MPP 108 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 108 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle 108 – Review

May 2021

A Puzzle by Prolixic


The instructions said: The setter has hidden the results of a vote in the solutions. What was the result of that vote?

There are six appearances of PRO and five of CON, so the PROs win! Our May winner is Ora Meringue who wins her choice of a Telegraph Crossword Book


1     Malaysian boat impounded by city creates riot (6)
UPROAR – PROA (Malaysian boat) ‘impounded’ by UR (the Biblical city so useful for crossword setters)

4     Virility of rampant male Chamois (8)
MACHISMO – An anagram (rampant) of M (male) CHAMOIS

10     Nice article against tedious form of corruption (7)
LEPROSY – LE (French definite article as used in Nice) PROSY (tedious)

11     Consent to apothecary’s test (7)
APPROVE – AP (apothecary) PROVE (test)

12     Stone from old Norse axes (4)
ONYX – O (old) N (Norse) Y X (axes)

13     Altered the design for piece of notepaper (10)
LETTERHEAD – An anagram (design) of ALTERED THE

15    Alternative technology adopted by strange American restaurant (6)
EATERY – AT (alternative technology) ‘adopted’ by EERY (strange)

17    Supporter of India invested in some tax-exempt properties (7)
PITPROP – I (India in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) inserted into part (some) of tax-exemPT PROPerties

21    Conservative party rejected confidant taking credit for platform (7)
BALCONY – A reversal (rejected) of C (Conservative) LAB (party) followed by crONY (confidant without the CR for credit)

22     Working note on part of play? (6)
ACTIVE – E (musical note) on ACT IV (part of play)

25     Fixed brackets after removing leads for lights (5,5)
TABLE LAMPS – Remove the ‘leads’ from sTABLE (fixed) and cLAMPS (brackets)

27    Shape of piece of wood exported from German city (4)
CONE – ‘Export’ or remove a LOG (piece of wood) from Cologne

30    Companies’ head is a fair target (7)
COCONUT – CO CO (companies) NUT (head)

31     In this sense, I therefore reflected, it’s beastly (7)
OGREISH – A reversal (reflected) of HS I ERGO ERGO reflected and ISH (in this sense)

32     Dead nuns decomposed in seaside location (4,4)
SAND DUNE – An anagram (decomposed) of DEAD NUNS

33    Policewoman hiding ecstasy in cinema – it’s on the cards (4-2)
ODDS-ON – DS (policewoman) replacing (hiding) E (ecstasy) in ODeON (cinema)


1    Release space to support facilities for peacekeepers? (8)
UNLOOSEN – EN (printer’s space) goes under (to support) UN LOOS (facilities for United Nations peacekeepers?)

2     Sappers work steadily to get answer (5)
REPLY – RE (Royal Engineers, sappers) PLY (work steadily)

3     Farmhouse making regular sacrifices for prophet (4)
AMOS – Sacrifice the odd letters in fArMhOuSe

5     Where stock may be dispatched? (8)
ABATTOIR – Cryptic definition

6     Sci-fi trope has creepy priest reincarnated (10)
HYPERSPACE – An anagram (reincarnated) of HAS CREEPY P (priest)

7     S. Ovett’s rival eats a bit of nut cake (5)
SCONE – S.Coe (rival of Steve Ovett) ‘eats’ a bit of Nut

8     Completed function in Excel (6)
OVERDO – OVER (completed) DO (function)

9     Car parts – exhausts reportedly (5)
TYRES – A homophone (reportedly) of TIRES (exhausts)

14     Lycra ended up laundered (3-7)
DRY-CLEANED – An anagram (up) of LYCRA ENDED

16     Duck left out for meal (3)
TEA – Omit the L from TEAl (duck)

18     Witchcraft turns up in Djibouti (3)
OBI – Hidden in reverse (turns up in) DjIBOuti

19     Open feast with nun dancing (8)
UNFASTEN – An anagram (dancing) of FEAST with NUN

20     Short letter returned about hospital fundraiser (8)
TELETHON – A reversal (returned) of a NOTELET (short letter) ‘about’ H (hospital)

23    Remains by underground river we hear (6)
STICKS – A homophone (we hear) of STYX (underground river)

24    Stage costume (5)
APRON – Double definition

26     Nobleman’s change of heart could be rasher (5)
BACON – Change the letter at the heart of BARON (nobleman)

28     Fails to mention Cambridge University probing map maker (5)
OMITS – MIT (the university found in Cambridge Massachusetts) in OS (Ordnance Survey – map maker)    

29     Encourage Queen to visit Hull (4)
PROD – R (Regina, Queen) to ‘visit’ POD (hull)

Thanks once again to Prolixic and Mr and Mrs BD

14 comments on “MPP 108 – Review

  1. Congratulations to Ora Meringue! Obviously the time you did not spend going out on a bike in the rain was time well spent :yes:

    Thanks to Prolixic for a fun challenge, my favourite clues being 30a and 20d. I put 2+2 together quite quickly, noting a statistically significant incidence of ‘PR’ – but I couldn’t see how proportional representation led to an answer! It was only when I put 3+3 together and got out my yellow and green highlighter pens that the answer at last started to come clear… Thanks also to CS for another well illustrated review. I expect that those are your own scones? And much appreciation to Mr and Mrs BD for hosting these excellent MPPs.

      1. I think you can either bake scones or bake sponges but not both…..I cannot bake scones either despite years of trying.(Except girdle scones those are easy.)

  2. Thanks, Spartacus. I think you are correct about the bike ride and the rain……

  3. Many congratulations, Ora! I had a completed grid and picked out all the instances of ‘con’ but became fixated by political parties after I also spotted one instance of ‘lab’, albeit written in reverse, so I was doomed when it came to discerning the result.
    Enjoy your well-deserved prize!

    Thanks to CS for the review and also to Mr & Mrs BD for hosting the MPP.

  4. Congratulations Ora Meringue – I failed to twig the question!
    Thanks Prolixic & CS

  5. Heartiest congratulations to Ora Meringue on winning the MPP-108. Yesterday, when I had stared at the filled grid for some time, I came across the 5 CONs and, like Jane, became fixated by the political parties. Then I started searching for LAB, IND and LD inside the grid. I also started to think whether the Conservatives had really won 5 seats in the recent past. To my utter surprise, I found out from the net that the Conservatives had, indeed, won 5 empty Stockton seats in Council by-elections, but the date of the news happened to be the 7th instant. Since the puzzle this month appeared on the 1st which was the first Saturday, the result came to me as the prophetic vision of Prolixic. Furthermore, since PRO did not, in any way, come to my mind, I chose CON 5 as my answer and so, like Jane, went to the loser’s camp. Thanks to Prolixic once again for the brilliant puzzle, to CS for the wonderful review and to BD and Mrs BD for hosting the event.

  6. Congratulations Ora Meringue.
    I solved the puzzle totally ignoring the end game instructions. When I had a filled grid, and armed with a vivid marker pen, the answer just seemed to appear by magic.
    Great fun.
    Thanks all.

  7. Thanks to Crypticsue for the review and to all who have commented. With PROlixic setting, the CONs stood no chance!

  8. Well done to Ora Meringue and thanks to Prolixic & Mr & Mrs BD.

    Since completing the grid on day 1 I have stared at it every day without even an inkling of the answer despite having written out the usual suspects (yea/nay ayes/noes, pros/cons, for/against)under the puzzle. Therefore….no submission from me this time!! I looked up, down, diagonally, between the rows & columns & then wrote every solution out forwards, backwards etc.etc. – you get the idea. I’m going for a lie down now.

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