< Slip No. 178 View the clue list Slip No. 187 >



1.  N. C. Goddard: Pinch and scrape (2 mngs.).

2.  D. F. Manley: Kleptomaniac: A man to —— indiscriminately? (comp. anag. & lit.).

3.  Dr G. B. Greer: Apply solution to poor Jack’s plight? (2 mngs. & lit.; ref. naval punishment, Jack and Jill).


F. D. H. Atkinson: Spare rod: you’ll find me – in here (2 mngs. & lit.; spoilt child; rod in pickle (qv)).

A. G. Bogie: Could kleptomaniac be a man to ——? Yes indeed (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. S. Caffyn: Tiresome child gives outrageous lip and cheek – he’ll have to go! (anag. less he).

E. Chalkley: Copper locking one big brute up in nick (I in PC + elk (rev.)).

P. R. Clemow: Wherein a rod may be immersed prior to tinning (or tanning) (2 mngs.; rod in pickle (qv)).

R. Dean: Insufferable brat – a little prig! (2 mngs.; prig3).

A. L. Dennis: Could be a wee mite plastered – knocking out a copper (pickle(d)).

J. A. Fincken: For piquantly improving cold kitchen lunches etc., it’s the tops (initial letters & lit.).

B. Franco: See little monkey, when k’s left inside little money (k l in pice).

S. Goldie: What’s fished for with a runcible spoon, nickel-plated, and let away embarrassingly? (comp. anag.).

J. J. Goulstone: A man, to pilfer thus, could be kleptomaniac (comp. anag. & lit.).

D. V. Harry: E.g. sauerkraut (sour cabbage) (3 mngs.; sour = treat with dilute acid; cabbage2).

W. Jackson: Morsel best left on side of plate (pick l + e).

Mrs N. Jarman: A rude postcard like this shows reward of dipping in the briny – a nasty nipper (anag. incl. PC, 2 defs.).

A. Lawrie: For preserve try a wee drop of jam (3 mngs.).

D. P. M. Michael: Arrow-head hung round about back of neck to punish Ancient Mariner (c. k in pile).

A. C. Morrison: In this difficult situation save or consume sparingly what little there is (4 mngs.).

C. J. Morse: Brat in distress having to eat a little cabbage (4 mngs.; cabbage2).

E. Newlove: ‘Mousetrap’ to finish? I’d relish that. Season of Shakespeare instead? (2 mngs.; cheese and p.; season vb.).

R. J. Palmer: Liquid used for cleaning a troublesome child – hot water? (3 mngs.).

P. S. Peters: Kleptomaniac is a man needing to —— uncontrollably, perhaps (comp. anag. & lit.).

Rear Adm W. T. C. Ridley: Put down, down, about half of Hock – it’ll get you nearly sloshed ((Ho)ck in pile3, pickle(d); put down = pickle).

G. Snowden-Davies: Stew? Take a wee bit of salt to taste (4 mngs.).

F. B. Stubbs: Salt cabbage? A wee bit for the little monkey to nibble (5 mngs.; cabbage2).

J. F. N. Wedge: Initially put in chemical, keeps long enough (initial letters & lit.).

Rev C. D. Westbrook: Cull long before beginning to eat this (pick + l + e, & lit.).


E. Akenhead, T. Anderson, Col P. S. Baines, Miss J. Bannerman, T. E. Bell, Mrs K. Bissett, W. Boagey, S. H. Brooke, E. J. Burge, E. W. Burton, C. O. Butcher, D. P. Chappell, M. Coates, Mrs M. P. Craine, D. M. Duckworth, G. Farrington, Rev S. W. Floyd, S. A. Fortey, F. D. Gardiner, R. B. Harling, E. J. Holmes, J. G. Hull, G. Johnstone, J. R. Kirby, Mrs E. P. Lawrence, J. H. C. Leach, P. W. W. Leach, J. S. Leishman, J. I. Mason, L. May, Dr E. J. Miller, C. G. Millin, W. L. Miron, D. S. Nagle, D. B. Oaten, L. W. G. Oxley, F. R. Palmer, T. E. Sanders, W. Scotland, W. K. M. Slimmings, T. A. J. Spencer, J. B. Sweeting, Miss O. R. Taylor, L. E. Thomas, P. C. Thornton, G. H. Willett, C. E. Williams.

About 400 entries, a handful showing CROCK for CRUCK but otherwise all correct. Pride of place must go to my Ely blunder. How can I have thought it was in Essex? Same initial perhaps. I really thought I’d checked it, particularly after the reference to my appalling geography in an earlier slip. This was a puzzle composed when I had my knee trouble so possibly I didn’t have an atlas to hand at the time. Nevertheless as (I tremble to admit) a Cambridge graduate I should have known anyway. Those of you who ribbed me about it did so with undeserved good humour and gentleness. One fine poetic example deserves quoting in full:

Many of you are probably by now totally bemused about the timing of competition puzzles. I apologize but the situation is none of my making. It all stems from the industrial dispute which threatened the Observer’s very survival earlier in the summer. One issue of the paper failed to appear though the magazine section (which is printed separately and up to three weeks in advance) was printed and actually despatched to newsagents in some parts of the country. The following week the paper appeared as usual and the remaining copies of the previous week’s magazine (bearing the old date) were distributed with it. This had the domino effect of putting back all the puzzles in the pipeline by one week. The September and October competitions have therefore been on the second Sunday in each month. Only in November will we return to normal. Shuffling them round before then would, I guarantee, have got us into deep trouble with the printer. The late announcement of results in this competition is because of a holiday I had arranged for myself prior to all this palaver, which I was disinclined to reschedule. It was with the future Mrs Azed; I have acquired a fiancée since the last slip. We hope to be married by Christmas.
There are two publications to announce. The AZED Book of Crosswords will be published by Latimer New Dimensions on (we hope) 3 November at £2. It is a collection of original puzzles, 6 by me and the rest by you (or some of you), edited and introduced by me, and all ‘specials’. Plenty of brain-racking for everyone there well into 1976, I hope. It’s subtitled ‘Fiendish Puzzles for the Puzzle Fiend’! The other book is Alec Robins’s Teach Yourself Crosswords, published by Hodder and Stoughton on 6 October at £1.25 (paperback). Knowing Alec’s meticulous attention to detail and great experience I’m sure it will be a valuable addition to the curiously small corpus of crossword literature, especially now that Ximenes’s book is out of print.
Many thanks for your comments on the level of difficulty in my puzzles. Most of you were far too complimentary and I have to confess that the market survey was totally inconclusive. Let me simply say that I do aim all the time for consistency of standard while at the same time developing new techniques. Your remarks are the only feedback I get so please don’t wait to be asked for them. I don’t guarantee to take up every point raised or answer every letter, but I welcome them just the same.


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T. J. Moorey wins First Prize in competition 2508.

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First prize winner by R. J. Heald in competition 2351