MPP 097 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 097 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 097 – Review

June 2020

A Puzzle by Radler


This month’s lucky winner is Brian Betker – one of our overseas entrants, a Professor at St Louis University in the USA – so his only reward is the Honour and Glory of having his name pulled out of the electronic hat by Mrs BD.

The instructions said:

Hidden in the completed grid, are six of the first seven items in a series. A single letter change (leaving real words in the two affected answers) will provide the missing one, and will reveal a seven-letter word that describes the series. What is that word?

The French numbers deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept are hidden in the completed gird. Change the P to an N at the intersection of 7a & 4d (leaving real words Roadman & Unto) to form the missing number un and to reveal the word “NOMBRES”. There’s a highlighted grid at the end of the review.


7    Plan for network range restricts date apparently (4,3)
ROAD MAP – ROAM (range) ‘restricts’ the abbreviation for Date and is then followed by an abbreviation meaning apparently

8    Bomb restricts prisoners’ games (6)
OMBRES – Lurking in (prisoners) bOMB REStricts

10    Blunt peg bags, ridiculous inside out! (5)
TERSE – TEE (peg) ‘bags’ the outside letters of RidiculouS (the inside ones being ‘out’!)

11    You loners mix with difficulty (9)
ONEROUSLY – An anagram (mix) of YOU LONERS

12    Jack caught fish (5)
RAISE – Jack here is a verb, a synonym of which is a homophone (caught) of RAYS (fish)

14    Game abandoned: part played in game before end (9)
PTARMIGAN – An anagram (abandoned) of PART and another (played) of IN GAMe (before end telling you not to use the final letter)

15    Number of dead concealed by latest evidence (7)
INCLUDE – D (dead) ‘concealed’ by IN (latest) CLUE (evidence)

17    Alongside one from colony entering the French capital (7)
ATLANTA – A US state capital – AT (alongside) ANT (one from colony) ‘entering’ LA (French definite article)

18    They mark time by excessively turning on Society (9)
TATTOOERS T (time) AT (by) TOO (excessively), a reversal (turning) of RE (on) and S (Society)

19    Help on training coppers abroad (5)
PESOS – SOS (help) goes on PE (training)

20    Note time, turn off life support (9)
NUTRIMENT – N (note) and an anagram (off) of TIME TURN

22    Empty home haunted now and again (5)
INANE – IN (home) and the even (now and again) letters of hAuNtEd

25    Fruit like plum, as in bunch (6)
LOQUAT – QUA (as) in LOT (bunch)

26    Worry, scratching head, “it hurts, doctor” (7)
RETOUCH – Scratch the ‘head’ of fRET (worry) and add OUCH (it hurts)


1    Noted old-fashioned card pack with King (4)
WRIT – Pack or insert a WIT (card in the sense of comical) with R (Rex, king)

2    Light hob though not hungry in the end (4)
FAIR – This hob is a FAIRY – remove the Y (not hungry in the end

3    Crossword finally enters No. 1: Radler’s on top block (6)
IMPEDE – D (crossword ‘finally’ enters PEE (no 1) – IM (Radler’s should be placed on top in this Down solution)

4    Flipping request initially supports universal scheming (2,2)
UP TO – PTO (flipping request initially) supports (again as it is a Down clue) U (universal)

5    Operatic heroine among most talented out there (8)
ABNORMAL – NORMA (operatic heroine) inserted into ABLe (most of talented)

6    Shops, boozers, houses: green town’s Southern border (10)
NEWSAGENTS – NEWTS (boozers) ‘houses’ SAGE (green) and the Southern border or last letter of town

8    Spring-loaded lids over traps he set round about (5,4)
OPERA HATS – O (over) and an anagram (set) of TRAPS HE ’round’ A (about)

9    Province once in Luxembourg, say? No, abroad (8)
LYONNAIS – An anagram (abroad) of IN L (IVR code Luxembourg) SAY NO

12    Very hot current for a blistering (8)
ROISTING – Change the A (from the clue) in ROASTING (very hot) for an I (electrical current)

13    Encouragement through mention in dispatches (10)
INCITATION – IN (through) CITATION (mention in dispatches)

14    Single out before future leader? (9)
PRESELECT – PRES ELECT (president elect, future leader)

16    Loving wife‘s kiss after you mentioned other post-vacation debts (8)
UXORIOUS – X (kiss) goes after U (you ‘mentioned’, OR (other post ‘vacation’) IOUS (debts)

19    Stand in line filling beer glass, Harry’s first (6)
PLINTH – L (line) filling PINT (beer glass)and followed with H (Harry’s first)

21    Regressive attribute of Inheritance Tax (4)
TIRE – Lurking in reverse in inhERITance

23    Answer question with a drink (4)
AQUA – A (answer) QU (question) A (from the clue)

24    Base cut off, powerless to send back report? (4)
ECHO – E (base) CHOp (cut off without (less) the P [power]

Thanks to Radler and Mrs and Mr BD for their parts in the June Monthly Prize Puzzle process.

14 comments on “MPP 097 – Review

  1. Many thanks to Radler for the very enjoyable puzzle and to CS for the write-up. Congratulations to Brian Betker on his win (presumably he’s not that Brian!).

  2. Many thanks to CS and heartiest congratulations to ‘overseas Brian’ on his win. Some of those in the SW corner had me beaten but it’s hardly surprising given that I’d confidently written in CRANE for 12a!

    Well done to Radler for getting one over on me this time and thanks to Mr & Mrs BD for facilitating our enjoyable MPPs.

  3. I never got round to cracking this one, stuck about 3/4 way and couldn’t see the ‘hiddens’
    Thanks to Radler & CS, congratulations to Brian Betker
    Thanks also to Mr & Mrs BD as ever

  4. Congratulations Brian in St Louis.
    A very challenging exercise for me and very satisfying to eventually get it all sorted.
    Thanks again Radler and CS.
    Ps. CS, it seems that Jane has missed the missing letter in the answer to 18a that you left for her to find.

    1. You can’t get the staff! I think all these long weeks (months) of shielding plus the excitement of her new granddaughter have made her mislay her fine-toothed comb.

  5. Thanks to CS for the review, and congratulations to Brian B. Thanks again too to Radler whom I thanked immediately after the considerable challenge involved in solving this puzzle.

  6. After completing the grid on day 2 I have driven myself wild trying to spot the items – I even managed to get as far as ‘ROADMAN’ (& UNTO).

    Thanks to all and congratulations to the prof.

    Guess who doesn’t speak French?!!! (Weak!)

  7. I’m basking in the hono(u)r and glory. I also do not speak French (save for the occasional “sacre bleu!”) but was helped by the fact that this month’s Guardian Genius made me learn how to count to twelve in two new languages. Thanks to Mrs BD for pulling my name from the hat and to Radler for the challenge.

    Brian (presumably not that Brian?) B.

  8. First of all, heartiest congratulations to Brian Betker on his win.

    I could not satisfactorily parse 1a, 18a and 14d till the very end, though I could manage to locate the remaining two ‘nombres’: ‘trois’ and ‘cinq’. But that had not prevented me from guessing and submitting my answer the day before.

    What a relief to finally note that my guess was not wild! That was somehow also confirmed by the fact that during the competition, Jepi was, for some reason, not surprised to see a prior comment from Jean-Luc. Indeed, I wouldn’t have been surprised either even if Jean-Luc had been the very first to comment.

    Thanks once again to Radler for the lovely entertainment. Thanks also to CS for her brilliant review. However, LA is the French definite, not indefinite article, as mentioned above.

  9. Very well done Brian. My hat is well and truly taken off to you .

    Actually I don’t know why I even tried to do this one. As soon as I saw Radler, I should have retired gracefully and forgotten about it.
    After ages and ages of looking and using electronic gizmos my sum total of correct grid entries was 10…..

    Having seen the review, I think I can safely say that had I managed to fill in the grid correctly the chances of my solving the problem would have been absolutely nil.

    Still it was a challenge and I am all the better for that……probably.

    Thanks to Radler for totally bamboozling me again and to Crypticsue for the review.
    And well done to all those who figured it out!

  10. A slightly belated thank you from me. Younger daughter visited on Sunday (father’s day) for the first time since pre-lockdown. Then I was out all day Monday, and after that the review had moved further down the front page.

    The usual thanks are of course owed to CS, Mr & Mrs BD and to all who provided feedback in their comments.
    Congratulations to Brian

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