XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 564
1. Mrs J. Robertson (Georgeham): One who licks her babes heartlessly into shape (anag. incl. ba(b)es, & lit.).
2. Rev E. G. Riley (Manchester): She is youth personified in a short shirt at Holyrood: her skin almost blinds the guards (Hebe in sar(k); bearskin).
3. T. E. Bell (Gainsborough): Teddy-girl? A beastly type—her beau’s shockingly non-U too (anag. less U).
D. B. J. Ambler (Reading): Here’s that partner of ours (French but Anglicised) embracing a wine-waitress in the Saracen’s Head! (Hebe in Sar(acen); ours, ourse, Fr.).
R. J. Atkin (Bromsgrove): Glorified barmaid with Scotch odour about her. Who is the little ——? Ursula! (Hebe in sar2; see Ursula in Names).
J. W. Bates (Westcliff-on-Sea): Ah! beer’s poor—missus’ brewin’ might suit me just as well by the sound of it! (anag.; ‘Mrs Bruin’).
W. D. Hart (W8): Her pointless babes are licked into shape! (anag. less b, & lit.: point = head.).
E. A. Jones (Reading): To live in a state of stress is the lot of a Teddy’s mate (be in shear).
C. J. Lowe (Manchester): One who may cheer a grizzly mate by waggling her base! (anag.).
Mrs E. McFee (Rhos-on-Sea): Ursula’s a little ——! Suitable mate for a Teddy boy? (cryptic def.; see Ursula in Names).
P. H. Morgan (Torquay): A personification of youth in a type of garment I can’t stand—that’s the teddy-girl! (Hebe in sar(I)).
C. J. Morse (SW10): The honey that appeals to the mature honey-lover will soon have youngsters wanting a lick (cryptic def.; 1st honey = sweetheart).
W. H. Pegram (Enfield): Here’s a Brownie-leader with a difference—her pack’s all cubs! (cryptic def.).
R. Postill (Jersey): Beer has become the prime liquor of the brewin’ world, as you might say! (anag.; ‘licker’, ‘Bruin’).
W. K. M. Slimmings (Worcester Park): Winnie? She’s barmaid in the Saracen’s Head: see she doesn’t get a crush on you! (Hebe in Sar(acen); Winnie, girl’s name and W.-the-Pooh).
J. A. L. Sturrock (NW3): Young Olympic cup-holder (amateur) puts fresh heart into soccer. Would make good Busby-material, this one! (Hebe a in s(occe)r; ref. Matt B., Manchester Utd.; b. = bearskin).
Mrs L. Waters (W. Wickham): It would take a rash bee to upset this raider of his stores (anag. & lit.).
J. A. Adamson, F. D. H. Atkinson, C. Allen Baker, Mrs Begg, B. W. Brook, W. D. Broughton, Rev C. M. Broun, W. W. Brown, R. S. Caffyn, Mrs Caithness, R. F. S. Chignell, P. M. Coombs, T. N. Dowse, J. A. Flood, Miss E. Gabbitas, C. E. Gates, G. P. Goddard, S. Goldie, J. Goldman, P. Graystone, V. Jennings, G. L. Kennaby, P. W. W. Leach, I. McGivering, D. P. M. Michael, E. J. Miller, M. Newman, B. G. Palmer, E. G. Phillips, A. Robins, E. O. Seymour, E. B. Stevens, P. W. Stroud, F. Sutton, Miss D. W. Taylor, A. F. Toms, C. T. Tulloch, Mrs H. G. Waddell, D. W. Williams, M. Winterbottom.
COMMENTS:—326 entries, 293 correct. The standard of entries, for a long time so high, fell a little this time: there were some very good ones but not, I thought, as many as usual. This has led me to give a push into the H.C.s to at least four clues which I liked very much but didn’t entirely approve of. Mr. Bates and Mr. Postill apply the “by the sound of it” idea to the definition part of their clues: I don’t think I have ever done that, and it smacks somewhat of “a clue to a clue”, which is against my principles. They are amusing in their idea and perfectly sound otherwise, but they wouldn’t have got in in a really good month. Mr. Sturrock and Mrs Waters don’t indicate femininity, as I think they should: the first of these clues is very ingenious and the second very neat, but they too are just a little lucky to get in. One or two very bright clues depended on defining the lady as a female stock exchange operator: this is surely unsound and I couldn’t stretch a point for them. I should add that I think the prize-winners (and most of the H.C.s) well up to standard.
There was rather a lot of unsoundness in the entry, especially unsound indications of anagrams. Make certain that you say what you mean! “She obviously has beer in her make-up”: one can not be expected to read this as “…has has beer…” “Has beer been her downfall?”: this can not mean “is has beer her downfall” “Her base may be found in Polar regions”: here there is no indication of the anagram at all. “Why has beer deteriorated?”: this can not mean “in what word has has beer deteriorated?”. There were dozens like this—often excellent ideas, spoilt by unsound wording. In the same way, “Will she be arriving with the circus?” gives no indication whatever that the word is “hidden”. Then there was “I’ve left the sari”, which is not the same thing as “I has left…”; and “exists in cut” with the ingenuous note “be in shear”—but “exists” is not “be”! Finally, unhelpful indirect anagrams, which I don’t seem able to suppress! One of the most extreme examples was “Jock’s orb forward all askew…” (ee, brash). This is utterly unfair to a solver, and he would almost certainly make no use of it.
I seem to have been querulous this month, so I will now turn on myself! I oughtn’t to have given you “ipomaea” in No. 562 without indicating that I was using the spelling (almost certainly incorrect) of the old edition of Chambers. I failed to note that it has become “ipomoea” in the current edition, recalling that I had an old prize clue available. That clue, of course, dated from the time when we were using the old edition—and it was a good one, too, though I had to make a slight change in it to make it conform to “modern” standards of wording. I apologise for the oversight. For the Christmas competition I am serving up what will be a new form of torture to most of you, with a new sort of task for prize competitors: I hope this will keep you on your toes!