MPP – 062 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 062 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 062

July 2017

A Puzzle by Alchemi

This month the question you were required to answer was contained, Nina-style, in two columns and one row (in that order) – those who correctly solved the puzzle will have revealed the Nina “Who is MP for Tunbridge Wells?” on column 2, column 12 and row 6.  The answer, which I’m sure most of you had to look up, is Greg Clark.

Congratulations to Mike Ewart who wins his choice of any of the Telegraph Crossword Books published by Hamlyn,


1a Field trip admiral reportedly considered forever (7)
AWAYDAY: A(dmiral) followed by WAYD, sounds like (reportedly) weighed (considered),a and AY (forever) – this one seems to have slipped past me when I tested it – I can find no provenance for Admiral = A, only Admiral of the Fleet = AF, Rear Admiral = RA and Vice-Admiral = VA, the abbreviation for Admiral is Adm: perhaps Academician might have been better

5a Rural transport curtailed by sickness (7)
BUCOLIC: most of (curtailed) BU[s] (transport) followed by COLIC (sickness)

9a Cool about sides of square being sharply defined (9)
CHISELLED: CHILLED (cool) around the sides of S[quar]E

10a Remove opponents on time (5)
ERASE: S & E (opponents in bridge) after ERA (time)

11a Does almost nothing like operating apparatus for shrunken heads (5)
LOAFS: the initial letters (heads) of five words in the clue

13a An idiot confused by a symbol of strength getting rusty (9)
OXIDATION: OX (symbol of strength) followed by an anagram (confused) of + AN IDIOT

14a Majority the genie’s bamboozled (8)
EIGHTEEN: an anagram (bamboozled) of THE GENIE

15a Whack university for beginning to move rooms (5)
SUITE: SMITE (whack) with U(niversity) replacing the initial letter (beginning) of M[ove]

17a Pretentious twit has power to return subscriptions (5)
PSEUD: P(ower) followed by the reversal (to return) of DUES (subscriptions)

19a Up with durable walls for first new expansion (8)
WIDENING: WINNING (up) with the outer letters (walls) of D[urabl]E replacing the first N(ew)

23a Chit-chat about shopping centre being part of plant (5,4)
SMALL TALK: around MALL (shopping centre) place STALK (part of plant)

24a Writer‘s “gastric problem” in French (5)
IBSEN: IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome / “gastric problem”) followed by EN (the French for “in”)

25a News agency has slightly interesting article about bees (5)
APIAN: AP (Associated Press / news agency) followed by the initial letter (slightly) of I[nteresting] and AN (indefinite article)

26a Detestable one not straight about his overtures re Russian leaders (9)
ABHORRENT: A (one) and BENT )not straight) around the initial letters (leaders) of four words in the clue

28a Mostly safe hang-out for dogs (7)
AFGHANS: an anagram () of most of SAF[e] with HANG

29a Middle Eastern clock goes back this way round (7)
SEMITIC: the reversal (goes back) ofTIME (clock) inside SIC (thus / this way)


1d Accountant blocks everything from French mayor of Spanish town (7)
ALCALDE: CA (Chartered Accountant in Scotland or Canada) inside (blocks) ALL (everything) and DE (the French for “from”)

2d Boxer almost completely independent (3)
ALI: to get [Muhammad] ALI (boxer) most of (almost) AL[L] (completely) is followed by I(ndependent)

3d Went up with group put in a hollow (4-3)
DEEP-SET: the reversal (up in a down clue) of PEED (went) is followed by SET )put)

4d More brightly coloured, the old large cow? (8)
YELLOWER: YE (old word for “the”) followed by L(arge) and LOWER (cow)

5d Bird is one to move round (6)
BUDGIE: I (one) in BUDGE (move)

6d Contemporaries of company’s hard worker turning up (7)
COEVALS: CO(mpany) followed by the reversal (turning up in a down clue) of SLAVE (hard worker)

7d Gifts provide foundation for league’s international debts (11)
LIABILITIES: ABILITIES (gifts) after L(eague) and I(nternational)

8d Purify inclinations in church (7)
CLEANSE: LEANS (inclinations) inside Church of England

12d I ran 4G 27 out making a collection (11)
AGGREGATING: an anagram (out) of I RAN GGGG (4G) EAT (answer to 27 Down)

16d Bar in Casablanca owns bike taxis (8)
RICKSHAS: RICK’S (the bar in the film Casablanca) followed by HAS (owns) gives an alternative spelling of rickshaws

17d Old man keeps nitwit busy with sauce (7)
PASSATA: PA (dad / old man) around ASS (nitwit) and AT (busy with)

18d Things to be got rid of advance through being almost late (7)
DELENDA: LEND (advance) inside most of (almost for the second time in this puzzle) DEA[d] (late)

20d Saying pie mix needs particular sort of flour (7)
EPIGRAM: an anagram (mix) of PIE followed by GRAM (flour made from ground chickpeas)

21d Get nice contraption as part of inheritance (7)
GENETIC: an anagram (contraption) of GET NICE

22d Perhaps leaves boy in army unit (6)
SALADS: LAD (boy) inside SAS (Special Air Service / army unit)

27d Have essentially cheated (3)
EAT: hidden (essentially) inside [ch]EAT[ed]

Thanks to Alchemi for setting the crossword, and to Mrs BD for her sterling work in casting the runes.

10 comments on “MPP – 062 (Review)

  1. Congratulations to Mike Ewart. Thanks to Alchemi for the considerable challenge and to BD for his review.

    Thanks also to my friend who lives in Tunbridge Wells and who spends a lot of time moaning about his local MP.

  2. Well done, Mike – don’t recall having seen your name on the blog previously, forgive me if I’m mistaken.

    A great challenge, Alchemi, with several new words for me which I had already forgotten by the time the review was posted!
    Many thanks to you and to team BD for bringing us another marvellous MPP.

  3. Is it me, or can anyone else see a bit of a flaw in starting at a nina and working back to the clues?

    1. You are way off beam. In this type of clue you are given the instructions to get from the one word to the answer, so what you are being told is to start with SMITE (whack) then insert U(niversity) to replace (for) the initial letter (beginning) of M[ove] to get SUITE. It does not work the other way around – you don’t get told how to get from the answer to another word unless that is clearly indicated in the clue. The Nina aspect is irrelevant.

  4. Well done Mike Ewart.

    This one was tough but very satisfying to complete.

    Thanks to Alchemi and to Big Dave.

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