MPP – 058

Monthly Prize Puzzle (March 2017)

Portfolio by Phibs

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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 (18th March 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.


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25 Comments

  1. KiwiColin
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I had to get most of the puzzle completed and then stare at the grid to start to make any sense of what the question was all about. Eventually the penny dropped. There are still a couple of answers where I have a bit more work to do but that can wait for the morning. Very clever and good fun.
    Thanks Phibs.

  2. Expat Chris
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I very much enjoyed the puzzle and I know what I have to do to arrive at the solution to the question, but since for me that will involve more work, I am content for now with having solved the grid. 16A and 22A were my favorites. Thanks Phibs!

  3. dutch
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Phibs, I thought this was excellent with some very fine clues. I saw the portfolio early on which helped me to get some answers. I am however struggling with the arithmetic – *********.

    The clues were delightful in both surface and twig value – 2a for example, great surface, 15a, 22a, 19a took me a while to see but a great penny-drop. I also liked 37a and 38a (btw, that is a lot of clues in this grid, so quite an effort to clue)

    not sure i understood ******** in 23a (if my answer is right) and 17d ********, but I thought this a wonderful effort, and I particularly like the way 15d and 17d are included.

    Congrats on a brilliant puzzle

    • Posted March 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      This is a prize puzzle, so please restrict comments to platitudes not detail.

  4. stanXYZ
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    What a lot of clues!

    24 across clues and 19 down clues = 43 in total. Is this a record?

    **************

    Thanks to Phibs for a very enjoyable puzzle.

    • Posted March 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Please see my reply to Dutch above. I have to draw the line somewhere.

      • stanXYZ
        Posted March 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Finally the closing date has arrived.

        Looking forward to the review tomorrow to see if I was right or wrong?

        Still don’t understand why my comment was deleted/redacted – I only said that my calculation of the price didn;t match any of the prices on offer.

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    What a great idea!
    What a great puzzle!
    What a lot of fun!
    What a lot of clues!
    What a lot of great clues!

    Many thanks to Phibs for the entertainment.

  6. Posted March 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Wot Rabbit Dave said!

    I knew I was going to love this at first sight of the preamble, and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I’d filled in most of the grid before I had any clue as to what I might be looking for, and it was a lovely moment when I saw it.

    Part of the portfolio has featured a bit in my life recently and so made me smile; I can’t say more without joining the very crowded naughty corner.

    My favourite is 16a.

    Many thanks Phibs.

  7. Kath
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Well, not sure about the naughty corner but perhaps we could have a dim corner and I’ll be the first one in there.
    I’ve done the crossword but still haven’t any idea of what to do with it – oh dear – I could be a while, I think.
    All really good fun though.
    Back in a week or two but, in the meantime, thanks to Phibs.

  8. Rahmat Ali
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    It was real fun all throughout and I am very close to getting an answer (which I shall be sending sooner or later) as the heart of 10a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx I am also not sure about 29a as yet. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Besides, I like 5a, 13a, 26a, 32a, 34a, 38a, 5d, 7d, 24d and 25d. But 16a and 22a, like Expat Chris’, topped as my favourites! Meanwhile, thanks to Phibs for a very entertaining, brilliant and magnificent puzzle!

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      In line with BD’s request for people to limit themselves to platitudes in their comments, I’ve edited parts of yours as you were being far far too helpful.

  9. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Excellent challenge.
    Wish it wasn’t over yet.
    Loved all the 5 letter clues with no exceptions.
    Thanks to Phibs for the super fun.

  10. jane
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t say no to the portfolio at any of those prices!
    Enjoyed this one very much, top three being 10,13&16a.

    Thank you, Phibs – nice to see you back again.

  11. Kath
    Posted March 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Finally got there – to be honest I gave up and passed the completed (by me) crossword to husband who sussed out what we were after in a couple of minutes.
    I know that I would never, ever, in the reign of Sam have got that.
    Whatever – I loved the crossword.
    13 and 16a were particularly good, I thought – oh, and 5 and 37a.
    Thanks again to Phibs.

  12. Orphan Annie
    Posted March 6, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Nearly finished crossword, most of which I failed to understand. Sort of think I know where to go next but arithmetic has defeated me. Sums never were my forte. :phew:
    Never mind perhaps next month.

  13. Ora Meringue
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    What a cracker of a puzzle.

    Loved it!

  14. Alchemi
    Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    This was somewhat spoiled by the fact that none of the answers proffered as alternatives for the total cost of assembling the portfolio are correct.

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      As someone who has solved the puzzle, entered the competition, and drafted the blog, I’d have to take issue with that statement.

      • Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        It’s a case of too much knowledge – all of those who have entered so far have come up with the expected answer, although some have pointed out the technical flaw.

    • Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      There has been discusion about this, but the intention was to calculate the accumulated cost of the actual items in the puzzle, not of any dependent costs incurred.

      • Alchemi
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        It might perhaps have been better to leave the question open as to the amount and then allow both the correct answer and the “expected” one.

        • Phibs
          Posted March 11, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          …if the extra knowledge that BD refers to is applied in its entirety, then there is no ‘correct’ answer, hence the choice of four, three of which have no reasonable justification.

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        Interestingly I didn’t see it as a flaw but part of what you had to do to find the answer

        I’ll add a bit to my review as we are going to end up in ‘too much information’ land soon

        • Posted March 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Yes – the options given served to pinpoint exactly what we were meant to be looking for. (Though I must confess that BD’s comment above was welcome!)