< Slip No. 627 View the clue list Slip No. 635 >



1.  T. E. Sanders: Engrave ringlet for couple getting engaged (inter lock; engrave2).

2.  D. F. Manley: It must work or cine-talk’s… a second out? (anag. less a s, & lit.; see Webster for specific meaning of interlock n.).

3.  V. G. Henderson: —— with Wise? There could be nowt like Eric’s (comp. anag. & lit.: ref. E. Morecambe).


K. Aaronovich: Knit or lace together without a cleft? (anag. less a, & lit.).

Rev Canon C. M. Broun: … or link, etc, tightly (anag. & lit.).

J. Bunnell: Connect, combine or link, etc. (anag.).

E. J. Burge: Engage Rentokil (with treatment) to contain first sign of Coniophora (C in anag.; ref. fungus producing wood rot).

N. C. Dexter: Synchromesh e.g. of car like Citroen that’s eliminated grinding (anag. less i.e., & lit.?).

P. Drummond: Connect for working together, etc, or link otherwise (anag.).

O. M. Ellis: To connect together or link etc tight (anag.).

J. F. Grimshaw: Buckle or link etc.? (anag. & lit.).

G. Johnstone: Engage Rentokil: ‘See to rot’ (anag. incl. C).

B. K. Kelly: Connect together or link, etc, maybe (anag.).

C. W. Laxton: Feature of the much publicised ‘Rings’ that does Tolkien little credit (anag. incl. cr; ref. Olympic Games symbol).

P. W. W. Leach: Twist or link etc. together (anag.).

L. K. Maltby: Connect, assemble or link, etc. (anag.).

R. J. Palmer: Splice or link etc. (anag. & lit.).

Mrs A. G. Phillips: To clasp together, connect roughly or link, etc. (anag.).

D. R. Robinson: Couple, splice, entangle or link etc. (anag.).

J. H. Russell: Engage clerk to move home providing van (in + anag.; van2 = front).

W. K. M. Slimmings: What zip should do? (Embarrassing for clerk, if not, with fly’s opening!) (comp. anag. incl. f).

K. Thomas: What change-ringer does with co-tinkler (anag. & lit.).

M. H. E. Watson: To neck with flirt (peeled) without restraint? (anag. incl. (f)lir(t), & lit.).


C. Allen Baker, M. Barley, E. A. Beaulah, F. Benson, Mrs K. Bissett, J. M. Brown, R. S. Caffyn, C. A. Clarke, A. J. Crow, G. Cuthbert, L. Davenport, Dr I. S. Fletcher, N. C. Goddard, D. V. Harry, A. W. Hill, F. P. N. Lake, A. Lawrie, J. C. Leyland, J. D. Lockett, C. J. Lowe, Rev W. P. Manahan, D. P. M. Michael, Dr E. J. Miller, J. H. Moore, T. J. Moorey, F. Moss, D. S. Nagle, R. O’Donoghue, J. F. Reay, Dr J. D. Renwick, B. Roe, W. J. M. Scotland, D. M. Stanford, R. J. Whale, G. H. Willett.

A very disappointing entry – barely 200 in all, with a handful of mistakes. The puzzle was on the tough side, but not that difficult, I thought.
I can see however that I didn’t make things any easier by a number of shameful laxities of cluing, notable in my PERE clue where ‘per’ was defined as ‘for’ which is clearly not the same as ‘for each/every/a’. The FRASS clue also caused more problems than I’d intended. I didn’t pause long enough over Fr = Friar = Brother and possibly should have been more self-critical. It still strikes me as acceptable, but if I’d noticed the possible ambiguity with Br I’d probably have reworked the whole clue. Then there was ABEIGH which doesn’t sound like ‘a bay’ and the fact that fire-irons only support dogs in the sense of being found close to them. Altogether a bit of an off week, for which I am duly repentant. But I still wonder why the entry was so small.
I had hoped for better things from INTERLOCK, with its crossword connotations and its noun/verb alternatives. As one competitor pointed out it would have made a good Playfair codeword. Indeed Ximenes used it in what he called ‘Playfair Pairs’ (No. 96 in 1949) and I now see he described it as ‘an uninspiring word’. Certainly the range of ideas (though different, mostly, from that earlier occasion) was not very wide. The ‘anag. & lit.’ which recurs in a variety of wording above was certainly neat and not too popular. Mr Sanders’s effort appealed to me most because of its deceptive simplicity and the cunning ambiguity of its first two words. I gave Mr Thomas the benefit of the doubt in that if the answer is seen as requiring INTERLOCK (verb), INTERLOCKS would be more natural, whereas it would be just possible to talk of a bell-ringer ‘doing an interlock’ with his mate.
I’m pleased to announce that all prizes will be going up in July. For competition puzzles, book tokens will be worth £20, £15 and £12, for prize puzzles £12; and annual consolation prizes will be £12.


The Azed Cup

Dr S. J. Shaw wins First Prize in competition 2517.


Working on ancient codex thus could give one identical Romanic text

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Third prize winner by P. Drummond in competition 805