◀  No. 12344 Feb 1996 Clue list No. 1242  ▶


ELASTIN (Printer’s Devilry)

1.  C. J. Morse: “As a non-worker,” the faithful drone, “does the Queen be/g favours?”

2.  G. I. L. Grafton: Marilyn Monroe was a dam/sel town people adored.

3.  D. V. Harry: Replaying drawn Cup match means fati/gue, FA-style. Shoot-outs are better (FA, UEFA).


J. W. Artley: A son/g, ‘Memory of the Sixties’, I should like to keep – this album, perhaps?

M. Barley: In the wood you’ll often find redwin/g forages.

J. R. Beresford: ‘A Sassenach’, thinks the ga/ting fellow.

P. Biddlecombe: Mrs Bartok, watched b/y son Peter, playing Mikrokosmos on the piano (Bela Bartok).

C. J. Brougham: Great giants have emotions and fe/y pixies do.

B. Burton: I’m agin/g! ‘Freedom from wrinkles,’ the face-cream ad said.

C. J. & M. P. Butler: Dangerous e/ger brought in on the tide.

C. A. Clarke: Thanks to Tories, railways al/ter city services – withdrawn.

G. Cuthbert: Industry relies on ste/p late in the canning process.

N. C. Dexter: Deciphering one memorial myopic found a real pigst/y (inscription illegible) (stela).

D. Giles: Basil seen in hot/pot. ‘Bully better without basil,’ says Polly (ref. ‘Fawlty Towers’).

R. R. Greenfield: Aged cops aid that felon – must be th/ick!

A. Hart: I told the shopkeeper the bloomers were too small – and the bag/gy size! (bloomer = type of loaf).

V. G. Henderson: In news: a man d/ies – tact seems to become most important (SA, Mandela).

E. M. Holroyd: I shriek if, e/g, I’ve sat on a bee!

F. P. N. Lake: Cook’s choice pans of ste/w are sold in no time!

D. F. Manley: Some university types rate chance of finding alternative to a lev/y.

H. W. Massingham: It’s not like the MO – s/ot, with all that bottled-up fizz!

D. R. Robinson: Young Mrs Bartok’s encouraged b/y musical pieces (Bela Bartok).

M. C. Souster: Chan/k? Something no posh woman would buy (buy = believe).

Mrs J. E. Townsend: Art critic reels off as pi/cture is acclaimed.

J. R. Tozer: What might picnicker haplessly sitting on beef (e/g on rump) say?

A. J. Wardrop: One cannot exactly describe grav/y granules.

P. H. Watkin: Terrorist sin is ra/ging – blow for peace.


P. Ames, W. Anderson, D. Appleton, M. J. Balfour, Mrs A. J. Bancroft, M. J. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, C. Boyd, J. Breckon, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, Mrs A. Brown, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, P. Cargill, P. A. Cash, B. S. Clark, M. Coates, Ms S. C. Cockburn, Ms S. Cook, K. W. Crawford, F. H. Cripps, K. J. Crook, E. Cross, P. Crozier, Mrs M. Cruickshank, G. Cumming, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, R. Dean, V. Dixon, A. J. Dorn, Ms C. Duff, C. M. Edmunds, M. A. Elder, Miss L. Eveleigh, H. Freeman, P. G. W. Glare, J. F. Grimshaw, C. R. Gumbrell, P. F. Henderson, Ms J. Hood, J. Horwood, R. Jacks, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, R. S. Johnson, J. F. Jones, M. Jones, J. Knott, G. Lee, J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, J. D. Lockett, C. Loving, R. K. Lumsdon, Mrs J. Mackie, R. R. Macleod, R. Mallinson, J. Mayhew, J. F. McKee, M. H. Miller, T. J. Moorey, F. R. Palmer, D. Price Jones, P. E. Radburn, Mrs R. Ramsey, M. Robertson, Ms N. Rowlinson, Mrs C. Shaw, D. J. Short, H. R. Simpson, Dr G. A. Styles, G. Teller, C. W. Thomas, F. Thomas, K. Thomas, R. R. Tyler, A. West, R. J. Whale, A. White, Ms B. Widger, I. J. Wilcock, D. Williamson, J. Woodall, S. Woods, H. C. Wright, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.

422 entries, no mistakes. Clearly, from your comments, a popular return of an old favourite. The small minority who are allergic to P.D. must clearly put up with it once in a while, but please don’t expect this type too often. They’re uncommonly laborious (if satisfying) to construct and a consequent strain on the system. They’re also extremely difficult to judge, unsoundness in clues being relatively rare. I am surprised by how many ignore my warning about preferring clues in which the breaks before and after the word omitted (before and after omission) do not occur at the ends or beginnings of words in the clue. So a clue like ‘Shouldn’t the best of all win definitely?’ is weak because the clue-word falls entirely between the end of ‘win’ and the beginning of ‘definitely’. ‘Thus, the first out of ten’ suffers similarly. To me, the whole point of this clue type is managing to excise the word clued from within words in the clue and then sewing up the incision so that the gap is still disguised within words in the clue.
I really thought I’d given you a corker of a clue-word this time, with multiple possibilities for devilry. In practice it seemed to be quite difficult to produce something really outstanding. The best P.D. clues are those in which the devilled version makes as much or almost as much sense as the undevilled, and this proved somewhat elusive, though there is a fair amount of variety in the clues quoted. Other ideas which didn’t quite make the lists included ‘Pamela’s tiny’, with reference to the busty Baywatch star and use of the wonderfully odd word AGELAST. One tendency I noticed was a fondness for producing clues in a sort of telegraphese or headline style, often quite unnecessarily. As I’ve remarked before, I find that P.D. clues work best when the undevilled version is a complete sentence. So ‘Atherton restricted – ton in/nings’ would to me benefit from the insertion of an auxiliary verb.
I’m afraid I’ve been forced by organizational problems to postpone the next Azed dinner (and it will be a dinner, not a lunch) until next spring. It is now definitely scheduled for Saturday 12 April 1997 at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford, the day before Azed No. 1300. Further details will be published in due course. My apologies for any disappointments.
Finally, here are the two reinstated VHC clues to GRUPPETTO from two months ago: C. R. Gumbrell: Grace Darling in forefront of rescue got up in a storm (pet in anag. incl. r). D. F. Manley: Grace – GP to erupt when ou


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