XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 490
CLEAR def. WEIGH
1. Mrs L. Jarman: After a hundred real jerks, no portion of me is thick (portion; C + anag.: soup).
2. D. P. M. Michael: It’s easy to tell De Gaulle’s for circumscribing the French (tell; le in car: car = for).
3. V. Jennings: After class, what you need to appreciate any kind of sound is—liquid! (appreciate; cl + ear).
C. Allen Baker: How to balance our account lay in the credit squeeze (balance; lea in cr: lea = lay).
J. W. Bates: Both sides of the Channel are in a bad way—that’s obvious! (way; C,l + anag.: weigh2).
C. M. Broun: The French must take refuge in old French general (not out!)—up-anchor and launch away, with perfect egality (up-anchor; le in Car(not)).
W. G. B. Filburn: It’s obvious. Raise the anchor to set free the ship (raise; 2 mngs.).
Mrs N. Fisher: Innocent Child’s Head severed By Father Whose Balance Was Disturbed (Balance; c + Lear).
F. D. Gardiner: The article lacks balance. Delete it and find something whose meaning is plain (balance; anag. of ar(ti)cle).
C. E. Gates: De Gaulle’s for getting round the French in an outspoken way (way; le in car).
E. Gomersall: Pay attention at the rear of the class! (rear; cl + ear).
H. T. E. Hone: Lacer (of drink in the Crown?) has lost his balance, that’s obvious (balance; anag., anag. of ale in cr.).
R. K. Lumsdon: It’s obvious what most teachers work for must show itself in a reduced bank balance! (balance; LEA in cr).
Mrs E. McFee: Earl lacking balance after the last of the Cognac gets bound over (balance; c + anag.).
Mrs M. Newell: It’s quite straightforward. Open, sell out, balance books, and go (balance; 5 mngs.).
M. Newman: Net profit plainly disclosed, with no guilty conscience? That’s how to balance accounts! (balance; 3 mngs.).
J. R. Scarr: It’s what initiates consider a great tragedy, without a single blemish (consider; c + Lear).
H. Walsham: Free lift for Mile Enders (lift; (Mi)le in car).
J. B. Widdowson: It’s plain the article has gone to press back to front, with the middle missing (press; transposition of ar(ti)cle).
J. S. Young: The sort of Test we must expect these days, where no name unknown appears, is obvious (test; nuclear less NU).
E. C. Bingham, R. N. Chignell, A. N. Clark, W. Darby, Cdr H. H. L. Dickson, E. N. Furse, K. Gibson, S. B. Green, P. P. Greenley, G. B. Hanna, J. A. Hyde, J. W. Jenkins, C. Kauffman, P. W. W. Leach, J. Mann, Mrs Meeres, C. J. Morse, F. E. Newlove, A. E. North, A. P. O’Leary, R. Postill, Maj J. N. Purdon, K. Reed, A. Robins, H. R. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, E. O. Seymour, W. K. M. Slimmings, L. T. Stokes, T. Strange, Miss D. W. Taylor, J. Thompson, A. F. Toms, A. D. Walker.
COMMENTS:—328 entries, 266 correct. The errors were nearly all “lonesome” for LONGSOME: this fails to account for “pine” in the clue. Many solvers referred to the (again quite unintentional) trap which led them to put NEGOTIATE in at 25 ac. (5 letters fitting and “change” as definition). I can well understand the perplexity this must have caused: I have always said that there is no need (even if there were inclination) for me to set deliberate traps! Anyway it would take too long! Congratulations to all those who battled successfully again with this difficult type, and I’m glad so many evidently enjoyed it. In making awards I tended to favour the simpler type of clue: extreme ingenuity, leading to difficulty, is out of place in this kind of puzzle, in which the idea provides extra difficulty already. The list of runners-up is shorter than usual because so many competitors failed to bring in the definition of WEIGH as a natural part of the clue to CLEAR: the idea demands this: it is inartistic, I think, for it to be too obviously dragged in. There was one very artful “lit.” clue which I reluctantly relegated to the Runners-up—“It’s obvious a hundred quid helps to keep one’s balance in this.” In the “lit.” sense “this” is the word “clear” i.e. “the clear”: that is perfectly sound. In the other sense CL is all right: then one has “helps to keep ones balance in this” indicating that there are canals in the inner ear which help one to keep one’s balance. But this involves making “this” refer to “ear” part only of the required word: that, I fear, can’t possibly be sound. Still, it’s a very ingenious effort.
Many thanks for appreciative comments and requests for more. You shall have a little more perhaps sooner than you think: but its type takes considerably longer to compose than any other. So I’m afraid I can’t promise frequency—no doubt there are those who will he relieved! There have also been requests for another “Playfair” which will be satisfied on July 13. These, I know are very popular with quite a lot of solvers, but I know also that here are many, especially among the very large body of non-competitors who can’t stand them. Majorities have to be remembered, and I’m sure once a year, at the most, is often enough.