< Slip No. 1537 View the clue list Slip No. 1544 >



1.  P. W. Marlow: Page, say? Such works acquiring rupees (r in anag. incl. p, & lit.).

2.  R. Hesketh: Boss pays such rupees (anag. incl. r, & lit.).

3.  S. Collins: Marshal pays such with rupees? (anag. incl. r, & lit.).


M. Barley: See helper that carries baggage around, pocketing rupees (C + r in PA in hussy, & lit.).

M. Bath: Page such as leaders of yesteryear’s raj directed (anag. incl. p, y, r, & lit.).

E. A. Beaulah: Hype’s beginning in the press – with Prince for example dismissing a subordinate? (h in CUP + ras + s(a)y; ref. sacking of M. Bolland, Price Charles’s aide).

J. R. Beresford: Such as dashed with press release in back of gharry? (PR in anag. + y, & lit.).

B. Burton: Attendant you may obtain by punctuating call at intervals with ‘Get a move on!’ and ‘Blockhead!’ (hup, ass separately in cry, & lit.).

C. A. Clarke: Domestic pussy-cat’s lost tail tangling with Henry and Rex (anag. less t, incl. H, R).

M. Coates: Rupee pays such to be orderly (anag. incl. r, & lit.).

V. Dixon: Assistant head seemingly gutted, overcome by children in revolt (ch. up + ras s(eemingl)y).

D. Godden: Syrup has start of cough beaten for one busy in office (anag. incl c).

C. R. Gumbrell: Orderly form of pyramid, such as we see amid desert (anag. less amid).

R. Haddock: Indian runner with terribly achy spurs? (anag.; breed of duck).

Mrs J. Mackie: —— that’s out with me could be loaded with my purchases (comp. anag. & lit.; loaded = drunk).

D. F. Manley: Exotic office employee revelling as ‘saucy seraph’ – a bit of embarrassment one could do without (anag. less a e; ref. Xmas parties).

R. J. Palmer: One could deliver odd letters for party such as found in a mess (anag. incl. p(a)r(t)y, & lit.).

R. Phillips: I’m about to go on runs when needed by secretary dispatching internal letters (c hup r as + s(ecretar)y, & lit.).

D. P. Shenkin: Indian orderly arranged us charpoys, lacking nothing (anag. less 0).

N. G. Shippobotham: Has curry plates laid out? Could apply to alert —— (comp. anag. & lit.).

P. L. Stone: One running for office has PR guys chosen primarily for good spinning (anag. with c for g).

J. B. Sweeting: One who served a formation of us chaps, leaders of yesteryear’s Raj (anag. incl. y, R, & lit.).

R. J. Whale: He’d get changed to deliver us arch-spy: that is kind of Batman! (anag.; ref. Bruce Wayne / Batman character).

D. C. Williamson: ‘Are you being served?’ suggests one who could be arch with pussy (anag.; ref. Mrs Slocum in TV sitcom).


W. Anderson, D. Appleton, D. W. Arthur, D. Ashcroft, C. Boyd, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, D. A. Campbell, P. Cargill, D. C. Clenshaw, G. Clyde, N. Connaughton, R. M. S. Cork, A. Cox, L. J. Davenport, R. V. Dearden, Mrs P. Diamond, T. J. Donnelly, C. M. Edmunds, H. Freeman, G. I. L. Grafton, R. R. Greenfield, J. Grimes, M. T. Hart, R. J. Heald, Ms M. Janssen, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, G. Johnstone, J. R. H. Jones, F. P. N. Lake, J. C. Leyland, H. M. Lloyd, C. J. Lowe, W. F. Main, C. Markwick, L. Marzillier, P. McKenna, B. G. Midgley, T. J. Moorey, C. J. Morse, W. Murphy, F. R. Palmer, C. Pearson, G. Perry, R. Perry, D. R. Robinson, W. J. M. Scotland, D. Tilley, Mrs J. E. Townsend, J. R. Tozer, Mrs C. Velarde, A. J. Wardrop, Ms B. J. Widger, J. S. Witte, J. Woodall, W. Woodruff, Dr E. Young.

263 entries and no mistakes, apart from the infuriating recurrence of the ‘wandering star’, for which I can only apologize again. (One regular referred wittily to MND 2, 1, 153, and another penned the following quatrain: ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star,/How I wonder why you are/Up above your clue so high/With the pheasants in the sky.’) Anyway you can imagine the tone of my exchanges with the Observer people. I am now considering replacing the asterisk altogether, since it is clearly at the root of the problem (though no one has readily explained why). Thank you all once again for your forbearance. Favourite clues this month included those for RUST-BUCKET, TUISM, CHARIOT and PULLEY. The top-right corner gave quite a lot of difficulty and I see now that many of the clues in that section of the puzzle were quite tricky, something that didn’t occur to me as I wrote them. This is bound to happen from time to tiine, and is not easy to guard against. The references to Modestine and Sean Bean eluded many of you too. Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, first published in 1879, is a gem, the author’s love-hate relationship with his fractious beast of burden (the said Modestine) being exquisitely conveyed. I also thought most of you would have heard of the actor Sean Bean: he gave a suitably earthy performance on television some years ago in the eponymous role of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and is in the new much-hyped film Lord of the Rings. He also played Richard Sharp, the dashing fusilier in the TV series about the Napoleonic Wars, based on the novels of (I think) Bernard Cornwell.
What exactly does or did a CHUPRASSY do? Hobson-Jobson describes him as an office-messenger in the Bengal Presidency, the equivalent of a peon in Madras and a puttywalla in Bombay, and Hanklyn-Janklin (a modern version of H-J by Nigel Hankin, a British expatriate long resident in India) broadly agrees, while preferring the spelling CHAPRASI and adding the definition ‘an orderly in government service’. He (never, I think, she) was/is one used to taking orders and running errands, and I tended to be pretty tolerant in the matter of what those orders and errands might be. Though one or two of you objected to the difficulty of the clue word most did very well with it, especially in producing ‘& lit.’ clues, the best of which appear above.
Anthony Ellis has asked me to apologize on his behalf for the fact that the November slip went out to many , subscribers with the wrong number at the top: 1524 instead of 1537. Hands up who spotted this! On a much more serious note, I was taken to task by the Observer (after the event) for including in a recent puzzle the objectionable word COON-SONG. It was, I now see, insensitive of me to put it in a puzzle, though to date I have received no complaints from solvers. While acknowledging the existence and use of racist language I am personally revolted by racism of any kind. If any of you were offended by the inclusion of this word in an Azed puzzle I apologize unreservedly. My very best wishes to you all for Christmas and the new year, and thanks for all the cards and messages of good will you have sent me and my family. I hope you all enjoy the Christmas ‘special’ and come back for more in the new year.


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