◀  No. 15595 May 2002 Clue list No. 1567  ▶



1.  M. Bath: A tinker with the computer starts one learning some dodges (Sly boots; ref. ‘Taming of the Shrew’).

2.  R. Dean: One leaving Sibyl’s too confused to become a user of guile (anag. less I; ref. giver of ambiguous advice).

3.  H. Freeman: One like TV’s Basil to Sybil – so silly, one must get divorced (anag. less I; ref. Basil Brush, ‘Fawlty Towers’).


M. Barley: ‘Artful Dodger’ fits into story about abandoned boy (anag. in slots; ref. ‘Oliver Twist’).

J. R. Beresford: Artful Dodger: the first to spy lost boy Twist (s + anag.).

C. A. Clarke: Nothing in lobby system is manipulated – spinning by me excepted (comp. anag. incl. 0, & lit.; ref. spin doctor).

R. M. S. Cork: Boy with Twist pokes into pockets and bolts: Artful Dodger, perhaps? (anag. in slots).

C. R. Gumbrell: Dodger? Term for Dawkins, boy that’s rifled many pockets (s + anag. in lots; ref. Artful D.).

W. Jackson: Covert gives advantage to old fox (sly boots).

J. C. Leyland: Who’s devious – bit of a liar too – S. Byers, without hesitation? (anag. incl. l less er; ref. Stephen B., Govt. Min. accused of deception).

D. W. Mackie: Naughty boy’s into sluts, admitting love for high-class foxy type (anag. in sluts with 0 for U).

Mrs J. Mackie: Walrus, for instance: great in tears a-bolting oysters (comp. anag.; ref. ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’).

D. F. Manley: Fox gets nothing by jumping up in fits in story (0 by (all rev.) in slots; ref. Aesop).

P. W. Marlow: Fox and Sky emptied OB slot for broadcast (anag. incl. S(k)y; ref. news channels).

J. McGhee: Stallone kicks cute ass maybe? (Sly boots; ref. Sylvester S.).

F. R. Palmer: The Artful Dodger, notoriously training boys to steal, if wanting a meal (anag. incl. s(tea)l).

J. Pearce: Twist very nearly stole with boys for Fagin, say (anag. less e).

R. Phillips: Extra in wicket’s arising from one that’s wide (by in stool’s (all rev.)).

M. Sanderson: Illy whacker? His crooked cries take in tons (t in sly boos; Aus. slang).

J. B. Sweeting: An artful dodger fits into a story about troubled boy (anag. in slots).

J. R. Tozer: The Cunning Little Vixen solos by Garrett, in fine fettle (anag. incl. t; in fine = finally; ref. Janáček opera, Lesley G.).

A. P. Vincent: Weasel classified by stools (anag.).


D. Appleton, D. Ashcroft, E. A. Beaulah, R. Beaven, J. G. Booth, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, D. A. Campbell, P. Cargill, M. Casserley, L. J. Davenport, N. C. Dexter, W. E. Dillon, V. Dixon, A. J. Dorn, J. Dromey, C. M. Edmunds, R. Fishleigh, E. G. Fletcher, Mrs C. George, H. J. Godwin, J. P. Guiver, D. Harris, A. Hodgson, R. J. Hooper, Mrs S. D. Johnson, G. Johnstone, M. Jones, J. Kearney, F. P. N. Lake, Miss G. M. May, C. G. Millin, W. Murphy, R. Parry-Morris, G. Perry, R. Perry, D. Pritchard, W. Ransome, D. Roseveare, N. G. Shippobotham, T. Smith, C. M. Steele, Ms M. Stokes, Mrs C. Velarde, A. J. Wardrop, M. J. E. Wardrop, R. J. Whale, F. Wheen, Dr M. C. Whelan, D. C. Williamson.

286 entries, no obvious mistakes. There was no single favourite clue this month, though quite a number drew appreciative comments, including those to EYES, ALLEE, WIDELY, INDRENCH, BODYLINE and GROUTY. ANGLOS got something of a thumbs-down, and I can see why. Believe it or not, when I used ‘Anglo-Saxon’ for AS in the clue, I completely failed to notice that it contains the whole answer. I could easily have used a phrase like ‘early English’ instead (though I normally prefer, when using a less familiar abbreviation, to give the exact full form for which it stands). Many of you registered delight at being introduced to the daft word SPANGCOCKLE (not one I’d come across before either). An ideal candidate for Call My Bluff, I’d say. Some, while happy enough with the clue to HOARDING, queried whether the under-40s would even have heard of Gilbert Harding, who died in 1960. Bamber Gascoigne gives Harding an entry in his splendid Encyclopedia of Britain, I see, calling him ‘the first man in Britain to acquire the status of a television “personality”’, largely because of his grumpiness or downright rudeness as a member of the panel on What’s My Line? How times have changed. These days behaving outrageously on air seems to be almost a prerequisite for TV ‘personalities’.
There were lots of excellent clues for me to judge this month, making the final decision unusually difficult. References to lost boys (usually in Peter Pan or Oliver Twist) were legion, so that only the best clues using this idea got into the printed list. Almost any kind of shady or dubious character was used to exemplify a slyboots, but I found it virtually impossible to eliminate any of the candidates. Were both Fagin and the Artful Dodger slyboots? Sort of, I suppose, though it’s hard to imagine them being so labelled in any serious discussion of their characters. In the end my prize awards went to relatively simple clues which nevertheless (especially in Mr Bath’s case) cleverly disguised the subsidiary indications of the word’s component parts.
I’m grateful to all those (quite a few) who took up my appeal last month for more information on the Leopold/Loeb film. There is clearly no doubt that Compulsion, directed by Richard F. Zanuck, was based on the Leopold/Loeb story, as was a further film, Swoon. The plot of Hitchcock’s Rope, adapted from Patrick Hamilton’s play, may very well have been inspired by the same event, though this does not seem to be explicitly stated anywhere. Interestingly Halliwell’s Film Guide, which I must obviously invest in, gives Rope only two stars and Compulsion a niggardly one.
Two ‘old guard’ regulars have written to tell me of the recent death at the age of 83 of C. J. (Chris) Lowe, who ‘never missed a Ximenes/Azed puzzle for well over 40 years’. I am always saddened by the loss of such a devoted solver, but comforted by the thought that his particular devotion must have given him much pleasure over the years. My sympathies go to his family.
And a final apology to Mr J. C. Leyland, whose name I carelessly omitted before his VHC clue (‘Word’s second...’) in last month’s slip.


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