Prize Puzzle – 048

Monthly Prize Puzzle (May 2016)

A Puzzle by Radler


+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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 (21st May 2016).

The competition is now closed

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. dutch
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks Radler, just completed grid and found the hidden clue, very nice. NW was last.

    I think 5a has to be my favourite.

    Pretty tricky in places

    • Jane
      Posted May 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Wondered who’d be first in – well done, Dutch. I’m still struggling with the last three in the NW corner (know the clues off by heart now!) and am hoping to goodness that they will help with the clue for 1a as I’m completely in the dark over that at the moment.

      • dutch
        Posted May 8, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure they would be the same last three I was stuck with. Didn’t manage yesterday but saw it this morning.

  2. Beet
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m another one stuck in the NW corner. Everything else done – no idea where the hidden clue is yet, but maybe once I complete th egrid everything will become clear.

    • Beet
      Posted May 8, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Finally got there! Phew…

      • Jane
        Posted May 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Well done, Beet. I’m still looking at those same three………..

        • Beet
          Posted May 9, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

          I used all the electronic help I could get.

          In my relief at finishing I forgot to say thanks to Radler. I agree with Dutch that 5a was my favourite.

  3. KiwiColin
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Well that was a struggle. Took two sessions but eventually filled the grid, found the clue and filled in the answer. Excellent stuff.
    Thanks Radler.

  4. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 8, 2016 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi everyone,
    Last month winner here :wacko:
    I think I’ll wait for the review before I send my answer :unsure:

  5. Robert
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Just completed it – NW corner took at least 3 times longer than the rest put together – perhaps a good thing the MPP’s come only once a month or no other work would get done!

  6. Jane
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Got one more this afternoon – that leaves just 11a, 2d and the wretched one that forms the answer.
    Hope your ears are burning, Radler………….!

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted May 9, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry, we still have a couple of weeks to sort it out.

  7. Encota
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle – thanks Radler!

    • Encota
      Posted May 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      I meant to say how I loved 11a – very neat! 5a has a very pretty surface too ;-)

  8. jaehancock
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    This was a great puzzle, and pretty hard to complete. I got there in the end with the help of friends who have bigger brains than mine. However, that part of challenge completed, I have absolutely no idea how to find the clue that provides the answer. This may absolutely not be allowed (I don’t know unless I ask), but I’d be grateful if anyone can point me in the right direction. I’m obviously not going to attempt to submit an entry. I’m really just trying to learn how to complete this type of puzzle.

    • snape
      Posted May 10, 2016 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      I haven’t done the puzzle – I only had time for a very quick go, in which I managed to get one answer. It looks a very difficult puzzle, so well done. That does mean, though, that I might provide a couple of suggestions without any idea if they are right or not.
      Often hidden messages are present as a nina. Look it up in the FAQs, or google it if you want to know more, but maybe reading the letters in (say) the second column, or along a diagonal, may form a sentence or a question. On some grids, a NINA is written in the letters around the perimeter, but that is not possible here.
      Or perhaps the first few answers in order form a separate clue. Donk did a remarkable puzzle a while ago that I read about (Independent 8907, it’s on 15squared), where one clue was 1,1,2,3,5,8… where the answer to 1d was NICE, 2d was BASQUE, and written down in order formed a new clue:
      Nice, nice basque, of course, originally outre, which was the wordplay for… Fibonacci sequence.
      I have no idea whether this helps or not. Good luck.

      • jaehancock
        Posted May 10, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        Wow. Thank you very much for your suggestions. I’ll take another hard look at the grid to see if I can crack it but, if Donk’s puzzle solution is anything to go by, then I don’t hold out much hope of success. Of course, there’s also the likelihood that some of our answers are incorrect, in which case…

        Oh well, live and learn. Thank you again, Snape, and good luck to you too. Hope you crack it!

  9. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    :phew: What a struggle this proved to be requiring a lot of persistence and a not insubstantial amount of electronic help, particularly in the critical NW corner. I needed many pauses and returns to the grid before being able to finish it off, including finding and solving the hidden clue. I did enjoy the challenge but I wouldn’t have the stamina to tackle something as difficult as this too often.

    I always thought “someone in denial” was a swimmer in an Egyptian river. :wacko:

    One of the answers is particular bugbear of mine, although the rational being within me says that it has become such a common (mis!)usage that I ought really to turn a blind eye to it. More about that after the deadline!

    I have three questions plus three half-parsed answers, all of which will hopefully be resolved when the review appears.

    Many thanks to Radler. I need to go and lie down now.

  10. jaehancock
    Posted May 11, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh My Gosh, I got it! Thank you again, Snape. I never would have examined the grid in the same way without your helpful pointers. Many thanks again.

  11. stanXYZ
    Posted May 17, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The clock is ticking down … nearly the 21st May 2016 … when all will be revealed.

    I have a full grid apart from 1a.


    • crypticsue
      Posted May 17, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I refer you to Snape’s comment at 8 above ;)

      • stanXYZ
        Posted May 17, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, CS, but I don’t want any help … I want to fail miserably by myself!

        • stanXYZ
          Posted May 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          I have failed miserably! Looking forward to the review tomorrow.

          Shin-pads at the ready!

          I’m very sad! :sad: