◀  No. 197 Clue list 20 Jul 1952 Slip image No. 199  ▶



1.  R. R. Greenfield (Ruislip): Riding used to be a cheap method of travel: now it’s a pastime for highbrows (3 mngs.; Riding = one third; 3rd class carriage; BBC Third Programme).

2.  F. G. Illingworth (Burnley): The way most of our people train, it’s simply no use trying the 1500 metres! (2 mngs.; 3rd class carriage; wavelength of BBC Light (i.e. not Third) Programme).

3.  S. Goldie (S. Shields): If you get the bird, you need not be upset—this programme doesn’t suit all tastes (the bird less be (rev.); BBC Third Programme).


C. Allen Baker (Wishaw): When one plays gooseberry, one should get the bird—and then be turned out! (the bird less be (rev.); third wheel).

F. A. Clark (Croydon): To follow most of this—take a degree! (thi(s) + r + d, & lit.; BBC Third programme).

A. B. Gardner (N21): Only a minority can achieve a degree involving a very stiff viva (2 defs.; stiff viva = third degree).

S. B. Green (NW10): Not even a runner-up ? This time you may be lucky! (2 mngs; place, time lucky).

F. E. Newlove (SE9): Degree of heat used in grilling (but not over the Primus!) (cryptic def.; third degree).

E. J. Rackham (Totton): Coming in after 2? You should get the bird and be turned out! (the bird less be (rev.)).

F. B. Stubbs (Marple): The degree of heat turned on in the cooler (cryptic def.; third degree).

H. S. Tribe (Sutton): Class of traveller who, first, will get the bird—then be turned out (the bird less be (rev.) & lit.).

E. W. Tulloch (Balcombe): This man was chased through a sewer and found in a field behind the gully (2 mngs. of Third Man; ref. 1949 film; cricket).

M. Woolf (Wembley): McDonald Bailey was inclined to be serious about the 200 metres (cryptic def.; ref. McD. B., third in 1952 Olympics and wavelength of BBC Third Programme).


H. Bernard, D. L. L. Clarke, B. G. H. Clegg, P. M. Coombs, J. Donovan, L. E. Eyres, J. A. Fincken, C. C. M. Giffin, R. J. Hall, H. T. E. Hone, Mrs L. Jarman, J. Hardie Keir, C. Koop, Mrs J. H. C. Lawlor, C. J. Morse, N. J. Reed, G. E. Rice, W. Rodgers, J. W. Ross, T. E. Sanders, Miss R. L. Saw, E. O. Seymour, A. E. Sharp, W. K. M. Slimmings, P. H. Taylor, J. Thomas, J. Vallely.

COMMENTS—224 correct and few mistakes in a puzzle whose western half was, I agree, difficult. Some hair-torn competitors prophesied a record low correct entry: the total was below average but nowhere near a record—standards have gone steadily up and it takes a lot to beat our modern solvers—nor, let me hasten to add, is it my ambition to do so! On the other hand the clues submitted this time lead me to think that such would be the ambition of some of you! I have never read so many impossibly difficult clues, and that is the main reason for the short lists of successful and nearly successful ones. One particular form of excessive difficulty keeps cropping up and I will exemplify it again. An indirect anagram, i.e., an anagram indicated not by the word itself but by a definition, is a device to be sparingly used; unless it is readily soluble, it is entirely useless to the solver except as a check after he has got the answer, and this, with a simple word like “third,” he does not need. Several competitors talked about “a tangled thread,” alluding to “thrid”: a few even used its verbal meaning, “to slip through.” Even “knocked about” for “thi-” is of questionable value to the solver. I hardly ever use an indirect anag., unless it will leap to the eye, e.g., “that is” indicating “i.e.,” or the like.
I’m afraid “Cleander” was very elusive. He is a bit specialised, but I thought I had given a helpful subsidiary clue; the initial letter was, to all intents and purposes, stated; however, I suppose the suggestion of Leander wasn’t clear enough, even in Helsinki Week. Apologies to those who found the search tiresome, though I know most of you like being teased! But I was surprised that “palmerin” caused trouble: I should have thought “victory over Ireland” was very straightforward. I expected “Suckling,” with the C as at least a strong probability, to give a start in the S.W. corner, but even he seems to have been long in coming. There are, certainly, few clues to the western half which were likely to yield their secrets quickly from scratch: so much the more credit to those who prevailed.

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