◀  No. 23991 Jul 2018 Clue list No. 2408  ▶


SWALE (Spoonerisms)

1.  W. Drever: Birch a lout with old-fashioned wicker lashes (lurch about; w in sale2).

2.  T. C. Borland: Whacked traders might like promotion cut by week (tract waders; w in sale).

3.  J. C. Leyland: Bent Curragh jockey leads to lost wager after stewards’ enquiry (Kent borough; anag. of first letters).


D. Appleton: Feast in Falmouth? Many feed (fenny mead2; SW ale).

M. Bath: ‘Bike log’ describes one cycling round what’s left of English country (like bog; Wales cyclically).

Ms K. Bolton: Many feed locally from cultivated leasow – nothing’s left (fenny mead2; anag. less 0).

C. A. Clarke: Fiery men overturning European regulations (miry fen; E laws (rev.)).

V. Dixon (Ireland): Cornish beer, perhaps? So light, it might be second choice up north (low site; SW ale; s + wale2).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: You found buyer affording this bungalow finally in Manchester suburb (find bower; w in Sale).

G. I. L. Grafton: Flirting with English lass not having succeeded, one won’t bestow ring here (be roasting; anag. incl. w, E, less s).

M. Hodgkin: Sew ruffles round edges of apparel, giving gauze to cutter (cause to gutter; a, l in anag.).

J. P. Lester: So nun’s found here as we start to live in order (no sun; anag. incl. l).

M. Lloyd-Jones: Apollo hatch with seal that’s faulty (a hollow patch; anag. incl. w).

E. Looby: Market sandwiches with soggy bite (boggy site; w in sale).

B. Lovering: Dog or bitch getting sheep out of valley? (bog or ditch; Swale(dale)).

C. G. Millin: Women in a Black Friday event take most eg (make toast; w in sale).

T. Rudd: One no good passing away saw angel sporting shoddy halo (shady hollow; anag. less a, ng).

J. R. Tozer: Perhaps she’d trade bits of sovereignty without actually leaving Europe (treed shade; first letters; ref. Brexit).

Mrs A. M. Walden: Why, after dithering, women engaged in act of betrayal (die, after withering; w in sale).

R. J. Whale: The lead characters of Scandinavian wannabe and Laertes exemplify fiery men found in Hamlet (miry fen; first letters).


M. Barker, M. Barley, A. Brash, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, D. Carter, E. Dawid, J. Doylend, J. Grimes, P. Halse, A. H. Harker, R. J. Heald, M. Joslin, E. C. Lance, I. Mackintosh, D. F. Manley, K. Milan, T. J. Moorey, S. J. O’Boyle, R. Perry, D. Rainford, Dr J. B. Reid, R. J. Sharkey, J. M. Sharman, Dr S. J. Shaw, I. Simpson, B. Solomons, P. A. Stephenson, P. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, P. Tharby, A. Vick, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, D. Whisstock (Italy), A. Whittaker.

132 entries, and only one mistake that I noticed (DWALE for SWALE). Clearly a welcome and overdue return for a very popular special (‘my favourite,’wrote one regular, ‘despite or because of its silliness’), with only a small handful expressing the opposite view. I admit that it’s a type I enjoy setting, especially when it comes to creating the Spoonerisms. 17 clues were nominated as favourites, the clear winner being ‘A judge with proceeds from cocaine (nearly new cut) bought home for young pony’ for AJACCIO, which had me stumped for some time before I remembered the Bonaparte connection. God bless Wikipedia.
The low entry indicates that ‘Spoonerisms’ can be quite a challenge, and several confessed that they had failed to work out all the clues. The one that gave me most trouble was APHIAH, not only an obscure biblical name but also a brute to Spoonerize. Given the extra difficulty posed by the competition specifications and the general principle of solvability, I tended when judging to favour clues which were less tortuously constructed. Here are some examples of extra tortuousness rendering clues actually unacceptable to me. (i) ‘Hit with a black card from West in a contract’. Here the author has created a Spoonerism which the solver then has to convert into a definition (‘Hit with a black card’ becomes ‘shot with spade’, giving ‘spot with shade’, one step too far, I’m afraid. (ii) ‘Beer’s sour in pong? Cornish brew maybe!’ Structurally this is OK, but the reference is too obscure for my liking. The Spoonerism is ‘Peers’ bower in song’, a reference to the popular song ‘In a Shady Nook’ recorded by Donald Peers in the 1940s and largely forgotten these days, I guess. (iii) ‘Weal’s organised – it’s for quay side nursing after battle with cannon-shots’. ‘Quayside nursing’ defines ‘port side care’, a Spoonerism of ‘court side pair’, a very oblique definition of the Wimbledon parasols which shade the players while they rest before changing ends. I think I’ve understood that correctly, but it’s surely much too convoluted to be fair. (iv) ‘Dressy gal’ as a Spoonerism for ‘grassy dell’; apart from the position of that ’r’, which is problematical, this requires regional pronunciation to work. RP needs to be the norm throughout, I think.


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