AZED CROSSWORD 1165
1. P. F. Henderson: Variety of English pastry? Dane would probably look down on it! (anag. incl. E; i.e. Great Dane).
2. N. C. Dexter: I could make Pat start to run? Yes! (anag. incl. r, & lit.; ref. Postman Pat).
3. Ms B. J. Widger: Barker R. type’s a comic (anag.; ref. Ronnie B.).
D. Appleton: Barking pet, Rex say (anag. incl. R; barking = mad).
D. Ashcroft: One who may with venom worry every postman? (comp. anag. & lit.).
E. J. Burge: Dog tip pays, with backing returns yielding pots (anag. + ret(urns) (rev.)).
M. Coates: Hick’s ton precedes English runs – tail wags after him (yap’s t E r).
G. P. Conway: Noisy pup’s a pest railway punished – no ‘Miaow’ audible from him (anag. incl. ry; ref. youth fined for listening to his personal stereo on BR; ‘Miaow’ pop group).
E. Dawid: Stray sheep might show he’s worried with this (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. S. Haddock: Tyke sorts out players with little time for line or length (anag. incl. t less l).
P. Long: One with the yips upset R & A types? (anag.; ref. golf).
D. F. Manley: Perhaps Tray would be one with harp playing (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. Thomas Campbell: ‘The Harper’, see ODQ).
C. J. Morse: Pet, stray, mongrel – such would fit this to a T (anag. less T, & lit.).
C. J. Napier: Barking ‘in alt’, this could be ratty spaniel (comp. anag. & lit.).
M. Owen: Sterling revealed after pay round for Rover? (pay (rev.) + ster.).
D. Pendrey: Who does spray around outside of tree? (t, e in anag., & lit.).
H. R. Sanders: Say, pert mongrel (anag. & lit.).
W. J. M. Scotland: This, at getting loose, could become a stray pet (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. C. Teuton: Barking pet, say, Rex? (anag. + R, & lit.).
A. J. Wardrop: Barking pet, say? Right! (anag. + R, & lit.).
I. J. Wilcock: Jack Russell, perhaps, as Rhodes’ second, left out of touring Ashes party (anag. less as h; ref. ex-England wicket-keeper).
D. Williamson: What could be pest lining your pet say, possibly Rex (anag. in yr, anag. + R, & lit.; line = copulate with).
Dr E. Young: Pet say, styled Rex? (anag. + R, & lit.).
W. G. Arnott, M. J. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, B. W. Brook, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, B. Burton, C. A. Clarke, D. B. Cross, R. Dean, Dr I. S. Fletcher, M. Freeman, S. Goldie, G. I. L. Grafton, G. Haslam, A. Hodgson, R. J. Hooper, R. Jacks, W. Jackson, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, Ms M. Kennedy, R. E. Kimmons, F. P. N. Lake, J. C. Leyland, A. Logan, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, B. MacReamoinn, Mrs W. A. Marlar, P. W. Marlow, H. W. Massingham, K. McDermid, T. J. Moorey, R. A. Mostyn, Mrs M. Newbery, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, G. Perry, D. Price Jones, D. R. Robinson, W. Rodgers, W. K. M. Slimmings, J. B. Sweeting, C. W. Thomas, Mrs M. P. Webber, R. J. Whale, G. H. Willett.
321 entries, few mistakes. I’m very sorry about the misplaced asterisk. The error occurred after the proof stage for some electronic reason that I don’t understand. The fact that such a shift can occur, apparently as the result of corrections elsewhere, is worrying, and steps have been taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Happily, very few of you were misled, though some nobly submitted clues to both YAPSTER and TREAD just in case. I don’t think I’d ever ask you to compete with a clue of mine (though one or two said the challenge would be intriguing) – I’d be afraid of being outshone! One other competitor expressed regret that I hadn’t let you ‘have a go’ at BRANDRETH (I can’t think why!). In fact I rather wish I had. I found it a very hard word to clue interestingly, Gyles notwithstanding.
The puzzle seems to have given no other special problems. Comments ranged from ‘took me longer than usual’ and ‘a lot of rare words’ to ‘a crop of well-hidden composite anagrams’. I try to offer you a balanced set of clue types each week, but more often than not the clue type I use for a particular word is determined by the word itself (its shape, its letters, its meaning), not vice versa, so in any one week one type may appear more often than the rest. I should add however that I very rarely write all the clues to a puzzle at one sitting, and when I take up my pen (or rather pencil) after a break I rarely have time to check carefully how many clues of each type I’ve used so far.
There was a nice range of clues to YAPSTER for me to judge. Despite the non-committal definition in Chambers, I do feel that a yapster is probably a dog that yaps and therefore a small dog. I find it hard to imagine anything larger that, say, a cocker spaniel yapping, so I tended to favour clues that implied this. Somebody had ‘whinging pom’ as a definition, which I liked, but it needed an ‘e.g.’ or a question mark, and the rest of the clue was a bit disappointing.
I am asked for more regular detailed analysis of faults in clue-writing. Would this be generally welcomed? The easiest way for me to do it would be to dissect one or inure clues submitted, without mentioning their authors’ names Of course. If no one objects I’ll introduce this as a regular feature of the slip (though probably not every month).