MPP – 070 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP – 070

Monthly Prize Puzzle (March 2018)

Connect 5 by Phibs

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Why not have a go at our latest Monthly Prize Puzzle?

The winner will receive their choice of any of the Telegraph Crossword Books.

Please note that, due to punitive postal charges, while the competition is open to all, the prize is only available to UK solvers.

A review will follow after the closing date (17th March 2018).

The competition is now closed

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Please read the instructions carefully. 

I’ve left this post open for comments, but if you don’t want your comment to be deleted then do not provide any help for other solvers or mention any detail about the puzzle, especially references to individual clues, until after the closing date.

21 comments on “MPP – 070

  1. A splendid, and very tricky, challenge for the warmest morning of the year to date. Yep, while most of Europe seems to be freezing Spring seems to have sprung around here. Won’t last though according to the forecast.

    Many thanks to Phibs for the fun and an interesting idea which I’ve never seen before.

  2. Well, I think I’ve got there but not without leaving a small trail of question marks behind! Answer being submitted so it’s too late for yet another rethink.

    Thanks to Phibs and I shall await the review with interest.

  3. What fun!
    Still laughing at 3d.
    I also have a couple unparsed in the SE but shall wait a couple of weeks for Sue’s review.
    Thanks to Phibs and congratulations for the rapid promotion.

    1. Phibs has had NTSPP and MPP puzzles before so I’m not sure what you mean about rapid promotion?

      1. Remembered NTSPPs But forgot he already produced MPPs.
        Feels like it was only yesterday that we saw him in the rookie corner.

  4. That took overnight cogitation to get the last few sorted and then the puzzle solved. Very clever and a lot of fun.
    Thanks Phibs.

  5. A tough challenge for sure, as befits a Prize Puzzle, which took two separate sittings to complete the grid. Very cleverly put together too!

    Although Phibs’s recent NTSPP was tricky, that one was a walk in the park in comparison with this, and I must commend some of the surfaces today, they were truly top drawer.

    My pick of the clues were 9a, 34a, 3d and 6d.

    Many thanks indeed, Phibs.

  6. Excellent puzzle which I found challenging. A couple have still to be parsed. Favourite was 34a. Thanks Phibs.

  7. A great (in more than one sense) challenge which had me pondering all the way the end game. Like others I have a couple of outstanding question marks about the finer points. I laughed (until I cried?) at 3d and also liked 21a, 27a and 34a.

    Thanks Phibs, and in advance to CS for the review.

  8. I think we are all agreed on this puzzle judging by the comments so far. For me, that took two sittings and plenty of head scratching. I can’t profess to have all the parsing sorted, but I think I have the answer.

    A brilliant and quite tough puzzle – I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the laughs along the way 34a in particular.

    Thanks Phibs and thanks in advance to CS.

  9. What a brilliant puzzle. Loved the extra challenge, very satisfied when it finally clicked.
    Still have a few ‘iffy’ answers which I look forward to having clarified in the review (or indeed in a random stroke of brilliance in the middle of the night).

    On a different matter, my devices can apparently no longer find the server to submit my answer. Does anyone have any ideas on how I might remedy this?

    Thanks in advance for any help and a huge thanks to Phibs for an excellent, novel puzzle.

      1. Seemed to be a DNS issue, now switched to the ever useful Google Public DNS and all is well.

  10. :phew:
    Pretty much what Silvanus has already said except that I needed four sittings, but I refused to give up and great fun it was too. I’ve got three answers unparsed although I thought at one point the figure was going to be much high than that.

    Huge respect goes to Phibs for a mind-boggling creation, and many thanks to him for taking up so much of my time!

  11. Oh dear. Not doing very well on this so far.
    Think I have got most of the NW and SE but big holes in the other 2 quadrants.

    Have had 3 tries at it now, but I will persevere …at least for a little while longer.
    Somewhat heartened by the others here having found it quite hard.

  12. Very satisfying to eventually get the answer, but baffled by the word play for several clues.
    Thank you Phibs.

  13. Well, that was quite the workout. For me once a month is about right for this level of challenge. Grid is now filled, but I still have one that’s not fully parsed. I’ll join several previous commenters in giving 3d a hearty round of applause. Thanks, Phibs, for devising a hugely entertaining and satisfying puzzle.

  14. Phew!

    That took me a very, very long time.

    Hopefully, I have the spaces in the right places?

    Thanks, Phibs!

  15. OMG! No scope to guess the answer in haste! Time did not let my efforts go waste! But I had to poke my dimple! When found the dreamt clue so simple! Thanks to Phibs for the tough yet magnificent challenge which took a very, very long time except for the preamble. My favourites were 9a, 21a, 34a, 2d, 3d and 6d. Wish I could have laughed at 34a or cried at 3d, but that did not happen as I was seriously bent upon completing the puzzle. Thanks in advance to CS, too, for her review which I shall be anxiously awaiting!

  16. Thanks Phibs. Some super clues, particularly liked 28, 30 & 34 in the bottom right corner

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