AZED CROSSWORD 1694
1. J. R. Tozer: In test primer discoloured gloss badly (anag.).
2. D. F. Manley: Gloss in a bad way? Painter, no ace, merits rollicking (anag. less A).
3. F. R. Palmer: Distort (as tabloids might) feature on American bishop ‘accepting wrong-doing’, with endless make-believe (sin in miter + pret(end); ref. gay clergy).
D. Appleton: Reprint Times in new format to unfold properly? No! (anag.).
J. R. Beresford: Read with problems, Times printer changes its format (anag.).
C. J. Brougham: Retrim spinet twisting wrest (anag.).
E. J. Burge: Pervert getting disciplined term (with PE) in stir (anag.).
Dr J. Burscough: Prime Minister, I’m becoming a little tired with spin how distortedly you explain! (anag. with t for I’m).
D. C. Clenshaw: Incorrectly decipher coded printer items (anag.).
G. Cuthbert: Wrongly present term ‘pristine’ as ‘changed’ (anag.).
N. C. Dexter: English, met with a bit of Russian in trips abroad, fail to decipher (anag. incl. E, R).
W. Duffin: A new format for Times printer to get completely wrong! (anag.).
W. P. Field: Draw wrong conclusion from play of Mister Pinter (anag.).
R. J. Heald: Provide Colemanesque commentary on sprinter running in ‘quite extraordinary’ time? (anag. in anag.; ref. David Coleman, BBC sports commentator famous for gaffes).
R. J. Hooper: Arrive at wrong solution to Printer’s Devilry in new format of Times (anag. in anag.).
R. Jacks: Unfold wrongly collated Times reprint (anag.).
J. C. Leyland: Enterprise wings away drastically cutting flying time in warp (anag. less e, e in anag.; ref. USS E. in ‘Star Trek’).
P. W. Marlow: Twig badly loose in trees? Trim bit of pruning required! (anag. incl. p).
T. J. Moorey: Change isn’t associated with the Queen and Prince, set in well-oiled time warp (anag. incl. ER, Pr in anag.).
I. Morgan: Corrupt Minister in Strasbourg ready to pervert (anag. + prêt).
R. Murdoch: Complex Pinter items I miss the point of (anag.; ref. Harold P.).
R. J. Whale: Fail to read properly, due to thickness? Times printer using new format (anag.).
D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, J. Baines, I. M. Barton, R. Beazley, R. E. Boot, C. Boyd, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, M. Coates, N. Connaughton, T. J. Cowin, Ms M. Davis, V. Dixon, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, J. Flynn, H. Freeman, N. C. Goddard, D. Harris, Ms D. Harwood, R. Hesketh, J. Horwood, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, J. S. Johnson, Dr D. T. Lambert, M. A. Lassman, D. Lythall, N. MacSweeney, W. F. Main, P. McKenna, C. J. Morse, T. D. Nicholl, J. Pearce, Ms L. Quee, W. Ransome, N. Roper, D. Roseveare, M. Sanderson, S. Sharples, R. Straker, I. Taylor, C. W. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, A. J. Wardrop, Dr E. Young.
248 entries, no noticeable mistakes. Clue of the month (for you) was that for EXURB (‘Well-to-do residential area? Sell this back for foreign capital’), with those for AZURINE and COYT coming joint second. The linking of COlT with the following NO-NO amused many of you. The idea of doing something with ‘cotton on’ only occurred to me after much blank contemplation of this rather colourless pair. One regular reasonably queried the exclamation mark at the end of the NO-NO clue. In general I am against the use of exclamation marks when all they do is show that the writer of the clue is particularly pleased with his or her effort, and I urge you to expunge them when they serve no other purpose. Here I put one in to indicate, albeit indirectly, that I was doing something rather out of the ordinary. In all, 26 clues received at least one vote, while two were justifiably criticized. These were ‘Source of tonic? Group of Indians will ingest bit of this’ for DITA (‘Group of Indians’ for DIA being distinctly vague and resorted to in some desperation) and ‘Moral treatise: what’s central to Vatican he expounded’ for ETHIC, where ‘expounded’ is a pretty ropy anagram indicator to say the least. Guilty as charged on both counts. Finally, many were puzzled by the reference to ‘Appleyard’ in the YELP clue. I could have invented him, of course, without rendering the clue invalid, but as a cricket-lover I remembered the (rather good) Yorkshire medium-pacer Bob Appleyard from my youth and saw no reason not to use him.
There was much more unsoundness than usual this month, mainly through failure to indicate that MISINTERPRET is exclusively a transitive verb, i.e. one that requires a direct object. Phrases like ‘get it wrong’ as a definition, in which the direct object (‘it’ in this case) is specified, can only indicate an intransitive verb and thus render a clue unsound. In cases like this it is sometimes helpful to look for a synonymous verb which can be used transitively and intransitively, if only because it will give you more flexibility in the wording of your clue. The basic question you must ask yourself is whether your clue accurately indicates the part of speech of the clue word. If it doesn’t it won’t do. Sometimes of course a word can be a verb and a noun (not necessarily with related meanings) and the clever clue-writer can exploit this, as Mr Tozer’s deceptively simple first prizewinner does (and Mr Manley’s likewise).
Anagrams were predictably to the fore this month. I particularly liked ‘M(iste)r Pinter’ whom many of you discovered and whose work is so open to misinterpretation. A few adventurous souls tried to do things with ‘mpret’ and ‘sinter’ but none of their efforts were really convincing. This has partly to do with the ‘surface reading’ of clues, the immediate picture they conjure up in the reader’s mind. I regard this aspect of clue-writing as very important and would like to explore it further in future slips.
There are a couple of administrative points. In future all cheques and correspondence relating to subscriptions to the slip should go direct to The Azed Slip, and not through me with competition entries (though I continue to welcome any comments you may wish to enclose with these). And I’m pleased to say that from December the value of all Azed prizes is being increased. Fuller details of these changes will be given in the various preambles.
And a final cosmetic footnote: it appears that I was premature in consigning Pond’s Cream (note the apostrophe) to history. One eagle-eyed – and doubtless clear-skinned – competitor tells me that ‘Pond’s Age Defying Cream’ is available on the Internet, from Drugstore.com.