Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1856/”Four in one”

Posted by ilancaron on January 5th, 2008


Not being an expert on Azed xmas specials, can’t tell if this is par for the course or a lot harder. In any event, I needed to resort to an email friend (PB) to get jump-started. Must be said that this is a tour de force in terms of integration. And I wonder if the misprinted letters themselves form a theme somehow (anagram or acrostic). The first task in solving is to identify the quadrants… so I’ve organized this blog thus. But still came up short in 3 clues… Thanks to Andrew and Roland now cleared up.

Misprints (NW)

1A PO(PP)A – Sad/Dad. POA is a type of meadow-grass.
5A S(PIR=rev(rip))ALS – Finding/Winding. PIR in lass*.
10A BER(GER)ES – Soda/Sofas. GER in beers*
12A S(P)ANE – Mean/Wean – yes, it’s Scots for wean.
14A TAR,GA(TO)P – Room/Roof – it’s a removable top I believe for a car.
16A C(A,TAN)ACHE – Dark/Dart – def is “Cupid’s dart” (a kind of flower). And A (believe it or not) is in Chambers as archaic “if”.
17A U(RED)O – Just/Rust – RED in central part of “qUOd” and UREDO is “rust” (in plants).
1D PA(STOUR,EL)LE – Verge/Verse – it’s a kind of verse indeed and STOUR is Scots for battle.
2D OUPA – Nun/Nan – where the def is Afrikaans grandpa (thus SA Nan is a South-African grandma). Hidden.
3D PEAR,CE – Brick/Prick – Scots prick (not that kind). PEAR is a brilliant (gem).
4D PONG,A – Tern/Fern – yes it’s a tree fern and PONG is “honk” olfactorily.
5D S(EP)TATE – Divined/Divided – EP is an Extended Play record.
15D CRE(A,TIN)E – Fresh/Flesh – A TIN in CREE (to soften by boiling).
18D DETRAIN=(and Rite)* – Tune/Tube and the def refers to getting off an underground train.

Anagrams (NE)
Note that the wordplay should lead to a valid word whose definition is not in the clue but is an anagram of the answer. And, unless obvious, I’ve parenthetically provided its meaning just for fun…

13A STRAE=(RE(A)ST)* – Scots straw (for bedding). (REAST is (Scots) cure with smoke).
19A PLATEN=PLANET* – probably wrong but it’s a worktable and PT is platinum but I don’t really understand it: “Worktable channel encased in platinum”. It’s right and the anagram wordplay is: P(LANE=”channel”)T.
6D PRION=(OR,PIN)* – PRION is a kind of petrel. (ORPIN is a kind of flower).
8D ARRECT=([e]CARTER)* – means alert (on the qui vive) and the anagram wordplay is rev(retrac[e])
9D LEATHERS=(H(ALTER)ES)* – (HALTERES are the hindwings of flies!)
11D SEDENTARILY=(DI(SENT,RAY)LE)* – Anagram wordplay is: SENT,RAY in idle* (Spenserian disembowelment).
19D PINSENT=(SPIN,NET)* – Our proper name (ref. Matthew — thanks to comments).  “One outstanding with oars to whirl e.g. trawl”. Anagram wordplay is: SPIN,NET.

Printer’s Devilry (SW)
I’ve indicated the insertion point and the missing answer. I wish I had some intelligent advice as to how to solve these… the only thing I came up with is “find the most awkward part in the clue and try to fit crossing letters… iteratively, until something makes sense”.

20A RETENE – “Are mo/ments…” – “Are moRE TENEments…”. (RETENE is a hydrocarbon).
24A EASTERNISM – “se/a king” – “seE A STERN IS Making waves”.
27A TESTATOR – “the la/ment” – “the laTEST, A TORment!”.
29A LIT,A,S – The “wrong” clue type – seems like a normal cryptic clue since LITAS is Lithuanian currency and S=Schilling and LIT=”settled”. Actually it’s an anagram with the wordplay producing A-LI(S)T.
31A ENSILING – “So inf/er” – “So infENS I LINGer”. Very smooth resulting phrase.
32A VEINLET – not sure about this… “Tug-of-war team wastes heat in grope slip”. Couldn’t get this because of my incorrect RELIC at 25D: it’s “hea/t” – “wastes heaVE IN LETting rope slip”.
21D TSOTSI – “tha/nks” – “thaT SOT SInks”. Another good generated phrase.
25D RELIC – “mo/at” – “and moREL I Cat regularly” since morel is a kind of fungus and CAT can be a verb meaning “vomit”. No, it’s “and moREL I Eat regularly” which makes more sense.

Normal cryptics (SE)

22A C(L)ART – Scots for dirty.
30A L(U)RGI – U (“socially acceptable”) in girl* — it’s a Goon Show neologism for an ailment.
33A CA,KEY – like spongey.
23D AM(T)RAK – T in rev(karma). Def is (American) railroad company.
26D S(A)UB,A – A in rev(bus, a) — it’s a kind of… yes… insect.
28D OGEE – compound anagram: (No eagle I)*=(OGEE, nail)* where “this” is OGEE and “talon” can be an OGEE moulding.

15 Responses to “Azed 1856/”Four in one””

  1. roland says:

    It wasn’t just me who found this a killer, then. I may say I was greatly helped on this when I received the Chambers Crossword Dictionary for Christmas!
    I made 19D PINSENT… and 32A VEINLET (‘wastes heaVE IN LETting rope slip’).
    One query, Ilan: I see what you mean about 25D being RELIC (didn’t know that usage of CAT), but I went for RELIE (‘morel I eat regularly’)- if memory serves, ‘relie’ is one of the Spenserian words Azed often likes to use. I can’t remember how this fits with the words around it, though, so you may well be right…

  2. ilancaron says:

    Roland: I suspect that you’re right since the EAT surface is somewhat better than the CAT surface though RELIC wins on the “more common” front. Has anyone checked?

    Thanks for the PENSANT and VEINLET — how does PLATEN work then?

  3. roland says:

    PLATEN is strange. I suppose ‘lane’ is in there (can ‘lane’ mean ‘channel’at a pinch?), but the rearrangement of the letters ought to be mentioned in the clue. That was one of several solutions that were entered in despair, rather than in certainty.

  4. Andrew says:

    I thought the LITAS clue was of the “anagram type”:

    Schilling invested settled: ALI(S)T – ALIT=settled with S=Schilling “invested”
    currency in Vilnius – def. of LITAS

    I agree that 19D is PINSENT – anag SPIN-NET

    PLATEN is correct – are you forgetting it’s an anagram clue? anag PLANET – LANE in PT

  5. Andrew says:

    PS I also thought 25D was RELIE – I think the improved sense of the undevilled version trumps the commonness of the answer. And it the morels make you sick regularly surely you’d stop eating them.. ;)


  6. Andrew says:

    PPS (sorry!) 32A (confirming RELIE for 25D) is VEINLET

    Tug-of-war team wastes heaVE IN LETting rope slip.

  7. Andrew says:

    PPPS sorry again, I see Roland had already given VEINLET

  8. ilancaron says:

    The clue type of 29A is “supposed” to be PD based on its quadrant, thus can’t be an anagram variant — and LIT is the p.p. of LIGHT (def 3) meaning to descend, to come down. So I think all in all it is the “wrong” clue.

  9. Andrew says:

    Yes, I agree it’s the “wrong clue”: the clue is not PD, so as the rubric says it “…has the wrong type of clue for the quadrant in which it begins.”, i.e. it has one of the other three types. I can’t see how it works as a straight cryptic (where does the A come from?), whereas I can (at a stretch) believe my explanation of it as an anagram clue. I suppose we’ll have to wait for the answers and/or slip to be sure…

  10. ilancaron says:

    we’re both partly right and wrong: it’s an anagram clue I guess: def is LITAS and wordplay leads to S in ALIT which produces A-LIST which isn’t in Chambers but perhaps is the well-known proper name? (am I stretching?)

  11. Duncan Shiell says:

    A-list is in Chambers under A, second paragraph right at the beginning, where it is defined as “belonging to the most important or famous group of celebrities”. I note that B-list and C-list also appear, under B and C respectively, but as yet the most common list for selecting ‘celebrities’ to appear on reality shows – the Z-list – is not defined, even in Chambers 2006.

    I agree this makes LITAS an anagram type clue. Whatever, it is the wrong type and forms the basis for the competition clue.

  12. Duncan Shiell says:

    Just one other quick comment – I agree with PINSENT at 19 down, from Matthew Pinsent, multiple medallist in rowing events.

  13. Andrew says:

    presumably “Pinsent” is the well-known proper name.

  14. jetdoc says:

    I identified 29a as the ‘wrong’ clue, but couldn’t work out what kind it was. I don’t find the wordplay very convincing, even now.

  15. petebiddlecombe says:

    Solving PDs: when the whole puzzle is PD, you have to solve some without help from checking letters. Awkward parts of clues are still worth looking for, but you have to either take advantage of the context of the clue to find words that could be there in whole but are only present in part, or make inspired guesses at ways that the clue might be amended to insert a word plausibly. In cases where the word spacing has been amended, you need to keep an eye out for alternate word splacings that could lead somewhere.

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