MPP 118 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 118

Monthly Prize Puzzle (Mar 2022)

Mates by Phibs

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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 (19th Mar 2022).

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.


13 comments on “MPP 118
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  1. Good heavens, am I really first in with a comment this month. Concentrated on this one because I was getting nowhere with Mr Radler’s NTSPP earlier in the day and a change is as good as a rest – or so it’s said!
    Filling the grid was one thing – sorting out the mates took somewhat longer.
    Think I’ve got the right answers but time will tell.

    Thanks to Phibs for another teaser, most enjoyable.

    By the way, it looks as though the format in which this one has been uploaded onto the site is that used for Rookie Corner – surely there shouldn’t be a ‘reveal letter’ option for the MPP?

      1. My apologies, CS, it certainly looked as though that option was available – I should have tried it before opening my mouth!

  2. Phanks Phibs for a puzzle and a riddle accessible to a mere mortal.

    Puzzle completed quite early on and at that stage I could see no obvious pairs of anything. So, set aside for a few hours then, when I picked it up again, they leapt off the page.

    Thanks again.

  3. Finished most of the puzzle this morning, then took a break to do Radler’s NTSPP…
    The break took a bit longer than anticipated (although I really should have expected that with this setter)!
    Having subsequently completed the MPP grid I embarked on solving the riddle. With a page now covered with notes and scribblings I think I will set it aside for today and start with a clean sheet of paper tomorrow! Comments above suggest it is doable and probably staring me in the face, but no luck so far.
    The puzzle itself was most enjoyable, my favourite clue being 7d then runner-up places to 14a, 4d, 20d & 25d. My list could have been longer as I was spoilt for choice. A technique I sometimes use to get a toehold in a grid is to tackle the short clues first, but the 4 letter clues today were playing hard to get – nice!
    Thanks for all the fun, Phibs.

    1. I couldn’t resist having another quick look this evening – riddle now solved :smile:
      Thanks again, Phibs, for a very enjoyable puzzle and an artful MPP challenge.

  4. I also have been staring at a completed grid for quite some time without having the enlightenment moment. Last time I had this problem was with the shopping centres that I had never heard of. Suspect that this one is not of that nature so will keep pondering.

    1. I have kept the puzzle out and come back to it many times. Finally the penny has dropped.
      Such cleverness to have hidden the answer so well.
      Thanks Phibs.

  5. A very enjoyable challenge as always from Phibs. Assuming I am parsing them correctly, I’ve got a couple of very minor concerns about a couple of the clues, which I will comment on after the review is published.

    Many thanks for the fun, Phibs.

  6. Didn’t understand the instructions but it doesn’t matter as I can’t take part in the draw.
    Really enjoyed the puzzle though.
    Thanks to Phibbs and good luck to the entrants.

  7. And finally … after staring at an almost full grid for the last week (3d still remains a mystery) … all has become clear!

    Thanks, Phibs, for such an ingenious puzzle & riddle.

    How clever!

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