AZED CROSSWORD 1212
1. J. R. Tozer: Bottling out vintage Mouton-Rothschild in grand bottles (hidden).
2. C. J. Morse: Nithing’s nothing different, so I’m holding (i.e. as nithing differs from nothing so does hilding from holding, & lit.; hold = assert).
3. C. A. Clarke: Drum made endless repetitive noise – that’s oldie’s description of funk (hil(l) ding; ref. funk music).
M. Barley: What’s harbouring trace of listeria within – chicken past its sell-by date? (l in hiding).
J. R. Beresford: Hello pound beat that’s funky (hi L ding; ref. pop group).
H. J. Bradbury: Having nothing going for one, character-wise, like e.g. Parolles (I for 0 in holding; ref. ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’).
B. Burton: The prime stages of his ignoble life demonstrated incurable native gutlessness (first letters & lit.).
Mrs M. J. Cansfield: Bit of lard used in basting chicken (l in hiding).
E. Cross: Once craven pupil accepts flogging? On the contrary! (L in hiding).
A. L. Dennis: Dastardly old W. Indies fast bowler takes one for nothing (I for 0 in Holding; ref. Michael H.).
N. C. Dexter: With hazard nigh, I’d left! (anag. incl. l, & lit.).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Low on dash, lacking heart of old? (hil(l) + ding, & lit.).
G. I. L. Grafton: Windy, old – fight churning up innards (anag. of middle letters, & lit.).
C. R. Gumbrell: In escape you’ll find, instead of women, he’s first? (h for w in wilding, & lit.).
P. F. Henderson: Scab: man having left off strike? (hil(l) + ding).
E. M. Holroyd: He’s first in escape, displacing women? (h for w in wilding, & lit.).
Mrs D. B. Jenkinson: Child in gym’s boxing frightful old funk (hidden).
R. M. Luty: At heart, the typical Italian soldier depicts one allegedly (middle letters & lit.).
Mrs J. Mackie: Rosinante, for example, with eccentric hidalgo going about in bits of armour others abandoned (in in anag. less o, a; ref. ‘Don Quixote’).
H. W. Massingham: Yellow flag’s second on display in the course of harbouring (l in hiding).
C. G. Millin: Coward presented by Dame Bracket and partner (two ‘he’s’ disguised) (i.e. Hilda, Hinge less a2, he; ref. former musical comedy duo).
C. Reed: Spiritless before West Indian bowler with 1 for 0 (I for 0 in Holding; ref. Michael H.).
D. H. Tompsett: Like Plaza-Toro – first to lie where he spent the war (l in hiding: ref. ‘The Gondoliers’: ‘He lay concealed throughout the war’).
I. J. Wilcock: Dastardly old fast bowler has one for nought (I for 0 in Holding; ref. Michael H.).
R. L. Baker, M. J. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, M. Bettison, C. Boyd, B. W. Brook, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, D. A. H. Byatt, P. Cargill, B. S. Clark, D. B. Cross, G. Cumming, G. Cuthbert, M. Cutter, V. Dixon, E. G. Fletcher, H. Freeman, M. Freeman, R. Gardiner, N. C. Goddard, S. Goldie, E. Gomersall, R. R. Greenfield, A. J. Guy, G. Haslam, R. Hesketh, J. G. Hull, M. Jones, F. P. N. Lake, E. Looby, C. J. Lowe, D. F. Manley, G. D. Meddings, J. R. C. Michie, T. J. Moorey, C. J. Napier, S. O’Casey, K. O’Keeffe, F. R. Palmer, S. L. Paton, J. Pearce, A. Polakowski, D. Price Jones, D. R. Robinson, J. H. Russell, M. Sanderson, W. J. M. Scotland, Mrs C. Shaw, D. A. Simmons, Dr N. Smith, Ms M. Stokes, P. L. Stone, J. B. Sweeting, D. Williamson, W. Woodruff, M. J. Wright.
430 entries, with no detectable mistakes in what most seem to have found a relatively straightforward plain puzzle. I’m sorry about the lateness of this slip – not the fault of the system but because I’ve been on holiday. Even crossword setters have to take a break occasionally, and this was a most relaxing fortnight in the Lot et Garonne region of SW France.
HILDING proved a tricky word to do original and inventive things with, because of its shape, its archaicness, and to a lesser extent its somewhat nebulous meaning. Much the commonest ploy was L in HIDING. Congratulations to Mr Tozer for fashioning a far-from-obvious hidden-word clue, a type that can be rather easy to solve, but, well handled, is as pleasing as any other. There was a fair measure of unsoundness generally in clues submitted this month, many from newcomers to the series. Here are just three examples. 1 ‘Cowardly Ezra lies low’. L = pound (E) and there was a poet called Ezra Pound, but you simply cannot make a two-stage connection by equating L with EZRA. The use of ‘lies low’ to indicate ‘in hiding’ is similarly oblique and requires at least a question mark to make it fair. 2 ‘Bowler, 1 for 0, uses last ball in beating rabbit’. I can never accept ‘last ball’ to mean the last letter of the word ‘ball’, and defy anyone to demonstrate that it can. 3 ‘Crypto-communism – cowardly?’ Here ‘crypto-communism’ is intended to indicate ‘left in hiding’, an over-condensed and rather vague verbal association, I feel, which many solvers would rightly regard as unfair. And politically speaking ‘left’ is hardly synonymous with ‘communist’.
Belated apologies to Mr F. R. Palmer (0,4) who was omitted from the annual honours list in slip No. 1200. I hope he got his consolation p