AZED CROSSWORD 1975
1. T. Crowther: Pa. is rel. to Tenn. roughly (anag. & lit.; ref. approx. geography of Pennsylvania & Tennessee).
2. J. R. Tozer: Pop person, one with talent, high in charts (anag. incl. I; i.e. at the top of the map).
3. G. H. Willett: No plain setter could devise such brilliant lights (anag.; ref. northern lights).
T. Anderson: Intense polar winds keeping temperature arctic (t in anag.).
D. Arthur: Northern seaport with inlet developed to harbour navy (N in anag.).
M. Barley: Set in the polar North, possibly (obscure term for such) (anag. incl. N less h, & lit.).
B. Cheesman: Southerner’s beyond Watford but could be late in Preston (anag.).
N. C. Dexter: Potent side of note Sir Alex almost entirely rebuilt in the North (anag. incl. n less x; ref. Man. United).
W. Drever: Northern Rock plan, with zero interest (anag. incl. 0; ref. poor rates offered by bank after bail-out).
R. Gilbert: As was said of North: peculiarly inept … lost, ultimately, former empire in America (anag. incl. r e n a; ref. Lord North).
D. V. Harry: It’s near north pole, centre of wintery storms (anag. incl. N, t, & lit.).
P. F. Henderson: Listen to Opera North broadcast, missing nothing – like the company? (anag. incl. N less 0; ON based in Leeds).
R. Hesketh: Northern Line stop (not Circle) near to Barking? (anag. less O; ref. London tube lines).
J. Hood: Polar tint seen flashing like aurora borealis (anag.).
B. Jones: Northern Rock pension rate lost extremely large cut (anag. less OS; ref. failed bank).
J. C. Leyland: Northern Rock inept loans management finally leads to embarrassing run (anag. incl. t and e r; ref. failed bank).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Northern Ireland’s potent brews unsettling head in Down or Derry (anag. less D).
D. F. Manley: At pointers line must start for one to find —— source of illumination (comp. anag. incl. i, & lit.; start = spring out of place; ref. Plough constellation).
P. W. Marlow: Northern clan learnt in battles to defend essential character of Scots (sept + o in anag.).
T. J. Moorey: Northern Rock new line at present netting one next to nothing (I 0 in anag. incl. n l; ISA 2010 offered by NR at 0.8%).
R. S. Morse: Club at Preston and Line, suggesting North and Northern (anag.; club vt; ref. Preston North End FC).
F. R. Palmer: Arctic tern: ultimate in travel, top in sea roaming (anag. incl. l).
R. J. Palmer: Put another way, it’s near t’ North Pole (anag. incl. N, & lit.).
D. H. Tompsett: Like reindeer moss’s habitat: antlers open it up (anag.; up = in an excited state).
B. Wilson: This line’s a rotten piece of public transport (anag. incl. p; ref. much vilified London tube Northern Line).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, J. & J. Barnes, J. G. Booth, Dr J. Burscough, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, P. Cargill, M. Coates, Ms S. Curran, V. Dixon, C. J. Ellis, Dr I. S. Fletcher, P. D. Gaffey, M. Goodliffe, G. I. L. Grafton, D. Grice, J. Grimes, Dr C. Hales, M. J. Hanley, D. Harris, Ms S. B. Hart, R. J. Heald, P. Heffernan, R. J. Hooper, Ms M. Irvine, Ms M. Janssen, Ms A. Jeevendrampillai, Mrs S. G. Johnson, J. R. H. Jones, D. R. Laney, D. Lester, J. P. Lester, W. F. Main, K. Manley, P. McKenna, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, R. Murdoch, T. D. Nicholl, S. O’Melia, M. L. Perkins, A. Plumb, Major J. D. Plummer, T. Railton, W. Ransome, Ms H. Richardson, Mrs L. J. Roberts, P. Sansun, R. J. Sharkey, S. J. Shaw, D. P. Shenkin, N. G. Shippobotham, I. Simpson, P. L. Stone, A. W. Taylor, Dr A. J. Varney, L. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, R. J. Whale, A. Whittaker, S. Whyld, K. J. Williams, D. C. Williamson.
242 entries, no mistakes. Equal favourite clues of the month, with 12 nominations each: ‘Ghost, headless cleric wanders here? Trick’s involved!’ (CLOISTER-GARTH) and ‘Paddy having a bit of an eye for the lady?’ (IRISHER). Some of you commented on the unusual presence in the puzzle of four 13-letter across entries. Grid construction is not something I often mention, but I do try to vary bar patterns as much as possible within what I regard as generally acceptable parameters (a maximum of one unchecked letter for 4- and 5-letter words, two for 6-, 7- and 8-letter words, three for 9-, 10- and 11-letter words, and four for 12- and 13-letter words). Unlike some crossword setters I am not restricted to a prescribed number of grid patterns, so the number of permutations is potentially very large for 12 x 12 and 13 x 11 grids. If I do repeat myself, this is not deliberate (though perhaps inevitable from time to time).
There were a few raised eyebrows at the third 12- or 13-letter clue word in a row. This was not intentionally planned – I pick what seems the most promising word each time before embarking on the cluing process and without reference to previous months, so this bunching up may occur from time to time. (I could add that longer words often lend themselves to a greater variety of treatment, while mentioning that next month’s will be considerably shorter than recent juggernauts.) All of that said, SEPTENTRIONAL offered a real bonanza for anagram fans and was duly exploited in this way, with some brilliant results. Is it an archaic or obsolete word? Chambers suggests not, without being totally clear about it, though the OED, the only Oxford dictionary even to include the word, labels it ‘Now rare’, the most recent citation being from 1887. In the circumstances I decided not to make its currency an issue, though I applaud those, like Mr Gilbert above, who made an effort to indicate the word’s distinct datedness.
I must apologize to Mr I. Simpson, whose clue to WATERMANSHIP last month was judged VHC in the paper but was mysteriously downgraded to HC in the slip. For the record it was: ‘A half minute and tap washer will be fixed – good, it’ll avoid a terrible row’ (anag. incl. min). And may I, once again, appeal to all competitors to observe the requests religiously repeated every month in connection with competition entries? Please firmly attach your clue sheet to the entry grid you cut from the paper and always give your name and address on the clue sheet as well as on the entry grid. Those who obediently do this every month would be amazed at how many competitors fail to do so.