XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 404
1. S. B. Green: Bed-sitter in Italy to let (furnished) with a suitable breakfast provided (Po lent a; i.e. river bed; lend = let, furnish).
2. A. Borshell: N. B. Breakfast in exotic dress! Grass skirts provided here! (lent in poa; NB = North British).
3. A. W. Maddocks: To gondoliers and others—early course of river fast—not for the inexperienced (Po Lent A (film classification)).
J. W. Bates: Just the stuff to give to Ian if he should become Neapolitan! (anag. less Ian, & lit.).
Cdr H. H. L. Dickson: No plate so concocted could compare with Scotch spaghetti! (anag.; i.e. Italian porridge).
P. A. Drillien: Soft and smelly—a typical Italian meal! (p olent a).
H. W. Evans: Soft Latin oaten mixture (anag. incl. p, L, & lit.).
J. A. Fincken: This is the stuff for a Neapolitan—but not Ian! (anag. less Ian, & lit.).
C. E. Gates: Ian will hae naething tae do wi’ siccan unco Neapolitan parritch! (anag. less Ian, & lit.).
D. G. Huckle: Suitable porridge for Giovanni, but for Ian, absurdly Neapolitan (anag. less Ian, & lit.).
C. H. Hudson: End of the Axis, half nation in ruins—result, meatless dish for the Italians (pole + anag. of nat(ion)).
J. W. Jenkins: Food that goes soft and smelly before Antonio will eat it (p olent a. (ante)).
C. Koop: Fare to Italy—including meals! This is where to take the plane to for a change (anag.; meal = grain).
A. E. North: Outcome of Lepanto gave rise to stirring scenes in Italian home waters (anag.; ref. naval battle of L., 1571).
F. B. Stubbs: Is this porridge creamy, or has the —— watery flavour? (i.e. Po lent a).
Miss D. W. Taylor: Soft, Latin, oaten mess (anag. incl. p, L, & lit.).
D. Worsfold: Scotch plate on Italian table. (anag. & lit.; scotch = wound).
J. S. Young: Would Scotsmen stand for this “No-pleat” kilt? (anag.; Scots traditionally eat porridge standing up; kilt from kill = damage).
C. Allen Baker, E. A. Beaulah, T. E. Bell, F. E. Brookfield, Sir R. Broomfield, Mrs Caithness, H. L. Carter, R. N. Chignell, H. A. Clement, W. J. Duffin, Dr W. M. Easther, Mrs J. O. Fuller, S. Goldie, C. P. Grant, Mrs M. H. Gray, P. Graystone, J. H. Grummitt, R. N. Haygarth, A. L. Jeffery, V. Jennings, W. Johnson, H. A. B. Latimer, J. D. Lockett, C. J. Lowe, N. C. Mahony, E. L. Mellersh, T. W. Melluish, D. P. M. Michael, C. J. Morse, F. E. Newlove, Dr S. L. Paton, T. J. Pimbley, R. Postill, G. W. Pugh, E. J. Rackham, Mrs D. A. Reid, Wing Cdr R. L. Scott, G. M. Stark, J. Thompson, J. R. Tilley, Lt Col J. B. Walters, J. B. Widdowson, M. Winterbottom, J. D. Wonham, M. Woolf.
COMMENTS:—365 entries. 328 correct. Most of the mistakes were caused by IRIDIZE: the Z is demanded by 9 down and by the subsidiary clues to both 24 across and 9 down: C. now spells all such words -ise, but it is a matter of taste, and we are not bound by C., which has obviously to be uniform, in such matters. There were, I thought, a smaller number of brilliant clues sent than usual: certain ideas, especially “Neapolitan-Ian,” were monotonously popular. I have given mentions to those of them I thought best worded. Mr. Young came very near a prize, but his definition is, perhaps, a little too elusive.
There were many unfamiliar names among the entry, and it is time I gave some guidance again for beginners and any others who have forgotten some essential principles. (1) A definition is essential: “There’s spring in the grass, but it’s smelly in Pennsylvania” is not merely a bad clue: it is not a clue to “polenta” at all. (2) It must be clearly indicated that an anagram is intended. “This porridge is not pale” gives no indication whatever and does not say what it means: nor does “Plate on which Mussolini’s porridge was served.” (3) Irrelevant words, forming no part of the clue, are unfair and therefore ruinous. “Another Balkan Crisis. Italians I engulf shattered Lepanto. Excited Spanish cry in broken fountain. (Stodgy stuff. Ed.)” The first three words and “Ed.” are sheer padding. Incidentally OLE = Spanish cry is not in C. nor familiar (at least to me), and “pant” (fountain) is far too rare to be of the least use to a solver as an indirect anagram: the actual word would be needed. (4) “Here I am in a maze” is unsound as an indication of “maize”: “I” here is the letter, not the pronoun, demanding “I is, may be, must be, could be,” etc. In any case “maize” is itself only part of a clue, not an answer: it should therefore appear directly, not by implication. I hope these hints may be helpful.
Solutions of clues quoted in the slip of No. 400, in the order in which they appeared there, were:—1. concupiscence. 2. crossword. 3. Agincourt. H.C.:—Macduff, Macduff, ducdame, lac-dye, Macduff, accrescences, Macduff, socdolager, MacDonald, Civil Defence, score, cod-liver oil, Adullam, ducdame, Jabesh-Gilead, ducdame, ecdysis, Ridley. (A solver very rightly points out that the last of the above clues to Macduff gave “lead on” for “lay on” I haven’t still got the original to consult: if the fault was mine in transcription, I apologize humbly to the author: if it was his, he was lucky that I missed it, and I apologize humbly to everybody else! In either case I was disgracefully careless!)