AZED CROSSWORD 2469
1. R. J. Heald: Sunday’s Mass beginning to grate forces Catholic to leave fold (Sandy’s muss; g for C in cuddle; fold = embrace).
2. J. C. Leyland: Gaultier urges dress designers, primarily the French, to tackle kitsch? (tickle catch; first letters + le).
3. A. Chamberlain: Indulged in chicanery, leaving NI upset and Dublin mad? (dabble in mud; anag. less anag; ref. Brexit).
M. Barley: Sunday’s mass the reverend held in simple English, avoiding Latin (Sandy’s muss; DD in gul(L) + E; simple n).
T. C. Borland: Crook old judge, despatching preliminaries, calls up at Bailey (balls-up at ceilidh; anag. less first letters).
C. A. Clarke: Promiscuous dude with good looks initially dazzled frump (frazzled dump; anag. incl. g, l).
W. Drever: A tight wrangle thwarted leaders of EU and UK getting ‘leave deal’ done (right tangle; anag. of first letters).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Pocketing two pennies, heartless cunning dip lands in hock perhaps (hands in loch; d, d in gu(i)le).
J. Grimes: Direct debit involved in gold tip for diddlers (dip for tiddlers; DD in gule).
M. Hodgkin: To patch car by hand, say, plastered glue round sides of dashboard (catch parr; d, d in anag.).
T. J. Moorey: Mogg to a fan in Scotland? Government dude cleverly introducing Latin (fog to a man; G + L in anag.; ref. Jacob Rees-M.).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Bits of granite unearthed during drilling left enormous rickle in tunnel (tickle in runnel; first letters).
R. J. Sharkey: Mischievous daughter glued Tim’s tackle (Tam’s tickle; anag. incl. d).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Scot’s good eating starters of delicious lemon pickle under tarts of Highland trout (tickle underparts; first letters in gude).
C. Short: Gnu decimated and landscape emptied – result of whopping slaughter in the Lowlands? (slopping water; first and last letters; ref. Scottish/African lowlands).
I. Simpson: Splash gladly in the men’s – flush once when pressure’s good (madly … glens; g for p in puddle).
P. Tharby: Deal for fab antiquity such as Scottie turned up (feel for dab; eld dug (rev.)).
A. J. Varney: Grab from water, by hair bands, daughter slipping in muddy deluge, losing footing (bare hands; d in anag. less e).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Good Dudley mostly settled mad Bess (bad mess; g + anag. less y; ref. Elizabeth I).
Ms S. Wallace: Tots skip off eluding touch of discipline when home is left behind (Scots tip; anag. incl. d less in).
R. J. Whale: Eg Ludd after vandalizing mangle annually? (angle manually; anag.; ref. Ned L.).
A. Whittaker: Aberdonians grunt in rivers, hoping gold’s to be found around sources of Dee and Don (Aberdonian’s hunt … groping; D, D in gule).
D. & N. Aspland, Ms K. Bolton, A. Brash, Mrs S. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, P. Cargill, H. Freeman, A. & R. Haden, G. Johnstone, E. C. Lance, J. Liddle, M. Lloyd-Jones, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, C. G. Millin, T. D. Nicholl, R. J. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, S. Reszetniak, J. Smailes, P. A. Stephenson, A. Sudbery, K. Thomas, J. R. Tozer, A. Vick, A. J. Wardrop.
A very low entry this month, only 122 and with no mistakes in the grid (though a few misunderstood the type of clue that was required of them). ‘Spoonerisms’ clearly presents solvers with a particularly stiff challenge (for your setter as well!), with not all clues being fully understood after solving, but it remains nevertheless a firm favourite with many of you, so it will continue in the repertoire for the time being. Favourite clue, of 21 mentioned, was ‘Keats after swarmer? Bee is seen beside John’s first beer’, which I confess took me ages to come up with but was satisfying when it did.
Although Chambers labels GUDDLE as Scottish, I have my doubts about this, especially in the sense of catching fish (only trout?) with one’s bare hands. As a (non-Scottish) northerner myself I’m sure it is in reasonably common use south of the border. I regularly use it to mean ‘fiddle vaguely or ignorantly with a non-functioning piece of equipment in the (often vain) hope that this will prove effective’, though I’m ready to concede that there may be no lexicographical evidence to support this. Two further points relating to GUDDLE: in its angling sense it appears to be solely verbal, with no corresponding noun usage; and, at least in Chambers, it is restricted to the activity of catching (or attempting to catch) freshwater fish. This made me hesitate before accepting clues referring to (exclusively?) marine fish like dab. I wait to be assured by solvers who have enjoyed guddling at the seaside.
Though there was some muttering about the difficulty of producing Spoonerism clues to GUDDLE, there proved to be a wide range of ways to deal with its definition, either specific or general, many of which you ingeniously exploited, as I hope the above list illustrates. A significant handful used ‘scout troop’ as a Spoonerism for ‘scoop trout’ but this surely offends the ‘rule’ that a Spoonerism transposes the initial letters or sounds (i.e. vowels) of two words. So ‘scout troop’ can only be a Spoonerism of ‘trout scoop’, a noun phrase in any case.