AZED CROSSWORD 1524
1. G. H. Willett: Guttering laid badly, leads missing – sin of omission of roofer? (anag. less first letters; roofer = thank-you letter).
2. H. J. Bradbury: Unexpected trait in guide one tipped (anag. less I, & lit.).
3. R. R. Greenfield: Failure to give due credit? Could not this be rotten auditing? Yes (comp. anag.).
J. R. Beresford: Those that give urgent aid get upset about it (it in anag., & lit.).
Mrs F. A. Blanchard: Biting the hand that feeds you during tea – it’s absurd (anag.).
E. J. Burge: Art guide in time breaks down lack of appreciation (anag. incl. t).
C. J. & M. P. Butler: Educating Rita playing in Edinburgh, no call for lack of appreciation (anag. less ca’).
D. A. Campbell: E.g. casting aid in gutter? (anag. & lit.).
Mrs M. J. Cansfield: Lack of appreciation, being deprived of love – I get around it somehow (anag. less 0).
C. A. Clarke: Lack of appreciation because of grey demeanour Tories’ leader discarded (in + gr. + a(t)titude; ref. J. Major).
D. C. Clenshaw: Reading, I tut irritably showing lack of appreciation (anag.).
S. Collins: Ain’t I rude having good time dancing and not saying thanks? (anag. incl. g t).
E. Cross: Air in G, short tenor duet, adapted theme from ‘Blow, blow thou winter wind’ (anag. incl. t; ref. song in AYLI, ‘…as man’s i.’).
V. Dixon: Amiens’ ‘unkinde’ target is denatured man’s keen —— (comp. anag., & lit.; ref. AYLI 2,7).
G. I. L. Grafton: Wagner operas beginning to end at one, with awful duet – cheers not being forthcoming (Ring with R to end + at I + anag.).
C. R. Gumbrell: What’s shown by throwing aid in gutter? (anag. & lit.).
J. C. Leyland: What to expect on rendering drunk in gutter aid? (anag. & lit.).
D. F. Manley: In daughter it is hideous, hot tears apart! (anag. less h & lit.; ref. ‘King Lear’ 4, 237-8, 278).
T. J. Moorey: Cause of pain inflicted by a viper wound intrigued a leader in toxicology (anag.; viper = ungrateful person).
C. J. Morse: German and British gunners in duet exploding round it – that’s what Amiens complained of (it in anag. incl G + RA; ref AYLI 2,7 and WWI bombardment).
F. R. Palmer: Not displaying the first signs of breeding and etiquette, being churlish about returning thanks – it shows this? ((be)ing + ta (rev.) it in rude, & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: Not offering a roofer aid in gutter repairs (anag.).
D. Arthur, D. Ashcroft, M. Barley, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, P. D. Chamberlain, N. Connaughton, R. M. S. Cork, G. Cuthbert, R. Dean, R. V. Dearden, N. C. Dexter, P. S. Elliott, W. P. M. Field, H. Freeman, P. D. Gaffey, Mrs E. Greenaway, Mrs B. E. Henderson, R. Hesketh, W. Jackson, Ms M. Janssen, Mrs S. D. Johnson, I. H. Jones, Dr J. P. Lester, H. M. Lloyd, P. R. Lloyd, P. Long, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, Mrs J. Mackie, C. G. Millin, J. Moore, R. J. Palmer, C. Pearson, R. Phillips, D. Price Jones, H. L. Rhodes, D. R. Robinson, V. Seth, D. J. Short, I. Simpson, C. M. Steele, R. C. Teuton, K. Thomas, A. R. Whelan, D. C. Williamson, J. S. Witte, M. J. Wright.
317 entries, no mistakes (aside from the stupidly misplaced apostrophe in my TUNNAGE clue). Favourite clues included those for DRIFT-ICE and CLERESTORY. A few of you hadn’t heard of the Cobb at Lyme Regis, the long curving breakwater that extends out to sea there and is a famous local landmark (see any guidebook). It featured prominently in the film of John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman (and doubtless in the book too).
Despite a few grumbles this month’s was a generally popular clue word. References to Shakespeare were especially popular, ingratitude being a recurrent theme in his plays. There are 21 citations for the word, I find, plus one for ‘ingratitudes’ and many more for ‘ingrate(s)’, ‘ungrateful’, etc. The problem is always, when using a quotation as the basis for a cryptic clue, to choose one that is reasonably well known (or readily verifiable) and to include in your clue enough in the way of guidance the original source without giving the game away immediately. Some crypticism is essential. So something like ‘It was sharper than a serpent’s tooth for Lear’ won’t do on its own (and even with a cryptic bit added would in any case be too easy to solve).
There is a further point to be made about cluing a word like INGRATITUDE. Because it has such a precise meaning, and only one at that, a straight definition is likely to be something of a give-away, enabling the solver to guess the answer before working out the cryptic part. In such cases a spot of lateral thinking is recommended. Try to think of well-known instances or exemplars of ingratitude that could be worked into your clue. This allows a greater degree of flexibility and usually produces something more interesting as a result. That said, many clues used the phrase ‘No thanks’ (often with a superfluous and unwarranted exclamation mark), which is nicely ambiguous but was (a) just too popular and (b) too often unsupported by a sufficiently interesting or convincing cryptic part.
I am very grateful for the time and trouble many of you took to respond to my request for comments on my UNINFLATED clue last month (‘Undine’s ill after swallowing this!’). Without going at length into all the interesting points made, I can report that a fair number said that they were quite happy with the clue as it stands, but on balance I am persuaded that it is somewhat flawed, its basic weakness being that the self-referential ‘this’, italics and exclamation mark notwithstanding, refers to a (rough) synonym of the answer, not to the answer itself, so the solver is effectively denied a genuine definition of the solution. ‘This’ also strongly suggests a noun (as does the wording of the clue as a whole), but I regard this as a less persuasive objection to the clue’s overall unfairness. The practice of ambiguously exploiting the fact that English words can have more than one part of speech is well established in crosswords.