AZED CROSSWORD 491
1. M. D. Laws: Single, on the shelf now, having been stood up days before tying the knot (eves rev. + anag.).
2. J. P. H. Hirst: Ballesteros minus five near start of the round yet cracked. Some modern players can’t take it! (Seve(riano) + anag. in nigh + t).
3. Dr I. S. Fletcher: A record by Miller, perhaps, holing a great deal with hole in view (vent in eye in sight; Glenn M., Johnny M.).
E. A. Beaulah: Race with the finishes of Sebby and Steve in prospect: record liable to be broken (event y, e in sight; ref. Seb Coe, Steve Ovett).
P. R. Best: Traditional compass of life boat turns too fast for modern decks (life span; rowing boat).
E. J. Burge: I require needles (to get in the groove) less often nowadays – they get veins deformed (anag.).
N. C. Dexter: Yet this – gramophone’s first – wobbles round still! (even in anag. & lit.).
J. A. Gill: Record (LP) collectors may play this, given set they adjusted (anag.).
B. Greer: Record total produced by working round the clock (2 meanings; 1+2+3…+12 = 78).
G. Gregory: They get vines treated – it should be a very good vintage (anag.; ref. 1978 a good year for French wines).
P. F. Henderson: Yes, the vintage playing is due to spinning a —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
V. G. Henderson: Have gay twenties hits? Could be what a —— is playing (comp. anag. & lit.).
A. H. Jones: On which we heard ‘—— for Two’? Possibly yes, given the T (anag.).
J. Lawrence: It plays an old-time dance, perhaps: novel steps at the double (39 × 2; ref. Buchan novel).
C. Loving: It’s not on for Sony – result is limited – blues number perhaps? (event in S(on)y + eight (rowing)).
L. K. Maltby: I used to go round playing about six over par (2 meanings; 72 about average golf-course par).
D. F. Manley: Recording of G. Miller? View gripping incident with pair in leg-bye finally (event ye in sight; Glenn M., Geoff M.; ref. Nat. West cricket final).
H. W. Massingham: It has features of flat metal washer, in a sense! (even tye in sight; holed disc).
Miss G. May: I saw Camp David talks set everything to rights? Not right! (anag. less r).
J. J. Moore: I’m nearing 80, too old for discos, smooth, yet gnarled in appearance (even, anag. in sight).
C. J. Morse: Observe and you’ll find exactly one trough in it (not this many!) (even tye in sight).
R. A. Mostyn: What revolutions preceded the Forty Five? (Gie thy events in proper order) (anag.).
W. J. M. Scotland: E.g. this musty release the castaway’s included? (vent ye in anag. & lit.; ref. Desert Island Discs).
A. D. Scott: Ballesteros hit gently for a change, losing length – the possible result? (Seve + anag. less l).
M. C. Souster: With nothing to lose, he’s eying Ovett strangely. Record not unbreakable (anag.; ref. Steve O.).
Mrs M. P. Webber: In a sense smooth yet oddly groovy old music-maker (even, anag. in sight).
D. C. Williamson: A ——? Yes, the vintage pressing (comp. anag. & lit.; press = strain).
Mrs E. Allen, C. Allen Baker, Dr J. K. Aronson, D. W. Arthur, A. J. Bisset, A. G. Bogie, Mrs A. Boyes, C. Boyles, C. Brougham, Rev C. M. Broun, C. J. & M. P. Butler, R. S. Caffyn, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, E. S. Clark, C. A. Clarke, R. M. S. Cork, Mrs M. P. Craine, P. Drummond, B. Franco, O. H. Frazer, S. Goldie, J. J. Goulstone, J. Grainge, J. F. Grimshaw, I. A. Herbert, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, D. P. M. Michael, C. G. Millin, J. J. Murtha, T. N. Nesbitt, M. Postlethwaite, L. G. D. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, N. E. Sharp, Mrs E. J. Shields, D. M. Stanford, B. Stuart, J. G. Stubbs, L. M. Sturges, M. S. Taylor, R. A. Wells, R. J. Whale, W. Woodruff.
Nearly 450 entries, commonest mistake being RULE for RULY (‘What’s done during cut-down of trains etc. must be orderly’). I suppose people were thinking of ‘working to rule’ but one can hardly be said to ‘do rule’ and RULY fits the clue much better, I’m sure you’ll agree. GRASP caused problems too (‘Twig that makes great peat?’) though none got it wrong. Read gr as p and great becomes peat – OK? ‘Pet slut, on the shelf’ for MONKEY-PUZZLE was a bit far-fetched and my hand lingered over the proofs as I decided whether or not to change it, finally lettng it stand. Monkey = anger and pet = huff are just close enough in meaning, and the use of puzzle = slut can be found under PUCELLE and PUZEL in Chambers.
As was remarked upon there was something of an international flavour to the puzzle as a whole, what with RIETI, MINDANAO, TEMPLE, ARAN and references in clues to Italy, Edinburgh, Uganda and New Zealand. This wasn’t planned – it just happened. You don’t object, do you? SEVENTY-EIGHT proved a very satisfactory clue word, with plenty of you opting for the number or the year rather than the record as the definition. No harm in this at all, though among the ‘record’ entries I tended to favour those which contained some reference to its datedness. The clues from Messrs Greer and Massingham, which do not do this, merited mention for the cleverness of their wording alone. Mr Scotland’s clue deserved a prize for its ingenuity were it not for the questionable syntax of the ‘’s’, which would be better omitted, with the solver having to imagine a slight pause after ‘musty’.
I thought I’d start an occasional series of points on style in clue-writing this month by picking out a single example of a fault that is quite common even among experienced competitors. Clue to SEVENTY-EIGHT: It may be seen going round a hole in the centre.’ This is nearly a very sound and respectable & lit.’ clue, using a basic idea that was understandably popular. The problem is that ‘it’ cannot syntactically refer to the definition implicit in the whole clue and the definition of SIGHT in its role as part of the cryptic indication of the whole word. ‘It’ only requires changing to ‘what’ for both readings of the clue to be possible grammatically, preferably with the addition of a question mark at the end. So make sure that each word in your clue (especially pronouns) has a role to play and make sure also that that role is one it is capable of playing, grammatically and syntactically.
I’ll hold my Shakespeare teaser open for another month. I’ve had several offers so far – and no two the same!