◀  No. 24517 Jul 2019 Clue list No. 2460  ▶



1.  R. J. Heald: Hunt losing backing might help us till normality restored, avoiding unseemly Tory griping (trac(k); till3; anag. less anag.; ref. Jeremy H., Conservative leadership race).

2.  J. C. Leyland: I do drag queen act nervously, performing in lamé with no end of collywobbles (anag. incl. R; anag. less e).

3.  A. H. Harker: I’m not in the least concerned with stomach pains: I’ll pull right back before food (min(I’m)al; rt (rev.) + AC).


M. Barley: I work hard to draw tense contest, batting out final gut-wrenching minutes with a 50 (t + rac(e); min. + a + L).

Ms K. Bolton: Caterpillar’s bite of extra cabbage minimal but I’m left describing vicious butterflies (hidden; min(I’m)al; make of tractor).

C. A. Clarke: Runway not finished, aircraft propeller decapitated animal transported with discomfort to the corporation (trac(k); anag. less a).

M. J. Clarke: Ferguson possibly starts to taunt Rossoneri, AC Milan confused and belly-aching (t R + AC; anag.; ref. nickname of AC Milan, Alec F. and make of tractor).

Dr P. Coles: One feeds paper endless number of gripes threatening to replace Tory with Liberal ((record) trac(k); minatory with L for Tory).

N. Connaughton (Ireland): Carry around what traditionally works on the farm in stopping the pain of colic (cart (rev.); in in mal).

W. Drever: Relating to gripes altering main line vehicle route largely (anag. + l; trac(k)).

H. Freeman: What beats the field in flat race? Not a lame animal with the trots! (hidden; anag. less a).

T. D. Nicholl: Wagon goes over cat, maybe (not a wild animal) – gut-wrenching? (cart (rev.); anag. less a; cat = caterpillar tractor).

J. & A. Price: Mangled headless animal! Colicky cat maybe? Dog with no tail? (anag. less a; trac(k); cat = caterpillar tractor).

S. Randall: Time to complain endlessly about slow transport? I’m not in the least concerned with gripes (t + car(p) (rev.); min(I’m)al).

A. D. Scott: Respecting the gripes in terminals, plane route to be shortened? (hidden; trac(k)).

Dr S. J. Shaw: With griping pains, sick animal’s not a practical replacement for draft horse returning cart (anag. less a; cart (rev.)).

J. Smailes: Drawer of shares starts to transfer account nominally at centre of grumbles in corporation (tr ac; hidden centrally; share1,2).

J. R. Tozer: Griping in Spem in alium leads to testy remarks about choir’s ‘groundbreaking’ item (hidden; first letters; ref. Tallis choral work).

Ms S. Wallace: Cat starts to tremble, retch and cramp – poor animal not the first afflicted with the gripes (first letters; anag. less a; cat = caterpillar tractor).

A. J. Wardrop: Ferguson perhaps starts to turn round AC Milan after resolution of gripes (t, r AC; anag.; ref. Alec F. and make of tractor).

R. J. Whale: Big performer when associated with Chelsea, transitive to AC Milan but unfortunately succumbing to gut-rot (tr. + AC; anag.; ref. Chelsea tractor).

K. & J. Wolff: Mail’s furore about number of gripes ‘leading motivator’ in beleaguered bureaucrat leaving office (n in anag.; anag. less bureau; ref. Ambassador to US Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation).


T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, P. Bartlam, J. G. Booth, R. Bowden, V. Dixon (Ireland), A. S. Everest, Dr M. Ewart, R. Gilbert, M. Hodgkin, G. Johnstone, E. C. Lance, B. Lovering, M. Lunan, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, W. Ransome, Dr J. B. Reid, T. Rudd, N. G. Shippobotham, C. M. Steele, P. Tharby, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Mrs A. M. Walden, D. Whisstock (Italy), G. H. Willett, Dr E. Young.

A very low entry this month, only 130 in all, a handful having T(ASTE)LE for T(ASTE)LY, in what was clearly a testing competition. It wasn’t the first time I’d given you a ‘Collisions’ puzzle. The only previous one was nearly seven years ago (when I asked you to deduce and then clue TITAN(IC)EBERG – remember?). On that occasion there were 195 entries. Most who commented this time said they enjoyed the extra challenge, so I’m not sure why the postbag was so small this time. The trickier across clues were clearly those to ‘collisions’ in which the shared letters considerably outnumbered those actually clued, the result of my consciously aiming for overlaps with as many letters as I could manage. In retrospect this may have been something of a misguided aim, if understandable. Another frequent comment was that solving the puzzle proved hard initially but got easier as things fell into place. Favourite clue was (from the acrosses) ‘Portion of ale? One beast letting off blasted “Noggin not good”’ for LEO(PARD)ONING, and (from the downs) those for CARAFE and COMA.
One of the main challenges in producing clues of the type asked for was, as always with double clues of any kind, to produce surface reading in which the ‘join’ is well masked. In general you managed this very well, even if there was a somewhat limited number of ideas about ways of achieving this. I know it’s easy for me to say this from my vantage point of viewing the entry as a whole, but it’s always good to note when you have attempted to avoid what might be over-popular approaches.
No time for more this month. Brittany beckons. Enjoy your summer holidays.


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