Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1,822: Reasons to be cheerful

Posted by michod on May 5th, 2007


NUDDY at 12 across brought to mind the lines from Ian Dury’s ‘Reasons to be Cheerful – Part 3: “Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy, being in my nuddy”. The song, discussed on the crossword centre message board last year, also counts as blessings “Dimitry and Pasquale”. I think there was a non-cruciverbal reason for their inclusion, but I’d like to add “Azed in my pocket”. This one took me a bit over half an hour on the tube/over lunch, plus a bit of dictionary checking and one correction.


1. CATCH THE TEN. Never heard of it, but the first part of the clue led there in the end.

11. UNRU(LIMEN)T. A Spenserianism; ‘limen’ makes an appearance now and then.

12. DUN<DY(e). See my ramblings above.

14. DOE R. Means a healthy farm animal in New Zealand, according to Chambers. As one with NZ forebears/relations, I think of ‘down under’ as meaning specifically Australian, but the dictionary says otherwise.

15. T(IE D)YE. Odd to have ‘dye’ featuring in two clues so close together.

16. IN TENS E. Decimalisation works in tens, very good.

19. DAT(ABAS)E. ‘Calendar information’ had to be ‘date’, but the French ‘abas’ is nice.

21. MOO I(s). Dutch word originally – you think of milk first, but moos come from cows too.

22. BA SIC. Clever. I entered this without getting the wordplay at all, but now I see. Ba’ is a Scottish ball, and ‘sic’ means ‘this is crap but don’t blame me, I’m just reproducing what was written here’.


24. ON TARGET. NOT GREAT*. Good anagram.

26. RA(TBA)GS/ GARB SAT*. Triple clue.

29. RET RIM. Ret meaning soak is much beloved of advanced cryptics.

31. GORG(e)<. Refers back to the previous clue for its definition, so having immediately dissected the clue before, you have to go back and examine its surface, which in this case is about a drunk.

32. RAITA. INDIAN RESTAURANT* minus AUNT’S DINER*. A classic Azed compound anagram, clever but not that hard once you see ewhat’s going on and make the subtraction.


34. D(IS PLEA)SANT. ‘For sure’ seems to be there only to help the surface, unusually.


1. CENTI M,ORGAN. One of those you get from the wordplay and checking letters, but seems deeply improbable – I wasn’t even sure where the word break came until I looked it up.

2. AQUIL(a)ON. Being more familiar with Spanish than Latin, I had AGUILON  at first (you know, aguila like the beer), but Chambers put me right.

3. TIDE, hom ‘tied’.

4. CUDDY. Nice word to cross with ‘nuddy’. I didn’t know any of these three meanings, all in Chambers, nor a fourth which is ‘the right of a lord to entertainment from his tenant’ – a sort of karaoke droit de seigneur.

5. TRUE DAGGA. As Azed points out, the definition is under DAGGA, which can mean Indian hemp, i.e. cannabis, or another kind of narcotic I don’t think I’ve come across – ‘true dagga’ being the former. But if it means cannabis in general, then ‘much-prized grass’ is surely incorrect as a definition (unless we’re contrasting the value of grass you smoke to what’s on the lawn).

6. (cart)HUSIans. A town in Romania, apparently.

7. TI(E-TA)CK. Not a special pin for holding smoked fish together, but a tie-pin, as in kipper tie.

8. NEON ATE. Very very young.

9. ONES. I’m guessing – is it a ref to Bertie Wooster?

10. STREETS MART. We’d say ‘streetwise’.  

13. AN TI(T)RADE. Opposite of a trade wind.

17. CO(TTOI)D. One to guess and check.

18. A BRA(X)AS. As in the Santana album. X=Christ as in Xmas, Xian. Good clue. 

20. SO(LIT)ON. One for the physicists rather than the surfers among you I think.

25. S(TAY)S. I briefly put ‘stags’ (wrong kind of guy) but of course it’s ‘tay’ – irish tea.

27. ARGH. whic(H GRA)dually<. I’m not so keen on this – the ballon seems pretty spurious as part of the definition, there only to give context to the container.

28. SEE L. An odd word meaning season, time of day, happiness and lots of things.

30. (yea)R IMA. Specifically, if you didn’t know, it’s the gap between the vocal cords and arytaenoid cartilages. Took a little working out – ‘no indeed’ means delete YEA.


4 Responses to “Azed 1,822: Reasons to be cheerful”

  1. says:

    9dn That’s right; Bertie used to visit The Drones Club.

  2. says:

    I got into real difficulties with 31a. First I had GROG, but then I suspected GROW… something vaguely to do with stomach growls, etc., even though Chambers didn’t really encourage the idea. I ran the clue past lots of people and got nowhere, but went with GROW in the end. Did anybody else find this clue particularly hard, or did I simply fail to spot how it worked?

  3. says:

    32A – I knew it had to be RAITA, but completely missed the wordplay. However, if you subtract “aunt’s diner” from “indian restaurant”, you are left with RAITA plus a superfluous N. Huh?!

  4. says:

    Oh my god, you’re right… I initially had NAITA, but realised I’d missed an R out. This is partly why I don’t like compound anagrams.

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