XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 604
1. S. Goldie (Enfield): Extravagantly aspire to posh address—you’ll probably need a thou or two to do this! (anag.).
2. F. T. Walton (Birmingham): To conjure, make a diversion. Hi presto!, soap has disintegrated: owner’s mark is found inside (anag., is in apostrophe).
3. D. Fairburn (Sheffield): A rigid stance just about ruined this pro’s address (anag. in a pose).
C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): To declaim “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” may be translated in prose as “Hop it!” (anag.; ref. Macbeth V.1).
G. F. Bamford (Harlech): A Post Office poser this—wrong address, to delay delivery (a PO + anag.).
R. Bryan (Beckenham): An orator is apt to do this, so is a prophet after transfiguration (anag.).
N. C. Dexter (Corby): Phrase “O pot!” is another way to address a Grecian Urn, for example (anag.; ref. Keats’ Ode).
G. H. Dickson (Greystones): One might so address the ball when it is driven—and perhaps too is sliced! (anag.).
J. A. Fincken (WC2): Make an invocation, giving it pep with “O’s” or “Ah’s”! (anag.).
Mrs E. McFee (Rhos-on-Sea): Is, perhaps, too unruly. Name someone? That’s what the Speaker may do! (anag.).
P. H. Morgan (Torquay): To do this, possibly I stop and interject phrase with “O …” (anag. & lit.).
C. J. Morse (SW10): An express cable must include the man’s address (his in a post rope).
R. Postill (Jersey): Start “O” is perhaps to ——— (anag. & lit; start = displace).
B. G. Quin (Whitley Bay): Amateur band, furnished with mouth organs of an inferior order, make an appeal to a limited number of listeners! (A + trophi in posse).
T. E. Sanders (Walsall): Interrupt talk to send message to troopship wrecked in rough sea (anag. in anag.).
B. W. Sayer (Sheffield): Mouth organs in a police band appeal to the gallery (trophi in a posse).
J. B. Sweeting (Shepperton): Frantically aspire to posh address—in Keats’ Way, for example (anag.; ref. Odes).
F. D. H. Atkinson, Lt Col P. S. Baines, J. W. Bates, C. O. Butcher, Miss P. M. C. Cain, R. N. Chignell, J. H. Dingwall, L. E. Eyres, Mrs N. Fisher, G. P. Goddard, S. B. Green, J. H. Grummitt, A. J. Hughes, F. G. Illingworth, Miss J. S. Lumsden, R. K. Lumsdon, W. L. Miron, I. J. Nicholas, S. L. Paton, E. R. Prentice, E. J. Rackham, Mrs J. Robertson, A. Robins, W. K. M. Slimmings, L. T. Stokes, Miss A. C. Tatham, Capt C. Tyers, C. E. Williams.
COMMENTS:—A puzzle which proved more difficult than usual, and perhaps holidays reduced the entry, but there were few mistakes—20l correct out of 219. Several solvers pointed out a red herring solution, flu-M-e at 31: as usual I had not noticed the possibility. The lists above, especially that of Runners-up, are shorter than usual: there was much unsoundness in the entry, particularly in the wording of definitions, e.g. “The poor sap is distracted by conversation thus interrupted” (noun? adverb?); “Form of speech used by sophist when disturbed with opera” (noun? adjective?); “Is perhaps too haywire altogether—talking to someone who isn’t there!” (verbal noun? adjective?); “Let the aphorist pose how he will, he does not really own anything: I’m telling you!”. In this last one I don’t even know how much of the clue is meant to be a definition, but quite certainly none of it is one! And the anagram is unsoundly worded too: the writer hasn’t said what he means. Examples of other forms of unsound wording were:—“West End” to indicate “T”: this won’t do unless the West End is the end of the West, which it isn’t. “How does a poet’s worship start off? Possibly with ‘O…’ Perhaps it’s ‘O cuckoo…’”. This is a very ambitious and ingenious effort to work in two anagrams with an “& lit.” effect; but I’m afraid it doesn’t succeed. For one thing there is no suggestion, as in the clues first quoted above, of the verb “apostrophise”; for another, the first sentence can’t (by me, at any rate) be read in such a way as to tell the solver that the letters of “a poet’s orship” are mixed: unless it can be so read, it is useless. I think the attempt to embody two anagrams is in any case unwise: lilies are better unpainted. Another failure to indicate an anagram was “See how à propos is the address”: these words are meant to convey to their reader “See how ‘à propos is the’ is changed into a word meaning ‘address’”, and they simply do not begin to convey that. The solver is entitled to expect that a clue, however veiled, can be read, grammatically and syntactically, in such a way that it says what it means and indicates, by its definition, the right part of speech: it is a long time, I think, since we had a competition in which so many entries failed to do this, so that much ingenuity was wasted. It is wise to put oneself in the solver’s place before being satisfied with the wording of a clue. Now I must stop preaching and congratulate three excellent prize-winners and some good H.Cs! And I must admit to a questionable bit of wording in one of my clues, too! “Roofless”, as one solver mildly suggested, is a decidedly questionable indication of the omission of the first letter of a word in an across clue. Head, yes: top or roof, properly speaking, no! So we must all watch our steps!
P.S.—A solver suggests that I should call to your attention a “knock-out crossword championship” to be staged by “Comp, the Competitor’s Journal, every Monday, 4d”, beginning some time in September. The puzzles are to become successively tougher, but soundness of clues is promised: so let’s try it!