AZED CROSSWORD 718
1. S. Holgate: Batting collapse – power missing at the crease (flo(p) in).
2. A. D. Scott: Orbilius’s answer if no learner shaped (anag. incl. L; ref. Horace’s ‘flogger’).
3. M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Six from Quelch? Fat Owl’s in squirms when swishing taws is rested (comp. anag.; ref. B. Bunter).
S. Armstrong: What becomes tart, if French law rather than English is used? Chastisement! (loi for law in flawn).
D. Ashcroft: Whacking try if threequarters only carelessly tackled! (if onl(y) anag.).
M. Barley: Wapping: where info’s processed with minimum of labour (anag. incl. l).
E. A. Beaulah: Almost total collapse at the wicket is what tourists are likely to experience (flo(p) in; ref. current cricket tours and souvenir vendors).
Mrs F. A. Blanchard: Warm with tingling glow perhaps following (comp. anag.; warm n. = a beating).
C. J. Brougham: Length in a swordthrust, a requisite for fencing (l in foin; i.e. illegal selling/buying).
Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Selling Plate is entered by starters on long odds (l, o in fin).
Mrs D. M. Colley: Punishment given by foreign law for one in ‘cooler’ (loi for a in fan).
D. A. Crossland: If Leon (after first of embarrassing leaks) has proved deceitful, there should be harsh punishment (anag. less e; ref. L. Brittan).
P. F. Henderson: Wapping factory’s opening areas of new production (though Sun doesn’t appear) (f + loin(S)).
R. J. Hooper: Aim of drummers in LPO: loud, not soft, playing (f for p in anag.; drummer = commercial traveller).
E. Hornby: A foot applied to backside is what the lazy schoolboy should get (f + loin).
M. D. Laws: Whereby to make a couple of bob, if short of a bit of readies? (flo(r)in, & lit.).
F. E. Newlove: For a good hiding place see inside cod-piece! (lo in fin).
F. R. Palmer: Use of ad with this to get rid of stuff, a dubious sales activity (flo in of ad = off load).
Dr W. I. D. Scott: Some force applied to lower back, with added glow following spasmodically (comp. anag.).
D. P. Shenkin: Fine reins, no use for dead horse (f loin).
F. B. Stubbs: Heading for fence, taking bits of loot once illegally nicked (first letters & lit.).
M. R. Wetherfield: Here’s a strapping hindquarter of beef, cut from the back! (f + loin).
R. J. Whale: Wapping strikes? Potential of nil! (anag.).
W. G. Arnott, D. W. Arthur, R. L. Baker, M. Barker, M. Barnes, A. G. Bogie, R. Brain, C. I. Bullock, E. Chalkley, B. E. Chamberlain, C. A. Clarke, R. V. Dearden, N. C. Dexter, S. Ellis, C. J. Feetenby, P. G. W. Glare, N. C. Goddard, H. J. Godwin, S. Goldie, R. R. Greenfield, J. F. Grimshaw, Mrs K. M. Harre, A. H. Jones, F. P. N. Lake, H. R. Lockhart, C. J. Lowe, S. G. G. MacDonald, Rev W. P. Manahan, D. F. Manley, H. W. Massingham, L. May, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, C. J. Morse, H. B. Morton, R. A. Mostyn, A. J. Odber, P. G. O’Gorman, R. J. Palmer, Mrs E. M. Phair, B. A. Pike, Mrs A. Price, R. F. Ray, D. R. Robinson, Mrs E. J. Shields, K. Short, J. B. Sweeting, P. Thacker, T. R. Theakston, D. H. Tompsett, A. J. Wardrop, M. H. E. Watson, M. G. Wilson.
361 entries, about 50 of which were flawed by mistakes in the diagram, mostly with INAPTI(A)TUDE for INEPTI(A)TUDE, a few with AN(E)STH(E)SIA for CO(E)N(E)STH(E)SIA. The latter was clearly wrong because there had to be 3 latent E’s and I would never have allowed myself a clue to N(A)EDDY that ignored the Scottishness of NA. The former can only have been guesswork or failure to understand the clue: ‘a wee bittie gym taken up’ couldn’t satisfactorily yield -APTIAT- but as a clue to TAIT PE (rev.) it seems quite fair and sound. The other general mistake involved failure to spot the word I wanted you to clue. About 20 of you went for either NOWADAYS (which isn’t in the quotation at all) or FORMERLY (which is in the part of it not included in the puzzle). My instructions were (had to be) pretty detailed but re-reading them I really don’t think they are ambiguous. The relevance of the quotation to the ‘give and take’ theme was pretty tenuous, I admit, but complete appropriateness was unimportant and as an example of Johnsonian wit it was too good to resist. I have a vague recollection of seeing it used before in a crossword context – can anyone remember where and by whom?
There were many appreciative comments on what seems to have been a tough but enjoyable challenge. Actually, completion of the diagram (once an appropriate quotation has been found) is easier than in the more traditional ‘Letters Latent’ puzzle, as I’ve said before. The freedom to place an (albeit prescribed) extra letter anywhere in each down word, providing it’s checked, allows considerable manoeuvrability, though I regard it as incumbent on the setter to word clues for such entries in a way that indicates the position of the extra letters in most cases (i.e. not too many anagrams!).
As for clues submitted, the commonest ideas by far were florin without the r and variations on the ‘force applied to back’ theme, with good ‘& lit.’ connotations. Both were just too popular to make the top honours, unfortunately. ‘Wapping’ as a synonym for ‘flogging’ with its topical implications was very neat but not that easy to combine with a good subsidiary clue without contrived wording.
A couple of final points, prompted by comments received. ‘Orcadian’cannot apply to the Shetlands and so was inappropriate in my clue to (L)ANGSPE(L) – sorry. Then a query about clue-words which don’t actually appear in the puzzle diagram – can they be clued as if they are either across or down words? The Crossword Club rules are tolerant on this point, largely I imagine because its clue-writing competition words never feature in actual crosswords, but my own feeling is that, the normal manifestation of words being horizontal, this is the way in which they should be seen, unless their vertical deployment as a down word over-rides this. As for other arrangements, e.g. circular as in ‘Eightsome Reels’, I’d prefer such words to be seen as uncoiled and laid flat, left to right. OK?