AZED CROSSWORD 1126
1. Mrs J. Mackie: What could be promising Rachel yet delivering Leah initially? (anag. less L, & lit.; ref. Gen. 29:16-25).
2. P. L. Stone: Trumping clubs and hearts, South leaves East very short of a lead (C H Ea(S)t (v)ery).
3. F. P. N. Lake: Term for bowler’s turning to mischief to transform new ball? (Ate for r in cherry, & lit.; ref. alleged Pakistani ball-tampering episode).
J. R. Beresford: What’s altering the ace before chemin de fer? (anag. + ry, & lit.).
C. J. Brougham: Fiddlers practise this piece in conservatory’s confines (heater (= gun) in c, y).
E. J. Burge: Do year with tech for practice of craft (anag.).
N. C. Dexter: Rogue heartlessly crafty hereat? (anag. incl. c, y, & lit.).
M. Earle: It is what’s turned up when balloon goes up in city (heater for it in city, & lit.).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Empty rhyme with, hey, cat involved fiddling? (anag. incl. r, e; ref. nursery rhyme).
R. R. Greenfield: Leger’s domain? They race in fantastic style here (anag.; leger = swindler; ref. St Leger Stakes).
C. R. Gumbrell: Result when mouth bones the ape developed provided Piltdown’s head parts (anag. less P in cry, & lit.; bone = seize; ref. ‘missing link’ fraud).
P. F. Henderson: Reason the City is corrupted (as this is not being punished?) (comp. anag. & lit.).
Mrs D. B. Jenkinson: Most of what Italian ristorante sells (ch(e) eatery; sells n.).
J. F. P. Levey: Badly made chimneys removed and radiator installed – tricky work (heater for lums in clumsy).
L. K. Maltby: Fraud – something to raise temperatures in the city when it emerges (heater in c(it)y).
D. F. Manley: Little child being laid on feeding station – the practice when one has a crib? (ch. eatery).
H. W. Massingham: Light, without a hint of trumps – that’s your chicane (a t in cheery).
G. McStravick: Rumour surrounds mutilation of leather (both sides scratched) – it’s not fair play (anag. less l, r in cry; ref. cricket ball-tampering allegation).
C. G. Millin: A cherry tree destroyed, sin not involved – deception (anag. less err; ref. G. Washington).
T. J. Moorey: Nadir’s game? Pop into Cyprus and see the year out (heater in CY, c + anag.; ref. Asil N.).
B. D. Walter: Wear scythe out after reaping starts, and it becomes sharper! (anag. less first letters).
P. B. G. Williams: Err not in chopping up a cherry-tree – it might lead to deceit (anag. less err; ref. G. Washington).
D. Williamson: Stuffing Archaeopteryx could involve Paxo recipe and this, perhaps! (comp. anag. incl. r, & lit.?).
W. G. Arnott, M. Barley, E. A. Beaulah, Ms N. Bennett-Jones, Mrs K. Bissett, L. W. Blott, K. P. Boughton, C. Boyd, Mrs A. Boyes, H. Bradbury, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, P. A. Bull, B. Burton, E. Chalkley, G. P. Conway, B. Cozens, K. W. Crawford, R. V. Dearden, V. Dixon, D. Drakeford, J. Dromey, Mrs M. A. Eacott, C. M. Edmunds, M. G. Elliott, R. A. England, C. J. Feetenby, M. Freeman, Mrs C. I. S. Giles, R. S. Haddock, R. Hesketh, R. J. Hooper, R. H. F. Isham, R. E. Kimmons, C. W. Laxton, J. H. C. Leach, J. D. Lockett, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, P. W. Marlow, M. McMahon, P. J. McWeeny, G. D. Meddings, Rev M. R. Metcalf, J. R. C. Michie, Dr E. J. Miller, C. J. Morse, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, Dr T. G. Powell, D. Price Jones, I. M. Raab, H. L. Rhodes, E. R. Riddle, P. Ridehaigh, Dr W. I. D. Scott, Mrs E. J. Shields, W. K. M. Slimmings, D. A. Smith, Mrs I. G. Smith, D. M. Stanford, J. B. Sweeting, J. Taberner, A. W. Taylor, A. R. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, L. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, R. J. Whale, I. J. Wilcock, D. L. Woodhead, W. Wynne Wilson.
554 entries, almost no mistakes. The biggest postbag for some time, possibly because it was an easier-than-average puzzle (or so many of you seemed to think), attracting a lot of new competitors. By contrast, it wasn’t a vintage month for clues submitted. Although ostensibly a friendly word, CHEATERY proved quite difficult to handle originally. I received many anagrams (awkward eye-charts and so on) but few managed to link these with an effective definition. The difference between a merely sound clue and a good one is very often the way in which the cryptic part and the definition part are interwoven so that the solver cannot immediately determine which is which and where the join occurs (if there is one). I also had a lot of Chinese restaurants, which I was initially disposed to dismiss out of hand since the old Chambers gives ‘Ch.’ as an abbreviation for ‘China’ but not for ‘Chinese’. However, the new edition, which appears to have greatly increased the number of abbreviations included as well as merging them with the main body of the text, includes ‘Chinese’ among several other new full forms for ‘Ch.’ Many new opportunities for clue writing here, clearly.
A special word of commendation for Mrs Mackie’s first prize-winner, the neatest ‘& lit.’ for some months, exploiting an idea that no one else thought of. It’s also nice to see ‘initially’ being used so effectively in the literal reading of the clue.
As a footnote to the recent ‘Spot the Theme’ puzzle, my attention has been drawn to a piece from James Thurber’s Thurber’s Country entitled ‘Do you want to make something out of it?’, subtitled ‘If you put an ‘O’ on “UNDERSTO”, you’ll ruin my “THUNDERSTORM”.’ It’s about playing the word game Superghosts and refers to the word ‘dabchick’. I had forgotten the piece though I now remember reading it years ago. The idea for the puzzle came to me one day in the bath, as they often seem to do! Another competitor has spotted two further ‘consecutive tetragram’ words in Chambers, viz. ‘overstuffed’ and ‘overstudy’. ‘Overstunk’ is there too, I see.
Finally, sincere thanks to all of you who sent cards, gifts and greetings to me and my family. Happy solving in 1994 to you all!