XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 302
1. V. F. Dixon: He had to ruin coat with foil or something similar, dividing it in two halves (mar tin (vb.), & lit.; ref. story of St. M. of Tours).
2. M. Winterbottom: Migration involves me—and I go (comp. anag. incl. I go, & lit.).
3. R. Postill: How would you change “cocktail” into “name given to male bird?” Well, do it! (i.e. remove tail of Martini; name given to male (and) bird).
E. S. Ainley: Swallow a cocktail? Not I! Gin and lime can be my ruin! (Martin(i); ref. Mediterranean practice of trapping songbirds with lime traps).
C. Allen Baker: Turns egg with beak (nit ram (rev.), & lit.).
J. W. Bates: After March it returns, and then nesting starts (Mar + it (rev.) + n(esting), & lit.).
C. M. Broun: He gave half a mantle, parting with no feeling of grief, perhaps, inside ((pa)rti(ng) in man(tle), & lit.; ref. story of St. M. of Tours).
E. J. Collman: It is back North after the beginning of May and the return of the sun (M(ay) + Ra (rev.) + it (rev.) + N, & lit.).
G. H. Dickson: If this flier has a breakdown, damage can result (mar tin).
F. E. Dixon: Swallow the drink, not I, it’s Antrim blended! (Martin(i), anag.; ref. blended whiskey of NI).
S. Goldie: Swallow a cocktail? Not I—Black-and-White if it’s on the house (Martin(i); colour of house martin, B&W whisky).
J. A. Maxtone Graham: Monkey about with money? Not me! (ram (rev.) + tin, & lit.; ref. Martins Bank).
C. R. Haigh: Bird with an inverted beak and tail of shortened spike form (ram (rev.) + tin(e)).
A. D. Legge: Tours his diocese—an eavesdropper, maybe (2 mngs.; St. M. of Tours; nesting in eaves).
F. McNeill: Take in early morning. Swallow whole (r in matin (Shakesp.)).
D. P. M. Michael: Member of family of noted bankers? Spot cash with skill in half a minute! (mar tin, art in min(ute); ref. Martins Bank).
J. J. Moore: After March it comes back North (Mar + it (rev.) + N, & lit.).
C. J. Morse: The entertaining Dean—Swift might be called that by a superficial observer (2 mngs.; ref. Dean M. and Dean (Jonathan) S.; swift similar to martin).
D. A. Nicholls: Who’d be blessed with his summer damp and autumnal? I’m about ready to quit this country! (2 mngs.; St. M.’s Summer: “a season of mild damp weather in late autumn” (Webster); migration).
T. D. J. O’Connor: Some bird! Free he won’t breed: give him a licence and he’ll go on multiplying (i.e. freemartin, martingale).
K. Perry: System of doubling stakes when losing holds no excitement for Americans, but I enjoy a flutter! (martin(gale); gale = a state of excitement (US)).
E. J. Rackham: From one of the planets drops a flying visitor (Marti(a)n).
A. Robins: I come in early or late summer, right in the middle of the wet stuff: if I came later, it might be dry! (rt. in main, martin(i)).
T. E. Sanders: Monkey about with money? Not in my business! (ram (rev.) + tin; ref. Martins Bank).
E. W. Steel: Change here for non-stop 10.00 train now departing for the south, returning by air 4.55 (anag. incl. M; i.e. 10.00 less stop = 1000; birds migrating in Sep 1954 return in Apr 1955).
I. Young: Damage can result from this eavesdropper! (mar tin; nesting in eaves).
Dr S. H. Atkins, J. M. Beaton, Mrs R. M. Blake, V. E. Brooke, E. M. Brown, C. O. Butcher, A. N. Clark, B. G. H. Clegg, P. M. Coombs, C. R. Dean, Cdr H. H. L. Dickson, W. J. Duffin, L. E. Eyres, E. J. Fincham, J. A. Fincken, M. S. Y. Fowler, M. Freeland, C. E. Gates, J. Gill, A. S. Green, T. E. Hendrie, Rev K. E. Hood, M. J. Jones, Very Rev N. M. Kennaby, C. Koop, C. J. Lowe, R. C. Macfarlane, A. W. Maddocks, H. S. Mason, E. L. Mellersh, T. W. Melluish, W. L. Miron, D. Murray, F. E. Newlove, Mrs A. M. Osmond, J. W. Parr, E. R. Prentice, Maj J. N. Purdon, D. Raper, P. J. Reardon, C. Rosebourne, W. K. M. Slimmings, Miss R. E. Speight, G. Stanhope-Lovell, L. T. Stokes, J. B. Sykes, Miss A. C. Tatham, Miss D. W. Taylor, P. H. Taylor, P. W. Thacker, D. G. Thomas, L. E. Thomas, Capt C. Tyers, L. K. Upton, F. L. Usher, S. W. Walker, J. F. N. Wedge, J. S. Young.
COMMENTS—387 entries, 297 correct: a big crop of mistakes in the bottom half, spread fairly evenly between ERRUA (in spite of an obvious subsidiary clue), ATTICISMS (in spite of a subsidiary clue to “-isms” expressly worded to rule out “-ists”), ALBA (Albi, besides having no connection with Romulus, makes a somewhat irregular fanciful plural to album!), and LAIGH (the variant “laich,” besides not being in C., is ruled out by the subsidiary clue to “’igh”). It almost pains me when subsidiary clues, carefully worded to guide solvers away from alternatives, are spurned! Several solvers enquired about Errua, whom I found in Brewer’s Reader’s Handbook, a useful work to which I sometimes turn when in difficulties: no doubt many solvers haven’t access to it, but it was really quite unnecessary—go astray err, au = gold.
A nice, easy word produced an array of good clues—“Swallow a cocktail? Not I!” was far too common, neat as it is, to rise higher than an R.U. without something to give it extra distinction. There were some good “& lit.” clues: may I ask solvers again to study these, observe that they really are “& lit.”—i.e. the whole clue is a definition of “Martin” or “martin,” besides referring to its parts, and not to label “& lit.” clues which are not of this nature, as so many still do? There were many unsound clues—no definition, redundant words, “I am” or “I do something” when “I” is the letter “I,” obscure indirect anagrams and unindicated anagrams, omission of essential capital letters, etc. There is no room for examples this time. But in spite of these the proportion of sound clues is much higher than it used to be.
Finally a request—it does help if solvers, unless they really want to cogitate till Friday, post their entries early. Thank you!