MPP 053 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 053

October 2016

A Puzzle by Alchemi

Two horizontal lines in the completed grid give a name which is associated with two solutions.  Solvers had to add together the numbers of the clues to those solutions, 26 and 4, and submit that sum in order to enter the competition.  This month’s lucky winner, drawn by Mrs BD, is Pauline Handley who wins her choice of a Hamlyn Telegraph Puzzle Book


1a    Won back dessert glass left around (8)
RECOUPED: a glass container, usually with a shallow bowl and a short stem, for serving a dessert with an adjective meaning left or socialist around it

6a    Off-the-cuff comment, curiously ribald, not run (2,3)
AD LIB: an anagram (curiously) of [R]IBALD, without the R{un)

10a    Period during which the monarch can withdraw assent (5)
AGREE: a period of time around the reversal (can withdraw) the Queen’s regnal cipher

11a    Screen idol‘s cycling team tours England (5,4)
MOVIE STAR: the name of a cycling team, known for their participation in the Tour de France, around (tours) E(ngland)

12a    Kill enemy crossing large marine platform (3,4)
ICEFLOE: a verb meaning to kill followed by an enemy around (crossing) L(arge)

13a    Article encased in stone is missing from tool bag (7)
SATCHEL: the indefinite article inside (encased in) ST(one) followed by a tool from which IS has been dropped (missing)

14a    Dress with suit showing eagerness to start (3-2-3-2)
GET-UP-AND-GO: dress or outfit followed by a word meaning with and verb meaning to suit or complement

16a    Old country seen in key parts of exhausting newsreel (4)
USSR: this old country has now been divided into fifteen republics – to get its name, combine the middle two letters (key parts) of the final two words in the clue

19a    One leaves bone in watering holes (4)
PUBS: drop (leaves) I (one) from a bone in the human body

21a    Tactical voter’s nasal protection puts on pressure, say (7,3)
CLOTHES PEG: the item figuratively worn by tactical voters, a term allegedly attributed to Polly Toynbee, is derived from a verb meaning puts on or dons followed by P(ressure) and the two-letter Latin abbreviation of for example (say)

24a    Soldiers with advanced special abilities (7)
TALENTS: volunteer soldiers followed by a verb meaning advanced or loaned and S(pecial)

26a    Red limo, perhaps on special hire (7)
SCARLET: the kind of vehicle of which a limo is an example (perhaps) preceded by (on in an across clue) S(pecial), again, and followed by a verb meaning to hire

27a    A left back once passed quickly and faded away (9)
ATROPHIED: the A from the clue followed by the reversal (back) of a nautical term for left and an archaic verb meaning passed quickly or rushed

28a    Finally blunt every drill (5)
TEACH: the final letter of [blun]T followed by a word meaning every

29a    Some youth leaders like Miami Beach (5)
SANDY: the initial letters (leaders) of the first two words in the clue, expressed as (1,3,1)

30a    Beat small egg into fish (8)
SCOURGED: to get this verb meaning beat or whipped, S(mall) is followed by a verb meaning to egg inside a fish


2d    Extremely strange deer essentially tries to fall over (7)
EERIEST: the middle letters (essentially) of [d]EE[r] is followed by an anagram (to fall over) of TRIES

3d    Coincides with some spare circuits (8)
OVERLAPS: a word meaning spare or excess followed by some circuits

4d    Make Eagle look glitzy – Labour’s first flower (9)
PIMPERNEL: split the first eight letters as (4,4) and they could mean to make a sea eagle look glitzy

5d    Birds very into rabbits (5)
DOVES: put V(ery) inside some female rabbits

6d    Prevents director leaving commercials (6)
AVERTS: drop (leaving) D(irector) from some commercials or promotions

7d    Most of dead revolutionary’s locks (7)
LATCHES: most of a word meaning dead or deceased followed by an Argentinian revolutionary and the S from ‘S

8d    Woman rising in orderly rebellion (5)
BERYL: this woman’s name can be found hidden (in) and reversed (rising in a down clue) inside the clue

9d    Each instruction to choir being less strict (6,2)
EASING UP: EA(ch) followed by an instruction that might be given to a choir (4,2)

15d    Became familiar with God, set out to convert (3,4,2)
GOT USED TO: an anagram (to convert) of GOD SET OUT

17d    Irritated high Tory expressing acquiescence (6-2)
RIGHTY-HO: an anagram (irritated) of HIGH TORY

18d    Wind bar round soldier (8)
LEVANTER: a bar around a soldier insect

20d    Pamplona’s Civil War battle? (4,3)
BULL RUN: this event for which Pamplona is famous is also the scene of two Confederate victories during the American Civil War

22d    The French are cross American writer describes powerful weapon (7)
POLEAXE: the French definite article, A(re) as a unit of the metric land measure and the cross-shaped letter all go inside (describes) the three-letter surname of an American writer

23d    Short-tempered agent receives hot tip (6)
SNAPPY: a secret agent around a hot horse-racing tip

24d    British sailors go round features of ski resorts (1-4)
T-BARS: B(ritish) with some sailors around the outside

25d    Hides family in vacant shelters (5)
SKINS: a three-letter word for family inside S[helter]S without its inner letters (vacant)

To reveal the Nina, simply mpp_053


Many thanks to Alchemi for the puzzle.


  1. KiwiColin
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations Pauline.
    I remember the puzzle as being good fun and it did not take too long to sort out the answer once I had filled the grid.
    Thanks again Alchemi and BD.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks again to Alchemi for the puzzle; thanks to BD for the review, particularly for decrypting 21a; and congratulations to Pauline.

  3. Jane
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well done, Pauline, isn’t it a great feeling!
    Thank you for the review, BD – I hadn’t quite got there with the parsing of 13a and have to confess to not knowing the cycling team.
    Re-reading 4&9d had me laughing once more!

    Thanks again to Alchemi.

  4. Kath
    Posted October 16, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh – well, hadn’t quite got the right closing date but too bad – did have the right answer.
    I didn’t understand my answer for 1a, still don’t get 11a and my answer for 29a was wrong (sunny) so no wonder I didn’t understand it.
    Congratulations to Pauline Handley – are you someone we “know”?
    Thanks again to Alchemi for a good fun crossword, as always, and to BD for putting me right on my problem answers.

  5. Moggy
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for all this. I’m amazed to have won.
    I have commented in the past using the name “Moggy” but have been quiet of late.
    I do enjoy the blog though & the puzzles on it.
    Thanks Alchemi & Big Dave.

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