AZED CROSSWORD 2351
1. R. J. Heald: Newspaper is in decline, lacking force, sealing end for sluggish old hacks (h in rag (F)ades; see hack).
2. D. & N. Aspland: Leaders of DUP and Government share in new arrangement and hide divisions? (anag. incl. D a G).
3. R. J. Sharkey: Bill introduced as her Government wobbles and cracks (ad in anag. incl. G).
M. Barley: Cracks affecting e.g. a hard bit of skin (anag. + s, & lit.).
Mrs S. Brown: Broken heart from tragedy has tears rending cheek perhaps (anag. incl. (t)raged(y)).
V. Dixon (Ireland): More than one crack mounted artillery force facing Cadiz as of old (RHA + Gades).
W. Drever: A hag with syphilis: could her face ultimately develop these? (anag. incl. last letters, & lit.; ref. late stage congenital syphilis).
C. M. Edmunds: Disfiguring cracks reach along affected epidermis (the outer bits) (first & last letters).
R. Gilbert: Cracks appearing in Right – hell overwhelming Government and Theresa at last (G a in r Hades).
E. C. Lance: Cracks in skin are not good in eggs (hard boiled) (anag. with a for g).
J. C. Leyland: Acting in Brief Encounter’s ending a gutted Howard goes sadly lovelorn – result: tears on cheeks? (anag. incl. a, r, a, Hd less o; ref. Trevor H. in film B. E.).
J. R. C. Michie: Degas’ art mostly suffering with onset of hairline surface cracks (anag. incl. h less t).
T. J. Moorey: Foul gas had origins in rotten eggs or cracks around the trap? (anag. incl. r, e; see gas trap).
A. Plumb: Hide problems from rector as he prepared to embrace God (r + gad in anag.).
M. Price: Cecil’s got stove in for nothing, getting cracks in the face (Rhodes with Aga for 0).
W. Ransome: Skin trouble? Nasty rash round openings in groin area (downright excruciating!) (first letters in anag.).
T. Rudd: With couple in west sundered repeatedly, Angharad Rees spilt a series of tears (anag. less An, Re; ref. original star of Cornwall-set ‘Poldark’).
P. Tharby: Doctor reads about unsightly female skin blemishes (hag in anag.).
J. R. Tozer: Skin lesions torment, encroaching on the nether regions (rag overlapping with Hades).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Surface cracks (of a sort) appearing in ‘Shard’, deteriorating with age (anag.).
Mrs A. M. Walden: A bit of designer gear has fabricated tears in the surface (anag. incl. d; ref. fashion for ripped clothing).
A. J. Wardrop: Restorer has initially treated a Degas for superficial cracks (r, h + anag.).
R. J. Whale: Their edges reddish along affected epidermis? (first & last letters, & lit.).
Dr E. Young: Chaps acting in drag ‘She’ – freely adapted! (a in anag.; ref. Rider Haggard novel/film).
T. Anderson, D. Appleton, D. K. Arnott, Ms K. Bolton, J. G. Booth, T. C. Borland, C. J. Butler, P. Cargill, D. Carter, C. A. Clarke, S. L. Claughton, Dr P. Coles, N. Connaughton, C. Dardart, J. Doylend, J. A. Elliott, J. Emms, P. Evans, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, J. P. B. Hall, M. Lloyd-Jones, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, Ms R. MacGillivray, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, C. G. Millin, T. D. Nicholl, S. J. O’Boyle, K. Parekh (USA), M. L. Perkins, M. Perrin, C. Price, J. & A. Price, S. Randall, G. J. H. Roberts, Dr S. J. Shaw, D. P. Shenkin, N. G. Shippobotham, C. Short, I. Simpson, P. A. Stephenson, P. L. Stone, D. Sutherland, R. C. Teuton, K. Thomas, P. Tozer, Ms S. Wallace, K. J. Williams, K. & J. Wolff, M. Wright, R. Zara.
202 entries, some mistakes (mostly SPARRE for SPARKE and TRINDLES for TRINGLES). Favourite clue by far (of 16 receiving mention at least once):’Get ready for boiled egg? One spills a lot’ for BUTTER-FINGERS, with ‘Like tender runners, trimmed fore and aft, requiring rods for support’ (TRINGLES) a long way back in second place. Do the young still have ‘soldiers’, or ‘dippers’ as we called them in my family, with their boiled eggs? My grandson (two next month) is not quite old enough for me to ask him, but I do hope he will.
A fairly unsavoury clue word this month, and not one I’d come across before (only appearing in the bigger Oxfords). Anagrams were understandably popular, with variations on ‘a red gash’ just too numerous to gain prominence in the judging. More subtle treatment was called for, as I hope the clues quoted above demonstrate. The exact anagram ‘ragheads’, an unpleasant term, also featured in a number of entries but proved very difficult to link with a convincing definition.
I have recently acquired the latest edition of The Chambers Dictionary. It calls itself ‘Revised 13th Edition’ and still gives its publication date as 2014 on the title verso. I think the publishers are being economical with the truth here, since as far as I can see the only ‘revision’ is the restoration of the unusual words which had been highlighted in the previous edition and were then wrongly and disastrously omitted in the 2014 edition. I can understand the publishers being reluctant to confess their sins too publicly, but to suggest that this new edition is in any way new is a bit sneaky, to say the least. I shall use it, of course, but shall continue to refer to it as the 2014 edition.