Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1820 – tough for me

Posted by petebiddlecombe on April 22nd, 2007


Solving time: 64 mins, with Chambers

Not sure why this one was substantially harder than the previous week. The problems I remember a week later are finding the beer in 1A, and my daft answer at 20A.

1 BE(D.S.O.)CKS – trade-names like Beck’s = beer are fairly unusual in British crosswords.
7 TeAcHeR – a beardless goat
11 BORNE = rev. of enrob(e) -
12 A(BIB)S – Abib = old name for Nisan (Hebrew calendar month), bib = type of fish.
19 CRUS(her) – leg (esp. lower keg) in Latiin
20 RAMP, hidden in foR AMPitheatre – and not the non-cryptic solution RAKE which I somehow fell for
24 G(Y)AL – an Indian domesticated ox – watch out for ZEBU and GAUR as other subcontinent bovines.
29 LOANS – com. anag. – ((long at sea) – (get a))*
30 NAP,OO – WWI slang for dead, from “il n’y en a plus” in the finest squaddie traditions of mangling ofreign phrases
31 EXPEDITORS – tide in expo, RS = Royal Society
4 SUN-AND-PLANET – plan in (aunt ends)* – name for a gearing system with one wheel moving round another
5 CANT – 2 meanings, both new to me
6 KE(PH)IR – fizzy milk from the Caucasus. Apparently no connection with kvass, which is made from rye.
9 RAS,CAS(S)E – the scorpion fish, with venomous spines
13 BIT,U(MINOU)S – minou is a French all-purpose name for a cat, like “Kitty”. The clue’s clever enough to quote: “Tarry a while with Parisian Kitty in the States”
27 (can)TA-TA

7 Responses to “Azed 1820 – tough for me”

  1. says:

    Re: AZED 1818

    (Apologies for the lateness of this comment, but I have just seen the winning clues of the clue-writing competition- I didn’t enter the competition in case you’re wondering whether any of the below is sour grapes!)


    The winning entry was Don Manley’s “This wheeze? I hope AZ solvers wised up!”. (EXPLANATION: Comp. anag. & Lit. Up= excited)

    The structure of a compound anag. & lit. is as follows:

    The answer (“This” or “——”) + word(s)= [anag. the answer (or a slightly truncated version if required, as it is in this instance) + word(s)] + anag. indicator

    In my opinion, Don Manley’s clue, good though it is, is not a comp. anag. & lit. It does not allow the equation:

    POISSON D’AVRIL + word(s)= (Anag. POISSO D’AVRIL + words) + anag. indicator…

    … because there is no N in the words to be anagrammed. It is nearly a comp. anag. & Lit…


  2. says:

    I think you need to read the Azed 1818 notes more carefully. The clue is supposed to lead to POISSO D’AVRIL rather than POISSON D’AVRIL, so the lack of an N is intentional.

  3. says:

    This was the first time I’ve ever attempted to solve Azed and I was very pleased when I finished it. I do often look across the clues, but unless I can spot a few answers straight off, I usually pass. There seemed to be a few fairly simple anagrams in this one (e.g. CIGARETTE END, EXPEDITORS) which opened the grid up quite nicely and encouraged me to go on. The meticulous clueing also allowed me to construct possible answers which could then be checked in Chambers. I did however spend far too long on EYEPIT, having accidentally entered GAYL at 24A, and was also stumped by the beer at 1A until late on.

    Really enjoyed the puzzle and am now suitably hooked, although I must admit I’ve found this week’s puzzle much harder!


  4. says:

    I’ve been trying to find the blog of 1818 on this site but there isn’t one. I haven’t still got the puzzle, but my recollection of the preamble is that the cluewriter had to write a clue in the “letters latent” style of other across clues crossing with the Scottish word for “April Fool”, “Hunt the Howth” (?), i.e. the definition was there intact, but the wordplay had to have one letter missing.


  5. says:

    At the moment, we don’t cover the Azed comp puzzles, as they’re already written about by “Doctor Watson” at Derek Harrison’s “Crossword Centre” site. The central phrase was “Hunt the Gowk”. As far as I can tell, the winning clue does what it needs to – the wordplay indicates POISSO D’AVRIL, and the definition (in this case, the whole clue) leads to POISSON D’AVRIL. The notes I referred to before were the details printed next to 1821 in the paper.

  6. says:

    I understand the point that you’re making, Peter.

    In my opinion, however, “this” (in compound clues) must always refer to the answer that is to be entered (i.e. POISSON D’AVRIL in this case), and not to any modified version required by the wordplay instructions (POISSO D’AVRIL here), which should be covered by the material to be anagrammed.

    The difficulty thrown up by compound anagram clues is that there has to be an equation between the two sides, as I have said above. If, as in this case, you have words to be anagrammed which don’t take account of the fact that “this”, i.e. the answer to be entered, has to be included therein, then you get an equation that doesn’t work.

    The second and third placed clues work perfectly well, avoiding the comp. anag. & lit. problem…


  7. Simon Shaw says:

    However, we were told in the preamble that these clues are abnormal, and so we cannot assume that in a composite clue ‘This’ will refer to the entered word. In this case we were instructed to omit a letter from the wordplay, so ‘This’ could justifiably refer to POISSODAVRIL, as in Don’s clue.


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