MPP 109 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 109 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 109 – Review

June 2021

A Puzzle by Radler


The instructions said:

Several answers contain the same three letters in the same order, but sometimes with other letters between them. For example: If the letters were TLA, they appear in the word REPTILIAN as well as more obviously in OUTLAW.

All these answers have normal definitions, but the wordplay in their clues omits the three letters. So, the wordplay for REPTILIAN would provide the remaining letters REPIIN and that for OUTLAW would only lead to OUW.

What are the three letters, and how many occurrences are there?

The three letters were MPP and there were 10 occurrences. Many congratulations to this month’s winner – Gazza – who wins a Telegraph Crossword puzzle book of his choice



1     Latitude originally measured between islands, chart can be checked (9)
LIMITABLE – The abbreviation for Latitude, the original letter of Measured put between two abbreviations for Island and TABLE (chart)

6     Communication device lines kept metres apart (5)
MODEM – ODE (lines of verse) kept between M M (metres apart)

9     Cycling fat fools (7)
MUPPETS – Cycle or move the first letter of SUET (fat) to the end)

10     Kiss head waiter here, wanting to get on (3,4)
BUS STOP – BUSS (kiss) TOP (head)

11     Piping leak when pressure applied (4)
PEEP – PEE (leak) with P (pressure) applied

12     Shamelessly shows passion over old railway (10)
IMPROPERLY – IRE (passion) over O (old) RLY (railway)

14     Stormy winds on bridges over a national park (9)
SNOWDONIA – An anagram (stormy) of WINDS ON bridges O (over), A (from the clue) being added at the end)

16     Places burden on Bangladeshi region (5)
LADES – Hidden in a ‘region’ of BangLADEShi

19     Mouth’s nothing coming out, withdrawn (5)
SHTUM – A reversal (withdrawn) of MoUTHS without the O (nothing coming out)

20     Criminally abused men getting Ray (9)
SUNBEAMED – An anagram (criminally) of ABUSED MEN

21     Go along track, dip in middle through messy liquid (10)
SYMPATHISE – PATH (track) and I (the middle letter of dIp) put in an anagram (liquid) of MESSY

24     Part of church falling away blocking entry (4)
APSE – Omit the first letter (blocking entry) of LAPSE (falling away)

26     Regularly sit out turn to pick up the tab (5,2)
STUMP UP– The regular letters of SiT oUt plus U (turn)

27     One in the can for African runner (7)
LIMPOPO – I (one) inserted into LOO (can) Am I the only person who, as soon as they hear the name of this river, immediately starts reciting lines from one of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories: “The great grey greasy Limpopo river, all set about with fever trees“?

28     Agile boozer delivers pork pies (5)
LITHE – How someone who had drink taken might say LIES (pork pies)

29     Suffering because of year in torment: Group of fine men (6,3)
PAYING FOR – Y (year) inserted into PAIN (torment) G (Group) F (fine) OR (Other Ranks, men)


1     Sources of light above our streets (9)
LAMPPOSTS – The ‘sources’ of Light Above Our plus STS (streets)

2     Adult, due to breaking up, made plans (6,3)
MAPPED OUT – A (adult) and an anagram (breaking up) of DUE TO

3     Reader formerly common among these three (4)
THEE – Common letters in THEsE and THrEE

4     Bishop sent same bust supports (9)
BASEMENTS – B (Bishop) and an anagram (bust) of SENT SAME

5     House occupant uncovered radiator (5)
EMBER – Uncover or remove the first letters from a Member (of the House of Commons perhaps)

6     In partnership, only one left trailing is abused (10)
MISAPPLIED – ALlIED (in partnership with only one L for Left) ‘trailing’ or going after IS (from the clue)

7     Instrument blown up when restricting temperature put off (5)
DETER – A reversal (up) of REED (instrument blown) ‘restricting’ T (temperature)

8     Old drunk boy, refusing starter (5)
MOPPY – Refuse or ignore the starter of bOY

13     Prominent feature like drink after promotion (5,5)
ADAMS APPLE – AS ALE (like drink) goes after AD (promotion)

15     Social worker told son to marry shy lady up north (4,5)
AUNT SALLY – A homophone (told) of ANT (social worker) S (son) ALLY (marry)

17     Dad’s incomplete shelter providing protection from wet (4-5)
DAMPPROOF – DAd (incomplete) ROOF (shelter)

18     Revolutionary building divisions to secure advantage in battle (9)
SEDGEMOOR – A reversal (revolutionary) of ROOMS (building divisions) to ‘secure’ EDGE (advantage)

21     Ropemaker crisis altering ropes (5)
SISAL – Hidden in criSIS Altering

22     How much off a scale? (5)
MOUNT – Remove (off) the A from AMOUNT (how much)

23     Climb on house to meet youngster one way or the other (3,2)
HOP UP – HO (house) PUP (a palindrome of a youngster)

25     Token females required to go topless (4)
OMEN – Remove the top from wOMEN (females)

Thanks once again to the BDs and Radler

14 comments on “MPP 109 – Review

  1. To let solvers know what chances they have of winning, why don’t you add the number of entrants, successful and otherwise? Azed does…

      1. That surprises me, BD, I thought there’d be far more of the gang giving it a go.

  2. Congratulations, Gazza, just the right sort of person to win the MPP, even though I am a wee bit jealous………….
    I did get the correct answer, which I’m very pleased about, and the thought of the agile boozer still makes me laugh!

    Many thanks to Radler and the BDs for making this MPP possible.

  3. At the moment I am in the process of transferring everything from one laptop to another – I’ll be writing to the winner as soon as I can get my email working properly.

  4. Congratulations Gazza.
    I had my penny-drop moment with 17d. It was slow going until then but once I saw those letters I knew they had to be the right ones. The rest of the solve still had to have scrupulous parsing though so that no possibilities were missed.
    Excellent fun.
    Thanks again Radler and CS.

  5. My congratulations also to Gazza. It was indeed 17d that also set me on the right track. Looking back at my printout I had double ticks for 9a, 27a and 1d out of many good clues. Thanks again to Radler for a challenging and entertaining puzzle, CS for the review and, of course, the BD household.

  6. Congratulations, Gazza, and many thanks again to the devious Radler for the fun.

  7. Well done Gazza, many thanks to Radler for a great puzzle – and thanks too to CS & BDs

  8. What a pleasant surprise!
    Thanks to Radler for the excellent puzzle, to CS for the review and to Mr & Mrs BD for their respective roles.

  9. Heartiest congratulations to Gazza on winning the MPP-109. Radler’s selection of the three missing letters not featuring in the wordplays of ten of his clues was indeed spectacular and, in fact, the very first discovery of the same in the solution of the first relevant clue quickened my pace of completion of the puzzle, though I submitted my answer much later. Among the MPP-clues, I liked 9a, 12a, 27a and 6d. Among the usual ones, I liked 19a and 21a, but 3d was par excellence. Thanks to Radler once again for the extremely impressive puzzle, to CS for the wonderful review and to BD and Mrs BD for hosting the event.

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