< Slip No. 555 Clue list 4 Oct 1959 Slip image Slip No. 564 >



1.  R. Postill (Jersey): Ab ovo … leave the egg and all your original character is latent thus (congé nit all y(our), & lit.).

2.  P. M. Coombs (Burgess Hill): How the little Conservative gets inside information—and the little Liberal, in the realm of opera (Con gen + L in Italy & lit.; ref. ‘Iolanthe’).

3.  C. E. Gates (Kettering): I’m “a little Conservative”—information I reckon that illustrates “how Nature always does contrive” (Con gen I tally; ref. ‘Iolanthe’).


Miss P. Adkins (Salisbury): Unavoidably from baby’s point of view lacy linen got all messed up (anag.).

C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): For me it’s always the sack; a real bad egg, chum, right from the cradle—that’s me! (congé nit ally).

F. D. H. Atkinson (Claygate): “Nye ill—can’t go” upset constituents naturally! (anag.; ref. Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan, MP).

E. C. Bingham (E4): Leaving the egg all the beginning of young life is characterised thus (congé nit all y(oung)).

Rev C. M. Broun (Edinburgh): How idiotic you can be, only G.C.E. Latin could show (anag.).

R. N. Chignell (SW19): Tory yelling wildly about tax cut—how strain can affect one! (Con + ta(x) in anag.).

G. H. Dickson (Delgany, Co. Wicklow): Naturally the Conservatives’ leader gets advance information and I count on that (C on I tally).

Mrs D. M. D’Eath (Bexhill): Vaguely acting on yell from the cradle—examine low-down I reckon! (anag., con gen I tally, & lit.).

J. A. Fincken (N11): We see a little Conservative gain yet two little Liberals split—thus, according to Gilbert are our politics decided (Con + L,L in anag.; ref. ‘Iolanthe’).

S. Goldie (Enfield): Do you see potential little Conservative, little Liberal in gal yet? Naturally, according to Gilbert! (Con + anag. incl. L; ref. ‘Iolanthe’).

S. B. Green (NW10): Chapter on Genesis I label: “As it was in the beginning”? (C on Gen. I tally).

F. H. W. Hawes (Dagenham): Galton nicely disturbed! How could “Human Faculty” be a failure? (anag.; ref. Sir Francis G., expert on eugenics).

Miss J. S. Lumsden (Grantham): From earliest infancy, you’ll need on occasion to leave the little pest with a friend (congé nit ally).

C. J. Morse (SW10): Study Genesis—then you’ll see how infancy begins in sin (con Gen. i(nfancy) tally, & lit.: tally = in concubinage).

M. Newman (Hove): Throughout life we have to concentrate on low-down physical fascination before finding a partner (con gen it ally).

B. G. Quin (Whitley Bay): Naturally we want no cat yelling in a frenzy here. Leave the wretched little creature with a friend! (anag.; congé nit ally).

W. K. M. Slimmings (Worcester Park): Getting permission to go away with such a bad egg—and to marry—shows how idiotic one may be (congé nit ally).

J. Thompson (Stafford): Ab origine? Only G.C.E. Latin is needed for translation (anag.).

W. Watts (Westcliff): Your equipment may come this way from Providence; leave it all in New York (congé + it all in NY).


O. Bain, G. F. Bamford, J. W. Bates, E. A. Beaulah, J. Bisset, S. Caffyn, A. G. Callely, Mrs J. Chalkley, A. N. Clark, D. L. L. Clarke, F. P. Cremins, Mrs G. B. H. Currie, Mrs M. E. Garratt, Maj A. H. Giles, M. J. Hickman, C. W. Hoad, E. M. Hornby, Mrs L. Jarman, G. L. Kennaby, P. W. W. Leach, Mrs R. D. Lemon, J. P. Lester, Mrs W. J. Mahood, T. A. Martin, D. P. M. Michael, E. Morgan, F. E. Newlove, Plt Off L. W. G. Oxley, B. G. Palmer, E. G. Phillips, S. Plumb, C. Quin, E. W. Richart, Mrs J. Robertson, W. Rodgers, T. E. Sanders, L. T. Stokes, J. B. Sykes, Miss D. W. Taylor, Mrs J. Thomas, H. S. Tribe, H. D. Wakely, T. G. Wellman, C. E. Williams, W. J. Wilson.

COMMENTS:—3l0 entries, 276 correct. About 20 solvers wrote “kora” for SORA and as kora is also a ralline bird, I gave this careful consideration as a possible alternative. It depends on whether one can accept k.o. = knock out as equivalent to very good: I decided against it on the ground that the abbreviation is confined to the boxing sense as a noun or verb. I don’t think I have ever seen it as an adjective: can one speak of a “k.o. book”? I think the most one might do is to call a very good book a regular k.o.: that wouldn’t do here, as it is a noun. I sympathise with sufferers, as it is a close thing, but I can’t bring myself to accept it.
The entry was a very good one indeed and gave me the hardest task in selection for some time. The unluckiest competitor was Mr. G. Perry, whose brilliant clue failed to qualify because of an error in solution which was probably only a slip—“scattermouth”. His clue, which must, I think, have won a prize was “How may one become great? Leave inferior bent to be opposite with a kinsman (according to Shakespeare)” See Twelfth Night 2. 5: tin (adj.) = inferior. I don’t remember such a good one being disqualified in this way before—commiserations! One or two who wrote “kora” might have reached HC but not prizes. The chief weakness among the unsuccessful clues lay in the failure of definitions to lead to an adverb. Adjectives and adverbs are always more difficult than nouns and verbs in this way and it is wise to test the definition part of your clue by seeing whether it really suggests the right part of speech. Here are a few examples taken at random, of this kind of unsound definition:—“Innate”, “Pertaining to parentage”, “Heredity must be blamed”, “Predisposed”, “Been like it since birth”, “It must be due to my origin”, “Born with it”. Others spoiled sound definitions by introducing irrelevant (and misleading) personal pronouns, e.g. “Ever since I was born”, “Since the time I was born”. All these are inaccurate and unfair to a solver. While on the subject of definitions. I must also remind some competitors, and tell new ones who don’t seem to realise, that clues that contain no definition at all are completely beyond our pale.

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