◀  No. 22574 Oct 2015 Clue list No. 2265  ▶



1.  M. Hodgkin: Flowery headgear worn by flamboyant gents could be called ‘the hood of hoods’ (anag. in garland; hood2, 3).

2.  J. Grimes: Crooked side of town Legs D ran at end of bootlegging? (anag. incl. n, g; ref. Jack ‘Legs’ Diamond, US gangster during Prohibition).

3.  G. Johnstone: Godfather’s heading Ndrangheta’s racketeering having latitude to shift heroin here (G + anag. with l for h, & lit.).


T. Anderson: Theatre for ‘The Godfather’ features mutilated nag and strangled criminal (anag. + anag.; ref. scenes from 1972 film).

C. J. Butler: Good agents, right and left, confounded thugs’ empire? (g + anag. incl. r, l).

C. A. Clarke: Violent gents portrayed in select literature as the Mob (anag. in garland).

C. M. Edmunds: Don’s own backyard lacking in gardening slant? Makeover required (anag. less in; ref. Monty D. and Mafia dons.).

J. Fairclough: The source of London’s danger, criminally inspiring anxiety? (Angst in anag. incl. L, & lit.).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Disquiet in German plant that’s responsible for many jobs (Angst in Ger. land; ref. VW scandal).

R. J. Heald: Criminals collectively tip off drug lord about nark shopping leaders of smuggling trade (s, t in anger in g land3).

J. C. Leyland: Snarling ‘Do him!’ characters here are leaders of rival hoods nailing Legs Diamond with gat? (comp. anag. incl. r, h, n, & lit.).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Where you’d find Moll or Judy e.g. hugging naughty gents (anag. in Garland).

D. F. Manley: Sharks here? Lasting danger when one’s out swimming (anag. less I; ref. ‘West Side Story’).

P. W. Marlow: Dangers with no end of dense tangle in jungle – where gorillas thrive? (anag. less e; gorilla = thug).

T. D. Nicholl: Where, in a ropy band, criminal gents reside (anag. in garland & lit.).

Dr S. J. Shaw: Where Judy from Oz, for example, might harbour criminal gents (anag. in Garland, & lit.; see Judy).

I. Simpson: Here you might see characters regularly collared in drama à la Greene’s Brighton Rock? (anag. of alternate letters, & lit.).

R. C. Teuton: There’s an opening to nab lags with dragnet cast around here (anag. incl. n, & lit.).

S. J. J. Tiffin: Milieu for undercover FBI agents obscured in grey light? (anag. in gr. land).

A. J. Varney: Where crime rules, you may see gaol emptied and outside street bathed in blood (st in anger in g, l and; see blood in C.).

L. Ward (USA): Where a collection of stories involving criminal gents takes place? (anag. in garland, & lit.).

A. J. Wardrop: Wherein capo of goodfellas has one strangled, possibly (g + an + anag., & lit.).

R. J. Whale: Lasagne blended with odd bits of rigatoni, starter for diner in Little Italy? (anag. incl. alternate letters + d; ref. organized crime area of NYC).


D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barley, T. C. Borland, C. J. Brougham, P. Cargill, D. Carter, M. Coates, N. Connaughton, R. Gilbert, A. H. Harker, C. & C. Hinton, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, E. C. Lance, J. Liddle, K. Manley, L. F. Marzillier (USA), C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, C. J. Morse, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), R. J. Palmer, Dr T. G. Powell, S. Randall, T. Rudd, A. D. Scott, P. A. Stephenson, P. L. Stone, P. Taylor, J. R. Tozer, Mrs A. M. Walden, Ms S. Wallace, Ms B. Widger, G. H. Willett, J. S. Witte, R. Zara.

183 entries, a handful with PRES for PREX, and a couple with a single square unfilled. I assume this is the result of inadvertence when it happens – incomplete entries cannot be accepted – and it pains me to have to disqualify them, though I really have no choice. Favourite clue, of 20 voted for at least once, was ‘What’ll give a bird, clipped and trussed, little latitude?’ for BRAIL (though I was a little nervous of using ‘trussed’ to indicate an anagram), with those for DISHY and RUMBLES in equal second place. One competitor expressed dissatisfaction with my clue to STRIM (ALASTRIM less ALA) but did not say why. Not a potential prizewinner, I dare say, but fair enough surely. In my BREMEN clue I should have referred to REME as a corps, not a regiment (without, I confess, being completely sure of the difference), and to those who queried ‘seaport’ as a description of the solution I can only plead that this is how Bremen is described in Chambers World Gazetteer (5/e 1988), my usual port of call (!) when checking my geographical facts. One entry not in CWG is Gerland, the name of a district of Lyon and a sports stadium therein which was new to me and which I decided was too obscure for acceptability as part of a cryptic indication of GANGSTERLAND.
I had high hopes for this clue word, and was generally not disappointed, though an anagram of GENTS within GARLAND was much the most popular way of dealing with it. I had no problem with GANGSTERLAND being defined as an actual locale as well as an abstract concept, though a few of you admitted to having agonized somewhat over this. I’ve always had a sneaking fascination for the gangsters of old, especially those who flourished briefly in the States before coming to a usually sordid end, and it was nice to be reminded again of Jack ‘Legs’ Diamond who I’d forgotten was actually born in Ireland. Incidentally, the use of ‘criminal(ly)’ as anagram indicators seems to me to have entered the language of crossword clues relatively recently. I don’t recall using it myself but I find it quite acceptable.
I apologize for the delay in publishing the results for this competition and the consequent appearance of the slip. My wife and I were enjoying a week’s choral cruise on the Danube culminating in a short concert in the magnificently rococo chapel of Melk Abbey in Austria. The echo of Zadok the Priest, which we did as a sort of encore, is probably still reverberating round its lofty vaulted ceiling.
And my thanks to all those who took the trouble to comment on the structure of double clues and the origin of ‘Right & Left’ puzzles. I may return to this some time.


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