AZED CROSSWORD 1766
GEST (Printer’s Devilry)
1. N. C. Dexter: Panel of jud/o OK decision and settle ‘dan’ award.
2. J. Baines: Men, a/unt Edna, scent romantic involvement.
3. E. C. Lance: Touring actors in south London sta/re at ham performance (Streatham).
T. Anderson: Rutting by sta/r actor is objective of many birds!
M. Barker: ‘Uncle’s ample: d/on your fullest support’, says George, familiarly (Blair, Bush).
M. Barley: After having some UN official stop pa/rade, Unionists call for formal talks.
M. Bath: Does interest Char/ing Cross/Bank customer.
Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Success at Nottingham For/est – team spirit.
E. J. Burge: Producer sta/r avers ‘Farces at their best in the Aldwych’ (ref. Ben Travers).
C. Daffern: You may find lobster ca/rapace specimens off the coast at Berwick.
V. Dixon: Public protest in galle/ry by barbarians shouldn’t have been allowed (ref. rugby).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Those administering mass a/re at one using hands.
D. V. Harry: How should Briton pay for pass (A/er Lingus) able to get him anywhere?
C. & C. Hinton: At Tokyo festival the origami competition will come before the jud/o day.
D. F. Manley: Successful girl maybe, shamelessly touting herb – a d/ill one, bay? (ref. selling of Blue Peter badges on eBay).
T. D. Nicholl: Tell the removal men that the Frid/ay’s OK.
R. J. Palmer: Homer’s an oaf despite mar/rying to reform him (ref. The Simpsons).
D. Parfitt: Will, the bad golfer, swings and we d/uck as he is in bunker.
D. Price Jones: Applicator for hiding wrinkles or a n/ick is used by Azed, for example (orange stick; ref. AZ’s Playfair preamble).
D. Sargent: Naturalist is familiar with the mountain gor/illa bounding in vegetation.
S. & J. Shaw: For man I cure of cut I clean (or a n/ick is needed).
D. P. Shenkin: The Ministry’s crap – pedantic on/ion measures, etc.
P. L. Stone: I like blood or a n/asty bit of flesh.
R. C. Teuton: It’s wrongdoing man I cure without a fine or a n/ick.
K. Thomas: Wily Bunter: ‘Do d/uck shop payment for buns’.
D. H. Tompsett: The Abbey’s director never rated the laid-back syn/archy (ref. J. M. Synge, playwright, Abbey theatre).
A. J. Wardrop: In Regent’s Park theatre sta/r eats alfresco.
D. C. Williamson: If pa/inting is pinkish you could be looking at theft! (ref. Financial Times).
D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, M. L. Auton, J. R. Beresford, C. Boyd, J. M. Brown, J. Burscough, B. Butler, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, P. Cargill, P. A. Cash, B. Cheesman, F. Clements, D. C. Clenshaw, N. Connaughton, R. M. S. Cork, T. Coventry, K. W. Crawford, E. Cross, R. Dean, M. Draper, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, A. S. Everest, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, W. P. Field, H. Freeman, P. D. Gaffey, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, J. P. Guiver, R. J. Heald, R. Hesketh, A. Hodgson, R. J. Hooper, D. C. Jones, J. R. H. Jones, S. Lewis, J. C. Leyland, P. Long, D. R. F. Lucas, P. W. Marlow, L. F. Marzillier, R. Mayled, P. McKenna, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, W. Murphy, F. R. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, W. Ransome, D. Sharp, N. G. Shippobotham, R. G. Smith, G. R. E. Spark, C. M. Steele, J. R. Tozer, Mrs T. G. Treanor, C. J. A. Underhill, Ms S. Wallace, J. Waterton, R. J. Whale, T. Whittaker, G. H. Willett, S. Williams, R. Zara.
204 entries, with very few mistakes, mostly -ITIS for ITAS despite my explicit warning that the answer was a full word, added when I noticed that -ITIS was just possible as an alternative solution. There were many appreciative comments about the puzzle generally; PD is clearly still very popular with most of you, though I know (because you tell me) that it’s not universally welcomed. One solver (not a regular competitor) even wrote to complain that I had spoilt his Sunday morning by offering such ‘rubbish’. It’s actually almost three years since the last PD, so I haven’t exactly been bombarding you with them. Favourite clue was ‘In a boring gathering of playwrights does pot’ for INTERNODAL, which just pipped ‘In the King’s Head I’m sure they’d give a drink to the monk’ (ARCHONTIC), with 23 receiving at least one mention. The clue for WIGS (‘Before Sunday lunch I like a small Scotch — the others, sherry’) was justly described as weak by some. I think I was getting tired at that point; PD clues do take much longer to write than normal ones.
The main aim in PD clue construction, it seems to me, should be to disguise the gap where the clue word originally was so that what results reads as naturally as possible, and to ensure that there is no space before and after the clue word both before and after its removal. The standard preamble always mentions this but some competitors always overlook or ignore it. So, for example, in ‘Who’ll be bothered with Man Ray? Dogswill!’ the clue word has been appropriately removed from ‘…mange? Stray…’, but the gap has not been closed up after its removal, a distinct weakness. Quite a lot of entries used ‘con(gest)ed’ or ‘di(gest)ed’ or variations on these, where the clue word was omitted whole. There is nothing wrong with this, but I did find it a little dull for a word which I chose because it could be split at any point. At the other end of the spectrum I am not generally in favour of devilry run riot, with few of the words in the full version remaining the same after the devil has done his stuff, even though at times this can be very ingenious. Just spare a thought for the solver (or the judge). And I do wish that everyone, not simply the majority, would heed my request for the full undevilled version of clues submitted as well as the clues themselves. A surprising number fail to comply with this.
I have been informed by the publishers that a new edition of The Chambers Dictionary is scheduled for publication this autumn, only three years after the last one. It will however be only a minor update, so although I shall doubtless acquire a copy I intend to carry on using and recommending the 2003 edition, at least until the next edition but one appears (assuming it does and that we’re not all using electronic dictionaries by then — perish the thought!).