XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 1062
1. A. Lawrie: I need rousin’ before end of big claw comes into play (callin’ (bi)g crab3 & lit.).
2. Sir S. Kaye: It’s a typical pincer movement, requiring craft to frustrate (calling crab3 & lit.).
3. J. A. Fincken: I can’t walk straight—I wave frantically—trying to get a taxi appears about right (r in calling cab).
J. A. Blair: Hailing taxi—circumventing the first in rank: a fiddler (r(ank) in calling cab).
A. L. Dennis: When in trouble this fiddler signals, declaring two aces (calling crab; crab = lowest throw at hazard, two aces, see under craps in C.).
N. C. Dexter: Something found in the sea with claw—one stunted oddly—on either side (ling in anag. of cla(w) + crab3 & lit.).
A. B. Gardner: It’s a job to foil a fiddler (calling crab3).
E. M. Hornby: I appear to bow and scrape: it’s the start of riches in a commissionaire’s job (r(iches) in calling cab; i.e. fiddler crab).
L. W. Jenkinson: Charles’s leading part in ragging the Master of Trinity—it seems to indicate a summons (C(harles) in calling Rab; ref. Rab Butler, Master of T. 1965-78; Prince C. at Trinity 1967-69).
P. W. W. Leach: Butler’s device meets demand for show about seaside performer unlikely to be dressed (calling c. Rab; ref. Rab B., “what the butler saw” machine, popular at seaside; device = motto; small crab not dressed).
L. F. Leason: King’s in transport after demanding playing of fiddler (calling + R in cab; ref. ‘Old King Cole’).
R. B. McCall: Crying “Two aces”, he waves his claw over the pool (calling crab; crab = lowest throw at hazard, two aces, see under craps in C.; ref. poker, etc.).
C. J. Morse: Fiddler’s reckoning to sidestep business depression (calling crab1, calling crab3).
Mrs E. Robson: Two aces found after demanding a show of hands—I’m the fiddler (calling crab; crab = lowest throw at hazard, two aces, see under craps in C.).
T. E. Sanders: Strand is where I’m seen waving—hailing taxi outside front of restaurant (r in calling cab; strand1 and London street).
Brig R. F. E. Stoney: Fiddler produces two aces after dropping cards (calling crab; crab = the lowest throw at hazard, two aces, see under craps in C.; calling-cards).
T. L. Strange: I flourish at the seaside: a visit’s oddly bracing (call + anag.).
Mrs D. M. Tait: How a slow taxi might have been described by Dr Spooner—one going sideways (i.e. ‘crawling cab’).
J. F. N. Wedge: Ball, racing madly after Cooper’s first cross, pinches one (C + anag.; cross = when cross: England footballers Alan B. and Terry C.).
R. H. Adey, F. D. H. Atkinson, C. Allen Baker, J. W. Bates, E. A. Beaulah, E. C. Bingham, R. S. Caffyn, J. G. Chilvers, A. E. Crow, J. Crowther, Mrs J. O. Fuller, J. Gill, N. C. Goddard, W. B. Gould, C. T. Hatten, D. Hawson, S. Holgate, Mrs L. Jarman, A. L. Jeffery, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, A. H. Jones, B. K. Kelly, R. E. Kimmons, J. R. Kirby, J. H. C. Leach, Mrs B. Lewis, C. J. M. Macdougall, H. W. Massingham, Mrs E. McFee, T. W. Melluish, J. P. Mernagh, D. P. M. Michael, T. K. Milsom, S. E. Morton, M. Newman, B. G. Palmer, F. R. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, Mrs N. Perry, D. C. Pleece, R. Postill, W. M. Reid, G. J. S. Ross, Miss A. Scrope, Mrs E. M. Simmonds, Sir W. Slimmings, S. Sondheim, T. A. J. Spencer, D. H. Tompsett, E. W. Webb, Maj T. A. Whitamore, G. D. Young.
COMMENTS:—Nearly 450 entries (less than half arrived before Saturday): very few mistakes. The entry was rather less interesting than usual to me because of the prevalence of the “bidding with two aces” idea. I have given mentions to some of those which had additional ingenious twists; clues which simply combined the idea with the definition “fiddler” were far too numerous to gain mentions. I am asked to explain my use of “castled” in the clue to 12 dn.: this is, to me, very familiar slang for “bowled” at cricket and also for “wrecked” in general. I haven’t much more of a general nature to add, except to point out that posting on Saturday in Britain, as several competitors did, is really rather pointless (see rules); that in view of the worsening, if anything, of the postal service it would be wise, as well as helpful to me, to post earlier if you reasonably can; and that I very much dislike the use of “note” as an indication of any letter from A to G, though it may be common in other crosswords. It seems to me vague and rather feeble; in time one might be reduced to “Washed out seven notes” as a clue to “effaced,” which would hardly be attractive.
The standard of clues quoted above is, I think, up to average but perhaps less brilliant than it is sometimes. To help those whose names don’t appear in the lists I’ll mention the following:—“Vocation of an ill-natured person”: no definition at all—this is always essential—and “of” is meaningless. Then came several unsound indications of initial and final letters: this remains terribly common. They are unsound simply because they don’t say what they mean:— “First concert” (C): “Red head” (R): “Roof first” (R): “Clubs boldly (at first)” (C, B): “Prolific finish” (C). Similar to these is “Bracing mixture” to indicate an anagram: I cannot accept that this means “mixture of bracing.” Indirect anagrams (of little use to a solver) still appear in spite of my frequent preaching, e.g. “Bring two lots of resin; mix well”: “lac” isn’t nearly well enough known. Much worse, though, is “The oven’s out of order” (calcar): how many solvers would find that helpful? Then there is the unfair “clue to a clue,” like “in the black market” as a definition. This is a clue to “fiddler” but definitely not to “calling-crab”; another similar one was “Nero”. Then “butler” with a small b is utterly unfair for “R.A.B.” And finally “C.O.D.” is not “cod” (ling). I hope these hints may help.