< Slip No. 991 View the clue list Slip No. 1000 >


STASIMA (Printer’s Devilry)

1.  F. R. Palmer: Do Ayatollahs practise fir/m sin control of the faithful?

2.  D. Ashcroft: I’m more revolutionary than mo/narchic.

3.  P. A. Cash: I’m partial to fish in watery vi/naigrette (aigrette = egret).


M. Barley: Do P.E. along with music, be fit – the ra/ge nowadays.

Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Lazy Muslim! I sla/m calls to prayer.

R. G. Bruce: Is the wooden che/rub a product of Brazil! (simaruba).

E. J. Burge: Drowning man sees life’s pa/ges flash before him.

C. Culver: For each exotic new che/rub a tree must die (simaruba).

M. Earle: I’m not going to bed – ’is hone/ybees teemed in some quarters.

B. Franco: Those anticipating their regular service, pro te/m cancel sprayers.

H. Freeman: I’m worried about gu/y – see my bonfire, blown out!

P. F. Henderson: For excitement I have Aze/d venture – some routine stuff is not for me.

V. G. Henderson: Bowler on (West Indian) wouldn’t entirely disguise ra/ge.

R. H. F. Isham: Meal out, on Co/ke! Poor reputation for Britain (a lout on Costas).

G. E. Johnston: Me, fix the gearbox? I’d rather re/verse to work!

F. P. N. Lake: Clue’s definitely off. No win today – spo/iled it in haste.

C. J. Lowe: I go in la/ke, a regular duck!

Mrs J. Mackie: Jokes about knickers make me smile at ‘be/g elastic’ (agelastic).

D. F. Manley: Setter may say, ‘At the lunch you’d expect me to get boo/zed!’

D. R. Robinson: Finding my lu/te pleasing am I lascivious (ref. King Richard III, 1 i, 13).

R. Rogan: Despite patience, swearing a lot in ju/risprudence (simar).

K. M. Saunders: Mohammad, running to the mosque – Isla/m calls Muslims to prayer.

P. L. Stone: Will is well – the specialist sho/t tending the bash (ref. Prince William’s accident).

D. H. Tompsett: I’ve given up all the co/ke for grass and snow in the Alps (Costas).

M. J. E. Wareham: I lu/rch through Soho at night.

D. C. Williamson: I avoid damaging the ba/rk off trees to show my trail.


J. Abernethy, Ms J. Armstrong, Mrs G. M. Barker, M. J. Barker, P. F. Bauchop, J. R. Beresford, Mrs K. Bissett, C. Blackburn, T. Blightman, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, E. Chalkley, C. A. Clarke, M. Clarke, D. C. Clenshaw, M. Coates, Capt D. A. Craddock, Mrs J. M. Critchley, G. Cuthbert, Mrs C. Davis, E. Dawid, P. Day, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, V. Dixon, M. G. Elliott, G. B. Falding, C. J. Feetenby, D. S. Fielker, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. P. C. Forman, E. H. Furnival, N. C. Goddard, J. F. Grimshaw, S. G. Hanson, Ms M. A. Harrison, D. V. Harry, Mrs B. E. Henderson, R. J. Hooper, E. Hornby, R. V. Hutchinson, R. Jacks, G. Johnstone, M. Jones, B. P. A. Keane, R. E. Kimmons, A. Lawrie, Mrs M. Lazarides, J. C. Leyland, P. Long, R. K. Lumsdon, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, Mrs E. L. MacNeill, J. R. C. Michie, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, P. Moreland, R. S. Morse, T. W. Mortimer, R. A. Mostyn, A. W. T. Mottram, R. J. Palmer, J. Pearce, R. Phillips, B. A. Pike, Mrs A. Price, D. Price Jones, A. G. Ray, C. P. Rea, H. L. Rhodes, G. Rogers, H. R. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, A. J. Shields, W. K. M. Slimmings, D. A. Smith, A. St Quintin, J. G. Stubbs, R. I. Sutherland, J. B. Sweeting, P. Thacker, Dr I. Torbe, A. P. Vincent, D. J. Waddams, Mrs J. Waldren, Ms J. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, M. J. Watts, U. J. White, W. D. Wigley, G. H. Willett, Dr E. Young.

530 entries, few mistakes. The only real problem seems to have been over TUGS. I have to admit that the undevilled version which included this word was stretching things a bit (hence the exclamation mark) but I persuaded myself it was just about acceptable as a meaningful sentence. For those who are still non-plussed it was to be read as ‘Detesters of what’s great in Oz might find a bight ugsome’, with reference to the Great Australian Bight. ‘Ugsome’ is nested in C at the entry for ‘ugly’. I hoped that the clues implicit in ‘detesters’, ‘great’ and ‘Oz’ would clinch it in case of doubt, since nothing else would fit the clue. The average P.D. grid usually seems to present the setter with a couple of real posers like this one. By contrast, I always try to give you a word that offers plenty of scope for devilment. It was possible to break STASIMA after ST, STA and STAS, for example. (I don’t think Nastase was ever Nastasi though he did make a single appearance in that guise.) Fake money, antiques, etc were the most popular line this month, with Aesop’s fable (of the hare and tortoise) not far behind. It’s terribly important with P. D. clues not to let the tail of the devilled version wag the dog of the undevilled; which is another way of saying that the devilled version should never read more naturally than the undevilled. Ideally of course both should read equally well, making the ‘join’ hard to spot. Each of the three prizewinners scores well in this respect. Equally, the devilled version should make some sense. Gratuitous fragmentation of words is pointless, especially if all it yields is gobbledygook.
Having said all that I should add that it was an excellent entry overall, making my job particularly difficult. A few competitors persist in ignoring my warning about avoiding word-end breaks before and after the devilling process but that apart there was virtually no unsoundness. The extra-long H.C. list bears witness to how many nearly made the grade. No time for more this month, I’m afraid. There’s the small matter of a speech to prepare.


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