MPP – 056

Monthly Prize Puzzle (January 2017)

A Puzzle by Prolixic

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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 (21st January 2017).

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. dutch
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks Prolixic

    I had a bit of a gap between finishing and interpreting the instructions, but I think i have it now – anyway, I’ve entered my answer.

    Not sure I’ve understood 1a correctly, not sure about the definition in 3a, and I wondered whether we had a noun/adjective issue in the definitions of 10a and 11a.

    My very first entry turned out to be wrong (30a)

    liked 27a, 5d, 14d

    Many thanks

  2. Kath
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Finished, by which I mean I have answers to all the clues rather than that I can explain them all.
    Still don’t understand the question – if I leave it on the kitchen table for long enough so that I keep seeing it maybe I will.
    I didn’t know the second definition of 13a or the word in 23a.
    I liked 27a and 1d made me laugh so it’s my favourite.
    Thanks to Prolixic.

  3. KiwiColin
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I also had a big gap between having a completed grid and sorting out an answer to submit. Think I have it worked out now and entry submitted.
    Thanks Prolixic

  4. Expat Chris
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, apart from 1A (for which I have a word but as yet no justification), I have a full grid. I have, I believe, identified the shared synonym and the nine solutions and have arrived at a number to submit if in fact I were eligible for the prize. 1A could still throw a spanner in the works I suppose but somehow I don’t think so. I do take issue with 3A, probably for the same reason as Dutch. I liked 5d, 8D and also 27A. Thanks Prolixic.

  5. Jane
    Posted January 7, 2017 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Came across two new words in 3&23a and a new definition in 30a. As with Kath, my completed grid now rests on the kitchen table awaiting inspiration!
    Podium places awarded to 10,21&27a plus 1,5&7d. Think the laurels go to 1d.

    Many thanks, Prolixic – very much enjoyed.

    • Jane
      Posted January 8, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Overnight cogitation helped enormously – now know what I’m aiming for but am having problems persuading the BRB to agree with my selection……….
      Ho hum.

      • crypticsue
        Posted January 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        I hope you’ve got your shin pads on standby as you are going to need them eventually

        • Jane
          Posted January 8, 2017 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Oh tarnation – now you’ve made me doubt myself all over again…………..

  6. Rahmat Ali
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Wishing everybody a very, very happy and prosperous new year 2017! For me, the gap between completing and interpreting the ultimate question is getting longer and I think I would be thinking and rethinking in interpreting in the days ahead and arriving at a number. The very first clue finally turned out to be the most difficult one and I was surprised to come across the rare use of ‘a’ in 3a. 16a toppled both 10a and 11a on the ‘adjective’ issues. However, many thanks to Prolixic for the entertainment as I was fascinated by the rhythmic beauty of 18a and the joint venture of 28a and 29a. My other favourites were 25a, 27a, 1d, 5d, 9d and 22d, but I my overall vote would go for 21d!

    • dutch
      Posted January 8, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      happy new year to you too – the way I parsed it, I am happy with 16a.

      • Rahmat Ali
        Posted January 8, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Even I am happy with 16a. What I meant is that the adjective of 16a was befitting while those of 10a and 11a weren’t matching with ‘fabric design’ and ‘vast quantity’.

        • Jane
          Posted January 8, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          I think the definition at 11a is just ‘*******’ – with ‘*******’ being part of the wordplay.

          • Jane
            Posted January 8, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            Oops – sorry, BD.

  7. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    If it is on BD’s blog, it has to be written in plain English.
    Well. Not plain enough for me unfortunately.
    Can’t see anything at all. Don’t even know what to look for yet.
    The clock is ticking and my brain is at a standstill.
    Thanks to Prolixic. Might look at it again if it doesn’t end up at the bottom of my backlog.

  8. silvanus
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Excellent entertainment for a gloomy winter afternoon. Having the Chambers Crossword Dictionary (the Small Red Book) helped enormously to get to what I believe to be the right answer.

    Surprised to see “******” twice used as a containment indicator, but it proves that our esteemed setter is human after all! My favourite clue has to be 5d.

    Many thanks, Prolixic.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted January 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Guess what my favourite clue was – yes, 5d!

  9. Jane
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Does anybody share my dilemma – I’ve got 10 possible synonyms but two of them are not actually listed as such in the BRB so I can’t decide which one to settle on.

  10. Posted January 8, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Please confine your comments to platitudes rather than discussion of the puzzle.

  11. Senf
    Posted January 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Same as too many to mention, finished the puzzle and still working on comprehending the question. Still plenty of time left before the deadline.

  12. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 9, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Glad I am not alone in being mystified by the question.

    Good crossword, though.

    Thanks for that at least.

  13. stanXYZ
    Posted January 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to seeing if I have the right number … and why!

    Thanks to Prolixic for the puzzle