AZED CROSSWORD 2027
1. Dr S. J. Shaw: Composing such poems could show I lament the corpse (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. A. J. Wardrop: Anthem for relict is a composition of this form (comp. anag. & lit.).
3. C. J. Brougham: Lamenting eternal itch, Fay murdered tenth éclair (double anag.; fay = eccentric).
D. K. Arnott: Arrangement for the clarinet redolent of Jeremiah Clarke’s last piece and rich talent wasted (double anag.; ref. Jeremiah’s lamentations; JC took his own life at an early age).
M. Barley: Before retiring, Latin teacher is given new version of elegiacs (anag. less a).
D. A. Campbell: Chatter line is ill-designed for expressing grief (anag.).
N. C. Dexter: Such as the recital warbled about cock-robin’s end (n in anag., & lit.; ref. traditional song).
J. P. Guiver: Working gent’s exhausted from recent late nights travelling – waking’s such a strain (anag. less anag.; ref. wake for the dead).
D. Harris: Sent chain letter as registered by the last post? (anag.).
R. J. Heald: Mournful doctor in health centre rejecting closures (anag. less last letters).
M. Hodgkin: Mourning Becomes Electra with thin cast (anag.; ref. O’Neill play).
J. C. Leyland: As keen cooks we plot chic dinner parties regularly (anag. of alternate letters; keen2).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: In Memoriam Latin teacher’s translating as —— (comp. anag.).
D. F. Manley: Woeful-sounding Lent, Rich Tea being abandoned (anag.; ref. giving up biscuits).
P. D. Martin: Troy laments epic hero after sacking, producing —— poems? (comp. anag.; t = troy).
C. J. Morse: Put line under unsound 13 ac. – it’s woeful (anag. + l).
A. Plumb: Like a keen jockey I canter with the rear out of pommel (anag. incl. l; keen2).
P. L. Stone: New College lament their passing Master with mournful song (anag. incl. c, less M).
J. Waterton: It might describe the mourners’ wailing when client and earth are intermingled (anag.).
M. Whitmore: It’s characteristic of a keen athlete, increasing exercises with no letting up (anag. less easing; keen2).
A. Whittaker: Need cithara – lento, con moto – to compose such an ode (comp. anag. & lit.).
Dr E. Young: Enact Hitler spoof, giving stiff salute (anag.; spoof = bogus, false).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, T. C. Borland, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, C. J. & M. P. Butler, C. A. Clarke, T. Crowther, Mrs P. Diamond, V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gilbert, J. Glassonbury, G. I. L. Grafton, R. Haddock, P. F. Henderson (New Zealand), R. Hesketh, Mrs M. Janssen (Ireland), Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, Mrs J. M. Johnson, G. Johnstone, E. C. Lance, G. McNaughton, J. R. C. Michie, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, C. Ogilvie, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, D. Price Jones, D. P. Shenkin, U. Sheorey, A. J. Shields, N. G. Shippobotham, I. Simpson, A. W. Taylor, R. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, A. Varney, Mrs A. M. Walden, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA).
272 entries, more than a few mistakenly having PANDORA for PANDURA, the latter (which alone fitted the clue) being, it seems, both an alternative spelling for the former and the name of a different musical instrument altogether, with many more strings. Favourite clue (of 24 receiving one vote or more) was ‘Attack from the right, trendy and typical of coalition government?’ for DIARCHIC, no doubt because of its vague topicality. (In passing, I was much amused by a recent letter to the Times which read: ‘There is a button on my TV set called AV. Whenever I select it, I never quite know what the outcome will be.’)
THRENETICAL is clearly a pretty rare word, though not labelled as such (or ‘obsolete’) in Chambers. It is not even given in the big Webster and of all the Oxfords only the OED sees fit to include it, defining it as ‘pertaining to a threnody; mournful’, with a single quotation from Thomas Carlyle dated 1829. I tended to be lenient towards definitions in clues implying a general sense of ‘sad’ or ‘expressing sadness’, whether or not in the context of a dead person being mourned. Its meaning apart, it offered a field day for anagram fans (‘chain letter’, ‘thin treacle’ and especially ‘the clarinet’ all occurring so frequently that only those with the most imaginative wording made it above the ‘highly commended’ level). Mr Brougham deserves special praise for coming up with two anagrams no one else found (and making me laugh into the bargain). I had momentary worries about Mr Wardrop’s ‘relict’ in his otherwise brilliantly succinct ‘& lit.’ composite anagram, being concerned as to whether a relict is a person who has died or someone (or something) left behind after the death of another. The fact that Chambers gives it as synonymous with ‘relic’, one of whose definitions is ‘corpse’ (usually, but therefore not invariably, when plural), just swung it for me.
In a competition so dominated by anagrams it is worth mentioning again, as I do from time to time, that anagrams should be clearly indicated as such, i.e. by pointing to a disturbance in the order of the relevant word(s) and/or letters. Some of you occasionally use wording which (to me) fails in this regard. Here is an example of what I mean, in an otherwise excellent clue: ‘The rain etc replenished lake, fuelling waterworks’. To replenish something is to fill it up again, and though the process of replenishment no doubt changes the appearance of (in this case) a lake, I couldn’t accept it as a sound anagram indicator. If I did, the flood gates, to continue the fluid analogy, would be well and truly opened.