AZED CROSSWORD 1500
GIT (on board ship)
1. P. F. Henderson: Reason running short aboard hoy! (SLOGITOP; logi(c) in stop!).
2. T. J. Moorey: Circumnavigating globe, young woman’s on TV news (GALLEOGITN; O in gal leg ITN; ref. Ellen MacArthur).
3. R. J. Heald: Something capable of bolting down mast that is used to stop hooker capsizing (PIGITRATE; pig + tart (rev.) in i.e.).
M. Barley: Regulars amongst cluers can’t wait to gather in celebration at university (CURRAGITCH; rag in c, u, r itch).
J. R. Beresford: Company with an eccentric rig taking drink to excess on board (COGITOPER; co. + tope in anag.).
Mrs F. A. Blanchard: Tar, half-seas-over, gets fishing-line round end of bowsprit (TRAGITMP; anag. + t in gimp).
C. J. Brougham: Strike sail rounding island (SLOGITOP; I in slog top).
E. J. Burge: The crew’s on it going to and fro in the sea (BRIGANGITTINE; gang it ti in brine).
C. J. & M. P. Butler: Pursuing vessel at Tobermory salt loses head (PIGITRATE; pig + (n)itrate).
N. Connaughton: F-fool hiding in tub, curiously (GGITUNBOAT; anag. in g-goat).
G. Cuthbert: Lading almost complete I must obtain passage right away (CARGITAVEL; carg(o) + I + t(r)avel).
V. Dixon: Crazy person near heart of ‘vessel’ encapsulates the perfect answer (BUGITSS; it in bug (ve)ss(el)).
A. S. Everest: Scapa exactly astern of the ‘Snooty Sheila’ (GALLEGITON; gal + leg it on).
R. Fishleigh: Block and tackle, just the job for me: (QUADRIGITREME; quad(rangle) rig it re me).
R. R. Greenfield: Heavy smack with one small platform at masthead (SLOGITOP; slog I top).
C. R. Gumbrell: One engaged in operation of tiller at rear of boat (COGITLLIER; cog + I in anag.).
R. Hesketh: Goods on freighter in the main taken to island by smack (CARGITACK; carg(o) I tack7).
D. J. MacKay: Big old warship, one with unreliable tiller (COGITLLIER; cog + anag.).
H. W. Massingham: One on board old warship, one used to the drink (COGITOPER; I in cog toper).
G. T. McLean: Beginners in yachts always get into trouble with luffing (YAGITWL; first letters).
C. J. Morse: After docking to load I sail a changed course (CARGITACK; carg(o) I tack).
S. & J. Shaw: Narrow boat docked quite carelessly (BARGITQUE; barg(e) + anag.).
P. A. Stephenson: One to release barque, we’re told, untied cleat (CORGITACLE; corgi + anag.).
J. R. Tozer: Big cat hauled about in readiness to sail east (TRIREGITME; tiger (rev.) in trim E).
A. J. Wardrop: Lighter docked with damaged kit (BARGITK; barg(e) + anag.).
M. P. Young: Tramp with one sail (SLOGITOP; slog I top).
E. A. Beaulah, J. G. Booth, C. Boyd, K. A. Brough, Dr J. Burscough, M. Casserley, S. Collins, N. C. Dexter, N. C. Goddard, J. E. Green, J. Grimes, M. T. Hart, A. Hodgson, S. Jackson, B. C. & J. I. James, J. H. C. Leach, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, B. MacReamoinn, W. F. Main, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, R. J. Mathers, J. S. Merrick, K. Milan, Dr E. J. Miller, C. G. Millin, M. G. Moore, H. A. Moule, T. D. Nicholl, R. A. Norton, Ms S. M. Odber, K. Pearce, C. Pearson, Mrs E. M. Phair, R. Phillips, D. Price Jones, D. R. Robinson, Mrs E. J. Shields, N. G. Shippobotham, R. Stocks, C. W. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs T. G. Treanor, Ms S. Wallace, J. D. Walsh, G. R. Webb, R. J. Whale, Dr M. C. Whelan, P. O. G. White, I. J. Wilcock, G. H. Willett, E. G. Wren.
377 entries, with virtually no mistakes in the grid. About a dozen submitted faulty clues as a result of misreading the preamble, the faults mainly consisting of incorporating a fool other than GIT or of reusing one of the ships already used in the diagram. The only normal clue of mine which seems to have caused extra puzzlement was the one for LUNTS. I certainly never saw Alfred Lunt and his wife Lynne (or Lynn) Fontanne acting together, but I thought they were well enough known.
The idea behind the puzzle was, I guess, not one you might have expected. I’d tinkered with MD (doctor’s surgery, taking temperatures, giving samples, testing reflexes, etc), but nothing very satisfactory suggested itself. Once I’d spotted the date of the Bosch painting the thing took shape fairly quickly, though I was uncertain what to ask you to clue until fairly late in the game. I’d thought of asking you to chose an extra fool aboard an extra ship (thus widening your choice still further) but when I found I could only build fifteen special entries into the grid I made a virtue of necessity and I think made the whole thing neater by asking you to identify the final fool and put him aboard a ship of your own choosing. I realized of course that inviting clues for home-made non-words without definitions was a potentially risky thing to do. The Set B clues could all have read ‘Fool aboard a ship’, after all. But I was intrigued to see what could for once be made of this departure from tradition. I was certainly not disappointed by the result.
My decision to give the Set B clues a nautical flavour came about almost by chance when 1 Across just ‘came out’ that way. Thereafter it seemed worth trying to do the same with all the rest, more as a way of helping you to spot them from the normal clues than to indicate the ‘style’ for clues submitted. In practice it helped to give the competition a sense of focus which it might otherwise have lacked, though I did not deliberately reject clues which explored a different theme. It was important, as all serious contenders for the lists realized, to contrive clues which related to the competition in some way. Those that did not seemed just less interesting, somehow. I counted nearly 120 different ships in the whole flotilla. Some of the craft were not exactly my idea of ‘ships’, I must say (coracles, canoes and the like), but I did not exclude these from consideration. As some of you pointed out, Chambers rather generously gives ‘any floating craft’ as one of the definitions of ‘ship’. ‘Sloop’ was much the most popular. I did prefer clues which indicated the position of the git on board his vessel, so ‘Stowing away’, though undeniably neat, could have led to SGITNOW, SNGITOW or SNOGITW. I deliberately sought to avoid such ambiguity in my own clues. I was also not well-disposed to GIT being lashed onto his ship, either fore or aft, a mode of travel at sea not even a fool would choose.
Altogether, the judging was a fascinating and enjoyable exercise, and I’m grateful to you all for entering into the spirit of the thing so enthusiastically. I was also greatly touched by the many complimentary comments I received on the puzzle as a whole and on my having reached the 1,500 milestone. I look forward to meeting many of you at the dinner in Oxford on 17 March, on which I shall report in the next slip.