◀  No. 15965 Jan 2003 Clue list No. 1602  ▶

AZED CROSSWORD 1598

PHRASEMONGER

1.  R. C. Teuton: Ha! Emperor’s new clothes no good – he’s all talk and no trousers! (ng in anag.).

2.  K. Milan: A stylist working on e.g. hair perms? Not I! (anag. less I, & lit.).

3.  A. G. Chamberlain: Has Premier got one, i.e. to come out with spin? (anag. less i.e. to, & lit.).

VHC

D. Ashcroft: His concoctions won’t butter parsnips; it’s to cook with marg he’s prone (anag.; ref. ‘Fine words butter no parsnips’).

M. Barley: Anemographs are not adapted to register this source of wind (anag. less first letters; not2 = polled).

C. Boyd: Rilke, say, composing the ultimate in High German prose (anag. incl. h).

D. A. Campbell: A high-flier in style, hero prangs me unexpectedly (anag.).

E. Cross: Churchill, for instance, dashing German hopes about end of war (r in anag.).

V. Dixon: He juggles phonemes and grammar, lacking pith (anag. incl. gr(amm)ar, & lit.).

G. I. L. Grafton: ’Er gramophone’s ‘Ring’ output damaged fancy speaker (anag. less O).

R. R. Greenfield: Preach good short sermon? With a bit of coaching I could do that (anag. incl. g less c, & lit.).

J. P. Guiver: I’d be outstanding where aphorism genre’s concerned (anag. less I, & lit.).

C. R. Gumbrell: No epigram is he doing without each one being overwrought? Right (anag. less I, I + r, & lit.).

R. J. Heald: Elite —— could be styled ‘the prime sloganeer’ (comp. anag. & lit.).

V. G. Henderson: Hear me prosing crudely? Not I (anag. less I, & lit.).

R. J. Hooper: One who over-refines words in interpretation of Morgen, perhaps, neglecting piano (anag. less p; ref. Richard Strauss song).

C. G. Millin: Long-winded speaker turns on bankers, annual return and payment by instalments (re gnomes AR HP (all rev.)).

R. J. Palmer: Who deploys prose range with extremes of hyperbolism? (anag. incl. h, m, & lit.).

R. Phillips: What embodies my turned expression could be sharper! (gnome (rev) in anag., & lit.).

W. Ransome: Artful Eng. (or metre) shaper? (anag. incl m, & lit.).

A. J. Redstone: I exhibit prize bull but, breaking loose, he gores PR man (anag.).

D. R. Robinson: ‘Mr Gas’, he. Prone to spin (anag. & lit.).

Mrs J. E. Townsend: Eloquent commentator, e.g. Marr, opens fluently covering first of headlines (h in anag.; ref. Andrew M.).

J. R. Tozer: There’s no butter on his parsnips and soft marge on hers, possibly? (p + anag.; ‘Fine words butter no parsnips’).

HC

M. Barnes, I. M. Barton, M. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, J. R. Beresford, Mrs F. A. Blanchard, J. G. Booth, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, I. Carr, M. Casserley, J. & B. Chennells, M. Cutter, P. A. Davies, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, T. J. Donnelly, A. J. Dorn, J. Dromey, W. Duffin, C. M. Edmunds, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, N. C. Goddard, J. Grimes, R. J. Hannam, Mrs A. Harris, R. Hesketh, G. Higginbotham, W. Jackson, Mrs M. Janssen, G. Johnstone, F. P. N. Lake, P. M. Lamont Smith, P. R. Lloyd, P. W. Marlow, J. McGregor, T. J. Moorey, I. Morgan, C. J. Morse, Ms J. Norman, F. R. Palmer, C. Pearson, J. T. Price, D. Price Jones, A. Roth, M. Sanderson, W. J. M. Scotland, D. P. Shenkin, T. Smith, P. L. Stone, J. B. Sweeting, G. Telfer, C. W. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, Dr I. Torbe, Mrs C. Velarde, D. J. Waddams, A. J. Wardrop, M. J. E. Wareham, R. J. Whale, Dr M. C. Whelan, M. Whitmore, G. H. Willett, D. C. Williamson, Dr E. Young.
 

Comments
 
305 entries, no mistakes that I spotted. Favourite clues: lots of nominees, with the PASTERNS and ONE-DAY clues probably coming up most often. The most difficult clue was clearly the one to RIBES, which involved the homophonous ‘wry bise’ and used ‘affects’ in the sense of ‘makes a show of, a bit tortuous perhaps but sound enough. A few of you also didn’t recognize ‘TLC’ in the clue to STEPCHILDREN, thinking perhaps that it referred to a person. The abbreviation is there in Chambers, though, and is one that I thought was in pretty general use.
 
By almost universal consent PHRASEMONGER was a nice word to have to clue, offering many possibilities in both cryptic and definition parts. I suspect that it’s almost always used derogatorily (see the monger entry in C.) but since the Chambers definition doesn’t say so specifically I allowed its use to refer to fancy wordsmiths of all kinds. German prose and gnome-shapers were both much in evidence, making it especially difficult to reduce the entries to a shortlist. The ones that finally emerged at or near the top had that extra ingredient of amusing the judge, not always easy to arrive at given my somewhat quirky sense of humour. (One regular commented that some recent Azed winners have been brilliant but dull - a contradiction in tenns, I’d have said. No clue will win an Azed accolade if it is not technically sound, but if it can be that and witty its chances will always be good.) Mr Teuton’s first prizewinner illustrates the point admirably. The first word is a slightly weak way of disposing of a couple of awkward letters, but the overall wording combined with a neat cryptic element I found irresistible. A clue (from a seasoned campaigner) that just missed out was ‘He does English prose harm’, an ‘& lit’ clue consisting of an anagram that includes ‘Eng.’. This to me borders on being an indirect anagram (there being at least one other abbreviation for ‘English’) and questionable as a result. Why not avoid the risk and rewrite the clue as ‘He does Eng. prose harm?’ (The definition implicit in the clue is still somewhat vague, there being many ways in which English prose can be harmed, but that’s a different point.) Another regular competitor asks for confirmation of his understanding that I don’t like the use of ‘describe’ in clues to mean ‘surround’. Confirmed - the dictionary definition hardly justifies this.
 
Another new reference book of possible interest to Azed solvers has come my way recently: a new and greatly enhanced edition of the Collins Thesaurus (ISBN 0-00-710730-7, price £24.99). In addition to all the Roget-style material you’d expect in a thesaurus, it contains a large number of additional subject word lists (including proper names), as well as quotations, notes on usage and illustrative examples. Rather good, though a bit thin on obscurer words, like BAASSKAP and ORSELLIC!
 
Finally, can anyone trace the origin of the delightful saying (a favourite of mine) ‘Fine words butter no parsnips’? I can’t find it in any of my books.
 

 

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