MPP 068 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 068 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle – 068

January 2018

A Puzzle by Radler


Congratulations to Geoff Telfer who, having followed the instructions, worked out the anagrams and found the missing capital, entered the competition. Their name was drawn out of the electric hat by Mrs BD, soo they can now choose one of the Telegraph Crossword Puzzle Books as their prize.

The ten highlighted solutions may be anagrammed to form seven capital towns or cities. (Three of the capitals are each derived from two of the highlighted solutions.) The initial letters of the 7 capitals are themselves an anagram of another one (nominally indicated by two other solutions.) What is it?

The capitals are:

Dushanbe (Tajikistan)    = Bash + Nude

Oslo (Norway)    = Solo

Ulan Bator (Mongolia)    = Atonal + Rub

Gaborone (Botswana)    = Range + Boo

La Paz (Bolivia – administrative capital)    = Plaza

Athens (Greece)    = Hasten

Seoul (South Korea)    = Louse

The word needed to enter the competition was Douglas (capital of the IOM), which is “nominally indicated” by 8a Michael and 7d Kirk.



8a     It’s taken to ridicule claim he made (7)
MICHAEL – An anagram (made) of CLAIM HE

9a     I’m presented with a cheque after returning paperwork (7)
ORIGAMI – A reversal (after returning) of IM (from the clue) A GIRO (a cheque)

11a     Change plug fitting (5)
ADAPT – AD (advertisement, plug) APT (fitting)

12a     Regular rugby player (Welsh) visits Irish town (9)
CLOCKWORK – LOCK (rugby player) and W (Welsh) visit CORK (Irish town)

13a     Bookmaker‘s gesture in pursuit of mug (9)
STEINBECK – BECK (gesture) goes after (in pursuit of) STEIN (mug)

15a     Tail of small river rat (5)
LOUSE – L (the ‘tail’ of smalL) OUSE (river)

18a     Retreating stick insect (3)
DOR – A reversal (retreating) of ROD (stick)

19a     Best man‘s clout procures wedding car? (2,5)
MR RIGHT – MIGHT (clout) ‘procures’ RR (Rolls-Royce wedding car)

21a     Booked Left half, a bad call (3)
BOO– The left half of the word BOOked

22a     Compass directed the wrong way perhaps (5) RANGE – RAN (directed)and EG (perhaps) reversed (the wrong way)

23a     Risk possibly being fed up when reported willing (5,4)
BOARD GAME – A homophone (when reported) of BORED (fed up) followed by GAME (willing)

26a     Split 50:50 with week to go, suddenly begin (5,4)
BREAK INTO – Remove the abbreviation for Week (to go) from BREAK IN TWO (split 50:50)

29a     Place bazaar (ignoring ban) in market place (5)
PLAZA – PL (place) and the letters left after you have removed bar (ignoring ban) from bAZAar

30a     Saw too much flashed around (7)
SPOTTED – SPED (flashed) ‘around’ OTT (too much)

31a     Maybe now and again, crack giving discharge (7)
ABSOLVE – The alternate (now and again) letters of mAyBe plus SOLVE (crack)


1d     Foreign agent shot abroad after live sons captured (10)
AMBASSADOR – An anagram (shot) of ABROAD goes after AM (live) around (captured) S S (sons)

2d     Solid core and hot liquid (10)
OCTAHEDRON – An anagram (liquid) of CORE AND HOT

3d     Moderate Conservative abandons cause to advance more quickly (6)
HASTEN – Remove the C (Conservative abandons) from CHASTEN (moderate)

4d     Woman’s hat affording protection in seedy environment? (6)
~ CLOCHE – Protection either for a lady’s head or some small seedlings

5d    Reporter’s spread vulgar work for one (4)
SOLO – A homophone (reporter’s) of SOW (spread) and LOW (vulgar)

6d     Ring for good woman with a lover’s trousers (4)
HALO – ‘trousers’ indicates the presence of a lurker in witH A LOver

7d     Monk’s last to make cross in church (4)
KIRK – K (the last letter of Monk) plus IRK (make cross)

10d     How memory’s measured on set mark in test (3-4)
INK-BLOT – IN KB (memory is measured in kilobytes) plus LOT (film set)

14d     This tapped: slake gallons (3)
KEG – Lurking (tapped) in slake Gallons

16d     The limit of gaseous nebula enveloping minor constellation? (10)
UNBEARABLE – An anagram (gaseous) of NEBULA ‘enveloping’ BEAR (minor constellation)

17d     Let off old flame one thought highly of (10)
EXONERATED – EX (old flame) ONE (from the clue) RATED (thought highly of)

19d     Desert dweller blessed people by holding hand (7)
MEERKAT – MEEK (Blessed are the meek..) AT (by) ‘holding’ R (right hand)

20d     Difficulty promoting Battenburg cakes (3)
RUB – Found (cakes) lurking in reverse (promoting) in BattenBURg

24d     Cheers up about a locksmith’s entrance without a key (6)
ATONAL – Another reversal (up) of TA (cheers, thank you) followed by ON (about) A (from the clue) L (locksmith’s ‘entrance’)

25d     Dismiss Norman from work for artist (6)
DEPOSE – DE (Norman, French word for from) POSE (work for artist)

26d     Try to strike the ball (4)
BASH – Triple definition time

27d     Overwritten minute place for instruction (4)
ETON – Another reversal (overwritten) of NOTE (minute)

28d     Is without undies, posing? (4)
NUDE – An anagram (posing) of UNDIES without the IS


Thanks once again to Radler and Mr and Mrs BD for their parts in this month’s Prize Puzzle proceedings

3 comments on “MPP 068 – Review

  1. Many thanks for the beautifully illustrated review, CS – particularly liked the Unicorn and the Meerkat.
    Congratulations to Geoff – are you one of our regulars?

    Seemed to simultaneously see a butterfly, a face and a flower so I guess that makes me either a creative, introverted dreamer or an optimistic, intelligent free spirit – depending on which column I read down. Missed out on being either sensual or outgoing – that’s a shame :sad:

    Thanks again to Radler for the puzzle.

  2. Had Chaste at first in 3d and with the Rub of 20d, I was quite happy with Bucharest for the capital.
    More a case of see you later Ulanbator.
    As I said in the first blog, I had some trouble in the NW so thanks to CS for the explanations.
    Thanks again to Radler and congratulations to Geoff.

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