XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 304
1. C. R. Malcolm: Borders round an old house, coming to glory in July (an in orles; ref. July Monarchy, Louis Philippe, Orléanist Party).
2. J. F. N. Wedge: New down in Dixie—“The Cotton-wool Rag”! (2 mngs.; New Orleans).
3. Mrs N. Fisher: The globe Stevenson travelled around to produce material (O + ean in R.L.S; travel = send on a journey; ref. Robert Louis S. as travel writer).
C. Allen Baker: Bottom’s kind of work—supplying endless tailors including Starveling (lean in (tail)ors; ref. Nick B. (weaver) and Robin S. (tailor) in M.N.D.; see starveling (adj.) in C.).
R. N. Chignell: Victory for French Girl Champion. Cotton worsted interlocking (2 mngs.; ref. Joan of Arc, Siege of Orléans, and Henry C., golfer).
G. N. Coulter: Where a series of charges round the perimeter were arranged by one small saint—and still are (orle an S.; ref. Joan of Arc, Siege of Orléans, and J. of A. Festival).
Cdr H. H. L. Dickson: The Germans attacked it in 1870, so the French ran in disorder (anag. incl. le; ref. Franco-Prussian War).
J. H. Dingwall: Family with monarchic aspirations—though they had no valid reason for circumventing the sovereign (L in anag.; ref. House of Orleans).
Brig W. E. Duncan: Cotton-wool, carried by a brave girl among the ruins of Salerno (anag., 2 defs.; ref. Joan of Arc and Allied invasion of Italy, 1943).
C. E. Gates: I am involved in a series of charges to which there is no complete answer—so was my maid! (orle ans(wer); ref. trial of Joan of Arc, Maid of O.).
C. J. Lowe: Never completely worsted, the Arsenal lost its head and panicked against the finish of Dynamo ((Dynam)o + anag. of (A)rsenal; A. beaten 5-0 by Moscow D., Oct 1954).
C. J. Morse: Where we set rings round the outside of ancient defences to coop up the French for a year (an (Fr.) in orles, & lit.; ref. Siege of Orléans).
D. A. Nicholls: Sound French jean, dark, for my maid—that’s the stuff! (i.e. ‘Jeanne d’Arc’, Maid of O.).
E. O. Seymour: A French entry for the Coronation Stakes? That’s not a good reason for the investment of a pound (L in anag.; ref. Louis Phillipe, House of O.).
Mrs E. M. Simmonds: My maid had a number of charges to answer—so have I (orle ans.; ref. trial of Joan of Arc, Maid of O.).
S. W. Walker: Cloth of gold, field not specified, somewhere in France (or lea n/s; ref. ‘Field of C. of G.’ in Normandy, 1520).
H. Walsham: Merino wool picks and cotton ends are used in making this cloth (anag. of last letters + are, & lit.).
M. Woolf: Town with the ill-fated Sorel an inhabitant (anag. & lit.; ref. Agnès S., mistress of Charles VII).
D. B. Abbott, R. B. Adcock, E. S. Ainley, Maj P. S. Baines, R. Baxter-Phillips, E. A. Beaulah, C. M. Broun, Mrs Caithness, D. L. L. Clarke, E. J. Collman, Mrs D. M. D’Eath, H. L. Ford, Mrs J. O. Fuller, E. Gomersall, R. McD. Graham, S. B. Green, G. M. Gwynn, J. G. Hancock, L. R. Huxtable, Sir P. Laird, M. H. Laxton, H. Lyon, F. McNeil, T. W. Melluish, D. P. M. Michael, J. J. Moore, Sgt L. W. G. Oxley, J. A. Plowman, R. Postill, E. R. Prentice, S. E. Quincey, G. H. Ravenor, Capt W. H. W. Ridley, A. Robins, T. E. Sanders, J. Saunders, B. W. Sayer, W. I. D. Scott, W. K. M. Slimmings, J. B. Sykes, P. W. Thacker, H. S. Tribe, G. H. Willett, S. E. Wilson, J. S. Young.
COMMENTS:—401 entries, 271 correct. Almost the only error was “irrigate,” but that one took a terrible toll! I have compared its possibilities with the clue carefully, and the best I can do for it is to make it a sound answer to “Wash everything (out?), peeved about score.” But the clue given was “Wash everything out at Troon, peeved about member’s score,” and the answer must account for the whole clue. To irrigate might just be to wash out, but it is not Scottish: rig may be a score in the sense of a practical joke, but that isn’t Scottish either (as a member of Troon is at least likely to be) nor, as far I can see, has it anything to do with any other sense of “member’s.” IRRITATE, on the other hand, does mean to wash out (annul), is Scottish in this sense, and shows RIT, a Scottish word meaning score, in IRATE. Once again it was a matter of not being too easily satisfied with a superficially possible solution: commiserations to the many who fell.
The clues sent in were well up to standard. I will take the opportunity this week to illustrate a very involved kind of unsoundness which appears from time to time, generally, I think, from newcomers whose object is at all costs to be recondite: they achieve it at the cost of principles which I regard as inviolable, and also, I’m afraid, sometimes without producing a clue of much intrinsic interest. (1) “Was its young skate confused about drawing-room, or merely combusted?” (maid = young skate, re salon anag.). “Young skate” is a clue to a clue and therefore unsound: St. Joan was not a young skate! The anagram, indirectly indicated, is quite pointlessly obscure, and in any case it is an anag. of Orleans, whereas the clue suggests that it is an anag. of the young skate! (2) “From here the soundly made mimic escapes from crashing aeroplanes perhaps before his inclinations are revealed.” (made, maid: anag. of aeroplanes minus ape: or-leans). The definition might pass with a big shove: the anag. is a rather dull piece of complexity: in the last part the word “his” is unjustified—whose? No-one’s, in the sense the solver is meant to get out of the clue. Finally, neither of these clues produces a coherent or interesting picture. These criticisms are not meant to be damping, but to encourage accuracy and a reasonable measure of simplicity in newcomers, whom we welcome, and who are often successful after remarkably little experience.