MPP 078 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 078 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 078 – Review

November 2018

A puzzle by Prolixic

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This month’s lucky winner is Silvanus (who is certainly having a good week!) who correctly named eight of the English flowers hidden in the grid and now gets to select a Daily Telegraph Crossword Book as his prize

There are eleven – Avon, Dart, Dee, Exe, Mersey, Nene, Thames and Ure, Ock, Burn and Tees, some of which are more obscure than others.   Some  creative solvers found four more – Nent, Rase, Thame and Ver.  So any eight of these was considered to be a valid response and went into the ‘electronic hat’ for Mrs BD to pick the winner.


8a     Lady‘s expression of pleasure over piece for New Yorker (6)
AGATHA – AHA (expression of pleasure) over GAT (an American – as possibly used in New York – gun [piece]

9a     Dining room etiquette son ignored in house (8)
MESSUAGE – MESS (dining room) USAGE (etiquette) ignoring the S for Son

10a     Permission to go through Clovis Airport (4)
VISA – Lurking through cloVIS Airport

11a     Money for bread (3)
TIN – Double definition

12a     Soldier called engineers back (6)
RANGER – RANG (called) followed by a reversal (back) of RE (Royal Engineers)

13a     Heart of troop horse has functioning gland (8)
OOPHORON – the letters at the heart of trOOP HORse plus ON (functioning)

14a     Sea-snail – Geordie artist eats it (6)
NERITA – NE (Geordie) RA (artist) eats IT (from the clue)

16a     Enclosure in new air-conditioning magazine (7)
NACELLE – CELL (enclosure) inserted in N (new) AC (air-conditioning) ELLE (magazine)

19a     Copies Persian king eating duck (7)
XEROXES – XERXES ‘eating’ O (duck, nothing, in a cricket score)

22a     Surrounded by morning papers and Sunday Times (6)
AMIDST – AM (morning) ID (papers) S (Sunday) T (Times)

24a     Go and tackle dilapidated canal feature (4-4)
LOCK-GATE – An anagram (dilapidated) of GO and TACKLE

27a     Focus after beginning to prune hedge (6)
PRIVET – RIVET (focus) goes after the P at the beginning of Prune

29a     Old Labour leader rejecting European drink (3)
KIR – Remove the E (rejecting European) from the old Labour leader KeIR [Hardie]

30a     Online news about Hawaiian goose (4)
NENE – A reversal (about) of two lots (news plural) of E (on line) N (new)

31a     Man briefly joins another person from Atlanta? (8)
GEORGIAN – GEORGe (man ‘briefly’) joins IAN (another man)

32a     Antelope smell includes body odour (6)
REEBOK – REEK (smell) ‘includes’ BO (body odour)


1d     One entertained by a Greek colonel and a Roman general (8)
AGRICOLA – A (one) ‘entertained by’ A (from the clue) GR (Greek) COL (colonel) and A (from the clue)

2d     Join raid in which Henry deposes king (6)
ATTACH – H (the SI unit the Henry) ‘deposes’ the K for King at the end of ATTACK (raid)

3d     One runs and one dives (6)
DARTER – Double definition – the second one being a freshwater diving bird related to cormorants

4d     Noted artist joins English playhouse (7)
EMINENT – EMIN (Tracey the artist) joins ENT (English National Theatre)

5d     Antagonise leader sacked from Top Rank (8)
ESTRANGE – Sack the leader from bEST RANGE (top rank)

6d     Sting has to copy music to disc (4)
BURN – Double definition

7d     Old king, say, has opinion describing queen (6)
EGBERT – EG (say) BET (has opinion) ‘describing’ or going round R (Regina, queen)

15d     Greek character in series on the radio (3)
RHO – A homophone (on the radio) of ROW (series)

17d     Limit of reason (3)
END – Double definition

18d     One group allowed to move up to see what Petomane did (3,2,3)
LET IT RIP – I (one) TRIPLET (group) where LET (allowed) moves to the top.

What passed for entertainment at the start of the 20th Century seems very strange – Le Pétomane was the stage name of the French flatulist (professional farter) and entertainer Joseph Pujol. He was famous for his remarkable control of the abdominal muscles, which enabled him to seemingly fart at will. It is a common misconception that Joseph Pujol actually passed intestinal gas as part of his stage performance. Rather, Pujol was able to “inhale” or move air into his rectum and then control the release of that air with his anal sphincter muscles. Evidence of his ability to control those muscles was seen in the early accounts of demonstrations of his abilities to fellow soldiers.


20d     Old monsters inwardly evolving muscle (8)
EXTENSOR – EX (old) and an anagram (evolving) of the inside letters of mONSTERs

21d     Making an accidental success of venture involving Great Britain and Northern Ireland (7)
FLUKING – FLING (venture) involving UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

23d     Beery mates playing create this beat (6)
MERSEY – An anagram (playing) of BEERY MATES creates MERSEY and BEAT

25d    Doctors for those who smoke (6)
CURERS – Double definition – add

26d     Redhead from Geneva meeting German (6)
GINGER – GIN (Geneva being another word for gin) GER (German)

28d     Bishop and vicar come up with part of speech (4)
VERB – A reversal (come up in a Down clue) of B (Bishop) REV (vicar)

Thank you to Mrs and Mr BD and, of course, Prolixic for their parts in this month’s Prize Puzzle competition

11 comments on “MPP 078 – Review

  1. A good week has just got even better! Perhaps I should play the Lottery too while I’m on a roll…

    My one and only previous MPP win was 22 months ago, and that was also with a Prolixic puzzle, so perhaps we have a lucky bond.

    Many thanks to BD, CS and the setter for a typically testing challenge.

  2. Congratulations Silvanus. I probably had to rely on Google more than most people but it was a fun search finding all those strangely named water courses.
    Thanks again Prolixic and Cs for the review.

  3. Many thanks for your second review of the day, CS, and heartiest congratulations to Silvanus who is indeed enjoying a very ‘purple patch’ at the moment. Perhaps he’d also buy me a lottery ticket when he pops in for his own!

    Sadly, the new words I thought I’d learned from this one – oophoron and nerita – had been forgotten by the time the review came out…………

    Thanks again to Prolixic for the challenge and to the keepers of the electronic hat.

  4. Congrats to Silvanus – I bet you can’t wait for another crossword book!

    I found this tough, and was confused by the extra rivers, and so doubted I had it right.
    The Roman General rather alienated me, plus the other obscurities Jane notes.

    Therefore, I didn’t enter the competition. Many thanks to our gurus Prolixic and CS, and to Mr & Mrs BD too.

  5. Thank you Mr K, that was one of my answers and I wondered why it was not included.
    Many thanks to Prolixic for the puzzle, CS for the review and, of course, Mr and Mrs BD

  6. Many congratulations, Silvanus. I bought a four week lottery ticket this morning and would have sought your advice first if I had known.

    I made a real pig’s ear of this one by putting MURDER for 23d (as a noun it’s a drinking game and as a verb it can mean to beat comprehensively although cricket coach David Lloyd didn’t realise that in 1996 when he said “we flipping murdered them” after England had tied a Test match against Zimbabwe ) and, not having solved 13a, I entered BANTAM for 3d (well, it can be a duck, which dives, and a chicken, which runs).

    Many thanks to Prolixic for leading me on an entertaining wild goose chase and to CS for the review.

  7. Best congrats to Sylvanus! Very well done! As CS says, you really are having a good week.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle which took me a while to solve. Sadly, I never did manage to work out 3d. Thank you very much CS for the enlightenment here.

    No, and I never did find the flowers either — par for the course for me, alas! I can, however, recognise a nina when it’s around the perimeter so I suppose there’s hope yet … ?

    Many appreciative thanks to Prolixic for a super puzzle and to CS for her review.

  8. Heartiest congratulations to Silvanus. Thanks to crypticsue for her review and, of course, once again thanks to Prolixic for the brilliant challenge. I now learnt that there were even more than the nine flowers I got in the course of solving. And the one which I did not mention as one of the answers was ‘Esk’ which was noticed in a diagonal. However, I did not expect the need for the repetition of l’histoire de Le Pétomane as in 18d above. That surprised me since the solvers must have read about this odd entertainer while solving the puzzle.

  9. Too hard for me but I did enjoy the fight and the search for rivers.
    Thanks to Prolixic for the challenge and Sue for the review.
    Congrats to silvanus too.
    I can now delete that massive wikipedia list of english rivers that has been filling my cache the last few weeks.

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