        Posted April 18, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jane, thanks. Sorry I misread you, I thought you were talking about the completed puzzle rather than options during the solve. I agree setters can be pretty mischievous when it comes to sending solvers down a dead end… all part of the fun of course.