MPP 119 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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MPP 119

Monthly Prize Puzzle (Apr 2022)

Valuable Letters by Alchemi

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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 (16th Apr 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.


11 comments on “MPP 119
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  1. Brilliantly constructed puzzle, but I wonder if the required answer needs a tiny bit more clarification.

    1. The question is supposed to verify that you’ve solved the puzzle, so it refers to the words in the grid.

  2. Alchemi never fails to both challenge and entertain. A most enjoyable puzzle, with a well-crafted MPP overlay – not to mention a further ‘hidden’ feature. However, It may take some time before I feel ready to submit my answer to the riddle!
    My favourites today, either for their cleverness or tongue-in-cheek wit, are 12a, 28a, 1d, 5d, 8d and 15d, the latter possibly edging it for top spot. I still have a couple of loose ends to pin down in the wordplay, but a fresh look later on may help to resolve this.
    Thanks, Alchemi.

    1. A cup of afternoon tea did the trick and I have duly figured out 22a and 24a, with 22a now included in my list of favourites.
      Thanks again to our setter for making a timely intervention (see 1) which may have saved me from pursuing some feral geese!

  3. What a tour de force! Spartacus’ first paragraph @2 sums it up perfectly.

    This was challenging and great fun. Everything fell into place slowly but surely to arrive at a fully parsed, completed grid, and then reveal the question to be answered. A break for the old grey cells is now called for before attempting the last step of working out the final answer.

    With plenty to enjoy here, my top selection of clues is 22a (“someone apparently panicking” is so clever), 1a (brilliant definition) & 5d (great surface).

    Many thanks Alchemi and great respect for a marvellous creation.

  4. A most enjoyable puzzle that needed over-night cogitation to finish off the last few.
    Thanks Alchemi.

  5. This put the icing on the anniversary weekend cake.
    Finished it before dropping off.
    Great fun, thank you.

  6. I struggled to start having only about 4 after a long stint. A bit of lateral thinking about possible starting letters for the question gave me a foothold, and I managed to work through. After working, answer was not my first thought! Thanks for a (just) doable MPP.

  7. Thank you Alchemi. I’ve never tried an MPP before (and from the solutions they’ve always looked beyond me) but this one appealed, I got a couple of answers straight away, and was hooked.

    I thought I was going to have to admit defeat in one corner, but managed to work it out the following day.

    I gave the 9-year-old the completed grid to work out the endgame; when they uncovered the question they gave a yelp of delight at the task ahead, so I left them to it. When I returned from a Churches Together in Ilkley meeting, the 9-year-old was in bed but the answer had been left for me on the kitchen table.

    Lots of fun, and so much cleverness.

  8. Just perfect.
    I love these kinds of puzzle when you have to think outside the box as it were.
    Great achievement.
    Thanks to Alchemi and good luck to all the participants.

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