XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 569
1. S. B. Green (NW10): A little persuasive argument, quietly, also brokenly presented—that’s the way to make it! (pro1 p + anag., & lit.).
2. Mrs N. Dean (Oxford): Unique offer to ladies. Firm support to lift the line, designed to fit the fuller figure—one pound (prop OS a L; clothes-prop).
3. J. A. L. Sturrock (Torquay): This shows one poor sap who’s had it, before long! (anag. + l, & lit.).
R. Bryan (Beckenham): A brooch, a ring and half one’s pay, and that’s all before the wedding! (prop3 O sal(ary)).
N. C. Dexter (Corby): Poor sap won’t be able to make this without ending in betrothal! (anag. + (betrotha)l, & lit.).
G. H. Dickson (Killincarrig): Poor swain’s head is awhirl in partner’s embrace; that’s natural to this occasion! (anag. of poor s(wain) in pal, & lit.).
J. H. Eyre (Enfield): Tender occasion when a man can be found with his confidence lacking support, also in some confusion (prop + anag., & lit [see comments]).
A. Fairhead (Stafford): New Year peril for quiet sailor—altar—one with wife in every port excluded (pro p OS al(tar): i.e. clue written Dec. 1959, 1960 being leap year).
A. L. Freeman (Norwich): Special offer! Stays that grip the round figure—£1 (O in props + a L).
A. B. Gardner (Tanganyika): Offer of support, love and society for keeps—if only you can find the means (prop O S al(ways), & lit.).
Lt M. J. Hickman (HMS Jaguar): Union offer—new deal to Socialist leaders in Poplar (anag. incl. So(cialist); ref. left-wing London borough).
C. W. Hoad (Hornchurch): The popping may be the old pre-jet type having a circuit before finally touching earth’s hard crust (prop2 O sal4; popping the question).
Capt G. Langham (Southampton): An offer of support, love, glamour, and a good start in life (prop O SA l(ife) & lit.).
P. H. Morgan (Torquay): The occasion for a well pressed suit—and for the beginning of a partnership also, possibly (pro3 p(artnership) + anag. & lit; suit = courtship [see comments]).
C. J. Morse (SW10): What the young spinster looks for in a mate is the reverse of lethargy! (sopor (rev.) in pal [see comments]).
R. Postill (Jersey): Stay! What follows this? Half one’s earnings going on a ring? (prop O sal(ary), & lit.).
E. J. Rackham (Totton): It comprises support, love, and half one’s earnings! (prop O sal(ary), & lit.).
I. R. Scott (Christchurch): Instead of soft soap Labour’s leader should give a plan (pro3 + anag. + L(abour); soft = malleable, diffused).
Miss D. W. Taylor (Worthing): Will a rotund figure encased in stays get this? With a little bit of luck—yes! (O in props + a + l(uck), & lit.).
J. Walters (W14): Offer poor sap might make by long letter! (anag. + l, & lit.).
J. F. N. Wedge (Carshalton): Poor sap nervously anticipates the beginning of Leap-year for what it might bring him (anag. + L(eap-year); nervous = jumpy).
Cdr D. P. Willan (Athens): Apropos a love-letter, may it contain one? Yes! (hidden & lit.).
M. Winterbottom (SE25): A poor L.P.’s jazzed up version of “Love Me Tender” (anag.; long player; ref. Elvis Presley song [see comments]).
J. W. Bates, E. Beddard, K. J. Burraston, Cdr H. H. L. Dickson, F. D. Gardiner, E. Gomersall, E. J. Griew, D. C. Handscomb, A. S. Haydon, T. E. S. Jobson, Mrs E. McFee, I. Morgan, Rev R. Murray, W. H. Pegram, S. Plumb, A. Robins, E. O. Seymour, M. C. Souster, Mrs J. Thomas, A. D. Walker
D. B. J. Ambler, F. D. H. Atkinson, C. Allen Baker, G. F. Bamford, T. E. Bell, H. J. Bradbury, R. S. Caffyn, A. E. Clayton, A. E. Crow, J. H. Dingwall, V. Edkins, L. E. Eyres, Mrs N. Fisher, J. Flood, Maj A. H. Giles, S. Goldie, R. J. Hall, D. Hawson, L. Hollman, E. M. Hornby, J. G. Hull, Mrs I. V. Idelson, V. Jennings, G. Kirsch, E. Knighting, C. Koop, Miss J. S. Lumsden, H. Lyon, A. D. Mattock, W. A. McFarlane, I. McGivering, E. L. Mellersh, D. P. M. Michael, F. E. Neale, S. L. Paton, Miss M. J. Patrick, E. G. Phillips, Maj J. N. Purdon, W. G. Roberts, Dr D. S. Robertson, Mrs J. Robertson, W. Rodgers, G. J. S. Ross, S. Sedler, Mrs E. Shackleton, W. Steinberg, P. W. Stroud, F. K. Thornton, K. I. Torrance, C. E. Williams, S. E. Wilson, W. J. Wilson, M. Woolf.
COMMENTS:—454 entries, 426 correct. It seems to have been an easier puzzle than usual, and the word set was not difficult; but this does not detract from the excellence of the entry, reflected in the long lists above. The few mistakes in solutions were nearly all different from each other—one occurred four times, two twice, the rest unique. It might be well to note that two were obvious slips in copying, three were blank squares and three entries had illegible letters: I’m not fussy about clearness, but I must be sure that the right letters are intended, and in these cases I really couldn’t be. The standard of clues was consistently good, far higher than last month.
A solver asks me to state my principles about punctuation in clues. I’ve done this before, but evidently it will be useful to repeat them. The ideal clue takes no liberties with punctuation, I think; but if liberties are taken, I vastly prefer the omission of punctuation which is, properly speaking, needed for the concealed meaning of the clue to the intrusion of punctuation which actually prevents the concealed meaning from really being there. I regard punctuation as something the writer puts in to help the reader: I therefore take the view that he may, if he likes, (though perhaps he really oughtn’t to!) withhold that help, but that to put in punctuation which he doesn’t mean goes further and is unfair. Afrit, whose principles, as you know, I greatly respect, was a purist even over the former point; but I feel that we weaker mortals may claim that much latitude! I often do it myself, and you will see that Mr Eyre, Mr Morgan, Mr Morse and Mr Winterbottom have done it above (punctuation implied after “lacking,” “partnership,” “for” and “up” respectively). One caution:—I don’t like the omission of punctuation to make a clue too jerky or to upset syntax. (All this, of course, doesn’t apply to a special case, “Printer’s Devilry,” in which misleading punctuation is part of the idea). I should add that I’m not fussy about intrusive italics or inverted commas or, on occasion, capital letters, but that I don’t like the exclusion of essential capital letters when words are to be taken as proper names in the concealed meaning of the clue. Inconsistent? Perhaps, but that’s my personal idea of fairness.
Many thanks for Christmas cards and for greetings, which I heartily reciprocate. When you get this, you will, I hope, be battling successfully with the Christmas competition: good luck to all!