< Slip No. 1648 View the clue list Slip No. 1654 >



1.  N. Connaughton: One’s on drip after clot in ——? (sap + hen + a, & lit.).

2.  G. H. Willett: Sun has a page with girl endearingly adult: a big way to help circulation (S a p hen A).

3.  M. Barley: Open has obscure American lifting old claret vessel (anag. + A less o; ref. Ben Curtis, little-known winner of US Open golf tournament).


Dr R. J. Bell: Mischievous pasha keeps small space in vessel for tootsy (en in anag.).

C. J. Brougham: What’s to drain red stuff, evacuating end of pin (sap he(n)na, & lit.; pin = foot).

D. C. Clenshaw: After touch of phlebitis, man in hospital is given a tube to drain blood from foot! (p he in san + a).

E. Cross: Quivering aspen has little square leaves, example of inferior venation, largely (anag. less s).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Element of network calf protects? That’s draining extremity of blood (n in saphea(d), & lit.; calf = stupid person).

R. R. Greenfield: It has to drain, and starts to have effect near ankle (sap + first letters, & lit.).

J. P. Guiver: Large vein is source of pyritic layer in rock (’s + p hen in aa).

C. R. Gumbrell: A vein, shape distorted? That’s possibly this, i.e. with bit of varicosity (comp. anag. incl. v, & lit.).

W. Jackson: Tube happens to be transformed when power is ceded to American (anag. with A for P; ref. London Underground, Bob Kiley).

D. F. Manley: England’s capital has plan for transport – but line’s sealed off in that bloody tube! (anag. incl. E less l; ref. London Underground).

J. R. C. Michie: Sun has a bird occupying half of page, a vital aid for circulation (S + a + hen in pa(ge)).

T. J. Moorey: American navy heaps adrift, bloody large carrier going into groin (anag. incl. A N; US spelling of groyne).

C. J. Morse: Drain man’s extremities of nourishing plasma? I help to do that (sap he n, a).

F. R. Palmer: Name used in designation of what takes vital fluid to heart (two go from extremity) (n in sap hea(rt), & lit.).

R. Phillips: Antithrombin’s ultimate in reducing clot here? (n in saphea(d), & lit.; reduce = become smaller).

D. R. Robinson: Pheasant cut and cooked – a course for draining the claret? (anag. less t).

N. G. Shippobotham: In which vital fluid (red) drains extremity of haemoglobin (sap he(n)na, & lit,; drain = allow to escape).

P. Thacker: Crural vein damage happens when pedal is active (anag. with a for P).

J. R. Tozer: Possible site in a calf of thrombosis it experiences without warning? (SA + phen(omen)a).

P. O. G. White: Happens after heart is strained – a burst blood-vessel (anag. less p incl. a).


G. Alderman, D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, M. Bath, E. A. Beaulah, J. R. Beresford, R. E. Boot, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, D. Buxton, D. A. Campbell, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, R. M. S. Cork, P. A. Davies, Ms M. Davis, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, V. Dixon, W. Duffin, A. G. Fleming, H. Freeman, M. Freeman, N. E. Gough, Mrs E. Greenaway, D. V. Harry, J. Hastie, A. Hodgson, D. K. Jervis, Mrs S. G. Johnson, F. P. N. Lake, J. P. Lester, Mrs J. Mackie, W. F. Main, P. W. Marlow, R. J. Mathers, P. McKenna, K. Milan, D. S. Miller, C. G. Millin, W. Murphy, C. Ogilvie, R. J. Palmer, G. Perry, Dr T. Powell, J. T. Price, H. L. Rhodes, P. L. Stone, D. H. Tompsett, Ms M. Vincent, R. J. Whale, Dr M. C. Whelan, D. C. Williamson, Dr E. Young.

286 entries, perhaps a dozen having SPAR for SPAN. I see now that the new edition of Chambers has added the definition ‘a securing rope or chain (naut.)’ to the span2 entry, and this probably accounts for the mistake here. Favourite clue of the month was that for SUCH-AND-SUCH (‘Some hot millet grain served up producer introduced’), followed by that for UPBYE, with 23 getting at least one mention. I was mildly taken to task for including NASAL and NASION in the same puzzle, though I don’t see much wrong with this. One or two also felt (and said) that I could have given you a more interesting word to clue (‘Clever of you dodging cluing it!’ said one). Well, perhaps, but I do as a rule pick the clue word before writing the rest of the clues myself, my aim being to select a word which seems on the face of it to offer in its meaning(s) and component letters a range of possible treatments, and to vary the word lengths from month to month. If you’re unhappy with my selection I can only ask you to put yourself in my shoes, and to accept that there are countless ways of tackling even the most unpromising words, such is the wealth of our language and the subtlety of the crossworder’s approach to it. Sermon over.
That said, SAPHENA is an interesting word and one which several solvers who are also doctors admitted that they had not come across before. It looks Greek or Latin (suggesting a girl’s name even, to one non-medical regular) but is in fact Arabic in origin. Is it the standard term for this particular blood-vessel, I wonder? The idea of draining blood from the foot puzzles me. Don’t our extremities need all the blood they can get? Anyway, it brought into play the whole vocabulary relating to the circulation of blood, including less technical terms like ‘tube’ and ‘claret’, which lifted the better clues above the rest. Overall, it was not an easy competition to judge, the clues that rose to the top of the pile doing so only after a fair amount of sifting.
A couple of ‘bleats’, which I make from time to time, addressed only to persistent offenders. Please (as requested) attach your clue sheet firmly to the completed grid, preferably by staple or paper-clip, and remember to write your name and address on the clue sheet as well as on the coupon that accompanies the puzzle grid. And please, when enclosing a cheque in payment of your subscription for the slip, write your name and address on the back of the cheque. This will save myself and Anthony Ellis quite a lot of work.


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