Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1845: Quipsters and quacks

Posted by jetdoc on October 14th, 2007


As Azeds go, this was fairly straightforward to solve, and it had the usual quota of delightfully witty clues and elegant surface reading. I wasn’t too sure of all the wordplay, though; perhaps people can enlighten me.

1 QUIPSTER — ‘quieter’ with ‘e’ replaced by PS = private secretary.
7 APSE — One of those compound anagrams that (on a non-blog day) I’d solve without bothering to work out the details. *(steatopygous, less ug + tootsy).
10 UP TO — P = ‘a bit a practice’ in *(out).
11 TANALITH — *(Intal) in ’hat’ backwards. But I’m not sure about ‘solution in Intal’; wouldn’t ‘solution of Intal’ be better? Intal isn’t a solvent; it’s sodium cromoglycate, a drug used to treat asthma and allergies. Tanalith is a proprietary preservative for treating wood.
13 A’BODY — ‘a boy’ and D = daughter. A’body means ‘everybody’.
14 FOGEY — An old square. ‘Fey’ means ‘fairy-like’, and it’s ringing OG = ‘of green’. Why ‘return’, though?
15 CRUELLER — E = ecstasy, in ‘cruller’, a type of sweet cake fried in fat (yuk!).
17 IT SEEMS — *(Metisse)
18 SIXTH SENSE — Looking at this again, I can’t remember whether I understood the wordplay. The clue is: ‘Sort of hunch? It may require some searching in e.g. Chambers entry’. Maybe someone can explain.
21 HARASSEDLY — ‘in constant trouble’ is the definition. ‘Hardly’ = ‘with difficulty’, circumnavigating *(seas). Nice clue.
24 LEE-LANE — A Scots word, used only in phrases such as by my lee-lane, meaning ‘quite alone’. ‘Elan’ = dash, in ‘lee’ = shelter.
28 MORALISM — *(liars) in ‘mom’, what many Americans call their mothers.
29 EURUS — Rather strangely defined in Chambers as ‘the SE or, less exactly, E wind’. E on ‘urus’, the aurochs, or European bison.
30 LIMBI — Hidden word in ‘casual imbiber’. Plural of limbus, ‘the edge of an organ or part’.
31 ROANPIPE — A roof-gutter in Scotland. *(pain) in ‘rope’, which can mean ‘a glutinous stringy formation’.
32 NEON — N = ‘new’; eon = ‘age’. Neon was discovered in 1898 by Scottish chemist William Ramsay (1852–1916) and English chemist Morris W. Travers.
33 DIED — ‘candied’ (preserved) less ‘can’. I’m not sure about the ‘ages ago’ — Chambers doesn’t say this is an obsolete word.
34 SCHNECKE — *(cheese snack) less ‘as E’. A schnecke is a sweet bread roll containing nuts and flavoured with cinnamon.
1 QUACKSALVER — A quack, or dodgy doctor. ‘Quicksilver’, with the two I’s replaced by A’s (‘amateur’). Not a difficult clue, but a really neat one nevertheless, and a lovely word.
2 UPBRAID — To be clued by competition entrants.
3 PODESTA — A podestà is a governor, chief magistrate, or judge in an Italian town. I’m not sure about the wordplay — ‘pot’ and ‘pod’ can both mean a paunch, or round belly; ‘est’ is the third-person singular present indicative of ‘esse’, so means ‘is’; and ‘a’ means ‘one’. Why ‘fair’, and where’s the definition?
4 STYLO — My favourite clue. ‘Stylo’ is short for stylograph, a pencil-like pen from which ink is liberated by pressure on a needle-point. ‘Sty’ is another type of pen, for pigs; and ‘lo’ means ‘see’.
5 TALLIS — Thomas Tallis (circa 1505–23 November 1585) was an English composer, mainly of church music, which includes canons. ‘Tall‘ = great; ‘is’ = lives. Another nice clue.
6 EN FETE — ‘ene’ a short form of ‘even’, around ‘tef’, an Ethiopian cereal grass, reversed. ‘Ene’ is skirting the grass, rather than the other way round.
7 ALOWE — From Arthur Lowe, who starred in Dad’s Army alongside John Le Mesurier. ‘Alowe’ means ablaze, and a ‘roughie’ is a dry bough, esp one used as a torch. So, when it’s working, it’s alowe.
8 PIGWEEDS — A term for goosefoot, amaranth, cow parsnip, or other plant eaten by pigs. A ‘pig’ can mean a segment of an orange (news to me); *(swede).
9 STED — Alternate letters from ‘us at ready’. ‘Sted’ is an alternative spelling of ‘stead’ which could be used to mean ‘serve’.
12 HYOSCYAMINE — *(chimney ay so). A poisonous alkaloid similar to atropine, obtained from henbane.
16 EXHEDRAE — ‘ex‘ = old flame; ‘hedera’, an ivy genus, with its fourth letter relocated to the end.
19 SEALINE — ‘all’ less L (almost completely); ringed by ‘seine’, a large vertical fishing-net. ‘Littoral’ can be used as a noun, meaning ‘the shore or coastal strip of land’.
20 BLESBOK — BK = book; about ‘lesbo’, a lesbian. The lyric poet Sappho was a Lesbian; her sexual proclivities are not known for certain, but because she wrote love poems addressed to both women and men, she has long been considered bisexual. A blesbok is a S African antelope with a blaze on its forehead.
23 SERAPH — *(she) about ‘rap’, which can mean a crime or criminal charge.
25 LAUND — Hidden in ‘Viola undisguised’. A laund, in Shakespeare, is a glade or grassy place.
26 GALEN — ‘galena’ (lead sulphide) less A.
27 EUOI — Anagram of alternate letters of ‘pub I’m one’. ‘Euoi’ is defined as ‘expressing Bacchic frenzy’, which sounds a bit more interesting than just bashing out a drunken chant. Another very neat and witty clue.

12 Responses to “Azed 1845: Quipsters and quacks”

  1. Will says:

    14A Green = go(as in traffic lights)
    18A Refers to the numbered entries in Chambers. If you’re looking for the “sixth sense” of a word it would require looking through all the different entries until you found a match.
    3D I’m with you on this one. I put in PODESTA because it was the only thing that fitted.

  2. Michod says:

    I found this quite tough as Azeds go, but that may have been a combination of a few early wrong guesses before I got to a dictionary(pipweeds, schenke), some clues where definition and subsidiary reference were unfamiliar, and mental exhaustion after Cheltenham.
    “Sixth Sense’ was a bit of an in-joke, I suspect… if Azed uses an obscure meaning of a word, you have to search through the Chambers entry past the first and second senses of the word, perhaps even as far as the sixth!

  3. DFM says:

    PODESTA. That clue won PD Gaffey first prize in May 1978 (No 319) and was annotated as follows: (est in pod + a & lit., ref. As You Like It). Remember it well- but those who don’t can visit the & lit website with all the Azed winners on it!

  4. jetdoc says:

    14A Green = go(as in traffic lights)

    Actually, I realise I did get that when I first solved it… duh!

    For info, the website is

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    In 33A (What’s preserved, once removed from can, went off ages ago: CANDIED presumably) I can’t see how the wordplay works. Can is removed from candied, not the other way round, as in the clue.

  6. Paul B says:

    Is P D Gaffey entitled to a royalty, perchance?

  7. jetdoc says:

    In 33A (What’s preserved, once removed from can, went off ages ago: CANDIED presumably) I can’t see how the wordplay works. Can is removed from candied, not the other way round, as in the clue.

    I’m not completely sure about this one, either.

  8. DFM says:

    PDG should (and no doubt will) get a credit in the solution but certainly no payment(setters never get roylties for one-off puzzles anyway, only fees!). Most who have their old winning clues quoted by Azed are surely very happy to be remembered in this way!

  9. Paul B says:

    Are comp-winning clues by other people often deployed by Azed in this way?

  10. DFM says:

    Not all that often, except in his books for puzzles that were comps. In fact he’s missed several opportunities and Ximenes did it more often

  11. John says:

    Ref the DIED clue, ‘removed from’ = ‘apart from’. Like others, I can’t see the relevance of ‘ages ago’.

    The PODESTA reference is from the Seven Ages of Man speech (‘the justice in fair round belly’).

  12. Paul Daniel says:

    33A. Chambers definition of “go off” includes “to die (Shakesp)”.

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