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1.  D. F. Manley: Perceive what is within you rather than one in brother (o for a in mate, & lit., ref. Luke 6:41).

2.  H. W. Massingham: Spin-off from edge of blade on a saw? (mot + e, & lit.).

3.  O. Greenwood: Flaring comet? Not a bit of it! We can barely see it! (anag. less c).


C. Allen Baker: What should be cast when May is out (2 mngs.; mote2; ref. Matthew 7:5).

W. G. Arnott: The very old may dribble (2 mngs; mote2).

M. Barley: In me you turn to must and some dust (to (rev.) in me, & lit.; mote1,2).

C. A. Clarke: Cause of contamination could be atomic pile that’s no longer in service (3 meanings).

N. C. Dexter: Last of the endless work with so many leaves, wheeling the old barrow (e tom(e) (rev.)).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: What could do for heap, vintage in the extreme? (MOT + e, & lit.).

R. J. Hooper: What means ‘tick’ as well as ‘mound (long unused)’? (mo + te(l), & lit.).

F. G. Illingworth: Cracking this may bring me to eminence – must, some time or other! (anag., mote3,2).

J. I. James: In past tense strike Scargill’s lead dropped, an irritating ‘one in the eye’ ((s)mote).

A. H. Jones: May, pristine: one supposes it might get up some poet’s nose! (comp. anag.).

M. D. Laws: What may be raised, if you’ve to poke around? ((pro)mote(d), & lit.).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Erratic comet returns this century – it’s hard to see with the naked eye! (comp. anag., mote1; returns = produces).

C. G. Millin: T. Meo’s miscued – a speck of chalk, perhaps (anag.; ref. Tony M., snooker player).

J. J. Moore: Bailey’s stonewalling impressed here, England’s opener and Graveney having been sent back (E + Tom (all rev.); mote3; ref. England cricketers).

C. J. Morse: Battered tome may come down from Shakespeare’s time (anag.; mote2; ref. current vogue for finding Shakespeareana).

R. F. Naish: E.g. Caesar’s words of love to wife without a stain ((a)mo te).

P. G. O’Gorman: Primitive tomb conceals it? Quite the reverse! (hidden rev., & lit.).

R. J. Palmer: May once trace earthwork initially (initial letters and 3 mngs.).

M. H. E. Watson: Take seconds of smoked cod – steak helping’s a very small portion (second letters).

J. F. N. Wedge: For leaves push an old barrow ((pro)mote).


F. D. H. Atkinson, R. L. Baker, E. A. Beaulah, Mrs K. Bissett, C. J. Brougham, E. J. Burge, C. J. & M. P. Butler, M. Clarke, Mrs D. M. Colley, Mrs M. P. Craine, A. L. Dennis, Dr V. G. I. Deshmukh, H. F. Dixon, P. Drummond, M. Earle, D. Godden, S. Goldie, J. F. Grimshaw, P. F. Henderson, W. Jackson, M. S. Taylor & N. C. Johns, G. Johnstone, F. P. N. Lake, A. Lawrie, J. P. Lester, H. R. Lockhart, R. K. Lumsdon, H. S. Mason, L. May, T. J. Moorey, T. W. Mortimer, R. A. Mostyn, D. S. Nagle, F. R. Palmer, B. A. Pike, D. R. Robinson, L. G. D. Sanders, W. J. M. Scotland, P. Thacker, Dr I. Torbe, J. Treleaven, Mrs E. K. Williams, M. G. Wilson.

344 entries, and quite a lot of mistakes. The 4-letter words caused the trouble, in particular WAST. NOT-I, TRIN and PALY, none of them very common, but all, as far as I can see, the only possible solutions to their respective clues. The trickiest of these was clearly ‘Form or art that’s past, rejected, obsolete ‘ for WAST, with references to both its senses in Chambers. Quite a lot had CAST, in addition to some wilder guesses, with thoughts presumably of works of art cast in bronze, etc, but there is nothing particularly ‘past’ about it and ‘form of art’ would be a somewhat inadequate definition in any case. The play on words using ‘art’ as the archaic second person singular of the present tense of ‘to be’ is one I have used before, and others before me (I forget who defined TEA-CHEST as ‘art master’ so brilliantly), so it’s worth watching out for. In general when solving short words in which there are possible alternatives for the unchecked letters, it is advisable to make quite sure you understand how your preferred choices fit the clues. In such cases I find it hard to resist choosing the obscurer word(s) (e.g. PALY not PALE or PALM), if only because I’ve probably clued the simpler words before. Finally let me say yet again to the minority who object that it is my policy to ignore hyphens for the purposes of indicating word length – so NOT-I is a four-letter word and will remain one.
MOTE came along just as one or two were showing signs of restlessness at the string of long clue-words. Its wide range of meanings made it a good choice even though many spoiled their chances with errors elsewhere as described above, so the lists of the successful are shorter than usual. There were plenty of references to Halley’s comet, often nicely linked to side-swipes at its near-invisibility to those not equipped with powerful telescopes. Biblical allusions to motes and beams were fewer and tended in any case to be rather obvious, with the exception of Mr Manley’s very neat ‘& lit.’ which contains just the right degree of cryptic-ness while remaining perfectly fair.


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