AZED CROSSWORD 2517
1. Dr S. J. Shaw: Working on ancient codex thus could give one identical Romanic text (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. T. J. Moorey: Latin term, one used for the ultimate of precision in reproduction (anag. with I for n, & lit.).
3. T. C. Borland: Collect Latin merit, declining noun precisely as in Cicero (anag. less n).
D. & N. Aspland: Showing tile playing art in Scrabble, I’m getting every letter just right (anag. + anag. + I’m).
Dr J. Burscough: Am I letter changing? Not me, I’m presenting —— (anag. less me + I’m, & lit.).
J. Grimes: High rate one with entry to maisonette splashed out to the letter (lit + anag. incl. I, m).
A. H. Harker: Novice so perfectly playing might be clever imitation (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. J. Heald: High rent once raised leads to irate missives to the letter (lit + tare (rev.) + first letters).
J. C. Leyland: See with lo-cal diet fat more regularly reduced when followed to letter (lite + anag. of alternate letters).
D. F. Manley: ‘I altered it’ – MS ed’s neglected to reproduce ——? (anag. less ed’s, & lit.).
S. Randall: Top material is reworked perhaps for this soap using the same characters (comp. anag.).
N. G. Shippobotham: See finicky learner imitate rule per copybook (anag. incl L, r).
I. Simpson: How one might see illuminated script, eg in a monastery, regularly reproduced? (lit + anag. of every third letter, & lit.).
R. C. Teuton: After taking the top flat I remit rent to the letter (anag. less f).
J. R. Tozer: So being evicted, tries to mail rent to the letter (anag. less so).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Transcribe opus thus to produce spiritual tome, perhaps? (comp. anag. & lit.).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Letter with odd bits missing – mail it anyway, exactly as written (anag. incl. e, t, r).
A. J. Wardrop: How to spell ‘litre’? With American it’s different (anag. incl. Am.).
K. & J. Wolff: Illuminated scrap of manuscript (it was in Latin, I apprehended), as it was transcribed? (erat I in lit m).
T. Anderson, M. Barley, A. & J. Calder, P. Cargill, Ms U. Carter, A. Chamberlain, B. & T. Coventry, E. Dawid, W. Drever, R. Gilbert, G. I. L. Grafton, B. Jones, P. W. Marlow, P. McKenna, Rev Prebendary M. R. Metcalf, J. R. C. Michie, J. Pearce, J. & A. Price, D. Price Jones, Dr J. B. Reid, T. Rudd, A. D. Scott, D. P. Shenkin, A. J. Shields, S. J. J. Tiffin, A. J. Varney, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), G. H. Willett, A. J. Young.
A puzzlingly small entry, only 103, with no mistakes that I spotted. Comments suggested that it was a tougher plain than most, but that would surely not account for the unusually low numbers. A partial explanation was provided by a sudden late postbag (about twenty entries) that arrived well past the closing date (after I’d started compiling this slip, in fact). The date stamps indicated that most of these had been posted up to ten days before delivery, regardless of whether they had first or second class stamps. This reflects very badly on the postal service generally and makes me wonder whether post-box mail is routinely treated as less urgent than the rest. Another thought that occurs to me is that fewer occasional competitors are bothering to submit entries since The Observer has stopped offering prizes (a temporary measure, I hope). Whatever the reason it’s a disappointing development.
No fewer than 21 clues were nominated as favourites, the most popular being ‘Weight reduced, one is going in here?’ for WAIST. The clue that caused most head-scratching was ‘Cheeky nonsense, hiding key’ (MALAR), a lot more straightforward than perhaps it appeared at first sight.
The clue word proved tricky to deal with originally, variations on the ‘time trial’ anagram proving just a bit too popular. Less experienced competitors often have difficulty with defining adverbs; phrases like ‘faithful correspondence’ can only indicate a noun unless qualified by e.g. ‘showing’. The constituent letters of LITERATIM clearly tempted many of you to opt for composite anagrams, the best of which are quoted above. Some of you, I know, regard this device with distaste and avoid it if possible. I don’t share this view. Creatively (and accurately) handled it can yield very effective clues, such as the one submitted this month by Dr Shaw (a regular exponent of the type).
Finally, an apology. In last month’s slip, I inserted an erroneous note with Mr Borland’s VHC to the effect that Parade’s End was a play by Ford Madox Ford. It’s actually the title of a tetralogy of novels. I really should check these things.