◀  No. 17113 Apr 2005 Clue list No. 1719  ▶



1.  R. R. Greenfield: A spring cuckoo’s strident note anticipates end of April: relief, relief! (anag.; re l ease).

2.  J. R. Tozer: Relative comfort in respite from a sore throat? Soluble aspirin’s good for one (rel. ease; anag. with g for I).

3.  C. M. Edmunds: Harsh Government cancelled miserly relief on loan ((g)rasping; re lease).


J. R. Beresford: See real wild and loose guy putting drive in rough (anag.; spin in rag).

C. J. Brougham: Irritating husky on short lead one finally set free (2 mngs.; re leas(h) + e).

E. J. Burge: Political slant in newspaper badly playing issue about rent (spin in rag; re lease).

Dr J. Burscough: Winding reel on heaving sea, catch pike with swivel, round fish with rotating bait – brassy, perhaps? (anag. + anag.; spin in gar (rev.); brassy, 2 mngs.).

M. Coates: Encompassing a new Spring is the sound of cricket fields constantly echoing about delivery or a catch (a in anag.; leas in e’er (rev.), 2 defs.).

E. Cross: See Lear, exasperated, surrender, hoarsely uttering damnation of ‘parings’ (anag.; anag.; ref. King Lear, 1, 4, 190).

R. Dean: Harsh slant in tabloid on rental issue (spin in rag; re lease).

C. D. S. & E. A. Field: See Lear deranged, delivery strident putting Regan’s and Goneril’s heads in a spin? Quite the contrary (anag.; a spin in R, G; ref. King L.).

J. P. Guiver: Always bending back pulling grasses in loose gravelly stone covering drive (leas in e’er (rev.); spin in rag).

M. Hodgkin: Right wing facility issuing strident paper full of distortion (r el ease; spin in rag).

D. F. Manley: Harsh kind of slant in newspaper about polite word Prince omitted to deliver (spin in rag; re + (P)lease; ref. P. Charles in Klosters).

T. J. Moorey: Catch loose iron grating and trip catching rib (2 meanings; spin in rag2, 2 defs.).

C. J. Morse: Exodus from prison – about 50 loose: one inside sprang faulty grating (re L ease; I in anag.).

A. Plumb: Grinding pars out in German Open could make Els era end in style (anag. + in G; anag. + e; ref. golf, Ernie E.).

N. G. Shippobotham: Rough? Dissolve aspirin – it’s good for one – to deliver relative comfort (anag. with g for I; rel. ease).

Ms S. Wallace: Harshly speaking, hack goads Prince – with broadcast code lifted, see real ground for publication (anag. less anag.; anag.; ref. P. Charles in Klosters).

A. J. Wardrop: Irritating paper contains biased presentation of news about charter to disclose information (spin in rag; re lease).

F. J. B. Wheen: With date changed for start of election, worried leaders authorise publication of harsh policy, given a favourable slant in downmarket paper (anag. with e for d; spin in rag).


T. Anderson, D. Appleton, P. Bartlam, E. A. Beaulah, J. Bennett, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, J. M. Brown, B. Burton, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, C. A. Clarke, D. C. Clenshaw, N. Connaughton, G. Cuthbert, N. C. Dexter, R. A. England, A. S. Everest, Dr I. S. Fletcher, B. Grabowski, J. Grimes, R. B. Harling, D. V. Harry, V. G. Henderson, R. Hesketh, A. Hodgson, W. Jackson, G. Johnstone, D. Lawson, J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, N. MacSweeney, W. F. Main, P. McKenna, J. R. C. Michie, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, R. S. Morse, C. Ogilvie, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, J. Pearce, M. L. Perkins, Ms L. Quee, W. Ransome, D. R. Robinson, N. Roper, Dr M. Schaffer, D. A. Simmons, C. M. Steele, P. L. Stone, R. J. Whale, P. O. G. White, Ms B. Widger, G. H. Willett.

A very low entry: only 189, though no mistakes. I do hope all entries submitted reached me. A fair number arrived very late, though posted in good time, thanks to the abysmal service of the Oxford sorting office. I have registered a formal complaint but know better than to expect a sudden improvement. I do nevertheless urge you all to post your entries first class, and as early as you can. Some said they found the puzzle on the hard side, while admitting that the single clue (to MIDDLE PASSAGE) was fairly easy It was the second favourite Just pipped by the AMEX/STUN clue (‘Gulls turned over bit of plastic barrel after singular shock’). Perhaps what made the puzzle tougher to finish than usual was the relatively large number of words it contained that have been included in the current edition of Chambers for the first time (I-MODE, SENTI, KEIREN, etc).
As a pair to clue RASPING/RELEASE was generally popular. Having common words to deal with made a welcome change, I guess. SPIN in RAG proved irresistible to many, especially with the election coming, and none the worse for that. As always with double clues, the challenge (as virtually everyone recognized) is to devise something that establishes some sort of link between the two words so that the whole thing reads convincingly and the join between the two parts is well disguised. I personally try to word them in such a way that there is no punctuation (and certainly not a full stop) between the two parts, though I don’t insist on this if the whole double clue paints a unified picture. Another thing worth aiming for is brevity. Messrs Edmunds and Dean above definitely scored extra points in this regard. This month, for once, I chose the clue words after I’d clued the whole puzzle, having forgotten when I started that it was a competition puzzle. My clue to RASPING/RELEASE was to have been: ‘Strident newspaper admits putting slant on items to undo wayward earl, see’. Not as good as the prizewinners, I think.
A few miscellaneous items: (i) In response to enquiries from newer solvers, everyone is welcome at the Azed dinner in December, including non-crosswording partners and/or friends; it is not necessary to have won anything. (ii) Brian Head’s changes to the slip (colour of paper and layout) are liked by all who have commented on them. (iii) I am assured – though in unfathomable computerspeak – that technicians at The Observer have finally dealt with the problem which frustrated those wanting to print out complete Azed puzzles from the electronic version of the paper on its website, mainly solvers abroad. Do let me know if you experience any further difficulties with this. (iv) I’ve had some feedback on the business of indicating in clues when a word clued is not English. I am grateful to those who commented, and hope to return to the subject when space permits.


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