⏴ Slip No. 556 View the clue list Slip No. 559 ⏵


MINCEMEAT (with one extra R)

1.  E. R. Riddle: What one must do to give mater a Christmas treat (mate; i.e. mince meat).

2.  A. Lawrie: What’s made rout of English team after batting seen in most of their side! (out; in in MC(C) + anag. incl. E, & lit.).

3.  Mrs E. J. Shields: I’m what may rend Xmas dinner: crackers can emit me (end; anag.).

VHC (extra prizes)

C. Allen Baker: Slapstick sport from pantomimes, etc. – tossing a load of pies (spot; anag. less anag.).

M. Barley: You’d find me nicer in a pie, with frost about (nice ; anag. in mat2).

R. T. Baxter: How to get mater to provide some Xmas fare (mate; i.e. mince meat).

C. J. & M. P. Butler: Sweert to eat at Christmas? Prepare emetic, man! (sweet; anag.).

C. A. Clarke: Heard of marvellous, fantastic E.T.? Cinema’s filling for the season (head; anag. incl. m).

N. C. Dexter: Find me incorporated inside mater’s pie for Xmas fare (mate’s ; Inc. in me + anag., & lit.; pie2).

R. A. England: I may be used to force, but do as I say and I may become tamer (tame; i.e. mince meat; forcemeat).

G. Gargan: A cement, I’m wrong stuff for piers (pies; anag.).

P. F. Henderson: Spicy seasonal preparation – a dash of Cointreau in me and mater will be tipsy (mate; anag. incl. C).

V. G. Henderson: Enact mime crudely – there may well be no harm in it but it’s certainly fruity (ham; anag.).

R. J. Hooper: Content of Christmas crates? Mm, nice fruity taste (cates; anag. + eat; fruity = crazy).

J. S. Johnson: Conserve face we hear, rafter getting chop (after; mince + ‘meet’).

N. Kessel: Pater, at Andrew’s, might make this of rabbit; mater’s, at Stephen’s, has fruit in and spice (Pate; 2 mngs.; ref. Jerry P., golfer, St A.’s course, St S.’s Day; rabbit = poor player).

D. F. Manley: Heard of monster E.T. (cinema hit); Isn’t it sweet now! (head; m + anag.).

H. W. Massingham: At heart of Christmas-tide you’ll find me in seasonal crate, blended (cate; m + anag. incl. me in, & lit.).

G. McStravick: Chop mint with mace and last of clover for tasty filling (clove; anag. incl. e).

C. G. Millin: What could make me nicer in the middle of Xmas time – filling with brandy perhaps (nice; anag. in (X)ma(s) + t).

A. F. Mylward: I am nicer, met chopped in a pie! (nice; anag. & lit.).

B. A. Pike: You’ll find me nicer in pie with frost outside (nice; anag. in mat, & lit.; pie2).

D. Price Jones: Get Christmas frilling – chop-chop! (filling; mince meat).

W. J. M. Scotland: Must mimer enact farce (mime; anag.; must4 = frenzied).

G. P. Stroulger: Nicer mixed filling thousands tuck into (nice; anag. in M eat, & lit.).

F. B. Stubbs: The vitals of many piers seem to be affected by a sort of grub (pies; mince meat).

R. Weatherburn: Tart’s content now – met Mr. Caine informally (M.; anag.; i.e. Michael C., film star).

R. J. Whale: Pier’s filling – awfully nice in mid-summer, the ’ottest time (pie’s; anag. in mm + ’eat).


R. H. Adey, Mrs J. A. Anstead, Dr J. K. Aronson, Mrs B. Aze, A. J. Bisset, Mrs K. Bissett, Mrs A. Boorman, Mrs A. Boyes, Rev C. M. Broun, J. Bunnell, E. J. Burge, D. A. H. Byatt, E. Chalkley, D. Clark, M. Coates, P. F. Coltman, Mrs M. P. Craine, Mrs J. M. Critchley, D. A. Crossland, A. J. Crow, R. Dean, P. S. Elliott, H. R. Feather, Ms L. Fell, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, M. Freeman, S. Goldie, E. Gomersall, J. J. Goulstone, J. E. Green, R. R. Greenfield, R. M. Greenhalgh, J. F. Grimshaw, A. Hall, D. Hibbert, J. A. Holden, E. M. Hornby, B. C. James, M. Jellis, G. Johnstone, R. Jones, N. Kemmer, F. P. N. Lake, M. D. Laws, J. H. C. Leach, J. G. Levack, G. Leversha, J. F. Levey, J. C. Leyland, H. R. Lockhart, W. F. Main, L. R. Mansell, S. M. Mansell, T. J. Moorey, M. Moran, C. J. Morse, T. W. Mortimer, R. A. Mostyn, I. Munro, R. F. Naish, F. E. Newlove, J. Osmond, J. P. O’Neill, N. O’Neill, F. R. Palmer, R. Parry-Morris, W. H. Pegram, A. J. Redstone, D. R. Robinson, H. R. Sanders, L. G. D. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, Dr A. H. Seville, A. J. Shields, W. K. M. Slimmings, B. D. Smith, T. A. J. Spencer, D. M. Stanford, F. Stevens, R. N. G. Stone, P. D. Stonier, C. M. Tatham, P. W. Thompson, M. A. Vernon, Mrs M. P. Webber, P. J. Wexler, G. H. Willett, D. B. Williams, B. A. Wright, Mrs N. F. Young, R. F. Zobel.

Over 550 entries, more than 50 of them received after the closing date and therefore regrettably excluded from the competition. I was furious with myself for failing to notice the numbering errors in the clues, in view of the time I spent checking and rechecking the puzzle, and deeply apologetic for the faulty clue to ENARTHROSIS which got an extra A and E instead of two As. It is vain to pretend that of course I was using HEVEN as one of the obsolete forms of HAVEN given in the O.E.D. It was sheer letter-blindness, nothing less, and as such inexcusable in one who less than a month ago was in this very column claiming continued clarity of vision! As usual my lapses, when they were commented on, were treated with quite undeserved tolerance and forbearance. Indeed the puzzle as a whole seems to have been very favourably received, which is gratifying as it certainly took long enough to compile. I had always wanted to reuse the idea behind No. 500 while giving myself more variety in the letters to be added to clues. Finding the (very appropriate) quotation with one letter more than William Shakespeare was pure luck. Construction of the diagram was in fact less arduous than it might have appeared. The luxury of the misprinted letters in the downs, even though they had to follow a scheme, gave considerable extra flexibility, and as I’ve said before the oblong diagram always seems to make life a little easier. What really took time were the down clues, as by now you must all have realised, especially if one insists as I did on clues which made sense both before and after omission of the superfluous letters. This proved to be the downfall of many an otherwise excellent clue entry. People either forgot or failed to notice this stipulation in the preamble. Or, having noticed it, they produced clues which made rather better sense with the superfluous letters in than when they were removed. This can be said of almost all the many clues along the lines of ‘I’m a cement to be mixed as filling for piers.’ Who ever heard of pies filled with cement? I agree it’s conceivable and therefore makes some sense. But I preferred, as I hope the list above shows, clues which did not let their expanded form take precedence over their true form. (Though again there was something of an art in disguising the difference.)
A few of you added too many extra letters, though curiously the letter in question was always the correct one (R). At first glance it might have seemed, as indeed it did to me, that MINCEMEAT was the middle down word as L(A)URE(A)TES was the middle across word, and I had hoped to get you to add at least a couple of extra letters to your mincemeat mixture. In the event LABUINUMS it had to be and no one could seriously claim that LABUNUMS has more than one missing R.
As I have said pie(r)s was the most popular way of dealing with the extra letter. Another much resorted to was past(r)y. But since the word means much the same with or without the R and could therefore be read as a perfectly good definition with it, I regarded this as something of a cop-out, though strictly speaking within the rules of the game. It is almost equivalent to the misprinted definition which is itself a reasonable alternative definition, of the kind I referred to in the December slip.
All in all a lot of hard work and fun. I expect I’ll try and repeat this type of puzzle some time (in the not too near future !). It certainly intrigues me and by your enthusiastic comments is generally well received. A happy puzzling 1983 to you all.


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