AZED CROSSWORD 1762
1. T. C. Borland: Sisters and their mother sniffily dictated what Cinders wore about the house (i.e. congested pronunciation of ‘nunnery’).
2. C. M. Edmunds: Partially infected udder yields, if red, material inflammatory to bovines (hidden; ‘red rag to a bull’).
3. C. A. Clarke: Clouts ineffective bowler across the pond, no trace of ball (dud der(b)y).
T. Anderson: Turnover of rubbish in yard secures acceptable livelihood for Steptoes? (U in redd in yd (all rev.); ref. TV comedy ‘S. and Son’).
D. Arthur: Not exactly dude’s formal clothing! (anag. in dry, & lit.).
M. Barley: Shop snappy dresser after clothing would enter only in extremis? (’d in dude + last letters).
E. Cross: Where you’d find useless bowler, bit of brim missing? (dud der(b)y, & lit.).
N. C. Dexter: Where buyer wanting pair of breeches gets threepence out? That’s about right! (r in anag. less br incl. 3 d’s, & lit.).
V. Dixon: Unsteady with age, but not old – rather welcoming university rags locally! (doddery with U for o).
R. Hesketh: Stew and last portion of roly-poly is what Bunter might have (dudder + y; see bunter).
F. P. N. Lake: Useless racing event – no book provided in Tatts! (dud Der(b)y; tatt = rag).
D. F. Manley: ‘Rags’ dug in quite a few hours to keep Australia out (day with udder for a; ref. Derek ‘Rags’ Randall’s marathon 1977 test innings).
J. R. C. Michie: Hollow diplomacy embraces tit for tat (udder in d, y).
C. G. Millin: In which smart dresser acquires the latest in second-hand lines (d in dude + ry, & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Tidying up needed for cabinet’s chump in tax habits looking shabby! (redd (rev.) for t in duty; chump = end; ref. J. Prescott’s failure to pay council tax).
C. J. Morse: Dude wanders in without sympathy here (anag. in dry, & lit.).
C. Ogilvie: Endless pap included in lacklustre fashion collection (so ‘last year’) (udde(r) in dry).
F. R. Palmer: Unconventional dude’s formal clothing? (anag. in dry, & lit.).
M. Sanderson: Formal clothing fussy dude found here? Yes and no (anag. in dry).
N. G. Shippobotham: Could be where bag lady shops – no pieces of luxury attire (udder in (l a)dy, & lit.).
I. Simpson: What’s flogged here? Fuddy-duddy gear, regularly (anag. of alternate letters, & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: You won’t get new weeds here if acre’s dug in time (day with udder for a).
R. J. Whale: New Boots and Panties unavailable here – Dury dead and not about to be reissued (anag. less a; ref. hit album by the late Ian Dury).
D. C. Williamson: Shoddy underwear could be programmed as —— on washer (comp. anag. & lit.).
A. J. Young: The confines of divinity have to accept ‘tit for tat’ (udder in d, y; ref. ‘an eye for an eye’).
G. Alderman, D. & N. Aspland, J. R. Beresford, L. W. Blott, Mrs A. Boyes, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, B. Cheesman, D. C. Clenshaw, N. Connaughton, R. M. S. Cork, K. W. Crawford, R. Dean, A. J. Dorn, W. Drever, J. Fairclough, Dr I. S. Fletcher, E. Furnival, G. I. L. Grafton, Mrs E. Greenaway, R. R. Greenfield, J. Grimes, R. Haddock, R. J. Heald, C. & C. Hinton, B. Hitman, M. Hodgkin, A. Hodgson, Mrs P. Howe, Miss M. Irvine, J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, P. Lloyd, P. Long, C. Loving, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, Mrs J. Mackie, N. MacSweeney, W. F. Main, P. W. Marlow, G. M. May, P. Molins, R. A. Norton, R. J. Palmer, J. Pearce, D. Price Jones, W. Ransome, D. Sargent, S. & J. Shaw, D. P. Shenkin, D. J. Short, D. A. Simmons, T. Smith, P. L. Stone, Mrs A. Terrill, R. C. Teuton, C. W. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, L. D. Urquhart, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, P. O. G. White, G. H. Willett, J. Woodall, Dr E. Young.
287 entries, virtually no mistakes (though I did spot a couple with DUDDERS). Many apologies for ‘raki’ in place of ‘saki’ in the SKAIL clue, a case of carelessly failing to read my own writing at the keying stage (I don’t compose clues directly on screen). I did what I could to repair the error by asking DFM to put a correction on Derek Harrison’s website (www.crossword.org.uk), which some of you saw though I know many won’t have an Internet connection. Favourite clue of the month: ‘I’m idle in study, with minimum of toil? Not if I’m this’ for DILIGENT, and 25 getting one or more mentions (including six votes for my clue to JAMMIEST, which I won’t risk a fatwa by repeating here). A couple of you commented favourably on the three Z’s in the grid, which was pure chance but will perhaps serve as a comment on my doziness in mixing up my alcoholic drinks!
A very nice set of clues for your judge to assess this month, with ‘& lits.’ well to the fore and the anagram of DUDE in DRY so much in evidence that only those with the best wording reaching the upper echelons. ‘Dug in Benin’ was also widely used but less effectively, especially in connecting it with the definition part. It was particularly pleasing to see the winning clues including both a homophone type and a hidden type, neither of which often achieve high distinction. This is probably because such clues can be rather too easy to solve, but these examples are delightfully and subtly disguised. Very nice. A few otherwise good clues were (to me) slightly flawed by defining DUDDERY simply as ‘shop’, which though indisputable tells only part of the story. (Mr Barley’s VHC is a different matter in being a partial ‘& lit.’, in which the rest of the clue expands on its first word.)
I forget if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not keen on ‘without’ to mean ‘outside’, as in ‘without a city wall’, which for some reason came up quite a bit this month. Some setters seem happy to use ‘without’ in this way, though it is hardly current usage and is labelled as archaic in Chambers, so I avoid it. You have been warned.
An interesting footnote, supplied by Mr Hesketh. He tells me he found on the Internet a glossary of terms used at Bletchley Park, where during the war the German Enigma code was deciphered. The word DUDDERY was used to mean the room to which ‘duds’ were sent for further investigation, a ‘dud’ being an Enigma message, on an already solved key, which failed to decipher, usually because of faulty indicators. Keen cryptographers will probably know what that means.