Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1877: Take a bow

Posted by jetdoc on May 25th, 2008


Very much at the easy end of the Azed spectrum (I hope that doesn’t upset anyone). I don’t know how long this took me, as I don’t time myself and I’m usually multi-tasking (in this case, I was drying my hair in preparation for day 4 of the test match at Lord’s; but you don’t need to know that). Anyway, I’d guess that I have never completed an Azed more quickly than this one.

Favourite clue? No clear winner, but I’ll go for 31a.

Apologies for the late posting, but my internet connection has been playing up (I blame the supplier’s network; they blame my equipment — grrr!), so I have been a bit cut off from the outside world.

2 CABALETTAS A LETT = a written message (letter) without ER; in CABAS = ‘a woman’s workbasket, shopping bag or handbag’. A cabaletta is a simple operatic song or instrumental melody in rondo form, characterized by a continuously repeated rhythm; esp in 19c Italian opera, the lively final section of an aria or duet. I must admit that I got this from checking letters and electronic Chambers.
11 RYFE F = force; in RYE = rye whisky. Spenser’s spelling of ‘rife’, meaning ‘prevalent’.
12 PAPER-DAY D = daughter; after *(rape); in PAY. A paper-day, in law, is one of certain days in each term for hearing cases down in the paper or roll of business. Personally, I think this term could have been clued a touch more tastefully.
13 CHANA Hidden in such an appetiser. The first one I solved; but then I already knew that hummus contains chick peas, also known to Americans as garbanzo beans, and in Indian cooking as Chana.
15 BORED Sounds like ‘board’.
16 TIMELIER IM; in ‘atelier’ = workshop, without A = ‘afternoon opening’.
18 SPUMONE SUM = add; round ONE = single; P = slice of peach. Spumone is ice cream served in layers of different colours or flavours.
19 ALOE 0 = love (zero, nil), in ALE, of which Morocco is a very strong variety, anciently brewed in Westmorland. If you look at this, you will see that the aloe is no longer considered to be a member of the Liliaceae. But there we are…
20 AEROSTAT *(a rotates). An aerostat is a balloon or other aircraft lighter than air; a balloonist; an air-sac (zool)
22 LOPGRASS *(l a sprogs). Lopgrass is soft brome-grass. I would like more of it in my lawn, which would not pass any lawn purist’s acceptability test.
25 COTH Hidden in ‘discotheque’. I’m not too sure what a hyperbolic cotangent is, but presumably mathematicians are comfortable with it.
27 TAILLIE TAIL = inferior part; LIE = remain. A taillie is an entail, a limitation of inheritance to certain heirs. The alternative ‘tailzie’ would have fitted the space, but not the wordplay.
29 ATRAMENT *(a tar); MENT = old word for ‘mixed’. Atrament is defined as ‘blacking; ink; any black fluid, such as that emitted by the octopus’.
31 NO-ONE E = ‘bit of elixir‘; on NOON = at sea, the approximate time when the sun was over the yardarm and it was therefore acceptable to have one’s first alcoholic drink of the day.
32 SAUNA Ooh-er, some olden-days terminology here! Back in the dark ages, SA meant ‘sex appeal’ (also known as ‘it’ and extant only in crosswords). ‘UNA’, in Italian is the single feminine indefinite article. A sauna is (or can be) a steamy affair.
33 DESTRIER IS in *(rider).
34 CARP ‘See’ — ‘the third letter of the alphabet (C, c)’. ARP is air-raid precautions, which is what the Home Guard were responsible for.
35 TESSELLATE *(estate’s); including ELL = a varying measure of length originally taken from the arm; a cloth measure equal to 1¼ yard. From tessella, a little tessera — ‘marked out in little squarish areas’.
1 ARCO SALTANDO *(old sonata RCA). A musical term — adv with rebounding bow; n a quick staccato.
3 AFAR ‘A farm’ endlessly.
4 BENAME ‘Bien amie’ without the two Is, presumably. But can ‘bien’ (‘well’) mean beloved?
5 LATIN *(tail) N. Dog Latin is spurious or sham Latin. Pig Latin is a secret language or jargon made up by children.
6 EPIMERS *(spree I’m).
7 TEBET Hidden in ‘contemplate Bethlehem’. Tebet, or Tebeth, is the tenth month of the Jewish ecclesiastical, and fourth of the secular, year, parts of December and January.
8 TROLLS Double definition, although Chambers gives ‘troll’ as ‘vi to make a conscious attempt to provoke controversy or disagreement on the Internet; n an instance of this’, rather than the people who perpetrate it, as implied by the clue.
9 ADRIFT *(raft I’d).
10 HYDROTHERAPY I’m not sure of all the wordplay for this. It’s *(hot dry pay), but where does the ‘her’ come from? I may have worked this out earlier, but forgotten.

See note below.

14 HAPLONT *(plant ho), ‘ho’ being ‘useless house’. With a degree in genetics, perhaps I should be familiar with this term, but I’m not. It is ‘an organism in which only the gametes are haploid, meiosis occurring at their formation and the vegetative cells being diploid’ — so we are haplonts, then. I don’t think ‘organism meiotically affected’ is a good definition (diplonts are also ‘meiotically affected’, but in the opposite way), but that’s me being pedantic, and the answer’s clear enough.
17 ELATION ‘Relation’ minus its first letter.
21 EATERIE *(eatier E) — i.e. an anagram of ‘the meatier E’ without ‘them’. Not very elegant.
23 POROSE PROSE (with an obsolete definition ‘narrative’) including O.
25 CLOACA CA = roughly (circa); *(coal). A cloaca, by extension from its meaning of ‘sewer’ etc. can mean ‘a sink of moral filth’.
26 OMERS *(Morse). An omer is a Hebrew dry measure containing about 2¼ litres, 0.1 epha; (with cap) the seven-week period between the second day of Passover and the first day of Shavuoth, at the start of which an omer of grain or sheaf of corn is offered as a sacrifice.
28 ANGEL NG in (ale).
30 QUAT Hidden in ‘aquatints’. A dialect word for a pimple.

6 Responses to “Azed 1877: Take a bow”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    Wordplay for 10Dn I think is: H (hot) + DRY* + OTHER (additional) + PAY*.

  2. jetdoc says:

    Duh! I did originally get this (honestly!) but couldn’t get it a week later. Senility of rapid onset.

  3. rightback says:

    Agreed that this was easier than usual – it took about half the time I’d usually expect to spend on an Azed, although I only do it infrequently – but I had ‘rife’ for RYFE, which was probably avoidable: ‘liquor once’ = RIE was a possible interpretation but I should have realised that if ‘rie’ were a word I’d have known it. I guessed CABALETTAS via ‘cabal’ (no link whatsoever, it transpires).

  4. Bridgesong says:

    BENAME is from bIen-aIme (well-beloved), not bien amie

  5. Andrew says:

    Jetdoc – this post isn’t categorised, so it doesn’t show up in the Azed section.

    Definitely one of the easiest Azeds for a long time – I rattled through it in what seemed like no time at all.

    Interesting coincidence that EATERIE – with the same unusual spelling – also occured in Azed 1876, though with a totally different clue. I rather liked the clue in this one – as well as having a definition plus composite anagram, the whole surface reads as a kind of &lit: EATERIE being an American thing, it doesn’t serve English chops.

  6. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Andrew. My internet connection managed to function at an acceptable speed for long enough for me to remedy that. The ‘category’ boxes are now right down the screen, and easy to forget.

    I agree that there’s a kind of &lit in EATERIE, but I thought the composite anagram was not one of Azed’s best.

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