◀  No. 25211 Nov 2020 Clue list No. 2530  ▶



1.  M. Barley: Decision still not finalised, Trump sees Republican power slipping away (placi(d) + T(r)um(p)).

2.  Dr I. S. Fletcher: Taking in minimum of calories almost flat stomach conclusion of diet, perhaps (c in plai(n) + tum).

3.  D. F. Manley: Pilate with much wavering makes this, eh? (comp. anag. & lit.).


M. Barker: Legal response requiring a touch of finesse to make it potentially impactful (anag. less f).

Ms K. Bolton: Law leaving multiplex cinema empty spoilt showing of ‘The Verdict’ (anag. incl. c, a, less lex; ref. 1982 Oscar-nominated film).

T. C. Borland: Soft, melodious backing when soprano yields to tenor, pleading (p + musical (rev.) with t for s).

M. Hodgkin: No backing for claim spuriously held by desperate Trump – rule out plea (anag. less m in anag. less r).

M. Lloyd-Jones: Finding sex lines awkward clam up (it in anag.).

P. W. Marlow: Determination in court? Djokovic’s latest ace and plum shot embody it (it in anag. incl. c, a).

T. J. Moorey: Pleading softly and getting rebuffed, such as Oliver T standing for seconds (p + musical (rev.) with T for s).

J. Pearce: Choice binding one in a court (I in a ct in plum, & lit.).

Dr S. J. Shaw: When less than half of America’s excited with Trump, and left replaces right, the result’s a legal decision (anag. incl. ica, with l for r).

P. L. Stone: Carefree climate about university vaccine finally released after positive outcome of trial (p + anag. incl. u less e).

R. C. Teuton: Taking McEnroe’s lead I act up, snarling about line judge’s decision (l in anag. incl. M).

K. Thomas: Malice, not showing hint of empathy, put crudely describes verdict (anag. less e).

J. R. Tozer: You’ll see impactful reforms following this ruling (comp. anag. incl. f).

Ms S. Wallace: Rich but smug planet foolishly ignoring Thunberg’s desperate plea (anag. less anag.; ref. Greta T.).

L. Ward (USA): I clap wildly at the first indications of the USA’s momentous decision (anag. + t, U, m).

A. J. Wardrop: This court ruling, given force, could be impactful (anag. less F).

R. J. Whale: Judge’s verdict? Using this I can repackage cup and mail it! (anag. less I; ref. October 2020 Azed Cup win).

A. Whittaker: Floundering POTUS initially criticises mail, so this might result (comp. anag. incl. c, & lit.; ref. Trump’s distrust of postal votes).


D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, A. Brash, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, A. G. Chamberlain, T. Clement, W. Drever, H. Freeman, R. Gilbert, A. H. Harker, R. J. Heald, W. Krzanowski, J. C. Leyland, P. McKenna, Rev Prebendary M. R. Metcalf, J. R. C. Michie, S. J. O’Boyle, D. Price Jones, S. Reszetniak, A. Roberts (New Zealand), A. D. Scott, D. P. Shenkin, A. J. Shields, J. Smailes, P. A. Stephenson, S. J. J. Tiffin, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Mrs A. M. Walden, G. H. Willett, K. & J. Wolff.

139 entries, almost no mistakes detected. Favourite clue, of 19 voted for at least once, was ‘Glen, David or Jonathan dropping by’ for DIMBLE, well ahead of the rest. The clue that caused the most trouble was ‘I’m served in the manner of the bargeman’s wife, mustily dressed’ for MYTILUS. The Chambers entry for marinière will, I’m sure, dispel any lingering bafflement. (All these years I’ve been enjoying moules marinières and I had no idea they took their name from French canal folk.)
You seem to have found the puzzle to be of average difficulty, and the clue word on the friendly side. Several competitors expressed gratitude that I didn’t ask you to clue CYNGHANEDD, which certainly took me a while to come up with even a passable clue for. It is just another one of those outlandish words I stumbled on and couldn’t resist, probably for the first and only time. Most popular ideas for dealing with PLACITUM were (understandably) the pandemic and the US election, both of which may still be with us for some time, worse luck. The ‘claim put’ anagram was rather too popular to score very highly. One entry was submitted by a pseudonymous duo. They asked for it not to be considered in the competition, but I thought it too good not to share it with you: ‘Trump’s Republican side I fancy could give Biden surprise with this court ruling’. A lovely example of a ‘comp. anag. & lit.’ clue (see my remarks in the slip for No. 2,517).
Newer solvers may not understand the reference following Mr Whale’s VHC above. In continuation of a tradition from the Ximenes series, a small silver cup is passed on by each monthly competition winner to the next, so Mr Whale, who won last month, will have posted it on to Mr Barley, who will do the same in turn next month.
Fans of ‘Printer’s Devilry’, who have had to wait some time since the last PD puzzle, may be pleased to hear that the next one is scheduled for the February 2021 competition, which I’m currently working on.


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Second prize winner by M. A. Macdonald-Cooper in competition 1303