◀  No. 107814 Feb 1993 Clue list No. 1087  ▶



1.  R. F. Naish:
Choice pearl be kind, I’m not immune to caring,
I serve thee ill? Nay, deem my faults less glaring!

2.  R. S. Morse:
As a target for cupid must Beatrice be pale?
Till tender love’s arrows reach my matchless grail!

3.  G. J. Miller:
Your sword-point, pale iceberg, unarmoured I crave:
For your rages I’ll suffer, I’ll serve, and I’ll slave.


Rev Canon C. M. Broun:
May Alice be perfect, embracing love’s darts,
No tigress, all ruthless, she-trader in hearts!

E. J. Burge:
‘I care’ bleeps my heart. (That arrow can be thrilling!)
The lass I, Reg, long most for? She’s the goods prepared for billing.

A. G. Chamberlain:
Would I, who face peril, be easily bored?
Come, buy from me perils gals ever adored.

G. Clyde:
Though fickle be Alice, perverse, thin of skin,
She serves me Pils lagers and plies me with gin.

M. Earle:
Should Celia be permissive, disarmed I’ll ditch the chic
Large, lissotrichous lady who works in a boutique.

R. A. England:
By calibre peerless not apt to be bored
I offer betrothal, Grissel my adored.

F. D. Gardiner:
What ladies like a lobe to show may be a priceless stone;
My shop assistant’s lovelier glass jewels she longs to own!

J. F. Grimshaw:
As victim of Cupid, I hope Claire be free,
This large lissom lass who is serving me tea.

C. R. Gumbrell:
As I’m easily thrilled, when you peel bare I cheer –
Is there bliss large and lovely in store for us, dear?

D. V. Harry:
Thy ale be pricey, yet I’m thine to sting,
Vendeuse of lager, lissom, lovely thing.

F. P. N. Lake:
What price a bleeding heart (not dart-proof; stupid)?
She’ll sell it short, that lass! I’ll rage at Cupid.

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper:
Says Celia ‘Pre bedtime, I’m apt to be bored’ –
She’ll ring me up, hoping perfume from Grasse I’ll afford!

H. W. Massingham:
In my heart, oh, I leap, Rebecca (open to Cupid’s old skill):
Now you’re my priceless grail, Rebecca – you at your jingling till!

Dr E. J. Miller:
If I be replaced, my heart’s ripe for the spear:
That I’m served by her fingers is all I hold dear!

C. J. Morse:
What price a bleeding heart? ’Neath thy soft sale
No shop-assisant thou. Tigress, all hail!

G. Perry:
To arrow prone, I’d be a priceless mate;
O peerless Gail, I’m one who’d trade his state!

J. H. Russell:
Let Celia be persuaded if open to love’s dart;
No uglier lass than she will serve to rule my heart!

D. H. Tompsett:
That Claire be perfect doth not proof entail:
For patron serveth she, my matchless grail.

J. F. N. Wedge:
Ere I place besotted lips on yielding thine
I serve thee notice – eat less garlic, Valentine!

Dr E. Young:
As coffer to key keeper, Alice be mine,
Gal less rich will miss trading kisses divine.


G. Alderman, D. Ashcroft, E. A. Beaulah, Mrs K. Bissett, R. E. Boot, Mrs A. R. Bradford, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. Buxton, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, L. J. Cartlidge, B. E. Chamberlain, E. A. Clarke, W. H. C. Cobb, Ms S. C. Cockburn, J. C. Darwen, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, J. Duffill, C. M. Edmunds, Dr I. S. Fletcher, S. Goldie, B. Greer, P. F. Henderson, A. W. Hill, E. M. Holroyd, W. Jackson, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, C. W. Laxton, J. W. Leonard, J. C. Leyland, J. D. Lockett, Mrs J. Mackie, R. C. Mallinson, D. F. Manley, G. R. Mason, C. T. Milner, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, D. Price, Mrs D. M. C. Prichard, R. Quinnell, D. G. Randall, N. J. Reed, H. L. Rhodes, D. R. Robinson, Dr W. I. D. Scott, J. M. Sharman, N. G. Shippobotham, W. K. M. Slimmings, D. J. Starck, A. V. Sullivan, Ms G. Talbot, R. C. Teuton, Dr I. Torbe, D. J. Waddams, Ms J. Ward, D. Williamson.

480 entries, no mistakes. The first ever Azed D.L.M. competition! I’ve always fought shy of them in the past on the selfish grounds that they’d be particularly difficult to judge. In the event my job, though certainly not easy, was made easier than it might have been by three quite common faults. A surprising number of you clued the words in the wrong order despite the explicit instruction in the preamble. A smaller but still substantial group had their letter mixtures beginning and ending in the middle of words – again, the preamble was explicit on this point. But the commonest fault of all was the failure to define PIERCEABLE as an adjective. Phrases like ‘can/may/might be penetrated, etc’ are the equivalent of ‘is/are pierceable’, i.e. inescapably indicating a verb. This slip flawed many otherwise excellent couplets but I had to be strict. The whole competition nevertheless provided a lot of fun all round. I was asked when St. Valentine’s day last fell on a Sunday and whether 1 had celebrated it in this way before. I suppose in the nature of things 14 February must be a Sunday every seven years or so. I did such a ‘Billets-Doux’ puzzle once before though it wasn’t a competition and actually appeared on 10 February – in 1980 (AZ No. 411). D.L.M. puzzles generally have their detractors, mainly because, once started, they tend to get progressively easier to complete. With a theme such as this one they probably also take considerably longer to compile than to solve. That said, they still deserve their place in the repertoire every once in a while, at least to judge from the majority of comments.
Couplets submitted tended to be more plaintive than playful, and overwhelmingly written as from the male point of view. There was a fair amount of ropy scansion and although I didn’t specify any particular metre I did look for verse with a recognisable rhythm. Many failed, despite repeated attempts by rae to recite them aloud, to trip easily off the tongue and were rejected accordingly. All of those quoted have a distinctly poetical ring, whether poignant or potty, which is what I was after. When writing my own clues I used more than one metrical arrangement but aimed to keep lines as short as possible while retaining some sort of sense. (Only with nasty words like WEEKDAY and ENHYDROS did the strain really start to tell!) Too much gratuitous verbiage in D.L.M. clues is unfair on the solver, I feel.
So, all in all, an agreeable change, but I’ll leave it awhile before the next batch of doggerel. P.S. Mr Grimshaw wants it to be clearly understood that his couplet has nothing at all to do with you know who!


The Azed Cup

Dr S. J. Shaw wins First Prize in competition 2603.

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This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on

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Son admitted, see Tories falsely express tears over it (8)

First prize winner by T. J. Moorey in competition 1698