XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 630
1. J. Thompson (Stafford): This kind of shot is hit into the air, with not quite the full pace in it (trea(d) in sky, & lit.; shot, adj.; sky, vb.; ref. cricket [see comments]).
2. Miss D. W. Taylor (Worthing): Like a pedestrian crossing, not even looking—what could be rasher? (2 mngs.; i.e. even-looking).
3. Mrs L. Jarman (Brough): My taker is not normally associated with leaders of the synagogue (anag. of taker sy(nagogue), & lit.).
C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): Forming an endless track in the heavens, like a mackerel-sky (trea(d) in sky).
J. K. Anderson (Edinburgh): Like our blue missile, this is an uncertain treasure in the heavens (trea(sure) in sky; ref. Blue Streak missile).
P. R. Clemow (W5): Endless pie where some are hoping to find it (the rasher may be) (trea(t) in sky; ‘pie in the sky’).
G. H. Dickson (Kilquade, Co. Wicklow): Like vapour-trail patterns resulting from shattering rate in the blue (anag. in sky, & lit.).
L. A. T. Duthie (Taunton): Old-style gammon in the piggery is not always grade A bacon (reak (= hoax, obs.) in sty).
S. Goldie (Enfield): Describes sob-sister’s make-up. Where you see stars embracing phoney tear produces this! (anag. in sky).
V. Jennings (Reading): Yorkshire’s opener has a flash to begin with—what could be rasher! (streak + Y).
D. P. M. Michael (Whitchurch): Is treasure in heaven not sure? This could describe what may have to be faced when one has risen (trea(sure) in sky; breakfast).
C. J. Morse (SW10): One rare old spree in a real hot spot, and I’m barred! (reak (= prank, obs.) in sty2).
T. N. Nesbitt (Newcastle): Railway minute steak—uneven in quality—needs mincing up (anag. incl. Ry; minute, adj.).
Dr C. Nicholson (Moreton-in-Marsh): Hatched; not like eggs, but eaten with them (2 mngs.).
L. S. Pearce (NW4): Tear all over the place in the heavens like a flash of lightning (anag. in sky).
R. Postill (Jersey): J. Sprat meekly had … alternate bites!—a suitable arrangement for this kind of meat (anag. of alternate letters, & lit. [see comments]).
Mrs J. Robertson (W5): Suitable accompaniment to curate’s egg, being uneven in quality (2 mngs.; “good in parts”).
R. E. Scraton (Hayes): Like the curate’s egg—and his bacon? (2 mngs.; “good in parts”).
F. B. Stubbs (Crook): Like the curate’s bacon? (cryptic def.; “good in parts”).
J. A. L. Sturrock (Hassocks): Possible appearance of essential part of breakfast in place where pigs are kept! ((b)reak(fast) in sty, & lit.).
Mrs E. N. Adlington, A. W. Aspinall, M. J. Ball, T. E. Bell, J. M. Bennett, Rev C. M. Broun, C. O. Butcher, R. S. Caffyn, D. L. L. Clarke, Miss M. Colomb, V. A. R. Cooper, A. E. Crow, J. McI. Cruickshank, A. E. Danher, T. H. East, J. A. Fincken, Mrs J. O. Fuller, A. C. Gardner, S. V. Gibson, G. P. Goddard, D. Hawson, J. M. Hendrie, E. M. Hornby, A. J. Hughes, Lt Cdr E. S. Irvine, G. Kirsch, A. Lawrie, J. D. Lockett, W. L. Miron, R. A. Mostyn, Brig A. Prain, Rev E. G. Riley, A. Robins, H. Rotter, W. K. M. Slimmings, H. J. Snelgar, A. F. R. Stoddart, A. D. Walker, J. Ward, J. F. N. Wedge, Mrs E. J. Wilkie.
COMMENTS:—A good entry, considering the difficulty of the task (241), and 201 correct. Not unnaturally the chief trouble was “aslant,” which fits the definition but does not satisfy the rest of the clue, as “ask ant” does. The only other fairly common mistake, “tone” and “thyme,” could only arise from a very loose reading of the clue to “tony, Tony,” and a fairly loose one of the other clue, which indicated an adjective, not a noun: nor does “thy-me” satisfy the other part of the clue as well as “thy-my” does.
The standard of clues sent was well back to our best level, I thought. There was plenty of variety, though I confess I got terribly tired of dissolute rakes in low haunts! On one point of logic I found myself at variance with a number of solvers, who assumed that Mr. and Mrs. Sprat would have liked streaky: I cannot imagine a form of food more tiresome for either of them! It would surely be incredibly irritating to try to extract either the fat or the lean alone. Mr. Postill, with his rather difficult but ingenious clue, has suggested a method, and therefore gets an H. C.; but I reluctantly relegated to an R.U. the neat “What is mackerel? Sprats would eat it up!” because frankly I don’t think they would without the help and advice of a Postill!
The brilliant winner nearly lost his reward for want of a note saying that “sky” was to be taken as a verb. When one is reading a lot of clues with varying ideas, it is very easy to miss a point like that, obvious though it may seem when one sees it: it is wise to make things really clear. There was, inevitably, it seems, some adjective-trouble again: for instance, a very neat clue “Jam on it? Possibly; but not at breakfast!” had to be relegated for this reason to an R.U. If only the author had written “With jam on it? Possibly; but it has none at breakfast,” it would be sound. Indirect anagrams are decreasing, but they still rear their ugly heads, probably coming from those who don’t send for slips: so I am possibly wasting space in quoting “the damaged vein” with the note “rake (5) anag.”. This is a particularly virulent example of “help” to the solver which he would never use. But, as I said above, the entry, as a whole, was excellent, and I must end by thanking you for many appreciative comments on the puzzle.
P.S. Once again there were over 70 late entries. It seems that the only safe policy is to post by Thursday at latest.