◀  No. 6154 Mar 1984 Clue list No. 622  ▶



1.  G. Perry: Mister C’s inexactitude? (anag. & lit.; ref. Churchill).

2.  C. Allen Baker: ‘It can’t be true!’ (It’s McEnroe, bickering, having lobbed one out) (anag. less one (rev.); ref. John M.).

3.  R. J. Hooper: I may be swallowed by the foolish etc (and RMs?) (I in anag., & lit.; ‘tell it to the marines’).


M. Barley: England’s game lacks heart; how team’s finished off is sorry story (anag. of cr(ick)et m is).

E. Chalkley: Conservative tries on Monarch’s crown even in Parliament I’m told (C + anag. + M; on = tipsy).

M. Coates: Miscreant may have spread this, if swallowed (anag. less an2, & lit.).

N. C. Dexter: ‘Terminological inexactitude’ (coined by Mister Churchill initially) (anag. incl. C & lit.; ref. Churchill).

B. Franco: Heartless clue-adjudicator has listed me 1st! It can’t be true! (c, r + anag.; not far off, though – AZ).

J. F. Grimshaw: Stuff! (That’s posture to be taken up where one is ferreted out) (cram with site (rev.) for a, & lit.).

V. G. Henderson: What bouncer will say: ‘Settle club stir with me’ (anag. incl. C; bounce = lie).

D. Hibbert: Idiocy to be rid of Northern Ireland? That’s absolutely untrue (creti(NI)sm).

Mrs N. Jarman: Terminological inexactitude of Mister C (anag. & lit.; ref. Churchill).

F. P. N. Lake: One uttered by miscreant lying outrageously? (anag. less an).

J. C. Leyland: What don’t you see in French UHT mostly? It’s nasty imported invention (anag. in crèm(e)).

D. J. MacKay: Credit me? It’s misguided! (cr + anag., & lit.).

Rev W. P. Manahan: There’s nothing infallible about this version of papist and Roman doctrine (RC (rev.) + et + ism; version = turning).

S. M. Mansell: Sheer mendacity might make any heed this lie (comp. anag.).

H. W. Massingham: Free metrics, such as hath no feet! (anag.; ‘A lie hath no feet’, adage, ref. Brewer).

L. May: Miscreant’s undoing, if brought out (anag. less an2, & lit.).

C. G. Millin: Little credit should be given to false items in it (cr + anag., & lit.).

F. R. Palmer: Cram, heading for championship, times runs devastatingly (c + anag. incl. r; cram = lie; ref. Steve C.).

L. G. D. Sanders: Mister C’s playful ‘terminological inexactitude’ (anag. & lit.; ref. Churchill).

T. E. Sanders: Cram – he’s no beginner in athletics but holds exalted place (site (rev.) in Cr(a)m; cram = lie; ref. Steve C.).

J. G. Stubbs: Bounce caught reckless smiter (c + anag.; bounce = lie).

M. Woolf: It’s a strange miscreant who is innocent of one (anag. less an, & lit.).

Dr E. Young: With which my ‘unbalanced’ comes out ‘symmetric’? (comp. anag. & lit.).


D. W. Arthur, M. J. Balfour, A. J. Bisset, H. J. Bradbury, C. Brougham, Rev C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, R. S. Caffyn, P. Cargill, E. A. Clarke, A. G. Collis, Mrs J. M. Critchley, C. Edmunds, A. D. Foote, H. Freeman, M. Freeman, N. C. Goddard, S. Goldie, D. A. Grassland, J. E. Green, R. R. Greenfield, R. B. Harling, D. V. Harry, J. P. H. Hirst, E. Hornby, C. H. Hudson, J. G. Hull, I. Isaksen, C. Loving, R. K. Lumsdon, J. D. H. Mackintosh, L. K. Maltby, D. F. Manley, Dr E. J. Miller, W. L. Miron, C. J. Morse, R. J. Palmer, M. Postlethwaite, D. Price Jones, Mrs D. M. C. Prichard, J. F. Reay, Dr R. C. Ross, Mrs K. M. Russell, W. J. M. Scotland, W. K. M. Slimmings, Mrs I. G. Smith, F. B. Stubbs, D. G. Tallis, K. Thomas, L. E. Thomas, M. Totterdell, V. C. D. Vowles, G. H. Willett, D. O. Williams.

378 entries, no mistakes. By general agreement a harder puzzle than usual – I can’t explain why. The clue which seems to have bothered most people was the one for SHOP (‘ “Grass” on term for cannabis, a narcotic’) where ‘term’ is used in the (I hope permissible) sense of ‘end’ (i.e. the letter s). The quotation marks were perhaps a bit misleading in that the definition part of the clue was meant to be ‘grass on,’ but I felt that since this is a highly idiomatic expression putting ‘grass’ in quotes was justifiable.
Some of you complained that the clue-word was an awkward one. I hope the list above will convince you that there is plenty that can be made of it. I certainly saw it as being full of potential. Most popular unsuccessful idea was the hidden word type with (usually) ‘secret’ taking care of the first four letters. There’s nothing intrinsically objectionable about this type of clue – I use it regularly myself after all – but it is very difficult to achieve anything outstanding with it and the answer tends to be pretty obvious. I also feel strongly that it should contain no superfluous words in the cryptic part besides those which contain the clue-word itself. The next most popular idea was an anagram of MISCREANT within AN. Neatly turned this made a nice ‘& lit.’ type of clue as those quoted testify. To those who used the idea but are not quoted above I say, ‘Consider whether your clues might not have been better worded.’ A minor variation in the choice of words can sometimes make all the difference.
Fewer competitors than might have been expected thought of using Mr Churchill’s ‘terminological inexactitude’ (first used in the context of the employment of indentured Chinese labour in the Rand, interestingly) but of those that did I found Mr Perry’s the simplest and the best, with ‘inexactitude’ neatly doing double duty as definition and anagram indicator and the question mark as an important adjunct. It’s not clear how or why the poor Cretans first acquired the reputation of mendacity but it seems to have persisted throughout Greek and Roman literature and for all I know may still persist. Possibly even there’s some truth in it!
The late announcement of the results of this competition was the result of the incompetence of the postal service, not of your dogged setter; the special new post-code for competitions may have had something to do with it. Steps have been taken to avoid its happening again but I can make no guarantees.


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