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MPP 103 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 103 – Review

December 2020

A Sum of Money by Alchemi

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Many thanks to Rahmat Ali for submitting the following review:

The instructions were as follows:

A number of currencies are clued by wordplay only. After completing the grid, count the Ls, Ss and Ds and express the total as a sum in pounds, shillings and pence.

The grid, after completion, displayed 12 Ls, 12 Ss and 13Ds, to be precise, 12 pounds, 12 shillings and 13 pence. 12 pence being equal to 1 shilling, the addition worked out to 12 pounds, (12+1) shillings and (13-12) pence, that is, £12 13s 1d.

Congratulations to Spartacus for winning this month’s prize competition.


1a Drain oddly missing in church vessel (6)
FORINT (currency of Hungary): [D]R[A]I[N] (odd letters missing) inside (in) FONT (church vessel)

4a Suddenly developed special way down (8)
SPROUTED: a charade of SP (special) followed by ROUTE (way) and D (down)

10a Men’s egos a difficulty in following the line (2-7)
ON-MESSAGE: an anagram (difficulty) of MEN’S EGOS A

11a Princess Diana initially turned round (5)
DINAR (currency of Kuwait and few others): DI (Princess Diana initially) followed by a reversal (round) of RAN (turned)

12a One missing 11’s backing (4)
RAND (currency of South Africa): a reversal of DINAR (11’s backing) that is RANID minus I (one missing)

13a They get away deviously across bend (10)
ABSCONDERS: an anagram (deviously) of ACROSS BEND

15a Company board is corrupt (7)
CORDOBA (currency of Nicaragua): CO (company) followed by an anagram (corrupt) of BOARD IS

16a Pole holding everything back (6)
DOLLAR (currency of the USA and few others): ROD (pole) containing (holding) ALL (everything) all reversed (back)

19a Some tears may be healthy and cheerful (4,2)
WELL UP: WELL (healthy) and UP (cheerful)

21a Deer guards badger’s home as a favour (7)
ROSETTE: ROE (deer) contains (guards) SETT (badger’s home)

23a Theatre where accountants are in their element? (10)
AUDITORIUM: ORIUM as suffix denoting a place for a particular function (where) preceded by AUDIT (accountants are in their element?)

25a When Advent starts in reverse (4)
CEDI (currency of Ghana): a reversal of I DEC, as most Advent calendars starts on 1st December

27a Partly unwraps a refrigerator (5)
APSAR (currency of Abkhazia): hidden inside (partly) unwrAPS A Refrigerator

28a Delilah changed opening, using only the middle bits (9)
LILANGENI (currency of Eswatini or Swaziland): the middle three letters each of (using only the middle bits) DeLILah, chANGed and opENIng

29a Was rude to protected American leaving (8)
INSULTED: INSULATED (protected) without A (American leaving)

30a Burden second to go off (6)
SADDLE: a charade of S (second) followed by ADDLE (to go off)


1d Running event reverse of old hunt (4,4)
FOOT RACE: reversal (reverse) of OF (of) followed by O (old) and TRACE (hunt)

2d Gypsies’ friend runs over with a lot of whiskey (6,3)
ROMANY RYE: a charade of R (runs) O (over) followed by (with) MANY (a lot of) and RYE (whiskey)

3d Is acquainted with said feature (4)
NOSE: knows (is acquainted with) as homophone (said)

5d President, once dead, is stuck (7)
PIERCED: (US 14th President Franklin) PIERCE (President, once) D (dead)

6d Words no longer used in logs held around (3,7)
OLD ENGLISH: an anagram (around) of IN, LOGS and HELD

7d A number finally getting disease (5)
TENGE (currency of Kazakhstan): TEN (a number) followed by the last letters (finally) of gettinG and diseasE

8d Coercion procedures seem incomplete (6)
DURESS: proceDURES Seem partly (incomplete)

9d Snake swallows a pound (6)
BALBOA (currency of Panama): BOA (snake) takes inside (swallows) A (a) and LB (pound)

14d Arrest Capone, taking note of security (10)
COLLATERAL: COLLAR (arrest) AL (Capone) containing (taking) TE (note)

17d Leading breakdown of heat death (2,3,4)
AT THE HEAD: an anagram (breakdown) of HEAT and DEATH

18d Determining City is in very steep decline (8)
DECISIVE: EC (City) and IS (is) inside (in) very steep decline (DIVE)

20d Crashes aeroplane without an offender having licence (7)
PAROLEE: an anagram (crashes) of AEROPL[AN]E (aeroplane without an)

21d Uniform black in part (6)
ROUBLE (currency of Russia): U (uniform) and B (black) inside (in) ROLE (part)

22d Brought up one cold meal (6)
DALASI (currency of Gambia): a reversal as in downward clue (brought up) I (one) followed by SALAD (cold meal)

24d Counters detective crossing river (5)
DESKS: D(etective) S(ergeant) (detective) covering (crossing) ESK (river)

26d Rather small queen on a column (4)
ANTA: ANT (rather small queen) followed by (on) A (a)

Thanks to Alchemi and Mrs & Mr BD for playing their parts in this month’s competition process

13 comments on “MPP 103 – Review

  1. Well done Spartacus!
    Somewhat to my surprise I got the correct answer for this puzzle…..I usually fall down on the letter-counting ones.
    Very enjoyable puzzle that took me a couple of sittings to finish….and has added greatly to my knowledge of currencies.
    Thanks to Alchemi and to Rahmat Ali.

  2. Congratulations, Spartacus, I was almost as pleased with myself for getting my sums right!
    Thank you to Rahmat for an excellent, well illustrated review and also to Mr & Mrs BD for keeping the MPP alive and kicking.

  3. Thanks Rahmat.

    That isn’t how I intended 23a. A lot of elements’ names are formed by sticking IUM at the end of something (eg NEWTONIUM, EINSTEINIUM), so I thought AUDITORIUM, might be (?) the element of auditors, aka accountants..

    1. Although it appears novel to me, it’s undoubtedly nice and nutritious, too. Thank you so much, Alchemi. Since I had accepted ORIUM as a suffix denoting a place, I was left with only AUDIT to parse, which I took as a team of auditors aka accountants along with other staff, somehow befitting the description. Now I feel more enlightened.

  4. Congratulations Sparticus.
    I now see that the answer I sent in was incorrect. I had misread my own writing when adding up the pounds and had marked the C as the first letter of 25a as an L. Ah well.
    A good fun puzzle once again from Alchemi so thanks again and to Rahmat Ali for the review.

  5. Thanks to Alchemi for a pleasant puzzle and a return to the world of LSD for which I have no nostalgia whatsoever (though I did get the sum right).
    Thanks also to Mr&Mrs BD and Rahmat Ali for the explanations.
    Congratulations to Spartacus (I’m rather surprised not to see multiple comments from different people claiming to be Spartacus and requesting the prize).

  6. First of all, heartiest congratulations to Spartacus on winning MPP 103. Thanks once again to Mrs. BD and BD for uninterruptedly hosting the monthly event and to Alchemi for this interesting puzzle which basically required more patience and perseverance. Tonnes of thanks to BD for publishing my second review, which has boosted my confidence level. Next, a big thank you to Ora Meringue, Jane, Alchemi, KiwiColin and Gazza for your compliments and words of encouragement on the review. Finally, wishing all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2021 ahead.

  7. We are delighted to have submitted the correct amount and congratulations to Spartacus for winning. Jolly good puzzle. We did get two answers wrong though as we had DISCS for 24d and ANNA for 26d. Many thanks Alchemi and thanks to Rahmat Ali also.

  8. Very late on this one, even missed the cut off date! Well done to Spartacus for winning and thanks to Alchemi for a tough puzzle with enough obscurities for me to require the assistance of a well known search engine. Like Hilton, I also had Anna for 26d, but was unhappy with the parsing as the word ‘column’ was superfluous. Thanks to 5d I now know who was 14th president of the USA. Favourite clue was 4a.

    Thanks to Rahmat Ali for the review.

    Happy Christmas to all from a rather dreich Tier 4 (formerly known as the Home Counties).

  9. In response to Gazza, I am Spartacus (or am I..?)

    Thank you to everyone who has sent their congratulations, it was a first-time-lucky submission for me!

    My thanks also to Alchemi for devising a very enjoyable puzzle and, as ever, to Mr & Mrs BD for their diligent hosting.

    There were a number of currencies that were unfamiliar to me, but it can be very satisfying to determine a likely solution and have it confirmed by the dictionary. Well done to Rahmat Ali for unearthing pictorial evidence of the answers. 23a provided a ‘did he really just do that’ moment, but I understood it to be alchemy! For my money, I initially wanted 26d to be anna but the wordplay did not support this – was it intended as a trap? Overall, my favourite was 28a, what a great name for a currency.

    Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

  10. Congrats, Spartacus, and many thanks to Rahmat Ali for the blog.

    I’ve just realised that my answer to 26d “ANNA” was wrong … missed the fact there was a definition “column” in that clue. Fortunately, it didn’t effect the correct number of £.s.d.

    Thanks also to Alchemi, of course, and Mr & Mrs BD.

    The MPP is always my favourite puzzle each month.

  11. A big thank you also to Hilton, Kelotoph, Spartacus and stanXYZ for your compliments and words of encouragement on the review. Finally, wishing you all and crypticsue a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year 2021 ahead. It’s now 00.00 hours at Kolkata and 25th December.

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