XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 486
1. H. Walsham: Strong material one might put behind where the elbows bend (bar a can, & lit.; i.e. bar in a pub).
2. V. Jennings: Camelot of old, Arthur’s capital, in support of fair sex, would need keep for preservation! (A in bra + can; can (vb.) = preserve; camelot2).
3. W. K. M. Slimmings: A good summer in store? You might still see me in the old overcoat (a CA in barn; summer = one who sums).
Maj P. S. Baines: Butler returns with a tankard of old—good strong stuff! (RAB (rev.) a can; ref. R. A. Butler, politician).
C. Allen Baker: For strong stuff there’s only one May. What a summer in store! (bar a can, a CA in barn; bar (prep.) = except, only; ref. Peter May, test cricketer; summer = one who sums [see comments]).
V. E. Brooke: Broadcloth as robust as camlet: Arabic name initially (initial letters & lit.).
C. O. Butcher: Strip (nearly nude)—one can let go in a rowdy dance once drapery is out of the way! (bar(e) a can(-can); out of the way = rare).
Sgt J. Dromey: In the strike a bus backsliding could lead to the old rough stuff (a car in nab (all rev.); nab2 = strike of a lock; ref. London bus strike, 1958).
Mrs N. Fisher: Producing such strong stuff is useless with a censor about! (raca in ban).
J. Gill: It’s antiquated, and rather suggestive of the hair-shirt, to obstruct a dance half way through (bar a can(-can)).
S. Goldie: It took a real jerker to get me in tears—“The Waif’s Return” has the power! (Arab (rev.) can).
A. Lawrie: An old-fashioned bit of stuff showing great resistance may be a hindrance to a half-abandoned dance (bar a can(-can)).
C. J. Lowe: Almost naked, a naughty dance—not half! Strong stuff for old ’uns! (bar(e) a can(-can)).
T. W. Melluish: Once past the church, get out the stuff in a heap at the back of the charabanc—it’s stout! (anag. less Ch.).
C. J. Morse: It takes a really reactionary bedouin to preserve this old camel-cloth! (Arab (rev.) can, & lit.).
M. Newman: Stoppage involving a transport organisation suggests what passengers must surmount when drivers get the hump (a RAC in ban; i.e. camel drivers & passengers; ref. London bus strike, 1958).
R. Postill: Nap selection for a dead snip? There’s a horse to back; 100/1 on! (Arab (rev.) + C + an; nap2; dead = obs., snip = tailor).
J. W. Taylor: It was strong stuff—there’s one of the chaps who made it coming back half canned! (Arab (rev.) + can(ned)).
D. H. Tompsett: I had the semblance of Camelot: the interdict led to a final vessel for me (bar a can; Tennyson, ‘The Lady of Shalott’).
R. B. Allnutt, J. K. Anderson, J. W. Bates, C. B. Broun, R. S. Caffyn, P. R. Clemow, P. M. Coombs, M. C. Copeman, Mrs D. M. D’Eath, J. K. D’Eath, L. E. Eyres, Miss M. W. Fielden, J. A. Flood, K. Gibson, Maj A. H. Giles, E. Gomersall, S. B. Green, D. S. M. Imrie, Capt G. Langham, P. W. W. Leach, Miss S. Legge, H. Lyon, Mrs E. McFee, E. L. Mellersh, W. L. Miron, P. H. Morgan, K. Neale, T. N. Nesbitt, D. A. Nicholls, B. Noble, H. C. S. Perry, E. G. Phillips, G. H. Ravenor, M. C. C. Rich, A. Robins, E. O. Seymour, D. G. Thomas, L. E. Thomas, Capt C. Tyers, A. D. Walker, A. J. M. Watt, R. T. Wilson.
Honours List for 13 Competitions:—1. R. Postill (2 prizes, 9 H.C.s); 2. C. Allen Baker (2, 6); 3. C. J. Morse (0, 9); 4. Mrs N. Fisher (2, 3); 5. C. R. Dean, V. Jennings (2, 2). D. A. Nicolls (1, 4), Miss D. W. Taylor (0, 6); 9. H. S. Tribe (2, 1), R. N. Chignell, S. Goldie, S. B. Green, F. B. Stubbs (1, 3); 14. J. A. Fincken (2, 0), E. Gomersall, T. W. Melluish, F, E. Newlove, A. Robins, A. J. Young (1, 2), J. W. Bates, J. Gill, T. E. Sanders, Mrs E. M. Simmonds (0, 4).
Consolation prizes:—C. J. Morse, Miss D. W. Taylor.
Total different prize-winners to date:—330. Total different prizewinners and/or H.C.s.:—1,147.
COMMENTS:—328 entries, 246 correct—the first big crop of errors for some time. The biggest cause of trouble was BENE (Benedick less dick): a not very laborious search, when “bede” failed to satisfy the clue, would perhaps have presented this. OMAN, though its clue seemed to me far from obscure, was another stumbling-block. I can never guess what is going to cause trouble or why! I must apologise for a stupid mistake, which I introduced to the clue to RICKSHAW in making an alteration for the sake of brevity. I originally wrote “A two-wheeled vehicle puts a strain on undersized wood.”: I then, on the proof, altered “puts a strain on” into “strains,” without observing that I now had a clue to “ricks-shaw.” Only two solvers indicated that they had noticed it, one of them, I regret to say, an old pupil of mine! That’ll teach me! I must also confess that the clue to SENS in “Carte Blanche” was somewhat suspect: the New Version says the plural is SEN. My plea is that “sen” may be like “pence,” “sens” like “pennies.” Not very good? Perhaps not: anyway, I’ve owned up!
Turning to this month’s competition clues, I stretched a point here and there for the sake of ingenuity in awarding H.C.s. I don’t really like Mr. Allen Baker’s capital M: I allow some licence in the use of gratuitous capitals—though never in the suppression of necessary ones—but this is a rather extreme example. I suppose he might quote: “Come, mighty Must, inevitable Shall” from “Princess Ida”! I should have liked to remove Mrs Fisher’s “a” before “censor,” which she uses as a verb. And a rare word calls really for an easier definition, I think, than those of Messrs. Butcher, Newman and Postill. But in all these cases the flaws are small ones in otherwise excellent and entertaining clues.
Congratulations to all those in the “Honours List” and to Mr Postill especially on his “Championship.” Mr Morse has been as consistently sound and neat, month after month, as ever, with his 9 H.C.s: somehow he hasn’t quite rung the prize bell lately. Mr Allen Baker has been in good form, and Mrs Fisher is clearly leading lady. I have a strong feeling, on glancing through old slips, that this has been the best year ever.