XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 54
1. Mrs D. D’Eath (Haywards Heath): How to do the washing with half the soap gone and no pegs (anags. of s(oa)p gone, no pegs).
2. H. T. R. Twyford (Sheffield): What! No pegs for Col. Chinstrap, C.B.? (anag. of no pegs; ref. drunken sponger in radio comedy ‘ITMA’; C.B. = Companion of the Bath; peg = measure of drink).
3. S. B. Green (NW10): Sought by divers means to hang on, but has finally gone astray (i.e. ends in anag. of gone, 2 defs.; means, vb.).
Cdr H. H. L. Dickson (Fareham): Naturally without issue on earth (sp on Ge, & lit.; i.e. sea creature).
C. Helme (Southsea): “An article of absorbing interest” (Bath Times) (cryptic def.).
A. T. Hobbs (Woking): He hangs on and keeps it inside (2 mngs.; i.e. hanger-on; cf. clue to supe [not explained]).
J. Hardie Keir (Galashiels): Colonel Chinstrap, C.B. (2 mngs.; ref. drunken sponger in radio comedy ‘ITMA’; C.B. = Companion of the Bath).
Mrs D. M. Kissen (Lanark): Open Guineas offers chance for staying animal (anag. incl. gs; horse racing; staying = immobile).
R. C. Macfarlane (Edinburgh): C.B., and nephew of Duke of Saxony (2 mngs.; C.B. = Companion of the Bath; ref. Merchant of Venice I.2.105, “I’ll be married to a sponge”).
C. R. Malcolm (SW7): Flannel next the skin and then this (double mng.; flannel = blarney, i.e. prelude to a request).
Maj D. P. M. Michael (Newport): Cook’s sporting tourist? (cryptic def.; ref. ‘Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour’ by R. S. Surtees; Wm. Surtees Cook, relative of E. B. Browning; ‘Cook’s tour’).
A. C. Okell (Blackpool): This parasite is literally without issue on the earth (sp on Ge; i.e. sea creature).
Miss A. M. Osmond (SW13): Here’s the ops. gen. Scramble, and wipe out your objective (anag.).
Rev E. B. Peel (Fleetwood): Not Portia’s choice for a wedding cake (2 mngs.; ref. Merchant of Venice I.2.105, “I’ll be married to a sponge”; s. cake).
T. E. Sanders (Walsall): What a sucker, to get the positive and negative leads mixed in the wet accumulator (anag. of pos neg, 2 defs.; sucker = parasite).
J. E. Smith Wright (SW7): Just the thing to give one the gen. on ops., (mopping up variety) (anag. of gen ops).
F. L. Usher (Leeds): No pegs come amiss to him if free (anag. & lit.; peg = measure of drink).
Comments:—Only 161 correct solutions. HAET, “(Scot.) a whit,” an old friend from Chambers, should not have taken such a heavy toll as it did among all solvers, even the most experienced. HOOT certainly fitted the clue quite well, but there is surely no such word as NOIF, and the clue to 14 led clearly to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, once OTTO had been solved. A variety of errors elsewhere reduced the number eligible for awards, but HAET did most of the damage.
The clues sent in were well varied. This is the first time a double anagram has won a prize: competitors often try them, but the result is usually rather cumbersome and forced; this example is simple and natural without being too obvious. The second prize goes to the best of many “Chinstraps”; Mr Green is third with a clever double entendre.