◀  No. 25434 Apr 2021 Clue list No. 2551  ▶



1.  P. Coles: Fay trio with line in weaving? One spins thread (anag. incl. l; ref. the three Fates).

2.  M. Barley: Spin line of yarn with it (obscure noun) (anag. incl. l less n, & lit.).

3.  A. J. Wardrop: What might provide fine bespoke tailor with foremost of yarns? (f + anag.+ y, & lit.).


T. C. Borland: It may produce woof with wag of tail on your returning (anag. + yr (rev.); woof1).

C. A. Clarke: Misguided royal tiff not finished – I’m employed in spinning a line (anag. less f; ref. Sussexes).

N. Connaughton (Ireland): Source of yarn or line if at work (anag. incl. y, l, & lit.).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: At heart of mill source of yarn for weaving? (anag. incl. il, y, & lit.).

A. Gerrard: What makes elements of the cloth obnoxious for laity? (anag.).

R. J. Heald: Yarn-spinner follows one boring story with another, ignoring call for hush (I in flat + (st)ory; story2).

M. Hodgkin: Priti’s latest to appear swathed in Union Jack? Government’s yielding to Conservative spin machine (i in flag with Tory for g; ref. P. Patel).

J. C. Leyland: Fail miserably, judge accepting nowt? Heald could keep in line anything I produce! (anag. + 0 in try; ref. RJH; see heddle in C.).

D. F. Manley: Clotho – maiden fairly frantic? This old machine could be the answer! (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. the Fates).

T. J. Moorey: With focus on Harry leaving, royal rift gets broadcast that spun a line (anag. less r; ref. Oprah Winfrey interview).

W. Ransome: Fail to get upset over person in party machine spinning (anag. + Tory).

Dr S. J. Shaw: There could be no idle rotary shaft when spinning threads on this (comp. anag. & lit.).

A. J. Shields: Spinner’s profitably deployed, having dismissed Pope and Buttler initially (anag. less P, B; ref. England cricketers).

N. G. Shippobotham: This might be loud and oily with thread regularly being spun (f + anag. incl. alternate letters, & lit.).

P. L. Stone: Spinner of yarn spouting old lot of airy rubbish (anag. less o).

R. C. Teuton: I’m capable of producing many a clue to fail miserably year round (anag. + yr (rev.); clue2).

J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Lots of admirable yarn could be spun to make albs with a modern —— (comp. anag. & lit.).

J. D. Walsh: I try foal, unbridled, and perhaps a mule (anag.).

K. & J. Wolff: Find such a machine caught throstler’s head in poorly lit factory (comp. anag. incl. c, t, & lit.).


T. Anderson, D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, C. J. Brougham, A. & J. Calder, A. G. Chamberlain, M. Coates, Ms S. Curran (France), V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, G. I. L. Grafton, E. Hall, A. H. Harker, S. Hicks, J. Hood, M. Jordan, M. Lloyd-Jones, P. W. Marlow, P. McKenna, C. G. Millin, C. Ogilvie, D. Price Jones, T. Rudd, A. D. Scott, C. Short, P. A. Stephenson, J. R. Tozer, Mrs A. M. Walden, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), N. Warne, D. Whyte (Ireland), G. H. Willett.

149 entries, no mistakes. Favourite clue, well ahead of the rest, of 17 mentioned, was ‘In contact with the whole camp, virtually’ for TO ALL INTENTS’. Second was ‘Who is fitted out with one? Hoplite was’ for PELTA, a comp. anag. & lit. I quite liked myself until it was pointed out to me (slightly embarrassingly for a classicist) that a hoplite would have carried a larger and heavier shield than a peltast. Ah well, perhaps this one was merely taking part in a gentle training session!
Most found this a relatively easy plain, especially after the recent Carte Blanche. One or two commented favourably on the grid pattern, which pleased me. Designing this is always the first stage in creating a plain puzzle, and though it doesn’t usually take me long it’s important to get the right variety of word lengths and the right number of unchecked letters for each to ensure fairness to the solver; designing it therefore requires some care.
FILATORY was another unfamiliar word (to me at any rate). I learnt from one regular who’d done some research that even the OED relies on a citation copied from Webster, so it’s clearly a rare term, making one wonder why the Chambers lexicographers thought it worth including at all. Thankfully it proved a friendly word to clue in terms of both its constituent letters and the variety of possible ways to define it. (Incidentally, I assumed, on the basis of not much evidence, that ‘filatory’ is a generic term to refer to any spinning machine, regardless of the type of yarn it is or was used for spinning. So a (spinning) jenny was a filatory, but not necessary vice versa.)


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