XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 725
1. R. E. Scraton (Hayes): Old Baldy’s always dozing; if we disturb him, he gives us lines! (anag. & lit.; S. prophesied when roused from drunken sleep; lines = one’s lot in life).
2. Miss J. S. Lumsden (Grantham): In slip the French, set upon us, and monkey with the lion’s tail (le (Fr.) in sin + us; slip = sin).
3. Mrs N. Fisher (Stroud): Yes, the bare, French, curvaceous type will draw an old satyr (si le nu (all Fr.) + S; type=letter).
C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): In two ticks I would go on the batter proper! (I Len U in s.s. & lit.; tick = second; on t.b. = on a drunken spree; ref. L. Hutton, England batsman).
J. F. B. Bunting (Lutry, Switzerland): French nude embraced by Scotsman’s squeezes. The pot-bellied old devil! (nu (Fr.) in siles).
Mrs H. M. Grieve (SE15): Insulse, old word, but not just right for an old beast of a man (anag.).
F. G. Illingworth (Burnley): A wig, false nose and corsets might disguise me, unless I undressed! (anag. & lit.).
Mrs L. Jarman (Brough): If the nudes in the Bois appear, I’m a potty old pursuer! (si le nus (all Fr.) & lit; bois (Fr.) = wood).
Dr T. J. R. Maguire (Dublin): Demigod, semi-buck, enwreathed with bay (le(ap) in sinus & lit. [see comments]).
Mrs E. McFee (Rhos-on-Sea): Primate finds old priest standing on his head, semi-nude, in Sunday School (Eli (rev.) + nu(de) in SS).
T. J. Pimbley (St. Albans): When Bacchus was in dancing mood, I was pelted unless I twisted (anag. & lit; i.e. if he twisted he avoided being pelted with flowers; Keats, Endymion 4. 209).
R. Postill (Jersey): My pot-belly was noticeable unless I dressed specially (anag. & lit.).
E. J. Rackham (Totton): His make-up was nearly all sin and lust—with the last of the wine inside ((win)e in anag. & lit.).
Mrs J. Robertson (W5): Being partial to wood-spirits, unless I refused, I was always intoxicated (anag. & lit.; re-fused).
A. Robins (Manchester): Panic issue of American stock after serious indiscretion about upsurge of English pound (E + L (rev.) in sin + US; S. was son of Pan; ref. 1962 “Flash Crash” of US stock market and surge in London).
H. Rotter (NW7): My charge has to do with drink—unless I can be got out of it, it could mean a monkey! (anag., 2 defs.).
Mrs E. Shackleton (Newbury): Almost taciturn, genteel and sanctimonious character? Good God! Just the reverse! (silen(t) + U + S(anctimonious) & lit.).
J. W. Taylor (Stoke-on Trent): Apart from my tail, you couldn’t call me leonine, unless I reformed (anag. & lit.).
Mrs J. Thomas (Wilmslow): PAN issue abridged version of “The Quiet American” (silen(t) US; S. was son of Pan; ref. G. Greene, Pan books [see comments]).
J. F. N. Wedge (Carshalton): Endless quiet, you and me—and there’s the piper’s son, the monkey! (silen(t) us, 2 defs.; S. was son of Pan).
F. D. H. Atkinson, S. Barnett, J. W. Bates, E. A. Beaulah, Mrs F. Begg, T. E. Bell, Miss H. M. Borodzicz, F. J. Clark, P. M. Coombs, N. C. Dexter, Cdr H. H. L. Dickson, L. E. Eyres, H. W. Flewett, P. H. Freeman, Mrs J. O. Fuller, C. E. Gates, C. C. M. Giffin, S. Goldie, E. Gomersall, S. B. Green, E. J. Griew, V. Jennings, C. Koop, A. Lawrie, Lt Col D. Macfie, J. D. H. Mackintosh, Mrs S. M. Macpherson, T. A. Martin, Miss M. McHerberg, T. W. Melluish, D. P. M. Michael, E. J. Miller, J. G. Milner, L. R. Mitchener, P. H. Morgan, C. J. Morse, M. Newman, H. Rainger, Rev E. G. Riley, T. E. Sanders, Mrs R. M. Sefton, Mrs E. M. Simmonds, W. K. M. Slimmings, Miss M. Smith, J. B. Sweeting, L. E. Thomas, Sqn Ldr J. L. Whitbread, M. Woolf.
COMMENTS:—354 entries, 305 correct, nearly all the mistakes being divided between “aragonites” and “thylosis,” which will not fit the clues. This word produced an especially strong challenge from the ladies and a lot of good clues, though there was less variety than usual, thanks to “unless I” and French nudes: I hope the best of both of these are included above. The winner is, I think, outstanding: only one point in each case kept Dr Maguire and Mrs Thomas out of the other two prizes. I have doubts about “sinus” = “bay” in English, and I don’t quite like “PAN issue”—what a pity it wasn’t “PAN’s issue:—” etc. But they were too good to be kept out of H.C.s.
There were many new entrants, to whom a warm welcome: two, I think have got H.C.s at the first, or very nearly the first, attempt, and seven or eight are R.U.s. But many have not picked up the idea so quickly, so I will give the rest of my space to helping them: the experienced need read no further. “Are we quiet with golf aid missing?” This fails to give any definition—the most vital need of all—and “we” is not “us,” and “golf aid” is not “T.” Nor is the clue interesting in any way: one should suggest an interesting and convincing picture of some sort. Another weakness, similar to “we = us,” appeared several times in “unless I am drunk.” This will NOT do for “unless I is drunk”: we must say what we mean. (Note that as two words are concerned “are” would be all right: it wouldn’t help in this case, but some competitors correctly used “have” for this reason). Avoid indirect anagrams, unless their solution is unmistakably easy: the solver should not have to find the answer to an elusive definition before he even gets to his clue. “We are by rights confused” (liens) combined this fault with the “we” fault. Redundant words are unfair, e.g. “Lies in the sun, fuddled”: this should mean that the letters of “lies” are inside those of “sun,” and they aren’t. “Ugliness contorted with gout”: “gout” is not “G Out.” “A sort of would-be ‘dog’?”: this fails altogether to say what it means, namely “a sort of wood god”: the only “indication” offered of the fact that “would-be” is to suggest the sound of “wood” and that “dog” is reversed is a query at the end; and also this is a clue to a clue, which is not fair. Nor is extreme obscurity, e.g. “Genius loci, of Hebridean strain, strips prophetic prince of his hide” (sile, Hele-nus, hele). Finally, one clue ran to 34 words: competitors as a whole should aim at brevity: I always try to make as many clues as possible go into one line of print each (under 50 letters and spaces). I hope the above may help all the unsuccessful newcomers to try again.
A happy Christmas to you all, and good hunting in the Christmas competition puzzle, for which the usual extra weekend for entries, and prizes (20/- tokens) for all the H.C.s, are offered.
P.S. 39 entries arrived too late. Please post early for the Christmas competition.