Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1872: Treading the boards

Posted by jetdoc on April 20th, 2008


Quite a pedestrian Azed this week, I thought. Definitely one for those with TEA (or a similar anagram buster) to hand — some obvious anagrams for obscure words, which could be hard work otherwise. Also one for the Caledonians, with lots of Scottish words (I will be attending MCC vs Scotland at Lord’s on Monday, by the way. Will I get a chance to use ‘splatch’? Maybe, given the weather forecast.).

And do I have a fave clue this week? Nothing spectacular, but I think 14d just about gets it, because fitting ‘ortolan’ = bunting (the bird), plus ‘pi’ (a printing term) into a nautical clue (‘bunting’ also has a nautical meaning) is quite neat.

1 BORDS Sounds like (‘for audience’) ‘boards’, as in ‘treading the boards’. I guessed this almost immediately, but couldn’t find ‘bords’ in Chambers at first. It’s under ‘bord and pillar’, a mining technique.
5 SPLATCH C (Chambers gives this as the third entry for ‘see’) in S[ylvia] PLATH. Splatch is a Scottish word, meaning ‘a splash or clot of dirt or colour; a splotch’. The poet and novelist Sylvia Plath was married to Ted Hughes, who later became Poet Laureate. Some who feel strongly about these things would say that if that was affection, he had a bloody strange way of showing it.
10 FLATUOUS FATUOUS around L[ake]. Flatuous means the same as ‘flatulent’.
12 RYMME Emmy reversed. ‘Rymme’ is an obsolete (‘lost’) spelling of ‘rim’.
13 BICCIES BIS = instruction to play again; CC = 200; IE = that is. ‘Perkin’ is an alternative spelling of parkin, a ginger cake or (more rarely) biscuit.
15 SPAT Hidden in ‘crosspatches’.
16 FRONT-RUNNER A dickey is a false shirt front; ‘runner’ is a Scottish word meaning ‘a slice across a carcase of beef below the breast’. I got this from the checked letters before I worked out the wordplay.
17 SERK ‘seen in kirk’ without its middle letters (is there more to this? does ‘eninki’ have some significance?). Yet another Scottish word — a serk is a shirt, chemise or surplice.
19 GASSER ASS = fool; GER = ‘in Mongolia, another name for a yurt. A gasser, in the US is ‘an oil well that produces natural gas; something exceptional or remarkable, very successful or funny’
20 VAT-MAN V = contrary; ATMAN = the divine within the self, the essential self. And I must do a VAT return sometime soon…
22 SHOO ‘shoot’ minus its end.
24 CORACIIFORM *(if ic car room) — a pretty obvious anagram, the inclusion of the abbreviation ‘i/c’ (in charge of) being a dead give-away. The order Coraciiformes includes the kingfishers, hornbills, bee-eaters and rollers. The name Coraciiformes means ‘raven-like’, which is a misnomer, because they aren’t like ravens. A Roller can also mean a Rolls Royce, hence the ‘car’ theme.
27 ROLF FLORida reversed. Rolfing, which sounds like it should be frightfully jolly but probably isn’t, is based on the teachings of Dr Ida Pauline Rolf.
29 BRAXIES XI = eleven; in BRAES. Soay is a breed of small, wild, dark-coloured sheep found esp on the island of Soay in the Outer Hebrides. Braxy is a bacterial disease of sheep, or a sheep infected with it.
30 ORGAN ‘nag r’ reversed; following O = ring. A hand organ is a barrel organ.
31 STRELITZ *(litters z). A strelitz was a soldier of the Muscovite guards, abolished by Peter the Great.
32 TRIVETS *(stir); about VET = check. A trivet can be a three-legged pot.
33 SORDA SODA about R. Sorda (female form of ‘sordo’) in musical terminology means ‘muted, damped’.
1 BERUFSVERBOT *(of subverter b). B is often indicated by ‘book’. Berufsverbot is an order of ‘professional disqualification’ under German law.
2 OF YORE Y encapsulated by O FORE.
3 DAMS Double definition. ‘Dams’ can mean ‘the game of draughts’.
4 STENT SENT; around T = ‘end of August’. Another Scottish word, meaning ‘tax’.
5 SUBERIN ‘sub Erin’. Suberin is the complex of fatty substances that form the chemical basis of cork tissue making it waterproof and resistant to decay. I much prefer screw-caps, myself.
6 POILU UP = ‘in revolt’, pocketing OIL. Poilus were French private soldiers, apparently hairy.
7 LUCINAS *(in cauls). A baby born in a caul is said to be protected from drowning. I was, and I haven’t drowned yet, so it has worked so far.
8 TRIPE-SHOP *(hopes); after TRIP = lapse. A shambles is a flesh-market — so a district that might include a tripe shop.
9 HYSTEROMANIA *(they as I); about ROMAN = upright (non-italic) type. Hysteromania is hysterical mania, often marked by erotic delusions and an excessive desire to attract attention.
11 PEARE Alternative letters of PoEtAgReEd — a Spenserian spelling of ‘peer’.
14 PORTOLANI ORTOLAN = bunting; in PI = jumble (as in printers’ pi[e]). Portolani, or Portolan charts, were used in navigation.
18 BAALITE ALI = name most likely to be of a Muslim; in BATE = rage. Worshippers of Baal were disobeying the first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”.
19 GRILSES *(is legs r). A grilse is a young salmon on its first return from salt water.
21 ACORN A = amateur; CO = company; RN = sailors (Royal Navy). Mast (as well as being something on a ship) is ‘the fruit of the oak, beech, chestnut, and other forest trees, on which pigs feed; nuts, acorns’.
23 ORMAZD ‘fOR Me, AZeD’ minus ‘fee’. A later form of the name Ahura Mazda, in early Zoroastrianism the creator and lord of the universe, later the good principle.
25 CHERT Hidden in ‘teacher-training’. Chert is a siliceous rock of cryptocrystalline silica occurring as bands or concretions in sedimentary rock, e.g. limestone.
26 IDOLS *(solid). An osolete meaning of ‘idol’ is ‘impostor, sham’.
28 BRIO BIO = biography; about R. Brio is ‘life’ in the sense of ‘energy’.

6 Responses to “Azed 1872: Treading the boards”

  1. rightback says:

    Good job I know a bit of German (for 1dn) or I might really have struggled with this. If I remember correctly, I needed books for the birds (not expecting a double ‘i’), ROLF and PORTOLANI (which I agree is an excellent clue).

  2. DFM says:

    Unfair to call this ‘pedestrian’ I think, our Jane. Interesting words well clued. I didn’t need TEA but I did use Chambers Anagrams once. And there’s nothing wrong always with a clue that is obviously an anagram. At least one can fill the letters in immediately and at the end one doesn’t have to decipher a tortuous preamble to work out what to highlight and in what colour! If that’s ‘pedestrian’, it still remains a nice Sunday afternoon challenge for me at any rate.

  3. jetdoc says:

    It wasn’t meant as a criticism, Don — maybe I should have chosen a different word to indicate that it was rather less challenging than some Azed offerings. I quite enjoy a puzzle that I can get out of the way without too much angst.

  4. Paul B says:

    Blasphemy. That’s what it is, Don.

    The last blasphemer to receive the ultimate penalty in England was a Thomas Aikenhead, in 1697. One hell of a close shave for the Akenheads, including that Edmund.

    As to difficult words clued by anagram, I suppose the legitimacy really depends on the expected vocabulary of one’s audience. In a daily puzzle (my only sphere of cruciverbal expertise) I think this is an absolutely unforgiveable sin, for which any compiler ought to have his or her clueless lights punched out.

  5. roland says:

    I liked ORMAZD- very nice.

  6. DFM says:

    Paul B : With Torquemada, Ximenes and the twisted Deza, the Spanish Inquisition is what you’ve got! The easy chair may come to you soon (or worse). Beware!

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