MPP 110 Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 110 Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 110 – Review

July 2021

Twingram – A Puzzle by Phibs


The instructions said: I intended that every letter of the alphabet should appear twice in at least one entry. Predictably, something has gone wrong, but I think the problem can be fixed by changing one letter in the grid. What is the existing solution which I would need to amend?

To get the final Twingram – the existing solution to 4d needed to change from REVISE to REVIVE

Congratulations to our July winner – Mark Nichols –  who wins a Telegraph Crossword Puzzle Book of his choice



6 Stupid to perform with a couple of axes (4)
DOZY – DO (perform) with Z Y (axes)

8 Two questions before Phibs will take up popular craft (11)
QUINQUEREME – QU QU (two questions) ERE (before) ME (Phibs) ‘take up’ IN (popular)

10 Canny golfer regularly cut dogleg (5)
ANGLE Cut the regular letters of cAnNy GoLfEr

11 Hand over revolutionary missile secured by going east (9)
EXTRADITE A reversed (revolutionary) DART (missile) ‘secured’ by EXIT (going) E (East)

12 Old lady one’s put out of action (4)
MAIM – MA (old lady) IM (one’s)

13 Terminal in Lerwick accepted rabbit on boat (5)
KAYAK – K (the ‘terminal’ in Lerwick) A (accepted) YAK (rabbit on)

15 Declines to lie about bishop close to actress (4)
EBBS – A reversal (about) of BE (to lie) B (Bishop) and the ‘close’ to actresS

16 Name of character behind senseless European vote? David, perhaps (5)
ESSEX – ESS (S – character at the end of senselesS) E (European) X (vote)

17 Look into wearing glasses, with 50% off (7)
INSPECT – IN SPECTacles (wearing glasses without 50% of the word)

19 Judge slipping into seedy club (5)
JOINT – J (judge) and an anagram (slipping) of INTO

21 Bowls over very wide, returning to keep wicket (4)
WOWS – A reversal (returning) of SO W (very wide) to ‘keep’ W (wicket)

23 Open country hotel. Hate cooking (5)
HEATH – H (Hotel) and an anagram (cooking) of HATE

26 Savoury cake that’s dropped in warmer (4)
MUFFIN – Drop the IN from a MUFFin (savoury cake)

28 Buccaneering image – and a lot of beer – holding one sailor back (9)
PIRATICAL – PIC (image) and ALe (a lot of ..) ‘holding’ reversed I (one) TAR (sailor)

30 Moderate cricketer’s essential opening for England (5)
ABATE – A BAT (cricketer’s essential) and the ‘opening’ for England

31 Nun to Pope: ‘I fancy rector’s piercing is unsuitable’ (11)
INOPPORTUNE – An anagram (fancy) of NUN TO POPE I into which is inserted (piercing) R (rector)

32 Nick again chucking rest back (4)
REAR – REARrest (nick again) chucking the REST


1 Special rule ignored by Quaker playing pipe (6)
SQUEAK – S (special) and an anagram (playing) of QUAKEr, ignoring the abbreviation for Rule

2 Hostile aim of rugby team and what might help them achieve it (6)
WINTRY – The aim of a rugby team is to WIN and a TRY might help them achieve it

3 One on jetty unloading last of Vichy water (4)
AQUA – A (one) QUAy – without the Y (unloading the last of VichY)

4 Critical examination almost inspiring son to study (6)
REVISE – Almost all of a REVIEw (critical examination) ‘inspiring’ S (son)

5 Favour beer with meals, rejecting Australian bubbly (8)
RESEMBLE – An anagram (bubbly) of BEER with MEaLS ‘rejecting’ the abbreviation for Australian

6 Feel very apprehensive about missing Romeo out of play (4)
DEAD – The R (Romeo in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet) is ‘missing’ from DrEAD (feel very apprehensive about)

7 Nap curtailed when repeatedly interrupted by onset of gusty winds (7)
ZIGZAGS – ZIZz (curtailed telling you to omit the second Z) AS (when) both (repeatedly) interrupted by the ‘onset’ of Gusty

9 Mixing two specific cultures, reflected by cross between English male and alien (3-3)
TEX-MEX – A reversal (reflected) of X (by) and X (cross) put between E (English) M (male) and ET (alien)

14 Stokes avoiding furore around contract (4)
KNIT – Omit the S (avoiding Stokes) from a reversal (around) of sTINK (furore)

16 Bite into Pret cheese sandwiches (4)
ETCH – Sandwiched in prET CHeese

18 Shoot housing expert over house sign (8)
SCORPION – SCION (shoot) ‘housing’ a reversal (over) of PRO (expert)

19 Pot right at the end of a minute joint in Jamaica (6)
JAMJAR – JA (the IVR code for Jamaica) and R (right) go after (at the end of) J (joint) A M (minute)

20 Make too much of where fifth tenant lives? (7)
INFLATE – The fifth tenant might live IN FLAT E

22 Sloppy second year at university ending in indignity (6)
SYRUPY – S (second) Y (year) UP (at university) and the ending in indignitY

24 Current severe leaks left to build up (6)
ACCRUE – AC (alternating current) and CRUEl (severe without the L [leaks left])

25 Stripped off – dull, eh? (6)
HULLED – An anagram (off) of DULL EH

27 First of infants that lady bears? (4)
HEIR – HER (that lady) ‘bears’ I (the first letter of infants)

29 International leaving home for Juventus opportunity (4)
TURN – The abbreviation for International ‘leaving’ TURiN (the home of Juventus football club)

One of those crosswords where you know you’ve ‘done something with a letter’, usually omitting it, but you don’t quite realise how many until the Word spellchecker points them out when you make sure you’ve done everything correctly.


Thanks to Phibs and the BDs

7 comments on “MPP 110 Review

  1. Heartiest congratulations to Mark Nichols on winning the MPP-110. Thanks to Phibs once again for setting for an entertaining puzzle, to crypticsue for the beautiful review and to BD and Mrs BD for hosting the event. It was fun and the twingram aided all along until to arrive at the final question that was unexpectedly so straightforward! Still to find that my answer was correct is a joy. 9d to me was the best of all clues.

  2. Thanks to Phibs for another very entertaining and very clever crossword. Thanks also to Mr & Mrs BD and to CS for the review. Congratulations to Mark Nichols on winning again.

  3. Congratulations to Mark Nichols and thank you to CS for the usual nicely illustrated review – with the Pirates of the Caribbean doing double duty! I never did figure out the parsing of 14d, so thank goodness I can stop thinking about it now! [Fortunately lots of other crosswords made me forget I was supposed to still be thinking about it…]. Thanks again to Phibs for an absorbing puzzle. My favourite clue was 7d, with 26a, 2d, 4d, 5d, 20d and 27d all getting appreciative ticks. Finally, thanks as always to Mr & Mrs BD for producing the entertainment.

  4. Congratulations to Mark Nicholas.

    I could not fully parse quite a few (normal for me doing an MPP) so many thanks to CS for the review.
    Despite this, I enjoyed it very much , so thanks to Phibs too….and of course to Big Dave and Mrs Big Dave.

  5. Many thanks for the review, CS, and congratulations to Mark on another win. I got the correct answer and that will do me nicely!
    Thank you again to Phibs for the fun and to Mr & Mrs BD for hosting.

  6. Well done, Mark. Thanks again to Phibs, whose puzzles I always enjoy, and thanks too to BD and his good lady and also to CS for her review.

  7. Many thanks for review, and thanks Phibs for another great crossword – well done Mark N! For me, 16a the standout (from an excellent bunch) for its perfect surface.

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