◀  No. 4914 Oct 1981 Clue list No. 500  ▶



1.  C. Allen Baker: Ache to wallow in the embrace of pros? One shouldn’t start it (anag. in (a)ces, & lit.).

2.  D. S. Nagle: What can Sherlock’s initial meddling with the cocaine result in? In this (comp. anag. & lit.).

3.  B. Greer: Itch – scratch one? Itch gets regularly scratched (alternate letters deleted).


R. H. Adey: Smoking? A top runner in the finals of the Olympics – odd (a Coe in anag. incl. cs; ref. Seb C.).

A. G. Bogie: Want itch to cease badly? Scratch it (anag. less it, & lit.).

R. Brain: The endless soccer rioting includes a compulsive viciousness (a in anag. incl. socce(r)).

C. A. Clarke: What’s formed by a derivative of coca, sniffed initially, now no longer easily injected? (ethe in anag. + s, & lit.).

R. Dean: Itching toes ache abominably after onset of chilblains (c + anag.).

P. Drummond: An itch suitably treated ceases to itch – it’s gone (anag. less it’s).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Conservative has to work with EEC – is this characteristic of antisocialist? (C + anag.).

B. Franco: An itch is the first sign of chillblains – then toes ache dreadfully (c + anag.).

N. C. Goddard: Chocs eaten endlessly are bad for one… example of this? (anag. incl. eate(n), & lit.).

P. F. Henderson: Use of drugs? British athlete pitched into a variety of cheats (Coe in anag.; ref. Seb C.’s speech to IOC).

A. Hodgson: Chase Coe with time to make up? It’s enough to make one scratch (anag. incl. t; ref Seb C.).

E. M. Holroyd: Bad company teaches – this? (anag. incl. co., & lit.).

M. D. Laws: Strong yen? It may be prejudicial to cash flow with EEC (anag.).

D. F. Manley: See chocolates? Lose —— if reducing (comp. anag. & lit.).

H. W. Massingham: It could give the company cause to react, if non-U (anag. incl. co. less U, & lit.).

J. J. Moore: Compulsive itch, first sign of chilblains; each toe’s affected (c + anag.).

R. F. Ray: Confounded cat chose middle of flowerbed for nasty habit (anag. incl. e).

W. K. M. Slimmings: What does it bring with it – an itch, e.g. to scribe? (comp. anag. & lit.; cacoethes scribendi).

D. M. Stanford: Bad habit name dropping, catches one out (anag. less n).

B. Stuart: Frantic chase involving Seb on Ovett’s tail – could this be nail-biting? (Coe + t, all in anag.; ref. S. Coe, Steve O.).

M. S. Taylor: Name-dropping catches one out: a habit to avoid (anag. less n).

R. C. Teuton: A wee Scotch could develop into this (and women) (comp. anag. incl. w, & lit.).

D. H. Tompsett: Not a nice drive – coaches, etc., endlessly weaving (anag. incl. et(c)).

Dr E. Young: Is one ruining with a fountain of water a wee Scotch? (comp. anag. incl. w, & lit.; fountain = source).


P. F. Bauchop, Mrs F. A. Blanchard, J. M. Brown, C. J. & M. P. Butler, R. S. Caffyn, D. P. Chappell, A. J. Crow, E. J. Dilley, H. F. Dixon, The Remedial Dept, Duncan Rig School, East Kilbride, M. G. Elliott, P. S. Elliott, Mrs W. Fearon, G. Gregory, J. F. Grimshaw, R. S. Haddock, R. N. P. Hawkins, V. G. Henderson, Mrs S. Hewitt, S. Holgate, E. M. Hornby, V. Jennings, A. H. Jones, C. L. Jones, F. P. N. Lake, C. W. Laxton, W. F. Main, D. R. Marshall, Miss G. May, H. J. McClarron, D. P. M. Michael, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, A. C. Morrison, R. J. Oxborough, R. J. Palmer, S. L. Paton, W. H. Pegram, M. Postlethwaite, D. Price Jones, D. R. Robinson, B. Roe, T. E. Sanders, Dr W. I. D. Scott, Mrs E. J. Shields, B. D. Smith, P. C. Thornton, I. Torbe, D. V. B. Unwin, N. W. Ward, Mrs M. P. Webber, J. F. N. Wedge, R. J. Whale.

416 entries, very few mistakes. A good, varied selection of clues with Sebastian Coe featuring prominently for the second month running, so to speak. The standard was generally very high and there were a good many newcomers, whom it’s always pleasant to welcome. From time to time I am accused of undue complexity in my clues and comments like ‘I could always understand Ximenes; with you I’m sometimes not sure’ come my way. I would agree that to be left not being able to relate a clue to its answer even when you’ve solved it may reflect badly on the setter, but since this one constantly strives to mean what he says and eschew unsoundness of any kind, might I suggest that repeated close reading of such troublesome clues should result in ultimate enlightenment. A case in point was my GEOPONIC clue (‘Gully’s leg caught by choicest cut, agricultural’) which provoked frustrated mutterings from one seasoned campaigner. Taken bit by bit this breaks down as GEO + (’s = has; we surely all accept that convention these days) ON (leg) in (caught by) PIC(K) (choicest cut, i.e., curtailed) = GEOPONIC (agricultural). The cricketing terminology throughout is largely illusory, just my little bit of fun, you may say. But nothing there really to complain of, surely?
Now for my Shakespeare mini-comp. Suggestions ranged from the bear (of ‘Exit pursued by’ fame in The Winter’s Tale, but hardly a ‘character’ you’d expect to utter lines) to the ostler (Henry IV, Part 1, 2, 1, 4) who actually says ‘Anon, anon’ from within so doesn’t need to bother make-up or wardrobe, to Matthew Goffe who enters ‘slain’ in Henry VI, Part 2, 4, 7, in which state he could hardly be expected to utter, to Varrius who enters at the start of Act 5 in Measure for Measure but appears to remain silent and unnoticed thereafter, presumably stealing off at an appropriate exeunt. Well, the one I had in mind was Violenta (All’s Well that Ends Well). Actually in modern Shakespeare texts it seems pretty clear that Rogero is the second gentleman who enters to chat to Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale Act 5, Scene 2, about bonfires and things, and has a massive 12 lines or so, but why does he not get listed by name in most indexes of characters? All very odd.
When you read this I shall have met many of you at the Azed 500th Dinner on 7 November. It will be a great pleasure to make new friends and renew old friendships. And now I must start to prepare my speech!


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