Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1,817: A rare slip of the pen?

Posted by michod on March 31st, 2007


When I made an error in a competition puzzle last year, after failing to confirm a guess in Chambers, Azed was kind enough to drop me a note pointing out my ‘lapsus calami’, with a gentle reminder of the importance of checking one’s work. But what the hell, nobody’s perfect, to err is human etc… 22 Across in this puzzle appears to give the definition of one word, and subsidiary indications for the word next to it in the dictionary. How did that happen? Did this clue wander in from some fiendish Easter special?

Other than that, a relatively tough one, with about 1/3 of answers unfamiliar to me, and several more requiring confirmation in Chambers. Very elegant clueing by and large, as one expects.


9. TOHO. O HOT<. I think I’ve come across this in a crossword before, but the definition is a beauty, so casually misleading one to think setter = ME or AZ or whatever.

10. PROF(IT).

14. G(ERA)H. I hadn’t seen GH for growth hormone, but it’s in Chambers. The weight’s an old Hebrew one – they seemed to spend a lot of time measuring things and writing their diaries, from the number of weights, measures, letters and months contributed to the language.

22. ROO IKAT. As in kangaroo, and IKAT’s apparently a kind of tye-dyeing. But a rooikat is an animal – the word defined here is surely ROOINEK, literally ‘redneck’. Expect a correction note tomorrow.

27. BE DIZEN. Which means to dress gaudily, though I feel it should be a John-and-Yoko-style citizen of the bed, along the lines of ‘netizen’. ’12, Not nothing but I’ tells you to replace DOZEN with DIZEN.

29. MET OO. I got the wordplay, then wondered what a METOO was – it’s hyphenated as an adjective, as in the ‘me-too society’, so counts as one word here.

31. WAG (m)AT-THE-W A. I was looking for japanese-type words beginning with J. ‘Headed’ here means ‘beheaded’.

34. RACE. Not my favourite kind of double definition, and an odd word to put crossing 18 down.


1. STAGHORN MOSS. H in ON MOST GRASS*. One you have to guess then look up, unless you’re a lycopodologist.

2. POSE I DON. Niice straightforward charade.

3. CO(B)AL T. I never even got as far as looking up ‘burgee’, as I began the puzzle on the tube, but presume it’s a kind of coal.

5. LO(LIG)O. I’m more familiar with ‘lig’ as a verb, but I guess you could say ‘that was a good lig’.

7. KARENNI. NECK STRAINER* – S CERT*. The compound anagram is my least favourite kind of Azed clue, though they feature prominently among the prizewinners in his clue competitions. I can see the attraction of ‘neck strainer’, but ‘__’s cert’ as the remainder from the anagram fodder seems to strain the surface like a Karenni round the neck of the clue.

11. F(I)AR. Very precise definition, once you look up your guess.

25. VOGIE. (OGIVE with V going to head). This one led me a vogie dance.


One Response to “Azed 1,817: A rare slip of the pen?”

  1. says:

    Azed has trouble with his wandering eye, clearly. However, I am in no position to cast the first stone. Apart from the lapse, it was as ever a fine puzzle.

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