Clinical Data – October 2021 Update

Apart from the abbreviations, which are almost entirely taken from Chambers, the core entries in the Clinical Data lists were derived from successful clues in Azed competitions, supplemented by indicators which I myself have identified and others which I have seen used in puzzles and have felt to be acceptable. I periodically update the lists,

  • Adding as ‘Standard’ or ‘Advanced’ any indicators which I have identified as acceptable when setting my own puzzles
  • Removing indicators that I have had cause to question
  • Adding, removing or changing the designation of indicators based on the suggestions of visitors to this site
  • Adding indicators used in successful Azed clues if I consider them to be acceptable

On occasion I go through a section of the Azed clue archive, picking out indicators which have been used in successful (VHC or above) clues and do not appear in the relevant data table. I then check the meanings given by Chambers, clarifying in the OED where necessary, to decide whether I think that they are valid.

I have recently trawled the Azed slips from 1000 to 1095. Many of the ‘new’ indicators I have rejected as being to my mind unjustifiable, but a number of others have made the grade.

This update sees the inclusion of the following:

  • fitting/fits (present participle/indicative, anagram indicator, definition ‘to suffer an epileptic fit’)
  • fiery (adjective, anagram indicator, definition ‘ardent, impetuous’)
  • heaving/heaves (present participle/indicative, anagram indicator, definition ‘to move into a certain position’)
  • uncouth (adjective, anagram indicator, definition ‘strange and wild’)
  • relay (imperative, anagram indicator, definition ‘redesign’)
  • sporting (adjective, anagram indicator, definition ‘frolicking’)
  • instinct (adjective, anagram indicator, definition ‘animated’)
  • unemployed (adjective, departure indicator, definition ‘not put to use’)
  • unframed/frameless (adjective, first/last letter deletion, definition ‘not set in a frame’)
  • husked (adj, first/last letter deletion, definition ‘stripped of husks’)
  • tailed (past participle, last letter deletion, definition ‘having had the tail removed’)
  • polls/polling/polled (transitive verb, expulsion/departure indicator, definition ‘to clip’)
  • spirited away (past participle, departure indicator)
  • lessened by/reduced by (past participles, expulsion indicators)
  • but for (preposition, expulsion indicator)
  • embeds/embedding (transitive verb, containment indicator, definition ‘to enclose’)
  • beds/bedding/bedded (transitive verb, containment indicator, definition ‘to embed’)
  • lists/listing/listed (transitive verb, containment/insertion indicator, definition ‘to border’)
  • edges/edging (transitive verb, containment indicator, definition ‘to border’)
  • patrols/patrolling/patrolled by (transitive verb, containment indicator, definition ‘to perambulate’)
  • perambulates/perambulating (transitive verb, containment indicator, definition ‘to surround in position’)
  • lists of (first and last letter selection indicator, definition ‘a border’)
  • alpha and omega in (first and last letter selection indicator, definition ‘beginning and end’)
  • last shred(s) of (last letter selection indicator, definition ‘a fragment’)
  • roll of (reversal indicator, definition ‘full rotation about an axis’)
  • trips/tripping (reversal indicator, definition ‘to tip up’)

The following have been removed since their use for the purpose cannot be justified based on their function in normal language:

  • detailed (last letter removal indicator)
  • a little (first letter selection indicator)
  • piece of/from (first letter selection indicator)
  • during (insertion indicator)
  • over (containment indicator)

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Dr. Daniel Price says:

    I of course should have recognized that usage for ‘loaded’ (as a synonym of ‘drunken’). The other synonyms you cite, however, are indeed “suggestive of disturbance” in a way that ‘loaded’ is not. Perhaps that is why I have not used ‘loaded’ as an anagram indicator to this point.

  2. Dr. Daniel Price says:

    You list ‘loaded’ as a “standard” anagram indicator. While I am not challenging this usage–I find it to be a most convenient indicator–I wish to know your rationale for its inclusion.

    • Doctor Clue says:

      Hi Dr. Daniel

      ‘Loaded’ belongs to the rather extensive group of indicators suggestive of intoxication (Chambers: ‘under the influence of drink or drugs’). I think the fact that a number of informal terms used to describe someone in a state of inebriation are in an alternative sense suggestive of disturbance of some form (‘trashed’, ‘hammered’, ‘wrecked’) tends to support the validity of this group.

      Some of the group have been marked as ‘advanced’ on the basis that they are no longer in common use, eg ‘mortal’, ‘whistled’. One that I haven’t included in the list, although Chambers ascribes to it a meaning of ‘drunk’, is ‘full’ – it carries no obvious suggestion of confusion and somehow just doesn’t feel right. I certainly wouldn’t use it.