AZED CROSSWORD 2191
1. R. J. Heald: Quid tucked inside jowl? (L in pug2, & lit.; see jowl2).
2. Dr I. S. Fletcher: End in trap with pull or hook, perhaps (p + lug; ref. golf; hook = punch).
3. C. J. Morse: This I might change to get lights up (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. & N. Aspland: Amalgam centrally fixed in canine? (l in pug, & lit.; tooth filling).
M. Barley: Party languishes, unpopular at the polls, with Clegg ultimately a spent force (first letters + g).
D. Carter: Hack a PC, deleting account and introducing a worm (a PC less a/c + lug).
C. A. Clarke: Stop pack being form of tobacco promotion (4 meanings).
J. Fairclough: Els and I gulp – tricky sand lie, this (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. golf).
J. Grimes: Centrepiece of amalgam in canine? (l in pug, & lit.).
D. V. Harry: This horse would make ploughers frustrated (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. Hesketh: Good word for punch coming from left landed by boxer – a piece of cake for many a champ (3 meanings, & l in pug).
J. C. Leyland: Gas has gone up about 50 quid? (L in gup (rev.)).
D. F. Manley: This up for swill down? (gulp (rev.) & lit.).
C. G. Millin: A piece of publicity put before the listener (p + lug, & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Term for material filling canine? (l in pug, & lit.).
D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA): Casually shoot at a swift or large swallow ascending? (gulp (rev.)).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Piece of publicity and term for something packing lumen (lu in p, g, & lit.).
P. A. Stephenson: Old horse retiring from the plough? (plough less o, H (= heroin), & lit.).
Mrs A. Terrill: Dog holding lead in ‘Lassie’ advert (L in pug).
R. C. Teuton: Clay’s boxing Liston’s head, punch ending in lump on ear (L in pug2, p + lug).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Exhausted horse starts to pull up, losing ground badly (anag. of first letters).
A. J. Wardrop: What, when put up, is quickly put down – a tent, perhaps (gulp (rev.); see tent2).
G. H. Willett: Symptom of constipation? You’ll find nearly all fruit good for that (plu(m) + g).
D. Appleton, T. C. Borland, A. Brash, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, D. A. Campbell, S. L. Claughton, S. Collins, N. Connaughton, M. Davies, V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, P. Evans, G. I. L. Grafton, D. Harris, R. J. Hooper, J. R. Howlett, E. W. Kelly, J. P. Lester, E. Looby, Ms R. MacGillivray, G. Maker, P. W. Marlow, C. Ogilvie, M. Owen, A. Plumb, S. Randall, Mrs B. Randell, W. Ransome, D. P. Shenkin, I. Simpson, J. A. Stuart, P. Taylor, K. Thomas, L. Toole, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, L. Ward (USA), R. J. Whale, A. Whittaker, Ms B. J. Widger, R. Zara.
187 entries, almost no mistakes. A few said they didn’t understand the reference to (Bryan) Habana in my clue to LARNEY (‘Wealthy Springbok (not Habana) nearly ruined’. I only included his name because the dictionary definition specifies a rich white South African. For those not up on their international rugby union, Habana is an exceptionally talented non-white wing three-quarter who plays for South Africa. Eighteen clues received one or more votes as favourite, most going to the clue to RAHU (‘What gets Hindu trembling with fear – this fiend’), a good example, I think, of how satisfying a neat composite anagram can be while remaining reasonably simple to solve.
Some of you expressed mild surprise that PLUG was the second 4-letter word in a row I’d given you, though none complained, unsurprising in view of the huge number of possibilities it offers. I was reminded that I did the same on one previous occasion, though it was quite some time ago and I’ve forgotten what the words were. Wearing his statistician’s hat, John Tozer tells me that the commonest competition word lengths are 8, 7, 9 and 12, in that order of frequency. As I’ve mentioned often before, I try with each Plain to choose what looks to be the most promising clue word, regardless of length, and this certainly determined my choice this month. (It also proved educational for me in a small way, in that, though I have heard of the Bash Street Kids, I did not know any of them by name, and now I know one!) No one seemed bothered by my dodgy plural ORGANONS, but I was taken to task by one regular for not telling you that ALDI is not in Chambers. As I’ve said before, I merely ‘recommend’ C and do not feel bound to draw attention to every proper name I include in the grids. I only tend to do this when I judge a name to be relatively obscure, which ALDI is surely not.
Dr Fletcher’s prizewinning clue is an interesting one. His entry added a further explanatory note, not reproduced above: ‘2 meanings, one & lit.’. The first five words of his clue, with the possible addition of ‘perhaps’, could have stood as a satisfactory ‘& lit.’, but ‘or hook’ is without doubt an attractive addition, supplementing the golfing context while adding a quite separate definition of PLUG. (I was initially unsure whether in golfing parlance ‘plug’ is used like this intransitively, but the entry in Chambers is unequivocal in supporting this.)
I shall be on holiday towards the end of July, so the results of next month’s competition will be somewhat delayed. Apologies in advance for that.