AZED CROSSWORD 1480
1. V. Dixon: A Saint Martin, cutting coat with foil or such, possibly? (anag. less tin, & lit.; ref. St M. of Tours, usually portrayed cutting his coat with a sword to give part to a man in need).
2. J. C. Leyland: What’s rattling? It’s Renault’s big end: AA man gave roadside assistance (anag. incl. R).
3. G. Johnstone: Anguished man at end of tether is ringing one (a in anag. incl. r, & lit.).
M. Barley: If breakdown occurs, AA man’s first to reach it, providing roadside help (anag. incl. r).
J. R. Beresford: Saint badly needed around one hurt (a mar in anag., & lit.).
C. J. Brougham: Unorthodox saint binding one hurt? (a mar in anag., & lit.).
Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Adversary to the Jews bandaging hurt one (mar I in Satan, & lit.; see etym. of Satan in C.).
Dr J. Burscough: Go to (Aramaic?) man’s aid, when in distress? Good —— would do! (comp. anag. incl. Ar., & lit.).
C. J. & M. P. Butler: A train’s derailed by missile: Palestinian? (Sam + anag.).
D. A. Campbell: Martina’s a specially good one at vital points down the line (anag.; ref. M. Hingis).
C. A. Clarke: Lifesaver receiving a distress call: ‘Santa Maria foundering with one overboard’ (anag. less a).
N. Connaughton: Pop star mania? I listen to the blues, myself! (anag.).
E. Cross: As Martina faulted, might one give service ‘on the line’? (anag.).
N. C. Dexter: Possibly a man at the end of his tether finally rings one (I in anag. incl. s, r, & lit.).
J. Dromey: Suicidal? Ask my advice: ring institution’s telephone advice number initially (first letters & lit.).
W. Duffin: Always one for giving emotional support, old Harry embraces Marianne’s husband (mari in Satan).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: At end of blower I’m involved with mostly sad one (anag. of at r I’m sa(d) + an, & lit.).
H. Freeman: Suffering traumas, losing heart? One should ring one (I in anag. less u + an, & lit.).
C. R. Gumbrell: In a bad way, a man at end of his tether finally rings one (I in anag. incl. s, r, & lit.).
W. Jackson: I should be sympathetic, Missus, about husband’s knocking fifty! (marita(l) in San).
M. McMahon: ‘Santa Maria’ on the rocks without a hope in hell (anag. less a; a comfort in despair).
T. J. Moorey: Expressing a conclusion from Thatcher, this could be a saint with money (anag. incl. m, less a, r, & lit.; ref. Margaret T. quote from 1986 in ODQ).
R. J. Palmer: First of strangers to assist a man having been mugged (anag. incl. first letters, & lit.).
G. Perry: Undated pottery discovered in Minnesota: phone specialist for advice (sa + arita in Mn).
P. L. Stone: Bit of a saint? A man at end of tether desperately rings one (s + anag. incl. r, & lit.).
R. J. Whale: Mania with star wars whence Luke’s hero (anag.; ref. L. Skywalker and Luke ch. 10).
G. Alderman, D. Appleton, D. Ashcroft, M. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, E. J. Burge, B. Burton, S. Collins, G. Cuthbert, D. Dare-Plumpton, L. K. Edkins, C. M. Edmunds, A. G. Fleming, J. Francis, P. D. Gaffey, J. Gillies, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, R. J. Hannam, J. Hastie, P. Heap, A. Hodgson, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, Mrs S. G. Johnson, F. P. N. Lake, M. D. Laws, R. K. Lumsdon, Mrs J. Mackie, W. F. Main, D. F. Manley, R. J. Mathers, G. T. McLean, J. R. C. Michie, C. J. Morse, G. M. Neighbour, T. D. Nicholl, W. & H. Norman, R. A. Norton, F. R. Palmer, R. Parry-Morris, Mrs E. M. Phair, D. Price Jones, H. L. Rhodes, A. Roth, M. Sanderson, J. B. Sweeting, M. Taylor, C. W. Thomas, K. Thomas, Dr I. Torbe, P. Tozer, A. J. Wardrop, M. H. E. Watson.
313 entries, very few mistakes. Favourite clue was probably the one for KLOSTERS. (I certainly don’t expect specific commendation for any of my clues, but several of you are in the habit of mentioning any that particularly take your fancy, and such feedback is helpful, just as adverse comments can be.) Several of you had clearly not heard of Nick Nolte or Ernie Els, both well known in their respective fields, especially Els, currently the number 2 golfer in the world. It was perhaps unfortunate that NOLTE and ELTS crossed each other. Please remember that I don’t make a point of drawing attention to proper names used in puzzles (e.g. by quoting relevant reference books) except when I regard them as obscure. Chambers is only recommended.
The clue word was a popular one this month and there were ‘& lits.’ aplenty. Many clues submitted (including some of those quoted above) did suggest the answer rather obviously, a point that that needs to be borne in mind in a competitive context, though an easy clue is not necessarily a bad one. Mr Dixon’s first prizewinner is a little obscure, to be sure, especially for those not familiar with iconography in classical art, but it is brilliantly phrased and perfectly sound so I was won over by its originality. Picking the other prizewinners from the VHCs was especially difficult; there were many excellent clues to choose from and it came down in the end to minor details of wording.
Several of you took the trouble to respond to my general invitation last month on the subject of anagram indicators, ‘a real can of worms’ as one of you described it. I’d like to come back to the subject in a future slip. Opinions on the acceptability of ‘comic’ were divided, with the antis (just) in the majority, but I was well and truly hoist with my own petard when it was pointed out that I’d given a (third) prize to a clue that used it less than two years ago (No. 1,389)! I can only say in my defence that my ideas on this and other aspects of clue writing are constantly developing and this is a particularly grey area.
There are two important announcements. My wife and I will be visiting Australia over Christmas and the new year period, in celebration of our silver wedding anniversary in December. The announcement of the results of the December competition will be delayed as a result, probably until 14 January 2001. I hope the Christmas and January competitions will not be similarly affected, but there may be slight slippage. Details will be announced in The Observer. Secondly, a dinner to celebrate Azed No. 1,500 is to be held at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, on Saturday 17 March 2001. Solvers who wish to receive details and a booking form should write to Michael Macdonald-Cooper. Please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope, approximately 11 x 22 cm or larger.