XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 279
1. H. G. Tattersall: A cell first; then go up before the beak for a sentence involving hard labour (crypt + go (rev.) + ram).
2. W. T. Meade-King: Say “Ah,” turn over, now your pulse. Very hard to diagnose (cry PTO gram2).
3. J. A. Fincken: If you don’t read right into it, it won’t mean a blooming thing! (i.e. c. less r = cryptogam (flowerless plant), & lit.).
E. S. Ainley: Dark affair that you need a key to: proceed the wrong way and—mess-up (crypt + go mar (each rev.), & lit.).
C. Allen Baker: Letters for the Postmaster-General to carry may be sometimes almost indecipherable (anag. incl. PMG).
J. W. Bates: In which a cipher prevents the underground from coming to grief (0 in crypt + gram3 & lit.).
T. E. Bell: Oratory ought commonly to pulse with a profound message (crypt + O (ought2) + gram2; oratory = place for prayer).
Mrs N. Fisher: There’s a clamour for a post mortem about some peculiar words arising in this puzzle (cry + argot (rev.) in pm).
E. G. Illingworth: Message concealed report quietly obtained about a type of jet (cry + p + got (rev.) + ram (see ramjet)).
W. K. M. Slimmings: There’s a rumour—keep it quiet!—Fonteyn’s to appear in Worm’s Eye View. Bentley might tell what’s behind it (cry + p + Margot (rev.); R.A.F. Bentley’s codes; ref. film & play “W. E. V.” and Muriel Bentley, U.S. ballet dancer).
J. C. W. Springbett: A feature of the Personal Column, “Meeting place below church love returned Marg” (crypt O + Marg (rev.)).
J. B. Sykes: Ordering P.M.G. to carry this kind of message isn’t always possible—or is it? (anag.).
J. Thompson: There’s obscure writing, rumour and talk of a doubtful nature about Churchill going round (cry + argot (rev.) in PM; ref. rumours following C.’s stroke in 1953).
Miss D. M. Thorne: The wail of a baby having got upside down in its carriage is unintelligible (except to its parent?). (cry + got (rev.) in pram).
H. S. Tribe: Weep, turn over a new leaf, and end trouble—that’s the message of a good hiding (cry PTO gram3).
F. L. Usher: There’s some hidden meaning in this stuff about Egypt being short of capital and/or cracking up (anag. of (E)gypt or in cram; ref. E.’s post-war economic instability).
C. P. Wroth: It’s hard to understand the child’s yell before it had got upside down in the carriage (cry + got (rev.) in pram).
Dr S. H. Atkins, Rev H.D. Owen Brown, B. Burton, R. A. Chalmers, H. G. Cooper, V. F. Dixon, W. J. Duffin, Brig W. E. Duncan, Mrs D. M. D’Eath, C. E. Gates, S. Goldie, E. Gomersall, C. R. Haigh, Mrs L. Jarman, P. J. Jutsum, C. Koop, D. P. M. Michael, P. H. Morgan, C. J. Morse, F. E. Newlove, E. G. Phillips, R. Postill, Capt W. H. W. Ridley, O. Carlton Smith, E. B. Stevens, Miss D. W. Taylor, D. H. Tompsett, J. F. N. Wedge, R. Wells, Cdr D. P. Willan, M. Winterbottom.
COMMENTS—284 entries, 246 correct. The puzzle proved more difficult than usual: Isolde Menges and menge = ming was elusive. Only one competitor pointed out that alecost is in its place in the dict. after all: I had missed it among the compounds of ale. No room for more on this puzzle: I must give the result of the ballot on winning clues of the past.
51 people sent votes, some of them giving second and third preferences as well: between them they mentioned 40 clues. This is, of course, a very rough and ready “Championship”— I called it “unofficial” in advance. For one thing the more recent winners clearly have an advantage. Still, I think it is at least interesting. I have awarded one point for a first preference and half a point for a second or third. The result is : 1. A. N. Clark’s clue to filibuster: “I rifle tubs at sea.” (7 pts.). 2. Mrs Jarman’s socialist: “Disliking ‘blue’ performances, I give monologues from Winnie the Pooh.” (6 pts.—all firsts). 3. H. S. Tribe’s bastinade: “Lashings of toddlers? Well, you could have abstained from it!” ? (5 pts.). 4. Mrs Jarman’s spalpeen: “Naughty type of Limerick” (3.5 pts.). 5. Mrs Lawlor’s “PD.” clue to Hesper: “Company—steady, men—’shun! Stand at ease!” (3 pts.). 6. Maj. Purdon’s amethyst: “Myths have been woven about ‘the cup that cheers but not inebriates.’” (2.5 pts.). D. P. M. Michael’s Aganippe, F. E. Newlove’s triplet, J. A. Fincken’s preamble and E. L. Mellersh’s balm each scored 2; Mrs Jarman’s antigropelos and G. H. Wiilett’s mandoline scored 1.5. The rest were single mentions (or two halves). On first choices alone filibuster and socialist were equal.
The result, as I expected, shows a wide range of choice: but I think Mrs Jarman is especially to be congratulated on having three of her clues chosen by more than one voter. And I think all these favourite clues are very good ones: I have no clear favourite myself, but if I had, it might well be one of the first two. Alas, Mr Clark is not a regular competitor, but I shall certainly send him this slip.