MPP 105 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 105 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 105 – Review

February 2021

A Puzzle by Radler

If delivered to us by 8 across or 24 down, the unclued entry at 16 across could be the title of a Nursery Rhyme. Eight of the letters in that unclued entry are given by the crossing down answers. The other seven are provided (in order) by an extra letter yielded by the Wordplay in each of the seven asterisked across clues.

What is the Nursery Rhyme?

The solution to be fitted in 16 across (using the extra letters from seven of the across clues and the checking letters) is “Un petit d’un petit”. If we heard this in the not-quite-right French accent of Inspector CLOUSEAU (1ac) or RENE Artois (24dn) we might hear “Humpty Dumpty”, which is the answer to the competition.

Our February winner is Frank Greaney, who wins a Daily Telegraph Crossword Puzzle of his choice


8a    Read out one of these, then film policeman (8)
CLOUSEAU – Homophones (read out) of CLUE (one of these) SO (then)

9a    *Scrap area and derelict land (6)
CANADA – CAN (scrap) A (area) AND (Derelict indicating an anagram of AND in which the N is the extra letter

11a    *Child‘s bedtime in orderly homes (5)
MINOR ‘Homed’ in bedtiME IN ORderly

12a    Speculator right? With help behind the scenes (9)
STAGEHAND – STAG (stock market speculator) EH? (right?) AND (with)

13a    Refrain from chat when mingling with crowd (9)
CATCHWORD – An anagram (when mingling) of CHAT CROWD

15a    *Order back, feel unwell, returning virus (5)
EBOLA A reversal (back) of OBE (Order of the British Empire) AIL (feel unwell)

16a    See instructions

19a    *Infatuation about Sally’s daughter (5)
CRUSH – C (about) RUSH (sally) D (daughter)

20a    Be in earth, out of it? (9)
HIBERNATE – An anagram (out of it) of BE IN EARTH

22a    *Smooth running of tribunal over college exams at first (9)
LUBRICATE – An anagram (running) of TRIBUNAL over C (college) and E (first letter of exams)

23a    *Story about the Queen at some point in the future (5)
LATER – A reversal (about) of TALE followed by ER (the regnal cipher of our current Queen)

25a    Youngster hides away from boozy dozens, spotted prowlers (6)
OUNCES – Remove BOY (youngster) and DENS (hides) from boOZy dOZens and you are left with abbreviations for OUNCES

26d    *Think of uniform over school dinner? (8)
PLANKTON – Dinner for a school of fish – PLAN (think of) KIT (uniform) ON (over)



1d    Have waterproof clothing taken up (4)
SCAM – A reversal (taken up) of MACS (waterproof clothing)

2d    Blow me when shown by score? (6)
CORNET – COR (blow me) NET (score)

3d    Employer‘s trick when cycling (4)
USER – ‘Cycling’ RUSE (trick)

4d    Official document shows power behind American Left (8)
PASSPORT – P (power) ASS (American bottom) PORT (left)

5d    Worker with grouse turns to take another look at online publication (10)
GAMEKEEPER – Reverse RE-PEEK (take another look) E (online) MAG (publication)

6d    Partygoer complaint claims “a smear” (8)
GADABOUT – GOUT (complain) ‘claims’ A DAB (a smear)

7d    Too bad about knight; rook, keep at the front (10)
SANDCASTLE – SAD (too bad) ‘about’ N (knight in chess notation) CASTLE (rook)

10d    Put down and face the other way (4)
LAID – A reversal (the other way) of DIAL (face)

13d    Caught investing in firm, university register switched official (10)
COUNCILLOR – C (caught) in CO (company) UNI (university) followed by a reversed (switched) ROLL (register)

14d    Very hard curbing desire, hot unhelmeted motorcyclist one begs for ride (10)

HITCHHIKER – HH (a very hard pencil) ‘curbing’ ITCH (desire) followed by H (hot) and a BIKER (motorcyclist) without his first letter (unhelmeted)

17d    Waterworks purple: excessive indulgence getting end away (8)
PLUMBING – PLUM (purple) BINGe (excessive indulgence without the end)

18d    Protection for wet blanket (8)
UMBRELLA – Double definition

20d    Examine pump when temperature dropped (4)
HEAR – HEARt (pump) without the T (temperature)

21d    Quick on the uptake when Mummy wants end to playtime (6)
ASTUTE – AS (when) TUT (mummy) E (the end of playtime)

23d    Supplied temporarily, in particular Wednesday to Saturday (4)

LENT – Double definition – the second referring to the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Saturday

24d    Resisting cafe owner on knees regularly (4)
RENE – RE (on) kNeEs

Thanks to Radler and Mrs and Mr BD

11 comments on “MPP 105 – Review

  1. Thanks to CS for the review, particularly for the parsing of 9a which eluded me, and congratulations to Frank Greaney.

  2. A very enjoyable puzzle – many thanks to Radler. Thanks also to the BD household and to CS for the review. Congratulations to Frank Greaney.
    I guessed the nursery rhyme fairly early on after getting 8a, which helped considerably in getting some of the other answers.

    If you don’t know the full masterpiece here it is:
    Un petit d’un petit
    S’étonne aux Halles
    Un petit d’un petit
    Ah! degrés te fallent
    Indolent qui ne sort cesse
    Indolent qui ne se mène
    Qu’importe un petit d’un petit
    Tout Gai de Reguennes

  3. Heartiest congratulations to Frank Greaney on winning the MPP-105. Thanks to Radler for setting such a brilliant puzzle, to crypticsue for the review and to BD and Mrs BD for hosting the event. While solving, I came across the French rhyme ‘Un petit d’un petit’ for the first time and I was mesmerised by the homophonic contents. I got the answer when my grid was not even half-full, but I wanted to solve the puzzle completely before sending in my answer. Finally I did send, but my only lamentation is that I couldn’t annotate the very first across clue till the end. How could I forget Peter Sellers and the Pink Panther series of the yesteryears!

  4. Congratulations to Frank Greaney, and thanks to CS for the review. Looking back at my printout it is covered in scribblings! I’ve enjoyed a few Radler puzzles from the NTSPP archive recently and this was no different, apart from the fact that I completed it correctly – not always the case with a Radler puzzle! I loved the extra dimension of the theme and picked up the French connection quite early on from 24d. Even knowing what to look for, I needed most of the letters to pin down the nursery rhyme. My scribbles included ticks for 25a and 7d, I’m sure I would have ticked more if I hadn’t been totally absorbed in the unravelling. Thank you, Radler.

  5. Congratulations to Frank, this was full of the usual trickery from the fiendish one. I did resort to ‘phoning a friend’ to nail 9a and was very slow to parse 25a.
    Thanks to CS for the review and to Mr & Mrs BD for running the competition. Also, thanks to Gazza for the full version of the ‘French’ nursery rhyme!

  6. Congrats to Frank Greaney.

    Indebted to CS for explaining 25a which I have been staring at blankly for the last few weeks even though I knew it had to be the snow leopards.

    A very enjoyable tussle from Radler which, I concede, he won narrowly on points.

  7. Well, I made quite a Horlicks of this one…..but in my defence, it is a Radler.
    Failed to get 8a 9a 11a and 13d which made finding the nursery rhyme, even if I would have recognised it totally impossible.

    Very impressed by all who solved it.
    Will try again next month.

    Thanks to the setter and to crypticsue.

  8. Well done Frank, I couldn’t quite finish this one but got tantalisingly close and even if I had I’m not convinced I would have got the right answer
    Thanks to Radler for the usual tussle and to CS for the review
    …and to Gazza for the full monty

  9. Congratulations Frank.
    I needed a full grid (apart from 16a) before I could work out what was going on and then a huge penny-drop moment.
    Excellent fun.
    Thanks again Radler and CS.

  10. Thanks for the review and the puzzle!

    I did well for a Radler, getting about 3/4. Unfortunately this was not enough to solve it as most of missing ones were in the NE corner, and I had the wrong answer pencilled in at 19d, which didn’t help with 16a… not sure I would have got it anyway, had to read the solution several times before I understood.

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