XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 508
1. B. G. Palmer (Saffron Walden): Do you know the holder of the “Bun Record” Mug? The (White) Elephant! (anag.).
2. Mrs J. Robertson (Braunton): It’s useless to trouble with foundation—get in the way of being reduced to powder (cumber ground in 2 senses each).
3. Miss D. W. Taylor (Worthing): Clog having been worn down at the mill, I’m bootless (cumber ground).
C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): A white elephant is that on which something may be raised only after considerable trouble (cumber + ground).
Lt Col P. S. Baines (Chatham): “It’s not worth a fig.” The Physician is mentioned in the hint. Take it! Then the derivation is apparent! (MB in cue + r + ground; Chambers def. refers to Luke 13.7, “why cumbereth it the ground” (KJV)).
C. O. Butcher (E4): Being a vain piece of goods, I prefer the extravagant Mr. Cube to granulated! (anag. + ground; ref. trademark of sugar cubes).
R. N. Chignell (SW19): This was no good for fruit but a change of soil would make it a good place for climbers (ground for land in Cumberland; ref. Luke 13.7).
Miss S. Dorrington (Bristol): Don’t miss “White Elephant,” with classical and matchless Ingrid! Curvaceous! (cum (L.) + Berg(man) + round).
F. H. W. Hawes (Dagenham): Take a short cut with modern grub—throw it into the rubbish! (cu(t) + anag.; throw = twist together).
Mrs E. McFee (Rhos-on-Sea): Doctor gets taken in by phoney drug—no cure: it’s absolutely useless (MB in anag.).
D. P. M. Michael (Whitchurch): How Macbeth saw Duncan’s heir—similar end devised for him! (i.e. ground for land in Cumberland; ref. Macbeth I.4).
C. J. Morse (SW10): The twisted curmudgeon with heart of marble is no use to anyone (anag. incl. (ma)rb(le)).
E. R. Prentice (Clifton): This might he a vegetable that’s been cropped, left lying on the soil ((cu)cumber + ground, & lit.).
E. O. Seymour (Gerrards Cross): When a poor mug gets landed with a bouncer, that’s rotten—the letters R. D. make the thing useless (anag. of mug bouncer RD; i.e. bounced cheque).
W. K. M. Slimmings (New Malden): It’s no use a doctor being involved in a cure bedevilled by what a crank’s operation did (MB in anag. + ground).
J. B. Widdowson (Worcester): Copper medal with former royal cipher inscribed in circle has no cash value (Cu MBE + GR in round).
E. S. Ainley, D. A. Andrews, Miss A. W. Baldy, J. W. Bates, J. C. Brash, Miss A. Brooks, R. F. S. Chignell, D. L. L. Clarke, P. M. Coombs, C. R. Dean, R. N. Exton, Mrs N. Fisher, S. B. Green, G. L. Kennaby, C. Koop, A. F. Lerrigo, N. A. Longmore, R. K. Lumsdon, H. Lyon, T. W. Melluish, W. L. Miron, P. H. Morgan, F. E. Newlove, R. Postill, G. H. Ravenor, A. Robins, J. R. Scarr, L. T. Stokes, R. I. Sutherland, J. S. Young.
COMMENTS:—236 entries (the fewest for nearly a year), 221 correct: a few errors were nearly all in the N.W. corner. It seems to have been a difficult puzzle, though there were a few who said it was easier than usual; and the word produced rather few really good clues, though the select band shows good variety and is well up to standard. In considering the brilliant winning clue I was a little exercised about the soundness of “holder of,” which does not directly suggest mixture; but I decided that it “says what it means” adequately—a holder holds its contents for one find if one looks for them, and this indication of an anagram is parallel to that given when the letters of the required word are said to be “in” another word or words. As to the old problem whether a cucumber is a vegetable or a fruit, I am not a purist! As so whether “cum,” with, requires a reference to Latin, I decided it did, in spite of place names: C. doesn’t give it as an English word, whereas it does give “per.”
Unsound wording “reared its ugly head” rather freely this time. “Curb agitation” cannot equal “curb agitated”: “to start calvering” cannot indicate “C,” nor can “copper head.” And there are still, in spite of many assurances from me that they always go straight out, quite a number of indirect anagrams by way of rare words which are useless to the solver, e.g. “swirling vapour” to produce an anagram of “brume,” and worse still “clot” for “grume” without even a clear indication that an anagram is meant at all. Let me repeat my principle that an anagram must be indicated, and that a definition won’t do instead of the actual word that is an anagram, unless the word intended positively leaps to the mind, e.g. “one over the eight” = “nine,” or something of that sort. Such a fixed principle is essential in the interests of the long-suffering solver. You may go now, as A.P.H. [Herbert] would say in “What A Word!”
It may interest those who were at the Café Royal on Sept. 5 to know that a few of the photographs taken at the Dinner may be seen at the observer office by anyone who cares to call. I’m afraid this is difficult for those who live far away and are seldom in London, but there seems no other way. Only close-ups were taken, and there is none that one could choose as of general interest.