AZED CROSSWORD 1897
1. C. Boyd: Dashing southpaw ‘Prince’ exits a failure (anag. less P; ref. flamboyant boxer ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, dethroned by Barrera in 2001).
2. R. J. Palmer: A show going off on a high note? Certainly not! (anag. + ut2, & lit.).
3. M. Hodgkin: Wimbledon’s opening’s one? Soaked, thus covers on (W + a + o’ in anag., & lit.; soak = beat, pummel).
T. Anderson: Cut skied into the open air’s hard to stop for gully (H in saw (rev.) + out, & lit.; ref. cricket).
D. Arthur: Wall Street, a majority of the House admitted, is a fiasco (hou in wa’ St).
M. Barley: What leads to unhappy Oval spectators, possibly? (anag. incl. u, O, s, & lit.).
J. G. Booth: Women spend extravagantly after pound goes flop (w + (l)ash out).
C. J. Brougham: Lemon tree in bloom after touch of wilt (w + ash + out; lemon = useless person).
P. Coles: Lulu, with a hit of hers (w a ‘Shout’; ref. pop singer).
V. Dixon: Galliano’s autumn show’s no ——, amusing all riotously (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. John G., fashion designer).
W. Drever: What are summers here, often? Unfortunately this primarily! (first letters & lit.).
A. G. Fleming: Waterlogged event shows how an utter fiasco can develop into this farce (comp. anag.).
B. Grabowski: Rain stopped play! Whereabouts is that beer supply? (comp. anag.; supply adv.).
D. Harris: Wicket remains in poor condition – match abandoned (w ash out).
D. V. Harry: Flush with money leaving college? Not possible (w (C)ash out).
R. J. Heald: Turkey roasted with essential ingredient of nut stuffing (u in was hot).
P. F. Henderson: Who’s a floundering mutt at heart? (anag. + (m)ut(t), & lit.).
Mrs S. G. Johnson: No-hoper on strike after wicket has tumbled (w + anag. + out).
J. C. Leyland: With no sign of bra, how a bust must flop! (anag. less b; must4).
D. F. Manley: Twos Noah marshalled (no small number!) to circumvent universal —— (U in anag. less no., & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: What’s sour, peeled and juiced? The answer’s a lemon (anag. incl. (s)ou(r); juiced = drunk).
R. S. Morse: Washington clamour as time runs out to relieve core of Wall Street failure (WA shout, as hou(r) in W, t).
T. Powell: What’s the stuffing for your dressed turkey? (anag. incl. (y)ou(r)).
J. R. Tozer: A country show rain’s hit? Carry on in —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. J. Whale: See this erode ground? Could be due to a shower (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, C. A. Clarke, R. M. S. Cork, E. Cross, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, C. M. Edmunds, C. J. Ellis, Dr I. S. Fletcher, C. George, P. A. I. George, R. Gilbert, M. Goodliffe, G. I. L. Grafton, R. R. Greenfield, R. Hesketh, R. J. Hooper, J. R. H. Jones, N. Keating, E. C. Lance, C. Loving, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, W. F. Main, K. Manley, P. W. Marlow, L. Marzillier, J. Mason, P. McKenna, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, F. R. Palmer, J. Pearce, M. L. Perkins, D. Price Jones, W. Ransome, Mrs L. J. Roberts, D. R. Robinson, N. G. Shippobotham, P. L. Stone, K. Taylor, Mrs A. Terrill, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, W. B. Wendt, G. H. Willett, R. Zara.
208 entries, almost no mistakes. It was a very close race for your favourite clue of the month. In all, 28 were mentioned, and the winner by one vote (with 10) was ‘Nag set out, snatching lead from Red Rum’ (STRANGE) from ‘With this aunty might redo my curtains’ (SCRIM). Worst clue without question was ‘Deer love tucking in to blooms’ for ROOSA, in producing which I carelessly read the wrong entry for rusa. Two further clues gave some trouble, the first being ‘Unconventional sext includes equivalent of this? (EXISTS), one of those self-referential clues which I don’t often resort too but which seem fair enough when I do. (Here ‘equivalent of this’ = ‘is’, a synonym of EXISTS standing for a definition of the clue word.) More surprising to me was how many were unfamiliar with Meaux mustard (similar to that of Dijon but more grainy), surely to be seen on display in many a delicatessen. It has, I learn, been produced by the Pommery family firm since the 17th century. Try it.
WASH-OUT offered a very wide range of possible treatments because of its many meanings, both as a compound noun and (in the form WASH OUT) as a phrasal verb. Where both are possible I am happy to accept clues to either, as Mr Harry’s VHC above indicates. Sporting references were understandably much to the fore, especially in the context of cricket and tennis. I pondered somewhat before accepting ‘Rain stopped play’ as a definition for WASH-OUT, in that it is not a noun phrase but a sentence indicating a situation synonymous with the noun. Nit-picking? Certainly, but that’s what it’s all about. I also liked ‘clean bowled’ as a cryptic clue to WASH + OUT, but again further elaboration is needed, e.g. in the form of a question mark or a ‘perhaps’. There are other ways of getting out in cricket (and even if one is bowled, might it not have been a no ball?!).
Two new books have come my way since the last slip. One is the new (11th) edition of The Chambers Dictionary, complete with its now notorious foreword by Jeremy Paxman, which I shall start recommending from January 2009. It claims to include about 1,000 entries not in the previous edition. The second is How to Master the Times Crossword by Tim Moorey, published by Times Books at £12.99, ISBN 978-0-00-727784-1, a useful addition to the literature on crossword solving from a very experienced solver and setter whom many of you will know.