XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 821
1. Mrs B. Lewis (East Molesey): Hardy girl’s up to an intake of half a gallon, when dry: a tumbler will do me (omer in Tess (rev.); ref. Tess of the d’Urbervilles).
2. G. Perry (Newcastle): Several on right go down: more than one will in this House (some r set; wills kept in S. House).
3. P. W. W. Leach (Southampton): Strange meteors falling from Sun—Wellsian scene? (S + anag.; ref. H.G.W. and Wells in S.).
Miss V. K. Abrahams (Cromer): Bath’s in here: put at least a gallon in (omers in set; Bath in S.).
T. Anderson (Folkestone): Rand’s in certain form to make a spectacular leap (R. in some, set; ref. Mary Rand, winner of gold medal in long jump, 1964 Olympics [see comments]).
R. T. Baxter (Wallington): Bath here: old fool about to plunge—I’m off! ((im)merse in sot (obs.); Bath in S.).
E. Gomersall (York): Cheddar is one of my delights—but disturbed rest follows just a little! (some + anag.; Cheddar in S.).
C. H. Hudson (Oxford): I’m most upset about the tongue; we’ve Bath chaps here—or a turnover (Erse in anag.; Bath in S.; s. = somersault).
W. H. Johnson (New York): Socialist involved with meteors—that places Wells! (S. + anag.; ref. H.G.W. and Wells in S. [see comments re abbreviation]).
A. H. Jones (Manchester): Where Virgin plays, but White no longer; met Eros’s dissipation! (anag.; ref. S. cricketers R.T. Virgin, J. White).
T. P. Kelly (W14): A revolutionary bound to give certain people disturbed rest! (some + anag.; s. = somersault).
L. F. Leason (Liverpool): Spring over, we find its successor soundly established (‘summer set’; s. = somersault).
Mrs E. McFee (Rhos-on-Sea): A catherine-wheel is something that’s seen in various English stores around the fifth of November ((Nove)m(ber) in anag. incl. E; s. = somersault).
C. J. Morse (SW10): Somewhere to go to ground after a little bit of rough and tumble: Alfred found it so (some r set (= badger’s burrow); s. = somersault; ref. Athelney Abbey in S., founded by King Alfred after taking refuge there).
M. Newman (Hove): Southern place around Bath, or part of it (omer in S set; bath2; Bath in S.).
R. Postill (Jersey): Place in which half-gallons (**brew!) are bound to make one roll (omers in set; s. = somersault; **brew indicates Hebrew).
D. R. Pownall (Bristol): Sounds as if everybody isn’t agile enough to turn head over heels (‘some are set’; s. = somersault).
T. E. Sanders (Walsall): Part of an address written by Wells is bound to be revolutionary (2 mngs.; S. follows Wells in postal address; s. = somersault; ref. H. G. Wells).
J. B. Sweeting (Shepperton): Turnover—apple centre (2 mngs.; s. = somersault; S. apples).
C. T. Tulloch (Chester-le-Street): Noble who was told he had a diseased rose with broken stem (anag. of rose, stem; ref. Hen. VI. Pt. 1, II.4, “Hath not thy rose a canker, S.?”).
J. F. N. Wedge (Carshalton): Bath’s here—soak and soak in it, but I’m off! ((im)merse in sot1; soak = habitual drinker; ref. Bath in S.).
A. J. Wilson (Nottingham): Here’s a chance to try Cheddar as the last bits of Edam and Double Gloucester harden (so + m,e,r, + set; Cheddar in S.).
F. D. H. Atkinson, J. W. Bates, T. E. Bell, Maj A. S. Birt, Mrs K. Bissett, Rev C. M. Broun, C. O. Butcher, R. S. Caffyn, F. A. Carter, R. F. S. Chignell, P. M. Coombs, G. Cuthbert, L. J. Davenport, N. C. Dexter, I. D. Doak, G. H. DuBoulay, R. N. Exton, Mrs N. Fisher, Dr P. A. French, J. Fryde, A. B. Gardner, W. F. Goodman, E. J. Griew, E. M. Hornby, J. G. Hull, L. W. Jenkinson, E. G. Jones, R. V. Leigh, H. Lyon, J. D. H. Mackintosh, D. P. M. Michael, H. B. Morton, L. S. Pearce, Miss D. M. Perkins, E. J. Rackham, G. H. Ravenor, P. J. Scott, W. K. M. Slimmings, T. L. Strange, J. T. Stringer, H. S. Tribe, W. D. Wigley, Mrs M. Wishart, N. D. Young.
COMMENTS:—About 320 entries, about 170 correct—the first single-word solving shambles since November 1961, when not far short of half the competitors wrote “abandoned” instead of “abandonee.” This time it was “lotus” for “lotos”: there were hardly any mistakes elsewhere. I couldn’t possibly accept “lotus,” which does nothing to account for “round in many cases” (lot-o-s). I saw the danger to solvers of that unchecked letter and thought I had given a safe guide: I still think so, and I hope sufferers will kick themselves and not me! Often enough, of course, you get the answer right without understanding part of a clue; but every now and then a trap is apt to lurk. What I hadn’t noticed was that “sythe” was a possible alternative to “sithe”: this fully fits the clue, and I of course passed as correct the few solutions which contained it. The clue to “steeper,” though causing very few mistakes, seems to have puzzled several people: a steeper is a dyer, who can surely make a woman look younger, can’t he? Well, I hope it will again be a long time before the next disaster of the “lotus” variety.
The clues sent were, I thought, well up to standard for a not too easy word. Those of you who haven’t got the very latest edition of Chambers may be puzzled by Mr Anderson’s clue: only this edition gives R. = Rand in the Abbreviations. These variations in editions are a bit of a nuisance, and for this reason I’m not using novelties from the 1962 edition myself; but I think it would be hard on Mr. Anderson to exclude his very neat clue, topically fitting the Olympic Games, on that account. Incidentally C. doesn’t give S. = Socialist (nor C. = Conservative), though it does give L. = Liberal: I have often thought that list a very arbitrary one, and I always pass an abbreviation in common use, even if it isn’t included.
A solver raises a point about last month’s competition. He says that (Scot.) only applies to the first meaning of “wylie-coat,” not to “nightdress.” Strictly speaking this should be true: (see p. vii at the beginning of C., re obs.). But I’m sure the compilers don’t always practise what they preach in this matter: see, for instance, “fou.” And I find that Webster gives all meanings of “wylie-coat” as Scottish. Nevertheless, on a strict interpretation I owe an apology to sufferers, and I offer it herewith to anyone who has felt entitled to it for the above reason.