AZED CROSSWORD 2279
1. G. H. Willett: Eminent Liberal calling for reform in Church? That doesn’t describe many Popes (anag. incl. L in CE).
2. M. Barley: One displaying zest in eminent clues, sadly no longer with us (anag. less us; ref. the late Sir Jeremy Morse).
3. J. R. Tozer: Stick crossing line in game finally is Winnie’s chosen one (l in cement + in e; ref. C. Churchill, Pooh-sticks).
T. Anderson: For rose fertiliser e.g. slurry’s fine, but make it less strong round lawn’s border (l in cement + (f)ine; ref. song v. 6: ‘Grow the roses … fertilized by C.’).
D. K. Arnott: Anagram of ‘in Crete’ lemon? Or this, possibly (comp. anag.; ref. AZ’s faulty anagram of NERITIC).
Dr J. Burscough: Orange order let in men embraced by Protestant church (anag. in CE).
C. A. Clarke: Attlee’s victory with electorate finally ousting W Churchill (Clement (w)in + e; ref. 1945 election, C. Churchill).
W. Drever: Dreadfully cold end for the miner’s lamented: dear Ms —— (comp. anag. incl. c, e, & lit.).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Need vitamin C else scurvy – advise this, perhaps (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. Gilbert: Don’t mince eel. Do cut and then mix in a little orange (anag. less do).
A. H. Harker: With a herring box under each sole, eel consignment might disturb her song (comp. anag.; ref. song, v. 2: ‘Herring boxes … Sandals were for C.’).
R. J. Heald: Fruit machine: slot in pennies regularly for recreation (anag. of alternate letters).
A. Knott: Papal cross? (2 mngs.).
E. C. Lance: Powdered mineral (containing an element of lime) in earth makes a noted fertiliser for roses (l in cement + in e; ref. song v. 6: ‘Grow the roses … fertilized by C.’).
B. Lovering: Melancholy-tinged miner – ‘Oh my darling, sadly missed girl’ (anag. less anag.).
D. F. Manley: Election seeing off old men launched the name of Winston-loving lady (anag. less o; ref. Churchill’s wife/M. Thatcher).
P. W. Marlow: Freud, say, is associated with popular portraiture ultimately of an infallible authority? (Clement + in + e; ref. Lucian F.).
T. J. Moorey: ‘Dear ——’ could start letters of eminent Conservative leader (comp. anag. incl. C, & lit; ref. C. Churchill; start = cause displacement of).
R. J. Palmer: Orange men entice Loyalists initially with abuse of pope (anag. incl. L; 2 defs.).
W. Ransome: My darling girl, males can get into odd places in college (men tin in c, l, e, e).
T. Rudd: Striking wife, and popular – Winnie lent me a bit of Churchillian bluster (anag. incl. C less w in, & lit.; ref. C. Churchill).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Papal cross? (2 mngs.).
A. J. Wardrop: Cleric, not half eminent, somehow like certain Popes? (anag. less ric).
R. J. Whale: Clumsy feet (nines) should make her fussy when suffering splinters (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. song v. 2: ‘her shoes were number nine’).
D. Whisstock (Italy): Papal cross? (2 mngs.).
D. & N. Aspland, J. G. Booth, T. C. Borland, J. M. Brown, C. J. Butler, D. Carter, C. Daffern, Ms L. Davis, V. Dixon (Ireland), J. Doylend, P. Evans, J. Fairclough, N. Fullarton, P. Halse, D. V. Harry, Dr G. L. Heard (USA), M. Hodgkin, G. Johnstone, J. C. Leyland, E. Looby, C. Loving, M. Lunan, I. Mackintosh, K. Manley, J. R. C. Michie, K. Milan, T. D. Nicholl, J. Parke, Dr T. G. Powell, D. Price Jones, P. Sant, A. D. Scott, I. Simpson, Dr F. G. Simpson (Australia), G. Snowden-Davies, P. L. Stone, J. Stuart, P. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, K. Thomas, S. J. J. Tiffin, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Ms S. Wallace, R. Warren, A. Whittaker, A. J. Young, Dr E. Young.
164 entries, no mistakes, except of course for my carelessly faulty anagram of NERITIC. (‘Daft cretin, I’ just about sums it up, as well as Mr Arnott’s neatly apposite clue above.) A tough puzzle, clearly, prompting comments such as ‘possibly the toughest ever’ and ‘nearly gave up’. Really? Puzzles with clashing letters seem to be becoming increasingly popular these days, and this element certainly adds to their difficulty, which is why I made sure that no word in the grid was thus affected more than once. It was the eighth ‘Cherchez la Femme’ I’ve given you, with minor variations (the first being No. 1,136), and only the second as a competition puzzle, since few female names are anything more than just that, thus limiting cluing possibilities. (One competitor said he’d been uncertain whether I required a clue to CLEMENTINE as a name only, ignoring the other senses. Absolutely not – they were the reason I chose it.) Favourite clue, of 20 nominated at least once (the clue for NERITIC receiving one vote!), was ‘After parking composer I dropped in for a whipped café “special”’ for FRAPPUCCINO.
The recent death of Sir Jeremy Morse at 87 has robbed the crossword world of a true giant, whose brilliance and enthusiasm dominated this series and that of Ximenes before it for decades (an astonishing 68 years and 3 months, to be exact). His first prizewinning clue (a PD) was in March 1950 (Ximenes No. 128). His lifetime scores in X and AZ competitions, occasionally in partnership with his son Richard, were: 650 honours points, 38 first prizes, 63 second or third prizes, 448 VHC and HC clues (plus 282 HC/runner-up clues). He appeared in 66 honours lists between 1951 and 2015, occupying first place in 16 of them. His favourite of his own clues was his first prizewinner for BEDSTEAD in Ximenes No. 634: ‘To lie still is not enough here; both sides of the sheet must be tucked in’, but he was also rightly proud of his clue to BODY-SNATCHER for AZ No. 482: ‘Stiff collaring: that’s my trade – shows what can be done by starch’. I am grateful to John Tozer for assembling these amazing statistics. Full details of CJM’s crossword career can be followed on John’s andlit.org.uk website. See specially Slip for No. 1,906, a puzzle I set to mark Jeremy’s 80th birthday. As well as admiring his incomparable skill at constructing witty and clever clues I shall, like so many others, miss him greatly as a friend.