AZED CROSSWORD 2053
PERISHER def. ESTIMATE
1. Dr J. Burscough: Rogue Herries, central character in Walpole novel (anag. incl. p; character (= reputation)).
2. I. D. McDonald: Rogue Herries, character figuring at heart of Walpole’s novel (anag. incl. p; figuring).
3. N. Connaughton: Rogue share price down on a hundred somehow (anag. less a C; price).
D. & N. Aspland: Erring re prize, has AZ wrongly disregarded this cheeky one? (anag. less anag.; prize).
T. C. Borland: Little menace from Hibernian, first shot coming midway through match ((I)rish in peer; shot).
C. A. Clarke: I could rate as malevolent being downright heartless (peri sh(e)er, & lit.; rate).
V. Dixon: Tricky teaser; by any reckoning, best part of paper is here! (hidden; reckoning).
W. Drever: Limb’s affected I reckon primarily with herpes (anag. incl. I, r; reckon).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Endless menace to society primarily – try to get shot of one? (peri(l) + s + he(a)r, & lit.; shot).
G. I. L. Grafton: European account this rogue fiddled could make share price fifth of value (comp. anag. incl. e; value).
J. Hood: One with annoying reputation – he’s ripe for conversion by Rector (anag. + R; reputation).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Annoying little devil reckoning initially on stray sheep bottling religious instruction (RI in anag. + r; reckoning; bottle = fail to undertake).
D. F. Manley: Is this fellow when discovered in trespass sent to magistrate but not judge? ((J)P + is he in err, & lit.; judge; ref. minor offence).
K. Milan: Rate him perhaps somewhat hyper? Is he rascally! (hidden & lit.; rate).
C. G. Millin: A pain in the neck? Reckon it’s stiff initially and hard to look around (first letters + H in peer; reckon).
T. J. Moorey: Terror strike here is inspired by heartless preacher? (anag. in p, r; strike).
W. Ransome: Is he perpetrator? Rate this troublemaker top suspect (comp. anag. & lit; rate).
N. G. Shippobotham: Share price tumbles in this so-and-so account (comp. anag. incl. a/c; price).
D. H. Tompsett: Rogue Herries tracks central character for Walpole – a rascal figure (p + anag.; figure).
Ms S. Wallace: Whisper (no source) spread about leads to early reckoning for troublemaker (anag. less w + e, r; reckoning).
A. J. Wardrop: Pain? Possibly herpes, I reckon initially (anag. incl. r; reckon).
R. J. Whale: Tinker, perhaps? Taken in by spy initially reckon I’d suspect Haydon (first letters in peer; reckon; ref. Le Carré).
D. C. Williamson: Dodgy hire-purchase foots account for —— out of cash (comp. anag. & lit.; account).
D. K. Arnott, J. Biggin, R. E. Boot, J. G. Booth, D. A. Campbell, J. & B. Cheesman, P. Coles, C. M. Edmunds, A. G. Fleming, R. Gilbert, Ms S. Hart, R. Heald, Dr G. L. Heard (USA), P. F. Henderson (New Zealand), Ms M. Irvine, J. C. Leyland, M. Lunan, W. F. Main, K. Manley, P. W. Marlow, A. Plumb, R. Smith, P. A. Stephenson, L. Tattersall, P. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, J. R. Tozer, A. J. Varney, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, G. H. Willett, Dr E. Young.
A disappointing entry, only 172 in all, but with few mistakes in the grid, though as always with ‘Wrong Number’ a few got the wrong pair of words to clue or got them the wrong way round. One needs a clear head when dealing with the WN format, either as solvers or as setter, and I dare say the extra challenge proved a turn-off for less determined solvers. Though many of you nominated favourite clues it sometimes proved tricky (for possibly obvious reasons) to determine just which were being referred to, so I won’t declare a winner. Suffice it to say that many of you said the puzzle was (relatively) straightforward and even on the easy side. WNs do take longer to set than normal plains. My method is to aim for a grid in which there are six sets of six different word-lengths; these I then clue in groups by length, having first jotted beside each a range of possible one-word definitions. There are always a few which require extra thought and verbal dexterity to match up. I also try to give you a pair which seem to offer a reasonable range of one-word definitions to choose from, though I have to say that some of the definitions chosen for ESTIMATE were distinctly borderline. (Incidentally, I have no objection to your using in your clues the same one-word definition I have chosen to define the unclued word, ‘guess’ in this case.) The other main fault, in a minority of clues submitted, was the inclusion of a one-word definition which was not an intrinsic part of the clue as a whole, but simply a sort of add-on. This indicates a failure to grasp the essence of WN clues.
I wasn’t very keen on clues that depended on an intimate knowledge of the Perishers cartoon series and the names of the characters therein, nor those which used the naval slang use of PERISHER (given in the SOED) meaning a submarine periscope or (the course of training for) a submarine commander. This apparently dates from the early twentieth century but has never made it into Chambers and was thus better avoided as being unfair to the solver.
I gather that there was a regrettable delay in sending out the annual consolation prizes. It appears that my email to The Observer listing the relevant names and addresses disappeared into the ether and I therefore had to resend it some time later. I’m sorry for that, and I also apologize to Mr P. Coles, who was listed as VHC last month but whose clue was unaccountably omitted from the September slip. If he would kindly remind me of his clue I shall give it next month and make sure that it is included in the reckoning for this year’s honours list.