MPP 115 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 115

Monthly Prize Puzzle (Dec 2021)

Medal Table by Alchemi

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Why not have a go at our latest Monthly Prize Puzzle?

The winner will receive their choice of any of the Telegraph Crossword Books.

Please note that, due to punitive postal charges, while the competition is open to all, the prize is only available to UK solvers.

A review will follow after the closing date (18th Dec 2021).

The competition is now closed

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Please read the instructions carefully.

I’ve left this post open for comments, but if you don’t want your comment to be deleted then do not provide any help for other solvers or mention any detail about the puzzle, especially references to individual clues, until after the closing date.


14 comments on “MPP 115
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  1. All solved and a preliminary count made but have decided to sleep on it and re-check the numbers in the morning.
    Thanks Alchemi, that was fun.

  2. This was remarkably light for an Alchemi puzzle, but good fun. So many thanks to him for the entertainment.

    As usual I shall take a break before tackling the final question.

    1. I made three copies of my answers and went through identifying and counting medals on each page separately leaving several hours between the attempts. As all three counts were identical, I’m ready to press the button …

  3. Thank you Alchemi for a relatively straightforward puzzle and allowing me to retain sufficient brain cells to tackle the riddle.

  4. Pretty straightforward and I am having a completed grid to my satisfaction. But I think I have to read the preamble over and over again before I take the plunge that involves simple mathematical calculation. I learned two new words and definitely there was another that was known to me as a Portuguese word, albeit with another meaning. I liked, in particular, 15a, 26a, 27a, 28a, 6d, 14d, 17d and 18d. Thanks to Alchemi for the entertainment.

  5. The preamble isn’t meant to be complicated. All you have to do is count the instances of the metals appearing normally in the solutions. You don’t have to look for them backwards or diagonally or with blank squares in between nina-style. If a solution were BAGGAGE, it has two instances of AG and therefore notches up 4 points. In the words of the meeerkat, “Simples!”

    The trouble with you lot is that you’re so imaginative that you can come up with all sorts of weird interpretations of dead simple preambles.

    1. Easy for you to say, Alchemi, but it does all hinge on how many of the accepted symbols and abbreviations you have decided to accept!

  6. Quite tricky, not so much the puzzle which was great fun, but as Jane said how many of the abbreviations (or not) the setter accepts. Still, I have a full grid and will look tomorrow with fresh eyes.

      1. Still not for me, Jane. Instance is an example or an occurrence. I know two abbreviations for one metal, one abbreviation for another and a lesser-known or at least not popular abbreviation for yet another. But what if there is an occurrence of a full name of any metal? If kind-hearted Alchemi were kinder to narrow the field a bit more.

  7. We’ve finished the puzzle but like others above we can’t decide exactly what is accepted for one of the metals. Food for thought. Thank you for the puzzle, Alchemi. Very enjoyable.

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle with many ticked clues, of which 4 are currently jostling for the 3 podium medals (maybe I can place 2 clues on one podium step in accord with Alchemi’s post #7!). I’m still pondering whether there may be some trickery afoot in the metallic minefield, despite Alchemi’s protestations of simplicity…!

  9. Think I’ve gone as far as I possibly can so I’m going to press the ‘submit’ button and leave it in the hands of the gods!
    Thank you, Alchemi, that was definitely a mathematical work-out for these old brain cells.

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