AZED CROSSWORD 1169
BLITHE / URSINE
1. D. R. Robinson: The ending of ‘Goldilocks’ in wee bear’s thible stirring is happy (s in urine; anag.).
2. D. F. Manley: As Paddington trains run, is end of the prattling not call for showing jollity? (anag. + e; blithe(ring); P. Bear).
3. G. Perry: After pub’s closing drunken fellow’s merry like bear i.e. runs amok (b lit he; anag.).
D. Appleton: Cheerful graduate has first in history and English – from hours in essayists like Chesterton? (BLit h E; hidden).
H. J. Bradbury: Gay Lib upset by article showing turpitude in discontinued employment of some major stars (anag. + the; sin in ure; ref. Ursa Major).
C. J. Brougham: Very Little Brain, flexibly jointed, cheerful, muddled … nurse I like Pooh! (B + lithe; anag.; Winnie-the-P.).
C. A. Clarke: Jolly powerful explosive following endless bomb damage ruins east of Paddington perhaps (blit(z) + HE; anag. + E; P. Bear).
G. P. Conway: Brisk opening to bullish trading hit with pound ending in trouble making bearish exchanges unrise (b + anag. incl. L, e; anag.).
E. Cross: Sprightly, black and supple runner is abused, losing first and last of reputation – like Johnson? (b + lithe; anag. less r, n; ref. Ben J. and Dr Sam J., called ‘the Great Bear’).
E. Dawid: Buoyant ‘Mirror’ one pound! The ‘Sun’ in ruin, bankrupt! Beginning of end of Rupert? (I lb (rev.) + the; s in anag. + e; ref. R. Murdoch / Bear).
N. C. Dexter: First and foremost, Brunel built gracefully, happy in labours in edifices like Paddington (B lithe; hidden; P. Bear).
C. R. Gumbrell: Having Baloo’s humour animated ruins ultimate character of ‘Jungle Book’, turning high tension in story merry (anag. + e; b + HT (rev.) in lie; ref. Disney’s treatment of Kipling).
G. Hughes: Gay Lib? Het reacts like bear (i.e. runs amok) (anag.; anag.).
M. Jones: Gay bishop’s turned on by man like a wild animal, wrapped in fur – sin ensues (b lit he; hidden).
F. R. Palmer: Bear’s traditional practice assumes fall, discounting hint of rise: bull’s looking on the bright side (sin in ure; blithe(r); bull = nonsense).
D. Price Jones: Like Biffo? Sure, in comic, sprightly, black and loose-limbed (anag.; b + lithe; ref. ‘Beano’ character).
Mrs E. J. Shields: Beginning to broaden, once buxom, gaily unheeding what exercises insure – like Winnie-the-Pooh? (b lithe; anag.).
J. B. Sweeting: Born supple chipper, sure in swinging – like Nicklaus? (b lithe; anag.; ref. golfer Jack N., known as ‘the Golden Bear’).
Miss D. W. Taylor: Only a little bear, nimble, sprightly, like Pooh, revelling in ruse (b + lithe; anag.).
R. C. Teuton: Thoughtless British railway’s hit badly before end of dispute – some detours inevitable along the lines of, say, Paddington? (B L2 + anag. + e; hidden; P. Bear).
J. R. Tozer: Gay Lib lambasted by the Sun, with ire, orders of Rupert? (anag. + the; anag.; ref. R. Murdoch / Bear).
D. A. Wilson: Joyfully heedless, the lib set favours inelegant displays of a hugging type (anag.; hidden).
W. Anderson, M. Barley, M. J. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, A. G. Chamberlain, G. Cuthbert, W. Duffin, C. M. Edmunds, L. E. Ellis, H. Freeman, N. C. Goddard, S. Goldie, E. Gomersall, Mrs E. Greenaway, P. F. Henderson, R. Hesketh, K. Hodgson, J. Kearney, F. P. N. Lake, P. Long, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, D. J. Mackay, Mrs J. Mackie, G. McStravick, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, I. Morgan, C. J. Morse, M. Owen, R. J. Palmer, M. Sanderson, W. J. M. Scotland, D. P. Shenkin, M. C. Souster, Mrs J. Waldren, A. J. Wardrop, Mrs M. P. Webber, R. J. Whale.
418 entries, maybe a score with CLICKETY-CLICK for CLICKETY-CLACK, the only mistake I spotted. The three missing bars in the diagram proved only a minor irritant but constituted a tiresome error for which I apologize. The ‘up and down’ variation on the ‘right and left’ theme is not new – this was the fourth time I’ve used it (one being entitled ‘Upstairs Downstairs’), and although it makes a change I do concede that the placement of answers can be easier, especially if the single clue is solved early on. Many of you got ROLLER-COASTER virtually on sight and 1 suppose the clue was quite generous. But I can’t be a brute all the time! A more serious criticism concerns my use of ‘Number Ten’ to indicate IO in the clue to MOTIONAL, for which I was sternly ticked off by one long-standing competitor. Well yes, I agree that though we generally accept I for ‘one’ and O for zero, IO does not represent 10 in any particular system and it was therefore stretching things a bit. I was conscious of doing this (and would never have even considered it in a down clue) but in the context of the LAMONT anagram it was simply irresistible and, I still think, not too naughty. Ximenes certainly used it from time to time.
Double clues present a special challenge for the clue-writer, that of cluing two separate words in such a way that the two separate clues can be read independently but when joined together make reasonable sense, without the ‘join’ being too obvious. (Submitting two quite separate clues with no join at all, as some less seasoned competitors did, misses the point entirely and is simply unacceptable.) The knack is to find a thematic link of some kind (semantic, allusive or whatever) between the two clue-words, which may on the face of it have nothing in common at all, This is, I readily concede, often easier said than done, but clues that don’t even attempt it are usually pretty nonsensical and win no prizes. Another r1ot uncommon fault is referring from one clue to the other (usually from the second to the first) by means of words like ‘this’, ‘he’, ‘its’, etc in a way that is fine for the sense of the whole double clue but renders either of the single clues less than fully comprehensible when read independently. Each, in other words, must be free-standing. And there should be no superfluous verbiage between the two which doesn’t belong to either. So consider the following clue submitted: ‘With endless lightning attack, he’s happy, though nursie might display a more bear-like response’ (he for z in blitz; anag. ). In the first place the clue as a whole is pretty meaningless; it conveys no clear image of anything the reader can relate to. Technically the clue to BLITHE is OK; but after the break, ‘though’ performs no function and ‘a more bear-like response’ can only indicate a noun (and why ‘more’? – unless it’s to indicate a contrast with ‘happy’, in which case it transgresses the rule about not referring ‘across the join’ between clues mentioned above).
One final gripe: many of you included reference to ‘cowardly spirit’ in cluing BLITHE. The allusion is easy enough to spot, but I cannot accept ‘cowardly’ with a small ‘c’ as meaning ‘of or like (Noel) Coward’, and even Cowardly would need quotation marks or some such indication of a (sorry) play on words.
Please forgive the lecture, but the general reaction to my suggestion last month was strongly in favour of more such analysis.