AZED CROSSWORD 406
1. E. J. Burge: McLaren’s a bit short about the round ball. Lancing object (rather sore)? (O in Bil(l); ref. Bill M., RU commentator and L. soccer school).
2. D. R. Robinson: Gathering steam (2 mngs.).
3. C. Allen Baker: This upon the seat being doctored can give one unable to sit hope (comp. anag. & lit.).
Mrs E. Allen: Bursting this with pin’s no good – could lead to blood-poisoning (comp. anag. & lit.).
T. Anderson: Cook a bit of bubble and eliminate the squeak (b + oil).
A. G. Bogie: End of Arab energy source – something that could matter a lot? (b + oil).
P. R. Clemow: What inflammatory matters may come to (or from) (2 mngs.).
R. Dean: Inflamed lump has its origins with nasty effiuvia from pores (BO + i l).
J. H. Dingwall: Gum may get this; glue must (2 mngs.).
B. Franco: A raised lump? One must enter that here (I in lob (rev.)).
A. L. Freeman: Gathering storm (2 mngs.).
J. Gill: End of Arab fuel produces state of ferment (b + oil).
B. Greer: I’ll be found amidst rising fish (I in lob (rev.), & lit.).
G. B. Higgins: Leads to bellowed ‘Ouch!’ if lanced (first letters & lit.).
J. H. C. Leach: Brouhaha just beginning over source of energy could erupt nastily (b + oil).
D. F. Manley: Leyland around turn of decade – ferment as liquidity decreases (10 (rev.) in BL; ref. troubled carmaker).
H. W. Massingham: What trouter sees when fly almost has one caught (I in bol(t), & lit.).
L. May: PM’s dwelling on the reverse in car company – it matters quite a lot ((No.) 10 (rev.) in BL; British Leyland).
Dr R. G. Monk: One product of eruption. With storm possibly that of Stromboli (comp. anag.).
J. D. Moore: It spells infinite suffering on man’s bottom (bo + il(l), & lit.).
J. J. Moore: A gathering storm (2 mngs.).
R. J. Palmer: A plague on the Egyptians, as law-giver’s spoken (‘Boyle’; ref. Exodus 9, 941; Boyle’s Law).
Mrs L. E. Pimlott: Disturbance created by Albion, having both wings sent off after foul (anag. less A, n).
B. F. Russell: Most bitterness is about nothing, agitation on the surface (0 in bil(e)).
Mrs E. J. Shields: I should appear with rising fish around (I in lob (rev.), & lit.).
T. A. J. Spencer: Stromboli throwing much sulphur up activated eruption (anag. less mort S (rev.)).
D. C. Williamson: The Gathering Storm (2 mngs.).
W. Woodruff: Bubble gum one expands in the mouth (2 mngs.).
Dr E. Young: Boycott opens, well content to reach a hundred by degrees (B + oil; content of wells).
Dr J. K. Aronson, F. D. H. Atkinson, M. J. Balfour, M. Barnes, J. Beasley, E. A. Beaulah, G. T. Berryman, D. Bevan, Mrs A. Boyes, J. M. Brown, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. Buxton, D. A. H. Byatt, R. S. Caffyn, E. Chalkley, R. A. Chapman, D. P. Chappell, E. S. Clark, Mrs D. Colley, Mrs M. P. Craine, G. Cuthbert, R. V. Dearden, A. L. Dennis, N. C. Dexter, H. F. Dixon, P. S. Elliott, C. E. Faulkner-King, Dr I. S. Fletcher, J. D. Foster, J. M. Gerard, R. E. Gillson, S. Goldie, Dr J. F. Grimshaw, D. Harrison, D. V. Harry, G. R. Harvey, P. A. Hay, J. P. H. Hirst, A. Hodgson, S. Holgate, E. M. Holroyd, R. Hooper, R. F. A. Horsfield, J. G. Hull, R. Jacks, Miss E. H. C. Jenkins, Miss H. Kimble, R. E. Kimmons, F. P. N. Lake, A. Lawrie, M. D. Laws, A. D. Legge, C. Loving, Dr W. A. Maclure, Dr R. A. Main, T. A. Martin, D. G. May, Rev M. R. Metcalf, C. G. Millin, A. C. Morrison, C. J. Morse, R. A. Mostyn, D. S. Nagle, F. E. Newlove, S. L. Paton, Mrs A. G. Phillips, B. A. Pike, Mrs A. Price, H. Rainger, A. J. Redstone, M. C. C. Rich, E. R. Riddle, Rear Adm W. T. C. Ridley, C. W. Robins, T. E. Sanders, W. J. M. Scotland, A. D. Scott, W. K. M. Slimmings, Mrs I. G. Smith, J. Smith, G. Snowden-Davies, J. L. Spanyol, J. G. Stubbs, Dr S. G. Subbuswamy, J. B. Sweeting, E. Tingle, M. E. Ventham, A. A. Vinson, A. J. Wardrop, M. H. E. Watson, G. R. Webb, Mrs J. W. Welford, Rev C. D. Westbrook, G. H. Willett, P. J. Woods, and an unnamed entry from Bute Street, Sheffield.
505 entries with a fair number (40 or so) having SCROGBUSH for SCROGBUSS (to buss, not to bush, is to kiss). That apart there were some who couldn’t find TELT (under TELD in C) though none got it wrong, a smattering of COROLLAS for COROLLAE and of course my idiotic extra N in the millionaire anagram. I thought I was being so clever when it occurred to me that OILMAN and INLIER together formed an anagram of MILLIONNAIRE (with its ‘& lit.’ possibilities dangling invitingly), and quite overlooked the fact that my millionaire was spelt the French way, checking the clue later I corrected the spelling but without realizing that it ruined the anagram. Tant pis! Incidentally the old man snoring was from the nursery rhyme. He couldn’t get up in the morning, you’ll remember, thus continuing to lie in. One other faux pas was my description of E-boats as chasing submarines. A number of naval veterans hastened to put me right here – their targets were invariably sailing upon, not under, the waves. Sorry. C was perhaps less than totally helpful on this point.
Well, I warned you about the short word coming up. Actually no one complained, I imagine because the possibilities available were so numerous. A very large number of the clues submitted had to do with British oil, understandably enough, but with few of them being outstanding the bulk of the sound ones have swelled the ranks of the highly commended. The problem was to be original and witty without giving the game away too easily. With familiar short words I think it is permissible to be a bit more tortuous in one’s cluing, while the more concise two-meanings type of clue which forms a regularly used phrase is also very enticing. There were a number of hot spots (hot used, a bit uncomfortably to me, as a verb) and heat spots (as well as heat-spots and heatspots which I liked less since the distinction in meanings is blurred when the words are run together). And the other favourite ploy was the first letters device. I admit that I use this myself quite often especially when (a) it’s a short word, (b) I’m in difficulties and (c) an ‘& lit.’ can be achieved. Very rarely do such clues rise above the pedestrian however – for one thing they’re pretty easy to spot as a rule. Mr Higgins’s clue above would be unlikely to detain the solver for long, but it would amuse him (if he’s anything like me) and it’s certainly neat.
Finally a postcript to the Christmas Spoonerisms. One anguished competitor accuses me of transgressing my own rules in awarding Mr. Higgins’s clue first prize: ‘To aim inside head of club and look sideways might help us sink our putts.’ My critic maintains that the chances of uttering this Spoonerism inadvertently are remote, Spoonerisms being essentially slips of the tongue, and that in any case it involves slurring the two esses of ‘us sink’ into one, which clear speakers would not do. The first of these objections seems to me arguable, the second over-pedantic. I recited aloud all the winning clues and convinced myself that they were acceptable as Spoonerisms in addition to their other merits. (A stronger argument than the double-s one could be that n before k is pronounced ng but a before p is simply pronounced n. This still strikes me however as an over-particular attention to phonetics. Or am I trying to have my cake and eat it? Was anyone else similarly offended?)