AZED CROSSWORD 1779
NEWIE (misprint of U) (Misprints)
1. E. Cross: This is fresh oat scone WI exhibits (just a slice thereof) (out; hidden).
2. C. J. Morse: Not as it was, Women’s Institute wants end to ‘housewife’: this is jest of the moment (just; ne WI e; ref. recent WI announcement).
3. I. Simpson: Cry of 2006? Portuguese finally win, English knocked out (cru; anag. incl. e, E; ref. World Cup).
T. Anderson: What flesh could be nominated the essence of Rhine wienerwurst? (flush (= sudden growth); hidden).
D. Arthur: Underwriter regularly discloses debit item (debut; alternate letters).
D. C. Clenshaw: Leaders of nanotechnology evolution will inevitably exhibit latest babble (bauble; first letters).
V. Dixon: One you’ve seen bat lately, not previously one in our team (but; ne + I in we).
A. S. Everest: Informal label for a bottle of most wine that ferments about middle of September? (must; e in anag.; must2).
M. Goodliffe: Is this jest contrived, Ernie Wise not getting rise somehow? (just; Ernie Wise less anag.).
G. I. L. Grafton: City backing insurance covering contents for what’s as yet untorched (untouched; wen (rev.) + i, e).
J. Grimes: Fresh constriction that is displacing trade in racecourse (construction; i.e. for market in Newmarket).
M. Hodgkin: Some sinew I exercised a bit of recently got stiff (stuff; hidden).
D. F. Manley: It’s only jest here, trap throwing leader of Tories? Send message: Remove Ross’s face! (just; ne(T) + wi(R)e; ref. Jonathan R.’s ‘vulgar’ interview of D. Cameron).
C. G. Millin: Traditionally a bride’s most regularly given away in her white (must; alternate letters; ‘something old, something new …’).
T. J. Moorey: What’s recently oft associated with US President? Thousands sacrificed (out; (k)new I(k)e).
W. Ransome: Bedding item, perhaps, in magazine I went inside and read about (budding; hidden rev.).
N. G. Shippobotham: Definition of mallet, for example, one wields in the middle (mullet; hidden; see Chambers preface, page vii).
Mrs A. Terrill: Word ‘pet’ in C, say for the first time gives n ‘sheep one’s brought inside’ (put; n + I in ewe).
R. C. Teuton: What’s making debit note get waived regularly? (debut; n + alternate letters).
G. H. Willett: Ask to take time off in the country? That’s a debit item (debut; new(t) i.e.; ask2).
Dr E. Young: Is bed one we fancy, with Emin smothering marks? (bud; anag. less m; ref. Tracey E.’s 1999 creation).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barley, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, P. A. Cash, A. G. Chamberlain, C. A. Clarke, N. Connaughton, G. Cuthbert, E. Dawid, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Haddock, M. Hanley, D. V. Harry, P. F. Henderson, G. Johnstone, D. J. Knight, E. C. Lance, P. Long, W. F. Main, P. W. Marlow, L. F. Marzillier, J. R. C. Michie, W. Murphy, R. J. Palmer, D. Parfitt, M. L. Perkins, D. Price Jones, M. Sanderson, D. P. Shenkin, T. Smith, P. L. Stone, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, R. J. Whale, D. C. Williamson, J. Woodall.
ANNUAL HONOURS LIST (13 COMPETITIONS)
1. M. Barley (3 prizes, 8 VHCs); 2. V. Dixon (2,7); 3 (equal). D. F. Manley (1,8), R. C. Teuton (1,8); 5. J. R. Tozer (2,5); 6 (equal). N. C. Dexter (1,6), T. J. Moorey (1,6), N. G. Shippobotham (1,6); 9 (equal). C. J. Morse (1,5), A. J. Wardrop (1,5); 11 (equal). C. M. Edmunds (2,2), C. G. Millin (0,6); 13 (equal). D. Arthur (0,5), B. Burton (1,3), Dr I. S. Fletcher (1,3), R. Hesketh (1,3), R. J. Hooper (1,3), E. C. Lance (1,3), J. C. Leyland (2,1), C. Loving (1,3), M. A. Macdonald-Cooper (0,5), I. Simpson (2,1), A. J. Young (0,5), Dr E. Young (2,1), C. A. Clarke (1,2), 25 (equal). R. Dean (1,2), J. Grimes (1,2), R. J. Heald (0,4), R. S. Morse (0,4), F. R. Palmer (0,4), R. J. Palmer (0,4), R. J. Whale (0,4), G. H. Willett (1,2), D. Williamson (0,4).
C. G. Millin, D. Arthur, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, A. J. Young, R. J. Heald, R. S. Morse, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, R. J. Whale, D. Williamson.
Clearly a tough competition puzzle: only 143 entries. Almost no errors in the grid, but a few entrants disqualified themselves by submitting clues which included the letter ‘u’ as a misprint instead of replacing it by another letter, e.g. ‘Blended European wine’s dernier cru?’ (‘cru’ a misprint of ‘cri’). I was also very annoyed with myself for saying in the preamble that all the misprinted down answers were non-words, failing to notice that one of them was a real word (UREA for URSA). This will have caused genuine uncertainty in the minds of many (though no one got it wrong), and I do apologize.
Misprints puzzles are never easy, and this was no exception. It was a type of special that Ximenes set regularly, usually (if memory serves) with half the acrosses and half the downs containing a misprint, the remainder being normal but requiring a letter to be misprinted in the grid. My early Misprints puzzles followed this style, until a number of you complained that they weren’t interesting enough and a bit of a cop-out for the setter. This was fair comment, since the number of unchecked letters is effectively increased somewhat, making the grid correspondingly easier to construct and the solver’s task correspondingly tougher. I had more or less decided to phase Misprints out of the repertoire until I met Colin Leach at a dinner for classicists at The Athenaeum club and he said it was his absolute favourite; so I resolved to give it another go, having found the rather nice Herbert Spencer quotation (of 38 letters, did you notice?), with a slight variation in the treatment of the two clue types, which I hoped would help you a bit. I don’t really think it did, alas. Many of you, while relishing the challenge, said how difficult you found it, and I’m sure this must partly account for the low entry. Colin Leach himself (only an occasional competitor these days) sent this delightful quotation from Sir Peter Medawar, writing about Spencer: ‘[Spencer’s] system was set out in twelve volumes thicker and squarer than Gibbon’s, each bound in a cloth which has acquired with age a reptilian colour and texture, so putting one in mind of some great extinct monster of philosophic learning.’ Your favourite clue, by some distance, was ‘Dress circle in G & S’ for GROUNDS, ‘dress’ being a misprinted form of ‘dregs’.
Many of you were uninspired by NEWIE, though I hope the quoted clues demonstrate what can be done with it with a bit of ingenuity. The definition in Chambers is pretty unhelpful, it must be said. The Shorter Oxford is much more informative, indicating that its specific applications include a new joke or idea, a song recently released on a record, etc, and a new ball in cricket. It can also refer to a person without previous experience in professional entertainment. All uses, and the alternative spelling NEWY, date from the mid 20th century.
Congratulations to Mr Barley for attaining the top spot in the 34th Azed annual honours list, and by a clear three points, no mean achievement in a strong field, as well as to all those listed above. I hope the numbers will pick up again soon. Subscribers to the slip may like to know that my book A to Z of Crosswords will be published by HarperCollins in October (exact date not yet known but the ISBN is 0-00-722923-2). The main part of the book is a biographical dictionary of the country’s leading setters, but it also contains a lengthy introduction setting out my ideas on crossword setting, and a selection of puzzles by over half the setters included. And a final word of apology to Mr W. Ransome, in whose VHC clue to ROUGH-AND-READY last month ‘gracefulness’ should have read ‘gracelessness’.