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QPP 121 – Review

Quarterly Prize Puzzle No 121 – Review

June 2022

A puzzle by Radler

Congratulations to the winner of QPP 121* – Nina John-Clement – who wins a prize of a Telegraph crossword book or an Amazon voucher for the value of the book.

Five of the answers (beginning with 26d and ending with 14d) can summarise a variation of a well-known riddle. It’s solution, by way of an example, is another answer.

What is it?

There’s an old riddle “where does today come before yesterday?” – the answer, of course, being in a dictionary. This crossword has a variation of this riddle – Where Tomorrow Comes Before Yesterday – The answer is our favourite BRB – Chambers


1 Part of future potential Petty Officer’s case file (8)
TOMORROW – TOM (potential Petty) OR (the case of OfficeR) ROW (file)

5 Second-rate crew reported already (6)
BEFORE – Homophones (reported) of B (second-rate) and FOUR (rowing crew)

10 Console after variable weight lost to calorie sweetening (9)
PLACATION – Remove the Y (variable) and ST (stone, weight) from a PLAYSTATION console

11 Stay away from legal counsel (5)
TUTOR – The letters STAY are taken away from staTUTORy

12 Advances casually because I declined to intervene (5)
COMES – COS (a casual way of saying because) into which is inserted ME (I grammatically declined)

13 Divorcee attracted to setter, good with child (9)
EXPECTING – EX (divorcee) PECTIN (setter) G (good)

14 Texas garden’s mark starting to set standards (10)
YARDSTICK – Gardens in Texas and other states of America are called YARDS; TICK (mark) and S (the start to Set) complete the solution

16 Specimen taken from prisoner of emperor (4)
NERO – A specimen taken from prisoNER Of

18 Joined clique before reaching conclusion with name (4)
SEWN – Truncate SET (clique … before reaching conclusion), add W (with) and N (name)

20 Condition on British affected compliance (10)
BRONCHITIS – An anagram (affected) of ON BRITISH and C (apparently in text messages the letter C can be used to indicate compliance)

23 Puzzling international Government tangle, rewound cine films (9)
ENIGMATIC – A reversal (rewound) of CINE ‘films’ or covers I (international) G (government) MAT (tangle)

25 Billed one lady with children about work (5)
MACAW – MA (mother, lady with children) CA (about) W (work)

27 Went out? (5)
DATED – Went out with, or went out of fashion

28 Point outside, see red and orange (9)
TANGERINE – TINE (point) goes outside ANGER (see red)

29 Try on Derek’s clothes over there (6)
YONDER – Clothed in trY ON DERek

30 From prisoner to minister to husband (8)
CONSERVE – CON (prisoner) SERVE (minister to)


1 Better and still sharing quiet concern (5)
TOPIC – TOP (better) PIC (still) ‘sharing’ P (musical abbreviation for quiet)

2 Country mile unfortunately, any other way to drive? (7)
MYANMAR – M (mile), an anagram (unfortunately) of ANY and a reversal (other way) of RAM (drive)

3 Consider more sleep? Nearly pinching Americans’ seats (8)
REASSESS – Nearly all of RESt (sleep) ‘pinching’ ASSES (American bottoms/seats)

4 Decline after first having nothing to say (5)
OPINE – PINE (decline) goes after O (nothing)

6 Initially rejected genetic engineering, as solicitors do (6)
ENTICE – An anagram (engineering) of gENETIC once you have rejected the initial letter

7 Draft Union formation blocks move (7)
OUTLINE – In Rugby Union, there is a formation called a LINE OUT – simply move the last ‘block’ to the front

8 Shocking example of royal getting round in (9)
EGREGIOUS – EG (example) REGIUS (royal) into which is inserted (getting … in) O (round)

9 Insinuated punk’s one getting into trouble (8)
UNSPOKEN – An anagram (getting into trouble) of PUNKS ONE

14 Ready Steady, notice once going running earlier (9)
YESTERDAY – Remove one of the Ads (notice once going) and an anagram (running) of REadY STEADY will produce the solution

15 Current speed limits becoming slower to drive round bend (8)
IRRITATE – I (electrical current) RATE (speed) ‘limits’ RIT, a musical abbreviation meaning becoming slower

17 Gets up awkwardly turning left into hotel rooms (8)
CHAMBERS – Turn the L (left) in CLAMBERS (gets up awkwardly) to H (hotel)

19 Witty interior architect’s housing saved by technology (7)
WRITTEN – The interior of wITTy inserted into WREN (Sir Christopher, the architect)

21 Food that’s shown on recipe with diminished taste (7)
TACKIER – TACK (food) IE (that is) R (recipe)

22 Spot of smeared soil say, showing up (6)
SMUDGE – S (smeared) MUD (soil) and EG (say) reversed (showing up)

24 Protection money spent finding flat in London? (5)
CONDO – A flat in London, Ontario – spend or remove the M (money) from CONDOm (protection)

26 Question of Sport broadcast (5)
WHERE – A homophone (broadcast) of WEAR (sport)


9 comments on “QPP 121 – Review

  1. Thanks again to Radler for an excellent puzzle and to CS for the review.
    Congratulations to Nina (what an appropriate name for a crossword fan!).

  2. Many thanks for the review, CS, and congratulations to Nina on her win.
    Must admit that I wasn’t keen on ‘written’ equating to ‘saved by technology’ but I suppose I’m just showing my age!

    Thanks again to the Radler fiend for the challenge, I do enjoy wrestling with your compilations.

  3. Heartiest congratulations to Nina John-Clement on winning the QPP 121 (technically the first QPP) (the last time she won was for MPP 112) and congratulations also to all those who arrived at the final answer. Thanks once again to Radler for the entertainment, to CS for the brilliant review and to Mr K for hosting the event. I enjoyed too much with some of the clues that I consider as extraordinarily outstanding like 13a, 25a, 30a, 4d, 7d, 15d, 21d and 26d. Although I did complete the puzzle with no error, I could not fathom then and even now why ‘s’ should be the abbreviation for smeared in 22d, for which I grudgingly accepted ‘smudge’ as it was the only appropriate answer in sight and mind. I easily traced the variation of the old riddle, but sent the common THE DICTIONARY rather than the proper CHAMBERS as my answer. I took the last sentence of the preamble as “Find an answer to ‘this riddle in the grid’.”

    1. In 22d the S comes from ‘spot of smeared’ with the whole clue being the definition, so it’s an all-in-one or &Lit clue. Spot here means ‘bit’ as in ‘a spot of gin’.

  4. We answered quite a few which pleased us considering it was a Radler puzzle. Usually we stumble at the first hurdle and can’t recover. We had 7 clues unanswered when we put it aside intending to return to it – but other crosswords and a holiday kept us busy. Well done to Nina and thanks to Radler and CS. We hope the next quarterly prize puzzle will be easier.

  5. Congratulations Nina.
    That was my slowest PP ever. I got really bogged down and put it away for a week before taking it up again and slowly making headway. Once solved and I had stopped looking for a sphinx the end game solution came relatively easily.
    Thanks again Radler and CS.

  6. My congratulations to Nina. I mentioned earlier that seven clues were on my extended podium including a stand out winner; the list being 10a, 13a, 25a, 21d, 24d, 26d and my winner, for the delightful penny-drop moment it provided, 7d. A most enjoyable and very devious puzzle from Radler – thank you! I had a couple of parsing loose ends to sort out – I eventually twigged 11a, but the ‘C’ in 20a eluded me – so thanks to CS for explaining this somewhat unusual abbreviation in her excellent review.
    I look forward to November’s challenge… :smile:

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