XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 525
MORALE (Printer’s Devilry)
1. R. N. Haygarth: I’ve found that red Graves. Impact is terrific. Would you rather have (hi/c) Guinness? (Michael Redgrave, Alec Guinness).
2. S. H. Willink: Chea/per settlement? That’s the question facing the idealistic schoolmaster.
3. J. Cordery: May:—I affirm that I am happy with my present side—e/xamination of their selectors unthinkable! (“Don’t look a gift-horse...”; Peter May, England cricket captain).
R. W. Bond: If you’re di/rty, our intelligence test will reveal it.
Mrs A. L. Boorman: You can’t drink rum and keep it, Mu/m. A nation will tell its own tale.
P. R. Clemow: A teenager often becomes engrossed in ki/ss-worthy hero (Rudyard Kipling).
C. E. Gates: Aaron and Ta/ft’s laughter in their wake (Tamora, Titus Andronicus).
G. P. Goddard: You’re always breaking knitting needles. What you want is a weaver’s bea/ver—might help!
S. B. Green: An ar/gala’s may be broken if the baby is dropped!
V. Jennings: Absinthe, navy drink, ru/ins hips, messes officers’ swiggin’.
L. Johnson: My conceited actor friend asked me to name my preference: (hi/c) Guinness! (Alec Guinness).
B. K. Kelly: A.—Correct proof of a theore/m. (M.A.Cantab.). (Use the simple rules of logic) (lemma).
G. Kirsch: Is the piece by “Pop” (E. A. Poe/’s son) on Anthropology? (ref. Pope, ‘The Riddle of the World’).
Mrs E. McFee: If your mind is di/rty, our I.Q. will indicate the fact.
D. P. M. Michael: Victoria loved her bal/d ward; her heir preferred his Gay Paree.
F. E. Newlove: They’re getting married—what about a cable: “Gra/tters!” ending “Best wishes”?
E. G. Phillips: When amorous coiffeur starts this fresh cut, i.e. feels a tre/ss, steady hand is now at work.
E. J. Rackham: In the election shall we see the Tories still in the swi/ft tide advancing?
Mrs E. M. Simmonds: One simply must lick the gu/tter: can’t be stuck-up!
M. C. Souster: Don’t leave the light in the convent (Chamber’s Di/ctionary will not be any use).
H. G. Tattersall: However di/rty, our boy will be suitably educated.
Mrs J. E. Townsend: That bo Gus—a gent, surely—can’t face, without so much as a singlet, re/gal inspection!
M. A. Vernon: There’s no zip in this. Play a last air (si/c); Guinness might enliven it.
J. F. N. Wedge: Di/rty, our mind is! Sure to be stimulated by this sensational picture.
R. A. Wells: Ashes! What do they conjure up? An Aussie boo/n—ten—gloom!
Lt Col P. S. Baines, C. Allen Baker, T. E. Bell, J. M. Best, E. T. Caddy, R. N. Chignell, J. Coleby, P. M. Coombs, A. E. Crow, W. Darby, Miss E. Deutsch, N. C. Dexter, J. H. Dingwall, M. B. Fisher, Mrs N. Fisher, B. J. Iliffe, F. G. Illingworth, Miss I. M. Kemp, P. D. King, R. K. Lumsdon, C. H. Macmillan, T. W. Melluish, C. J. Morse, W. J. Plumb, H. Rainger, A. Robins, T. E. Sanders, Mrs E. Shackleton, J. G. Stubbs, P. C. Thornton, H. S. Tribe, M. J. Venning, G. H. Wilde, A. J. Wilson
Miss P. Adkins, F. D. H. Atkinson, J. W. Bates, G. C. Bayfield, C. J. Bennett, F. H. Bernard, Capt A. S. Birt, R. F. Briggs, Rev H.D. Owen Brown, B. Burton, R. F. S. Chignell, D. L. L. Clarke, A. J. Cohen, F. J. Curley, L. L. Dixon, A. W. Eaves, C. Fleckney, J. A. Flood, A. L. Freeman, Miss V. Gay, E. Gomersall, H. Greenberg, V. L. Harrison, J. E. Hobson, Mrs L. Jarman, A. Lawrie, M. C. Leaf, J. D. Lockett, A. Lund, H. Lyon, N. C. Mahoney, W. L. Miron, P. H. Morgan, J. D. P. O’Leary, Dr D. A. Pantony, S. L. Paton, R. Postill, F. S. G. Richards, Mrs Z. Rivlin, Mrs J. Robertson, H. Rotter, R. A. Russell, G. W. Saunders, B. Darwin Smith, E. A. Smith, R. I. Sutherland, J. Thompson, A. D. Walker, T. A. Whitamore, R. Wilson, M. Winterbottom, R. Worrall.
COMMENTS:—619 entries, about 550 correct (in a final batch of over 300 I didn’t check the solutions of those not selected for possible mention). A very big and very talented entry! My short list was so long that, as on a few former occasions, I have put the unlucky ones into a separate category from the usual R.U.s: they are well up to ordinary H.C. standard, especially the users of the popular “dim or alert” idea: these had of necessity to be thinned out a bit, and I chose the “di/rty” as opposed to the “dirt” ones (!) as having, perhaps, a little more point: all were good. Mr. Green’s clue has a remarkable extra point in being incidentally a straight clue, an argala being a stork! But it got its place in its own right as a P.D. clue: the other point, though interesting, can hardly be allowed to weigh, not being part of the idea.
It seems clear now that solvers find P.D. on the whole easier than Plains. It would be very easy to make them harder by aiming at clues, like some of those sent, whose main point is the concealment of the gap, e.g. “Do you prefer pancakes with jam on?” (This appeared several times). “Satyrs enjoy an environment that’s shady”—“One of the problems facing the Customs?—Immigrants!” These are extremely neat and extremely difficult it, but they are also (to me) rather dull: one wants a bit of a kick, not merely a sense achievement, when the penny drops. Once again many competitors worked much too hard at the same thing, i.e. making the devilled version natural at the expense of the undevilled, e.g. “Do all the lines of travel cross in Galway? Slack supervision” (lines of tram or a level crossing always lack). The undevilled version here is so unnatural that the clue would be almost insoluble or, if that is an exaggeration, at least its solution would give little or no satisfaction to the solver. This is the wrong sort of difficulty. I hope the choice made above shows clearly the kind of clue I like: one of the greatest merits, I think, is a total change of subject from the devilled version to the undevilled. Several people ask for “P.D.” more often: I don’t want to risk satiety but I’ll bear it in mind and give you another before the end of the year.
PS.—I nearly forgot to mention that competition for the prizes was so close that I think it was Mr. Souter’s incorrect apostrophe that kept his clue, with its brilliant idea, out of a prize: I don’t think I could have resisted it otherwise, much as I like Mr. Cordery’s. When so many are good, even trivial points like that are bound to count.