◀  No. 24127 Oct 2018 Clue list No. 2421  ▶



1.  Dr S. J. Shaw: Sunday’s offerings get two answers arranged with a ‘Right & Left’ design, a line below favouring Chambers (anag. incl. a, a, r, l: pro + pos + a l).

2.  H. Freeman: See Lara get a fantastic benefit collection, idea footballer also exploited (anag.; prop + anag.; ref. cricket/RU football).

3.  S. L. Claughton: Pool nearly all spare change to make offering at a large Reformed Church collection (anag. less e; anag.).


D. & N. Aspland: To support old salt, plan collection in church (sailor caught in a gale, suffering injury) (prop o sal; tar in anag.).

M. Barley: Congregation’s donations are left with thanks, a fit offering for priest raised in due course before funeral’s end (a l ta rage; pro P + so (rev.) + a + l).

T. C. Borland: Plan supporter also happy key Brexiteer’s lost face – it will benefit incumbent (prop + anag.; alt + (F)arage).

N. Connaughton (Ireland): Church funds are deployed at large scheme for OAPs left all at sea (a + anag.; pro + anag. incl. l).

V. Dixon (Ireland): Support and also misguidedly offer a criminal at large benefit of clergy? (prop + anag.; a + anag.).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Trouble at large following a ministerial collection for soft line with a so flexible plan (a + anag.; pro p + anag. incl. l).

R. J. Heald: Plan for positive deal not half lame, abandoned by hard Brexiteer rejecting initial offerings on the table (pro pos (de)al; (H)alt + (F)arage; ref. Chequers plan).

G. Johnstone: A treat for celebrant skipping lager at a suggestion to get right into champagne and also rum (anag.; r in pop + anag.).

C. Ogilvie: Votive offerings made by sailor in a gale, wild idea that might provide support on endless briny (tar in anag.; prop o’ sal(t)).

D. Price Jones: Lager at a merrymaking, offering supporter and also unsteady motion! (anag.; prop + anag.).

R. J. Sharkey: An offer for Chambers and a Latin collection at a large jumble (pro pos + a L; anag.).

P. L. Stone: Plan buttress repair also rendering to church, a large area crumbling with time (prop + anag.; anag. incl. a, t).

J. R. Tozer: High tone taken on by Brexiter dismissing fine for donations scheme; poor pal’s in trouble (alt + (F)arage; anag.; ref. fine imposed on Vote Leave/Darren Grimes for funding irregularities).

A. J. Varney: Parish offering alternative adult party so lap dancing hustler’s heading programme (alt A rage; pro + anag.).

Mrs A. M. Walden: It’s offered at a large rent for Naval personnel – they left a bid (anag.; pro + POs + a2 + l).

Ms S. Wallace: Church donations alas not entirely great somehow as poor Pastor messed up with start of latest scheme (anag. less s; anag. incl. P, l).

A. Whittaker: Excited at a large church offering suggestion for too-solemn contents of psalm (anag.; pro po + (p)sal(m)).

K. & J. Wolff: Church donations at a large jumble sale almost entirely following support of project (anag.; prop o’ sal(e)).

Dr E. Young: Pay for clergy at a regal broadcast that makes Prince with ring fit for girl (anag.; P + O in pro Sal, & lit.; ref. royal wedding).


Ms K. Bolton, J. G. Booth, Dr J. Burscough, P. Cargill, C. A. Clarke, Dr P. Coles, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, J. Fairclough, J. C. Leyland, T. Locke, C. Loving, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, J. McGhee, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, T. D. Nicholl, C. Palfrey, R. J. Palmer, A. Plumb, T. Rudd, N. G. Shippobotham, P. Tharby, K. Thomas, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, A. J. Wardrop, R. J. Whale, F. J. B. Wheen, R. Zara.

162 entries, virtually no mistakes (though I did notice one incomplete grid and another with ALTERAGE for ALTARAGE, which clearly wasn’t an inadvertent mistake as the clue submitted indicated the wrong spelling. Not many clues were cited as favourites this month, much the most popular being ‘Clumsy lassie, cross with pastry, is going wild with racy language’ for TAUPIE/SYRIAC.
An almost unanimous welcome back for ‘R & L’. It was of course a Ximenes invention originally, one I’m happy to continue. I’ve given you 21 of them over the years, 15 of them being competition puzzles. X always aimed (I think) to make the single-clued entry vaguely relevant to the theme, a tradition I’ve followed, though it gets increasingly hard to find new and appropriate 12-letter answers. (Several of you claimed not to know HITHER AND YON, which did surprise me. I simply don’t accept the dialect label Chambers gives it, unless I’m more of a country bumpkin than I thought I was.)
The traditional R & L format imposes certain constraints on the grid pattern, so I’ve tended to use the same one with minor variations each time. It results in fewer than average unchecked letters and correspondingly more help to the solver, which makes the modest competition entry a bit disappointing. Perhaps the casual solver is simply put off by the unfamiliar challenge. Good double clues should read seamlessly, the join between the two parts being disguised as effectively as possible. They should also not be too long and also ensure that each part is completely self-contained (i.e. not depending for their solution on reference to something in the other part). And there should be no superfluous ’linking’ verbiage, such as an unassuming ‘and’. Experienced competitors know all this, but it does no harm to repeat it from time to time. Even Homer nods occasionally. And I might as well repeat (since it came up quite often this time) that as a devout Ximenean I am implacably averse to the use of ‘back’ to indicate reversal in down clues. You may disagree, but I shall not be moved on this.


The Azed Cup

Dr S. J. Shaw wins First Prize in competition 2543.


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Second prize winner by J. D. Moore in competition 289