< Slip No. 174 View the clue list Slip No. 183 >



1.  A. J. Crow: ‘In ——’ (Cuckoo sang it) ‘go I must’ (comp anag., & lit.; ref. old rhyme).

2.  F. D. Gardiner: Clown – this one’s maladroit on stage (comp. anag. & lit.).

3.  C. O. Butcher: Summer period abhorrently unsettled? Not this year (aghast less ha.).


Mrs A. Boyes: Having entered nags, then I expect to take the odd tumble in the ring! (hidden).

Rev C. M. Broun: Grouse Shootin’? Capital! Capital! We require a time to bag ’em (initial letters in a t, & lit.).

A. J. Bulman: Clown, maladroit – hush follows gag that lacks originality ((g)ag + st).

R. S. Caffyn: The present period may cause agriculturist to lose heart (ag(riculturali)st).

P. Cargill: Silverstone: every year, I’m eighth! (Ag st.).

Mrs W. Fearon: I act clumsily in the ring, in one way the mark of a good performance (g in a St.).

J. A. Fincken: Venerable tails, beginning to come through to the rear (t to end in tags).

B. Franco: Horseplay with fiddle might ensue when I’m in ring ((r)ag st(ing), & lit.).

Dr G. B. Greer: Clumsy fool’s incorrectly reassembled male sawn in half (halves swapped in stag (adj.)).

S. Holgate: Imposing start for Australia – then Greig’s lead is followed by openers in Second Test (A G S T; ref. Tony G.).

C. H. Hudson: Hot time for a clown – stage make-up runs – no energy (anag. less E, 2 defs.).

R. E. Kimmons: Silverstone? People applaud as I appear round the bend (Ag st.).

Mrs S. M. Macpherson: Silverstone brings summer holidays to mind (Ag st.).

R. H. Maynard: Imposing flagstaff and a flutter from it (flagstaff less flaff).

C. J. and R. S. Morse: It takes a clown, this time, to produce a mangled tag about summer’s brief showing (s in anag., 2 defs.).

F. R. Palmer: Now’s the time to take a holiday, instead of not getting one in (against less a in).

R. J. Palmer: Bill Smart could put me in the ring ((r)ag st(ing), & lit.; ref. Billie Smart’s Circus).

T. E. Sanders: Instant results from versatile gas – the ultimate in heat (anag. incl. t; instant = present month).

W. K. M. Slimmings: At comprehending G and S, I’m like the Mikado… ‘all sublime’ (G S in at).

G. Snowden-Davies: What helps to make coffee-bags truly instant? (hidden; instant = present month).

G. H. Willett: Silverstone? It should bring out the Bank Holiday crowds (Ag st.).


C. Allen Baker, E. A. Beaulah, P. Berman, A. G. Bogie, J. C. Brash, Mrs A. Bristow, E. J. Burge, E. Chalkley, T. Clement, Mrs M. P. Craine, Mrs J. M. Critchley, A. L. Dennis, P. S. Elliott, S. A. Fortey, J. Fryde, R. Game, S. Goldie, R. J. Green, R. Hooper, E. M. Hornby, P. Hunter, W. Islip, G. Johnstone, J. R. Kirby, Mrs M. Lambert, A. Lawrie, J. H. C. Leach, A. D. Legge, J. G. Levack, Lieut-Col D. Macfie, D. F. Manley, H. S. Mason, D. P. M. Michael, C. G. Millin, W. L. Miron, E. Murphy, F. E. Newlove, P. J. Oddy, J. O’Hagan, M. L. Perkins, R. Robinson, W. Rodgers, I. R. Scott, T. A. J. Spencer, L. H. Stewart, F. B. Stubbs, J. G. Stubbs, J. C. P. Taylor, J. Treleaven, M. H. E. Watson, Dr R. L. Wynne.

About 330 entries, no mistakes. Quite a difficult puzzle, clearly, but, from your comments, much enjoyed despite (or because of) that. I couldn’t resist Byron’s marvellously catty quotation when I came across it (in early spring of course) even though this particular year it has proved almost uniquely inappropriate. Those of your clues which contrived to draw attention to this (e.g. those from Mr. Butcher and the Morse family duo) were favourably regarded. The word to be clued offered a wider than average range of possibilities which I was pleased to see fully exploited. I was certainly not averse to different meanings from the one in the quotation, as one or two suspected I might be. I think the first prizewinning clue is quite brilliant as an example of ‘& lit.’ in Letters Latent clues. Not knowing the old rhyme from which it is taken I tried it on my mother, who recognized it immediately.
On the question of technique in ‘LL’ clues generally, my attention was drawn by one very regular competitor to what he regards as a flaw in a few of my own clues, that is the insertion of connecting words between the definition parts and the subsidiary indications (which of course lead to mutilated non-words). In other words I was treating the two parts of such clues as referring to the same word, as they would in normal clues, and indicating that I was so doing by referring from one to the other ‘across the join’, as it were. It all depends, therefore, on whether one regards the mutilated and unmutilated forms of the same word as quite distinct or in a way inter-related. Ximenes apparently thought they should be distinct and said so, discouraging the use of connecting words. After some cogitation I am unable to take quite so rigid a line though I concede that a clue without connecting words is neater and probably easier for the solver which, given that Letters Latent puzzles are normally tougher than plains, is no bad thing. If the mutilated forms were separate words in their own right I might go even further and condemn connecting words outright, but they aren’t (except occasionally by chance). I would welcome comments from anyone else who feels strongly about this.
Also I’m told that I’m getting more difficult lately. Is that the general view?


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