XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 259
1. D. P. M. Michael (Whitchurch): What eases the strain and restores pep again? Spring (anag., 2 defs.; strain1 = flow of language).
2. B. J. Iliffe (Liverpool): There’s racking pain and anguish in a page written without it (anag. in anag., & lit.).
3. E. J. Rackham (Totton): Drink deep of this for inspiration: taking a little drink wiII only leave you with a vacant look! (i.e. A. less nip = agape; ref. A. Pope, “Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring”).
R. M. S. Cork (Cambridge): A fountain pen I redesigned with a gap that lets the ink flow freely (anag., 2 defs.).
H. H. Elliott (Dublin): Look to the Spring for restoration of pep again! (anag.).
D. J. Furley (New Barnet): Here’s an intoxicating drink; everything round it is bemused (nip in agape, & lit.).
S. Goldie (Enfield): Caused some choice language, this spring in Epping—backed new van into a roadman’s sign! (i.e. g of Epping (rev.) in AA; new van = first letter after reversal).
R. J. Hall (Redbourn): Here you could evoke a Shakespeare’s Muse, having swallowed the potent fluid (nip in agape; muse (Shakesp.) = wonder at (C.)).
D. E. Hodgson (Manchester): Well, just a quick one in parting; but not that ruddy Hippocrene this time (nip in agape (= parting); ref. H. fountain, sacred to Muses).
C. Koop (Ferring): I take a nip, a peg perhaps—when I’ve palpitations. (Well—of all the artful women!) (anag.; i.e. Muses).
C. J. Morse (SW1): As Pope says, something to drink in with wide-open mouth (nip in agape; ref. Alexander P., “Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring”).
H. S. Tribe (Sutton): Epping—A.A. detour: water rising, and may increase feet in depth (anag.; i.e. feet in poetic metre).
M. Woolf (N. Wembley): Well! What a big mouth to swallow such a little drink! (nip in a gape).
E. S. AinIey, Miss M. B. Ambrose, J. W. Bates, V. E. Brooke, C. M. Brown, Maj H. L. Carter, Rev B. Chapman, F. E. Dixon, W. J. Duffin, T. Dwyer, L. E. Eyres, Mrs N. Fisher, C. E. Gates, S. B. Green, Mrs L. Jarman, L. W. Jenkinson, W. I. N. Kessel, J. P. Lloyd, J. I. Mason, A. E. North, Mrs A. M. Osmond, E. G. Phillips, J. E. Povey, E. R. Prentice, Capt W. H. W. Ridley, A. Robins, W. K. M. Slimmings, O. Carlton Smith, J. F. N. Wedge, J. B. Widdowson, S. E. Wilson.
COMMENTS—245 entries. 171 correct. The puzzle was, perhaps. on the difficult side, especially for those who have not got the New Mid-Century Version of C. yet: and three clues caused trouble. Of the 74 incorrect solutions 45 contained “festival” (with PANTS correct), 15 contained “wants” (with AESTIVAL correct), 5 had both wrong. 9 had other mistakes (mostly failing to give GALE, which was also missed by some of the other 65). I’m afraid I just cannot sympathise with “festival”: the clue expressly rules it out by saying “the run of plays [festival] has a change of lead here”: this could hardly say more clearly that the first letter of “festival” must be changed: the definition of the word required is given by “In June, July and August.” It is quite impossible to take the whole clue as a “straight” definition: a festival cannot be defined as a run of plays which has a change of lead in summer. Mistakes will occur if clues are not read carefully. I have far more sympathy with “wants” at 13, but it isn’t sound: “to want” is “to long for,” and I can find no justification for “short” = “shortage” in C. But it is a nasty trap, which I hadn’t foreseen, and I think its advocates are unlucky, though not justified. The mistakes over GALE, which were not very numerous, were no doubt due to not spotting that “The Tempest” was a definition!
The lists are short this time: there were a good many clues that I nearly, but not quite, liked, and a large number of “gaping about pin-ups” and “pin-ups in love-feasts,” which seemed a little too obvious and, in the first case, too easy. A point about punctuation:—I’m not really strict about this, but there should, I think, be limits to the liberties taken. I like best a clue where no liberty is taken: I take myself, and allow others to take, the liberty of omitting natural punctuation and assuming a pause as one reads the clue: I don’t like much the inclusion of misleading punctuation for the sake of the misleading sense, and (I hope) I very seldom do it. Mr. Goldie’s very ingenious clue is, perhaps, a little too free under this heading, but it gets its place, for its ingenuity, in spite of it.
No: 258.—The answer to a few inquiries about ETHERCAP is:—Look up ETTERCAP in the New Mid-Century Version. Both are variants of ATTERCOP, a spider.