MPP – 060 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 060

May 2017

A puzzle by Prolixic

Congratulations to Avril Lang, who successfully solved this double pangram and worked out which of the many and varied opportunities to create sentences from the solutions was the correct five words required for the answer – AMAZINGLY  FEW DISCOTHEQUES PROVIDE JUKEBOXES – sentences using a combination of these words were entered into the draw.   Avril wins her choice of a Telegraph Crossword Puzzles Book, kindly provided by Big Dave.



1a           Animal described by Immanuel Kant (3)
ELK – Hidden in (described by) ImmanuEL Kant

3a           Good sucked up evil (6)
WICKED – A nice triple definition clue – an informal term meaning good, a verb meaning sucked up, or evil in principle or practice

6a           Keeps heading off wingers (4)
AVES – Take the ‘heading’ off SAVES (keeps) gives a word meaning ‘birds as a class of vertebrates’

10a         Break down holding a small hammer (5)
ROAST – ROT (break down) ‘holding’ A S (small)

11a         Surprisingly find life left in a blossom (9)
AMAZINGLY – ZING (life) and L (left) in A MAY (a blossom)

12a         Require professional film to be cut (7)
PROVIDE -PRO (professional) VIDEo (film ‘cut’)

13a         Shoot nurse right in front of the Italian (7)
TENDRIL – TEND (nurse) R (right) IL (the in Italian)

14a         Quiet Docs she ravished in entertainment venues (12)
DISCOTHEQUES – A hard word to spell – no wonder we mostly call them discos nowadays – it  is obtained from an anagram (ravished) of QUIET DOCS SHE

19a         One country includes fearful menaces (12)
INTIMIDATION – I (one) NATION (country) includes TIMID (fearful)

22a         Tart leaves hopelessly down-to-earth dance (7)
HOEDOWN – An anagram (hopelessly) of DOWN TO EARTH once the [letters of] TART leaves

25a         One reportedly needing varnish (7)
LACQUER – Sounds like (reportedly) LACKER (one … needing)

26a         Jay fights to give a home to ukulele players (9)
JUKEBOXES – J (jay) BOXES (fights) ‘gives a home to’ UKE (ukulele)

27a         Distress head with violent impact (5)
SHOCK – Another triple definition – A verb meaning to distress; a mass of thick, shaggy hair (head) or a violent impact (which the BRB says was originally ‘of charging warriors’)

28a         Coarse game of French … (4)
RUDE – RU (Rugby Union, game) DE (of in French)

29a         … comic losing weight editor ridiculed (6)
JEERED – JESTER (comic) losing ST (stone, weight) plus ED (editor)

30a         Some iron and tungsten (3)
FEW – FE (chemical symbol for iron) and W (tungsten was originally known as Wolfram)


1d           Regret standing up to start Norway leaving continent (6)
EUROPE – A reversal (standing up in a Down clue) of RUE (regret) plus OPEn (open, start, ‘leaving’ N (Norway)

2d           Alarm king with slipshod working (6)
KLAXON – K (king) LAX (slipshod) ON (working)

3d           With it involuntary spasm is the first sign of mirth (9)
WITTICISM – W (with) IT (from the clue) TIC (involuntary spasm) IS (from the clue) M (first sign of mirth)

4d           Came together to design cocktail dresses not split skirts (9)
COALESCED – An anagram (to design) of COCKTAIL DRESSES once you’ve removed the letters of SKIRT (which are split through the two words)

5d           Nice old fake (5)
EXACT – EX (old) ACT (fake) – nice here meaning precise

7d           Robust house dropping Republican over the States (8)
VIGOROUS – VIRGO, the House of the Zodiac, dropping the R further down the word, the abbreviation for the United States being added at the end

8d           Mata Hari hides German telescope! (8)
SPYGLASS – Mata Hari could be considered to be a SPY LASS and here she ‘hides’ the G for German

9d           An unquantified number I will leave in Jerusalem (4)
ZION – ILL (I will) leaves a ZILLION (an extremely large but unspecified number)

15d         Aristotle organised betting system (9)
TOTALISER – An anagram (organised) of ARISTOTLE

16d         Banished duke supporting soldiers involved in duty (9)
EXORCISED – D (duke) ‘supports’ or goes after some OR (ordinary ranks of soldiers) involved in EXCISE (duty)

17d         Bird‘s bedtime drink? (8)
NIGHTJAR – Not sure it would be a good idea for a bird to have an alcoholic drink, especially beer, at bedtime but each to their own.

18d         Marbled meat sandwiches recipe by Edward (8)
STREAKED – STEAK (meat) sandwiches R (recipe) and then ED is added at the end

20d        Bribe Lord Lieutenant leaving start of game (3,3)
BUY OFF – The abbreviation for Lord Lieutenant – LL – leaves a BULLY-OFF, a start in a game of hockey

21d         Two vessels capsized in Polish city (6)
KRAKOW – A reversal (capsized) of WOK and ARK (two vessels)

23d         Balls or bullshit (4)
ORBS – OR (from the clue) BS (bullshit)

24d         Nothing that is a malevolent spirit (5)
NIXIE – A malignant or spiteful water spirit – NIX (nothing) IE (id est, that is)

You don’t realise quite how many times you have to remove letters until you are crossing them out for wordplay explaining purposes!

Thanks once again to Prolixic, Mrs BD and BD too, without whom …..




  1. jane
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for the well illustrated review, CS. Makes a change to see a male representation of 18d!
    I thought that Prolixic had given us a few tricky pieces of wordplay to deal with (4d springs to mind) and was glad to have your confirmation of the correct modus operandi.

    Congratulations to Avril and thanks again to Prolixic for an excellent puzzle.
    PS I didn’t spot any appearances by Capt. Mainwaring!

  2. KiwiColin
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations Avril.
    It is hard to imagine the effort required to put together such a clever puzzle and avoid having to use impossibly obscure words. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Well done Prolixic, thanks again and thanks Sue.

  3. Kath
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear – I’d forgotten about this one.
    I seem to remember that the actual crossword wasn’t too tricky but the question completely floored me – I put it somewhere ‘sensible’ to have a think about and then either lost it or forgot.
    Whatever – congratulations to Avril – are you someone we ‘know?’ I do hope so. Perhaps you could pop in and introduce yourself.
    With thanks to Prolixic for the very inventive crossword and question, as my Dad would have put it, “To sort out the men from the boys” and to CS for the untangling.

  4. Tonto McTavish
    Posted May 21, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Extremely confused, why would a disco provide a jukebox?

  5. Rahmat Ali
    Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Heartiest congratulations to Avril Lang for winning the Monthly Prize Puzzle – 060! Thanks once again to Prolixic for the superb puzzle! The directions were clear and there was nothing more to hear. One could easily spot the sentence. I really enjoyed till the last. Finally, I thank Crypticsue for the excellent review! The triple definition clues as in 3a and 27a were amazing!

  6. Posted May 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Rahmat has reminded me that I failed to comment on this before.

    I remember, though there was a humungous gap between starting and returning to it shortly before the deadline, that this was a fun one. It’s hard now to recall which clues I particularly enjoyed, but reading the review I do note a soft spot for 3a.

    Thanks to Prolixic for the puzzle, congratulations to Avril, and thanks to CS for the review. I had a question mark over the explanation of 9d, where I had thought of the right breakdown, just wasn’t convinced, so it’s nice to have that confirmed.

  7. Avril
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you all for the congratulations. This was the first time I’d entered the monthly prize puzzle and it was a big and pleasant surprise to find I’d won. My favourite clue was 3a I think, but they all were very clever. Thank you to Prolixic for creating it and to Cryptic Sue for reviewing it.

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog.

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