Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1808 – Pearst off

Posted by ilancaron on January 27th, 2007


My first Azed. Definitely hard work: I invested at least 3 hours total. The vast majority of words I had to extract from Chambers. Azed’s saving grace is meticulous clueing – and, in the case of the unusual, almost verbatim definitions from The Big Red Book. The only words I unequivocally knew (more or less in the sense intended) were: NAPPY, LYSOL, GOLEM, PASCAL, MUSCAT, GATEAU, HULA, SALT, MARTYR. That left a lot of Chamber-trawling. The wordplay for MARTYR has me stymied, though Linxit below has a theory.   I hope this is considered a relatively hard Azed…


1 P(EARS)T – Spenserian “pierced” where “small part”=PT. And it’s what you do to your ears for “decoration”.
11 AU(DITA QUERE)LA – (read quite)* in AULA which is Latin for “hall”. The anagram was clearly indicated (“roughly”) which was my way in.
12 SCABI(OU)S – basics* contains OU (Scots for OK). It’s a kind of plant useful anecdotally for treating skin diseases. Again the anagram indicated clearly (“drunk”) .
15 BACKLILT – bagpipe chanter thumbhole: answer as part of word play: it’s “heart of lenT LILies” BACkwards.
16 A,R(BELL[e])A – Perfect case of being convinced I was right due to precise wordplay but didn’t know why ARABELLA was ‘easily treated’ – but, thanks to PeterB, discovered the “First names” appendix in Chambers and learnt that it’s from the Latin for ‘easily entreated’ (which isn’t quite the same thing actually).
17 AROB,A – def is: “central Asian wheeled carriage”. Rev(a, bora), where bora is “strong NE wind in the upper Adriatic”.
18 LYSOL – hidden in “PoorLY? SOLution…”. First answer spotted.
20 GO,LEM – Kapek’s robot and LEM is Lunar Excursion Module – which I suppose is the “moon landing craft”.
22 M(OT)US – Pacific reef islands: rev(sum) contains rev(to)
25 ITCH(MIT)E – ethic* contains MIT: an American university with lots of smart people who handily lend themselves to crosswords.
28 THREA,PIT – Scots “urged”. Heart* followed by PIT. I hazarded threaped at first but couldn’t quite make ped depressed.
29 C(OLLA,TERAL)ITY – CITY (“financial centre”) contains OLLA (“pot”, Spanish) and later* (“converted”). “Collateral” occurred to me fairly early on, but I wasn’t familiar with COLLATERALITY until I scanned Chambers.
30 HILAR[y] – Hilary term (Oxford) and anatomical opening.
31 N,UTTER – NUTTER is also nutbutter which is a “spread”. My last clue.


1 PA,SCAL – Cool wordplay: PA is abbrev(PASCAL), i.e. “that” and SCAL[e] is a “graduated measure”, well, “nearly that”.
2 EUCARYOTE – (you create)*. “Miscegenation” is a rather harsh anagrind! I wonder how many have EUCARYOTE in their immediately accessible vocabulary (other than biologists).
3 RIB,A – “Architects as a group” steered me towards RIBA. Britorgs love to be associated with royalty thus R, and I suspected A for “architects”…
4 STIPEL – (epistle[e])*. Another unfamiliar term.
5 A,QUALE,[r]ATHER – fishskin leather (thank-you Chambers). Took me a long time to understand the wordplay: QUALE is Latin for quality and I like “somewhat” (RATHER) “deficient initially”. It occurred to me at about 1am last night in bed. Precise and misleading.
6 MUS(CA)T – I actually knew (or guessed) all three components of this: the def MUSCAT, MUST (since musty is mouldy) and CA=abbrev(case) though I did have to confirm the latter in Chambers.
7 NER(K)A – Being from the Pacific Northwest you’d think I’d know all the various types of salmon. Near* contains K (“end of hook”).
8 A(R,I)L – I trusted my wordplay judgment but nonetheless checked Chambers that ARIL is indeed an appendage related to seeds.
9 P(ETI)OLES – POLES (“rods”) contains tie*. Def is ‘stalk-like structure, esp. that of abdomen in wasps…’.
13 AL(BERTIT)E – ALE (“beer”) contains (“spiked”) with bitter* (“fizzy”). Def is: pitch-black bitumen.
14 M(AST C)ELL – MELL (“mix” in Scots indicated by “localized”) contains acts*.
19 CHITTY – note (small chit) and ref. CHITTY CHITTY Bang Bang.
20 G(ATE)AU – GAU is an old German district (also used by the Nazis).
21 MARTYR – St. Andrew was a MARTYR. “Ultimate in cruelty”=Y but any offers for how this really works? Linxit below proposes that “cross” is T and Andrew MARR is the journalist.  Not sure about this since this means that Andrew does double duty: definition and cryptic.
22 MI(TC)H – mitch and wag: both can mean truant. Rev(him) contains rev(ct)
23 S(M)EAR – “Small piece of Meissen”=M contained by SEAR (“scorch”). Def is “fine glaze of pottery”. “Small piece” felt redundant to me.
26 HULA – haul (“drag”) with “a” moved to bottom.
27 SALT – double meaning: SALT is stored in a saltcellar. And the other meaning is archaic (indicated by “vintage?”) for “expensive”.

7 Responses to “Azed 1808 – Pearst off”

  1. says:

    21dn – I read it as T (cross), Y (last letter of cruelty), inside MARR (Andrew Marr, the journalist.

  2. says:

    Thanks – isn’t the clue about Scotch OK 12 rather than 13? (Not that it matters really…)

  3. says:

    linxit: interesting… so, Andrew doing double duty?
    chris: thanks. I’ll update

  4. says:

    I had a feeling that Arabella was a reference to the appalling Arabella Donn in “Jude the Obscure”. a novel which Azed, as an Oxford man, might favour…?

  5. says:

    hmm… well, seems a bit obscure. I haven’t read it, is the character particularly “easily treated”?

  6. says:

    Arabella Donn was a barmaid who let all the blokes in the bar buy her drinks… I suppose it is a bit of a stretch.

  7. says:

    I think that Azed would have alluded to Hardy, even obliquely, if this was the intention.

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