Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(6): Guardian Clue

My point is that the Guardian clue, the iffy Azed clue and my three hypothetical examples all require one pre-processing pass in order to yield a definition of the solution. If we accept that the definition part can be subject to such pre-processing, then I think it becomes a question of degree - how straightforward (or otherwise) is the route from the indication in the clue to the actual definition?

Whilst I think that the Puck clue is rather weak (for a start, toads don't jump, as Chambers clearly states), the hop from 'type of fun guy, reportedly' to 'fungi' is a short one for the solver; my issue is that the journeys from 'draw back' to 'ward' and from 'endless party' to 'part' are at least as simple.

I'm not sure that I'd like to see clues like these (from a popular 1960s puzzle) returning, even if they were to be blessed with wordplays (!) :

'What an amorous king might do, we hear' for OGLE, or

'He may be riled!' for LAZY-BONES

I think we all accept that a fair proportion of wordplays will feature at least a whiff of indirectness (eg 'hand' for L in the Puck clue), albeit not too strong a whiff. Incidentally, Azed himself is not averse to the indirect anagram, as long as the indication appearing in the clue is sufficiently prescriptive, as in this example from May last year:

'Freshwater catch among 1,152 wriggling' for LIMNETIC (NET in MCLII*), and this one from September 2014:

'Persistent source of evil, he escapes Poirot deviously' for ULCER ({HERCULE - HE}*)


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