AZED CROSSWORD 1515
1. C. G. Millin: Nasty innuendos could be this – also noun (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. R. J. Heald: Pseud: term of derision used to puncture pretentiousness (n in side).
3. R. J. Hooper: For coining such repeatedly, crook ends inside? (double anag. & lit.).
D. Appleton: Dud red coins turned up with no heads nor nuffin ((r)ed (co)ins all rev.).
M. Barley: One involved in circulating this could end up inside (comp. anag. & lit.).
J. R. Beresford: Diners take away battered cod (anag. less r).
Rev Canon C. M. Broun: What’s forged in numberless dens (anag. less n, & lit.).
Mrs M. J. Cansfield: Tin fish employed with injurious intent (Sn ide, torpedo).
C. A. Clarke: Nasty Nick’s dominant character consumed by arrogance (N in side; ref. TV series ‘Big Brother’).
N. C. Dexter: Like supposedly ‘silver-plated’ ware – thought mostly to be covered with tin? (Sn + ide(a)).
V. Dixon: Dishonest, deviously venting a good deal of hostility (anag. less host, & lit.).
L. K. Edkins: Reshuffle in DES? Such rumours are unfounded! (anag.).
H. Freeman: ‘Uttered in spite’ about encapsulates it (hidden rev. & lit.).
R. R. Greenfield: Such an aunt could well be unsainted (comp. anag. & lit.).
C. R. Gumbrell: Malicious end Iago’s evolved, since being passed over (anag. less ago).
T. Jacobs: Footy, revamped contents of Wisdens? (anag. of inside letters, footy1).
M. Jones: It’s mean to criticise retaining old currency in place of new (d for p in snipe).
D. F. Manley: Delivering cuts regularly designated as ‘unkind’, yes? (alternate letters & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Rattle is English knight enthralling Germany and Brummagem (D in anag. incl E n; ref. Sir Simon R.).
C. J. Morse: Ill-natured, insinuating – this reflects the core of it (central letters reversed, & lit.).
R. J. Palmer: Malicious note in spin doctored output (n in side + 2 meanings).
Mrs E. M. Phair: This décor might be considered far from authentic (comp. anag.).
R. Phillips: Showering others in unkindness (anag. of alternate letters, & lit.; other = alternate).
N. G. Shippobotham: This kind of shot smears and may be dishonest (comp. anag. & lit.).
D. H. Tompsett: In fine mess – Stan quasi dismayed, Ollie derogatory (last letters; In fine = finally).
D. W. Arthur, F. D. H. Atkinson, E. A. Beaulah, Mrs F. A. Blanchard, R. E. Boot, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. & M. P. Butler, M. Casserley, J. & B. Chennells, D. C. Clenshaw, R. M. S. Cork, Mrs J. M. Critchley, E. Cross, P. Dauncey, R. Dean, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, A. G. Fleming, P. D. Gaffey, G. I. L. Grafton, Mrs E. Greenaway, J. Guiver, J. Harries, Mrs S. G. Johnson, G. Johnstone, F. P. N. Lake, J. F. Levey, J. C. Leyland, H. M. Lloyd, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, D. W. Mackie, Mrs J. Mackie, J. R. C. Michie, F. R. Palmer, N. H. Parmee, J. Pearce, G. Perry, H. L. Rhodes, M. Sanderson, W. J. M. Scotland, D. J. Short, I. Simpson, D. Smith, Ms M. Stokes, A. Streatfield, C. Thomas, Mrs J. E. Townsend, J. R. Tozer, R. Vaughan Davies, A. J. Wardrop, W. B. Wendt, R. J. Whale, A. R. Whelan, P. O. G. White, J. Woodall, W. Woodruff, W. Wynne Williams, M. B. Zetlein.
ANNUAL HONOURS LIST (13 COMPETITIONS)
1. C. R. Gumbrell (1 prize, 11 VHCS); 2 (equal). J. R. Beresford (2, 8), D. F. Manley (2,8); 4 (equal). C. J. Brougham (1, 9), E. J. Burge (2, 7), N. C. Dexter (1, 9); 7. C. J. Morse (1, 8); 8 (equal). M. Barley (0, 9), V. Dixon (1, 7); 1 0 (equal). R. J. Heald (3, 2), T. J. Moorey (2,4); 12 (equal). Dr J. Burscough (0, 7), E. Cross (1, 5), R. R. Greenfield (1, 5), R. J. Palmer (0, 7), R. J. Whale (2, 3); 17 (equal). C. G. Millin (1, 4), J. C. Leyland (1, 4), J. R. Tozer (1, 4); 20 (equal). Rev Canon C. M. Broun (1, 3), R. Hesketh (1, 3), R. Phillips (2, 1), N. G. Shippobotham (1, 3); 24 (equal). E. A. Beaulah (0, 4), C. A. Clarke (0, 4), C. M. Edmunds (1, 2), H. Freeman (0, 4), W. F. Main (1, 2), P. L. Stone (1, 2).
CONSOLATION PRIZES M. Barley, Dr J. Burscough, R. J. Palmer, E. A. Beaulah, C. A. Clarke, H. Freeman.
289 entries. No mistakes that I spotted: several entries failed to mark all the bars accurately, but they were not disqualified for this. I rarely set Carte Blanche puzzles for competitions (the last time I did was No. 926 in February 1990), but perhaps I should do it more often. Many of you clearly relished the special challenge, and there were very few comments along the lines of ‘an easy cop-out for the setter’ (which it is, but why not, occasionally?). Interestingly enough No. 926 was also an 11x13 grid. I could have made things more difficult for you by not showing the break between across and down clues, but I figured that Carte Blanche puzzles are quite tough enough without turning this particular screw. I do admit to having deliberately not made 1 Across and 1 Down start in the same square, and putting an above-average number of vertical bars in the top row, but I also aimed to make the clues throughout a little easier than normal (as many of you spotted). This applied especially to the 13-letter words across and the 11-letter words down, which should have helped you to get started. Incidentally the two proper names referred to in the note below the clues were CARUSO and ELAINE, the second of which is in the list of proper names in C.
Comments on my clues included the pertinent query whether an OPERA-DANCER can reasonably be described as ‘versatile’. I take the point. Such a performer would probably not have been in the main cast of an opera and would have come onto the stage merely to allow the singers to get their breath back. An opera-dancer might have been a singer but (s)he almost certainly never got a chance to show his/her vocal talent on stage. So not really ‘versatile’.
Another adjective to clue, and, on the face of it, a colourless one. In practice there was a wonderful range of ideas in clues submitted, the best of them (or rather the best exploitation of them) being represented above. I congratulate you on your ingenuity, and especially the three prizewinners, whose clues combine neatness with relative simplicity. A fair number of you used the ‘Dirty Denis’ anagram. Though I’m not a soap-opera aficionado I have heard of DD (though wasn’t he always ‘Dirty Den’?), but I was in any case unimpressed by ‘dirty’ as an anagram indicator, and I’m dubious as to whether snideness is the aspect of his character that earned him his nickname.
Two follow-ups to comments in last month’s slip. The first concerns the use of ‘half’ in clues, with specific reference to my TRUE clue. It’s been pointed out that the letters in TREE represent half those in RETURNED, though not consecutively. If I refer to half a word it will always (unless additional wording indicates otherwise) mean the first half or the second half of that word, not 50% of its component letters in any order. Second, a comment from ‘the leading bankruptcy specialist at the Bar’ currently rewriting the leading textbook on the subject, who takes issue with the hyphenation of receiving-order in Chambers, apparently a pure invention. Usage (in printed texts) does change, and this is all that lexicographers have to go on, but manifest errors (if this is one of them) should be communicated to the publishers of the relevant dictionaries.
Many congratulations to Colin Gumbrell for again retaining his position at the top of the honours list. His consistent excellence in recent years has been truly remarkable and a challenge to all Azed competitors. Also to Ross Beresford, who has been steadily climbing up the rankings. I am as ever indebted to Ron Dearden for keeping the score throughout the year.