< Slip No. 1728 View the clue list Slip No. 1737 >



1.  C. M. Edmunds: Hardy embracing with Nelson a possibility? Disabled tar’s plea permits it (anag.; ref. ‘Kiss me, Hardy’, wrestling hold).

2.  G. H. Willett: In Sparta wrestling centre for athletes (le in anag., & lit.).

3.  T. J. Moorey: A Latin to get established in prize ring applied to one? (a L est in PR + a, & lit.).


D. & N. Aspland: Develop per Atlas here? (anag. & lit.; ref. Charles A.).

M. J. Barker: PT’s a real shambles? Not here, one hoped (anag. & lit.).

M. Barley: Prominent feature of Lyceum area PT’s done in (anag. incl. L, & lit.).

J. M. Brown: Lacking colour, wrestling star makes for gymnasium (pale + anag.).

Dr J. Burscough: Faulty grip should be eliminated in it, a grapplers’ ground (anag. less anag., & lit.).

Mrs M. J. Cansfield: Soldier has to pay attention once within training establishment (lest in para).

D. C. Clenshaw: Right (but not left) patella’s damaged in gym (anag. incl. r less l).

V. Dixon: Where you’ll see fencing and somersaulting skill masquerading as real PT? (pales + art (rev.), anag., & lit.).

C. D. S. & E. A. Field: Wrestling Spartan male could be man in —— (comp. anag. & lit.).

J. P. Guiver: Wrestling art’s enclosure formerly? (pale + anag., & lit.).

E. C. Lance: A plaster cast in Graeco-Roman style, perhaps (anag.; wrestling style).

C. Loving: Parts feel flabby? One needs to pump iron here (anag. less Fe, & lit.).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Seek quarter from Leonidas in Sparta wrestling here? (Le in anag., & lit.; ref. Spartan king ).

Mrs J. Mackie: Place for jerks of old school recycling ARP tales? (anag.).

J. R. C. Michie: Wrestling arts place, about no more (anag. less c., & lit.).

C. G. Millin: Establishment for teaching a student splits exercises and tumbling skills (a L in PE + arts (rev.)).

C. Pearson: Enclosure to keep ales traditionally, scene of many old rounds (hidden).

N. G. Shippobotham: I’d go here for training gladiators’ PE (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. C. Teuton: Working out, a grappler’s seen in —— group, possibly (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. J. Whale: Years ago, somewhere like Lloyd’s offered least APR when getting plastic (anag.; ref. David Lloyd’s sports centres and Lloyd’s Bank).


Ms J. E. Ainley, T. Anderson, D. Arthur, J. R. Beresford, Mrs F. A. Blanchard, T. C. Borland, C. Boyd, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, B. Burton, D. A. Campbell, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, R. M. S. Cork, E. Cross, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, N. C. Dexter, T. J. Donnelly, J. Fairclough, W. P. Field, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, R. R. Greenfield, J. Grimes, M. J. Hanley, D. V. Harry, M. Hodgkin, R. J. Hooper, G. Johnstone, J. C. Leyland, D. F. Manley, P. McKenna, K. Milan, C. J. Morse, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, W. Ransome, D. P. Shenkin, P. L. Stone, K. Thomas, W. B. Wendt, D. C. Williamson.

269 entries, almost no mistakes. No real problems either, it seems, except possibly over BARBATE (‘Save wax with tuft on’), through failure to see that I was using bate4 and wax3, which are roughly synonymous, though the latter is admittedly rather old-fashioned. Both belong, for me, to the vocabulary of school slang a couple of generations or so ago (the Jennings and Darbishire era, you might say). Favourite clue of the month was ‘One the sea tides tossed under’ for ANAESTHETISED, with ‘Wind speed making one liable to capsize’ (CRANK) second and 23 clues getting at least one mention. Some of you queried the reappearance of the asterisk to indicate the clue word. I never really wanted to abandon it in the first place, since it clearly shows which definition I’m asking you to replace and obviates the need to change the Rules and requests preamble every time. I dropped it because for some mysterious reason it started shifting its position after I’d OK’d the proof. I now have a new editor at The Observer in whom I have more trust to check that this doesn’t happen, though my fingers are still crossed. It was definitely not her fault that when I made a late change to the clue for TERNARY, from ‘Old-style triad near to collapse in trial’ to ‘Old-style triad collapsing in trial’, I carelessly failed to delete the ‘to’, producing in effect a faulty clue, as some of you noticed.
PALESTRA offered plenty of scope, especially for ‘& lit.’ clues. (For the benefit of newer solvers, this rather obscure label is used to describe a clue which can be read in its entirety both as a cryptic treatment of the answer and as a definition of that answer.) An ‘& lit.’ clue can be very satisfying to construct and to solve and many competitors try to produce one whenever they can. Note how many of them there are above. Interestingly, though, Mr Edmunds’s first prizewinner is not ‘& lit,’ but came out on top because of its cleverly misleading use of words (‘Hardy’, ‘Nelson’ and ‘permits’ all being well chosen in this regard), producing that pleasing ‘Ah, yes!’ of amusement when the penny drops. A number of you tried to do things with the composer Palestrina but generally failed to build in a satisfactory definition to complete the picture. In any case I suspect (but can’t be quite sure) that the name Palestrina, which the composer took from that of his birthplace near Rome, simply means ‘a small pal(a)estra’, which would weaken any clue using this ideal link. Palestra is still the word used in modem Italian for a gymnasium or sports hall. I don’t know if the same is true in modem Greek.
My sincere apologies to Dr E. Young for omitting his name, both in the paper and in last month’s slip, from the list of consolation prizewinners in last year’s honours list. With 4 points (0,4) he should join the others on 22 (equal). I hope that by now he will have received his prize.


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G. H. Willett wins First Prize in competition 2500.


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Second prize winner by D. F. Manley in competition 2000