XIMENES CROSSWORD No. 265
1. C. J. Morse (SW1): Geysers rattle and knock about 3 a.m. (The heater blows up about noon) (anag. of three am, m. (= noon) in anag.).
2. E. L. Mellersh (Enfield): They are seen coming up from the Underground—busts that are fitted to a T (T + Hermae; escalator advts.).
3. W. K. M. Slimmings (New Malden): You want comforts in cold winters, or warm springs? The recipe? Try the soft, alluring West (the r. Mae (West)).
E. S. Ainley (Harrow): Plurality of warm spring suits, obtainable from the Shop before the end of the Sale (the + RMA + e; Royal Military Academy (Sandhurst), known as ‘the Shop’).
C. Allen Baker (Milnathort): Mal-de-mer—and heat—can produce swimming spots accompanied by vapours (anag. of mer heat).
J. W. Bates (Westcliff-on-Sea): Arriving at three a.m. so fuddled, one might get into hot water! (anag.).
Mrs R. M. Blake (Alverstoke): New Zealand has these sights to show the Queen after she’s headed West (the R Mae (West), & lit.; ref. Royal visit 1953-4).
C. R. Haigh (NW1): These springs constituted the surroundings for the Queen’s meeting with the Maoris’ leaders (ER Ma(oris) in the, & lit.; ref. Royal visit 1953-4).
B. J. Iliffe (Liverpool): Early hot house flowers (cryptic def.; flow, vb.).
R. Postill (Jersey): You won’t find a single bath mat here oddly enough (anag. & prob. lit.).
E. J. Rackham (Totton): Hot spot for the Queen? Yet see her mate in one move (anag.; ref. Royal visit to New Zealand 1953-4).
A. Robins (Manchester): A victory for Persia—we must abandon poly-synthetic geysers (Thermopylae less anag. of poly).
C. Rosebourne (Manchester): Dips in the course at Cheltenham upset the mare (anag.; C. Spa, watercourse).
T. E. Sanders (Walsall): Three a.m. and drunk! You may he getting into hot water here (anag.).
H. S. Tribe (Sutton): Where the Dipper used to be visible from 3 a.m., roughly (anag. of three am; ref. constellation).
C. T. Tulloch (Consett): Caught in another maelstrom bound for Aguascalientes (hidden; A. = hot springs (Sp.)).
Lt Col P. S. Baines, Miss A. W. Baldy, Mrs P. L. Baynton, V. E. Brooke, G. E. Chappell, D. L. L. Clarke, J. McI. Cruickshank, C. P. Dearnley, P. A. Drillien, W. J. Duffin, Mrs D. M. D’Eath, D. J. Furley, C. E. Gates, S. Goldie, S. B. Green, Rev A. D. Hodgson, J. J. Holloway, P. Holtby, A. R. M. Hooper, C. Koop, Mrs H. M. Lloyd, J. P. Lloyd, T. W. Melluish, D. P. M. Michael, J. B. Midgley, Mrs A. M. Osmond, J. E. Povey, M. G. Powell-Davies, E. R. Prentice, G. W. Pugh, H. Rainger, N. Roles, E. O. Seymour, C. M. Sherrell, Miss R. E. Speight, J. A. L. Sturrock, J. B. Sykes, Miss A. C. Tatham, H. G. Tattersall, J. Thomas, B. J. Wain, H. Walsham, W. D. Wigley, R. Worth.
COMMENTS—244 entries. 233 correct. I have not waded through the records, but this must, I think, be the lowest number of incorrect solutions ever. Many people said they found it an exceptionally difficult puzzle. Fluctuations in difficulty are seldom designed deliberately: in this case the fact that there were only two anagrams had a good deal to do with it, and I fancy the change of dictionaries is still exerting a baleful influence: I hope this will be only temporary. “Terreen,” fitting with “geysers,” was a nasty red herring—entirely unintentional. If I wanted to set red herrings. which I don’t, there would be no need for me to try: they habitually seem to set themselves, but they’re all in the game, and I don’t hunt for them in order to remove them.
I will quote three nearly very good clues from the Runners-up, with the reasons which led me to pass them by. “If you want hot baths, have the heater overhauled on the first of the month.” I wonder if the writer really meant to put “about” instead of “on”? It’s so easy to make it sound by that change.—“We display sweaters in buff—and modelled to fit snugly round the bust, too!” Ingenious, but “and modelled” really won’t do for “et reversed.” Perhaps “Parisian and reversible” would help.—“Those truncated statues landed others besides Alcibiades in hot water!” This has a type of flaw which is fairly common when “end” or “beginning” is used. “Truncated” suggests a bit cut off the end—not necessarily only one letter, but surely not four or five. No rule is needed: it obviously depends on the length of the word: but I don’t think truncation should result in more than half being missing.
By the way, I don’t accept “geyser” in the sense of a comic old person. The spelling of the word seems to be always “geezer,” and a suggestion of sound would be needed.