< Slip No. 1541 View the clue list Slip No. 1546 >


PATROL (with jumble of RAPTORES)

1.  R. J. Hooper: Castro perhaps in troop making entrance after complete internal revolution (portal with inside letters reversed).

2.  H. Freeman: Rare stopwatch strap at Rolex store (hidden).

3.  Mrs J. Mackie: What’s essential to pimp – a trapes or trollop to go the rounds (hidden).

VHC (extra prizes)

J. R. Beresford: Brothers (per rota) turned up in support of strike picket (pat + lor! (rev)).

R. E. Boot: Do the rounds playing part of Porter as 50’s figure (anag. + o’ L; ref. ‘Look Back in Anger’).

M. Casserley: Stop rare broadcast of royalty, each year forgotten after a drop of port gets to go round (p + anag. less y’s).

C. A. Clarke: Security check reports a perfunctory duty that’s not completed (pat + rol(e)).

L. J. Davenport: What presto arrangers need to do with crisp timing on the beat (rapid one, nearly finished) (pat + rol(l)).

R. Fishleigh: Do the rounds in shop as porter a trolley’s essential (hidden).

C. R. Gumbrell: Round spot of tundra shot spear ruffled polar bears (t in anag.).

M. D. Laws: Watch, cut up about art ‘superstar’ offering (anag. in lop rev.).

J. C. Leyland: Watch, trio of patriarchs for star. Peace Lord, exalted without end (pat + Lor(d) (rev.)).

D. W. Mackie: Paratroops lost – or are poking initially around one half of Tora Bora complex, maybe (anag. of Tora in P, l; ref. search for al-Qaeda).

D. F. Manley: Pastoral cast – are pastors that group keeping watch? (comp. anag.; ref. Christmas story).

D. P. Miller: Scout reports a body in the camp at roll-call (hidden).

C. J. Morse: Brief Arab plot to arrest Potters: ships and aircraft on watch (anag. incl. Ar.; ref. Harry P.).

F. R. Palmer: He’ll provide care, parts or fuel, if the empty sign shows for one (petrol with a for E, & lit.).

R. Phillips: Bat or spree on rounds mixing port and ale mostly (anag. less e).

D. R. Robinson: Maybe a lot or a spread of Brussels sprouts is left after a port is drunk (anag. + l; B. s., rhyming slang for scouts).

K. Thomas: ARP lot reports a suspect round? (anag.).

Dr I. Torbe: As porter, perambulate at the right time and register when a lecturer departs (pat + rol(L)).

J. R. Tozer: Turkey and duck in pre-roast format for TV watchers, going round (TR 0 in PAL).

A. J. Wardrop: What makes receptors race: troop, with area secured, turning up right on line (a in tp (rev.) + r o’ l).

G. H. Willett: In theatre pros’ Yeomen of the Guard, Point is gripping acting part for vocalists (a in pt + ‘role’; ref. Jack P.).


D. Appleton, A. Barker, M. Barley, D. J. Bexson, J. G. Booth, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, A. & J. Calder, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, N. Connaughton, A. Cox, R. V. Dearden, V. Dixon, E. G. Fletcher, M. Freeman, P. D. Gaffey, R. R. Greenfield, J. Grimes, J. Guiver, P. F. Henderson, V. Henderson, G. Johnstone, F. P. N. Lake, E. C. Lance, P. R. Lloyd, C. Loving, C. J. Lowe, P. W. Marlow, P. McKenna, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, J. Pearce, Dr T. Powell, D. Pritchard, P. E. Radburn, Mrs V. M. Riley, M. Sanderson, R. G. Smith, R. C. Teuton, C. W. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, M. J. E. Wareham, R. J. Whale, A. J. Whittaker, I. J. Wilcock, Dr E. Young.

An excellent Christmas response: 309 entries, and no mistakes. This new variation on an old favourite proved very popular, I’m pleased to say. I wasn’t at all sure how it would be received, but the way in which the acrosses and downs complemented each other in the solving clearly helped to produce a puzzle of the right level of difficulty for the holiday period. I could of course have made it more difficult by distributing the jumbles of across answers at random among the down clues, but I’m glad I didn’t. Constructing the grid was easier than for a straight PD puzzle, for the obvious reason that I needed to find only eighteen ‘devilable’ words. Among the PD clues your favourites were those for TISIPHONE, EAST and ARSONIST. (And those who may have felt cheated at not being asked to submit a PD clue this time need not worry. Straight PD competition puzzles will remain in the repertoire.)
Construction of the new-style special clues proved distinctly tricky, as you doubtless discovered. (I don’t recall seeing them used before, though Dimitry did something comparable in his brilliant recent Hallowe’en Listener puzzle in The Times.) In the circumstances I had to create the ‘rules’ from scratch, the most important of these being that both basic and expanded clues should make some sense (a carry-over from PD clues), and the stipulation that, regardless of where the extra jumbles were placed, there should be no additional tinkering with word breaks elsewhere in the clue (a distinct departure from PD, where such tinkering is permitted and even encouraged, within reasonable limits). Quite a number of you failed to observe this latter requirement, and were marked down accordingly. This may seem harsh to the offenders, but I did mention it in the preamble and I think I was right to stick to it. These clues were difficult enough to construct and solve already without the introduction of a further element to bamboozle the solver. (Many probably did it inadvertently, being in a general PD frame of mind, as it were.) Another fault that cropped up quite a lot was in producing clues which were not cryptic after the jumbles were removed, but simply wordy definitions of PATROL. The challenge was to produce a sensible cryptic clue which still read sensibly when the extraneous jumble was inserted - no easy matter. I certainly felt that some of mine showed the strain, but the best of those submitted (see above) were excellent.
I chose PATROL with RAPTORES because they seemed a friendly pair. The fact that most of the letters in PATROL are also in RAPTORES was pure coincidence. I was also aware that there was nothing particularly Christmassy about the puzzle, but thought that this would not offend anyone. (I toyed with the idea of calling it ‘Devilled Turkey’, but decided that this was purely cosmetic and so rejected it.) It was a difficult competition to judge (not made easier, it must be said, by the number of entries that overlooked or ignored my request for the jumbles to be underlined), but I am happy with the final results. Given the special circumstances, over-elaborate or tortuous clues were generally less welcome. Thank you for all the positive comments and good wishes for 2002, which I heartily reciprocate.


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