MPP 117 – Review – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

MPP 117 – Review

Monthly Prize Puzzle No 117 – Review

February 2022

A Puzzle by Radler

The instructions read: the clues to six thematic answers lack a definition.  Symbolically, they could represent one of the other answers.  What is it?

The six solutions without a definition are chemical elements. Their symbols can be combined to spell RAINBOW which was the answer needed to enter the competition

Mrs BD has once again cast the sacred electronic runes and has selected Spartacus as the winner of a Daily Telegraph puzzles book of his choice.  Congratulations to him


1a    Brown envelopes left: is old lady supplying protection? (8)
TALISMAN – TAN (brown) ‘envelopes’ L (left) IS (from the clue) MA (old lady)

5a    One from Utah, maybe Ohio, a vehicle heading West (6)
NAVAHO – A reversal (heading West) of VAN (vehicle) A (from the clue) OH (Ohio)

9a    Put information on counter or cover with plate (8)
NITROGEN – GEN (information) goes on or after a reversal (counter) of OR and TIN (cover with plate) – Chemical symbol N

10a    Literary style shown by mystery author essay (6)
POETRY – POE (author of mysteries) TRY (essay)

12a    VIP user is working on government (11)
SUPERVISION – An anagram (working) of VIP USER IS followed by ON (from the clue)

13a    Give a wrong impression, though nearly right (3)
LIE – Almost all of LIEn (right)

14a    Runs off to tell and make proud (5)
ELATE – Remove the abbreviation for Runs from rELATE (tell)

16a    Got into church son’s visiting one day (8)
ACCESSED – CE (Church of England) S (son) S (‘s) ‘visiting ACE (one) D (day)

18a    I urge man to build plant (8)
GERANIUM – An anagram (to build) of I URGE MAN

20a    Play orchestral piece about member of family (5)
ROYAL – Hidden (piece) in reverse (about) in pLAY Orchestral

22a    I’ve got it both ways! (3)
AHA – A palindrome!

23a    Possible to identify South Island in fantastic epic myth (11)
SPECIFIABLE – S (South) I (island) in an anagram (fantastic) of EPIC followed by FABLE (myth)

25a    Entertain after ten (6)
IODINE – DINE (entertain in the sense of provide with a meal) goes after IO (ten) – Chemical symbol I

26a    Elevated river drowns native (8)
AIRBORNE – The river AIRE ‘drowns’ BORN (native)

27a    United agreed changes, first of all to money (6)
MERGED – An anagram (changes) of MaGREED where the A (first of all) changes to an M (money)

28a    Couples went after opening booze (8)
ENTWINES – wENT without the ‘opening’ letter and WINES (booze)


1d    Speech delivered then clears up (8)
TUNGSTEN A homophone (delivered) of TONGUE (speech) followed by a reversal (up) of NETS (clears) – Chemical symbol W

2d    Relief as Pierre’s the mate with sheep (3,2)
LET UP– LE (the French (as used by Pierre) word for the) TUP (mate with sheep)

3d    Small balls not a curse (7)
SCOURGE – S (small) COURaGE (balls without the A)

4d    Adapted lifestyle as in Medicare needing treatment (12)
AMERICANISED – An anagram (needing treatment) of AS IN MEDICARE

6d    Every spring tip of shoots grows on trees(7)
ABOUNDS – A (every) BOUND (spring) and the ‘tip’ of shootS

7d    Weapons cart will be dry under covers (9)
ARTILLERY Remove the first letters (covers) from cART wILL bE dRY

8d    Conclusively runny egg, having punctured yoke (6)
OXYGEN – The ‘conclusive’ letters of runny and egG having ‘punctured’ OXEN (yoke) – Chemical symbol O

11d    Charlie’s ironic, ruthlessly limiting new music, cutting off service (12)
CIRCUMCISION – C (NATO phonetic alphabet Charlie) and an anagram (ruthlessly) of IRONIC ‘limiting’ an anagram (new) of MUSIC

15d    Old king cross with queen wanting beer first (9)
ALEXANDER – X (cross) AND (with) ER (regnal cipher of our current Queen) with ALE (beer) first

17d    What former setter will do in film about Cher (8)
CLUELESS – A former setter will CLUE LESS

19d    Leave celibacy, spending money (7)
ABSENCE – ABStinENCE without (spending) TIN (money)

20d    Guide for future display of colours (7)
RAINBOW – A future Girl Guide or a display of colours

21d    Mostly bone and scarcely any muscle (6)
RADIUM – Most of RADIUs (bone) and M (scarcely any of Muscle) Chemical symbol RA

24d    Delivered with nothing in (5)
BORON – BORN with O (nothing) IN – Chemical symbol B

Thanks once again to Radler and the BDs

12 comments on “MPP 117 – Review

  1. Congratulations Spartacus.
    A most enjoyable tussle to solve and then a very clever end-game to add to the fun.
    Thanks again Radler and CS for the review.

  2. Well done, Spartacus, nice to see your name up in lights!
    I thought it unusually generous of our setter to gift us 20d but I still needed to check the Periodic Table to confirm one or two.

    Thanks to Radler for this month’s challenge and to CS for the review.

  3. Thanks to Radler for another excellent MPP. Thanks also to Mr & Mrs BD and to CS for the review.
    Well done to Spartacus on nailing the prize.

  4. Congratulations to Spartacus. Thanks again to Radler for an excellent puzzle which proved to be a fun challenge. Thanks too to Mr & Mrs BD and to CS for their roles in the MPP.

    I am still not convinced by “every” = “A” in 6d, which I see from the BRB might be Scottish dialect, nor by “born” = native” in 26a. “Born in” = “native of“.

    1. I try to avoid being caught by by the Rabbit Dave radar. (I’ve just clued my next MPP, and have been careful to indicate any Americanisms.)
      “A” = “every” is not uncommon in crosswords. Chambers online: each or every; per • once a day & any or every • A fire is hot
      Born / native is more debatable. I remember taking some time to persuade myself that it was possible to construct phrases that didn’t use a preposition. Perhaps I was too persuasive.

      1. “We only accept a player who’s Yorkshire-born” / “We only accept a player who’s Yorkshire-native” perhaps?

      2. Thanks for your reply, Radler. I’ll settle for a one-all draw! :wink:
        Thanks again for a lovely puzzle.

  5. My flabber is gasted to be the fortunate winner of this month’s MPP :smile:

    Thank you to Mrs BD for picking me out of the hat and also to Radler for his customary fine challenge. It took some digging around in the piles of paper on my desk, but I see that my favourite clues were 28a, 3d, 7d, 11d (ouch) and 19d. Thanks to CS for the review, and an illustration of our adorable local bear for 10a. The table accompanying 4d reminds of my four years living in Texas where, incidentally, we always spelt 5a with a ‘j’ – the version with an ‘h’ being new to me. The name for mini-Brownies is also new to me – they did not exist when my daughter was of an age to be one! So, my ‘Guide for future’ had been rainbow as in ‘Follow the…’, the display of colours being somewhat obvious!

    Thank you, everyone, for your messages of congratulations and I wish everyone the very best of luck in next month’s MPP.

  6. Heartiest congratulations to Spartacus on winning the MPP 117 and congratulations also to all those who arrived at the final answer. I guess that this puzzle must have had many more all-correct entries than those of the previous long many months. Thanks once again to Radler for the entertainment and the colourful challenge, to CS for the excellent review and to Big Dave and Mrs BD for hosting the event.

Comments are closed.