AZED CROSSWORD 1174
1. R. C. Bell: Gelded nag, nil ——? (anag. & lit.).
2. R. J. Palmer: Swinging both ways presents bit of dilemma: fancy Nigel, fancy Glenda (d + anag. + anag.).
3. V. Dixon: Fluctuating pound under control? Cant! (ding led angle).
D. Appleton: Mix Double Diamonds with a Glen Elgin. How one might swing from the chandeliers (anag. incl. D, D).
D. Ashcroft: How Daisy’s dilly-danders go, merrily gladdening hearts of all men (anag. incl. l, e; ref. song).
C. J. Brougham: Swinging beat, was the conductor hip? (ding led angle).
E. J. Burge: A drop could be gladdening heart of reveller after refreshment (anag. incl. el; drop = pendant).
K. J. Crook: Swinging dash preceded tackle (ding led angle).
R. Dean: Keep repeating advanced view – that’s typical of a swinger! (ding led angle).
R. A. England: In the usual way of a mobile, ring induced move towards the pocket (ding led angle; ref. mobile phones, snooker).
P. D. Gaffey: How are conkers played? Whack fruit of dale and glen (ding + anag.).
S. Goldie: Swinging you’ll find can become life-gladdening, if sent (anag. less if).
R. Hesketh: Drop from ledge, landing on the rocks (anag.).
A. Logan: Foot maybe and leg awkwardly swaying back and forth (Dingle + anag.; ref. Sir D. F., former Solicitor General).
R. K. Lumsdon: Gelded nag’s confused with nil aswing (anag.).
H. W. Massingham: Dig lead Glenn played with swing? (anag.; ref. G. Miller).
J. R. C. Michie: Swinging to and fro from ledge and landing awkwardly (anag.).
Dr E. J. Miller: Dance beginning with leg in and leg out – doing the hokey cokey? (d + anag.).
C. G. Millin: Dell computer security device – one installed for nothing, like an oscillator (dingle + dongle with a for 0).
T. J. Moorey: Bob’s movement found gladdening hearts in all men (anag. + l, e; bob = pendulum weight; ref. B. Geldof).
C. J. Morse: Swinging Princess has England agog with endless delight (or depression) (Di + anag. + gle(e) or gle(n)).
F. R. Palmer: Faced with endless sleaze, was leader taking a view or dithering? (ding(e) led angle).
M. Sanderson: Glen and (after change) Glenda? That’s swinging both ways! (dingle + anag.; ref. transvestite movie ‘Glen or Glenda’).
W. J. M. Scotland: Take note of old boxing name, guided by corner, swinging right and left (n in dig + led + angle; ref. G. Foreman).
G. H. Willett: DJ’s double switch makes unmusical bell sound swinging (i.e. jingle-jangle with d’s for j’s).
Ms E. Allen, M. J. Balfour, Mrs P. A. Bax, E. A. Beaulah, Ms F. A. Blanchard, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, Ms A. Carchrae, C. A. Clarke, K. W. Crawford, D. B. Cross, E. Cross, P. Davies, W. Duffin, H. Freeman, M. Freeman, E. Gomersall, C. P. Grant, C. R. Gumbrell, M. K. Hankin, Mrs B. E. Henderson, P. F. Henderson, A. Hodgson, Ms M. Kennedy, F. P. N. Lake, Mrs J. Mackie, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, A. R. N. Matthews, D. S. Miller, D. Mitchell, G. Murray, C. J. Napier, W. Nesbitt, Ms H. Pankhurst, J. Pearce, Mrs E. M. Phair, B. Pitt, Dr T. G. Powell, Mrs A. Price, D. R. Robinson, C. Robson, N. G. Shippobotham, W. K. M. Slimmings, R. G. Smith, P. L. Stone, Miss D. W. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, D. H. Tompsett, A. J. Wardrop, D. Williamson.
390 entries, the only mistake (made by about 20 competitors) being PARSI for FARSI. My clue to CHAIN puzzled some of you. I hope the note with the printed solution explained it satisfactorily (CLAN with CHA in = CLACHAN). My use of ‘sang’ = ‘claret’ = ‘blood’ in the CLARINET clue also gave trouble and perhaps it was a little far-fetched. It’s not entirely clear from Chambers whether it is confined to Scottish usage. These clues apart, I don’t think the puzzle presented any special problems (though a fair amount of Tippex was in evidence where many had rushed to enter REINTEGRATED for
And what of DINGLE-DANGLE? Several of you expressed disgruntlement or downright disbelief at Chambers’s decision to label it only as an adverb, pointing out that the OED gives it additionally as a substantive (i.e. a noun), an adjective and a verb. And although most of you laboured nobly to define it adverbially, I didn’t feel I could reasonably disqualify clues indicating one of the other parts of speech. (A pity, really. It’s good for you to have to wrestle occasionally with the problems of dealing with an adverb. A clear indication of a word’s grammatical class is an essential ingredient of a sound clue.) For newer competitors it is also worth pointing out that for polysemes I don’t require you necessarily to use the definition I choose to print with the puzzle. Any bona fide meaning or part of speech is acceptable. As for clues to DINGLE-DANGLE submitted, there was plenty of invention and humour to admire. Provided your clue is sound, if you can also make me smile you stand a good chance of scoring well. Mr Bell’s delightful self-referential ‘& lit.’ anagram made me positively chortle, though its succinctness is almost overdone. I wasn’t sure whether to read ‘gelded’ as a participial adjective or as a past tense with the subject ellipted. If the former was intended, the absence of a main verb is a trifle uncomfortable; if the latter, the indication of the clue-word’s part of speech is somewhat obscured. But the fact that the clue-word uniquely fills the blank clinched it for me.
Another clue, this time one that didn’t quite make it into the VHC category, likewise raises a question of grammatical soundness: ‘Diggers’ opening pair devastated England’s leg spinning with sweeping strokes.’ Leaving aside the slightly questionable phrase ‘leg spinning’ (perfectly sound for the cryptic reading, but would one ever actually say it rather than ‘leg spin’?), there is the matter of the apostrophe s after ‘England’. For the cryptic reading this has to stand for ‘has’, meaning ‘is followed by’ or some such. But the subject of ‘has’ here is (inescapably, I feel) a plurality of elements, viz. DI (‘Diggers’ opening pair’) and an anagram (of ENGLAND), so ‘have’ or ‘’ve’ is surely required. To be fair, the clue’s author was aware that I might object to the clue on these grounds and invited my comment, which I have now given. Such considerations may seem like nit-picking but they do matter, and they’re worth airing occasionally. The grammatical structure of clues must work in both their cryptic and their literal readings. Here I think the former was sacrificed to the latter.
Another moan to finish with. An extraordinarily large number of competitors ignore or overlook my request that your clue sheets be ‘securely attached’ to completed diagrams, a distinct nuisance for your hard-pressed setter and judge. Please do as he asks. A few of you have also not noticed the new arrangements for slips and continue to send stamped self-addressed envelopes unnecessarily.