AZED CROSSWORD 1801
RUSE DE GUERRE
1. D. F. Manley: Using crude Greek horse deceptively? Shocking ——! (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. Trojan horse).
2. G. H. Willett: Russia, greed and half Europe with England’s lead wrecked Bonaparte’s war scheme (Rus + anag. incl. Eur, E).
3. C. J. Morse: It’s running rings round enemy, as their leaders swallow practised English fiddle (used E gue all in r, r, r, e, & lit.).
T. Anderson: Manoeuvre of usurper with greed for power and energy? (anag. incl. greed for p + E, & lit.).
M. Barley: Ashes’ end augured: twice English err, sadly lacking a plan for victory (anag. incl. s, EE less a).
T. C. Borland: Deployment by Germany, for example, infiltrating Maginot’s folly from the east (use D e.g. all in erreur (rev.), & lit.; ref. M. Line).
C. Boyd: Martial device employed after war’s end – devious Greek lure left King vanquished (r use + anag. less l, K; ref. Trojan horse).
C. A. Clarke: Operation embodied in false surrender e.g. concealing half of guns in retreat (use in anag. less (gu)ns (rev.), & lit.).
E. Cross: Distressed drug user starts to experience extreme reaction, encountering phoney ‘horse’ perhaps (anag. incl. first letters; ref. heroin and Trojan war).
N. C. Dexter: For which, infantry au front being blocked, use a couple of guns derrière possibly? (anag. incl. gu(ns) less i, & lit.).
C. M. Edmunds: Usurer, greed confounded by advocate’s final stratagem (anag. + e; ref. Shylock).
P. D. Gaffey: One does see EU err with drug war strategy (anag.).
R. J. Heald: Military stratagem the French devised and employed, say, in error at Agincourt, being overthrown (used e.g. in erreur (rev.)).
R. Hesketh: Possibly Trojan Horse utilized, for example, in French way? Make a mistake getting taken in by this (err in used e.g. in rue).
M. Hodgkin: Trick employed, say, by Ulysses initially to slip in soldiers? (used e.g. U err, all in RE, & lit.).
R. J. Palmer: What could be deployed, say, in Napoleon’s way with resistance by British army unit? (used e.g. in rue R RE, & lit.).
D. Parfitt: Subterfuge le leader tried out? Possibly, battlefield —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
A. Plumb: Stratagem Russia used with regret, almost, in the wars against the East (RU + anag. incl. regre(t) + E).
D. R. Robinson: Learn this! All might well collapse as erreurs du général (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. C. Teuton: Usurer consumed with greed adopts a little extortion stratagem (anag. + e).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, D. J. Bexson, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, B. Burton, B. Butler, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, P. Cargill, N. Connaughton, R. M. S. Cork, K. W. Crawford, G. Cuthbert, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, R. Dean, V. Dixon, W. Drever, A. S. Everest, N. C. Goddard, M. Goodliffe, J. Grimes, D. V. Harry, E. J. Howe, E. C. Lance, J. P. Lester, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, B. MacReamoinn, N. MacSweeney, P. W. Marlow, P. McKenna, Rev M. R. Metcalf, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, T. D. Nicholl, F. R. Palmer, G. S. Parsons, Mrs E. M. Phair, D. Price Jones, W. Ransome, M. Sanderson, D. P. Shenkin, D. J. Short, I. Simpson, P. L. Stone, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, M. Wainwright, Ms S. Wallace, R. J. Whale, J. Woodall, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.
205 entries, no mistakes. Favourite clue of the month: ‘Barbarian having five such bloodied’ for HUNDRED, and a three-way tie in second place for the clues to FINNSKO, PENNY-DOG and SNOTTIES, with 24 receiving one or more mentions. The choice of favourite was an interesting one in that several of you said they didn’t fully understand it and couldn’t spot the definition. I don’t often produce such self-referential clues (‘such’ indicating the definition) but would argue that they are perfectly sound. On this occasion I think I was pretty desperate for a decent way of dealing with an uninspiring word until this idea came to me. One other clue of mine deserves comment, In ‘Name on box may give information to the police’ for NARK the last six words form the definition, i.e. a verb clause indicating the noun that could be its subject. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I regard this device as acceptable (and have awarded prizes to clues that use it); what I don’t accept is that nouns can be defined by adjectival phrases, such as past participles and the like.
RUSE DE GUERRE provided a tough challenge (3 Es, 3 Rs, 2 Us) and the strain told. Far too many, for example, settled for clues containing such wording as ‘war in France’ as part of their cryptic indication to deal with GUERRE, though this is no more than a straight translation and not cryptic at all. And while applauding the efforts of those who managed to indicate the Frenchness of the term, usually by reference to Napoloeon, I didn’t regard this as crucial. Like many another Gallicism it has become part of our language (if not a terribly common one) and may be found, I’m sure, referring to military stratagems in which the French are not involved at all.
I’m grateful for the many kind comments on my having passed No. 1,800 and on my ‘Sly Oaf’ puzzle to mark the occasion, even though for some the penny didn’t drop completely. I included the heavy hint (‘sure sign’) in the preamble to prevent solvers entering e.g. CURTAIN and OVEN for the unclued lights as a result of failing to spot the anagram of ‘Lays’. of Ancient Rome’. (One witty regular, who shall be nameless, rang to remind me of the old schoolboy joke that the emperor Claudius’s oversexed wife Messalina is generally regarded as the most famous of all the L of AR!)
My thanks also for the many cards and messages of seasonal cheer my family and I have received from Azed solvers, These are heartily reciprocated. My wife Alison joins me in wishing you all an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and all the best for 2007. I’ll do my best to carry on diverting you every Sunday as usual.