AZED CROSSWORD 419
1. C. J. Morse: Marlborough’s second crusher in conclusive quartet of victories (a + mill in (victo)ries & lit.).
2. Dr A. H. Seville: Exchanges of blows: into this I’m knocked? (anag. in rallies & lit.; cocked hat).
3. B. D. Smith: Far from passée young lady in cape was à Ia mode after an engagement ((Thoroughly Modern) Millie in ras).
P. F. Bauchop: Villeroi’s armies have scattered: we may assume this battle is over (comp. anag. & lit.).
A. G. Bogie: Very ‘modern’ girl in classy drawers, say – very unmodern gear (RAs, draw-ers).
Rev C. M. Broun: Once fashionable wear gives false impression about man’s head (m in rail4 + lies).
N. C. Dexter: One following Marlborough’s first in series of hits at court (m + tin rallies & lit.).
R. P. C. Forman: Dig this site – you might unearth les militaries (comp. anag. & lit.).
B. Franco: Fashionable articles or dress, surprisingly is/are tying up very little cash (mill in anag.).
A. L. Freeman: A Churchill victory sign that’s used in wrong ways (ram + i.e. in ills; J. Churchill, D. of Marlborough).
D. V. Harry: A queen with ana – a thousand and one long stories – protected many heads, centuries ago (R. ā MI l lies; ref. Scheherazade).
P. F. Henderson: Rise unsteadily in a boxing match? On the contrary, show style from earlier fight (i.e. a mill in anag.).
Mrs S. L. Jordan: Hairpiece made from variety of grass and woven lisle (ram + anag.).
F. P. N. Lake: Complications to arise about boxing contest? British hero’s big fight venue in question! (mill in anag.; ref. A. Minter).
M. D. Laws: Covering for the pate whose day has gone, sunk by a fashion of realism? (anag. in li(d) & lit.).
J. G. Levack: Mr. Ali in combat is laid low. A great victory (anag. + lies).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Head covering one described as thoroughly modern? This head covering isn’t! (Millie in ras).
S. M. Mansell: The heads of Marlborough’s infantry put in series of strikes here (M, i in rallies).
A. McIntyre: Minter’s one-two in quick exchanges of blows secures English victory (Mi(nter) in rallies; ref. Alan M., boxer).
T. J. Moorey: Armies switching right to left take heart from brilliant victory ((bri)lli(ant) in armies with r moved to front).
M. Packman: Riles M. Ali, when getting changed for the big fight (anag.).
F. R. Palmer: You’d find me among advertisements for Marlboro, or Marlborough (mi in rallies (sponsored by M.)).
W. H. Pegram: A new serial about military battle dress? (mil. in anag.).
D. C. Williamson: Head covering that’s indicated after fight (mill i.e. in ras & lit.).
Dr E. Young: Marlborough’s debut in period garment inventions? (M in rail4 + lies & lit.).
R. H. Adey, C. Allen Baker, D. W. Arthur, Miss L. F. Bell, C. E. Belville, P. R. Best, Mrs F. Blanchard, E. J. Burge, M. Coates, A. F. Coles, Mrs J. B. Coltham, R. A. England, H. W. Evans, Dr I. S. Fletcher, N. C. Goddard, H. J. Godwin, S. Goldie, R. B. Harling, P. A. Hay, E. M. Holroyd, C. H. Hudson, R. H. F. Isham, W. Islip, A. H. Jones, C. L. Jones, J. R. H. Jones, B. K. Kelly, C. Loving, Mrs S. M. Macpherson, L. K. Maltby, D. F. Manley, Dr R. G. Monk, W. Murphy, D. S. Nagle, F. E. Newlove, Dr P. Owen, H. Rainger, A. E. & D. M. Renwick, E. G. Riley, F. B. Stubbs, J. G. Stubbs, A. P. Vincent.
ANNUAL HONOURS LIST (13 COMPETITIONS)
1. (equal) N. C. Dexter (3 prizes, 5 V.H.C.s), D. F. Manley (0. 11), R. J. Palmer(3,5); 4. (equal) C. J. Morse (2,6). F. R. Palmer (2,6); 6. Dr. E. Young (1,7): 7. (equal) C. Allen Baker (1,4), E. J. Burge (1,4), M. D. Laws (1,4), F. P. N. Lake (1,4), D. P. M. Michael (1,4), C. G. Millin (0.6), T. F. Sanders (2,2), F. B. Stubbs (1,4), Mrs. E. J. Shields (1,4); 16. (equal) E. M. Holroyd (1,3), J. D. Moore (1,3), D. R. Robinson (1,3), D.C. Williamson (1,3); 20. (equal) Rev. C. M. Broun (0,4), A. J. Crow (0,4), B. Franco (0,4). Dr J. F Grimshaw (0,4), S. Goldie (2,0), V. G. Henderson (1,2), J. P. H. Hirst, (12), R. J. Hooper (1,2), A. D. Legge (1,2), H. L. Rhodes (1,2). CONSOLATION PRIZES:—Rev C. M. Broun, J. Crow, B. Franco, Dr. J. F. Grimshaw. D. F. Manley, C. G. Millin.
Congratulations to the year’s leading trio, it’s three years since we had a three-way tie like this, and on that occasion Mr. Manley again shared the honours. His position this year without ever having won a prize is indeed remarkable, especially since all eleven of his V.H.C.s were won consecutively, a record, I’m told. For those who are not wholly familiar with the honours list it is based on all the competitions in one year (i.e. twelve monthly ones and the Christmas special). This year began with GRADIN (No. 371) and ended this month with RAMILLIES. The start of the year dates from the start of the Azed series and has no other significance. On very rare occasions a competition has been cancelled because of the unavailability of the Observer. The points system is simplicity itself. Two for a prize (1st, 2nd or 3rd) and one for a V.H.C. Extra consolation prizes go at the end of the year to those highest placed on the list who have not won a prize. This usually means a minimum of 4 V.H.C.s. I am as usual indebted to CAB for keeping a running tally of the scores as an Indispensable check on my not infallible mathematics.
RAMILLIES produced a small entry, only 210 with a fair number of errors both in diagram construction and in actual clue answers, SENSER for SENSOR and ROSE for ROSY being the commonest. I know there were problems affecting the availability of the Observer Magazine in certain parts of the country and this must have helped to keep the entry low, it is always a hard decision on these increasingly frequent occasions whether or not to run the competition as usual. I think it is fair to say that most of those who care deepest about competition placings usually manage to enter by hook or by crook. As I’ve said before, photocopies of the diagram are sent on request if you’re desperate, the person to contact being Miss Denise Rands.
Having said all that I have to admit that it was a difficult puzzle, well into the ‘stinker’ class. I don’t give you ‘Carte Blanche’ for competitions often as even when the clues are extra-easy they tend to deter many from the added challenge of fitting the words into a pattern. The masochists who crave more of this sort of thing, and even ask for the clues in random order as an added torment, must be content with the type and timing of the existing diet.
RAMILLIES was a generous word to have to clue, though I did get a little tired of the armies being knocked into a cocked hat. To anyone familiar with English history the first prize. winning clue is perhaps rather easy to solve but I decided that that was not sufficient reason to demote an otherwise excellent ‘& lit,’ I was also not totally happy with Mr. Harry’s use of a = ana, ignoring the macron which it should carry. Since we habitually overlook such marks as the oblique stroke in c/o (= care of) and a/c (= account), with which also compare Mr. Franco’s use of this symbol, I was disposed to be generous. My usual thoughts on such occasions are: ‘What would the reaction be if I did that?’ I suspect it would be: ‘That’s stretching things a bit, but I understand it and it’s not really unfair.’
Two final points. The majority of those who expressed an opinion on hyphens and word lengths were in favour of no change. So let it be. Secondly despite the frustration many of you feel when the Observer Magazine is unobtainable, I am really not in a position to influence the paper’s policy of keeping my puzzles in the magazine rather than the newspaper. If you feel strongly about this, please write to the Editor, not to me.