Monthly Prize Puzzle – 058
Portfolio by Phibs
How much did it cost me to assemble the portfolio – £1,570, £1,730, £1,940 or £2,100?
First the easy bit, congratulations to David Broatch, whose correct entry was pulled from the electronic hat by Mrs BD, and so he is this month’s winner of a Hamlyn Telegraph Puzzle Book of his choice.
Now for the complicated bit – not since MPP No 9 back in February 2013 has so much crossword time been spent doing ‘sums’.
The portfolio in question is that of properties Phibs bought while playing Monopoly (14a and 29a). So, once I’d dusted off the top of the box (it’s been a while since we played the game) and looked at the board and the relevant property cards, I worked out that the costs were:
WATER WORKS £150
KINGS CROSS £200
PALL MALL £140 which has a HOUSE on it, so you need to spend another £100, totalling £240
And PARK LANE £350 which has a HOTEL on it at a cost of £200.
However, if you read the Park Lane card very carefully, you’ll see that you have to have four houses (totalling £800) before you can put a hotel on it, so the total cost of this part of your portfolio is £1,350.
Therefore, the cost of the portfolio as originally intended by Phibs was £150 + £200 + £240 + £1,350, a total of £1,940
However, a lot of people commented that it wasn’t as straightforward as that, as the following ‘conversation between Rabbit Dave and Phibs illustrates.
“Perhaps I am being over pedantic (not unusual for me, I know J) but my first calculation came to £3,440. I’ve now entered £1,940 as my answer comprising:
Kings Cross £200
Water Works £150
Park Lane £350
Pall Mall £140
House in Pall Mall £100
Hotel in Park Lane £1,000 4 houses @ £200 + a hotel @ £200
But, you can’t put a house on a property unless you have a complete set so you need to add:
Northumberland Ave. £160
And you need to have 4 houses (or a hotel) on Mayfair before you can buy a hotel for Park Lane:
4 houses in Mayfair £800 or
Hotel in Mayfair £1,000
I guess that’s a bit OTT and I certainly wouldn’t want to detract in any way from Phibs’ marvellous creation.”
… and Phibs reply:
“Fair point, well made!
It’s a bit like those questions on TV quizzes along the lines of “What’s the minimum number of times a player must serve to win a best of three set tennis match?”, where the answer is given as ‘24’ and I’m shouting ‘Zero! The opponent could commit 24 time violations resulting in the loss of every point when receiving serve…’.
The correct answer to the question of how much the portfolio cost me to assemble is, in truth, ‘nobody knows (except me)’. I could, for instance, have landed on Park Lane, declined to buy the property, and in the subsequent auction obtained it for £1; equally I might have had to buy the hotel for Park Lane at auction and paid £3,000 for it. The problem with bringing the rules of the game into play is that there is then no single answer, as the question becomes ‘how much did the portfolio cost me to assemble in an actual game of Monopoly?’. So the reality is that I’ve made up my own rules (surely the setter’s prerogative? J) by providing four options, three of which have no reasonable justification and one of which reflects the ‘book’ price of the assets directly revealed in the grid, such that the solution could be derived from the completed grid, the Monopoly board, and the two relevant title deeds. Even with that constraint, as BD has previously pointed out, the cost of ‘PARK HOTEL LANE’ could be interpreted as £1,000, the cost of a hotel on Park Lane, and that of PALL HOUSE MALL as £100…
I was very keen to keep the preamble simple…I think that the ‘required solution’ is undoubtedly the best answer of the four offered, and the most ‘accessible’, but it is, as quite rightly noted, certainly not the only possible answer! “
2a Chap serving at table spilling one’s drink (5)
WATER – Remove the I (spilling one) from WAITER (chap serving at table)
5a Full Monty turns out well (5)
WORKS – The Fully Monty is an informal term meaning everything there is or one needs – as in ‘I’ll have the works’. When something works, it turns out well.
9a Mature dowager’s imprisoned (3)
AGE – Imprisoned in or lurking inside dowAGErs
10a Breakdown service covering good range (3)
AGA – The AA (Automobile Association, breakdown service) ‘covering’ G (good)
11a Go abroad to have sex, getting hold of one Greek (7)
MIGRATE – MATE (have sex) ‘getting hold of’ I (one) GR (Greek)
12a Delayed taking first taste of Turkish coffee (5)
LATTE – LATE (delayed) ‘taking’ the first letter (taste) of Turkish
13a McCartney could have created this fine music (5)
FROCK – If she was called Stella rather than Paul – F (fine) ROCK (music)
14a Tick certainly not going into just one ear (4)
MONO – As opposed to stereo, going in both ears. MO (tick, small period of time) NO (certainly not)
15a Girl who’s admired a couple in class A (7)
A couple of Class A drugs – HEROIN and E (Ecstasy)
16a One has axes to knock in heads of ghastly husbands (5)
GRAPH – RAP (knock) in ‘heads’ of Ghastly Husbands
18a Preservative in dessert initially withdrawn (5)
NITRE – Lurking in reverse (withdrawn) in dessERT Initially
20a City‘s backing new uniform that includes vibrating bra (5)
URBAN – A reversal (backing) of the abbreviations for New and Uniform, between which is inserted (includes) an anagram (vibrating) of BRA
22a Man races round small post (length very restricted) (5)
TWEET – TT (the races on the Isle of Man) go round WEE (small) – I’m not a Twitterer myself but I understand that these posts are limited to 140 characters
23a Judge snubbed American bums (5)
ASSES – American bottoms – ‘Snubbed’ indicates the need to remove the final S from ASSES
26a Office module, a very big one by the sound of it (5)
EXCEL – The Microsoft application for spreadsheets – sounds like XL (extra-large or very big)
27a One caught getting stuck into best bitter (largely) in local (7)
TOPICAL – I (one) C (caught) stuck in TOP (best) and AL
e (bitter ‘largely’)
29a Thickness besets one leading Oxford college (4)
POLY – PLY (thickness) ‘besets’ the letter (one) leading Oxford
30a Half-heartedly washed scooter (5)
MOPED – Remove half of the heart of MO
32a Strange bit of vulgarity hosted by Edmonds? (5)
NOVEL – V (a ‘bit’ of vulgarity) ‘hosted’ by NOEL (Edmonds)
34a Delighted former lover stopped doing head in (7)
EXALTED – EX (former lover) [ALTED (stopped without its head)
35a Ingredient required by Nigella – cannabis resin (3)
LAC – An ingredient of, or lurking in, NigelLA Cannabis
36a Tenor loses a little excess weight (3)
TON – Tenor here isn’t a singer but character of sound – take away the last letter and you have a weight
37a Scandinavian pirates killing six men on board (5)
KINGS – ‘Kill’ the VI (Roman numeral for six) of
VIKINGS (Scandinavian pirates)
38a Like this clue, leaving one in a bad mood (5)
CROSS – This is the last
ACROSS clue and all you have to do is ‘leave’ out the A (leaving one)
1d Blanket recalled Priscilla Presley’s clothing (4)
PALL – ‘Clothing’ indicates that there is a lurker in PrisciLLA Presley – and ‘recalled’ indicates that it is reversed
2d Feel the heat, removing top in confusion (6)
WELTER- Remove the top of
SWELTER (feel the heat)
3d Tango with Nigel as I’m gay, a product of Greenwich (4,6)
TIME SIGNAL – T (the letter represented by Tango in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) followed by an anagram (gay) of NIGEL AS IM
4d I am welcomed by most of Prince George’s government (7)
REGIMEN – IM (I am) ‘welcomed’ by most of the [Prince] REGENt
5d Every so often we heap tins onto small piece of furniture (7)
WHATNOT – Every so often indicates that we need the odd letters of We HeAp TiNs Onto
6d Free nuts in bar (4)
REEF – An anagram (nuts) of FREE
7d Spoiling heyday of wooden shoes? (8) SABOTAGE – The heyday of wooden shoes would be the SABOT AGE
8d Place head on prodigious chest (4)
PARK – P (the ‘head’ of Prodigious) and ARK (chest)
15d Firm rear of Lulu held in by tights? (5)
HOUSE – U (the rear of Lulu) held by HOSE (tights)
16d Stand and operate zip (3-2-3-2)
GET-UP-AND-GO – GET UP (stand) AND (from the clue) GO (operate)
17d Inn has no end of crackers – Ritz, perhaps (5)
HOTEL – Remove the S (no ‘end’ of crackers) from HOSTEL (inn)
19d Fine to dump just a bit of nuclear waste? (3)
ICE – Dump or remove the N (bit of nuclear) from
21d Graduate with Calvin Klein suits (set of four) in bag? (8)
BACKPACK – BA (Bachelor of Arts, graduate) CK (Calvin Klein) PACK (a set of four suits of cards)
24d Nearly all songs involved phrases being regularly repeated (7)
SLOGANS – An anagram (involved) of nearly all of AL
25d Astringent preparation initially stops eye swelling and twitching (7)
STYPTIC – P (preparation ‘initially’) ‘stops’ or goes inside STY (eye swelling) and is following by TIC (twitching)
28d Longs for Tesco bananas, pinching five (6)
COVETS – An anagram (bananas) of TESCO ‘pinching’ V (the Roman numeral for five)
30d Mum’s going to shopping centre (4)
MALL- MA’LL (Ma will, Mum’s going to)
31d Character who’s desperate to hug English clergyman (4)
DEAN – DAN (Beano character who’s Desperate) ‘hugs’ E (English)
33d Aircraft avoiding quiet road (4)
pLANE (aircraft) ‘avoiding’ the musical abbreviation for quiet
If I was going to be picky, there’s an awful lot of take a letter off, use a letter from or an abbreviation for something in these clues. However, a wonderful feat to get the theme sorted and give us a sum to solve too.
Thanks to Phibs and the BDs for their parts in this month’s Prize Puzzle competition
7 comments on “MPP – 058 (Review)”
Congratulations David. Nice to see that I did opt for the correct answer and remember pondering that the instructions could be interpreted in several different ways but only one that I could see came up with one of the possibilities on offer. All good fun.
Thanks again Phibs and CS.
Very happy to be a runner up. My calculations took some thinking though.
Loved the fact that the “house” was in pall mall and the “hotel” in park lane.
Congratulations to the winner and to Phibs again for the great fun.
Thanks to CS for the review.
Congratulations to David – and many thanks to CS for the review. I’d got all the right answers but failed to fully parse 23&24a (IT stuff again in the latter!) along with 30d – must admit I winced a little over the explanation of that one.
Had no problem with the cost of the portfolio – my knowledge of Monopoly is obviously very outdated compared to RD’s!
Thanks again to Phibbs – great puzzle – and to the BD’s for organising these MPPs for us all.
Thanks to Sue for the review. I was a bit sad with this because it was one of the first MPP I had managed to complete but as an isolated only child who never played board games I had no idea how to find the final answer. Even my usual friend in need Mr Google failed me as I did not really know what to look for. Better luck next month.
Not having played Monopoly for over 60 years, I downloaded the rules & ended up with an unsuitable answer as, apparently, did many of my fellow solvers. A rethink and a bit of arithmetic finally got me there.
Thank you to Big Dave, (and especially to Mrs BD!) Phibs and CrypticSue for their efforts and to all well-wishers. Winning twice feels slightly odd – especially since I did not spot 14a & 29a until I read CrypticSue’s explanation!
With all best wishes to everyone.
So the “right” answer is “wrong”?
Even though I had a “get out of jail free” card … BD still put me in the naughty corner,
Heartiest congratulations to David for winning the Monthly Prize Puzzle – 058! Tonnes of thanks to CS for the review! I could not parse only 14a and chose the wrong answer for the wrong reason. I again liked the placement of the house and hotel in Pall Mall and Park Lane respectively. Splendid! Once again, thanks to Phibs for the great, entertaining puzzle!
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