< Slip No. 1178 View the clue list Slip No. 1181 >



1.  P. F. Henderson: Gospel shows Lord in simple bed – the original crib? (Ld in cot + ur-key).

2.  R. Jacks: Truly done with coke? Such suffering after one’s withdrawal (anag. less one, & lit.).

3.  T. J. Moorey: Depression having abruptly deserted dope? (col d turkey, & lit.).

VHC (extra prizes)

M. Barley: Piece of cake, getting on horse? The reverse – coming straight off it is! (c + old + turk + ye (rev.); horse = heroin).

C. J. Brougham: Freezing dope? (cold turkey, & lit.; freeze = prevent the use of).

E. J. Burge: Clue try KO’d in rescheduling. It’s usually post-Christmas Day fare (anag.; ref. closing date for comp.).

D. A. Campbell: Tot’s head is laid down in bleak, primitive crib: that’s gospel (t in cold ur-key).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Beginning of convalescence having abandoned dope? (c + old turkey, & lit.).

R. P. C. Forman: Cutting dope? (cold turkey, & lit.).

C. R. Gumbrell: What’ll have one off coke and truly suffering? (anag. less an, & lit.).

R. J. Hooper: Yearning for horse? That’s proud king yclept Dicky (the two Princes disposed of) (anag. incl. K less P, P; ref. Richard III; horse = heroin).

D. J. MacKay: Source of kebabs about Yule or DT with the shakes? (anag. incl. k, c., & lit.).

D. F. Manley: Old year tuck that’s unhooked a freak? (anag. less a, 2 mngs.).

H. W. Massingham: ‘The little lord … ’ in crib (Luther’s primitive crib) evokes gospel truth? (Ld in cot + Ur-key; Ur- prefix from German).

W. L. Miron: Snow suddenly stopped; that’s for sure. (Chill remains?) (3 mngs.; snow = heroin etc.).

C. J. Morse: Would prison official have power to bar centres for drastic drug treatment? (co(u)ld tur(n)key).

A. F. Mylward: Withdrawal from addiction which is long-standing in painfully curt solution (old in anag. + key).

C. J. Napier: Outcome of adjusting crudely to termination of crack (or smack) being injected (k in anag., & lit.).

R. J. Palmer: What makes you flop after effect of snow? (cold + turkey, & lit.).

D. Price Jones: Cutting dope? (cold turkey, & lit.).

G. L. Scullard: Nauseating pain the result of hop on ice! (cold + turkey, 2 mngs.; hop = opium).

W. K. M. Slimmings: No kidding, it’s reaction to lack of snow (or prospect of rissoles?) (3 mngs.; snow = heroin etc.).

P. L. Stone: Little king found in cot rudely fashioned in a disused horse trough (K in anag.; i.e. depression from giving up heroin).

D. H. Tompsett: Withdrawing dope? (cold turkey, & lit.).

J. R. Tozer: What might appear as cruelty, OK’d after getting ‘screwed up’ (anag. & lit.; ref. government campaign,‘Heroin screws you up’).

R. J. Whale: Tuck ye Lord up wherein e.g. horse has been removed? (anag.; up = in an excited state; horse = heroin).


J. Abernethy, W. G. Arnott, D. Ashcroft, R. E. Boot, Mrs A. Boyes, D. C. Budd, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, M. Cerny, E. Chalkley, W. B. Chalmers, B. S. Clark, C. A. Clarke, I. T. Cook, D. B. Cross, G. Cumming, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, Mrs C. Davis, N. C. Dexter, M. Earle, C. M. Edmunds, R. A. England, H. Freeman, J. Gill, N. C. Goddard, G. I. L. Grafton, R. R. Greenfield, B. Greer, D. R. Gregory, I. F. & L. M. Haines, J. Hetherington, C. Hobbs, W. Jackson, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, C. Juneman, R. E. Kimmons, F. P. N. Lake, J. C. Leyland, R. K. Lumsdon, G. D. Meddings, C. G. Millin, I. Munro, F. R. Palmer, G. S. Parsons, Mrs M. Pepin, G. Perry, B. Pitt, H. L. Rhodes, D. B. Robinson, C. Robson, B. Roe, H. R. Sanders, M. Sanderson, W. J. M. Scotland, Mrs E. J. Shields, N. G. Shippobotham, B. L. Smith, Mrs I. G. Smith, G. R. E. Spark, J. B. Sweeting, Mrs J. E. Townsend, M. A. Trollope, S. Tutor, R. Vaughan-Davies, Ms R. Kornbluh & T. Wheeler, I. J. Wilcock, D. A. Wilson.

365 entries, and no mistakes that I spotted. I would have hoped for a bigger Christmas entry, but perhaps the closing date had something to do with it – not a few of you complained at having to get the puzzle solved and posted before the turkey was even hot. I sympathize, but plead various excuses: the puzzle had to appear one week before Christmas, there being no Observer on Christmas Day, and in order to ensure publication of the results on 15 January (the latest acceptable date, it was felt) I had to allow myself a reasonable time for judging, given that I have to get the results in to Life Magazine 9 days before publication. The January competition also followed hard on the heels of Christmas, appearing as it did on New Year’s Day. In practice I accepted all entries that I received, though some took over a week to reach me, so no one who submitted an entry was disqualified. All that said, it seems to have been an enjoyable Christmas special, except for the lone solver who felt cheated that it was not really necessary to solve the code-word via the Playfair square. What I’d intended was that the special clue types would help in the solving of each other and the whole thing would fall into place gradually. This seems to have happened, making it a challenging but not unusually difficult task. Some of you thought the preamble was unnecessarily long and complicated, but I didn’t see how it could be shortened without adding to its complexity; the explanation of the non-normal clue types was very similar in wording to that given when a puzzle features each of them singly. Was it specially difficult to construct the grid ? Not perhaps as fiendishly tricky as you might imagine. The most awkward bit was fitting in the coded Playfair words, especially when they had to contain some of the COLD TURKEY letters in the right place. I apologize about the not-very-familiar WIGTON (home of Melvyn Bragg, I believe), especially to the small band of American solvers. The fact is that it was a late life-saver when I realized that the word I had in its place was miscoded – an all-too-common occurrence when one’s working at speed, and backwards as it were! I also apologize for saying ‘untreated’ when I meant ‘treated’ in the G & T preamble (the bit about the lengths shown in brackets after clues), a mistake compounded by my giving the untreated length of EPHEBES. Old habits die hard, and I don’t think anyone was seriously misled.
You seem to have had a lot of fun with COLD TURKEY. (The bones of ours are simmering away as I write, yielding that most glorious of broths.) Most went for the drugs-related meaning(s), TRULY COKED being the favourite anagram. In this sense ‘coked’ requires at least some inverted commas to indicate special usage. I can find no evidence for a verb ‘to coke’ in this sense. Quite a number managed admirably to work all the meanings of COLD TURKEY (including the literal one) into a sensible clue. Special congratulations to Mr Henderson for finishing a very successful year with another first, and a charmingly seasonal one at that. Thank you all once again for your good wishes and encouragement. They mean a great deal to me.
A final note on the new arrangement for slips, which is now running very smoothly, I think. The £7 subscription is for 13 slips regardless of when you begin receiving them (i.e. not for the current calendar year), and renewal notices will be sent out at the appropriate time. The number of subscribers is over 360, and rising.


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