MPP 064 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 064 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 064

September 2017

A Puzzle by Radler


The first names of ten characters from two literary groups (having 12 members in total) are included in the completed grid. Each name is either part of an answer, or is formed at the intersection of two horizontally or vertically adjacent answers. Who’s missing?

The two literary groups are, of course, the Famous Five (Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog) and the Secret Seven (Pam, Janet, Jack, George, Barbara, Peter and Colin). A careful look at the solutions soon uncovers the fact that each group is missing a GEORGE – the one in the Secret Seven being a boy and the one in the Famous Five being a girl who doesn’t like to be called Georgina. Answers containing ‘George’, ‘George and George’ and ‘George and Georgina’ were all entered into the draw.

Many congratulations to Anne Skipper, whose name was picked from the electronic hat by Mrs BD and so wins their choice of a Hamlyn Daily Telegraph Crossword Puzzle Book.


1a     Conflict bordering disputed land – a clue in Caesar’s time (6,8)

JULIAN CALENDAR – JAR (conflict) ‘bordering’ or going round an anagram (disputed) of LAND A CLUE

9a    Dog eating small cat, a grisly ending’s not unusual (9)

CUSTOMARY – CUR (dog) ‘eating’ S (small) TOM (cat) and A (from the clue), the result finished with the ending of grislY

10a     Iranian refugee son arrives early in European city (5)

PARSI – The S for son in PARIS (European city) moves further up the word (arrives early)

11a     Green, turning extremely ill with this? (1,4)

E COLI – ECO (green)and a reversal (turning) of IL (the extreme letters of IlL

12a     What’s clear for tip about filling grid (3,6)

NET PROFIT – An anagram (about) ‘filling’ NET (grid)

14a     Poke fun at suspicion of lady’s bristly growth (6)

TEASEL – TEASE (poke fun at) L (a ‘suspicion’ being just the first letter of Lady’s)

16a     Runner (male) put on extra outer layer (7)

EXODERM – ODER (runner, river) M (male) put on EXT (extra)

17a     I may be forced to regret voicing insult (7)

RHUBARB – A homophone (voiced) of RUE (regret) plus BARB (insult)

20a     Where each animal docked with its pair? (6)

ARARAT – An all-in-one definition of the mountain where Noah’s Ark ended up – A (each) RAt (animal ‘docked’ or with its tail cut off) RAT (its pair)

23a     Eddy and me, almost right, but not exactly (9)

MAELSTROM – An anagram (not exactly) of ME ALMOST R (right)

24a     Sharp tipped pointy thing with pointy tips (5)

NIPPY – A reversal (tipped) of PIN (pointy thing) with P and Y (the ‘tips’ of pointy)

25a     Dead unpleasant in a bad way (5)

DICKY – D (dead) ICKY (unpleasant)

27a     Not paid, so fiddled takings (9)

ADOPTIONS – An anagram (fiddled) of NOT PAID SO

28a     Built water nests as home to rear birds (9,5)

TRUMPETER SWANS – An anagram (built) of WATER NETS ‘at home to’ or having inserted RUMP (rear)


1d     Jill’s partner and others caught out lagging (6)

JACKET – JACK (Jill’s partner in the nursery rhyme) ET (etc – and others – without the C for Caught)

2d     Flexible learner’s part (7)

LISSOME – L IS (learner’s) SOME (part)

3d     Ban violin in the nude, hence dressing(5)

AIOLI – In the nude indicates the removal of the ‘clothes’ or outside letters of bAn vIOLIn

4d     Sound made by flute? (7)

CHANNEL – Double definition

5d     Dressed as Sheila, yet technically one just dropped clothes (7)

LAYETTE – Clothes for a new born baby (one just dropped) are to be found dressed in SheiLA YET TEchnically



6d     Rest of rubbish sent back (3)

NAP – A reversal (sent back) of PAN (rubbish)

7d     Slightly worse for wear later, whenever drunk (1,6)

A TRIFLE – IF (whenever) is drunk by or put inside an anagram (worse for wear) of LATER

8d     Mark: Biblical book vicar placed first (6)

VICTIM – VIC (vicar) placed before TIM (the abbreviation for the Letters to Timothy in the New Testament)

13d     Try it on occasionally given bottomless glass for wine (5)

RIOJA – The occasional letters of tRy It On given a JAr (‘bottomless’ glass)

15d     Unwelcome communications: jerk finally promoted (5)

SPAMS – The last letter of SPASM (jerk) ‘promoted’

17d     Prepared me for a treat (6)

REMEDY – Replace the A in READY (prepared) with ME (from the clue)

18d     New crusade, old wheels (4-3)

USED-CAR – An anagram (new) of CRUSADE

19d     Boat navigating river and a stream(7)

>BARRAGE – BARGE (boat) ‘navigating’ or going round R (river) and A (from the clue)

20d     Opening for member from Harlem off globetrotting? (7)

ARMHOLE – An anagram (off) of HARLEM round O (globetrotting?)

21d     Turned up nose, bottled sauce in old jar (7)

AMPHORA – A reversal (turned up) of AROMA (nose) with HP (sauce) ‘bottled’ or put inside

22d     Buck’s complaint, partially discontented hence overreaction of pupils (6)

MYOSIS- Remove some of the middle of MYXAMATOSIS (complaint of a buck (male) rabbit)

24d     Overweight – cardinal returns (5)

NETTS – A reversal (over) of ST (stone, weight) and TEN (cardinal)

26d     Mmmm rum you say. Bottoms up!

YUM – We seem to have done a fair bit of reversing – here’s a final one: the ‘bottoms’ of ruM yoU saY all reversed (up)



Coincidentally, this week marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of the first Famous Five book – Five on a Treasure Ireland was published on 11th September 1942 (a fact I learned while listening to the car radio on Monday evening while driving home from a quiz) – I wonder if Radler was aware of this when he first had the idea for the theme and question.

Thanks to Radler and Mr and Mrs BD for their parts in this month’s competition process.


4 comments on “MPP 064 – Review

  1. Many thanks for the review, CS – and congratulations to Anne on winning the monthly prize. I’m not sure whether you are someone we don’t ‘know’ from the blog or just one who contributes under a different name – perhaps you’ll let us know.

    Took me a while to sort this one out – Radler’s puzzles always do! – but the only parsing I needed to check was that for 22d. Could have kicked myself when I read CS’s explanation.

    Thanks again to Radler for the challenge.

  2. Ooh – I’d forgotten about this one so, first of all, congratulations to Anne – like Jane I’d like to know if you’re a regular or if you just popped in, did the crossword and legged it with the prize.
    I can’t usually do Radler’s crosswords – I think that he is probably the setter I find the most difficult.
    I had a quick look at this a couple of weeks ago – nothing, not a hope, perhaps to do with the mindset when I see that Radler is the setter.
    I got 1a and then I read Kiwi Colin’s comment which sent me in the right direction – I was expecting a far more highfaluting ‘literary group’.
    Whatever, I did finish it – I did get the answer and, as always on the rare occasion that I not only finish an MPP but can understand the question too, I decided not to enter. I won an MPP several years ago and one is enough for me.
    Thanks to Radler for the crossword and to CS for the review.

  3. I managed to solve the problem but not all of the crossword…….so many thanks to Crypticsue for the solutions and explanations.

    Thanks to Radler too and I hope one day to be able to complete one of his crosswords.

    Congratulations and well done to Anne Skipper.

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