AZED CROSSWORD 857
REDCAP / NICETY
1. C. J. Morse: Refuse to salute and he’ll reprimand you with half-ironic yet misplaced delicacy (red4 cap; (iro)nic + anag.; ref. MP).
2. V. G. Henderson: Bogey or birdie? Woozy races first of putts in, yet clubs need adjustment – fine adjustment (anag. + p, 2 defs.; anag. incl. C; ref. Ian Woosnam).
3. L. J. Davenport: Ignore ‘Right & Left’, this refinement needs handling carefully as nitroglycerine – sort out what goes on top, it’s part of the charm! (comp. anag. incl. r l; red4 cap; charm2; ref. puzzle).
E. A. Beaulah: For a delicacy French resort to wings of turkey, bird being drenched initially in pickled caper (Nice + t, y; d in anag.).
E. J. Burge: ‘Duke’ in fluctuating race leading to President – one needing to work on platform, yet in forefront of cause for change, refinement (d in anag. + P; anag. incl. c; ref. Mike Dukakis).
B. Burton: Bird from charm school, having lost weight, receives diamonds (a hundred and one), diamonds in plenty (not half!) for ‘being nice’ (d C a in Rep(ton); ice in (ple)nty).
E. Chalkley: Discrimination, etc in Party finally abandoned – Russian, one with power, embraces Conservative MP (anag. incl. y; C in red a P).
R. Dean: M.P. presents Soviet/EEC policy with such precision, Russia’s leader leaves message of congratulation (red CAP.; nice t(R)y!).
N. C. Dexter: Refinement may be produced by tiny touches of cosmetics, and employing rouge to add the final touch – it’ll increase charm (anag. incl. c e; red cap; charm2).
H. Freeman: Ben, covered in shame: ‘I’m the flyer with the golden streaks, a distinction I lost after doping in Eastern city’ (red + cap; anag. incl. E less I; ref. B. Johnson).
R. R. Greenfield: Half jaunty about diamond finesse, kind of gremlin makes us carelessly drop ace, losing round (ice in (jau)nty; anag. less O; ref. bridge).
D. V. Harry: Johnson’s last one hundred ends in shame, defeat and ignominy – ‘that something extra’ embarrassed top flyer (n I C + e t y; i.e. red cap; ref. Ben J.).
P. F. Henderson: Display of precision in C (new edition thereof) – etymology (summary about origin of derivation), and help with handling, e.g., valise (U.S.) (anag. + ety.; d in recap).
J. C. Leyland: Careful choice in clubs in trap before end of fairway turns half decent par into birdie (i’ C in net + y; anag. incl. dec(ent)).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Good effort but no runs – distinction lacking as dropped international becomes baggage handler! (nice t(r)y; r(as)ed cap).
D. F. Manley: Socialist head may get the bird, yet in Conservative rally delicate management will become evident (red cap; anag. incl. C).
T. W. Mortimer: I too can make do and eat crop. A thistle seed’s my favourite delicacy, yet I can live without one (comp. anag.; anag. less a; live adj.).
D. S. Nagle: Disturbed New England city’s fastidiousness caught padre naughtily attendant on baggage in Boston (anag. incl. NE; anag. incl. c).
F. R. Palmer: M.P. embarrassed over better treatment of City with North East manifesting a measure of discrimination (red cap; anag. incl. NE; cap vb.).
D. Price Jones: Affected sincerity? No sir, delicacy. Here’s a copper to salute (anag. less sir; red cap, & lit.; red = cent).
Dr I. Torbe: Non-conforming padre and Conservative M. P. lambasted obscenity, sweeping aside objections, in fineness of feeling (anag. incl. C; anag. less obs.).
J. F. N. Wedge: Blushing top one of charm school etc in finale of beauty show of some delicacy (red cap; anag. + y; charm2).
F. D. H. Atkinson, M. Barley, L. Bennett, J. D. D. Blaikie, Mrs F. A. Blanchard, H. J. Bradbury, Mrs A. R. Bradford, C. J. Brougham, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. Buxton, C. A. Clarke, E. A. Clarke, G. P. Conway, K. W. Crawford, P. Drummond, Dr I. S. Fletcher, S. C. Ford, M. Freeman, F. D. Gardiner, S. Gaskell, C. P. Grant, J. F. Grimshaw, H. A. Hayes, R. J. Hooper, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, G. Johnstone, R. E. Kimmons, A. Lawrie, J. W. Leonard, C. J. Lowe, D. J. Mackay, H. S. Mason, H. W. Massingham, L. May, C. G. Millin, W. L. Miron, T. J. Moorey, R. F. Naish, F. E. Newlove, R. J. Palmer, S. L. Paton, G. Perry, H. L. Rhodes, D. R. Robinson, L. G. D. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, A. D. Scott, Dr W. I. D. Scott, A. J. Shields, W. K. M. Slimmings, D. M. Stanford, P. Thacker, D. H. Tompsett, L. Ward, Mrs M. P. Webber, M. Weeks, M. Whelan, D. Williamson, M. G. Wilson, W. Woodruff, Dr E. Young.
321 entries and no mistakes that I could spot. It was remiss of me not to indicate that SAIL ARM is a two-word compound (though, thinking about it, I suppose it might have been difficult to do this concisely without revealing the position of this answer in the diagram). No one commented on the two unch-less (i.e. completely checked) five-letter words in the grid, a minor flaw I decided was liveable-with (easier for you, too!). Interestingly I’ve found that in designing the grid for this variant of the ‘Right & Left’ puzzle type, with its central horizontal 13-letter single-clue word, it’s quite hard to avoid this while preserving the right balance of long and short words over-all, with a fair allotment of unches per word. I wonder why this should be. Also the number of vaguely appropriate 13-letter words (appropriacy being nice if not essential) seems limited. It took me a while to arrive at TRAMPOLINISTS.
The clue-words took some choosing too. I could see that NICETY might be a bit of a brute, but RED-CAP offered plenty of scope and a good variety of quite different meanings. The essence of a good double clue, in contrast to a merely pedestrian one, is, as I’ve observed before, arriving at a theme which can bridge the gap in meaning and form between the two unrelated words, and doing it in a way that effectively disguises the break between the two component clues. All too often competitors spoil their chances by making the break too obvious, by punctuation, etc, or worse by the insertion of linking verbiage which has no place in either clue. As in all clue-writing every word used must play a part in the cryptic or non-cryptic indication of the answer clued, or in both, never in neither, since this is unfairly misleading to the solver.
Finally, and briefly, a satisfying statistic: of the 22 clues quoted above, exactly half clue RED-CAP first and half NICETY.