MPP – 061 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 061 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 061

June 2017

The Birthday Blog Puzzle by Omnia




At the blog’s birthday bash, Tilsit asked the attendees to provide clues for a puzzle he had specially created.   It took a while, with further requests for clue writing sent out, but eventually the crossword was published as the June 2017 MPP. 

The instructions told us that ‘a number of answers are regularly featured in 1 across. These clues have no definitions. Solvers should submit the name of a missing member’.   1a’s FAQ No 28 would have been of help to those who didn’t know the ‘real’ names of some of our regular setters, the ‘members’ featured in this Jumbo crossword.

The missing names as correct answers and so entered into the draw were Shamus, proXimal (although his NTSPP alter ego does appear in the solution to 27d), Messinae and Petitjean.   Many congratulations to Jean-Luc who wins a “Crossword Solver’s” book kindly donated by Tilsit. He can choose either to have a real book when he next comes to the UK, or the Kindle version to use on his electronic device, whatever that may be


1a           Grows bald, discovers solution in bathroom here? (3,5,9,4)
BIG DAVES CROSSWORD BLOG – An anagram (solution) of GROWS BALD DISCOVERS inserted into BOG (bathroom)

14a         Poet commanding Queen to exhaust her Civil List? (7)
SPENDER – Split your solution 5,2 to get the command to Her Majesty

15a         Head where cat sat, rat’s head inside shredded chair (9)
MATRIARCH – MAT (where the cat sat) followed by R (the ‘head’ of Rat) inserted into an anagram (shredded) of CHAIR

16a         Delia prepared something perfect (5)
 IDEAL – An anagram (prepared) of DELIA

17a         In addition, time to replace soprano voice (4)
ALTO – T for Time replaces S for Soprano in ALSO (in addition)

18a         Before dent beaten out, it might present differently (7)
FIREFLY –  If you beat out the letters DENT from DIFFERENTLY, an anagram of the remaining letters produces a Toughie setter

19a         Such as Bullingdon: one hundred and fifty upper-class boys initially (4)
CLUB – C L (one hundred and fifty in Roman numerals) U (upper class) B (boys initially)

20a         She’s nearly sane! (5)
NORMA is almost NORMAL (sane)

23a         Annual report from a liberal lunatic I rejected (7)
ALMANAC –  A (from the clue) L (liberal) MANIAC (lunatic with the I ‘rejected’)

25a         Endless charm of seasonal visitors (4)
MAGIC – ‘Endless’ MAGIC or charm

26d         Return again? (2,5)
RE-ELECT – As if we hadn’t had enough election talk for one month!

31a         Last bit of chicken dinner? (3)
END – Lurking in chicken Dinner

33a         Texan adult’s contribution to No 1 from 1980? (6)
XANADU – An earworm opportunity lurking in (contribution to) TeXAN ADUlt

34a         Merit of French to wait on (7)
DESERVE –  DE (of in French) SERVE (wait on)

35a         Number two from quartet here or artiste there? (5)
ETHER – A double lurker worthy of our Sunday setter – was it he who hid an anaesthetic (number) in both quartET HERe and/or artistE THERe?

39a         Injury one might pick up in Billingsgate market? (4)
ACHE –  Is a persistent dull pain an injury?    It sounds like (one might pick up) how a Cockney Billingsgate fishmonger might say [H]AKE

40a         Possibly McLeans by name? (8)
CLANSMEN – An anagram (possibly) of MCLEANS

42a         Bananarama were this man’s sexual fantasy perhaps (9)
THREESOME – The dictionary only refers to a group of three people, so I’m assuming that it isn’t a double definition, the second part being probably the setter’s fantasy!

44a         In the middle, glimpse scorecard and belatedly curse (9)
IMPRECATE – The middles of glIMPse scoRECard belATEdly

45a         Charlie greeting irrelevant bloke with non-PC delivery? (8)
CHINAMAN – C (represented by Charlie in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) NA (not applicable, irrelevant) MAN (bloke)

46a         One wearing an award from the Queen (4)
BEAM – A (one) ‘wearing’ a BEM (British Empire Medal, award from the Queen)

49a         See 10 Down

49a         Stretch, fall over and almost spring up (6)
WINTER – A stretch of time between fall (autumn) and spring

52a         British bloke touring America (6)
BUSMAN –  B (British) MAN (bloke) ‘touring’ US

53a         Crop found in E Sussex? (3)
RYE – A cereal crop or a Cinque Port found in East Sussex

55a         Pass through on the night before (5)
REEVE – To pass through a hole – RE (on the subject of) EVE (night before)

56a         A large part of additional payment is made public (5)
OVERT –  A large part of OVERTime (additional payment)

57a         Inveterate hied around hideaway (8)
HARDENED – HARED (hied being an archaic word meaning to hasten) ‘around’ DEN (hideaway)

60a         Awfully mad in home after personally directed comment (2,7)
AD HOMINEM – Addressed to the feelings or prejudices of the hearer – an anagram (awfully) of MAD IN HOME

63a         Man of the sea posted away (6)
ABSENT – AB (Able-Bodied seaman) SENT (posted)

64a         Go off beer drinking big supporters (5)
ADDLE – ALE (beer) ‘drinking’ DD (a bra with double D cups could be thought of as  ‘big supporters’)

68a         The writer’s refusal to start thriller (5)
MYNOT – MY (the writer’s) NO (refusal) T (start of Thriller)

69a         Outside hospital department salve is liberally applied on end of blister with such a swelling (9)
VESICULAR –  An anagram (liberally) of SALVE goes outside ICU (hospital Intensive Care Unit) the result having the end of blisteR applied

70a         I must replace the middle letter in 4 and 9, for instance, (7)
SQUIRES – I must replace the middle letter of SQUARES (four and nine, for instance)

71a         Disciple owns mushroom earlier (6)
CEPHAS – CEP (mushroom) goes before (earlier) HAS (owns) gives another name for Saint Peter

72a         Provide answer? (7)
SATISFY – To supply fully or meet the requirements of

73a         Position car in the same direction twice. (6)
SPARKS – PARK (position car) in S and S (the same direction – South- twice)


2d           Is no exercise at first, followed by more silly? (5)
INEPT – The first letters of Is No Exercise followed by PT (some more exercise)

3d            Possibly the first word out of baby’s mouth? (4)
DADA – a nice cryptic definition for one of our member’s aliases

4s            Liable to spread lies about spirit that’s pure (8)
VIRGINAL – VIRAL (liable to spread) ‘lies about’ GIN (spirit)

5d           Rocket propellant lacking force (6)
SAMUEL – SAM (surface-to-air missile, rocket) FUEL (lacking F, force)

6d           Get back on Greek island outsiders avoided with boxer, worried (9)
RETALIATE –  cRETe (Greek island without its ‘outsiders’) ALI (the boxer) ATE (worried)

7d           Kids slide or sledge (4) SKID – An anagram (slide) of KIDS

8d           Brawler knocked about (7)
WARBLER – An anagram (knocked about) of BRAWLER

9d           Starts to remedy every heroin addict’s behaviour (5)
REHAB – The ‘starts’ to Remedy Every Heroin Addicts Behaviour

10d/49a Cracked rib getting more inflamed after end of wine used in place of iodine (5,5)
BRIAN GREER An anagram (cracked) of RIB with ANGRIER (more inflamed) but with the E at the end of winE used instead of the I for Iodine

11d         Make too much of cricket statistic (8)
OVERRATE – Split this verb 4,4 and you’ll have a cricket statistic

12d         It covers a huge area, like 1 across (4)
ASIA – AS (like) 1A

13d         Always found in hotel gardens (5)
ELGAR –  I thought he’d be more likely to be found in pubs and their gardens, but what do I know.  Here he’s lurking in hotEL GARdens

21d         Which comic could start to deliver with hilarity ultimately? (5)
DANDY – D (the start to Deliver) AND (with) Y (hilarity ultimately)

22d         Doughboy and eggs pub served up (8)
GIOVANNI – GI (Doughboy, American soldier) OVA (eggs) and a reversal (served up) of INN (pub)

24d         Dance that’s interminable, or ball that’s too short (4,3)
LONG HOP – A short high-pitched high-bouncing cricket ball that is easy to hit sounds like it might be an interminable dance

27d         Outside old rental resorts (8)
EXTERNAL –  EX (old) goes before an anagram (resorts) of RENTAL

28d         Look back and forth for allowance in Oxford, maybe (6)
EYELET – Oxford here being a type of shoe – EYE (this synonym for look is also a palindrome and can be read back and forth) LET (allowance)

29d         I relax with cub, funnily enough (9)
EXCALIBUR – An anagram (funnily enough) of I RELAX CUB

30d         Dancer maybe does come under control (8)
REINDEER – DEER (does) come under REIN (control)

32d         Does the grim sign bend oddly being firm? (10)
DETERMINED – The odd letters of DoEs ThE gRiM sIgN bEnD

36d         European leader to Angela Merkel: “I’m sorry” (8)
ELKAMERE – E (European) followed by an anagram (I’m sorry) of A (the leader to Angela) and MERKEL

37d         Great Britain, maybe, irritated mates with Queen. (7)
STEAMER – An anagram (irritated) of MATES with ER (the regnal cipher of our current Queen)

38d         Monster picker? (8)
BOGEYMAN – The less said about the ‘picker’ the better

41d         Webcam I replaced at art centre (8)
MICAWBER – An anagram (replaced) of WEBCAM I followed by R (the ’centre’ of aRt)

43d         There’s no time to check up on horse that’s a fussy eater (6)
VEGGIE – VE[t] (check up on without the T for time) GG (child’s horse) IE (that is)

47d         As user finally inspired by hallucinogenic plant, see wall looking like something else (10)
QUADRATURA – A wall with a trample l’oeil effect.    QUA (preposition meaning by virtue of being, as), R (user ‘finally’) inserted into (inspired by) DATURA (hallucinogenic plant – interestingly the office copy of Collins doesn’t mention this property, referring to it as ‘any of various chiefly Indian plants and shrubs with large trumpet-shaped flowers’ although the BRBs at home are very clear about the narcotic properties of the plant))

48d         When the waltz does not begin, take a seat first perhaps (9)
PERCHANCE – dANCE without its first letter (waltz does not begin) with PERCH (take a seat) going first

51d         Drunk libations (9)
NOTABILIS – An anagram (drunk) of LIBATIONS

54d         Court exploring motives to expose plants (8)
CACTUSES – CT (court) goes inside (exploring) CAUSES (motives)

56d         Treacherous mission’s over after losing one pole (7)
OSMOSIS – An anagram (treacherous) of MISSIONS O (over) losing one instance of the South (pole)

58d         Shaking, Akram decided his own fate (5)
KARMA – An anagram (shaking) of AKRAM

59d         Gamble on Sunbeam to sell down the river (6)
BETRAY – BET (gamble) on RAY (sunbeam)

61d         Tailless dog caught Henry (5)
MUTCH – MUTt (‘tailless’ dog) C (caught) H (Henry)

62d         Up and coming French soap stars (5)
NOVAS – A reversal (up and coming) of the French word for soap

65d         Man who’s found once in Denmark (5)
DEREK – ERE (once) in DK (the IVR code for Denmark)

66d      There’s four from Chelsea besides Alf’s wife (4)
ELSE – four of the letters of ChELSEa give you the name of Alf Garnett’s wife

67d         It sucks blood up (4)
KCIT – A reversal (up) of a blood-sucking TICK


Thank you to Tilsit for creating the crossword, and to all the members of Omnia, made up of a mix of setters, crossword editors who are setters, bloggers, and regular blog commenters – I do know who some of you are and for several of the clues can even attribute them to a particular person.


Thank you also to Mrs BD for her sterling work in casting the runes and to BD for doing all the required ‘sorting out’ to get this Jumbo challenge published.



15 comments on “MPP – 061 (Review)

  1. Thank you to Madame for the blog review and to everyone who helped with this. We may do something similar next year.

    Congrats to Jean-Luc for the win.

  2. Congratulations all round – to JL for winning the glittering prize, to Tilsit for putting this Omnia puzzle together and for providing said prize, to CS for making sense of all the answers and to BD & Mrs. BD for bringing all the ‘gang’ together.

    It would be unfair to pick a favourite although I did have a slight penchant for the fussy horse!

          1. Ah – that one had floated completely over my head! Just asked Mr. Google about it – another odd word to add to my cricket collection.

  3. Thank you to all involved, it was much enjoyed with lots of great clues.
    I would be interested to know roughly how many (correct) entries there are each month?

  4. Congratulations to Jean-Luc and many thanks to Tilsit for pulling off such a tour de force in putting all this together and to CS, whose review must have taken an age to compile.

    I had Shamus as my answer, and 47d was the only answer that eluded me. I had no idea that it would take as long as it did to finish, or that the solving process would prove both addictive and frustrating in equal measure. Bravo to all concerned.

  5. Thanks to Tilsit for putting this together, to Sue for her review, to all those doughty folks who contributed clues (including me surprisingly)and Mrs BD for picking winner. Congratulations to Jean-Luc on winning- great to see a familiar name on the podium.

  6. I got Shamus too, but congratulations to JL and thanks to all who took part and especially the back room team; well done to all.

  7. Thanks to all concerned with this mighty crossword – Tilsit, clue setters, BD and Mrs BD and last, and absolutely not least, CS and I really hope that I haven’t missed anyone out.
    Congratulations to JL.

  8. My clue was an anagram. My favourite type of clue. Well done and thanks to all.

  9. Thanks to all involved – What a whopper!.

    Just a quick note on 56d – You need to remove I for one and the N(orth) pole from MISSIONS O(ver) before making the anagram ;)

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