AZED CROSSWORD 2078
1. R. J. Heald: Resolution to contemplate our Lord makes this man drop out (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. V. Dixon: Religious college centrally committed to religious education and Latin (coll. in RE, et).
3. J. R. C. Michie: He repairs to cell after lessons in religion (RE + anag., & lit.).
M. Barley: Term for frère in Catholic order, one primarily reflective (e in RC + tell o(ne) (rev.), & lit.).
P. Bartlam: One Roman Catholic leaves Celtic lore becoming reformed friar (anag. less I, C).
T. C. Borland: Brute Corleone not one to suffer brother who shuns the mob? (anag. less one + let).
M. Coates: Electoral rolls are missing one withdrawn on religious grounds (anag. less a).
J. Grimes: I’ll be cloaked in le cloître détaché (anag. less I, & lit.).
D. V. Harry: I repair to cell after church (RE + anag., & lit.).
R. Hesketh: Observant, reformed bank clerk rejected about forty per cent of coins (co in teller (rev.)).
R. J. Hooper: One who’s into Revelations, retiring and with restricted company? (co. in teller (rev.), & lit.).
M. Lunan: Missing eye of hurricane, windswept Tiree shelters nearby island friar (Coll in anag. less i).
P. W. Marlow: I might be found in chapter following God and with old order in retreat? (Re + c + o tell (rev.), & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: State of Chancellor of the Exchequer meeting resistance in recession? He’s friendless, for God’s sake! (tell o’ CE r (all rev.)).
N. G. Shippobotham: Head of religious school in Paris welcomes lecturer with time for a reformed friar (r + L in école + t).
P. L. Stone: One from ‘le cloitre’ reformed? (anag. less I, & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: Bank clerk handling overcharge reversed one from the Abbey (o/c in teller (all rev.)).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Minor electoral reforms are being dropped (anag. less a; see minor).
Ms S. Wallace: Religious education college – French and Franciscan (RE coll. et).
A. J. Wardrop: Who might be lector in reformed order, having grasp of Latin and English? (L, E in anag., & lit.).
R. J. Whale: Electoral maverick – no second place for Galloway, a reformed member! (anag. less a; ref. Bradford by-election).
G. H. Willett: Who’s enlisted in order to shrink from oblivion? Not I, nor he (reco(i)l Let(he)).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, Dr J. Burscough, E. Butterworth, H. Casson (USA), W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gilbert, D. Harris, Dr G. L. Heard (USA), J. C. Leyland, E. Looby, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, D. F. Manley, L. F. Marzillier (USA), C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), W. Ransome, Dr S. J. Shaw, I. Simpson, P. A. Stephenson, P. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, S. J. J. Tiffin, D. H. Tompsett, M. Wainwright, L. Ward (USA), Ms B. Widger, A. J. Young, Dr E. Young.
A very low entry, only 121 in all. I suppose this was due to the fact that many solvers failed to spot the ‘April Fool’ theme and were consequently unable to decide which of the ‘either/or’ choices to go for. I can see that it wasn’t clear which set of alternatives I meant you to enter (either admitting to having been an April Fool, or demonstrating that you hadn’t been one), and as a consequence I accepted either (but not a mixture of the two). The great majority opted for APRIL FOOL, which is what I originally had in mind. I’m glad April Fool’s Day doesn’t fall on a Sunday more than about (exactly?) once every seven years. The temptation to play a trick on you is very strong when it does, but coming up with a new idea each time gets increasingly difficult. I was quite pleased with this one when it occurred to me, but the grid proved tough to construct, forcing me to settle for the less-than-ideal RED EAR and DOVIES/DAVIES. The OED provided me with chapter and verse for DOVIES (a plural of dovey/dovie), and DAVIES, which some of you took to be a second proper name (along with Enya), was intended as a plural form for Davy, logical if not perhaps actually attested. (I did discover on the Web that there is such a thing as a red-ear – a ‘common type of sunfish’ found off parts of the USA – but decided that this was just too obscure for comfort, since it hasn’t made it into any dictionary I possess.) Some of you may have noticed that I designed the grid to give myself 40 answers, four more than normal, and thus a bit more elbow-room in finding nine pairs of crossing entries in which the same pair of alternative letters was possible at each crossing. I also considered giving you one of the ‘either/or’ words to clue, probably STRIPLING/STRIPPING, but I then had second thoughts, for two reasons: (i) this would have given away a further special entry, in addition to those mentioned above; and (ii) the structure of ‘either/or’ clues did impose certain restrictions, which would have unduly limited what you could do with the clue word.
I hope you will forgive my going on at such length about the puzzle’s tricky gestation. The number of complimentary comments it provoked goes some way towards making up for the low entry, which was (I admit) rather disappointing. Your favourite clue, of 19 mentioned, was ‘Straitlaced, Di’s rejected cowman’s ‘come-on’ for PRUH, an odd word I must have clued a fair number of times before so it’s good to know there’s still a bit of fun one can wring out of it!
No time for more for now. The veg patch beckons.