AZED CROSSWORD 764
1. J. D. Moore: Rattle to make Mahler disc: might songs lamenting dead children be heard on it? (anag.; ref. Simon R., Kindertotenlieder).
2. D. V. Harry: O, this must make Melchior sad! (comp. anag. & lit.; must4 = frenzied; Magi indirectly caused Massacre of Innocents).
3. E. J. Burge: Having drunk mild, he’s with car – reminder of killer at Christmas-time needed (anag.; ref. drink drive campaigns).
VHC (extra prizes)
M. J. Balfour: It marks Herod’s claim to perdition, nothing less (anag. less 0, & lit.).
M. Barley: A doleful time after Christmas extravagantly rich meals’d give you (anag.).
E. A. Beaulah: Anniversary of the killing of a despot comes from Latin: March Ides (anag. incl. L).
R. E. Boot: Howsoever misled arch tyrant’s deed is remembered this day (anag.).
C. J. Brougham: With year shortly over, Herod’s capital crime sadly recollected (anag. incl. H less y, & lit.).
G. P. Conway: What represents Herod’s capital crime with lads all murdered? (anag. incl. H, & lit.).
A. G. Corrigan: Coming soon after Yuletide junket, another feast is almost disheartening: queasy dreams must surely follow (chil(l) + anag.).
R. A. England: Mid Rachel’s weeping originates this holy day (anag. & lit.; ref. Matt. 2, 18).
H. Freeman: Day of mourning foreshadowed ’mid Rachel’s tears (anag.; ref. Matt. 2, 18).
N. Gambier: Day of slaughter: none missed, claims Herod mistakenly (anag. less 0, & lit.).
R. R. Greenfield: From Herod’s fatal crimes comes this feast or spread (comp. anag. & lit.).
A. K. Gregory: Festival observed, as before, in recollection of heartless massacre (hild in anag. of mas(sa)cre, & lit.).
V. G. Henderson: Rachel’s dead I’m hailing (anag. & lit.; ref. Matt. 2, 18).
C. Loving: Rachel suffering from misdread – Bible’s connection is recalled for this (anag. less read2, & lit.; ref. Matt. 2, 18).
Dr R. Macgillivray: You get lots of cold skin when it’s close to New Year’s Eve (chil(l) derm as).
D. F. Manley: Church recollection of males rid (Ch. + anag., & lit.).
C. G. Millin: End of Christmas miracle totally heartless Herod ordered (anag. incl. s, H(ero)d, & lit.).
C. J. Morse: ‘This day is loveless Herod’s claim confounded (anag. less 0, & lit.).
F. R. Palmer: Day bound up with heartless one giving shivers to mothers (d in chi(l)ler + mas, & lit.).
D. Price Jones: Homicide (involving extermination of every second mite) in Israel is recollected in —— (comp. anag. incl. homicide less alternate letters, & lit.).
D. M. Stanford: Charles married Di on festive day when many tots were put away (anag. incl. m; on = tipsy).
A. W. Taylor: Herod’s claim to damnation love absent (anag. less 0, & lit.).
M. R. Weatherfield: No stable cradles him we mourn this day, mid Rachel’s tears (double anag., & lit.).
P. Young: Third day of cold turkey? Take in cooked sliced ham (r in anag.).
K. Aaronovich, W. G. Arnott, D. W. Arthur, I. W. Bayman, Mrs K. Bissett, Mrs A. Boyes, H. J. Bradbury, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, C. J. & M. P. Butler, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, M. Coates, Mrs D. M. Colley, Mrs M. P. Craine, Mrs C. Crawford, D. B. Cross, D. A. Crossland, C. Dall, W. Davies, N. C. Dexter, Sr Dilecta (Zarants, Spain), J. R. du Parcq, D. M. Duckworth, M. Eagle, C. M. Edmunds, T. J. M. Edmunds, A. S. Everest, C. J. Feetenby, M. B. Fisher, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. P. C. Forman, A. Freeman, F. D. Gardiner, D. Giles, N. C. Goddard, S. Goldie, Mrs K. Goodwin, B. Greer, P. W. Grimsey, J. F. Grimshaw, G. S. Halse, J. Harwood, P. A. Hay, P. F. Henderson, A. W. Hill, Miss S. R. Hill, S. Holgate, R. J. Hooper, W. Islip, W. Jackson, J. I. & B. C. James, Mrs N. Jarman, L. W. Jenkinson, M. S. Taylor & N. C. Johns, A. H. Jones, M. Jones, Mr & Mrs J. L. Kay, R. E. Kimmons, F. P. N. Lake, A. Lawrie, R. K. Lumsdon, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, L. K. Maltby, L. K. Maltby, H. W. Massingham, I. D. McDonald, J. F. McKee, J. J. Moore, T. J. Moorey, T. W. Mortimer, H. B. Morton, R. A. Mostyn, D. S. Nagle, R. F. Naish, F. E. Newlove, P. Newton, S. J. O’Boyle, Mrs E. M. Phair, R. Phillips, H. L. Rhodes, D. Riley, D. R. Robinson, B. Roe, T. E. Sanders, A. D. Scott, A. J. Shields, H. R. Simpson, W. K. M. Slimmings, C. Storey, F. B. Stubbs, J. B. Sweeting, G. A. Tomlinson, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs J. E. Townsend, A. J. Wardrop, J. F. N. Wedge, D. Williamson, W. Woodruff, and an unsigned entry ending ‘… I had merls sent’ (J. B. Widdowson?).
473 entries, very few mistakes. A stiff challenge for the holiday period, clearly, with a few complaints that it was too stiff, but most seem to have found it an enjoyable if protracted battle and worth persevering with. The extra task of having to identify the different clue types was possibly overdoing things but their symmetrical disposition must have helped. The tricky ones to place were obviously the misprints, wrong number and normal clues, and I slightly regret that the long down lights FEATHER-STAR and WISE-HEARTED ended up both misprinted where they intersected with WN lights. (I also failed to spot the alternative but nut really appropriate anagram WEATHER-SIDE that several of you pointed out.) Some of the Playfair clues were pretty testing too, I concede (e.g. SBIRRO), but with more than the average number to help you and a relatively easy code-word to deduce I still think that overall the puzzle was a fair test. The number of entries would seem to bear that out. Nobody complained about the one clue I felt stretched wording to its limits, the W.N. clue to ENTIRE with the concealed definition of SCOPAE (‘Stout tufts in tree’), which exploited the verbal sense of ‘tuft’ = ‘dislodge’. A fair anagram indicator? Your silence seems to have indicated acceptance, hut I remain uneasy.
It took me a lot of time to pick the best clues. Herod, loveless or otherwise, was top favourite with anagram-seekers, understandably, followed by Rachel bewailing her loss, and it was a matter of carefully picking clues with the best (i.e. least strained) wording. Messrs Moore and Harry were, I think, alone in spotting their anagrams and Mr Moore edged home on the strength of the witty play on ‘rattle’ and the happy (or unhappy) suggestion of ‘Kindertotenlieder’ in the definition part. But well done everyone who finished a really tough puzzle. I hope family relationships didn’t suffer too much in the process.
Sadly, another member of the Old Guard, D. P. M. (Parry) Michael, passed away just before Christmas. I don’t know when exactly he entered the lists (in both senses) but he always figured prominently and was an inveterate competitor. Like Ximenes he was a schoolmaster and a classicist and a crossword setter (Egma of The Listener) always signing his entries with the intimately scholarly ‘tuissimus’. I met him first at X’s 1,000th dinner, at which he was a speaker, and always enjoyed his company and his conversation. I’m sure I’m only one of many who will miss him. I still, as a dictionary-maker, smile at the recollection of his prize-winning clue to LEXICOGRAPHY for Ximenes: ‘What, if amiss, makes X go preachily potty?’
Finally my thanks, and those of my wife Alison, yet again for all the cards and Christmas greetings we received from Azed solvers. It is wonderfully reassuring to know that my efforts to divert and amuse are still so much appreciated. Onward, ever onward.