XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 916
1. K. Gibson: I span a do to do (anag. & lit.; do, vb. intrans.).
2. Sir S. Kaye: You’ll get no liveliness to assist lifting out of this standard of pitch (no sap aid (all rev.); ref. cricket).
3. C. T. Tulloch: Making a span I do a whole octave (anag. & lit.).
R. B. Adcock: Mortgage enveloping one and it’s rising further—that’s a burden “I will with deep groans bear” (a in dip + SA (rev.) + on; dip= mortgage: ‘Rape of Lucrece’, 1132).
C. O. Butcher: To give a child a bath involves a whole lot of sounds (often meaning stop) (a in dip a son).
J. H. Cleary: Complete miscasting of Aïda—Pons appearing in bass part (anag.; ref. Juan P., baritone).
R. M. S. Cork: A pond is a peculiar setting for a bass (anag.).
L. A. Diehl: Standard of pitch yielded up specifically to the right of the bowler (paid (rev.) + as + on; ref cricket).
L. L. Dixon: Stop. Open? Order a soda and nip for me (anag.).
J. C. Farman: Bottom-stop, perhaps, specifically in operation beneath one in the bath (a in dip (n.) + as + on).
D. H. Forster: Ida excited—on third of September—a boy—stop (anag. + (Se)p(tember) + a son; telegram).
C. H. Hudson: A pond is a queer place to pull out bass (anag.).
A. Lawrie: What uses the full set of eight in a span? I do (anag. & lit.; use = exercise).
L. F. Leason: When becoming tipsy, having first settled up, stop (paid (rev.) + as + on).
Mrs E. McFee: It’s a travesty of Aïda—Pons appearing in bass part (anag.; ref. Juan P., baritone).
D. P. M. Michael: Full volume of sound turned up formerly satisfied offspring (apaid (rev.) + son).
C. J. Morse: Depression surrounds one with the pound being supported by a full-scale stop (a in dip + a S on; reimposition of £50 travel allowance, 1966).
J. W. Taylor: Pons’ Aïda—what a rich musical experience this could make! (anag.; ref. Juan P., baritone).
A. Turner: To put a pad in so roughly would make an organ stop (anag.).
G. H. Willett: An eightsome, musically, is a dance with circular formation in continuous clamour (a pas O in din).
M. Woolf: I may be used with pedal-point for instance in the swell (I a p(edal) as, all in don1 & lit.).
Mrs E. Allen, C. Allen Baker, W. G. Arnott, F. D. H. Atkinson, A. E. Baldwin, J. W. Bates, P. F. Bauchop, R. T. Baxter, A. J. Bisset, Mrs K. Bissett, Rev C. M. Broun, Miss N. M. Brown, E. J. Burge, E. S. Clark, P. R. Clemow, V. A. R. Cooper, Mrs M. P. Craine, Dr J. Crowther, J. McI. Cruickshank, G. Cuthbert, N. C. Dexter, F. E. Dixon, Mrs N. Fisher, A. L. Freeman, C. C. M. Giffin, E. Gomersall, T. E. S. Jobson, W. H. Johnson, A. H. Jones, K. F. Lawton, J. H. C. Leach, A. D. Legge, Mrs R. D. Lemon, A. F. Lerrigo, Mrs B. Lewis, D. L. McFadyen, D. McLaren, T. W. Melluish, T. J. Moorey, C. R. B. Murray, P. K. Nandi, K. Neale, S. L. Paton, Mrs N. Perry, R. Postill, E. R. Prentice, H. Rutley, L. H. Stewart, J. R. Stocks, L. T. Stokes, A. Sudbery, G. R. Webb, B. C. Westall, C. E. Williams, S. E. Wilson, D. J. Wyatt.
COMMENTS: About 400 entries, few letters wrong, mostly the last letter of TREVES. I think the winner deserves to rank high among our brilliantly neat short ones. Though the entry wasn’t exceptionally big, there were many unfamiliar names and consequently rather a lot of clues rejected through ignoring our regular principles. I haven’t quoted a number of these in a slip for some time, so this may be a suitable moment. The trouble is that some of the senders may not have sent for slips, but I will quote quite a lot in the hope that at least a fair number may profit.
No definition : “Dad’s on National Assistance? No—the reverse!” (also weak wording—order not indicated and “National” redundant). Letter I treated as pronoun: “I take a step,” “I go in,” “I have one over, pace” (also redundant comma). Back indicating reversal in down word (very common this time) : “I’d go back” (also unsound like the last three), “a short number it rendered backwards,” “I’d back,” “Assistance going back,” “Paid back,” “settled back,” “no returning,” “returned” (note: “returned = paid back”). Unhelpful indirect anag.: “ before repairing the temple” (naos), “confused girl” (Ida: just think of the number of possibilities!), “take in a small bent coin” (paisa, which isn’t even in Chambers—entirely useless to a solver). Unsound wording: “A settlement coming up” (paid is not a noun), “Help raise” (raise does not mean raised), “what could a pianist do without it? Create it.” (This, to make sense, must be read as “what could a pianist do do without it”: it can’t be so read). Anag. not indicated : “Sad piano harmony.” Hidden clue with redundant words and no indication that required word is hidden : “Concord—agencies covering ex-India—P.A.’s onto a good lead.”
I can’t more fully explain these points in this short space; if anyone doesn’t understand them, my book (if I may be excused the advertisement!) would help. Incidentally, many thanks for a large number of kind remarks about it; I’m very glad to hear that it is both being enjoyed and found helpful. For the sake of newcomers and any who have missed the announcements, it is called “Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword” (Methuen).
Finally, I must revert to the subject of “back” in down clues, because I have a very pleasantly worded plea in its favour from a keen solver in India, who quotes the O.E.D. as giving “in the reverse direction” without further qualification. But then I don’t admit that “reverse” can refer to upward motion unless something in the context specifically implies it, e.g., “We went back to the top of the hill.” Back and backwards, to me, when they are unqualified and unaffected by a special context, suggest movement in the opposite direction from side to side, not from bottom to top. Perhaps I am too much of a stickler; but I’m afraid I can’t make myself stop stickling on this point.