XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 176
1. C. E. Gates: A splutter when it’s about to start? Must be one of the plugs! (go in spit).
2. L. E. Eyres: Childless at first, in the end my wife presented me with Peg (sp, I got).
3. Rev E. B. Peel: Childless, I became a father—that will regulate the beer-supply! (sp, I got).
C. A. Baker: Servants should be given to early rising—or it’s the bung! (to gips (rev.); the bung = the sack (sl.)).
Rev L. Blackburn: Control of the drunkard’s ways when the iron enters into his soul (pig in sot; pig iron).
Mrs L. Jarman: Give me a good twist to fill the bowl: it makes my pipe gurgle! (2 mngs.).
Miss M. H. H. Johnston: Advance in old style roaster: a pin to save the dripping (go in spit).
C. Koop: When one’s in a hole it’s the check on outgoings that can be bitter! (cryptic def.).
P. W. W. Leach: Turn to famous American last words—“This’ll stop the barrel discharging” (to GI PS (all rev.)).
D. P. M. Michael: Often wants to be taken out for a drink, but a brute in a boozer (pig in sot).
Mrs A. M. Osmond: Here’s a fill for your pipe—you can pour out a drink when it’s out! (2 mngs.).
W. H. Pearson: The drunkard who has swallowed a hogshead and all is liable to block the passage (pig in sot; i.e. h. and all = the whole pig).
H. Rainger: There’s no more beer once I’m home; I have to guzzle in the boozer (pig in sot).
A. Robins: Give me a half-turn if you want a little draught to get past (sip, got (p.t.) & lit.).
T. E. Sanders: Spill used for lighting a pipe (2 mngs.; spill2; light = make lighter (obs.); pipe = barrel).
O. Carlton Smith: The G.P.O. has its letters all mixed up: a controller of the flow is needed (anag. of GPO its).
J. F. N. Wedge: Just a drop—about one gramme? Then turn me very little (I g. in spot, & lit.).
D. Ashcroft, Rev B. Chapman, T. Dwyer, Mrs N. Fisher, H. J. Godwin, C. P. Grant, P. A. Harrow, T. O. Hughes, E. Irving, F. Jackson, L. Johnson, G. G. Lawrance, E. W. Lee, N. C. Mahony, T. W. Melluish, C. J. Morse, D. A. Nicholls, R. Postill, W. O. Robertson, E. O. Seymour, W. K. M. Slimmings, J. Thomas, L. E. Thomas, J. Thompson, E. Whaley, A. Willox, M. Winterbottom.
COMMENTS—112 correct and nearly as many incorrect. The normal clues were intentionally easy: the theme came fairly readily to most people: the variations were very tough, and I had made it as hard as I could to get the required letters without seeing the point. Congratulations to those who got there: I think they won a noble victory. I was glad to read that so many enjoyed the struggle, including plenty of those who were defeated. I think all the connections are made clear in my notes with the solution. STARIEST caused most trouble of all. It was, I think, unwise to put in superlatives of such words as “stagy,” which are in Chambers: I could hardly have meant merely that the superlative form was not to be found there—that, surely, would have been quite gratuitous. I was pained at being accused of inventing the word “stary.” I don’t think many solvers are so sceptical of my honesty: I really wouldn’t treat you quite as badly as that— at least, I hope not—and I can spell “starry!” “Stary”— unpleasantly conspicuous” is given by Webster: as it wasn’t in C., I said so and gave STARIEST a definition clue. HOBS was what I intended for 18, but Lob is also a sprite of sorts and I think LOBS is a fair alternative.
The answer to the anag. of “schizothecals,” which I mentioned in the slip to No. 174, is “eschscholtzia”—in case anyone has wanted to find it and failed. A solver has sent me a nice 12 letter one, to which I may treat you one day.
I hope any of you who possess artistic skill will have a shot at the book-plate competition: it would be very pleasing if a solver could win the first prize. If I were a judge, of course … but I’m not (rightly)!
I also hope the date shuffles haven’t worried you badly: vagaries in paper supplies and the Election are irresistible factors.