MPP 081 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 081 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 081  -Review

February 2019

Following On – a puzzle by Phibs

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Eight solutions can be linked together by joining a word at the end of one with a word at the start of another, eg SUNBAKED/BEANPOLE/CATCALL.

What are the words at the start of the first solution and the end of the last solution in the chain (which in the preceding example would be SUN CALL)?

One of those crosswords with ‘structions where you read them carefully and then have a little lie down. Following my usual rule of ‘ignore the instructions’ and get on and solve the crossword, which didn’t take particularly long, it then took a bit of muttering to work out that I needed to link together DEADPAN/CAKEWALK/OVERHEAD/LANDFALL/BACKWATER/MEADOWSWEET/HEARTBREAK/DOWNRIGHT, meaning that the answer to this month’s question is DEAD RIGHT

Our February winner is Kiwi Colin – many congratulations to him

An enjoyable crossword, thank you Phibs, although I will say that there is an awful lot of ‘do something with a letter’ going on throughout!


1a    Doc and Dopey initially set about Bashful (6)
MODEST – MO (doctor) D (Dopey ‘initially’) and an anagram (about) of SET

4a    Stroll around London gardens, conversation passing time (8)
CAKEWALK – CA (circa, around) KEW (London gardens) tALK (conversation without the T [passing time)

9a    Recently discovered navy skin on elbow (3)
NEW – N (navy) and EW (the skin or outside letters of ElboW)

10a    Tormented adult beset by marriage’s ups and downs (11)
UNDULATIONS – An anagram (tormented) of ADULT ‘beset by’ or inserted into UNIONS (marriage’s)

12a    Used bad language, leaving wife annoyed (4)
SORE – Omit the W (leaving wife) from SwORE (used bad language)

13a    Leaders of large flotilla without exception reaching terra firma (8)
LANDFALL – L AND F (the ‘leaders’ of Large and Flotilla) plus ALL (without exception)

16a    Hard to fraudulently manipulate identification (5)
RIGID – RIG ID (fraudulently manipulate identification)

17a    Water engulfing one sailor left in Pacific (9)
PEACEABLE – PEE (water) ‘engulfing) ACE (one) AB (sailor) L (left) – the P in Pacific being a fine example of a misleading capital

20a    Ill-humour universal when nailed by weapon of choice? (9)
PETULANCE – U (universal) ‘nailed by’ or inserted into PET LANCE (weapon of choice)

21a    Disintegrating tissue recalled dire club sandwiches (5)
ULCER – Lurking (sandwiches) in reverse (recalled) in diRE CLUb

22a    Finished cut offering no hint of welcome commercial smash (8)
OVERHEAD – Smash referring to a tennis stroke – OVER (finished) HEw (cut without a ‘hint’ or first letter of Welcome) AD (commercial)

24a    Mop was awfully black (4)
SWAB – An anagram (awfully) of WAS followed by B (black)

27a    Weed – somewhat unkempt, striking height? (11)
MEADOWSWEET – This &Lit clue perfectly describes this particular weed – an anagram (unkempt) of WEED SOMEWhAT – without the H (‘striking’ Height)

28a    Driving aid built into steering (3)
TEE – lurking in (built into) sTEEring

29a    Halted half-way through act, sits fidgeting (8)
DESISTED – Insert into the middle of DEED (halfway through act) an anagram (fidgeting) of SITS

30a    Trainspotter heading for railway flanked by a wood (6)
ANORAK – R (the ‘heading’ for Railway) flanked by, or inserted into AN (a) OAK (wood)


1d    Handwriting being essentially lousy on instruction to pharmacist (10)
MANUSCRIPT – MAN (being) U (the ‘essential’ letter of loUsy on SCRIPT (informal term for a prescription, instruction to pharmacist)

2d    Thoroughly like 8 and 15? (9)
DOWNRIGHT – 8 and 15 are DOWN clues on the RIGHT-hand side of the grid

3d    Sun dull after editor’s removed mildly obscene material (4)
SMUT – S (son) MUTed (dull without the ED (editor’s removed)

5d    Ladies’ pants – not seconds – had been made poorly (5)
AILED – An anagram (pants) of LADIEs without the S (not seconds)

6d    Sex out near rocks ‘inappropriate‘ (10)
EXTRANEOUS – An anagram (rocks) of SEX OUT NEAR

7d    Large group of marine bodies set one up on lake (5)
ATOLL – A reversal (up) of LOT A (set one) on L (lake)

8d    Smack children spending penny when on top of springboard (4)
KISS – Remove the D (spending penny) from KIdS and put the remaining letters on the S at the top of Springboard

11d    Inscrutable old man conserving energy to sleep around (7)
DEADPAN – DAD (old man) ‘conserving’ E (energy) followed by a reversal (around) of NAP (sleep)

14d    Louts are back on road, excited about United playing away (10)
ADULTEROUS – An anagram (excited) of LOUTS ARE D (the ‘back’ on road) ‘about’ U (united)

15d    Great sadness to learn about a king catching nasty disease (10)
HEARTBREAK – HEAR (learn about) RE A K (about a king) ‘catching’ TB (nasty disease)

18d    Officially too old when giving up Ordinary for Advanced standard (7)
AVERAGE – Change the O (giving up Ordinary) on OVERAGE (officially too old) and replace with an A (advanced)

19d    Advocate nurses with a bit of tenacity for place that’s isolated (9)
BACKWATER – BACKER (advocate) ‘nurses’ W (with) A (from the clue) T (a bit or first letter of Tenacity)

22d    Figures special toilet’s upside-down, having nothing to go on (5)
OVALS – A reversal (upside-down) of S (special) LAV (toilet) going on or after O (nothing)

23d    Rush hour on a street close to Marylebone (5)
HASTE – H (hour) A ST (a street) E (the ‘close’ to MarylebonE)

25d    In the thick of a subdued uprising (4)
AMID – A (from the clue) and a reversal (uprising) of DIM (subdued)

26d    Shock aunts, casually dropping one (4)
STUN – An anagram (casually) of aUNTS ‘dropping’ the A (one)

Thanks once again to Phibs and Mr and Mrs BD for their parts in the February competition

4 comments on “MPP 081 – Review

  1. I was really chuffed to receive an email this morning telling me that it was my name that came out of the hat this month.
    It was a very satisfying puzzle to solve as once I had worked out what the answer was, I knew immediately that it was ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Very clever of Phibs to have done this as an added bonus.
    Thanks to everyone who had a hand in this.

  2. Thanks to Phibs for another excellent Monthly puzzle. Congratulations to KiwiColin on his victory (as he says the correct answer was a very good pointer to your having sorted it out satisfactorily and a further level of cleverness).
    My favourite clue was 2d.
    Thanks to CS for the review and to Mr & Mrs BD for the administration.

  3. Congratulations, Kiwi Colin – so nice when the MPP winner is someone we know. Hope you’ve booked your flight to come and collect your prize!
    Thanks also to CS for the well-illustrated review.

  4. Congrats to KiwiColin. Thanks to CS, to those who left comments (which I always find very helpful when producing future crosswords), and to everyone who had a go at the puzzle.

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