AZED CROSSWORD 1741
1. V. Dixon: Elevated way above teeming Londoners, one who commands a tenacious hold. (L2 + anag., lord + nelson, & lit.).
2. C. Loving: One perishing hack riles London – with his column he looks down on Whitehall (anag. less I).
3. R. Hesketh: I may be seen by commuting Londoners entering end of Whitehall (l in anag., & lit.).
M. Barley: Peer achieving famous victory over French left Londoners thrilled (l + anag.; ref Lord Coe and Olympic bid).
M. Barnes: Piquet’s first, tracking leaders from lap one, readily defeating outgunned Villeneuve (first letters + Nelson; ref racing drivers and French commander at Trafalgar).
C. J. Brougham: Bold Admiral Rodney cutting unknown manoeuvres, splitting line twice with very good navy (anag. less y in l,l + so N).
Ms G. Crossley: London’s earl? Not exactly a short figure on a tall column (anag. less a).
C. M. Edmunds: Londoners’ stylite, centrally elevated (anag. incl. l, & lit.; elevated = drunk).
C. D. S. & E. A. Field: Victorious hero slain in battle left Londoners distraught (anag. incl. I).
H. Freeman: Led Royal navy solo at sea – name: —— (anag. incl. RN + n, & lit.).
M. Goodliffe: Leader amongst leaders Londoners must circulate round (l in anag., & lit.).
G. I. L. Grafton: Revolutionary soldier, not one on left – Spain’s fifth column supports him (anag. less l + n).
R. J. Heald: Pride of England exalted in Trafalgar Square left Londoners in state of excitement (l + anag.; ref Ashes victory parade).
P. R. Lloyd: Leader of navy. Bold? Not half! No loser at sea (anag. incl. n, ld, & lit.).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Londoners’ landmark’s leader at sea (anag. incl. l, & lit.).
D. F. Manley: Not a ‘loser on land’, silly! (anag. less a, & lit.).
C. G. Millin: English peer represented in London square, one less than an earl (anag. incl. s, less a).
T. J. Moorey: England hero in special London revelry, drunk but not very disorderly! (anag. incl. s less anag.; ref A. Flintoff after Ashes victory).
C. J. Morse: Foremost of landmarks, with Londoners milling beneath, exhibits me (l + anag., & lit.).
R. S. Morse: Landmark’s prime character, with Londoners milling below? (l + anag., & lit.).
R. J. Palmer: Having repositioned lens do see fleet all around? He denied it (anag. in lo RN; ref ‘I see no ships’).
D. R. Robinson: Having a way with guns he could be scattering unwary dons’ galleons (comp. anag. & lit.).
P. L. Stone: Prone on deck, all’s up for him transported with a peck (comp. anag. & lit.; ref ‘Kiss me, Hardy’).
A. J. Wardrop: Victorious captain, centre stage in Trafalgar Square, left Londoners delirious (l + anag.; ref Ashes celebration).
M. Barker, P. Bennett, Mrs F. A. Blanchard, R. E. Boot, Mrs A. Boyes, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, C. J. & M. P. Butler, C. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, N. Connaughton, E. Cross, R. Cross, G. Cuthbert, N. C. Dexter, T. J. Donnelly, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. R. Greenfield, J. P. Guiver, A. & R. Haden, D. Harrison, P. Heffernan, R. J. Hooper, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, E. C. Lance, J. C. Leyland, D. W. Mackie, N. MacSweeney, P. McKenna, J. R. C. Michie, C. Ogilvie, D. J. R. Ogilvie, F. R. Palmer, J. Pearce, M. L. Perkins, N. Roper, G. Saunders, D. P. Shenkin, N. G. Shippobotham, R. C. Teuton, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, R. J. Whale, A. R. Whelan, Dr M. C. Whelan, D. C. Williamson, J. Woodall, Dr E. Young.
207 entries, no noticeable mistakes. This was a disappointingly low number for what I thought would be quite an easy special, given all the coverage devoted to the .bicentenary of Trafalgar. Keener solvers clearly guessed the theme early on, some even suggesting that I gave too much away in the preamble. Maybe I did, but I make no apologies for this. I am not keen on overly cryptic explanations of what is expected of solvers and always strive to make preambles for thematic puzzles as clear as possible, even at the risk of giving more help than perhaps you need. Favourite clue was ‘Your health damaged in e.g. dust scattered round a high explosive’ for GESUND(A)HEIT, just ahead of ‘Squared section (one might assume) in any chopped tree’ for NYS(X)SA, with 24 receiving at least one mention.
The puzzle came together in stages, helped greatly by the - suitability of HMS VICTORY as a code phrase (and I did specify ‘phrase’ to help you here). The number of words to be clued, apart from the thematic answers, determined the form of Nelson’s message I used (‘a version’ of it was how I deliberately referred to it in the preamble, to preclude argument). The current edition of the ODQ gives it as ‘England expects that every man will do his duty’, while earlier editions omit the ‘that’. Since the message was signalled with flags a certain latitude seemed to me excusable, (Nelson himself apparently wanted the message to read ‘England confides...’ but was persuaded to substitute ‘expects’ because it had its own flag in the signals book and ‘confides’ would need to be spelt out.)
This proved to be one of those months in which a very large number of competitors plump for the same idea (variations on an anagram containing Londoner(s) or London). This was entirely understandable but I had a real job picking out those with the most felicitous wording. I applaud those who saw this as a problem and deliberately avoided using the idea, though not those who used ‘columnist’ to mean a person perched on a column, which it doesn’t. I was, however, pleased to learn that Nelson accepted the dukedom of Brontë in Sicily in addition to his other titles (and, says Oliver Warner in his 1958 biography, liked to sign himself ‘Brontë Nelson of the Nile’), though I felt it was asking too much to expect solvers to know this. Anyway I’m grateful for all the appreciative comments on the puzzle, which will be ringing in my ears tonight (20 October) when I take part in a special performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass at Radley College, complete with texts and images recalling the momentous events of 21 October 1805.