MPP 092 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 092 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 092 – Review

January 2020

A Puzzle by Prolixic


Ten solutions share a connection but which one lacks the X-Factor?

The theme of American presidents was obvious fairly early on in the solving process – the one lacking the X-Factor was, of course, President Ford, who wasn’t elected (so no-one put an X by his name on a ballot paper!) but succeeded to the office following the resignation of President Nixon.

Congratulations to Catnap, our January winner, who can now choose a Daily Telegraph Crossword Book as their prize


7a    Publicity about amateur interior designers (5)
ADAMS – ADS (publicity) ‘about’ AM (amateur)

8a    Grouch hit out in trial venue (4,5) 
HIGH COURT- An anagram (out) of GROUCH HIT

10a    Singer Matt beginning to entertain American actress (6) <
MONROE – Matt MUNRO (singer) and the ‘beginning’ to Entertain

11a    Briefly go into prison with crack (8) 
CLEAVAGE – Truncate (briefly) LEAVe (go) and insert into CAGE (prison)

12a    Intelligent public leader goes after republican (8) 
RATIONAL – Remove the ‘leader’ from nATIONAL (public) and put the remaining letters after R (Republican)

13a    Crossing coming back in hydrofoil (4)  
FORD – Lurking in reverse (coming back) in hyDROFoil

15a    Shelves holding reading books (7) 
LEDGERS – LEDGES (shelves) ‘holding’ R (reading being one of the 3 Rs)

17a    Harangue one with passionate desire to pursue bachelor (7) 
BLUSTER – LUSTER (one with passionate desire) goes after (to pursue) B (bachelor)

20a    Plant with cylindrical sleeve (4)
BUSH – Two presidents – a type of woody plant or a cylindrical sleeve which forms a bearing surface or guide for drilling

22a    Red flag I waved for cat (8)
GARFIELD – An anagram (waved) of RED FLAG I

25a    Short talk with everyone about fellow’s humiliating blunder (8) 
PRATFALL – Truncate (short) PRATe (talk), add ALL (everyone) and insert (about) F (fellow)

26a    One leaves jeweller for drayman (6)  
CARTER – Omit the I (one leaves) from CARTiER, the jewellers

27a    Interns take in Zulu warriors facing natives (9) 
IMPRISONS – Insert R (take) into IMPI (Zulu warriors) and add SONS (natives)

28a    Accept award (5)
GRANT – Double definition


1d    Recommends a daughter leaves with nothing for leading American (9) 
ADVOCATES – A (from the clue) D (daughter) VOCATES (vacates where O (nothing) replaces the A [leading American]

2d    England’s coming together and coming out (8) 
EMERGING – E (England) MERGING (coming together)

3d    See a US car maker (7)
LINCOLN – Double definition – a cathedral city (see) or a US car maker)

4d    Children left university unemployed returning happy (8) 
CHEERFUL – CH (children) followed by a reversal (returning) of L (left) U (university) FREE (unemployed)

5d    Postpone Liberal Democrat going to dam (6)
HOOVER – Take out the LD (going) from HOLD OVER (postpone)

6d    Car sold in 1966 bearing riff-raff (5)
DREGS – A car sold in 1966 would be a D REG and this should be followed by S (south, compass bearing)

9d    Maybe Andrew buries seed (4) 
BEAN – Lurking in mayBE ANdrew

14d    Kind lawmen let off (4-5) 
WELL-MEANT – An anagram (off) of LAWMEN LET

16d    Get ready on late running transport (8) 
REHEARSE – RE (on) HEARSE (‘late running’ transport)

18d    Prison heartlessly fosters scaremongers (8) 
STIRRERS – STIR (prison) and REaRS (fosters without the middle letter)

19d    Enduring drug found in silver pine (3-4) 
AGE-LONG – E (Ecstasy, drug) found between AG (chemical symbol for silver) and LONG (pine)

21d    At university go for revival (6) 
UPTURN – UP (at university) TURN (go)

23d    Support torture (4) 
RACK – Double definition

24d    Blast children’s TV programme lacking fashion (5)
TRUMP – TRUMPton (children’s TV programme) ‘lacking’ TON (fashion)

Thanks as usual to Prolixic, Mrs BD and BD

12 comments on “MPP 092 – Review

  1. Congratulations, Catnap, and thanks to BD and Mrs BD.

    Thanks again, Prolixic, for a puzzle which was great fun. You fooled me into submitting the wrong answer! I put TRUMP as the only one who is not an (E)X-President. I bet I wasn’t alone.

  2. Oh my goodness me! How absolutely wonderful, especially as Prolixic has long been one of my fave setters! I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle and had no expectations of winning. Thank you very much. I shall treasure the crossword book. I just wish I could follow Jane’s lead and have it signed at the Birthday Bash, which, alas, I shan’t be able to attend. My appreciation and warm thanks again.

  3. Many thanks for the review, CS, and congratulations to Catnap. Such a shame that you won’t be able to get your book signed at the Birthday Bash – I really treasure mine.
    I did briefly wonder whether to include both ‘Bushes’ until the final count convinced me otherwise but fortunately I didn’t fall into the X-factor trap!

  4. Well done Catnap and thanks again to Prolixic for a gentle puzzle with a gentle riddle.
    Interestingly, Gerald Ford was “not elected” twice as he was not Nixon’s original vice-president. That was Spiro Agnew who had to resign after being found guilty of tax evasion. Ford was House Republican Leader at the time that Nixon “promoted” him.
    Thanks to CS for the review.

  5. Congratulations Catnap.
    I am another one who submitted an incorrect answer.
    An interesting aside is that on ballot papers in NZ the instructions tell the voter to put a tick (rather than a cross) in the box where they intend their vote to go. This was done to avoid the confusion with some people who see a cross as a mark of rejection rather than acceptance. I have worked for a few elections and when counting votes the instruction is that as long as the intention is clear, it is irrelevant what mark has been used.
    Thanks again for the fun Prolixic and CS.

  6. A belated congratulations to Catnap for being first out of the electronic hat and to Crypticsue for the review. To those whom I trumped with the wrong answer, there was no homophone indicator in the instructions to the solver!!

  7. Belated but heartiest congratulations to Catnap on winning the Monthly Prize Puzzle 092 Contest. I was on a holiday in Egypt and so couldn’t participate this time.

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