Never knowingly undersolved.

Observer Azed 1834: Overlaps

Posted by jetdoc on July 29th, 2007


This was lots of fun — high-quality clues, as ever, from Azed, with a nice twist to make it even more interesting.

Each across clue was for two overlapping words — one was clued normally; the other was defined normally, but the cryptic indication gave only the portion minus the two overlapping letters. For the across clues, I have listed the answers first in the order they appear in the grid, then described them in the order they are clued.

1 STATIST : STARETS — A statist is a politician: *(sits) (‘feverishly’ is the anagram indicator) with TAT (= rubbish) inside. A starets (in Russia) is a holy man, a religious teacher or spiritual adviser. The cryptic indication is for ARETS: ‘aret’ is an old word meaning ‘entrust, commit, assign, allot, adjudge or award’.
9 TAMASHA : HADITH — A tamasha is a show. The indication is for TAMAS: an extract from GuaTAMA Should. The Hadith is ‘the body of traditions about Mohammed, supplementary to the Koran’. ADIT = passage, in HH = very hard (of pencils).
11 ABIDDEN : ENAMOUR — ENAMOUR = charm: *(Roman EU). ABIDDEN is an old past participle for ‘abide’ meaning ‘tolerate’. The indication is for ABIDD: AD = notice (advertisement), about BID = price offer.
15 DECIMAL : ALTERED — ‘decimal fraction‘: ‘iced’ backwards (after returning); MAL = sickness. ALTERED = changed. The indication is for TERED: *(tree) (tree that’s withered), followed by D = died.
16 REATE : TEATIME — Teatime, in some people’s world, is mid-afternoon: ‘ita’ (the miriti palm) backwards; in [the River] Teme, which rises in mid-Wales and joins the River Severn south of Worcester. REATE is the water-crowfoot (of the Ranunculus genus). The indication is for REA: R = right, beside EA = a dialect word for river.
18 REALTOR : ORLES — A realtor is an American estate agent. The indication is for REALT = *(later). An orle is a term from heraldry, meaning ‘a number of small charges set as a border’: its plural is contained in fOR LESsees.
21 DESPISE : SEATTLE — Seattle (often regarded as the birthplace of grunge music, no less) has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption; coffee companies founded in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and Tully’s. The indication is for ATTLE: TT = teetotal, held in ALE = beer. DESPISE = scorn: ’sips’ backwards, inside (‘bottled in’) DEE = a euphemism for damn.
25 ROUNDLE : LEANING — LEANING = penchant. The indication is for ANING: AN = one, with *(gin). A roundle is, among other things, a ladder rung: Oundle (a public school), following R = rule.
26 FRACAS : ASSIEGE — ‘Invest’ can mean ‘besiege’ in a military context, and ASSIEGE is an old word meaning the same: ASS = fool, IE = that is, about EG = for example. A fracas is a heated dispute. The indication is for FRAC: FR = frequently, with AC = account, both ‘short’, or abbreviated.
27 DIALIST : STOCKED — A DIALIST is a maker of dials, or faces: ‘laid’ reversed (‘set back’); *(it’s). STOCKED = supplied. The indication is for OCKED = *(decko).
1 STANDARDBRED — A breed of horses used for racing in the US: STAND = stall; *(drab); RED = colour.
2 TABRERE — Spenser used ‘tabrere’ to mean ‘a person who beats the tabor’: TAB = drug (short for ‘tablet’); RE RE = ‘concerning’ twice.
3 TADDIE — A pollywog is a tadpole, called a ‘taddie’ in Australia: TAD = a little; DIE = cube.
4 SHEBAT — The fifth month in the Jewish calendar: *(he’s), on BAT. I can’t find a definition of ‘bat’ meaning ‘large vessel’, though.
5 TANA — A mainly terrestrial tree shrew (Lyonogale tana) of Sumatra and Borneo: first letters of (heads for) ‘tree avoiding naga’s attack’.
6 RIMAE — Plural of ‘rima’, the gap between vocal cords and arytaenoid cartilages: *(me air).
7 THUD — T, with ’hound’ minus ‘on’. Thuds are often described as being dull.
8 STRIDELEGGED — A Scottish word meaning ‘astride’: *(Lester did E GG). Nice horse-racing allusion.
10 TOURISTY — *(Troy utis). Having experienced Cambridge during the tourist season, I sympathise with those in Oxford who feel under siege at times.
12 DOMATIA — Plural of ’domatium’, a plant structure that harbours mites or other symbiotic organisms: DO MAT = clean rug; A1 (ideal) reversed.
13 ECRASEUR — A surgical instrument in the form of a wire or chain loop which cuts as it tightens: *(cure), with RASE = slash, internally.
14 ATALAYA — A watchtower: TA (volunteers, Territorial Army), LAY (were positioned), in AA, a type of scoriaceous volcanic rock.
17 MELANGE — A medley: *(gleeman). ‘Gleeman’ is a old word meaning ‘minstrel’.
19 REGEST — A register (Milton): EG = as (which can mean ‘for instance’), in REST.
20 ETHNIC — Often loosely used (though not with my approval) to mean ‘foreign’. N = little new, in ETHIC = an attitude, often used in the term ‘work ethic’.
22 PENAL — N in PEAL = toll (double meaning).
23 SOFI — SO = well placed (as in ‘just so’), ‘if’ reversed (‘rising uncertainty’).
24 ALAS — Double meaning — ‘unfortunately’ and ‘Alas.’ (Alaska, where Anchorage is). Anchorage has been put at the beginning, to legitimise the capital letter. I’m sure I worked out where ‘expansion section’ came in, but I didn’t make a note and I’m afraid I can’t remember.

4 Responses to “Observer Azed 1834: Overlaps”

  1. petebiddlecombe says:

    Also thought this was a good puzzle. As STATIST was my first answer, it was handy to get a definite ST in the middle of the top row. For some reason, the puzzle got filled in very much from top to bottom. I wonder whether it’s significant that the outside down entries are both “horsey”.

  2. linxit says:

    Yes, nice puzzle. When I read the preamble I thought it would turn out trickier than was the case.

    Thanks for explaining the wordplay for TEATIME and ROUNDLE, I didn’t manage to work them out. I can explain 24A though – it’s wordplay in between the two definitions, which is a strange way of constructing a clue…ALA = “expansion section” + S(mall).

    4D – I had SHEVAT, which is an alternative spelling for SHEBAT, and explains the “large vessel”.

  3. jetdoc says:


    Silly (lazy, anyway) of me not to get SHEVAT.

    Now I remember the full wordplay for 24A — I got it when I first solved it, but couldn’t remember when I came to blog it.

  4. jetdoc says:

    I just checked Peter’s blog of the previous week’s Azed, and I see why I thought orles were somehow familiar. This is one of those Chambers definitions that somehow raises more questions than it answers.

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