AZED CROSSWORD 1329
1. C. J. Morse: Greek character, liberal host – this could be his pot (pi + anag., anag., & lit.).
2. V. Seth: Marrow-bone: hard outside, it stores nutrition within (pith os).
3. J. Pearce: First appearing in Hellas, pot to store oil in, possibly? (anag. of first letters, & lit.).
M. Barley: Jar served up by mine host – provided it’s not time! (pit hos(t)).
Mrs F. A. Blanchard: Possibly this holds reserve in store ship (anag. less res., & lit.).
C. J. & M. P. Butler: Marrow bone in stock pot Rhodes featured? (pith os; ref. Gary R., TV chef).
D. A. Campbell: Pious leader of Trojans, with exultant cries, gives big jar to Greeks (pi T hos; ref. ‘pius Aeneas’ (Virgil)).
R. M. S. Cork: Jar to hips caused damage: may need this op to replace (double anag.).
R. Dean: Italy sadly lacking in hospitality; jar inevitable after changing halves (halves in hospitality less anag. interchanged).
A. J. Dorn: One among pots Hellenes primarily fashioned (I in anag. incl. H, & lit.).
Dr J. Foster: Mine host hasn’t the time or the place to store Greek wine (pit hos(t)).
M. D. Laws: Supply olpe’s regular contents with this? (anag. of o, p this, & lit.).
D. F. Manley: House ending in chaos under rising junk heap? Attic repository may be the answer (tip (rev.) + ho. s).
T. J. Moorey: Old crock starts slipping, both hips needing replacement (anag. of (b)oth (h)ips).
R. J. Palmer: Oenophilists’ supply could, be in sole —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. R. Pugh: Unusually, shop stocks Italian vermouth in Greek jar (It in anag.).
N. G. Shippobotham: Jar shop: that stocks the very thing (it in anag., & lit.).
J. B. Sweeting: Greek jar containing drops of poisonous infusion – taste hemlock – obiit Socrates! (first letters).
C. W. Thomas: Greek container? ‘Horse’ is found under it in Chambers (it + H in pos; ref. Trojan Horse).
A. P. Vick: Join mine host (forget closing time!) for ajar (pit hos(t)).
A. P. Vincent: Example of potter’s art – making his top break (anag.; ref. snooker).
Ms B. Widger: Sip hot liquid in jar (anag.).
F. D. H. Atkinson, J. R. Beresford, E. S. Clark, C. A. Clarke, V. Dixon, L. K. Edkins, Ms K. ffiske, S. J. Field, A. G. Fleming, P. D. Gaffey, J. Grimes, C. R. Gumbrell, G. Johnstone, I. H. Jones, F. P. N. Lake, J. C. Leyland, J. D. Lockett, R. K. Lumsdon, Mrs J. Mackie, W. F. Main, Dr E. J. Miller, C. G. Millin, J. Mortleman, F. R. Palmer, S. L. Paton, G. Perry, D. R. Robinson, M. Sanderson, Ms M. Stokes, P. Stone, K. Thomas, A. J. Wardrop, Mrs M. P. Webber, R. J. Whale, V. J. White, G. H. Willett, M. A. L. Willey, Mrs J. Zavaroni.
Only 285 entries this month, but no mistakes. There seemed to be general agreement that the puzzle was of above-average difficulty. The clues that gave most trouble were those to SEMPLE, ROBLES and TASH. The first two did admittedly depend on some encyclopedic knowledge, and perhaps I assumed that the names of the people involved are better known than they in fact are. My clue to ROBLES was a bit of a lazy cop-out, I suppose, though Marisa Robles is in most dictionaries of music, including the one I use most, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music by Michael Kennedy. My SEMPLE clue I was rather pleased with, once I’d thought of Aimée Semple McPherson, the American evangelist who was very big in the 1920s and 1930s and founded the Foursquare Gospel Movement. The ‘A’ at the beginning of the clue was intended to be her first initial in one reading of the clue. Oh well. As for TASH, a glance at the entry for excrement2 in Chambers would have shown what I was on about. The reference is Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act 5, Scene 1, where Armado refers to ‘my excrement, ... my mustachio’, (My original clue used a much coarser anagram of TASH, but I got cold feet at the proof stage!) Finally, I was taken to task for calling a PUKEKO (lovely word!) a wader, as Chambers does. It isn’t, I’m reliably informed, it’s a gallinule, similar to a rather gaudy moorhen and called a swamp-hen in Australia. Azed solvers are so knowledgeable!
But if the puzzle created problems, the clue word met with universal approval (in contrast with the semantically similar STAMNOS which I gave you some time ago, and which provoked universal groans). ‘What a multitude of possibilities!’ and ‘one of the most amenable words you’ve ever given us’ were typical comments this time. It still proved quite tricky to produce something that rose above the ordinary. All the anagrams of PITHOS were explored, with varying degrees of success and originality, and in the end I was hard pressed to identify the best of the bunch. The marrow-bone idea was also a good one, but linking it to a convincing definition proved difficult. Mr Seth’s clue cleverly makes the definition part look like the cryptic part and vice versa. Quite a few of you used Greek as an anagram indicator which I didn’t like. Nevertheless it was interesting to me as an ex-classicist to learn that a pithos is what Diogenes lived in, according to the classical sources quoted in the OED and Liddell and Scott (on which I was weaned but which now occupies a somewhat dusty corner of my study). One clue submitted was ‘Diogenes’ ‘tub’? His pot, less loosely’, but surely that should be ‘more’, not ‘less’, for the cryptic reading? And here’s another clue which looked promising on first reading but proved to be seriously flawed on closer examination: ‘Posh Spice employs charm to earn, we hear’ (it in anag.). There are four problems here. (i) I don’t see how ‘posh spice’ can indicate an anagram of POSH. (ii) ‘Employs’ doesn’t really mean ‘encloses’, not in normal language anyway. (iii) The word ‘to’ serves no function in the cryptic reading of the clue. (iv) Most serious of all, the clue contains no definition part, only a further cryptic indication of it (‘earn, we hear’), what Ximenes used to call ‘a clue to a clue’.