AZED CROSSWORD 1949
1. C. J. Brougham: I might have curried trotter (plainer English cooking frequently bores) (fr. in anag. incl. E; curry2).
2. M. Barley: See one accustomed to curry eschewing a variety of plainer fare (anag. less a; curry2).
3. D. Harris: One used to curry, not one cooking plainer fare (anag. less a; curry2).
T. Anderson: I prepare cobs etc. ground up in praline nuts (erf (rev.) in anag.).
D. Appleton: I prefer essentially bland cooking; he’d curry most days (anag. incl. (b)lan(d); curry2).
P. Coles: Groom finds diva under student in bizarre opera – not The Ring! (L + (Mirella) Freni in anag. less O).
N. C. Dexter: I could produce real fine starters for point-to-point races (anag. incl. p r, & lit.).
V. Dixon: Groom needs to control what could betray hesitation, panic mounting! (rein er flap (rev.)).
P. D. Gaffey: With a ‘hoss’ one might be a plier of harness (comp. anag. & lit.).
J. Grimes: Unveiling life partner could make this groom tense (anag. less t).
P. F. Henderson: Jeweller’s conclusion: ‘Pearl fine for shaping – jade means hard work for me’ (anag. incl. r; jade2).
M. Hodgkin: One fitting harness and primarily fettling, looking after and preparing all mounts (reiner + f l a p (all rev.), & lit.).
J. P. Lester: Groom or preen with flair when untidy (anag.).
J. C. Leyland: Left in charge I may, if bent, nobble fine racer with pill (comp. anag. incl, l i/c, & lit.).
D. F. Manley: Helper farin’ badly if horse bolts? (anag. less H, & lit.; horse = heroin).
C. G. Millin: Groom, with time, could become life partner (anag. less t).
C. J. Morse: I care for horses: one I like’s mostly let go on loose rein (pal + fre(e) + anag.).
A. Plumb: Groom could become paler if one runs off with ring (anag. incl. r less O).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Person holding frisky foal, leaving ring, by loose rein? (anag. less O + anag., all in per., & lit.).
P. L. Stone: —— working with gee-gee may produce e.g. e’er finer pelage (comp. anag. & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: Getting pain relief right for one massaged needs a stable hand (anag. with r for I).
R. J. Whale: For one accustomed to curry, concocting a bit of flavour with Lea & Perrins won’t have succeeded (anag. incl. f less s; ref. Worcester sauce; curry2).
G. H. Willett: Panic rises: the shareholder loses heart: my stable job is history! (flap (rev.) + ren(t)ier).
R. D. Anderson, D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, D. J. Bexson, R. E. Boot, T. C. Borland, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, P. Brown, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, P. Cargill, D. Carter, M. Coates, A. Colston, E. Cross, T. Crowther, Ms S. Curran, R. Dean, C. M. Edmunds, J. A. Elliott, C. J. Ellis, A. S. Everest, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, J. Glassonbury, B. Grabowski, R. Haddock, D. V. Harry, R. J. Heald, R. Hesketh, R. J. Hooper, Ms M. Irvine, J. R. H. Jones, E. Looby, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, W. F. Main, P. W. Marlow, P. McKenna, J. R. C. Michie, T. J. Moorey, C. Morton, D. Price Jones, Mrs L. J. Roberts, R. J. Sharkey, N. G. Shippobotham, D. J. Short, I. Simpson, R. C. Teuton, K. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, A. Varney, A. Vick, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, N. Warne, J. Waterton, A. Whittaker, K. J. Williams, D. C. Williamson, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.
211 entries, no mistakes that I noticed. Equal favourite clues, of 24 receiving one or more mentions: ‘Bud Flanagan initially touring Spain with his partner – what’s happened?’ for BEFALLEN and ‘Copshop or equivalent for half a dozen coppahs once?’ for TANNAH, both reviving memories of yesteryear. (I saw the Crazy Gang on stage once, when as a boy I was taken by my parents to see their show in, I think, Morecambe. They were already distinctly elderly and resorted too often to smutty jokes in place of the more harmless knockabout humour they were famous for. My parents were quite shocked!). Those of you who see both the print and the online versions of the puzzle noticed that CRAIG had a different clue in each, the online one being ‘“I loved Duncan” – by which Macbeth might have been hanged’, a reference to Gordon Craig, the theatre designer and father of one of Isadora Duncan’s illegitimate children. I got cold feet about this at proof stage, thinking the reference a little too obscure, and changed it to ‘Rocky point in Scotland featuring regularly in car-racing’, informing Guardian Unlimited of the change, which they then failed to implement. I don’t think this has happened before, and I shall try to ensure that it doesn’t again, but there is always a slight risk. No one complained, I’m pleased to say. The clue that caused most puzzlement was ‘Outside stone shed, sitting in perfect place’ (EDEN), i.e. sedent with st ‘shed’: quite fair, I think, and in fact a clue that I was rather pleased with. (One regular has suggested that I give my own favourite clue in each competition puzzle, but I’d rather not go there if you don’t mind.)
It’s odd that Chambers doesn’t label PALFRENIER archaic or obsolete, as the Oxfords do, despite labelling PALFREY ‘archaic or poetic’. Many of you assumed that it is not in current usage and indicated this accordingly, but I did not mark down those who failed to do this. I was however not impressed by clues which included an indication of PALFRE(Y) in their cryptic parts, the two words being so closely cognate. I am also sure that treating PALFRENIER as synonymous with ‘groom’ in any but an equine context, as a few did, is plain wrong. The preen/flair anagram was very popular, but not many managed to use it outstandingly well.
These are uncertain times for The Chambers Dictionary and for The Observer. I have been told that the publishers Chambers Harrap will be wound up, its Glasgow staff made redundant, and its reference list transferred to Hodder Educational in London. What this will mean for our ‘bible’ is anyone’s guess at this stage. Staff at The Observer have been informed by the Scott Trust (owners of The Observer and The Guardian) that both papers will survive, but cutbacks, both in staff numbers and in the format of the newspapers, may be expected. Again it’s just a case of ‘wait and see’, I’m afraid.