MPP – 061

Monthly Prize Puzzle (June 2017)

Birthday Blog Puzzle by Omnia

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Why not have a go at our latest Monthly Prize Puzzle?

You may have been wondering what happened to the puzzle that Tilsit put together for the Birthday Bash back in January.  Well, it turned out to be a much bigger task than he had anticipated.  Several clues were never submitted, some were mislaid and others were not deemed to be suitable.  This did enable Tilsit to acquire clues from several top setters, merge them in with the others, and the result is now here for all to see.  Please note that there is more than one correct answer, but only one of them should be entered.  Take care because if more than one answer is submitted the entry will be disqualified.  Although some answers are already known to some individuals, only three people know all of the answers (and they are not allowed to submit an entry).

The winner will receive their choice of a “Crossword Solver’s” book, kindly donated by Tilsit.

Please note that, due to punitive postal charges, while the competition is open to all, the prize is only available to UK solvers, although a Kindle version may be offered as an alternative.

A review will follow after the closing date (17th June 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 do not mention any detail about the puzzle, especially references to individual clues, until after the closing date.



  1. Mary
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yaye, been looking forward to this, doubt I’ll be able to finish it tho!! Well done Tilsit :-)

  2. Mary
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    …But not quite sure what we have to do? … missing member??

    • crypticsue
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink | Reply

      As you solve it and once you have 1a, you will recognise some of the solutions relate to 1a, all you have to do is then work out the missing member

      • LetterboxRoy
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

        Solving the puzzle was the easy part! :phew:

    • Mary
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Sue, I get that bit but I’m not sure what is meant by ‘missing member’? Am I just being extra thick :-(

      • Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

        When you have solved at least part of the puzzle it should become obvious – until then you have no chance.

        • Mary
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks Dave, have got 1a, so guess I’ll keep on plodding! :-) , we may be visiting Blackmore caravan park in a few weeks time, may get to meet you at last, I think its near your village? :-)

          • Posted June 4, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

            The nearest pub is the one next door to us, so you have no excuse!

            • Mary
              Posted June 4, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

              The Swan? and they are dog friendly, I’ve checked :-)

  3. Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks for all the effort that went into this.

    It’s great that this puzzle will have a longer lifespan by virtue of being the Monthly Prize, but so frustrating that we can’t make specific comments!

  4. jane
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow – this could take a while! Well done, Tilsit.
    I’ve already found my favourite so am content to put this down for a while and start on today’s back-pager.

  5. Senf
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations to Tilsit on completing this Herculean task.

    So, I have 1a and the one that I submitted, out of about one third done, and I understand the objective – two thirds to go!

  6. Miffypops
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I cannot answer my own clue until I get some checkers in. Doh!

    • Hoofityoudonkey
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Mine didn’t even make the cut!

    • Mary
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ha ha I had that problem with one of mine too :-)

  7. KiwiColin
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Finally got it all sorted after overnight cogitation. The SE corner put up the biggest fight.
    Well done Tilsit and congratulations for putting it all together.

  8. jane
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good heavens, Tilsit – I’m not surprised that one took some time to come to fruition.
    All done now and – although I’m not allowed to mention specifics – no prizes for guessing which was my favourite!

    A huge pat on the back to you and thanks to (almost) all of the contributors. I can think of a couple of wrists that may need slapping!

    • tilsit
      Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:25 pm | Permalink | Reply


      It was quite a task and I’m sorry that some of the clues didn’t get used, but a couple seemed to go astray and I think I inadvertently allocated a couple of words twice,

      Hope you enjoy it and you get your entry in!

      • jane
        Posted June 3, 2017 at 11:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yes – I certainly enjoyed it and – yes – my entry is in!

  9. stanXYZ
    Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have finally filled the grid.

    It will be very interesting to see which “amateurs” provided which clues.

    Thanks to Tilsit for all your hard work in providing us with this puzzle.

    (Who will own up to the Bananarama one? )

  10. Rabbit Dave
    Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very well done, Tilsit. This is a magnificent creation and the amount of effort required to have co-ordinated it all is mind-boggling. I’ve got a few partially parsed answers and two which seem incomprehensible, and I know I need patiently to await the closing date for enlightenment.

    Many thanks to Tilsit and to all the contributors (including me – but I am confident that Jane won’t need to slap my wrists!)

    • jane
      Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That rather depends upon whether you were responsible for xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!

      • crypticsue
        Posted June 4, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The red writing says do not reveal anything about specific clues – I know someone’s got to hunt through all those clues to get the one you mention but ….

        • jane
          Posted June 4, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Sorry, CS – thought that was sufficiently vague.

  11. Sheffieldsy
    Posted June 4, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That was hugely enjoyable. We managed our clues without checkers 😃.

    We can see that a huge amount of effort went into it. Our favourite was 44a (outrageously clever) with 42a (magnificent surface) and 38d (we both laughed out loud) close behind.

    Thanks to Tilsit for all the work and herding the cats of the various clue providers and to all the clue providers.

  12. Orphan Annie
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    I must be incredibly dim but I cannot even get 1a, so disheartened I am almost on the point of giving up.

    • crypticsue
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      Try some of the clues further down – I didn’t actually fill in 1a until a while after I’d started

    • Mary
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      took me a while to get it OA … don’t give up, I am still struggling with the rest of it tho!

    • Orphan Annie
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      An angel has flown to my rescue so if and when I manage to finish the largest pile of ironing in the world I might return with renewed vigour

    • Orphan Annie
      Posted June 12, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      I have now abandoned all hope of finishing. Dave sent me 4 words over time and I can only spot 2 of them how bright is that? Look forward to answers.

  13. LetterboxRoy
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    First and foremost, a huge thank you to Tilsit for putting this together, a mammoth task by the look of it.

    I found it strangely intriguing seeing so many different styles of clue in one puzzle, an odd one for sure.
    I have a full grid, but am in two minds as to which line of thought to follow in finding the missing member, but I suppose I’ll take the plunge with my first thought.

    Thanks again Tilsit and to everyone else who contributed.

  14. Kath
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I only started looking at this yesterday.
    I’ve now probably done about one third of it – that doesn’t include 1a unfortunately as I suspect this is the key to the whole thing.
    I don’t understand the question – maybe if I could get 1a it might become obvious.
    I love 38d – clue of the year!
    Back at some stage but, in the meantime, well done to Tilsit for putting the whole thing together.

  15. Catnap
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Huge congratulations and thanks to Tilsit for compiling this crossword from so many different setters. It sounds a gargantuan task.

    Also, a very big ‘well done’ to Omnia. Appreciative thanks to all.

    I enjoyed this very much. I agree with Kath about 38d. I read the clue and answer to my teenage granddaughter who gave a broad grin and said ‘Nice’!

    I must however add that I found pleasure in solving each and every clue save one. That one clue I simply cannot solve — obviously me being obtuse, especially as I already have three letters. No doubt I will be kicking myself when it is explained!

  16. jean-luc cheval
    Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Phew! That took a few seatings.
    Couldn’t even remember the answer to my own clue for a very very long while.
    Such diversity in the clues made the experience hugely enjoyable.
    Thanks to Tilsit for putting it together.

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