MPP 052 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 052

September 2016

A Puzzle by Prolixic

Once solved, this crossword revealed a Nina around the perimeter, the instructions contained within to be used to find out what the Gloriana did (Conman seeing what the Gloriana did). and then submit an entry to this month’s competition.   If you didn’t manage to spot the Nina, all is revealed at the bottom of this review.


This month’s lucky winner is Rabbit Dave, who wins his choice of a Hamlyn Telegraph Puzzle Book


8a           Slovenly woman meets European author (8)
TROLLOPE –  TROLLOP (slovenly woman) meets E (European)

9a           Old lady’s first son returned with fruitcake! (6)
MANIAC – MA (an informal way of referring to your mother (old lady)) followed by a reversal (returned) of CAIN, the first ‘son’ to be born in the Bible.

10a         Lethal ideas harboured by salt perhaps – quite the reverse (6)
HALIDE – As the clue indicates, the salt, a compound of a halogen with a metal or radical is harboured by, found lurking in, lethal IDEas

11a         Valet cavorting with every other curate and judge (8)
EVALUATE – an anagram (cavorting) of VALET and every other letter of cUrAtE

12a         Eleven maybe reflected about note on publications (8)
EDITIONS – a reversal (reflected) of SIDE (eleven maybe, the number of people in a cricket or football team), goes ‘about’ TI (musical note) and ON (about)

14a         Allah’s interpreter in a hotel on Scottish 20 (6)
MULLAH – A Muslim who advises and expounds on Islamic theology and law –  A (from the clue) and H (hotel) go after a Scottish 20a.

15a         Novice leaves quails for other birds (7)
FINCHES –   Remove the L (learner) from FLINCHES (quails)

18a         Ass embraced by this French totty! (7)
CRUMPET –   RUMP (ass, bottom) is embraced by CET (this in French)

20a         Nassau perhaps has a lake with beach around (6)
ISLAND – I (a, one) plus SAND (beach) into which is inserted L, the abbreviation for lake.

22a         A flat could be viewed in this location (4,4)
BASS CLEF –   A cryptic definition of where the musical note A flat could be viewed.

25a         Gets up to eat oddly spoilt food (8)
RISSOLES –  RISES (gets up) eats the odd letters of SpOiLt


26a         Rex tucked into rib of 20 (6)
BORNEO – R (rex) is ‘tucked into’ BONE (rib) and followed by O (which the BRB describes as a shortened form of of)

27a         Against leaving Steven Spielberg’s draft screenplay (6)
SCRIPT –   CON (against) leaving what we’d call CONSCRIPT but the Americans (Steven Spielberg included) would call draft.

28a         Missives from Eastern Saint used in masses (8)
EPISTLES – E (Eastern) followed by PILES (masses) into which is inserted ST, the abbreviation for saint.


1d           On with King and Queen’s mission (6)
ERRAND – ER (Edward Rex, king) R (Regina, queen) and AND (from the clue)

2d           Form of orbit is dubious (8)
ELLIPTIC – Relating to an oval form of orbit; obscure or dubious.

3d           Twosome (unmarried) frolicking in part of Johannesburg (6)
SOWETO – Remove the M (unMarried) from an anagram (frolicking) of TWOSOME.

4d           Horoscopists drinking whiskey with crafters? (6)
SEWERS – SEERS (astrologers or horoscopists) ‘drinking’ W (whiskey being the word used for W in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet)

5d           Employee of funeral home encases setter in carved marble (8)
EMBALMER –  ME (the setter) ‘encased’ in an anagram (carved) of MARBLE

6d           Farmers’ group supports university reference library with display (6)
UNFURL – U (university) supported by (in a Down clue) NFU (National Farmers Union) and the abbreviation for Reference Library.

7d           Initial follower vaguely laments accepting answer! (4,4)
LAST NAME – An anagram (vaguely) of LAMENTS accepting A (answer)

13d         Resurrection of Jesus resulting in denials (3)
NOS –  A reversal of SON (because Jesus was the Son of God)

14d New veneer is not so asymmetrical (6)
EVENER – An anagram (new) of VENEER

16d         Shadowy lady deserts faculty (8)
INSTINCT –  DI (lady) deserts INDISTINCT (shadowy)

17d         Target tablet for nerve structure (3-5)
END-PLATE – the discoid expansions of a motor nerve where its branches terminate on a muscle fibre can be obtained by putting together END (target) and PLATE (tablet)

18d         Cut tail off bird for tea (3)
CHA – Simply remove the ‘tail’ or end letter of a CHAT (bird)

19d         Official’s staff charge for waste (8)
MACERATE – MACE (a staff carried by an official) and RATE (charge)

21d         Lower oneself using muscles then lie back (6)
ABSEIL – ABS (muscles) followed by a reversal (back) of LIE

22d         University awards half of small fortune to carrier (6)
BASKET (BAS, Bachelor of Arts degrees awarded by universities) and the second half of a PACKET (an informal term for a small fortune)

23d         Move   to give way (6)
SUBMIT – a double definition clue

To reveal the Nina, simply ntspp_344


Many thanks once again to Prolixic, Big Dave and Mrs Big Dave too


  1. dutch
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    congrats RD!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Dutch, and many thanks too to CS for unravelling the handful of clues whose parsing eluded me.

  2. Jane
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    There’s a welcome home present for you, RD! Congratulations.

    Many thanks for the pictorial review, CS – cleared up the couple of bits of parsing I hadn’t managed.
    Sorry to be on your case again but 16d answer needs a tweak.
    Thanks again to Prolixic – most enjoyable.

    • crypticsue
      Posted September 18, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. I looked and checked and looked but obviously didn’t look hard enough

      • Jane
        Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Somebody did – it’s been changed!

        • crypticsue
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink | Reply

          That was me!

  3. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations RD.
    A Nina, an acrostic and then an anagram. That was so clever.
    Thanks again Prolixic and CS.

  4. Jeroboam
    Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    I said when this was originally posted, that it was right up my street. Although the grid is very different this had a hint of ST EV about it which, in addition to all the puzzles blogged here, is my weekly treat/torture. So enjoyment *****

  5. Prolixic
    Posted September 25, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    A somewhat belated thank you to Crypticsue for the blog (and to her and Gazza for test solving). It was encouraging to see the kind comments on the original post and the review, so thank you all for commenting.

    • LetterboxRoy
      Posted September 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Brilliantly clever, and really good fun.
      Thank you, and to all else as ever.

  6. Robert
    Posted October 2, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for the review CS. A very clever puzzle.
    I’m struggling to parse 1d – Is “On with” significant? Why is Queen (R) before AND?

    • Gazza
      Posted October 2, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

      In a down clue ON means ‘preceding’ and ‘with’ here is AND. So, preceding AND we have ER (king) and R (queen).

  7. Robert
    Posted October 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Gazza, that’s what I like about crosswords – blindingly simple, but only once you’ve seen the light!

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