◀  No. 19627 Feb 2010 Clue list No. 1971  ▶



1.  D. F. Manley: As in ‘B-role’ duty possibly (anag. & lit.).

2.  R. J. Heald: Studio blarney reduced by ‘dinosaur Tel’ sadly taking lesser role (anag., anag.; ref. T. Wogan leaving Radio 2 breakfast show for Sunday slot).

3.  D. K. Arnott: How sous-chef serves pie Bourdain style (anag.; pie2 vt; ref. Anthony B., celebrity chef).


T. Anderson: Any ordinary day butler is working thus (anag. incl. o d, & lit.).

D. & N. Aspland: Having no leads, Morse sat in pub and idly puzzled – as Lewis would do? (anag. less M s i p).

M. Barley: Qulelch boys endlessly endure Latin as a subject, so daily Bunter squirms (anag. less e n, anag., & lit.).

C. J. Brougham: DB in Losey art film all can watch, shot in the style of The Servant (anag. incl. U; ref. Joseph Losey film; DB = Dirk Bogarde).

P. Coles: In the manner of an inferior sandwich, prepared ‘to a New York deli recipe’ (sub + anag. incl. NY r).

Ms S. Curran: Sculpture of Our Lady is bent in a submissive way (anag.).

V. Dixon: How you might see drone busily at work (anag. & lit.).

L. K. Edkins: In the role of Cherubino, for instance, tenors audibly strained (anag.; ref. mezzo soprano role of servant in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’).

G. I. L. Grafton: Loco used by Circle Line train at a lower level (anag. incl. O l; loco = crazy).

J. Grimes: Yank used Tony Blair like a lackey (anag.; ref. G. W. Bush).

V. G. Henderson: Conform readily (no buts) thus (anag. & lit.).

J. Hood: Showing deference, working by senior adult (anag.).

J. C. Leyland: Yank used Tony Blair as a poodle? (anag.; ref. G. W. Bush).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: New Labour destiny – playing second fiddle? (anag.).

P. W. Marlow: Tenor’s audibly off-key? Baritone’s duly struggling in a lesser way (anag., anag.).

R. S. Morse: Tony Blair used spin as leader? Surely not! (anag.).

P. L. Stone: Today Brunel is ‘reborn’ by us with ‘olde’ train steaming down the line (anag., anag.; steaming = very drunk).

Dr A. J. Varney: Thus I’d run and obey Lieutenant as orderly (anag. incl. Lt, & lit.).

A. J. Wardrop: Cook used Tony Blair – thus? On the contrary (anag. & lit.; ref. Robin C.).

J. West: Labour destiny is uncertain as Peers are unlikely to act (anag.).

Dr E. Young: Yank used Tony Blair so? (anag. & lit.; ref. G. W. Bush).


D. Appleton, D. Arthur, M. Barker, T. C. Borland, P. Cargill, G. Chapman, B. Cheesman, T. Crowther, N. C. Dexter, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, A. S. Everest, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gilbert, R. Hesketh, Ms M. Irvine, Ms M. Janssen, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, J. R. H. Jones, Dr A. Kitching, W. F. Main, L. F. Marzillier, P. McKenna, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, T. D. Nicholl, D. J. O’Brien, R. J. Palmer, Dr T. G. Powell, W. Ransome, Mrs A. Terrill, R. C. Teuton, J. R. Tozer, A. Vick, Ms S. Wallace, J. D. Walsh, N. Warne, K. J. Williams.

181 entries, no fewer than 60 having MINIMISATION/MINIMIZATION for MINIFICATION. When an error occurs on such a large scale, it usually indicates a weak clue, but on this occasion I don’t feel culpable. ‘Greatly belittling what’s small and unimportant, now forgotten, I lie about one’ can only lead to MINIFICATION (min(now) + a in I fiction), and I must assume that those who got it wrong simply failed to notice the correct alternative with its more-or-less identical definition. Favourite clue (mine too, as it happens) was ‘A corner store’s tangled with ——: an error possibly!’ for TESCO, 23 clues receiving at least one mention. The clue to JUNIOR received two plus votes and one minus vote.
Overall, the entry was disappointingly low, perhaps because the Playfair clues were on the tough side (not what I intended). I’ve long been uncomfortable about requiring solvers to solve clues completely blind in Playfair puzzles, and this was the reason why I decided to make the encoded answers linked semantically (not synonymous, as I was careful to avoid saying). This was clearly a welcome lifeline for many, but I should equally clearly have made the relevant clues even easier. I must also apologize for my clue to STERNE, which carelessly assumed that the author of Tristram Shandy (one of my favourite books) was called Lawrence, not Laurence.
The clue word offered a seemingly limitless number of anagrams, even if some of you found the problem of defining an adverb quite tricky. I was greatly impressed by the quality of the better clues, which exhibited a widely different range of inventive ideas (see above) and made judging especially difficult, even with the effectively reduced entry. My congratulations to all those quoted on an outstanding list. So many anagrams suggested themselves that several included two in their submissions. This doesn’t happen very often, but on this occasion the best ones were really very good and far from obvious.
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First prize winner by R. S. Morse in competition 1108