XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 777
1. N. C. Dexter (Corby): Fantastic warblers do it—sew leaves! Here’s one among them (I in anag. less sew, & lit.).
2. Mrs B. Lewis (East Molesey): Non-U, lurid art book I ordered (censored, all right!). For the young I stitch the leaves together (anag. less U and O.K.).
3. P. R. Clemow (W5): Domestic sewer makes hilarious rat lido with built-in bar on the way up (rib (=bar) (rev.) in anag.).
Capt A. S. Birt (Twickenham): What makes a cosy nest with a patchwork of leaves? Moss, perhaps, and a bit of fluff (tailor + bird; ref. Moss Bros.).
Mrs J. Chalkley (Evesham): Queue or raspberry for this oriental singer? He has house in stitches! (tail or bird).
G. H. Dickson (Enniskillen): I could make a fig-leaf apron—it or a bridal ensemble—to fit some Eve (anag., tailor (= fit, vb.) bird).
P. A. Drillien (Harpenden): Native East Indian sewer has ability to become tribal Dior! (anag.).
J. Flood (Wembley): I trill in torrid Bali (anag. & lit.; trill2).
A. J. Hughes (Sutton Coldfield): To make my nest I sew leaves, snip and piece together (tailor bird; snip, n.; piece (disrespectful) = woman).
P. W. W. Leach (Southampton): Singer (sewing type) has device at back with round knob—I refer to the drawer (tail orb I RD; ref. S. sewing machine).
Mrs S. M. Macpherson (Newtonmore): My homework is sewing—it’s a snip, old girl! (tailor bird; snip, n.).
Mrs E. McFee: It’s the type of sewer found in Indonesia I bar: dirt needs clearing—look inside! (lo in anag. [see comments]).
E. G. Phillips (Bangor): Builder with business overseas flies—a cutter merely gets a scornful rejection (tailor bird; busy-ness).
E. J. Rackham (Totton): Ribald trio puts on a variety act—has house in stitches! (anag.).
C. P. Rea (NW6): Rat, fed up with oil pollution, takes one swallow perhaps—leaves sewer! (anag. in rat (rev.) + bird).
Miss M. Smith (Newcastle): Produces the song and sinuous movement of torrid Bali (anag.).
J. E. Smith Wright (SW3): Girl, in pursuit of gold, goes down after dog in sewer (tail (= dog, vb.) + or + bird).
L. E. Thomas (Bangor): A sewer, it’s enough to make one feel sick to surround with dirt all over the place—and flies! (ail + orb (vb.) all in anag.).
J. F. N. Wedge (Carshalton): Fit piping layer for dwelling sewer (tailor bird).
R. B. Adcock, Dr G. B. Arrowsmith, G. R. Bagley, C. Allen Baker, A. J. Barnard, Mrs F. Begg, Rev C. M. Broun, C. O. Butcher, J. F. Coldwell, P. M. Coombs, H. C. Copeman, Mrs M. P. Craine, J. McI. Cruickshank, F. E. Dixon, L. L. Dixon, J. Fryde, J. E. Jenkins, A. H. Jones, A. Lawrie, T. W. Melluish, P. H. Morgan, C. J. Morse, D. A. Nicholls, B. G. Palmer, L. Parris, L. S. Pearce, R. Postill, Rev E. G. Riley, T. E. Sanders, T. L. Strange, F. T. Walton, Mrs M. P. Webber.
COMMENTS:—A stiff puzzle and a more difficult word to clue produced a very natural fall in the general standard; but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think all those mentioned above well worthy of their awards. Legitimate late entries are still to come. Last month’s, owing to circumstances, apparently, beyond anyone’s control, reached me too late for mention in the slip and possibly incomplete: I can at last record here that V. McKnight and J. W. Taylor earned V.H.C.s. I have decided to drop the new points idea suggested last month: it would make record-keeping too complicated. So we shall continue with 2 for a prize and 1 for a V. H.C.—I am going to keep the new category names introduced last month. So far there are about 230 entries with about 30 incorrect, foxed mostly by KGOTLA. (I think it was Mr. C. E. Williams who suggested that kgotla should be the noun of assembly for Ximenes solvers—an excellent idea.) Don’t forget that Supplement: I don’t overdo it—I’ve used about 25 words from it in about 100 puzzles—but remember that I do use it sometimes.
Dr. R. L. Bell was, probably, very unlucky in making a slip—Sache for Sachs—and thus missing a possible prize or a certain V.H.C. with an excellent clue, which I have stupidly lost and can’t tell you.
There was more unsoundness than there has been for a long time, especially disregard of the principle that “back” refers to “across” words only. There were also several clues which featured the dubious Shakespearean “backward fall” meaning of tailor without any indication that it isn’t in current use: that certainly isn’t fair. As often in the past, I received widely varying comments on difficulty. There are many who enjoy extra difficulty, many who dislike it. I can’t please you all: I can only go on as before, trying to be fair and to make research as unnecessary as possible with easy subsidiary clues to recondite words and proper names, e.g. Petlad, on which famous place Mr. B. G. Palmer sends the following completion of my inchoate limerick:—
- “There was a p-t lad near Baroda,
- Whose girl-friend fell into bad odour.
- For living in sin,
- With a bloke from Berlin,
- She was barred from the local pagoda.”
(There was another one, too, but I like the above better.) Now I do think Mr. Palmer and anyone else who was in doubt about that second letter might have been certain it was E. What was the point of the clue otherwise? Surely a girl-friend is more likely to have a pet-lad than a pit-lad or a pot-lad? Barring unfortunate coincidences, which are pretty rare in such cases, you don’t even need to make the research. While we’re talking about place names, have I told you that the atlas I’m using now is Philips’ Record Atlas, published last year? It isn’t enormous, and I never fossick in The Times Atlas unless very hard put to it. You might like to get people to give you one for Christmas, which brings me to a hearty yuletide greeting to all.
LATER.—There were 16 legitimate late entries. Mrs. E. McFee gets a V. H. C. for—It’s the type of sewer found in Indonesia I bar: dirt needs clearing—look inside! H.C.—Dr. G. B. Arrowsmith, Rev. C. M. Broun.