XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 929
1. J. W. Bates: A bad rep ham is interrupted by it with gusto! (it heat in anag., & lit.).
2. D. P. M. Michael: Where Christians went to their reward—round it a harp theme might be woven (it in anag.).
3. Mrs E. McFee: Gallery’ll produce a rude epithet—“ham”—about the first sign of rant. (a + r in anag.).
B. W. Brook: Hear them—a pit in uproar—it’s still over their heads (anag. still = unmoving).
C. O. Butcher: A chap with a seat should get something the audience will clap at in here (a MP hit + at in here, & lit.).
P. R. Clemow: From here you may see cast ape mirth and hate (anag. & lit.; cast = shaped).
P. M. Coombs: Scrambling up the path there, am I right for the Devil’s Punchbowl? (anag.; natural a. in Surrey).
V. A. R. Cooper: From whence to see one in awful ham at the Rep. (I in anag., & lit.).
G. Cuthbert: There’s a measure of speed, sex appeal and excitement about a circus (a mph it heat re).
Mrs D. M. D’Eath: A member struck here at random in scene of mounting rows (a MP hit + anag.).
J. Flood: Mr. E. Heath, a tip—revolutionise! This will give you the seats (anag.; ref. Conservative losses in 1966 Gen. Election).
L. H. Garrett: The gods hate tripe—ham makes them upset! (anag.).
G. P. Goddard: Agag’s head lying before the Teraphim, sacrificed, seen in open space among the High Places (A + anag.; ref. 1 Sam. 15:33).
S. Goldie: I had endless rows with people about the sand trap—I h-hate ’em being untidy (anag.).
J. F. Jones: Short current, strike, heater gone wrong—row upon row here (amp hit + anag.).
Mrs B. Lewis: I’m a circus clown with the hip, mate, nursing a broken heart (anag. in anag.; clown, vb.).
Mrs J. Mackie: Ah, the Primate palters where earlier Christians stood by their faith (anag.).
G. Snowden-Davies: It may well be that I am up here—being non-U! (anag. less U, & lit.).
G. H. Willett: Current swing to the left contains thinly disguised threat for upper house seat (amp + anag. in hie2).
R. B. Allnutt, W. G. Arnott, A. J. Arthur, F. D. H. Atkinson, A. J. Barnard, C. Bayliss, Lt Col R. L. Bell, E. C. Bingham, Rev C. M. Broun, R. S. Caffyn, E. Chalkley, R. M. S. Cork, A. E. Crow, A. J. Crow, J. Crowther, J. McI. Cruickshank, A. L. Dennis, N. C. Dexter, Cdr H. H. L. Dickson, L. L. Dixon, A. S. Everest, G. W. E. Farrow, Rev S. W. Floyd, Dr J. Foster, F. Foxcroft, I. C. Gilchrist, E. Gomersall, Mrs M. H. Gray, J. E. Green, R. Hamilton, Mrs K. F. Harrison, E. G. Illingworth, J. E. Jenkins, L. Johnson, C. Jones, G. G. Lawrance, A. Lawrie, L. F. Leason, J. P. Lester, Mrs S. M. Macpherson, H. S. Mason, T. W. Melluish, W. L. Miron, C. J. Morse, R. A. Mostyn, F. E. Newlove, E. Northcott, Mrs N. Perry, R. Postill, G. J. S. Ross, T. E. Sanders, I. R. Scott, Mrs E. M. Simmonds, E. B. Stevens, F. B. Stubbs, P. H. Taylor, W. H. Thorne, M. H. E. Watson, G. R. Webb, B. C. Westall, Rev C. D. Westbrook, R. Whitaker, R. F. Ingleby Williams, M. Woolf.
COMMENTS:—A bout 450 entries, very few mistakes: I only found one in my long short list, whose solutions I scrutinised. I thought the word would offer good variety, but the entry was rather monotonous, thanks to the “irate P.M. Heath” anagram and “current hit.” There were so many of these of similar merit that I couldn’t fairly reward any of them except by inclusion in the long secondary list above. There was not very much unsoundness, but I must quote one example of a good idea spoilt by failure to indicate the presence of an anagram:—“Seats in a place like the Coliseum keep going up. I hate the ramp.” No one else used this anagram, which is very appropriate—but it must be indicated. A lot of people used “Ye Gods!” which I don’t like as a definition: there seems to me no justification for “ye” whatever, nor, incidentally, for the exclamation mark. I must say a little more about exclamation marks. Though it can’t be called unsound, I think it is a pity to put one at the end of a clue meaning little more than “Isn’t that a good one!” I used to do it myself quite a bit; nowadays I try to avoid it unless the clue really does involve exclamation. There are one or two examples above, including the first prizewinner’s excellent clue, which I think would be better with a modest full stop.
It always amuses me when I get in the same entry comments which directly contradict each other. This time one or two people said they usually find competition puzzles easier than the others; one or two said they usually find them harder. Both mildly wondered whether I do this, whichever it is, on purpose. In actual fact I don’t intentionally make any distinction at all in my approach; difficulty is bound to vary a little, but it is, I think, a matter of chance. Many said they liked the clue to NAUSEA but found it elusive; one solver added, in the most friendly way, that it didn’t seem to conform to any of the principles in my book. I agree, and I should class it as an “improvised” clue! Anyway I’m glad it provided a few smiles. Finally many thanks for more kind words from people who say they have enjoyed my book. In reply to requests for the title, it is called “Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword” and is published by Methuen.