Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1805

Posted by neildubya on January 7th, 2007


A relatively easy Azed to finish the year. Quite a few tough words, and many that were new to me, but I was able to fill them in without checking the dictionary as the wordplay was often reasonably straightforward.

9 ANT in A MARINE – “bootee” is a services slang word for Royal Marine.
14 (s)NARE
17 (OPTIC)*, AL(e) – I’m unsure what “regular drink” indicates here. I’ve assumed it’s ALE but I don’t know why.
19 ERG in S(adis)T – SERGT is an abbreviation for Sergeant.
23 E in (A GROWL) – the numbering in the published clue was wrong; it should have been (3,4)
25 NET TAR< – RATTEN means “to practice sabotage against”.
31 MEL,EAGER – reference to Mel Smith (of Alas Smith and Jones, the 80s comedy show, fame). A bit of info about Meleager here.
32 (CANNES CEDE)* and/or (DANCE SCENE)* – two anagrams for the price of one. I’ve never seen this done before and I don’t really understand why it’s done here. I don’t think it does much for the surface reading.
1 T in HAULS – it wouldn’t be an Azed crossword without a word from Spenser the “old poet”.
2 PAR,MA – tasty.
3 (RETIRES)* in PROPS – one of those clues that instantly conjures up a mental image.
7 K,AURI(c)
8 BREN in YT – tough one this. YT is an obsolete abbreviation for “that”. YBRENT is the obsolete past participle of BURN. At least the gun bit was easy.
18 (LANG)* in A,E
21 R in (COMBI)*
22 SCARES< – ideal combination of an easy clue to a difficult word.
26 ANEAR – which is an archaic word for “near” (well-nigh). Not sure about the wordplay though – is it referring to “beard” as a verb to mean “to oppose someone openly or boldly” as in “ner-ner”. A bit tenuous I know but it’s all I can come up with.
27 hidden reversed in “leANER Figures” – another good easy clue/tough word combo.

One Response to “Azed 1805”

  1. says:

    26D: well I can grasp at straws as well: i thought perhaps this was AN+[b]EAR[d] — with AN for “one” and “enveloped in a beard” for EAR??

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four + = 9