XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 185
1. R. Postill: When I have no head, the discriminating customer tends to sniff at me (i.e. s + tout2 or 4, & lit.).
2. D. M. Buxton: With a big trunk it’s difficult to change. Better get a strong porter (3 defs.).
3. E. S. Ainley: Butler can make me a charge for glasses, but a bob to get a tonic—that’s rather thick! (s to ut1 (see tonic), 2 defs.; ref. Wm. Butler & Co.’s stout, and spectacle prescription charges, continued under R.A. Butler’s Chancellorship).
P. M. Coombs: Having much to carry around in big bags, you need a strong porter (2 mngs.; bags = trousers).
L. E. Eyres: Do I stand that?, said Caesar. Yes, it was the opposite sort he couldn’t stand! (sto ut, Latin; ref. JC I.2.194, “Let me have men around me that are fat”).
Mrs N. Fisher: The porter’s a chap who is after tips (’s tout1).
J. A. Flood: The porter is astute, carrying nothing without tips (0 in (a)stut(e)).
Rev J. G. Graham: If you don’t give the porter a bob, he’ll hang about in hopes of a tip (i.e. s + tout1).
S. B. Green: This kind of porter has to do with a shilling tip (s + to + ut1, or s + tout1; do4).
C. T. Hatten: Porter wanted: should have a good head and mix well with natives (cryptic def.; ref. stout and oysters, see native (n.)).
H. C. Hills: Stand out and out for strong drink—plump for it in fact! (st(and) out, 2 defs.).
R. M. Mizel: The porter’s determined, but the tip giver won’t part with his shilling (i.e. s + tout1, 2 defs.).
C. J. Morse: You have to give a shilling in advance to every French porter (s + tout (Fr.)).
M. G. Powell-Davies: A shilling tip will have to do for the porter (s tout1 (vb.), or s to ut1; do4).
H. Rainger: A licence is needed to sell this game (2 mngs.).
T. E. Sanders: Racing spy after latest bit of news from best outsider’s stable ((new)s + tout1, hidden).
W. K. M. Slimmings: The best kind of man to have round, as Caesar would say (St. + O + ut2, & lit.; ref. JC I.2.194, “Let me have men around me that are fat”).
F. B. Stubbs: When Pussy was well-soaked, this porter took her in hand (cryptic def.; ref. nursery rhyme, “Ding, dong, bell, Pussy’s in the well …who pulled her out? Little Tommy Stout).
L. E. Thomas: A shilling tip has to do for this porter, and quite likely the mug’s content! (s tout1, or s to ut1, 2 defs.; do4).
M. Woolf: It looks black. Butler brings it home to the rich with reduced sterling allowance abroad (St. + out; ref. Wm. Butler & Co.’s stout, and R. A. Butler’s Jan 1952 proposal to reduce the travel allowance from £50 to £25).
J. T. Young: In first, out last! Good for you! (hidden; ref. slogan, “Guinness is good for you.”).
F. Allanson, C. A. Baker, J. W. Bates, T. E. Bell, Mrs Caithness, Rev B. Chapman, F. A. Clark, D. L. L. Clarke, F. L. Constable, W. J. Duffin, Miss R. N. Fell, J. A. Fincken, A. B. Gardner, C. E. Gates, H. J. Godwin, S. Goldie, C. P. Grant, R. R. Greenfield, M. R. Griffith, R. J. Hall, Mrs L. Jarman, C. Koop, G. G. Lawrance, H. Lyon, B. J. McCann, T. W. Melluish, D. P. M. Michael, Flt Lt W. O. Mitchell, F. E. Newlove, M. Newman, W. W. Pavitt, E. R. Prentice, E. J. Rackham, K. Reed, M. C. T. Reilly, A. Robins, E. O. Seymour, Mrs E. Shackleton, J. A. L. Sturrock, J. Thompson, B. W. Webster, J. Whitelegg.
COMMENTS—435 correct in another very big entry, and a large number who failed through writing “patri”—rather weak Latin? It pained me not to give first prize to Mr Ainley’s brilliant topical clue, but I didn’t quite like his abruptly interposed imperative “get.” Why not “for” instead of “to get?” “For” = “to” in e.g. “I like an egg to my tea, for my tea.” Then it would be perfect, I think. Mr Woolf was brilliant too, but I didn’t quite like the picture of a butler bringing home stout to the rich: he would be 4th.
There were many inexperienced competitors—and some older ones who also erred—so I’ll again illustrate violations of essential principles. (1) No definition:—“There’s nothing in half of what I try to say.” I-stut-ter? The word must be defined. In any case “what” appears to be redundant. (2) Clue to clue:—“The one who carries burdens has to be extra strong.” Stout does not mean porter in that sense: therefore “the one who carries burdens” is not a clue to “stout,” only to “porter.” (3) Obscure indirect anag.:—“If you have trouble with the outsize hassock, get an extra strong porter.” O.S.-tut: far too difficult to be of any use to solver. (4) Unindicated anag.:—“‘Totus, teres, atque rotundus.’ Caesar liked such men about him.” Note given:—“Totus” = anag. A note to me is no use: if an anag. is to be of no use to the solver, he has got to be shown! I will not admit these, however much other crosswords may contain them. (5) Irrelevant words:—“You need a porter to sort out your luggage at King’s Cross, or elsewhere.” S-or-tout, “or” elsewhere. Yes, but “your … Cross” has nothing to do with the clue: it is not fair to add irrelevant words to help out the misleading sense. (6) Irrelevant words in hiding place:—“In the Burma campaign the first troops to utilise the country’s resources fully were led by Wingate—not Slim.” A “hidden” clue needs a need hiding place, with nothing that isn’t used for hiding except a harmless “a” or “the.” (7) Incorrect syntax:—“We leave school, but without a tip for the porter.” Sto-we, b-ut. On the contrary, “we leaves school.” This is still terribly common. Why not “We may leave school?” These are chosen not to discourage but to help, and not as the worst but as clear illustrations: there were many worse examples and many highly tortuous combinations of these faults. But the general standard is definitely rising, all the same.