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MPP 113 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 113– Review

October 2021

A Puzzle by Radler

Hidden in the completed grid are the names of a composer and two of his works.
Who is the composer?

The answer was, of course, Verdi – his two works being La Traviata and Nabucco – I wonder how many people got side-tracked by the red herring that was Bach? One person who didn’t was this month’s winner – Mike Ewart – who wins a Telegraph Crossword Puzzles book of his choice


6 Mark out using rope and wire on the inside (9)
PREORDAIN – An anagram (using) of ROPE AND plus the ‘inside’ letters of wIRe

9 Peat ultimately is not soil (5)
TAINT – The ‘ultimate’ letter of peaT plus AINT (is not)

10 Contents rotated while frozen over (5)
SATES – A reversal (rotated) of AS (while) and another (over) of SET (frozen)

11 Motion late, right to stick around (9)
EXCREMENT – EX (late) and CEMENT (stick) ‘around’ R (right)

12 Outstanding deposit received overnight at the auditors (3)
DUE – A homophone (at the auditors) of DEW (deposit received overnight)

13 Jimmy has eyes on Charlie’s Smarties (6,5)
CLEVER DICKS – LEVER (jimmy) and DICKS (private eyes) go after C (Charlie in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet)

15 Recurrent misdemeanor occasionally overshadows halo (6)
CORONA – Hidden in reverse in misdemeANOR OCcasionally

16 Let yourself go, Champagne’s a suggestion (6)
UNWIND – UN (French, as spoken in Champagne Region, indefinite article) WIND (suggestion)

20 Having turned up to defend Academy, Radler all but left current Fellowship (11)
CAMARADERIE – CAME (turned up) goes outside (to defend) RADlER without the L and I (current)

21 Avoid extremes in very bad times (3)
ERA The inside letters (avoiding the extremes) in vERy and bAd

22 Throws booze, drinking out of control (9)
BEWILDERS – BEERS (booze) ‘drinking’ WILD (out of control)

24 Stretch and strain gripping hard (5)
SHIFT – SIFT (strain) ‘gripping’ H (hard)

25 New enthusiasm after opening bottle (5)
NERVE – N (new) vERVE (the letters after the opening of a synonym for enthusiasm)

26 My two daughters are as mad as muses (9)
DAYDREAMS – an anagram (mad as) of MY DD (two daughters) ARE AS


1 In police confinement, suspect is target of beating (10)
KETTLEDRUM – KETTLED (in police confinement) RUM (suspect)

2 Discharges when church intervenes (4)
ARCS – RC (Roman Catholic Church) ‘intervenes’ in AS (when)

3 Showing a decent tan after travelling (10)
ATTENDANCE – An anagram (after travelling) of A DECENT TAN

4 Little insects commonly exploiting heads (4)
LICE – The ‘heads’ of Little Insects Commonly Exploiting. One of those all-in-one clues, the surface reading of which makes your head itch!

5 Situates improperly, i.e. not standing (6)
STATUS – An anagram (improperly) of SiTUATeS without the IE

6 Fellow needs job to make a bit of cash (7)
POSTDOC – POST (job) DO (make) C (a ‘bit’ of Cash)

7 American exile turns to Russian (6)
ALEXEI – A (American) and an anagram (turns to) of EXILE

8 Old city‘s delightful walls, a pinnacle of architecture (6)
NICAEA – NICE (delightful) ‘walls’ A (from the clue) and the first letter (pinnacle) of Architecture

13 Supervised prisoner went fishing (10)
CONTROLLED – CON (prisoner) TROLLED (went fishing)

14 Visionary formed a circle around that man (10)
CHIMERICAL – An anagram (formed) of A CIRCLE around HIM (that man)

17 For those wanting love, Theresa has specific tastes (7)
DEARTHS – DEAR (love) and ‘tastes’ of Theresa Has Specific

18 Commercial study ultimately found quantity contributing to total (6)
ADDEND – AD (commercial) DEN (study) and the ultimate letter of founD

19 Mostly mad times in Merseyside town (6)
CROSBY – Most of CROSs (mad) BY (times)

20 Island stock answer provides support for novice (6)
CUBANS – ANS (answer) provides support for, or goes under in a Down solution – CUB (novice)

23 Friendly contest over woman’s heart (4)
WARM – WAR (contest) goes over (in a Down solution) the letter at the heart of woMan

24 Impresario’s wrapping up material? (4)
SARI – Hidden in impreSARIo

Thanks to Radler and the BDs

17 comments on “MPP 113 – Review

  1. I was pretty sure that Verdi was going to be the answer but for the life of me, despite a lot of searching, could not find the works.
    Congratulations Mark Ewart and the others who did solve it.
    You beat me Radler. Thanks for the challenge and CS for the review.

    1. Thank you so much, KiwiColin, for your “and the others who did solve it” that I failed to notice earlier.

  2. Heartiest congratulations to Mike Ewart on winning the MPP 113. On the first day of this competition, I found BACH after completing the puzzle, but not any of his works. I postponed the research part to the last day. Since yesterday was the final day, I restarted the research in the morning, thinking that I might have to spend the whole day for the required composer. But not so. It was all over quickly. I located VERDI. But still BACH looked far more important to me because of the Nina arrangement. But I was in for a surprise when I found myself climbing down the stairs of LA TRAVIATA and coming up in the lift of NABUCCO in the grid. As two other lengthy and prominent works of any other composer appeared least likely, I sent in VERDI as my answer. Tonnes of thanks to Radler once again for his magnificent composition and to BD for hosting the event.

  3. Well done, Mike. Having spotted Verdi and La Traviata, but not a second work, I thought this might be an ‘obvious’ red herring. Bach was my next option and I found AIR (aka Air on a G string) but again no second work. Nabucco was unknown to me so I failed to identify it. If only the answer had been Crosby I might have been OK as I’m quite familiar with his work alongside Stills, Nash and Young!
    Oh well, better luck next time, perhaps…

    1. I forgot to mention the crossword puzzle! Excellent as always from Radler, challenging but fun – never a dull moment when Radler is our setter. Thank you!
      Thanks also to CS and BD, of course.

  4. Many thanks for the review, CS, and congratulations to Mike Ewart. I hope he’s someone who actually found both of the works – I didn’t get any further than locating both the famous composers.

  5. Well done to Mike Ewart and thanks to CS for the review.

    I found, Bach, Verdi and La Traviata. I therefore guessed that Verdi was the likely answer especially as most of Bach’s works have very long titles but I chose not to submit based on a guess.

  6. Congratulations to Mike Ewart and thank you to CS, to Mr & Mrs BD, and to all solvers.

    The MPPs always pose a question that must be answered to enter the competition. This was originally to provide a quick way to mark your homework, but I hope it provides added value too, by way of of interest and challenge. I always try to think of something that hasn’t been used before, as do the other setters, and inevitably the endgame is more difficult in some puzzles than in others. We also want people to have to have filled most, (ideally all), of the grid before entering the competition. That was the reason for the BACH red herring, and why you needed to find the two works as well as a composer. (It also guarded against my inadvertent inclusion of any other “composers”.)

    1. …such as Cech, Cleve, Dick, Unwin, Camara and Wilder! However, Verdi and Bach are a bit more well known :smile:

  7. An excellent puzzle – thanks to Radler and thanks to CS for the review and to BD as editor.
    I found Verdi and Nabucco fairly quickly but it took me an age to find La Traviata.
    Congratulations to Mike Ewart on winning the prize.

  8. Really enjoyed this puzzle, thanks Radler. I spotted Verdi early on (and Bach later … though I couldn’t think of any possible Bach works) but spent forever searching for the two works, very nicely hidden, and not helped by my initial mis-spelling of 20a. Got there eventually, after some interesting but ultimately pointless investigoogling of a few very obscure composers (Dorr, Kettle…) Well done Mike, and thanks to CS for the review.

  9. Really enjoyed this puzzle, thanks Radler. I spotted Verdi early on (and Bach later … though I couldn’t think of any possible Bach works) but spent forever searching for the two works, very nicely hidden, and not helped by my initial mis-spelling of 20a. Got there eventually, after some interesting but ultimately pointless investigoogling of a few very obscure composers (Dorr, Kettle, Crosby…) Well done Mike, and thanks to CS for the review.

  10. Congratulations to Mike Ewart!

    I found La Traviata first, then Verdi then Nabucco, so avoiding the red herring.
    I have to admit to failing to finish the crossword, though. But my failings (16a and incredibly now 25a) fortunately did not include the answer to the question posed.
    So, thank you to crypticsue for the review.
    Many thanks to Radler for the puzzle. You are usually far too difficult for me.

  11. Well done to Mike Ewart & thanks to Radler, BD, Mrs BD and of course CS.
    I managed to get PISTOLE for 6D (bit of cash), ODE for 12A and ERRING for for 15A. I couldn’t parse them – naturally – but perhaps fellow solvers can see where I was ‘coming from’!
    I was, therefore, unable to figure out Verdi’s works although I suspected Nabucco (I missed La Traviata completely) so posted the correct answer. As Rabbit Dave comments, Bach’s works tend to have long titles but I was well beaten by this one!!

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