AZED CROSSWORD 2287
1. H. Freeman: One who’s done long service dressing Bertie? (Al(bert) in vet(eran), & lit.; ref. B. Wooster, Jeeves).
2. M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Bye, first to third man (vale2 + t).
3. Dr I. S. Fletcher: Torte without filling can upset Bunter, perhaps (t, e lav (rev.); ref. Mervyn B.; Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet).
D. K. Arnott: Are this man’s labours becoming a male servant? (comp. anag. & lit.).
M. Barley: See Parisian at entry to tabac, carrying Le Figaro perhaps? (le in v + à + t; ref. Beaumarchais/Rossini/Mozart character).
T. C. Borland: One serving of Caesar is healthy (2 mngs; ref. Latin).
R. J. Hooper: A TV listing? Inside it, Le Figaro provides one (le in anag.; ref. opera character).
J. R. Howlett: Large container with beer for a man’s man (vat with ale for a).
J. C. Leyland: Finale to polonaise in very little-used key, typically Polish (e in v Alt).
E. Looby: Gentleman’s servant? Gent’s manners are refined with him (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. F. Manley: Doughty Price’s ultimate part doing duty for Carmichael? (valiant with e for Ian, & lit.; ref. 1960s TV series ‘The World of Wooster’).
T. J. Moorey: Extremes of licence taken to cut tax – personally, I’d get billionaires collared (l, e in VAT; ref. Panama Papers).
T. Rudd: Buckling sword, he might provide lord with a vest (comp. anag. incl. w, & lit.).
Dr S. J. Shaw: A male servant may be disposed to earn money as this (comp. anag. incl. m, & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: ’E’ll ’ave gents turned out in fine clothing (e in lav (rev.) + t, & lit.; in fine = finally).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Those leading very affluent lives employ this type of servant (first letters).
Mrs A. M. Walden: One experienced in service accommodating male’s essential requirements (al in vet2, & lit.).
A. J. Wardrop: A scallywag at heart, trousered in check – Bunter, possibly? (a l in vet; ref. Lord Peter Wimsey’s valet).
R. J. Whale: Not-quite menial type, attendant to upwardly-mobile gents? (lav (rev.) + et(a), & lit.).
A. Whittaker: Travel all over the place? Take getting unpacked – he’ll help with that (anag. less r, & lit.).
T. Anderson, D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, M. Bath, Ms K. Bolton, C. J. Brougham, Dr M. Bullivant, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. Butler, J. A. Butler, Ms U. Carter, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, R. Gilbert, J. Grimes, D. V. Harry, R. J. Heald, C. & C. Hinton, J. Horwood, Mrs M. Janssen (Ireland), J. R. H. Jones (Mexico), E. C. Lance, J. P. Lester, M. Lloyd-Jones, T. Locke, C. Loving, Dr R. MacGillivray, W. F. Main, G. Maker, K. Manley, L. F. Marzillier (USA), C. G. Millin, T. D. Nicholl, C. Ogilvie, R. J. Palmer, J. Parke, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, S. Randall, W. Ransome, A. D. Scott, N. G. Shippobotham, C. Short, I. Simpson, J. Smailes, M. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, K. Thomas, L. Ward (USA), J. Woodall (France), Dr E. Young.
208 entries; no mistakes that I spotted. Favourite clue, of 19 mentioned once or more: ‘Is it felt from below round Labrador’s head?’ (DEWLAP), with ‘The ultimate in luxury, with bodily appetites and dalliance put first’ (FLESH-POTTERY) a close second. The latter wasn’t actually one of mine. As a few of you remembered, it was a VHC for Jeremy Morse (see below) when Ximenes set it as the clue word in his competition no. 1,115, one of the few occasions when I also featured in the X lists. I thought it fitting to reproduce it this time in memory of CJM. It’s also a splendid word to add to one’s vocabulary, to be rolled out on an appropriate occasion!
I wondered what you’d make of VALET, at first sight a rather uninteresting word. On previous occasions I’d given you VALETA (1976) and, in a Letters Latent puzzle, VE(S)TAL (2009), but that probably didn’t help much. In the event there was plenty of inspired inventiveness, as quoted clues will testify, including a real gem from Mr Freeman, an infrequent competitor these days. A recurrent problem was that of failing to indicate that, as a verb, VALET is transitive only. Definitions like ‘clean the car, perhaps’ can only indicate an intransitive verb, since the direct object forms part of the definition. Dictionaries usually indicate typical objects of such transitive verbs by putting these in brackets, e.g. ‘clean (a car, etc)’ but it’s difficult to do this in a crossword clue when the brackets are superfluous to the surface sense of the wording. This may seem like nit-picking, but I still regard such distinctions as crucial. At this level, nits are there to be picked.
Some of you may like to know that there will be three memorial services for Jeremy Morse, reflecting his varied career and wide range of friends. They will be held in St Lawrence Jewry, London, on Wednesday 4 May at 3 pm, in New College Chapel, Oxford, on Friday 3 June at 2.30 pm, and in Winchester College Chapel, Winchester, on Saturday 25 June at 2.30 pm. Anyone wishing to attend any of these is kindly requested to contact Jeremy’s son Richard as soon as possible at email@example.com, or c/o Opus Corporate Finance, 1 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR.