Prize Puzzle 4
1925 Daily News Competition (unsolved)
Gilbert Frankau

An excerpt from "On the Art of the Crossword" by DS Macnutt (Ximenes)
"...still far removed from the modern [1966] crossword but at least a matter of skill rather than of luck, was the series of crosswords, each one harder than last, forming the basis of a competition with a large money prize, intended to go on until an ultimate winner emerged. Perhaps the most famous of these... appeared in the Daily News in 1925: the first prize was £5,000 [> £200,000 nowadays]. The first puzzle was a very easy one: there were more than 100,000 entries (entry fee, 1s. per time). At this point, Gilbert Frankau, the novelist, was called in as composer to complete the process of elimination. This he did, in four more rounds. The third of these demanded a knowledge of French, Spanish, German, Italian and higher mathematics: after this, there were still over 300 competitors left. His fourth puzzle, of which I have been able to obtain a copy, was not wholly solved by anyone; the prize was shared by a syndicate of London solvers, who presumeably had the fewest letters wrong. To show the almost incredible tortuosity that was resorted to, and to preserve what may be regarded as a historic work, this puzzle, cumbersome as it is, is appended..."

In this BlueJay edition, I have changed the clue numbers (and references) to adapt to the modern convention - the letters of the clues are as they were. No enumeration was provided in the original puzzle, so none is given here. I have also taken liberty to change some of the language in a few clues (using [italics]) to avoid some issues that a century of social evolution have addressed.

A personal note from BlueJay - I have "parsed" almost all of these, with reference to the bible, historical texts, archaic language and 1920's culture. I can provide explanations for most of the answers, but there are several that still elude me.

I provide this puzzle initially without solution information, because I'm interested to see how many correct answers arrive. BUT I will change the options on the puzzle to reveal letters after an appropriate amount of time.