< Slip No. 1389 View the clue list Slip No. 1398 >



1.  Dr J. Burscough: Orange order embargo, ending Loyalist displays? (anag. + t; ref. marching bans).

2.  T. Jacobs: Orange tense, following mobile embargo (anag. + t; ref. O. phone company).

3.  D. Ashcroft: A ‘B’ Reg. Cavalier? Check oil (anag. + MOT; Vauxhall C.).


M. Barley: What makes taste from tea bag more exotic? (anag. incl. t, & lit.; ref. Earl Grey tea).

Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Orange Order to be marching again, having rejected jaw (anag. less chin).

G. C. Brown: Mega-BO – right time to spread around some scent (anag. incl. r, t).

R. M. S. Cork: Borage and mint might be in with this fine pear in a salad (comp. anag.).

D. J. Dare-Plumpton: Hill needs acceleration – check oil (berg a MOT).

N. C. Dexter: It makes taste of tea bag more exotic (anag. incl. t, & lit.).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Output of weaving to e.g. large centre of Lombardy? (anag. incl. (Lo)mbar(dy), & lit.).

H. Freeman: Pear’s bar got me refreshed (anag.; ref. soap).

D. Godden: Glacial lump: a word for mint (berg a mot; ref. Fox’s Glacier Mints).

R. R. Greenfield: Bit of marge can yield this oil if reconstituted (comp. anag.).

C. R. Gumbrell: It’s to NW Africa (passing hot) we may turn for citrus fruit (to Mag(h)reb (rev.)).

P. W. Marlow: Woven mat or e.g. source of balm (anag. incl. b, & lit.).

K. McDermid: Two Arab countries: both heartlessly brought back hanging (t(w)o Mag(h)reb (rev.)).

Mrs E. M. Phair: With America in, it follows that BT’s about to make a mint (Am in ergo in BT).

P. E. Radburn: Foreign oil, not crude: impose embargo on it (anag. + ’t).

D. J. Short: E.g. mat, or fibre (the core constituent) suitably woven (anag. incl. b, & lit.; mat and tapestry).

P. L. Stone: Take MGA to be re-sprayed orange – treating its outer coat proves essential (anag. incl. r).

M. Taylor: Orange Order grab ‘heartless’ Trimble – Mowlam intervenes (Mo in anag.; ref. DUP leader, NI Secretary).

Dr E. Young: After ice in the drink, is one saying ‘lemon’? (berg a mot).


W. G. Arnott, M. J. Balfour, M. Bath, Mrs P. A. Bax, J. R. Beresford, C. Boyd, Mrs A. Boyes, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, E. Cross, Ms N. Davis, E. Dawid, V. Dixon, A. J. Dorn, W. Duffin, L. K. Edkins, C. M. Edmunds, P. J. Edwards, E. G. Fletcher, M. Freeman, D. A. Ginger, R. Hesketh, G. Johnstone, J. F. Knott, F. P. N. Lake, M. D. Laws, J. C. Leyland, C. Loving, C. J. Lowe, W. F. Main, D. F. Manley, G. D. Meddings, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, J. Pearce, G. Perry, D. R. Robinson, A. Roth, W. J. M. Scotland, V. Seth, D. A. Simmons, A. Streatfield, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, L. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, A. J. Willis, R. Zara.

311 entries, almost no mistakes. I had high hopes of BERGAMOT, with its wide range of meanings and different etymologies. Unfortunately it transpired that it had been chosen not so long ago for the clue-writing competition in the Crossword Club magazine, to which many Azed solvers subscribe. As a subscriber myself I must have seen this though I had completely forgotten it. I made a point of not looking at the clues Tim Moorey (the then judge) chose as the best on that occasion, and I probably won’t for some time. Several who competed then said they’d deliberately chosen a different clue this time, which is admirable. If there were others who stuck with their earlier idea that’s entirely understandable, but I’d prefer not to know. It was a good competition entry, that’s the main thing, covering all the word’s various meanings. Mr Balfour even sent me a delicious sweet from Nancy, one of the ‘Bergamotes de Nancy’ which are apparently that town’s great speciality, flavoured with the orange essence, not the mint.
A surprisingly large number used wording such as ‘sounds like a fine pair’ (indicating a prominent portion of the female anatomy) as the definition part of their clue, but this is really another cryptic indicator (what I’ve called ‘a clue to a clue’), not a true definition, and is therefore unacceptable as such. Another promising but flawed clue illustrates a further trap that people regularly fall into: ‘Orange, changing number for millions, cunningly outflanked by BT’ (anag. with m for n in BT). Here the word ‘Orange’ is being asked to do double duty, both as the definition and as part of the cryptic treatment. I cannot accept this. The clue can actually be salvaged quite easily along the lines of ‘Orange? It’s changing numbers...’, where ‘it’ refers back across the divide between the cryptic part and the definition. Yet another ‘old chestnut’ came up in my clue to APEX: ‘Point made by adult kisses (we hear)’. I was asked whether I regard such part-homophone clues as valid. I can see no objection to them as long as genuine homophony is involved. In this case ‘pecks’ and ‘-pex’ seem to me to be so close in the way they are pronounced as makes no odds. Oddly enough, pecking was also involved in a comparable instance in the Christmas competition, where the Letters Latent clue to SPECTATRESSES involved ‘pecked’ a tree. I can see that this is a little more questionable in that the mutilated entry is not a real word (and can a non-word be really said to have a recognizable pronunciation?), but normal practice would still seem to me to suggest that ‘-pect-’ and ‘pecked’ sound the same when spoken.
Some of you were clearly expecting a delayed competition this month, with something special for-St Valentine’s Day. Well, you got the latter, a repeat of a DLM type I’ve used before, but I decided against making a competition of it. Likewise there will be nothing special for No. 1,400, which isn’t far away, but I have concocted something a bit different for Easter Day and await your reaction with interest.
Many thanks, especially to Tony Beaulah, for the response to my appeal for further research into the humorous definitions in Chambers. It appears that editorial policy has wavered somewhat over the years, and that although the lexicographers have been encouraged to restore and add to the gems expunged from recent editions, their courage has failed them in the case of, for example, END READERS, FLOOZIE, GRAND CONCERT, ILLUSTRATION, LUNCH, MADAME, NICE, NOOSE and PICT, whose witty definitions have now been dropped. You may, however, still enjoy the following: BACHELOR’S WIFE, CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME, DOUBLE-LOCKED, GRAMMATICASTER, HE-MAN, JAPANESE CEDAR, JAYWALKER, MIDDLE-AGED, NERD, NINETEEN TO THE DOZEN, PETTING PARTY, RESTORATION, SANTA CLAUS, SEA-SERPENT, TAGHAIRM and TITYRE-TU.


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