◀  No. 6755 May 1985 Clue list No. 683  ▶


ESTOVER (Printer’s Devilry)

1.  T. J. Moorey: ‘Dry’ minister organizing party left-win/ger.

2.  P. B. Macdonald: Desert reclamation could transform these redun/dant landscapes.

3.  D. Riley: Fall, com/mon tin, copper and gold!


J. D. D. Blaikie: Veterans who got in vit/ally needed support late in the day (VE rally).

Mrs A. L. Boorman: Don’t blame th/e prim and the good for nothing, C.O.– O.K.?

C. A. Clarke: Liverpool? My footb/all team is Everton!

N. C. Dexter: Veteran go/allie’s kept now for forty years (VE rallies).

Mrs P. Edwards: Engineer got out second b/all. Swore. His first pair though.

Mrs S. M. Felton: Within vit/ally important celebration for the old, soldiers will not be missed (VE rally).

Mrs C. Firmin: Scaling up an old Baltic maple, a gu/st’s worried me! (versts).

M. Freeman: I’m a loud pianist and I always play pieces that are m/y forte (mesto).

T. D. Freestone: Fort/night stay in hospital is required.

S. Goldie: To supper? (Nod eagerly) Conduc/t, I go (Pernod).

J. F. Grimshaw: During break he’s potted his b/alls, going round the pockets.

J. B. Hallissey: When promenaders come tor/ture can begin.

E. L. Hayward: With ribbons, and memories as old, I err, I d/ally gloriously (VE rally).

Mrs R. Herbert: Are nuns impecunious? Go to the poor – clar/ify the matter.

R. J. Hooper: One on country picnic: ‘Go/d – ant-hill!’

A. Lawrie: Spring turns a spent re/d ant green.

R. K. Lumsdon: So, Meo n/ear win – do win! – for ‘downer’ White (with rag) ’e’s potted few, remains on seat (Tony M., Steve W., snooker).

J. D. Moore: A tour bargain! A taste of everything from Thebes to Fal/mouth.

T. W. Mortimer: Tourist in Italy – go/on! Athens tops for sightseeing.

R. A. Mostyn: Eiffel Tower, vibrating in high wind, will give, will i/t? I go prone!

R. Phillips: Every time my French mistress com/bs, I get tense, muddled.

B. A. Pike: In a gu/t, grumbles must be disconcerting!

Rev E. H. Pyle: Go, win! Try car/nal bliss. Give way.

D. L. Roberts: Nud/ge rare Jezebels.

Mrs I. G. Smith: Much neglected in kitchen, Ma – d/usty and unhygienic.

Mrs J. Waldren: Whoever Go/d undoes, remember those who perished in battle (Verdun).

M. H. E. Watson: Dropping in plate some rude lin/gerie merged with collection.


E. Akenhead, C. Allen Baker, J. E. Andrew, W. Arthur, F. D. H. Atkinson, Mrs B. M. Aze, D. B. Baker, P. W. Baker, Mrs P. A. Bax, E. A. Beaulah, Mrs K. Bissett, O. Bloor, R. E. Boot, G. H. Booth, Mrs A. R. Bradford, A. Brash, J. Bunnell, E. J. Burge, D. M. Burns, E. J. Bushell, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, Rev J. G. Clark, Mrs D. M. Colley, Mrs M. P. Craine, A. J. Crow, N. Curwen, M. David, R. V. Dearden, L. L. Dixon, J. Donald, J. Dromey, M. Earle, S. F. Edwardson, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. Gargan, D. A. Ginger, H. J. Godwin, R. B. Harling, D. V. Harry, C. Havill, P. F. Henderson, M. J. Henthorn, E. T. Hodgkinson, S. Holgate, J. Horwood, F. G. Illingworth, B. Jackson, D. R. Jones, R. E. Kimmons, F. P. N. Lake, G. G. Lawrance, M. D. Laws, C. W. Laxton, Dr R. Liddle, H. R. Lockhart, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, R. S. MacLeod, D. F. Manley, S. M. Mansell, H. W. Massingham, D. Mills, S. R. Montgomery, J. J. Moore, C. J. Morse, S. J. O’Boyle, F. R. Palmer, A. M. Paterson, L. Paterson, K. Pearce, C. Pearson, Mrs A. G. Phillips, Mrs A. Price, E. W. Richart, E. R. Riddle, R. Robinson, R. Rogan, T. E. Sanders, W. J. M. Scotland, J. P. L. Scott, G. Secker, W. K. M. Slimmings, B. D. Smith, Rev C. H. Smith, M. C. Souster, J. R. Stagles, D. W. Stein, F. Stevens, C. L. Thomson, Mrs J. E. Townsend, L. C. Tudor, V. C. D. Vowles, Mrs M. P. Webber, Rev C. D. Westbrook, J. B. Widdowson, D. O. Williams, M. G. Wilson, S. Woods, Dr E. Young.

1. R. J. Hooper (2 prizes, 8 VHCs); 2.(equal) J. F. Grimshaw (1, 7), R J. Palmer (0,9); 4. J. D. Moore (2,4); 5.(equal) C. J. Brougham (1,5), N. C. Dexter (1, 5), D. F. Manley (1,5); 8.(equal) E. J. Burge (1, 4), C J. Morse (1, 4); 10 .(equal) Dr I. S. Fletcher (1,3), A. H. Jones (1,3), T. J. Moorey (1,3), F. R. Palmer (1, 3), T. E. Sanders (1, 3), W. K. M. Slimmings (1, 3); 16.(equal) C A. Baker (0,4), M. Barley (0, 4), Dr J. Burscough (1, 2), R. V. Dearden (1, 2), F. D. Gardiner (1, 2), N. C. Goddard (0,4), V. G. Henderson (1, 2), G. Johnstone (1,2), W. J. M. Scotland (1, 2).
C. A. Baker, M. Barley, N. C. Goddard, R. J. Palmer.

A mammoth entry – 702 in all – giving a clear thumbs-up to the return of this particular brand of ‘special’. The only mistake (made by about 50) was RICES for RICEY, which my note about the possibly unacceptable plural might have had something to do with. The plural I was referring to was ANISES, for which there is no evidence in the O.E.D. but which I preferred to the less grammatically contentious ANUSES for obvious reasons. I might have been better advised to say nothing as it turned out.
I also failed to notice that Ximenes used ESTOVER as a P.D. competition word over 30 years ago (his No. 275), and there are still several regular solvers who remember that earlier occasion. It’s an obvious word to choose, of course, offering a wide range of possible ‘splits’, though the Ximenes competition attracted a much smaller entry. I do think mine was on the easy side but none the worse for that. It certainly created headaches in the judging. The most popular ploy was ‘…b/est over/all…’ with so little to choose between the many variations on it that most of them had to be demoted in the pecking order. Another much used tack involved ‘verify’ taking up the last three letters of ESTOVER.
In general a large number of perfectly respectable P.D. clues failed to achieve honourable mention because in such a large entry they simply didn’t stand out from the crowd or include that element of wit and cleverness that distinguishes my quoted selection. There was less ‘devilry run riot’ than I’ve sometimes encountered in past P.D. competitions (though Mr Lumsdon’s clue above comes close to overdoing it!), a commoner fault being the opposite one, where the gap is closed with little effect on the overall sense leaving the join almost indiscernible. Clues like this are no fun to solve, I think.
Many congratulations to the new champion at the top of the honours list. Distribution of prizes over the year was wider than usual (which is a healthy sign) so that the number of consolation prizes is correspondingly smaller. There were sixteen who finished with 3 points (2 for a prize, 1 for a VHC). My thanks once again to C.A.B. for so helpfully keeping the scores to check against my own records.

Footnote: My wilfully negligent mis-spelling of BERTOLLETIA in No. 680 has just been pointed out to me. Abject apologies!


The Azed Cup

E. Dawid wins First Prize in competition 2586.


In clueing, R. Heald’s bad? Nonsense!

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 6th February

Latest  AZED  No. 2,589  23rd Jan

All online Azed puzzles

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2586

From the archive

Tined helper our herd teased? (18, 3 words)

Second prize winner by W. H. Pegram in competition 249