XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 582
1. E. L. Mellersh (Enfield): You may have to stop being a Rolling Stone and have a Moss Gathering to do this (cryptic def.; ref. Moss Bros. outfitters [see comments in Slip no. 586]).
2. R. Postill (Jersey): Spoil the line, indeed! We do this to preserve it! (mar Ry).
3. E. Gomersall (York): Monkey about on the railway, and get hitched up in the permanent way! (ram (rev.) + Ry; ram = monkey).
C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): Take after Mum (bringing up Junior later!) (Ma + r + yr (rev.), & lit.; yr. = younger).
C. O. Butcher (E4): Get your monkey up! Many couples do it before breakfast (yr. ram (rev.); wedding b.).
S. B. Green (NW10): Fluff your lines? Don’t when you do this, or there may be no lines! (mar Ry).
E. J. Griew (NW9): See the back of mother and father in the early years, indeed! (r r in May (= youth)).
A. F. Lerrigo (Ringwood): Match when the best man couldn’t win, but just tie, perhaps (2 mngs.).
R. M. MacGillivray (Stockport): Your constellation’s in the ascendant: get hitched up (yr. Ram (rev.)).
T. W. Melluish (SE24): Give the maid a ring when my boxes arrive (arr. in my).
A. H. T. Midlane (Caernarvon): So Elizabeth said, “Well, I never did!” (double mng.; historical exclamation).
F. E. Newlove (SE9): Bishop’s pinned in time for Queen to mate (RR in May).
J. T. Shaughnessy (Birkenhead): With the end of war the army becomes practically obsolete indeed (anag. incl. r).
Mrs E. M. Simmonds (Cookham Dean): What your grandmother may not do with you when your monkey is up! (yr. ram (rev.)).
H. J. Snelgar (Ringwood): To skip portions of Madras curry is better than to burn (Ma(dras cu)rry; ref. I Cor. 7:9).
M. C. Souster (Felixstowe): Get accepted in Mr. Right’s embrace near the end of a ceremony (a in Mr R + y).
W. H. Thornton (Huddersfield): Mars theory provided about the missing link (Mars theory less the in so).
F. T. Walton (Birmingham): In truth, an extension of the oyster season is doubly assured; the jovial cockney has a thousand in front of him (R,R in May, M + ’Arry; oyster season = months with R in).
Lt Col P. S. Baines, G. F. Bamford, T. E. Bell, J. A. Bulley, A. G. Callely, P. R. Clemow, P. M. Coombs, L. Dean, G. H. Dickson, F. E. Dixon, L. E. Eyres, S. Goldie, Mrs H. J. Heald, Lt Cdr E. S. Irvine, V. Jennings, R. W. Lerrigo, Dr T. J. R. Maguire, Mrs W. J. Mahood, J. Mann, S. G. W. May, Mrs E. McFee, D. P. M. Michael, C. J. Morse, F. E. Neale, R. O’Donoghue, K. Perry, H. Quinney, M. C. C. Rich, Rev E. G. Riley, T. E. Sanders, E. O. Seymour, N. E. Sharp, W. K. M. Slimmings, J. W. M. Smith, L. T. Stokes, F. B. Stubbs, J. A. L. Sturrock, Mrs J. Thomas, Capt C. Tyers, A. D. Walker, Sqn Ldr J. L. Whitbread, C. E. Williams.
COMMENTS:—418 entries, 345 correct—a lot of mistakes, GAED being responsible for about 25, with the rest widely distributed. I must apologise for an inaccuracy at 7 down—“infinite” should have been “indefinite”—but this did not, I think, cause any mistakes. The word was an easy one to clue—perhaps too easy: the result was that I rejected many entries for an unusual reason, that they would have been too simple to solve at sight to give the solver much satisfaction. This was especially true of the many perfectly sound “& lit.” clues with references to the royal wedding; it also applied to other “& lit.” clues. This is always a danger with an “& lit.” clue to a common word. I like the first prize winner very much: the sender was brave enough to give no note, and the penny didn’t drop instantaneously. This is a risky thing to do, as, with so many clues to read, I haven’t time to ponder long over one that I don’t see the point of: but when it comes off it probably adds to the effect. For this reason I have given fewer notes than usual in the list of clues above, for your benefit [see slip image copy]. Perhaps the winner’s penny wouldn’t have dropped soon enough with me, if I hadn’t had a wedding in my family recently! When it does drop, there is no doubt about its soundness and effectiveness.
There was pleasantly little unsoundness in the entry, but there was a bit of unsound wording still, e.g. “To amalgamate will ruin small railway” (“will” doesn’t work). “She needs to get a husband, so May embraces the bishop, forsooth!” (answer should, logically, be a woman, not a verb: anyway this one, apart from its unsoundness, would be too easy). There was one really dreadful indirect anagram, hopelessly unfair—“To make one take twice number of soft clams and mix” (r., r., mya. That one certainly is not too easy! This sort of thing shows complete disregard of the fact that every part of the clue is meant to help, as well as to deceive. Some clues were rejected for the old fault of using “back” for “reversed” in a “down” clue, and a few for offering a “clue to a clue”, e.g. “rising dew”: This should mean that a word meaning “dew” is reversed in the answer: it should not mean that the definition itself is reversed in the clue.
I had quite forgotten that we once had MARRYING as the clue-word (No. 325). I shouldn’t have set it if I had remembered, but there were very few reminiscences of clues submitted then.