Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1871: I ain’t a blinkin’ thickie

Posted by jetdoc on April 13th, 2008


A pretty straightforward Azed — a few obscure words, but with plenty of checked letters to help, and mostly uncomplicated wordplay (though I did not fully persevere with 20a). There was a slip-up at 25d, but it should not have held anyone up.

Do I have a fave clue this week? Well, none really stands out, but I’ll go for 30a. And any valid excuse (see 32a) to give you links to the Blockheads has got to be OK.

1 OSSO BUCCO U = posh (U and non-U are terms now largely fallen from use except in crosswords) and BOSS = mistake, all reversed; in *(coco). Osso bucco is a dish typically served in the kind of Italian restaurants known as trattorias.
11 GOOFY OF = ‘measuring’ (as in someone of 6 feet); in GOY = non-Jewish person.
12 GORETEX *(e.g. oxter). Gore-Tex is a registered trademark of W.L. Gore & Associates, best known for its use in relation to waterproof/breathable fabrics.
13 ON-OFF Hidden in ‘station official’.
14 FLOKATI K = a thousand; in FLOAT = ‘negotiate’; I.
17 SLOG S = soprano; LOG = record.
18 SHIRRA *(Harris). ‘Shirra’ is an obsolete Scots form of ‘sheriff’.
19 SCRYNE CRY = yelp; in ‘ens’ = ‘being’, reversed. A scryne is a box or chest in which written records are kept.
20 TINSMITHS I’m not sure that I ever fully worked out the wordplay for this — it was obvious from the checking letters. There’s an anagram of ‘this’ in there somewhere…
23 STRONGMAN *(transom ng). NG often means ‘no good’ in crosswords.
26 FINRAY IN = fashionable; in FRAY. A fin-ray is a horny rod supporting a fin (presumably part of a fish’s anatomy rather than a piece of angling equipment).
29 MARMOT ARM = limb; in ‘tom’ = cat, reversed. Should you wish to find out more about the marmot, here’s a yellow-bellied one…
30 ECOD E = English; COD = ‘Doc’ reversed (medics take the Hippocratic Oath). ‘Ecod’ was a mild oath.
32 THICKOS *(chit); KOS = stuns (knocks out). As a fan of the very wonderful Blockheads, I do not consider them to be thickos. In fact, Billericay Dickie specifically (almost) denies the allegation.
34 TOSSILY *(list soy). ‘Tossy’ means ‘pert, contemptuous’, therefore ‘saucy’.
35 KISAN ‘as’ = when, reversed; in KIN. A kisan is an Indian peasant.
36 MADRILENE MADE = created; *(liner). Madrilene is cold consommé flavoured with tomato juice.
2 SONSHIP S = succeeded; ON SHIP.
3 SOOPING PIN = leg; under O = ball; in SOG = ‘a soft wet place’. ‘Soop’ is a Scottish word meaning ‘sweep’.
4 OFFY Presumably, ‘offering aged fino sherry’ with most of the middle letters (ering aged fino sherr) removed.
5 BYFORM ‘by’ for ‘m’ would change ‘Tom’ to ‘Toby’.
6 COLOSTOMY COY = shy; LOST = missing; OM = MO (doctor) turned up. If you really want to know more…
7 CROUCH COUCH; lined with R = ‘a bit of red’.
8 ITALY ‘vital‘ minus V = ‘very’; Y = year.
9 JETON ‘jet on’. For you young people, it was once necessary in France to purchase tokens (from a bureau de tabac, if I remember my O-level French correctly) in order to use a public telephone.
10 EXIGEANTE *(taxing e e e).
15 ESTAFETTE *(east); endless ‘fetter’.
16 FAIRY GOLD Let’s see what the competitors come up with for this one.
21 IMMERSE ‘swimmer’ minus SW (south-west); SE = south-east.
22 LAOTIAN *(ailantao).
24 TANKIA TANK = reservoir; AI reversed. The boat-dwelling population of Canton lived in tankia.
25 NASHKI *(has ink). According to Chambers and other sources, this should be spelt ‘Naskhi’, but apparently OED sanctions alternative spellings. Were I not blogging this (and if it hadn’t been very discreetly flagged on the Crossword Centre’s message board), I suspect I simply wouldn’t have noticed.
27 ICHOR Hidden in ‘Tartaric horsemen’. Ichor is colourless matter oozing from an ulcer or wound.
28 NOISY NOSY (as in ‘nosy Parker’); traps I.
31 SAIL This can mean ‘projection’, and a lug is a square sail bent upon a yard that hangs obliquely to the mast.

4 Responses to “Azed 1871: I ain’t a blinkin’ thickie”

  1. Andrew says:

    20ac is TIM(e) (endless hours) about SN reversed + THIS*. Sn is the atomic symbol for tin – always useful to know in Azeds.

  2. Richard Heald says:

    4Dn I interpreted as OF (= aged) + F, Y (outside letters of ‘fino sherry’).

  3. jetdoc says:

    4Dn I interpreted as OF (= aged) + F, Y (outside letters of ‘fino sherry’).

    Actually, come to think of it, I did get that when I originally solved it. I should have made a note. Thanks anyway.

  4. PB says:


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