XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 425
1. R. N. Chignell: How gunners get a line on either end of the target (t RA verse, & lit.).
2. R. Postill: Sidestep—that’s how the fly-half can take in the chap who rushes wildly! (raver in tse(tse)).
3. D. A. Nicholls: What do television scanners do? Disturb rest with an intrusion of utter drivel! (rave (vb.) in anag.; surveying).
J. W. Bates: Such a cross is rare—vet’s puzzled (anag.).
C. O. Butcher: Made by half the voyagers—accompanied by the other half of course (trave(llers) (cou)rse, & lit.).
W. J. Duffin: In TV language, an artist answers to “What’s your line” by “A straight one among zigzags.” (RA in TV Erse; ref. TV panel game ‘What’s My Line’).
P. J. Dyer: This gallery means to make trouble for the star, ever at the mercy of changing whims (anag., 2 defs.).
J. A. Fincken: Gallery calls for the author you’d expect to see at the end of a farce (Travers + e; ref. Ben T., writer, farceur).
S. Goldie: It’s half-crazy to have uneven skirts short—shows one leg of course (rav(ing) in terse).
Mrs L. Jarman: What a rate the revs must build up to go through the barrier! (anag. of rate revs, 2 defs.).
J. A. Moncrieff: Will forward skill do against the Irish?—just the opposite! Try a passing movement (art (rev.) + Erse; ref. 5 Nations Rugby 1957).
P. H. Morgan: I’m cross! I could almost burst into tears over getting stumped for a duck (anag. less 0).
Mrs H. Morrison: Crossing gives you, in short, a backward, stunted variety (var. (rev.) in terse).
C. J. Morse: Just one curtain—the gallery’s cross! (3 defs.; ref. theatre).
E. J. Rackham: Ingenuity seems to be misapplied against Irish partition (art (rev.) v. Erse).
A. Robins: Oblique, endless tram-lines are moving over the screen—it does make one cross! (tra(m) verse, 4 defs.; TV lines).
J. F. N. Wedge: Within Tommy Steele’s limits, fans expect to see a “Rock” passage that may reach the heights! (ravers in T(ommy Steel)e; ref. singer).
C. Allen Baker, P. C. Barclay, T. E. Bell, Mrs G. Bonsall, C. M. Broun, R. F. S. Chignell, D. L. L. Clarke, E. Davies, J. H. Dingwall, Brig W. E. Duncan, M. S. Y. Fowler, Maj A. H. Giles, S. B. Green, J. J. Holloway, E. M. Hornby, J. G. Hull, V. Jennings, C. Koop, Capt G. Langham, P. W. W. Leach, W. A. Leon, E. L. Mellersh, W. L. Miron, J. J. Moore, F. E. Newlove, A. E. North, A. P. O’Leary, L. S. Pearce, E. G. Phillips, C. Quin, E. O. Seymour, Mrs E. Shackleton, W. K. M. Slimmings, E. B. Stevens, L. T. Stokes, Miss D. W. Taylor, D. G. Thomas, B. J. Wain, A. D. Walker, A. J. Young, J. S. Young.
COMMENTS: 284 entries, 251 correct—not very many errors, but the left side of the puzzle, especially the N.W. corner proved difficult: the coming together of the obscure place Pibor, Athole, only to be found in C. under “brose,” and the rare portoise constituted a severe test for solvers: tiar also upset some solutions, including, unfortunately, that of Mr. L. H. Stewart, who sent a clue which would have been well in the running for a prize: “Cross face of a rock ’n’ roll enthusiast in a waltzing set!” I missed his error at my first scrutiny: noticing it later, I wondered how often I have missed errors and given prizes or mentions to their perpetrators! If I have done so, no one has ever confessed!
I didn’t think the general standard of clues sent was quite up to recent levels, which have been very high: but that doesn’t mean that the best ones aren’t as good as ever—I think they are. But there are still many—even experienced competitors—who pad their clues with matter which forms no part of any clue-indication, just to add atmosphere: this is unfair and is never condoned. Here is an example:—“Memo to comedians who rely on too much ‘corn’—it seems to go against the grain to make the gallery cross!” Here the first 11 words out of 21 are sheer padding (unless I have failed to see the point). New competitors—very seldom old ones now—are apt to send our old enemy the useless-to-solvers indirect anagram. “Look at those mountains! You can make your way across quite easily!” The sender should ask himself whether he would be likely as a solver to arrive at “vet serra,” so that it would provide an anagram to help him: if he wouldn’t, there is no point in including it in the clue.
I’m glad the tough “Carte Blanche” was enjoyed: many thanks for notes about it. Two harassed but appreciative solvers call my attention to the fact that the three unchecked letters before “unsense” were UNS. One says he “cannot mention the things that should happen” to me for putting them there: the other says “nothing will convince” him they were not “the product of diabolical cunning!” Even so, I must try to convince him! I know well that traps of this kind have a habit of providing themselves much better (and with far less trouble!) than I could provide them. I hadn’t even noticed this particular one till it was pointed out by these two kindly sufferers!
In response to many requests, the next competition puzzle will be a “Printer’s Devilry.” And as that will be the first Sunday in April, though not the 1st., perhaps I had better say here that it really is a “Printer’s Devilry”! No larks this time. On May 19 there will be a “Playfair,” and on June 30 a new departure. I am already trembling at the thought of the letters I shall receive after that one: so make a note of the date (The last mentioned two will not be competition puzzles).