AZED CROSSWORD 2118
1. Dr I. S. Fletcher: Like mixing with the boys, rugged yet outgoing (anag. less anag., & lit.).
2. J. C. Leyland: If ——, leaders of synod poo-poo changes like female bishops (comp. anag. incl. s, p, f, & lit.).
3. W. Drever: I’m this when boisterous, like ‘himbos’ (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. D. Anderson: Typically male, he likes mingling with the boys, yet he’s somehow liberated (anag. less anag.).
D. K. Arnott: Rather coarse, certainly not suitable for everyone (bluish with oke for U, & lit.).
C. J. Brougham: ‘… Nothing Like a Dame’? Snatch of Hammerstein (Oscar) bass likes performing (anag. incl. H, O, b; ref. ‘South Pacific’ song).
M. Freeman: Bilko? He’s crafty being pally with the men (anag.; ref. former Phil Silvers TV series).
J. Grimes: Hot boys, expressing yen, like Nuts – being so? (anag. incl. H less y; ref. popular lad mag).
P. Halse: Sporty student OK for university? One starts to see him as one of the lads (blue with OK for u + I + first letters).
D. V. Harry: Slightly vulgar, non-U but OK, most suitable for stag nights (blueish with OK for U).
R. J. Heald: Comradely Bolshevik after revolution doffs cap to Vladimir (anag. less V; ref. Lenin).
D. F. Manley: Like boys exuding heart who hobnob without women? (anag. incl. b(oy)s less w, & lit.; hobnob = at random).
P. W. Marlow: Familiar slip containing what’s foremost in logodaedaly? Certainly (l oke in bish; ref. AZ slip).
C. J. Morse: A bit of kindness gets ‘bolshie’ turning round to become ‘matey’ (k in anag.).
R. A. Norton: Laddish prelate has work cut out circumventing restrictive passage (loke in bish(op)).
R. J. Palmer: For this sort there’s bosh like Nuts (anag. & lit.; ref. magazine).
W. Ransome: Cultivated, so like highbrow at heart? No, the opposite (anag. incl. hb).
P. L. Stone: How like bachelor riffling Sun for glimpse of whoppers (anag. incl. b, with S for w, & lit.; ref. page three girls).
J. R. Tozer: Crafty Bilko, he’s in with the men (anag.; ref. Phil Silvers TV series).
Mrs A. M. Walden: A bit gross, lacking a touch of urbanity? That’s about right (OK in bl(u)eish, & lit.).
A. J. Wardrop: Like leading characters in heroic Boy’s Own stories, possibly (anag. incl. first letters, & lit.; ref. former boys’ magazine ‘Boy’s Own Paper’).
T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, J. Baines, D. Barraclough, T. C. Borland, G. Borooah (USA), Rev Canon C. M. Broun, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. Butler, D. A. Campbell, C. A. Clarke, V. Dixon (Ireland), Dr N. J. Ellen, J. Fairclough, R. Fentem, G. I. L. Grafton, A. & R. Haden, R. B. Harling, R. Hesketh, J. R. Howlett, Mrs M. Janssen, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, D. Lythall, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, L. F. Marzillier (USA), P. McKenna, B. N. McQuade, T. J. Moorey, T. D. Nicholl, M. Owen, M. L. Perkins, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, D. Protheroe, N. Roper, T. Rudd, Dr S. J. Shaw, N. G. Shippobotham, D. Steward, M. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, M. Wainwright, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), N. Warne, T. West-Taylor, Dr P. Whitehead, Ms B. J. Widger, G. H. Willett, J. Woodall (France), A. J. Young, R. Zara.
A fairly gentle plain after the complexities of the Christmas competition. 243 entries, with almost no mistakes. The clue to SWIG (‘Pin brought out, nicking a mouthful?) seems to have caused unexpected trouble to some (swi(pin)g) – I don’t quite know why. The pin I had in mind was a cask, with visions of rolling out the barrel. It was one of no fewer than 26 clues nominated as favourites, very encouraging to your setter as it illustrates how wide solvers’ preferences can range. In first place, by a long way, was ‘Cry, “O for a bit of peace in gaol”’ for ORISON, and I confess that I was pretty pleased with that one myself.
BLOKEISH was quite a tricky customer. It must be a fairly recent coinage, I think. The first Oxford dictionary to include it is the Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), whose definition I prefer to the rather vaguer alternatives in Chambers: ‘indulging in or relating to stereotypically male behaviour and interests’. It also labels it Brit. informal. More than a few of you understandably included reference to (Sergeant Ernie) Bilko, the Phil Silvers character in the long-running 1950s US TV comedy show set in a US army barracks and featuring an almost exclusively male cast, so enabling a neat link between anagram and definition. Another popular approach was ‘loke’ in ‘bish’, though this presented a tougher challenge in making this link and too often resulted in an unconvincing ‘surface reading’. As I’ve mentioned before, a good clue should aim to read like something that is recognizable in the real world. The most widespread fault this month was failure to indicate an adjective, though the fact that the letters of ‘like’ appear in the clue word proved very helpful, as many realized and exploited.
I must end by apologizing (especially to those directly affected) for inexplicably getting the second and third prizewinners wrong way round in the slip for the Christmas competition, though they appeared correctly in the Observer when the results were first announced and now appear so in the Guardian and andlit.org.uk websites.