◀  No. 18233 Jun 2007 Clue list No. 1831  ▶



1.  A. J. Wardrop: What might make these Zulu chiefs die sinners? Naked missionaries! (naked; comp. anag.).

2.  D. C. Williamson: As if Shaka is come reborn might such chiefs be exposed? (exposed; comp. anag. & lit.).

3.  Ms S. Wallace: Zulu chiefs tackle Mbeki – no SA seat if divested of negotiated benefits (divested; anag. less anag.; ref. Pres. Thabo M.).


R. D. Anderson: Tribal chiefs accepted carved oomiaks, prow stripped off (stripped; a + anag. less o).

D. Appleton: Panda, and those of his class, like coma, stripped, as a snack (stripped; anag. incl. (l)ik(e) (c)om(a); coma2; Panda, Zulu chief and father of Cetewayo).

D. Arthur: African leaders running amok in oasis, stripped (stripped; anag. in (o)asi(s)).

D. & N. Aspland: These tribal chiefs rend dresses, resulting in naked Maoris? (naked; comp. anag.).

M. Barley: Big fish amongst African indigenes (their leaders being here exposed) (exposed; makos in first letters, & lit.).

E. Cross: Tribal chiefs in Samoa, with bared skin, dancing (bared; anag. incl. (s)ki(n)).

V. Dixon: SA leaders exposed: sharks, but kept in by sloth (exposed; makos in ai).

R. Gilbert: Clan chiefs exposed as leaders of affluent minority appropriating kudos of Shaka’s impis (exposed; first letters).

J. F. Grimshaw: Are Maori sticks in stripped ramin for native chiefs? (stripped; a + kos in (r)ami(n)).

R. J. Heald: African tribal leaders fell, stripped of power, overwhelmed by swarming Masai (stripped; ko(P) in anag.).

C. J. Lancaster: Leaders of Africans dwelling in or around King Solomon’s Mines, fighting when divested of diamonds (divested; anag. of first letters less D).

J. C. Leyland: Natal men (top ones) giving ma oxygen as kid cleared of end of cord in labour (cleared; anag. incl. O less d).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Tribal leaders, African American, odd characters from Ohio, stark raving (stark; Am + anag. of alternate letters).

D. F. Manley: Makarios deprived of right to stir – might have led fight against British colonials (deprived; anag. less r; ref. Anglo-Zulu war and Archbishop M. of Cyprus).

P. McKenna: Foremost characters from Kwazulu men, stripped of all ancient influence possibly (stripped; anag. of first letters, & lit.).

N. G. Shippobotham: When exposed to interference, ‘ham’ answer is OK and not hard in ‘Alpha Zulu’ and the like (exposed; anag. incl. a less H; ref. AZ comp).

K. Thomas: Leaders in kraal oddly associated with Masai? That’s wrongly exposed (exposed; anag. incl. k o, & lit.).

J. R. Tozer: Billion stripped out of African capital is propping up African rulers (stripped; (B)amako (capital of Mali) + is (rev.)).

G. H. Willett: Brünnhilde type, half stripped, makes a big hit with international and native bigwigs (stripped; Ama(zon) ko’s I).


R. Bates, T. C. Borland, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, D. A. Campbell, P. Cargill, M. Coates, G. Cuthbert, P. A. Davies, N. C. Dexter, C. M. Edmunds, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, D. V. Harry, Ms S. B. Hart, M. Hodgkin, A. Hodgson, B. Jones, Rev M. Metcalf, T. J. Moorey, C. J. Morse, S. Naysmith, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, D. Parfitt, Dr T. G. Powell, D. R. Robinson, M. Sanderson, D. P. Shenkin, D. Shiell, D. J. Short, P. L. Stone, D. H. Tompsett, D. M. White, Dr E. Young.

156 entries, some mistakes, mostly through wrongly identifying the word(s) to clue. ‘Wrong Number’ always presents a stiff challenge (for setter as well as solvers), but this one seems to have been particularly difficult. Unlike most puzzles, WN doesn’t get any easier as the grid fills up. Favourite clue was ‘On the job, holds middle of dildo joustingly’ for ATILT (TUMMY), which clearly appealed to many despite (perhaps because of) its questionable taste; only one competitor expressed the opinion that I’d overstepped the bounds of decency.
Many of you complained (politely, of course) about the clue words. Whereas DENUDED offered the possibility of a fair range of definitions (though some submitted were on or over the borderline of acceptability), AMAKOSI is pretty specific, allowing much less room for manoeuvre. To some extent I foresaw this, but it still appeared the most tractable pair to give you. I can’t remember another occasion on which all three prize-winning clues were composite anagrams. Some of you, I know, are less than keen on this device and try to avoid using it if at all possible. As you will have observed from my own clues I don’t mind it at all, especially when faced with an otherwise intractable word and when a nice ‘& lit.’ element can be worked in as well.
This is perhaps an appropriate moment to return to the matter of ‘& lit.’, which continues to be misunderstood by many. I hope more experienced competitors will bear with me as I attempt to explain it once again, by quoting from the introduction in my A-Z of Crosswords published last year. ‘This [‘& lit.’] is a rather special clue type, with a rather obscure label. I am uncertain who invented the name (Ximenes possibly) but it has stuck, despite occasional attempts to rechristen it…I firmly believe that every cryptic clue should consist of a definition of the answer, plus a cryptic treatment of that answer…Sometimes, however, it is possible to construct a clue, of whichever type, in such a way that the definition and the cryptic treatment are one and the same. In other words the clue as a whole can be read in two different ways, once as a literal definition of the answer [hence ‘& lit.’] and once as a cryptic indication of it. Many setters would agree with me that such clues are especially satisfying to setter and solver alike.’ I hope that helps. What ‘& lit.’ is not is a label that can be applied to any clue that reads as a true factual statement. It’s a bit more subtle than that.


The Azed Cup

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Second prize winner by E. Chalkley in competition 1030