◀  No. 20007 Nov 2010 Clue list No. 2010  ▶


GROAN (Spoonerisms)

1.  J. Grimes: See king crowned, grand on horse, organ playing some allegro anthems (creaking sound; g + roan/anag./hidden).

2.  R. Gilbert: Confounded organ needed leak – peed in fantastic volumes (Peake, lead; anag.; ref. Titus G., Mervyn P.).

3.  R. J. Heald: Response to acquired tip? Grand put on horse (a tired quip; g + roan).


D. K. Arnott: Broken-down nag or sound type produced by training stables? (straining tables; anag.).

M. Barley: Faces of generation reaching old age naturally grow lined (low grind; first letters).

T. C. Borland: What pique one can provoke, sounding cultivated (weak pun; ‘grown’).

D. A. Campbell: Rebuild organ, say in pine (sigh in pain; anag.).

E. Cross: Peak won is rewarded with this gold set in jade – that’s climbing! (weak pun; or in nag (rev.)).

V. Dixon: Organ malfunctioning? It’s dopamine you’re wanting (deeper moan; anag.).

J. Glassonbury: Indian welcomes onset of rains. Keep dry! (deep cry; r in Goan).

G. I. L. Grafton: Response to pique one let slip awrong – wife’s leaving! (weak pun; anag. less w).

P. F. Henderson (New Zealand): Pound, inspired by sun, penning end of canto in great Italian style (sound … pun; o in gran).

Ms M. Irvine: Pound made when insane betting finally goes on horse (sound … in pain; g + roan).

E. C. Lance: Likely response to tum pain? Transplanted organ! (tame pun; anag.).

P. D. Martin: Settler’s end in Indian territory (Nebraska, originally) could be a result of Pawnee cunning (corny punning; r in Goa + N).

G. & J. Parsons: A lot of aggro and a jaw poke might produce this reaction (poor joke; hidden).

R. Perry: A crew (some Greek) steered Argo north (gruesome creak; anag. + N).

Dr T. G. Powell: To wake a male snoring there’s no sin in a shove (make a wail; anag. less sin incl. a; shove vi).

J. R. Tozer: Reaction to pique one vocally made a big thing of (weak pun; ‘grown’).

R. J. Whale: ‘Merry’ organ donors tend to do it all May! (moaners … day; anag.).

D. C. Williamson: With rogan josh order, get edible trauma (audible tremor; anag.).


D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, R. Bowden, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. Carter, C. A. Clarke, N. Connaughton, P. T. Crow, T. Crowther, M. Cutter, W. Drever, T. Evans, A. G. Fleming, M. Freeman, D. Freund (USA), D. Harris, R. Hesketh, M. Hodgkin, R. J. Hooper, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, J. Knott, J. C. Leyland, N. MacSweeney, W. F. Main, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, Rev Prebendary M. R. Metcalf, C. J. Morse, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), W. Ransome, D. P. Shenkin, I. Simpson, Ms M. Stokes, A. W. Taylor, P. Thacker, D. H. Tompsett, C. J. A. Underhill, A. J. Varney, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, N. Warne, I. J. Wilcock, G. H. Willett, A. J. Young, Dr E. Young.

204 entries, no noticeable mistakes. Despite a few dissenting voices, this was clearly a welcome return for a popular special. The grid can be tricky to construct, but I do enjoy writing the clues, especially those containing rather than referring to Spoonerisms, though they take longer than usual to concoct when nothing immediate suggests itself. Some competitors admitted to not having worked out all my Spoonerisms, but the subsidiary indications were adequate to ensure that the answers to be entered were not in doubt. The trickiest was probably ALEPINE, which I assumed was pronounced ale-pine when I included it in the diagram and only discovered it was ‘alli-peen’ when I came to clue it. Equal favourite clues (of 25 mentioned) were ‘Sapid Rex, strangely keen to withdraw up north in Turkey’ (for KNEE-TREMBLER – though one competitor boldly suggested that this activity need not necessarily be as brief as my clue implies!) and ’Halt about one after less than half of party? We’ll join doze in tux’ (PALAMAE).
I gave you GROAN because I thought it would offer more possibilities than most. (The note in the preamble about the unchecked letter I added at the last minute when I realized that GROIN, though labelled obsolete in Chambers, otherwise fitted the definition equally well.) A few of you got a bit tangled up in the special requirements for a Spoonerized clue. Here’s an example: ‘Little bundle inspires nana with love.’ The writer has Spoonerized a synonym of the definition and then offered a definition of the Spoonerism, i.e. ‘little bundle’ = ‘wee bale’, a Spoonerism (approximate) of ‘bewail’: a step too far for this type of clue. I also didn’t care for monosyllabic Spoonerisms, e.g. ‘gnome’ for ‘moan’ – a different form of dyslexia, I reckon. And I was dubious about ‘Dutch mistress’ as a Spoonerism for ‘much distress’, on the grounds that the stress pattern of the two dissyllables is different.
I was sad to hear of the recent death at only 65 of Derek Arthur, a regular Azed competitor for many years and co-editor of the Listener crossword in The Times, in which role he gave much helpful advice to budding setters and solvers. Born in Lerwick, he lectured in mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin, and later at Edinburgh University. By a sad irony he had been for a time a research student at Wadham College, Oxford, where the Azed 2,000 lunch was held, and sent me a kind message from Greece, where he was on holiday at the time.
A group photograph of guests at the 2,000 lunch is available as a black-and-white print (9½ x 12 inches) from Simon Murison-Bowie, 53 Bartlemas Road, Oxford OX4 1XU. Please send a cheque payable to Simon Murison-Bowie at this address.


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