MPP – 059 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 059 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 059

April 2017

A puzzle by Radler

Congratulations to our April winner, Kitty, who receives a signed copy of Mick Twister’s There Once Was a Man with Six Wives: Our Kings and Queens in Limericks, kindly donated by the author

The instructions said: The nine pale blocks are to be ignored when entering the answers to the clues. After completion, solvers need to insert a letter into each of those nine squares, so that they form real words, and so that the nine letters (in order) comprise three words of an appropriate four-word phrase.  The fourth word will be present in the completed puzzle.

This was Radler in friendly mode – not least because in the majority of the solutions with pale blocks, there was only one ‘real’ word that would work. The nine letters gave us ‘FILL IN THE‘ and, of course, the fourth word was revealed in the solved grid at 13a


9a    Broadcast using Radio Leeds channel (4)
AIRE – A homophone (using radio) of AIR (broadcast)

10a    Put back online after stopping stalker? (8)
REPOSTED – POST (after) ‘stopping’ or going inside REED (stalker?)

11a    Nurse (pretty one) groping at rear (4, 5)
LOOK AFTER – LOOKER (pretty one) groping AFT (rear)

12a    Musicians taking time over piano and fiddle (4)
DUPE – Dupe out of/fiddle out of – DUET (musicians) minus T (taking Time) and ‘going’ over P (piano)

13a    Keeper of old files (5)
BANKS – Gordon the goal keeper; files in the sense of rows

14a    One’s pulled tight undergarment putting clobber back on (8)
SLIPKNOT – SLIP (undergarment) followed by a reversal (back) of TONK (clobber, hit hard)

15a    “Born-again!” scoffed Harry (3)
NAG – ‘Scoffed’ indicates that a lurker had been eaten by borN AGain

17a    Wanted place to live when retired, South of Ireland, West of Dublin (3, 3)
DES RES – S (south) ERSE (of Ireland) and D (the ‘west’ of Dublin) reversed (when retired)

20a    Brave man denying love makes female possessive (3)
HERO – HERO (brave man) ‘denying’ O (love)

21a    “Like a Virgin“, surprising denial after Madonna’s first year (8)
MAIDENLY – An anagram (surprisingly) of DENIAL goes after M (Madonna’s ‘first’) and then a Y (the first of Year) is added at the end

23a    Wine: after first, talks incoherently (5)
RAVES – G is the first letter of this type of wine – the other five mean ‘talks incoherently’

25a    Bob being tender once as well as smooth (4)
SAND – S (shilling or bob, once legal tender) plus AND (as well as)

26a    Space made use of by home in Nice, am I right? (1’3-2, 3)
N’est-ce pas – In Nice indicating that you are looking for a French expression. NEST (home) and an anagram (made use of) of SPACE

29a    Covering problem for teenager opposed to Twitter (8)
ENCASING – A reversal (opposed) of ACNE (problem for teenager) plus SING (twitter)

30a    Perhaps indicative of fate, given benefit of hindsight (4)
MOOD – A reversal (given benefit of hindsight) of DOOM (fate)


1d    Bay window opening into elevated workshop (4)
BAWL – Despite the appearance of ‘window’ in the clue, this ‘bay’ refers to a deep howl (usually of hounds) so you are looking for a type of cry. W (the opening of Window) goes into a reversal (elevated) of LAB (workshop)

2d    I’m very upset, mother masks it, I’m sensitive (6)
MIMOSA – Apparently a sensitive plant – reversals (upset) of IM and SO (very) ‘masked by’ MA (mother)

3d    Made casual comment and resigned? (8)
REMARKED – RE-MARKED (re-signed)

4d    Crudely sensual, wiping bottom dry (4)
BRUT – ‘wipe the bottom’ of BRUTE (crudely sensual)

5d    Item in jewellery box, about 50K upwards (8)
SPARKLER – SPAR (box) and a reversal (upwards) of RE (about) L (Roman numeral for 50) K (from the clue)

6d    Tired excuse duplicated details (4,2)
USED UP – Found in the ‘details’ of excUSE Duplicated

7d    An easy goal ahead of centre-half when pushed (2,1,5)
AT A PINCH – A TAP IN (an easy goal) and CH (centre half)

8d    Chances of a set containing 5 (10)
ADVENTURES – A (from the clue) DENTURES (set) ‘containing’ V (the Roman numeral for five)

13d    Born tradesman showing versatility as players’ leader (10)
BANDMASTER – B (born) and an anagram (showing versatility as) of TRADESMAN

16d    After stripping, ruin social following, good to get counselling (8)
GUIDANCE – G (good) followed by UI (RUIN after ‘stripping’) and DANCE (social)

18d    Goes down lifting skirts to give spanking (8)
SPLENDID – A reversal (lifting) of DIPS (goes down) round (skirts) LEND (to give)

19d    Spin from a schemer who knows (6,2)
SEARCH ME – An anagram (spin from) of A SCHEMER

22d    Draw conclusion based on hearing aid (6)
ENDEAR – END (conclusion) ‘based on’ EAR (hearing aid!)

24d    Recruit those people casually, securing nothing through work (6)
EMPLOY – ‘EM (those people casually) ‘securing’ O (nothing) in PLY (work)

27d    Yarn to lose tension, second to fail (4)
SAGA – SAG (lose tension) and A (the second letter in FAIL)

28d    Two-thirds of nothing, that’ll weaken the spirit (4)
SODA – two thirds of SOD-ALL (nothing)

Thanks to Radler and Mrs BD, and extra thanks to BD (he knows why!).


7 comments on “MPP – 059 (Review)

  1. How nice for such a lovely prize to go to someone who is such a stalwart of the BD gang – congratulations Kitty, lucky girl!

    Many thanks for the review, CS – at last I know exactly how 10a&1d work and I really laughed when you pointed out the ‘keeper’ in 13a.
    Found your deliberate mistake!

  2. Congratulations Kitty. A well deserved win.
    Remember the puzzle as being really good fun.

  3. There once was a girl called Kitty
    Most find her incredibly witty
    She’s won this month’s prize
    And to no-one’s surprise
    It’s a book of Limericks that rhyme (unlike this one)

    Well done, Kitty!

  4. Very well done, Kitty, many thanks to CS for the review, and many thanks again to Radler for such a superb puzzle.

  5. I’m thrilled! I was a Happy Bunny indeed to receive that news. My thanks to Mrs BD and the electronic gods, and to those offering congratulations and goodwill.

    Many thanks again, Radler, for a fairly stretching and really fun prize crossword, and many thanks also to CS for the review. Last but not least, oodles of thanks to Micawber for the very generous prize which I’m immensely looking forward to receiving. I’m feeling pleased that, through my usual level of (dis)organisation, I had not yet got around to ordering a copy for myself!

    (It’s only a prize crossword, so why did that feel like an Oscar acceptance speech? Did I forget to thank my agent?)

    Appropriately, I can now fill in the gaps in my original comment. My list of picks was as follows:

    11a, 14a, 8d, 18d, 19d, 28d – and my favourite, beating off 14a, was … 18d.

    The other blanks in the comments:
    Rabbit Dave’s double ticks were by 21a & 29a, and his favourite was 28d
    Jane’s smile was at 11a, and podium places went to 8, 18 & 19d with the gold medal bestowed upon 28d.
    Dutch’s specific comments pertained to, in order, 2d, 30a and 18d and he particularly liked 11a, 8d, 15a, 17a, 18d, and many more.

  6. Congratulations Kitty, and thank you for passing on the expurgated details from the earlier comments, following the tightening of the rules. It’s both pleasing and useful to get some feedback on the clues.

    Thank you as always to Crypticsue for the review and her earlier test solve

  7. Congratulations to Kitty.

    I’m afraid this puzzle was way above my pay grade.

    Many thanks to Radler and to Crypticsue for unravelling it all.

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