## Monthly Prize Puzzle (February 2017)

## Substitutions by Alchemi

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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 (extended) closing date (20^{th} February 2017).

The competition is now closed

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Please read the instructions carefully.

**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.**

That took quite a long time to work out what was required and then get into it. Then slowly but surely it all started to make sense and fall into place. Amazingly clever and great fun to see it all coming together.

Many thanks Alchemi.

Well, that’s a big relief. I know this one’s difficult, but at least one person has solved it, enjoyed it and commented in less than two hours since it went up, so it’s not *too* difficult.

Thanks to Alchemi for an ingenious puzzle!

I think I have the right answer?

ps. BD – I have submitted my answer but I have not yet received an acknowledgement via email … it used to be automatic.Your answer has been received. According to the email log a reply was successfully sent on Feb 4, 2017 2:00:14 PM

That took a lot of effort but – what a clever puzzle.

Still fighting with 17d and probably don’t need to tell anyone where I started out with 19a!

16d is definitely flavour of the month with compilers.

Many thanks, Alchemi, that was quite a masterpiece. It was good to get to meet you at the Birthday bash.

Aha – just got 17d. Should have known that it would be something to do with that stuff I know nothing about!

I had the answer with half the grid left to fill – so I still haven’t completed the puzzle.

I am in awe of the construction

alchemi you are a genius

I had the answer with half the grid left to fill – so I still haven’t completed the puzzle.

I am in awe of the construction

alchemi you are a genius

A very kind comment, but it wasn’t necessary to post it twice

All done now except needing to parse two answers fully.

Many thanks, Alchemi. What a magnificent creation you have served up here for our entertainment, which provided a challenging and very enjoyable mental workout.

Blimey – I think this is going to take me a while.

I’m not convinced that I haven’t gone just a tiny little bit wrong already.

Perhaps different tactics are needed – back in a few days, I hope.

Well done to Alchemi – however long has this one taken you?

My brain hurts now but I have found the answer to the question and submitted my entry. Thank you Alchemi for a very well crafted/crafty challenge

Just wanted to post half way through to say how much I’m enjoying this.

Love these kinds of puzzles.

I’ll get all the letters if it’s the last thing I’ll do. Whether I’ll be able to put them in order is another matter.

They are already in order. You just have to find them.

Even more of an achievement.

Still needed 12 of them to get the answer and managed to parse everything apart from 10a for which I clearly see the letters but the construction eludes me.

At least that means that I’ll be around for the review.

Thanks for a fabulous puzzle.

I am about 3/4 through the solve and foundering…

Really good puzzle and great fun.

BD The link from the drop down menus e.g. http://crypticcrosswords.net/puzzles/monthly-prize-puzzles/prize-puzzle-057/ are failing for MPP 2017 puzzles.

Thanks. I simplified the numbering system starting with the January puzzle. Should be correct now.

Just got round to finishing this. What a thoroughly brilliant and devilish puzzle. Had my head spinning in more than a few places and wasn’t helped by writing the wrong letters down at various stages i.e. not the missing ones but the replacements . Thank you Alchemi for the excellent workout

Amazingly clever, and much enjoyed. Thanks Alchemi.