◀  No. 20962 Sep 2012 Clue list No. 2105  ▶



1.  J. C. Leyland: Fitter/machinist adjusted frequently failing part of saw, recommending early repair (anag. less fr).

2.  J. R. Tozer: A precautionary operation: you’ll see that since it I’m better (anag.).

3.  R. J. Whale: Way to avoid unwanted issue? Flexible product of chemist, ain’t it? (anag.).


M. Barley: Titchiest bit of needlework am I, cannily deployed (anag. incl. n, & lit.).

J. A. Butler: Misdirection of intimate chit leads to corrective measure (anag.).

P. Coles: Speedy fix gets this cat playing at the correct tempo (anag. + in time).

J. Fairclough: Busy machinist works with fitter (interior) to produce timely repair (anag. incl. itte).

R. Fentem: Wreck of the Titanic is moralist’s foremost cautionary lesson (anag. incl. m).

J. Grimes: Popular Wisdom flick cinema hit about singular idiot (s tit in anag.; ref. 1963 Norman W. film).

R. J. Heald: Riotous cinema hit containing slapstick’s foremost clown (s tit in anag., & lit.; ref. Norman Wisdom film).

D. F. Manley: A tear could make it desirable for tiny person to get close and cosy (as titch intime; for = because).

C. G. Millin: A set task involving thread, primarily by a woman, that is saving money (t chi in a stint + m in i.e., & lit.).

C. J. Morse: Quick needle-and-thread job – or it’s machine time wasted covering it (it in anag. incl. t).

C. J. Ogilvie: Mitt’s in the CIA? Strangely, without this, things could soon unravel (anag.; ref. M. Romney, US election).

A. Plumb: After start of AZED, Chambers initially in the mitts – I fancy a timely procedure (A + anag. incl. C).

R. H. Rooke: Losing control in a titration, a chemist misread corrective measure (anag. less ration).

Dr S. J. Shaw: Repair that is ultimately economic before fashionable item unravels (anag. incl. c + in + anag., & lit.).

I. Simpson: Downing Street craving a cosh for Salmond? It might avert a future split (st itch in a intime; cosh2).

P. A. Stephenson: ‘——’ saves nine? Maybe this is meant as incentive for repair (comp. anag. & lit.).

P. L. Stone: Couple newly at it, in Chemist obtaining precautionary device (anag.).

R. C. Teuton: Classic piece of Wisdom, playing central character in sixties cinema hit, it’s —— (anag. incl. t; ref. Norman W. film).

The Right Reverend D. Thomson: Hem intact? Is it unravelling? Precautionary action needed (anag.).

J. Vincent & R. Porter: Surprisingly Mitt’s a hit since losing support initially – a good example of damage limitation! (anag. less s;; ref. M. Romney, US election).

L. Ward (USA): Sit with machine tacking clothes promptly … thereby effecting this? (tit5 in anag.).

A. J. Wardrop: Treat thalassemia initially with hematinic – it’s one way to avoid complications later (anag. incl t).


T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, P. J. Ball, Ms K. Bolton, T. C. Borland, G. Borooah (USA), A. W. Brooke, C. J. Butler, E. Butterworth, Ms C. Carstairs, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, V. Dixon, T. J. Donnelly, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, C. J. Ellis, A. S. Everest, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gilbert, Mrs E. Greenaway, Dr C. P. Hales, D. Harris, C. & C. Hinton, R. J. Hooper, E. W. Kelly, E. C. Lance, J. P. Lester, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, G. Maker, K. Manley, L. F. Marzillier (USA), T. J. Moorey, F. R. Palmer, A. M. Price, T. Rudd, B. Solomons, M. Taylor, P. Taylor, A. Varney, Mrs A. M. Walden, Ms S. Wallace, G. H. Willett, K. Wilson, T. Wynne-Willson, Dr E. Young.

226 entries, no mistakes (barring one incomplete grid, despite my words of advice last month that you always check your entries before sending them off). Favourite clue of the month, of 21 receiving one or more votes, was ‘Take a turn off for commuters’ short cut? (RAT RUN), just ahead of ‘As regards clue coming up – this one’s a belter! (TONKER).
It’s a while since you’ve had to clue a phrase, and several commented that it made a welcome change. Not that it was that easy to deal with effectively. It must have been tempting, as many did, to go for the AS TITCH INTIME split, but few managed to link cryptic and definition parts effectively while preserving a convincing surface reading. A number of clues submitted contained an initially mysterious reference to Dr Who, until I realized that the clue phrase contains most of the letters of Matt Smith, the actor currently playing the doctor. Given that indirect anagrams were involved, and that several actors have played the title role over the years, these were simply unacceptable as fair clues.
I must be brief this month, to get this slip printed and despatched in reasonable time (already a week later than normal). Many of you may have met and chatted to my father at one or more of the Azed dinners and/or lunches. He and my mother attended them all. Earlier this month he died after a short illness, just four weeks short of his 98th birthday and survived by my mother, now 94. He it was who sparked my early interest in crosswords, patiently explaining the conventions of cryptic cluing while I accompanied him in the car on his round of visits to patients in their homes after morning surgery. He was immensely proud when I assumed Ximenes’s mantle forty years ago, and continue solving my puzzles as long as he was able to.


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