◀  No. 1100 Clue list 5 Apr 1970 Slip image No. 1110  ▶



1.  D. P. M. Michael: What, if amiss, makes X go preachily potty? (anag. & lit.).

2.  N. C. Dexter: Opening for his XI—ploy Grace developed—was the famous Dr.’s art (anag. incl. h; ref. Dr Samuel Johnson).

3.  M. Newman: Giving X a go, I cry “help!” when in trouble—it does help (anag. & lit.).


T. E. Bell: Theme of Chambers’s introduction, for example, or, haply, one intricately bound up with X? (anag. incl. e.g., & lit.).

C. O. Butcher: You must know words for this chap X, e.g. roily, plaguy (anag.).

J. Crowther: Solving X cypher, one goal for which Chambers’s is recommended (anag. incl. I).

S. Goldie: Revised provides X with gear—he’s original with policy (anag. & lit.).

W. E. Green: Gray X-ophile in confusion needs C. This might help him (anag. & lit.).

Mrs S. Hewitt: Exhaustive word compilation; after decoding cypher I go lax (anag.).

E. M. Hornby: Graecophil has two unknown quantities; Liddell & Scott’s work will sort that out (anag. incl. x,y; ref. Greek dictionary).

Mrs D. B. Jenkinson: X recommends Geddie’s axe policy—R. H. G. given new look (anag.; ref. G.’s ed. of C.: cf. ‘Geddes axe’, 1920s economic policy).

L. W. Jenkinson: Commander in turbulent Phrygia stuck to the law of Rome—this was Festus’s line (lex + CO in anag.; ref. Acts 25 & 2c. AD lexicographer).

Mrs B. Lewis: Work of a giant-hearted chap I rely on when tackling X (X in anag. incl. Og; tackle = seize).

S. M. Mansell: Mad editor’s first xylographic dictionary production (anag. incl. e).

Mrs E. Morgan: Defining of words can be inexact—cp. Gyro: a helix (anag.).

C. J. Morse: Age and pox richly dressed was Webster’s speciality (anag.; ref. lexicographer, playwright—“much possessed by death”).

F. E. Newlove: Sam’s bookmaking business employs chirpy ex-gaol characters—in harmless drudgery? (anag.; ref. S. Johnson’s def. of ‘lexicographer’).

F. R. Palmer: It can be a help with the limits of your comprehending X, one to deceive (X I cog (vb.). in anag.).

G. J. S. Ross: Johnson’s great achievement, the destruction of gay, prolix Ché (anag.; ref. C. Guevara, Lyndon J., Samuel J.).

C. A. Sears: X with cypher has one goal, to show differently the art of defining words (anag. incl. I).

Mrs E. M. Simmonds: Occupation making one excel verbally—involving endless hack work and semi-drudgery (anag. of I ‘XL’ hac(k) op. (drud)gery; ref. S. Johnson’s def. of ‘lexicographer’).

M. E. Ventham: Ché, gay and prolix, upset Johnson’s work (anag.; ref. C. Guevara, Lyndon J. , Samuel J.).


R. Abrey, R. H. Adey, D. B. J. Ambler, F. D. H. Atkinson, M. J. Balfour, E. A. C. Bennett, Maj A. S. Birt, Mrs A. Boyes, R. Brain, E. Chalkley, Mrs N. Fisher, T. E. Girdlestone, E. Gomersall, R. B. Harling, R. A. Harvey, G. M. Hornby, F. G. Illingworth, W. Islip, G. Johnstone, B. F. Jones, Sir S. Kaye, R. E. Kimmons, Dr E. C. Lance, Capt G. Langham, J. Langton, L. F. Leason, Mrs E. McFee, C. G. Millin, D. G. C. Mockridge, S. L. Paton, Mrs N. Perry, R. Postill, A. Rivlin, F. B. Stubbs, J. G. Stubbs, H. G. Tattersall, D. J. Thorpe, Rev C. D. Westbrook, G. H. Willett, D. C. Williamson.

ANNUAL HONOURS LIST FOR 13 COMPETITIONS:—1. N. C. Dexter (3 prizes, 6 V. H. C.s); 2. C. J. Morse (2-7); 3. R. Postill (1-7); 4. J. Crowther (2-4), Mrs. B. Lewis (0-8); 6. W. G. Arnott (2-2), E. M. Hornby, C. G. Millin (1-4); 9. P. R. Clemow, Sir S. Kaye, D. P. M. Michael, (1-3), Brig. R. F. E. Stoney (0-5); 13. Mrs. N. Fisher (2-0), A. Bristow, P. D. Gaffey, Mrs. S. Hewitt, F. E. Newlove (1-2), C. O. Butcher, L. W. Jenkinson (0-4).
Consolation Prizes:—Mrs. B. Lewis (8 V. H. C.s), Brig. R. F. E. Stoney (5).
Total different prizewinners to date:—453
Total different prizewinners and/or V. H. C.s:—1596.
COMMENTS:—Just over 350 entries, only one error in solution among those on my short list for mentions. That is a drop of 150 entries from the last Playfair; I think, from comments, that this was due more to the difficulty of the word to be clued than to the difficulty of the puzzle, though some people found BYWORD elusive. I hope the clues above will show that LEXICOGRAPHY wasn’t too impossible; the first prizewinner is, I think of the highest quality. Those who wrote very long clues should note its neat brevity; one clue submitted would have needed four lines of print. This is quite intolerable, and I don’t like more than two lines at the most (not more than 45 letters and spaces go to each line). Congratulations to Mr. Dexter, who just pipped Mr. Morse on the post; both were out of the top five last year, so their return is timely, and it is well deserved. I note that we have to go back six years to find so many new additions, forty, to the total of winners of V. H. C.s, and seven years to find so many new prizewinners, fifteen. I welcome this healthy sign. Finally many thanks for appreciative comments; Playfair has many fans, but I think once a year is enough, for there are some who can’t cope with it. Some writers ask for hints on finding the key-word. It’s impossible to give many in a short space, and I’m none too good at it myself very often—I also think there’s some luck in it. But this time I think the probability of RAP next to each other (from AR = PA) and that of YBD next to each other, with Y as the last letter of the key-word and BD starting the alphabetical sequence (from BY = DB—if you got BYWORD!) might well have pointed the way, though, of course, they weren’t certainties; trial and error is, I think, the only method.

Ximenes Slips by year