◀  No. 9393 Jun 1990 Clue list No. 947  ▶



1.  D. F. Manley: Obtain Gowers and usage may be reformed as this goes west (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. Sir Ernest G., ‘The Complete Plain Words’).

2.  P. F. Henderson: Sunspeak, say, would replace ‘Labour gain’ with ‘Left KO’d’ (anag. less l).

3.  C. Pearson: Unintelligible language – Arabic in Buenos Aires, or French in Geneva (Ar in BA + ou in gin).


D. Ashcroft: Breton lingo? Yes, heard at Agincourt, with Branagh endlessly rampaging around (oui in anag. of Branag(h); ref. Henry V film by Kenneth B.).

M. Barley: Unintelligible speech: go in a bar and at the close you might produce it! (anag. incl. u).

E. A. Beaulah: Rodent loses little time entering grain store: it can be heard, but not caught! (agou(t)i in barn).

Mrs F. A. Blanchard: Our ain gab in foreign state? (anag. & lit.).

R. Dean: The cant —— is trickier than Arabic tongue! (comp. anag. & lit.).

D. A. Deane: Jabberwocky: an endless melange ensues after Alice’s first appearance in madhouse (A + ragou(t), all in bin).

A. L. Dennis: ‘Labour gain Liberal out’ excited terminology of psephologist perhaps? (anag. less L).

N. C. Dexter: With British – or French – a tabloid’s written in trendy jargon (a rag in B, ou + in).

R. A. England: Teasing in barbarian tongue could be banter in —— (comp. anag. & lit.).

C. E. Faulkner-King: A —— (and/or any gabble) could be a barbarian language nobody translated (comp. anag. & lit.).

C. J. Feetenby: Stupid baaing or a bit of Unwin? (anag. incl. U, & lit.).

B. Franco: Shot at clue for 15 dn might be ‘Lingo of bureaucrat’ (comp. anag. & lit.).

C. J. Lowe: Gobbledegook – or a bug in a programmable? (anag.).

D. J. Mackay: Baur in Goa might be (anag. & lit.).

C. G. Millin: Endless mishmash, to grasp which you need a degree in gobbledegook (ragou(t) in BA in).

C. J. Morse: You’ll find Beduin, for example, aspiring to extend their half intelligible language (Arab (rev.) + go + (Bed)uin).

T. W. Mortimer: It’s universal amongst lawyers: they go in for gobbledegook (U in bar a2 go in).

F. R. Palmer: Legal profession’s convoluted lingo, perhaps, for long a prime symbol of unintelligibility (bar + anag. with a u for I, & lit.).

Mrs A. Phillips: Foul English this – might be lingo of a bureau (comp. anag. incl. E, & lit.).

M. C. Souster: Labour again in trouble? No indeed! That’s the waffle of an in-group (anag. less la).

Ms J. Ward: Labour gain demolished with eclipse of Left – that’s the way the specialists are talking (anag. less L).

R. J. Whale: e.g. local ‘Langue d’oil’, wanting tips on translation (bar + anag. of (L)angu(e) (d’)oi(l), & lit.).

D. Williamson: Bulgarian’s too difficult? Then you could get lost with this (comp. anag. & lit.).


J. M. Best, B. W. Brook, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, E. Chalkley, T. Clement, W. H. C. Cobb, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, R. V. Dearden, Ms P. Diamond, C. M. Edmunds, L. E. Ellis, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, M. Freeman, P. D. Gaffey, S. C. Gilchrist, M. Goodyear, Ms H. Grayson, R. R. Greenfield, B. Greer, J. F. Grimshaw, V. G. Henderson, G. B. Higgins, P. D. Hinchliffe, J. P. H. Hirst, R. Holmes, E. Hornby, R. Jacks, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, C. Jones, J. F. Jones, R. E. Kimmons, A. Lawrie, H. R. Lockhart, A. N. Macdougall, Mrs E. M. Marlow, H. S. Mason, G. McStravick, W. L. Miron, T. J. Moorey, F. Moss, R. A. Mostyn, S. J. O’Boyle, R. Phillips, J. T. Price, D. Price Jones, D. Reader, D. R. Robinson, T. E. Sanders, W. J. M. Scotland, A. J. Shields, B. Simon, W. K. M. Slimmings, R. I. Sutherland, K. Thomas, R. R. Tyler, J. P. Wheatcroft, Mrs B. J. Widger, M. A. L. Willey.

An excellent entry, 501 in all, including a. sizeable number of first-time competitors, whom I was delighted to welcome. There were virtually no mistakes in what was generally regarded as an easier-than-average puzzle. The clue-word was interesting, for its origin if not its clueability. Welsh speakers drew attention to the similarity of ‘bara gwyn’ (= white bread) and I was also informed that Partridge refers to BARAGOUIN (and also BARRACKING) at the entries for BARRIKIN and BARRAKIN in his Dictionary of Historical Slang. I tended to prefer definitions of BARAGOUIN as a language (with meaning) that is unintelligible or only intelligible to a few, to those implying that it means pure nonsense – not hair-splitting, I think.
It was a tricky word to cope well with, I can see that. The most popular ploy was A RAGOU(T) in BIN, with unfinished stew being consigned to the waste receptacle, but links between this concept and a definition of the complete word were largely unconvincing. As often when the component letters of a word look unpromising, many borrowed extra letters to create composite anagrams. No harm in this if the overall result is effective and not too much borrowing goes on. In Mr Manley’s case there are eight extra letters – not excessive, I think – and the clever wording makes a very satisfying ‘& lit.’ A few of you toyed with the computer jargon phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’ (GIGO), which looked promising, but no one managed to get the wording quite right.
Two miscellaneous queries: 1. What is my ‘policy’ on exclamation marks in clues? I tend to avoid them myself, unless they are meant to show that words (like ‘my’ etc) are being used as interjections. Occasionally I’ll use an exclamation mark at the end of a clue to warn you that I’ve done something a bit outrageous. I feel they should be eschewed when all they’re doing is saying ‘Gosh, I’m rather pleased with that clue!’ or ‘What an amazing language English is, to be sure!’. That said, I would never disqualify an otherwise excellent clue for adding an unnecessary screamer. 2. What do I feel about double entries, especially from e.g. husband-and-wife teams? I’ve no objection to this in principle but would prefer each to be submitted on a separate sheet with a separate completed grid (not a photocopy) attached. This greatly facilitates the sorting of entries at my end. What I really don’t like is a selection of clues submitted by a single competitor with the invitation to ‘take your pick’. I’m afraid they usually end up in the wpb.
Many apologies to Mr R.S. Morse who was unaccountably omitted from the annual honours list, last month. With 2 prizes and 4 V.H.C.’s to his credit, he should have joined the others in 6th equal place (and just ahead of his father!).
Some of you are already asking about plans for a dinner to mark Azed No. 1,000. These are beginning to take shape. We’re hoping to hold such an event on 6 July 1991 in one of the more spacious Oxford colleges. More information will be announced as it becomes available.


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First prize winner by D. C. Williamson in competition 139