AZED CROSSWORD 482
1. C. J. Morse: Stiff collaring: that’s my trade – shows what can be done by starch (anag.).
2. Mrs A. R. Bradford: Hadn’t corpse by for dissection? He quietly would arrange that for you (anag. less p, & lit.).
3. J. P. H. Hirst: Death is treated with scorn by a resurrectionist (anag.).
M. Coates: One used to collar stiff, freshly done by starch (anag.).
R. P. C. Forman: Supply shady doctor with bones? I do so maybe (comp. anag. & lit.; supply adv.).
B. Franco: Identify the felon by empty coffin, sod and earth disturbed (anag. incl. c(offi)n).
G. Gregory: Today’s bench is disturbed by right to publicise perpetrator of grave crimes (anag. + r).
J. F. Grimshaw: Disturb dry bones at church? If he’s clumsy he might (anag. incl. Ch, & lit.).
D. V. Harry: Dry bones at rest round church? Then I’ve been beaten (anag. incl. Ch, & lit.).
E. M. Hornby: Astonishingly Drobny cheats and the hallowed turf is gaping as a result of his crime (anag.; ref. Jaroslav D., Wimbledon).
R. Jacks: Pour the C.O.’s brandy – he’ll take a stiff one (anag.).
A. Lawrie: Nasty, he’d rob cemetery initially for dismembering (anag. incl. c, & lit.).
M. D. Laws: I may come to – put affectedly – nab thy dead corse (anag. incl. d, & lit.).
H. W. Massingham: A person, brand of thief, seen in violated charnels long gone (body + t in anag. less l, & lit.).
C. G. Millin: I disturb church yard bones, a short time interred (t in anag. incl. Ch, & lit.).
R. S. Morse: Ransacked chantry sod and the case of Burke might point to me (anag. incl. B, e; ref. Burke and Hare).
R. J. Palmer: Dry bones strewn around at church – evidence of his activities? (anag. incl. Ch).
A. J. Redstone: One initiating traffic in church yard bones hugger-mugger? (t in anag. incl. Ch).
A. R. Ritchie: Drobny cheats outrageously: his racket earned him money, but every frame he used was unofficial (anag.; ref. Jaroslav D., tennis player).
F. B. Stubbs: Loose sod by a trench could point to me (anag. & lit.).
D. H. Tompsett: He soon vacated the shell – form prize by middle of term (body + snatch + (t)er(m); shell = coffin; body vb).
J. F. N. Wedge: I ‘released’ people caught in earthy bonds, malevolently (c in anag.).
G. H. Willett: British don’s treachery – failing the Queen – unfolds: he commits a grave crime (B + anag. less ER; ref. Anthony Blunt).
Dr E. Young: I did collar stiff: pressed, boned and starchy (anag.).
C. Allen Baker, D. W. Arthur, D. Ashcroft, A. G. Bogie, R. Boot, Mrs A. Boyes, Rev C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, P. Cargill, C. A. Clarke, G. H. Clarke, A. E. Crow, N. C. Dexter, C. M. Edmunds, R. R. Greenfield, R. S. Haddock, G. S. Halse, B. Harvey, P. F. Henderson, Mrs N. Jarman, R. S. Johnson, G. Johnstone, F. P. N. Lake, N. A. Longmore, D. F. Manley, J. P. Mernagh, D. P. M. Michael, W. L. Miron, J. D. Moore, J. J. Moore, S. J. O’Boyle, N. O’Neill, F. R. Palmer, C. W. Robins, D. R. Robinson, T. E. Sanders, W. J. M. Scotland, B. D. Smith, Dr S. G. Subbuswamy, A. A. Vinson, J. Webster, W. C. Woodruff.
The reduced entry of 232 was quite clearly the result of problems at the Observer (though I don’t think actual printing of the magazine was affected) and the best course seemed therefore to judge the competition as usual, with prizes for the top three, but discount it completely from the reckoning for the annual honours list. I actually think that most of the regulars managed to enter, but this still strikes me as the fairest thing to do in the circumstances. There were a few mistakes, mostly through failure with the code. One of these tragically spoiled the chances of one excellent clue which is well worth quoting (though its author will remain anonymous): ‘Will last trump reveal how he’s handled spades? Not by card he’s playing.’ I much admire the way in which the anagram and the meaning of the word are (quite fairly) disguised here.
Another clue I’d like to quote is Mrs Jarman’s: ‘The awful things I dug up helped the gutter press on, illicitly.’ This too cleverly manipulates language to create a double entendre leading (if properly interpreted) to the required definition. What it does not do (and should, I think) is give any subsidiary cryptic indication of the word to which the definition (albeit in a heavily veiled way) leads. Clues of this kind (if not of this quality) are common in many crosswords and some compilers may regard them as fair and adequate. But the fact that this might serve equally as a clue to BODY-SNATCHER, GRAVE-ROBBER, RESURRECTIONIST, BURKE, HARE, or any similar synonym, is surely a good argument against this attitude. A good clue should, I submit, lead uniquely and cleverly to one solution only.
Most competitors who commented found solving the code quite easy this time, despite my rather naughty KEPHIR (only under KEFIR in C) and the PELOID alternative to DIPLOE (not intentional and not as good), and the code-word itself by common consent offered plenty of scope. A lot of you used the ‘dry bones at ch.’ pattern, or variants of it, in seeking ‘& lit.’ anagram clues. This needed some care, as body-snatchers by definition were (perhaps still are!) in the business of exhuming freshly interred corpses for sale to medical men wanting to practise dissection, for which purpose dry bones would be useless. Chambers gives ‘mortal remains’ as one definition of bones, so as long as the clue-writer talks of bones as the body-snatcher’s stock-in-trade, or indicates that he simply disturbed dry bones in his quest for something a little meatier, he is all right.
Enough for now. I am on holiday and being summoned to a rather breezy beach.