MPP 077 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 077 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 077 – Review

October 2018

A puzzle by Radler

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Congratulations to this month’s winner – Robert – who wins a Daily Telegraph Puzzle Book of his choice

The instructions said:

The completed grid contains a hidden superhero. After finding him, change two letters in each of two symmetrically placed solutions to reveal his true identity. As a result, four crossing solutions are amended, but are still real words. Provide the four new words to enter the competition.

It was fairly easy to find the superhero – BATMAN in the central vertical Nina next to his sidekick “Robin”. Batman is, of course, the secret identity of BRUCE WAYNE. Therefore, if you change aced TRUCK to BRUCE and SAY NO to WAYNE, then  new words – Boastings, Outwore, Wailing, Grandiose – appear and could be entered into the competition entry form


1a    Out of blood type O until supplies cover (5) 
TABOO – TO (until) ‘supplies cover for’ AB (blood type) and O (from the clue)

4a    Answer getting across concentration (9) 
ABRIDGING – A (answer) BRIDGING (getting across)

9a    Force one on through lying about purpose (7) 
MILITIA – I (one) LIT (on) inserted in (through) AIM (purpose) and then reversed (lying about)

10a    End to four months abuse, a holiday destination (7) 
BERMUDA – Four months of the year end in -BER, add MUD (abuse) and A (from the clue)

11a    Music producer to decipher text reported newspaper (4,5) 
REED ORGAN – A homophone (reported) of READ (decipher text) and ORGAN (newspaper)

12a    Saw out (5) 
DATED – Double definition – one a verb and the other an adjective

13a    Railway vehicle provided buffet going South (5) 
TRUCK – [S]TRUCK (provided buffet) without (going) the S for South

14a    Brave comedy closed (5,2,2) 
STAND UP TO – STAND UP (comedy) TO (closed – as my granny used to say ‘put the door to’

17a    That’s sweet, writing “Thanks Radler” on a box (9) 
ASPARTAME – TA ME (thanks Radler) on A (from the clue) SPAR (box)

19a    In display of harmony assent? On the contrary… (3,2) 
SAY NO – Found reversed (on the contrary) hidden (in display of) harmONY ASsent

20a    Island: twirling grass skirts and a headband (5) 
TIARA – Twirling indicates the need to reverse RAT (grass) into which is inserted I (skirting Island) and the result then followed with A (from the clue)

22a    Vagrant sat in cafe entrance (9) 
FASCINATE – An anagram (vagrant) of SAT IN CAFÉ

24a    Bogus (not married) platinum wedding (7) 
NUPTIAL – An anagram (bogus) of PLATINUm (once you have removed the M – not married)

25a    Drugs first work, then a setback (7) 
OPIATES – OP I (first work), then A (from the clue) and a reversal (back) of SET

26a    Issue deposits in second wave, leading to row (5,4) 
SPERM BANK – S (second) PERM (wave) BANK (row)

27a    Run through when cycling Grand Canyon (5)
GORGE – GORE (run through) going round G (grand)


1d    Watch for one having brief upset (5) 
TIMER – A reversal (upset) of REMIT (brief)

2d    Sucker from Hull, heading to Paris after touring Belgium and Portugal (5,4) 
BILGE PUMP – Misleading capital time as hull here refers to part of a boat – The first letter (heading) of Paris goes after an anagram (touring) of BELGIUM and P (the IVR code for Portugal)

3d    Perform better than another part of defence (7) 
OUTWORK – Double definition – one a verb, the other a noun

4d    Drug addicts drinking gin – ale’s off (9) 
ANALGESIA – AA (Alcoholics Anonymous – addicts) drinking an anagram (off) of GIN ALES

5d    Singer, boring, no good carrying on (5) 
ROBIN – An anagram (carrying on) of BORINg without the G for good

6d    Put down and make clear in writing (7) DERIDED – RID (make clear) in DEED (writing)

7d    Person from North of Italy, drawn to Monaco after sunset? (5) 
INUIT – I (Italy) drawn to NUIT (the French word, as used in Monaco, for night – after sunset)

8d    Played radio song imposing musical style (9) 
GRANDIOSO – An anagram (played) of RADIO SONG

13d    Raising tributes to a smart son (9) 
TOASTINGS – TO A (from the clue) STING (smart) S (son)

15d    Strains noisily to move large stone (5,4) 
AYERS ROCK – A homophone (noisily) of AIRS (strains) ROCK (move)

16d    Financier‘s agreement in afternoon depressing Daisy (9) 
PAYMASTER- AY (word of agreement) inserted into PM (afternoon) ‘depressing’ in a Down clue meaning put on top of ASTER (daisy)

18d    Common sense tips of air miles collecting (7) 
REALISM – An anagram (collecting) of the A and R from AIR (the clue telling you to only use the outside letters) and MILES

19d    When doing this, initially seasick? (7) 
SAILING – S (the initial letter of Sea) AILING (sick)

21d    Well-endowed model appearing topless (5)
AMPLE – Appearing topless indicates the need to remove the first letter from sAMPLE (model)

22d    Guy on a deck (5) 
FELLA – Put the A from the clue after FELL (deck)

23d    Essentially get one use, but see result (5)
ENSUE The essential letters of gEt oNe uSe bUt sEe

I found this a relatively easier solve than the NTSPP candidate that Radler sent me to test at the same time (which ended up as NTSPP 450). Whether this was because the MPP candidate had hidden content that even I could see, who knows. Thank you to him anyway and to the BDs for their part in the October Prize Puzzle processes

4 comments on “MPP 077 – Review

  1. Congratulations to Robert.

    For me this was a good, though not very taxing puzzle, helpfully labelled BW.

    Thanks for the review Sue

  2. Many thanks for your second BD chore of the day, CS. Where would we be without you for these extra duties.
    I was particularly grateful to you for sorting out the parsing of 1a which had me at sixes and sevens and also 7d where I stupidly hadn’t made the French connection!

    Congratulations to Robert – enjoy your prize.

  3. Well done Robert.

    Enjoyed doing this one and just delighted to have completed it and solved the riddle.

    Thanks to Radler and to crypticsue for the review.

  4. Being drawn first out of the electronic hat has made my day.
    I always look forward to the Monthly Prize Puzzles and Radler produced another corker.
    Thank you.

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