◀  No. 22353 May 2015 Clue list No. 2244  ▶


ERADIATE (Spoonerisms)

1.  R. C. Teuton: Spread like buns seems to excite Remove’s oversized character, ‘I’d eat and eat endlessly’ (sun’s beams; anag. incl. R less t; ref. Billy Bunter).

2.  A. Whittaker: Bend seems to widen, with ‘50’ sign disappearing after a time (send beams; era + di(L)ate).

3.  T. C. Borland: Variety of aerated drinks I lay out, like Sprite (spray out like light; I in anag.).


D. Appleton: ‘Bend seems tight dear,’ I gulped (send beams; anag. + ate).

D. K. Arnott: Beginnings of awareness Adam and Eve tried desperately to purge from souls (surge from poles; anag. incl. a, A, E).

M. Barley: Seam as from bowler fires Root out short of century (beam as from solar fires; eradi(c)ate; ref. Joe R., England cricketer).

M. Clarke: Root out short of century? Bowler: ‘Seam will do this!’ (solar beam; eradi(c)ate).

M. Coates: Around one fantastically aerated dames flew (flames do; I in anag.).

W. Drever: Foreign letter I presume must return to lend out site (send out light; eta I dare (rev.)).

D. V. Harry: Throw bait out in stream, snarling a tree. Help! – bring it back in! (straight … beam; aid (rev.) in anag.).

R. J. Heald: Frightfully odd things in an Alice adventure start in a dream (dart in a stream; anag. of alternate letters).

J. R. C. Michie: Fare rise return I challenge at end of freeze (fire rays; I dare (rev.) + at e).

T. J. Moorey: Police awaited re missing whiskey, issue with rye of late (ray of light; anag. less w).

Dr S. J. Shaw: Wrongly eject strays to root out missing canine (strongly … rays; eradi(c)ate).

N. G. Shippobotham: Like rise of late spring tide, a rare flow brooking no resistance (rays of light; anag. less R).

B. Solomons: Batter scheme, tear idea apart (scatter beam; anag.).

J. R. Tozer: Late riser seen to do it – dispense with all but a drop of coffee (light rays’re; eradi(c)ate).

J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Fare rise? – a risky venture backing one at commencement of election (fire rays; dare (rev.) + I at e).

Ms S. Wallace: Refuse days off at Eastertide regardless of set time worked (diffuse rays; anag. less anag. incl. t).

A. J. Wardrop: Route chaise ride erratically, having imbibed a bit (shoot rays; a in anag. + ate).

G. H. Willett: Lurk, like a White House aide fluttering around time after time (work … lighthouse; era + t in anag.).

Dr E. Young: Go as new bowler produced seam at a dire English collapse (solar-produced beam; anag. incl. E).


T. Anderson, P. Bartlam, J. G. Booth, Mrs S. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, Ms A. Busby, C. J. Butler, J. A. Butler, M. Davies, Mrs L. Davis, E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Ireland), P. Evans, J. Fairclough, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, P. Gumbrell, A. & R. Haden, P. Halse, R. Hesketh, M. Hodgkin, L. M. Inman, E. C. Lance, J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, E. Looby, M. Lunan, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, P. W. Marlow, C. G. Millin, J. Pearce, R. Perry, W. Ransome, T. Rudd, P. L. Stone, P. Taylor, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs A. M. Walden, J. West, T. West-Taylor, D. Whisstock (Italy), K. J. Williams, J. Woodall (France), R. Zara.

Only 126 entries this month, with virtually no mistakes in the grid (but see below). Too stiff a challenge? Several admitted that they hadn’t worked out all the Spoonerisms, but the overall message was that it was an enjoyable struggle, some even nominating this particular special as their favourite. Devising serviceable Spoonerisms does take time, perhaps more than occasional competitors were prepared to give it, but my hope is always that it will add an element of extra fun to the business of devising standard cryptic clues. I noticed no absentees from among the real regulars. 18 of my own efforts were chosen as favourite with one or more votes, divided about equally between the two different types. There were three equal winners: ‘Been in some mate’s ace apartment, neat, fashionable’ (AFLATOXIN), ‘Dodgy sound from ticker? Operation a big success, I see’ (OPHITIC), and ‘See nanny steep muddied girl’s underwear, no matter which’ (PENNY ANTES). OPHITIC actually worried me a bit because Chambers indicates that the first vowel is pronounced as a schwa, i.e. neutral, but luckily for me the OED disagrees, giving the ‘o’ the same value as in e.g. ‘hot’. Hence my note below the clues.
Some competitors got in a bit of a tangle in devising their clues, usually by blending elements from both clue types, e.g. ‘Note seizure period and day of month in which one occurs’ or ‘Irate Ed – a scuppered close call’, both of which contain ‘definitions’ of Spoonerisms of definitions, i.e. ‘note seizure’ = ‘mi bout’ (‘beam out’) and ‘close call’ = ‘nigh shout’ (‘shine out’); ‘Weird pasha consumed date after date around one’, which contains a definition of a phrase sounding (approximately) like the clue word, i.e. ‘eery dey ate’ (ERADIATE) but no actual Spoonerism, or nothing that could be interpreted as such. Some other Spoonerisms were just too inaccurate to be acceptable, e.g. ‘sacked – lichen?’ for ‘act like sun?’ and ‘slight hoot’ for ‘light shoot’. One cannot imagine the good reverend ever coming out with either of these linguistic slips. And ‘to shout’ isn’t an exact Spoonerism of ‘shoot out’, the ‘o’ of ‘to’ being inescapably a neutral vowel, quite different in value to the ‘oo’ of ‘shoot’.
One regular raised the interesting question of rhotic speakers, like the Scots, who normally pronounce an ‘r’ when it occurs within or at the end of a word, and for whom therefore ‘bill as pace’ is not an accurate Spoonerism of ‘pillar’s base’. No one actually complained about this; had they done so I would have defended myself on the grounds that I follow ‘received pronunciation’ as shown in dictionaries. Making allowance for regional variations in pronunciation would, I submit, make the whole business of producing Spoonerisms puzzles unbearably fiddly. I rest my case.


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