◀  No. 16022 Mar 2003 Clue list No. 1611  ▶



1.  R. J. Heald: What’s good if you like browsing among tat? Jumble sale for one (in + tat with anag. for a).

2.  D. A. Campbell: Sporting Eton tie’s a great aid to networking (anag.).

3.  F. R. Palmer: Means of communication teens love – it’s mobile (anag. incl. 0).


C. J. Brougham: Police listen to grass (anag. + at).

E. J. Burge: The long grass hampered titan Els (anag.; ref. Ernie E., SA Golfer).

Mrs M. J. Cansfield: This helps viewers to see ITN broadcast (anag.).

P. Cargill: Atlanta rough? Norman’s first to go in it, then Els advanced Tiger’s lead (N in it + Els + a T; ref. Greg N., Ernie E., T. Woods).

M. Coates: It’s in what herds taste around centre of Abilene? (it in anag. + I, & lit.).

N. Connaughton: Run out of foul latrines, heading for the tall grass! (anag. less r + t).

L. J. Davenport: Listen in dismay to what Americans might stockpile in silos (anag. + at).

N. C. Dexter: Lent is a time for trimming long grass (anag. incl. t).

W. Duffin: NASA let it crash without a cover on southern US plains (anag. less a).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Dish needed initially to see it? (anag. incl. n, & lit.).

C. R. Gumbrell: System of links tailored to Net is electronic (anag. + e).

W. F. Main: Global communication is possible using this one set, with it specially tuned (anag.).

D. F. Manley: Fodder in the stable possibly hiding little Hebrew? (anag. less Heb.).

P. W. Marlow: Something akin to panic in US entails mobilising beside border in Kuwait (anag. + t; panic2).

G. Parsons: International golfer in the long grass (int. Els at; Ernie E.).

D. Price Jones: Utterly freaked out, listen to grass growing in California (anag. + at).

D. R. Robinson: Hyena’s head’s dropped in cunning stealth in tall grass (in + anag. less h).

N. G. Shippobotham: SETI tone jams orbital comms system (anag.).

L. Ward: ET television might be broadcast live with this global communications system (comp. anag.).

R. J. Whale: Quelch set Latin material later found in Latin bible? (anag.; ref. Bunter stories; bible = ruminant’s stomach).

Dr E. Young: Service on line puffing up mark is not out (anag. in tee; ref. tennis).


D. Arthur, D. Ashcroft, D. & N. Aspland, B. Balfour, M. Barley, E. A. Beaulah, J. R. Beresford, H. J. Bradbury, B. Burton, J. T. Byrne, A. & J. Calder, I. Carr, D. Carter, J. & B. Chennells, C. A. Clarke, R. Cohen, P. Coles, R. M. S. Cork, M. J. Corlett, E. Cross, G. Cuthbert, R. V. Dearden, V. Dixon, D. Durrance, P. Eustace, H. Freeman, E. H. Furnival, P. D. Gaffey, Mrs C. George, M. Goodliffe, R. Grafen, G. I. L. Grafton, Mrs E. Greenaway, R. R. Greenfield, J. Grimes, J. P. Guiver, R. Haddock, M. C. Haughey, R. Hesketh, R. J. Hooper, W. Jackson, Mrs M. Janssen, G. Johnstone, I. Jones, M. Jones, F. P. N. Lake, J. H. C. Leach, J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, H. M. Lloyd, P. Lloyd, R. K. Lumsdon, Mrs J. Mackie, B. MacReamoinn, J. McGhee, P. McKenna, J. R. C. Michie, B. G. Midgley, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, C. J. Morse, R. A. Norton, M. Overton, R. J. Palmer, J. Pearce, C. Pearson, D. Pendrey, G. Perry, Mrs E. M. Phair, R. Phillips, A. Plumb, A. Roth, M. Sanderson, Mrs J. E. Townsend, J. R. Tozer, P. Tozer, A. P. Vincent, A. J. Wardrop, M. J. E. Wareham, A. R. Whelan, G. H. Willett, D. C. Williamson.

240 entries, almost no mistakes. I was a bit disappointed not to receive a larger postbag for this new special. It may be that less committed solvers are discouraged by the sight of an unfamiliar- looking grid; in fact I think most of you found it of less than average difficulty. Construction was far from easy, once the idea had occurred to me, and seemed to get more difficult as I worked my way down the grid. I don’t like resorting to the bigger Oxford dictionaries, but in the end was relieved to find BIRD-POLES and SELF-SEED there. THE SEA was another I’d normally try to avoid, though Chambers helps by giving it a special definition. My main anxiety concerned the across clues. I actually wrote a complete DLM set (two definitions and one letter mixture in which the overlapping letters were not repeated) which I then scrapped on the grounds that they seemed a bit feeble and because I thought that asking you to produce a similar clue for TEOSINTE/INTELSAT would not be challenging enough. I’m not wholly satisfied with what I replaced them with,’ and some of your comments tended to reinforce my misgivings. (Favourite clues cited were almost all from among the downs, significantly, the most popular being the one for TIN-STREAMERS.) If and when I produce another ‘Overlaps’, as I probably shall since the idea still appeals, I may experiment further. Ideas on cluing styles for the overlapping lights would be most welcome.
Judging wasn’t easy either. In the first hundred entries I opened competitors preferred to define TEOSINTE rather than INTELSAT on a ratio of roughly 2 to 1. I did however disqualify clues containing linking words between cryptic part and definition part which implied that the first referred to the second, or vice versa, or that otherwise referred from one part to the other in ways that implied that the two were inextricably linked. Part of the challenge was to devise wording-which created a link where none existed beyond the overlap itself. That said, I was not averse to ‘& lit.’ clues, in which the whole clue could be read as a definition of one of the two words and also as a cryptic indication of the other one. Only a few tried to achieve this, and I didn’t myself, but it seems perfectly legitimate.
On the subject of including abbreviations in anagrams, to which I alluded in the PHRASEMONGER slip, I’m reminded that I set out my views way back in the slip for No. 904 (September 1989), To paraphrase what I wrote then, I regard it as at least questionable to use wording that requires but does not say that the solver must find an abbreviation for one of the words to be included in the anagram, especially when it is more than a single-letter abbreviation. ‘Repeated use’, I wrote, ‘has given acceptability to the convention of including in anagrams single-letter abbreviations indicated by the full form of the word abbreviated, especially when such abbreviations are in common use, but there is a difference... between this practice and expecting the solver to [identify and then] unscramble larger and ... less familiar abbreviations.’ This question of familiarity is important. I was rightly picked up in this context over a recent clue of mine, to the unfriendly word MUNDIC: ‘Sulphide of iron and copper mined randomly – energy released’ (anag. incl. Cu, less e). ‘Cu’ is a familiar enough abbreviation for ‘copper’ (and doesn’t stand for anything else), but in crossword language there are plenty of others, so further help for the solver is probably needed here. I recognize that this is a greyish area where clue-writing is concerned, and some may regard my clue above as perfectly acceptable as it stands. I merely ask you to think hard about including rnulti-letter abbreviations (and even less familiar one-letter ones) among the component parts of an anagram, and if you have doubts to reword your clue in ways that ask less of the solver.


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