AZED CROSSWORD 190
1. C. O. Butcher: One having prior dope and held in little credit (ass + and in cr. + a, & lit.).
2. C. J. Morse: In Paris’s case, the foremost of sisters – also pursued by the Sun-god (s in cas (Fr.) + and Ra, & lit.; ref. Paris of Troy).
3. P. D. Gaffey: One, given a start in divination by the sun god, going on about a kind of horse (c. ass + an d Ra & lit.; ref. Trojan horse).
A. J. Bulman: ‘Wo, wo’, I pronounced but the horse got in (cryptic def.; wo, 2 meanings).
E. Chalkley: One who gloomily predicts an end of Christmas cards sent first class? (anag. incl. s + A; sent = roused).
Mrs M. P. Craine: Churchill in the thirties, for example, aroused a sad, a heartless scorn (anag. incl. sc(o)rn)).
A. J. Crow: She gave warnings, misconstrued as canards (anag.).
A. J. Duncum: Ineffectual early-warning agent scans radar endlessly turning (anag. incl. rada(r)).
Mrs W. Fearon: Great one for prediction, young Ali (‘Stop him in four!’) – and an artist! (Cass(ius) and RA).
J. J. Goulstone: Decrepit car containing fool and I anticipate disaster (ass, and in anag.).
C. H. Hudson: My warnings were rejected as canards, wrongly (anag.).
Mrs N. Jarman: Warner epics credited with refusing to stay silent and proving sound (cryptic def.; talking films).
R. E. Kimmons: Powdered sandarac’s used to make things look brighter? No! (anag.).
J. R. Kirby: One may regard playing cards as holding leads for auguring nastiness (a, n in anag. & lit.).
J. P. Lester: My warnings were rejected, mistakenly, as canards (anag.).
Lieut Col D. Macfie: A ‘sans-card’, disestablished, Enoch? (anag.; ref. E. Powell, party-card).
L. K. Maltby: With realm unsettled this prophet of doom could cause alarm and scares (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. F. Manley: Tory idiot and leader of racialists – one description of Enoch? (C, ass, and, r, a).
H. S. Mason: Says ‘Beware’ and Caesar’s troubled – third of Ides gone (anag. less e).
L. May: Clairvoyant, attracted scepticism, suffered abominably – no doubt resisted Apollo’s overtures (first letters & lit.).
J. D. Moore: First signs of co-operation as Smith, seeing African Nationalists, discusses Rhodesian aims? I see only a black future (first letters).
R. D. Prior: Could augur such sorrows as nobody deemed really authentic, initially (first letters & lit.).
W. J. M. Scotland: ——: (calls to all about) ‘Reject Greek character! Extremes of danger!’ (san, d, r in ca’s a’, & lit.).
F. B. Stubbs: First signs of countless alarms she sounded, all negatived directly by the sun-god (initial letters + Ra, & lit.).
G. A. Tomlinson: Suspect as canards my revelation (anag.).
Dr R. L. Wynne: Source of sober forecasts treated as canards (anag.).
W. Boagey, E. W. Burton, P. Cargill, T. Clement, P. R. Clemow, M. Coates, R. G. Crosland, R. Dean, A. L. Dennis, J. Dromey, J. D. Ede, J. A. Fincken, M. Greenwood, G. B. Greer, C. Havill, W. Jackson, A. Lawrie, P. W. W. Leach, A. D. Legge, B. Manvell, W. F. Martin, D. P. M. Michael, C. G. Millin, J. L. Moss, R. A. Mostyn, D. S. Nagle, T. N. Nesbitt, A. Oakley, R. J. Palmer, W. H. Pegram, D. C. Pleece, C. P. Rea, A. Rivlin, Mrs J. Saunders, Dr W. I. D. Scott, Brig R. F. E. Stoney, Miss O. R. Taylor, Mrs M. P. Webber, Rev C. D. Westbrook, Mrs M. Wishart, P. J. Woods.
375 entries and virtually no mistakes, except CYNIPIDAE of course, and that was me. ‘Pain, dicey anagram’, is all I can say. No one who stuck by me loyally and entered the non-existent CYNIPEDAE was penalized or disqualified. Waspish and galling remarks were surprisingly few! I can see now what happened. I originally had CYNEGETIC at 4 down when building the diagram, but this turned out to be unsuitable so I scrapped it without taking enough care to rub out the unchecked letters, which would be unaffected by the change so far as crosschecking was concerned. Sorry.
Sorry, too, about the VHCs not appearing in the Observer. They take these arbitrary decisions from time to time without prior consultation and despite my angry protests.
Clues on the whole this month were a little dull for what I thought a potentially interesting word. Except for those listed above (and Mr. Butcher brilliantly) attempts at ‘& lit.’ tended to be rather laboured and/or extremely obvious. As I’ve said elsewhere (in a Games and Puzzles article) this type of clue has a special attraction but it is sometimes less effective than a more straightforward type if the result of resorting to it is a clue of excessive complexity or verbal contortion (a bit like that sentence!). Mrs Jarman’s clue above is a good example of a device rarely used but admirably effective – the double entendre. The ‘quarrelsome whale’ has also been surfacing with increased regularity of late. I must say that though it is a handy and potentially amusing device it should be treated with care. It is basically a composite anagram from which certain letters (forming other, given words) are to be subtracted to give the required answer. Now only rarely do the letters to be subtracted appear in the anagram in the same order as in the words to be subtracted. It seems to me essential that clues should indicate this. It’s easy enough to do, but all too often it isn’t done, and a good clue becomes a weak one straight away.
Very many thanks to all those who sent congratulations and good wishes on my engagement. The wedding is set for 13 December in the University Church in Oxford, where I shall be living in future (address not yet known). For those of you who prefer things the hard way, Mrs Azed-to-be featured in disguise in Azed No. 153, and is turning up again (thinly veiled) in No. 199. And she can’t do crosswords for toffee!
After one or two false starts the book is now out. Just in time for Christmas.