XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 796
STRAKE (or STRAIK) (Misprints)
1. A. J. Hughes (Sutton Coldfield): You need a telly to get “The Saint” and “Wagon Train” (felly; St. + rake5).
2. Mrs E. M. Simmonds (Cookham Dean): No modern band presents “Skater’s Waltz”—that’s very old hat! (hit; anag., 2 defs.).
3. Mrs M. White (W8): With the flutter of a skirt, a whole length and breadth of flank is exposed (plank; anag.).
Dr G. B. Arrowsmith (SE3): Strife results from minor street scuffle (stripe; St rake; scuffle, rake, vb.).
R. T. Baxter (Wallington): Smoke no more and start revelling in martyrdom (smote; r in stake).
P. R. Clemow (W5): Bond, as of old, can be found right in the scene of torture and death (band; r in stake).
F. E. Dixon (Dublin): Roué canonised—part of him (rim; i.e. St. Rake).
E. Gomersall (York): Vessel for cleansing one bad man at the foot of a holy one (ore; St. + rake).
F. G. Illingworth (Worcester): Though stark mad, gains a First in English! (trough; I in anag.; first person).
J. Hardie Keir (Galashiels): The “fore and aft” expanse of flank exposed by a spreadeagled skater (plank; anag.).
T. P. Kelly (W14): Filly, showing inclination to go on street (felly; St + rake).
Mrs B. Lewis (E. Molesey): Bet includes the first in the race, a filly (felly; r in stake).
D. P. M. Michael (Newport): Old hat trick takers! (hit; anag.).
G. Snowden-Davies (Wolverhampton): Wage, i.e. wager without the last letter (wale; r in stake).
Mrs J. Thomas (Wilmslow): The answer is a complete blank re task to be done (plank; anag.).
J. F. N. Wedge (Carshalton): Though you’d have struck for this to-day, take in the post! (trough; r in stake, 2 defs.).
F. D. H. Atkinson, G. R. Bagley, C. Allen Baker, A. J. Barnard, Rev C. M. Broun, C. I. Bullock, A. R. Chandler, J. Coleby, Mrs M. P. Craine, T. Davies, Cdr H. H. L. Dickson, L. L. Dixon, H. J. Godwin, J. M. Hendrie, G. T. Hewitt, L. Johnson, R. W. Killick, A. A. Malcolm, C. J. Morse, J. Murtha, D. A. Nicholls, H. C. S. Perry, Mrs N. Perry, E. G. Phillips, R. Postill, W. Rodgers, D. J. Short, W. K. M. Slimmings, J. E. Smith Wright, L. H. Stewart, G. R. Webb, P. Young.
COMMENTS:—This is always stiff: there were about 230 entries, about 190 correct. Rather more competitors than usual wrote clues to the wrong word—I should say about 30 to 40. Provided solution is correct, the provision that exactly half the acrosses and half the downs shall have misprints in their clues is a safeguard against this. The strake-straik business worried some people, but I am always prepared to accept a genuine alternative which I have overlooked, like this one, and there was no need to worry. However, I’m sorry it happened: if I had noticed it, I should, of course, have made the clue lead to one word or the other exclusively. As it was, it in no way spoilt the competition: I accepted clues to either word. We have had a few such alternatives before, but never, I think, with the prize clue word. The majority seem to have been unworried: those who were worried must remember’ that to miss nothing one would need to be more than human; that the trouble arises very seldom; and that they can be sure of fair treatment when it does.
There were some good clues submitted: more were eliminated for being too difficult than for any other reason. You must have noticed that I make misprint clues less elusive than ordinary ones on the whole: this is essential for fairness. A clue in which the definition with the misprint and all the subsidiary help refer to obscure words or meanings is, I think, apt to be too steep. There were few clues excluded for blatant unsoundness: that is usual nowadays.
I’m glad so many said they enjoyed it, worry or no worry over strake-straik!