The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC April competition voters’ comments
Clue no. 17: Hypnotise while I remember with partial recall

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A clue to MESMERISE (Letters Latent).
3 comments refer to this clue (from 2 competitors, 0 others)
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Comments on the clue
1.Nice idea and construct. Definitely one of the toppers for me
2.Very nice wordplay, but the overall surface reading doesn't quite gel.
Comments on the competition
Perhaps not surprisingly the frequency of the appearances of the 5 possible latent letters within the clueword was reflected in the frequency of the respective clues, with M and E being the most popular choices (15 clues each) followed by S (10 clues), R (6 clues) and I (4 clues).

'Letters Latent’ clues must avoid linking words, i.e. those suggesting that the full and the mutilated versions of the clue word are the same, which they clearly are not. Eleven of the clues submitted fell foul of this requirement (6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 24, 28, 34, 45, 49 and 50. ‘& lit.’ clues are of course acceptable in that they refer in their entirety to both mutilated and unmutilated versions of the clue word, though surprisingly there was only one example this month (clue 42).

Appearing in one third (16) of the clues, 'entrance' was by far the most popular definition, with its ability to act as a noun in the wordplay, though only one of this latter group (20) tried to use it as a first letter indicator (7, 8, 10, 11, 12*, 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 35, 43, 46 and 47). Other popular definitions were 'charm' (5*, 6, 30, 33 and 50), 'hypnotise' (15, 16, 17 and 42*), 'enthral' (3, 9* and 25) and 'fascinate' (13* and 40). There were also a few quite imaginative variations including 'guile' (14), rivet (36), spellbind (41) and witch (49).

Regarding wordplay, a number of anagram combinations were favoured: MISS + MR (latent E) (5*, 19, 25 and 28), SEEMS + (latent I) (12*, 20 and 36) and E + SERIES (latent M) (9* and 11). A couple of latent M clues wrapped letters 'in essence' (2 and 42*) and there was one hidden reversal (clue 17). There was certainly a good selection of candidates for points this month (9), though perhaps none were mesmerising and it was therefore difficult to pick an outright winner.