MPP 069 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 069 (Review)

Monthly Prize Puzzle 069

February 2018

A puzzle by Prolixic

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +


Congratulations to this month’s winner – Kitty –  who wins a Daily Telegraph Puzzle Book of her choice.

Sixteen solutions can be divided into four groups of related words. One entry from each group is highlighted by a * at the end of the clue. If the groups are listed alphabetically, which four answers (totalling 21 letters) are in the last group

Blue = John / Rinse / Peter / Cheese *

Green = Belt * / Party / Man / Tea

Red = Alert / Ant / Flag * / Tape

and so, the answer to this month’s question is: Pages / Jersey / Card * / Hammer, all of which fall within the yellow group


9a     Consort ignores bishop’s warning (5)
ALERT – Ignore or remove the B for Bishop from ALBERT, the Consort of Queen Victoria

10a     Love a clothing store on-line (5)
AGAPE – Christian (as opposed to erotic) love – A (from the clue) GAP (clothing store) E (on-line)

11a     Time in therapy (3)
ERA – Lurking in thERApy

12a    Policeman’s qualified to stop… (7)
DISABLE – DIS (Detective Inspector’s) ABLE (qualified)

13a     …chemical being ignited by that man after entering university (7)
LITHIUM – LIT (ignited) HIM (that man) with U (university) ‘entering)

14a     Encourage Oscar to leave and get everything (3,2)
BUY UP – O (Oscar in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) leaves BUOY UP (encourage)

16a    A set of books for Emmet (3)
ANT – A (from the clue) NT (set of New Testament books)

17a     This chart is patchier after redesign (3)
PIE – An anagram (after redesign) of PATCHIER will give you PIE plus CHART

18a     Crew‘s servant a follower of soldier in island (3)
MAN – Not often you get a quintuple definition clue

20a    Rector’s to be in France at hermitage (7)
RETREAT – R (the abbreviation for Rector), ETRE (the French verb meaning to be) and AT (from the clue)

21a     Drink with leaders of the European Alliance (3)
TEA – The leaders of The European Alliance

24a     One in Newcastle, we hear (3)
ANY – A homophone (we hear) of NE (Newcastle)

25a    Queen’s one about to enter court (3)
CAT – A (about) to enter CT (court)

26a    Weather in Seattle – partly wet (5)
RINSE – Lurking in part of weatheR IN Seattle

28a    Complete detailed drugs report before relaxing (7)
EASEFUL – EASE (a homophone ‘report’) of Es (drugs) with FULl (‘de-tailed’ complete)

30a    Gravy given back a few moments ago (4,3)
JUST NOW – JUS (gravy) And a reversal (back) of WONT (given as in accustomed to)

33a    After member of parliament quits, Oswald’s unhappy (3)
SAD – Remove my favourite parliament member, the OWL from oSwAlD

34a    Something dropped in Lambeth (5)
AITCH – Always provided that you are a Cockney resident of that borough

35a    Calls for servants (5)
PAGES – Double definition


1d    Eccentric individual in the Fourth Estate? * (4)
CARD – or CAR D (the fourth estate car after Car A, Car B and Car C)

2d    Jack replaces head of River Island ( (6)
JERSEY – J for Jack replaces the M in the River Mersey

3d    Try a group of choral singers after dropping alto (4)
STAB – Drop the A for Alto further down the group of singers – Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass

4d    Briefly fade record (4)
TAPE – Truncate (briefly) TAPEr (fade)

5d    Let wastrel loose in financial district (4,6)
WALL STREET – An anagram (loose) of LET WASTREL

6d    Band‘s hit run in district * (4)
BELT – Only four definitions this time!

7d    Occupier let minor in (8)
RESIDENT – SIDE (minor) goes in RENT (let)

8d    Beat in athletics event (6)
HAMMER – Just two definitions

14d    Tramp runs from Birmingham (3)
BUM – Remove R (runs) from BRUM (an informal way of referring to Birmingham)

15d    Penny’s bohemian event (5)
PARTY – P (penny) ARTY (bohemian)

16d    Able to speak of lorry that’s departed carrying Uranium (10)
ARTICULATE – ARTIC (lorry) and LATE (that’s departed) ‘carrying’ U (Uranium)

17d    Note put in a safe (5)
PETER – TE (musical note) put in PER (a)

19d    Its right for an American to be left in Britain (8)
NEARSIDE – depending on whether you are in a car in the USA or Great Britain

22d    Magpies oddly ignored another animal (3)
APE – Ignore the odd letters of mAgPiEs

23d    Excellent quality dairy product * (6)
CHEESE – (big – excellent) CHEESE

27d    Youth and Orangeman marching around without sheep (6)
NONAGE – An anagram (marching around) of ORANGEMAN once you have removed the RAM (sheep)

29d    American state squashes German company’s standard * (4)
FLAG – FL (the abbreviation for the State of Florida) ‘squashes’ (as it is a Down clue) the German company AG

30d    Toilet book (4)
JOHN – An informal term for a toilet or a Book of the New Testament

31d    Special works for sopranos (4)
SOPS – S (special) OPS (works)

32d    Order given with Scottish issue (4)
WISH – W (with) and ISH, a Scottish legal term meaning issue or ‘liberty of going out’

Thanks to Prolixic and Mr and Mrs BD for their parts in this month’s competition

12 comments on “MPP 069 (Review)

  1. Congratulations, Kitty! Many thanks to CS for the review and also to Prolixic for a superb puzzle.

  2. Well done Kitty. I think I may have got one or two coloured items muddled up – there are lots of different colour belts, flags etc. Oh well.
    Thanks to Prolixic and to CS.

  3. Well done, Kitty. I took a calculated gamble that there would be no colour that could be later in the alphabet than yellow, hence my original comment at the time of solving that it wasn’t 100% necessary to resolve all the groups. It then became evident that four solutions were much more closely linked to yellow than any of the others, so that convinced me to press the magic button.

    1. The company I used to work for sold a Zucchini coloured paint, but I think it’s a reasonable gamble on your part that Prolixic wouldn’t have been able find a group of four Zucchini coloured items.

  4. Many thanks for the review, CS, particularly the parsing of 3d which had me scratching my head.
    I managed to mix up my cards and flags – the yellow flag (Iris) having jumped out at me. Not to worry, I’m so pleased that our own Kitty won this one, so nice when it’s someone we ‘know’.

    Thanks again to Prolixic for the puzzle and to Mr&Mrs BD for hosting the magic hat.

    1. I agree that flags and cards are interchangeable between the red and yellow groups. As well as being an iris, the yellow flag is used in formula one. Referees obviously brandish cards of both colours. Furthermore, a green card gets you into the USA permanently and martial arts belts come in various colours, certainly red. Puzzle was enjoyable but would have been better with a unique solution.

  5. Well that was a lovely surprise!

    I’ve not been finding time for crosswords these past few days – busy with domestic stuff. Still, I have been forced to poke my head out from temporary lurkitude to say thanks to CS, RD, LBR, Silvanus and Jane for the congrats.

    Many thanks to Prolixic for the very entertaining puzzle, BD for the competition and to CS for the review.

  6. Congratulations Kitty.
    I was a million miles away with my answer. I had failed to understand that the characteristic that connected each group of four was not actually part of the puzzle. How did other people find out that that was the case? As Flag was the last alphabetically of the * marked answers, I found three other answers that could have a ‘flag’ meaning and submitted that. Ah well, another chance next month.
    Thanks again Prolixic for the challenge and CS for the review.

    1. For me it was just a lucky break with Yellowhammer, but I still managed to go astray with my cards and flags!

    2. Excellent work Kitty. Way beyond me!! Like KiwiColin I submitted Flag as the last alphabetical group heading & ‘manufactured’ 3 possible answers. Thanks to CS for explaining 1D (despite ‘getting’ it I still couldn’t fathom why!) & Prolixic of course.

  7. Congratulations to Kitty!

    I could not figure out 4d and 6d, though I had ‘belt’ in my head for 6d but could not justify it to myself.
    Had absolutely no clue about the groups, so a big old fail for me this month.

    Mind you, getting all of the grid right bar 2 is good for me.

    Thanks to Prolixic and to crypticsue

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