◀  No. 24303 Feb 2019 Clue list No. 2438  ▶



1.  Mrs A. M. Walden: Paralytic strokes mostly end badly (anag. less s).

2.  Dr J. Burscough: Stinko? Reed could be one this inebriated (anag. less I, & lit.; ref. Oliver R.).

3.  R. J. Whale: Taking bubbly Sekt with no reason to stop gets you this (anag. + red (light), & lit.).


D. Appleton: Start to souse with Willie in Perth till dead drunk (s + tonk2 ere2 d).

M. Barley: Brahms and Liszt: noted pair of keyboardists ultimately rather famous for composing (anag. incl. ke, r, s; ref. rhyming slang).

T. C. Borland: Saving its skin, pesky rodent scuttled under the table (anag. incl. esk).

C. J. Brougham: Embedded in reeds stirring shore bird upped and whistled (knot (rev.) in anag.).

J. Doylend: End stroke play after too many rounds? (anag.).

W. Drever: Is ‘Drunkometer’ required for one —— with rum? Possibly (comp. anag. incl. I, & lit.).

A. S. Everest: Tiddly Kent score (out for a hundred). Middle of order hammered (anag. less c + d).

S. C. Ford: Rattle alternately used Franck, Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt (anag. of alternate letters; ref. Simon R.).

H. Freeman: Floored, sent reeling with KO, bloodied, is Hatton not getting up? (anag. + red, ’s + Derek not (rev.); ref. Derek H., politician and Ricky H., boxer).

R. Gilbert: As newts are said to be – to Red Ken’s distress? (anag.; distress imperative; ref. K. Livingstone’s fondness for newts).

J. Grimes: With Buds served up Reed’s misbehaving so? (knots (rev.) + anag.; ref. Budweiser beer, Oliver R.).

R. J. Heald: Tight place for potters clearing up is around edge of cushion (n in Stoke red; ref. snooker).

M. Lloyd-Jones: Well away in second vote, edging out Red Ken surprisingly (s + anag. incl. ot; ref. K. Livingstone).

D. F. Manley: Thing for King’s initiation is wedged in piece of rock, ruddy tight! (K in stone + red; ref. Excalibur).

P. W. Marlow: Stroke Lendl played lacking length repeatedly getting smashed (anag. incl. end; ref. tennis).

T. J. Moorey: Taking defeat in series, gutless England hammered (tonk in ser. + E, d; ref. W. Indies series).

S. J. O’Boyle: Tight reef knots loosened with a bit of dexterity, no force needed (anag. incl. d less f).

M. G. Payne: Describes, perhaps, some frolicking on ‘der Sekt’ (anag. & lit.; Sekt (Ger.) = champagne).

A. Plumb: Off one’s head from trying to consume constant wine? (k in anag. incl. t + red, & lit.).

J. Smailes: In such a state, addled with rum, drunkometers may come out (comp. anag. & lit.).

J. R. Tozer: Del’s turned up round at Nag’s Head, ——? (to N in Derek’s (rev.), & lit.; ref. Del/Derek Trotter in ‘Only Fools and Horses’).

A. J. Wardrop: Loaded set snorted coke out of Colombia (anag. less CO).


T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, A. & J. Calder, P. Cargill, D. Carter, M. Coates, N. Connaughton (Ireland), A. Darby, M. Davies, Ms L. Davis, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. I. L. Grafton, A. H. Harker, D. Harris, M. Hodgkin, G. Johnstone, J. R. H. Jones (Mexico), Dr J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, T. Locke, L. F. Marzillier (USA), P. McKenna, J. R. C. Michie, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, Ms C. Morgan, J. Outen, R. J. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, W. Ransome, T. Rudd, Dr S. J. Shaw, N. G. Shippobotham, I. Simpson, Dr G. Simpson (Australia), R. C. Teuton, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), G. H. Willett, J. Woodall (France).

195 entries, no mistakes that I spotted. Favourite clue, of 15 mentioned: ‘Whose plumage changes completely in wintry periods?’ for RYPER, well ahead of ‘Lawyer links about five cases’ (DATIVES) in second place. This was a thoroughly impressive and (for me) enjoyable competition. The fact that there are so many synonyms for ‘drunk’ in informal or slang use helped, of course, but I don’t remember a competition that yielded such a variety of different ideas and approaches, rendering the judging process unusually difficult. Quite a few of you made a point of indicating that the clue word is Australian usage. Chambers doesn’t label it as such, at least in the current edition, though I see that the Oxford Dictionary of English labels it ‘Austral NZ’ and it certainly has an antipodean feel to it. As is evident from the clues quoted above, I saw no need to indicate the word’s ‘nationality’.
A couple of observations on cluing ideas. Several competitors exploited the fact that ‘stoned’ is synonymous with ‘stonkered’, but I have to say that this rarely led to wholly satisfactory clues, in my judgement. Something to do with having to include repetitive defining vocabulary leading to cumbersome wording. By contrast, I liked ‘& lit.’ anagrams based on ‘Drunkometer(s)’, with ‘rum’ also lurking there, though they needed careful handling to deal smoothly with the superfluous letters. Incidentally, lexicographers seem to have given ‘Drunkometer’ the thumbs-down, though I’m sure I remember that (though an American coinage) it was quite widely used as an alternative to ‘breathalyser’ when this first came into the language.
And finally, I’m grateful to Mr Everest, a life-long collector of G. K. Chesterton’s work, for filling me in on the history of the clerihew, which began when Chesterton and Bentley were friends at St Paul’s School and members of the Junior Debating Club there. There have been various published collections of clerihews, none of them truly complete, the most recent and still, I think, available being the misleadingly titled Complete Clerihews (OUP, 1981). And to sign off with, here is a delightful clerihew from Private Eye many years ago, brought to my attention by Mr Smailes: ‘Cardinal Tomas O’Fiaich./Who he?//Enough said,/Ed.’


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