◀  No. 3276 Aug 1978 Clue list No. 336  ▶



1.  Mrs M. J. Cansfield: Fruit with skin could be called bananas (nut case).

2.  F. R. Palmer: ‘Silly-billy’ orders cut in proceeds from North Sea (anag. in anag. incl. N; ref. Denis Healey’s nickname and tax increase on oil revenues).

3.  D. A. Ginger: ‘Give me the Moonlight’ – with this I can become wildly enthusiastic (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. lunacy and song).


Mrs K. Bissett: With sort of bend for going round, one acts strangely (anag. with U for O, & lit.).

P. Cargill: Natural use can’t abuse (anag.; natural n.).

C. A. Clarke: Cake with fruit on the outside (nut + case; cake = madcap).

M. Coates: That to which crackers may be applied (double mng.).

Mrs S. J. Dodwell: Hatter maybe, or hat (i.e. nut case).

R. P. C. Forman: What is cracked skin or chap? (2 mngs.).

A. L. Freeman: Covering for a seed cake (nut case).

F. D. Gardiner: Head needs examination – one has to be put inside (nut + a in CSE, & lit.).

A. H. Harker: He’s a silly partner to bolt before court action (nut + case).

D. V. Harry: Hat or Hatter – perhaps (i.e. nut case).

E. M. Holroyd: Fruit covering cake (nut case).

R. J. Hooper: The hatter or the hat? (i.e. nut case).

E. M. Hornby: ENSA cut rude part of Crazy Gang (anag.; ref. WW2 era comedy team ).

A. H. Jones: Zanies act unconventionally – I, standing on my head, am among that lot (hidden rev., & lit.).

B. P. Jones: Block that’s screwed on – exemplary instance? Hardly, where he’s concerned! (nut case).

A. Lawrie: Where pie may be inferior to fruit cake (nut + case; pie2, i.e. printer’s case).

C. Loving: Butterfly perhaps over Pinkerton affair? (nut + case, & lit.; ref. Madame B., b.-nut).

J. D. Moore: Whereon ‘crackers’ might be used with justification (double mng.).

P. G. O’Gorman: Nero’s principal Latin as example (N ut case, & lit.).

R. J. Palmer: Unseat Conservative in landslide? Quintin thinks only I’d do that! (anag. incl. C; ref. Q. Hogg’s ‘bankers’ speech).

S. L. Paton: In Chancery, can’t sue (anag. & lit.; in chancery = in litigation, predicament).

C. P. Rea: Hat or hatter? (i.e. nut case).

T. E. Sanders: Who’s a natural one to make a head covering? A hatter perhaps? (nut case, 2 defs.).

M. Woolf: Can’t use potty? Must be cracked! (anag.).


C. Allen Baker, M. Barnes, R. A. Betts, K. W. Bogle, H. J. Bradbury, Mrs A. R. Bradford, R. S. Caffyn, E. Chalkley, E. Davies, R. Dean, R. V. Dearden, A. L. Dennis, Cdr H. Dickson, J. H. Dingwall, M. G. Elliott, S. P. Flitton, B. Franco, E. A. Free, D. Giles, J. A. Gill, N. C. Goddard, S. Goldie, G. J. Gostling, J. Grainge, H. Hancock, Mrs S. Hewitt, G. B. Higgins, R. Hitchcock, A. Hodgson, B. K. Kelly, Mrs M. Kissen, F. P. N. Lake, M. D. Laws, N. Macvicar, W. F. Main, D. F. Manley, D. May, L. May, M. Metcalf, C. G. Millin, J. J. Moore, T. J. Moorey, Mrs M. E. Morris, C. J. Morse, F. Moss, A. F. Mylward, D. S. Nagle, F. E. Newlove, S. J. O’Boyle, M. O’Hanlon, J. P. O’Neill, W. H. Pegram, J. T. Price, W. G. Roberts, D. R. Robinson, J. A. Sefton, C. C. D. Shute, Mrs B. Simmonds, M. D. Speigel, T. A. J. Spencer, F. B. Stubbs, E. Tingle, D. H. Tompsett, P. M. Trott, V. C. D. Vowles, G. C. West, W. E. White.

490 entries, virtually no mistakes. After CUCKOO recently it was perhaps a bit soon to give you another odd bird to clue but by the time I realised what I’d done it was a bit late to change the clue-word. I don’t think it was a serious drawback, any more than the fact that it was the third seven-letter word in a row I’ve given you, which again was not intentional. I always try to pick out a potentially interesting clue-word before starting on the rest.
Well, poor old Canute (or Cnut or Knut)! He was certainly at sea this month. Some used him better than others but most gave him credit for very little intelligence. If there were any nut-cases around on the famous occasion when he got his feet wet it was surely his fawning courtiers whose blind faith extended even to the point of believing he could quite literally rule the waves. Perhaps history has caused the story to turn against him, ironically, and now condemns the royal paddle as evidence of incipient madness in the Doughty Dane, but I remain loyal to the judgement of serious historians, who see him as ‘a mighty ruler, wise, politic, and crafty, a lover of minstrelsy and a patron of poets’ (DNB).
There were echoes of Ximenes’ competition for MADCAP, the prize-winning clue to which was ‘Cake with nuts on top’. This was inevitable given the structural similarities of MADCAP and NUT-CASE and the very neatness of the idea. Mrs Cansfield’s clue struck me as just right in terms of difficulty as well as having all the other virtues I’m so fond of extolling – succinctness, wit, etc. The hat/hatter idea was also very neat, and perfectly fair. In general it was a month of high technical soundness. To pick but one example of impenetrable obscureness, could anyone have ever solved the cryptic part of this (anonymous) clue – ’Meditate silently on old, old voyage untroubled – crazy man’? The explanation goes like this: ‘Meditate silently = brood = seed; on = (obs.) of; voyage (arch.) = navigation; of navigation = nautical; troubled = ailed; N(A)UT(I)CA(L)SE(ED).’ Got it?
Chambers has played me false again recently and again I must apologise. In the list of Abbreviations (p. 1613) ‘grouse’ under ‘gr.’ must, I now see, be a misprint for gross, as in previous editions. Why on earth should grouse have an abbreviation at all? So my clue to GRAPHIS in No. 331 – ‘Lichen, providing for grouse and greenfly’ – looks pretty silly, unless you were all likewise taken in. Ah, well.
Azed tie progress report: we now have a design worked out, a most elegant intertwined AZ monogram designed by Mr. A. D. Legge, to appear as a sewn motif below the knot. A specimen is being prepared at this moment. Could all those gentlemen who would definitely buy one (assuming a price somewhere between £1.50 and £2) please let me know? Exact price will depend on quantity. The ties will be silk. Ladies’ scarves are a bit of a problem since the firm I’m dealing with can’t print such motifs on silk. The best they can offer is a motif stencilled on a type of rayon fabric. Would that be acceptable to the ladies? How many would buy such a scarf?
In conclusion, solvers may like to know of the newly formed Crossword Club, annual subscription £3.50, which issues a monthly newsletter containing articles, correspondence and a prize puzzle. Further details may be had from Brian Head.


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