⏴ Slip No. 2382 View the clue list Slip No. 2390 ⏵



1.  Dr J. Burscough: Writer, non-literary, churning shoddy rot out (pen + anag. less anag., & lit.).

2.  L. Ward: Writer turning out any taradiddle to secure a bit of necessary? Right! (pen + anag. + n in lie + r, & lit.).

3.  Dr I. S. Fletcher: Fitting name for a hack in general with pay not good (anag. with n for a less g, & lit.).


D. & N. Aspland: Writer that’s hacked inanely to gain only a bit of remuneration? (pen + anag. + r, & lit.).

G. I. L. Grafton: One with occupation in perhaps four rags once, minimally repaid (a + line in penny r, & lit.; rag1 = farthing).

M. Hodgkin: Writer short of a buck – one careful with money, not getting advance (pen + nyal(a) + I ne(a)r, & lit.).

J. C. Leyland: One who’ll write any rubbish, on next to nothing, due for a rise? (pen + anag. + re nil (rev.), & lit.; rubbish (adj)).

D. F. Manley: Writer, earning only casually, with no good uplifting output? (pen + anag. less no g (rev.), & lit.).

Rev Prebendary M. R. Metcalf: One who’s perennially labouring with remuneration finally for length? (anag. with n for l, & lit.).

C. G. Millin: Writer getting nearly nil mostly, for hacking (pen + anag. less l, & lit.).

T. J. Moorey: One name for boring writer nearly bust? (I n in pen + anag., & lit.).

Dr P. W. Nash: Old hack, in pen, nearly, broken-down (anag.).

J. & A. Price: Literally his delivery is of little value – no. nine player bats, avoiding duck (anag. less 0).

Dr J. B. Reid: Fourth estate worker producing poor material – ragged napery linen (anag.).

Dr S. J. Shaw: Hack not quite earning plenty with no end of text (anag. less g, t, & lit.).

I. Simpson: I can earn plenty with a new novel – a —— can’t (comp. anag. & lit.).

J. Smailes: Perennial NY novel writer of dubious quality and copious output (anag.).

R. C. Teuton: Writer with speciality in a poor yarn? (pen + line in anag., & lit.).

P. Tharby: Who’s perennially working, getting peanuts essentially for a bit of literature? (anag. with n for l, & lit.).

R. J. Whale: Glenda, perhaps, employed humorously – her core part in play Ern concocted? (anag. incl. en; ref. G. Slagg in ‘Private Eye’ and G. Jackson in Morecambe & Wise sketch).

A. Whittaker: Hack nearly in penury when short of acceptable lines (anag. less U ry, & lit.).

K. & J. Wolff: Cheap pen ruined inlay in antique writing case (anag. in penner).


P. B. Alldred, D. Appleton, M. Barley, J. G. Booth, T. C. Borland, Mrs J. M. Buchan, A. & J. Calder, S. L. Claughton, M. Coates, E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, J. Fairclough, H. Freeman, R. Gilbert, A. & R. Haden, P. Halse, A. H. Harker, R. J. Heald, L. M. Inman, G. Johnstone, J. R. H. Jones (Mexico), M. Lloyd-Jones, C. Loving, P. McKenna, C. Ogilvie, S. J. O’Boyle, R. J. Palmer, A. Plumb, M. Price, W. Ransome, D. R. Reed, G. Rosser, A. D. Scott, C. Short, C. M. Steele, P. A. Stephenson, P. L. Stone, J. R. Tozer, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Mrs A. M. Walden, J. D. Walsh, A. J. Wardrop, K. J. Williams, A. J. Young, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.

204 entries, almost no mistakes. Of 18 clues mentioned, your favourite in a close race was ‘Accompanist maybe Bostridge used in track for Winterreise?’ (PIANISTE), one ahead of ‘I’ve got the Queen behind on tow? I’m only joking!’ (LEG-PULLER). A number of you said you’d been unable to find SINGULT in Chambers. It’s one of a group of ‘unusual’ words the publishers rather pointlessly highlighted in the 12th edition, disgracefully omitted by mistake in the 13th and then quietly restored in the 14th. I’m afraid I simply can’t mention it whenever I use one of these in a puzzle. All I can suggest is that you acquire each new edition as it appears, an expensive business I admit.
PENNY-A-LINER clearly found favour as the clue word, even though, in practice, the number of possible ways of treating it proved limited. Its first three letters, and the possibilities offered by ‘hack’ as an anagram indicator, were both obvious incentives to producing ‘& lit.’ clues. I don’t recall a competition in which so many of the quoted clues were of this type. I have no objection to these at all. Well handled (the key) they can be extremely neat and clever, and knowing this some of you strive to produce an ‘& lit.’ almost every month. For some reason this time that old bugbear the noun anagram indicator turned up quite a lot. I simply cannot accept, as some setters do, that, for example, ‘perennial problem’ can indicate an anagram of ‘perennial’. Another practice that has me reaching for my red pen is the failure to distinguish transitive from intransitive usage. This came up quite often with the intransitive active ‘scribbling’ being used adjectivally but unjustifiably to mean ‘scribbled’ (transitive passive). Please be warned. Overall, though, the quality of clues submitted was very high, making the judging process quite tough.
In conclusion, I might mention that many years ago I saw a rejoneador (name forgotten) performing in the famous bullring at Ronda (with Antonio Ordóñez on the same bill). He entered the arena splendidly accoutred and riding a magnificent horse, in marked contrast to the wretched old nags, heavily padded, on which the picadors were mounted. I am no fan of the corrida but it was an undeniably impressive spectacle.


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