Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1878: the Irish question

Posted by bridgesong on June 1st, 2008


Solving time: longer than I care to admit, but see 16 across. I completed about three quarters of the puzzle in an hour, but the northeast quadrant proved to be stubborn. This is my first blog, so apologies for any formatting errors.


1 SPLENITIS – SPLIT SPINE* – a simple anagram to start off.

7 UMP – an umpire deals with appeals; not sure about the wordplay but as 3 letter

words are all checked in Azed grids, it doesn’t matter too much.

11 AGACERIE – to be found in Chambers under AGACANT. The construction appears to be

ACE RI in AGE, with ACE meaning one.

12 FECULA – anagram of CAREFUL, minus the R.

13 ILIAC, from ILIACUS, which is a muscle. I thought at first that Trojan might imply

a hidden clue, but it turned out to be the definition.

14 TRIDACNA – a simple anagram for an obscure word.

15 TOPI – well, top means head, but I can’t explain the I. A topi is an antelope.

16 KINSALE – the last clue I solved, and I wasted a lot of time on it before Google

provided the answer. It’s apparently a town in Ireland popular with sailors. I

felt that we should have been warned that there was a place name not to be found in


18 BIGENERIC – BIG EN (a measure) ERIC (a blood-fine).

22 PAIRHORSE – an anagram of A SHOP, RiveR, IE. It means a carriage drawn by a span,

which is a pair of horses.


26 KNAR – it means a knot in wood, (so does KNAG) but is also RANK reversed.

27 DRAPIERS – the clue makes sense when you discover that one of the meanings of TUCK


29 LAITY – IT in LAY(which can mean to plan).

30 PINYIN – PINY (like a conifer) + IN (popular). It’s defined as an alphabetic system

for the transcription of Chinese, esp. Mandarin.

31 OMNIVORE – another simple anagram.

32 RIG – another 3 letter word, which I solved before reading the clue, as a result of

the checking letters! It’s RIG(ID), using the fourth of five definitions of RIG in


33 CANDLE-END – a beautifully misleading surface reading. LEADEN* in CND. SERGE is

a variant of CERGE.


1 SOFT-TOP – OFT in STOP. Note that SOFT TOP is shown as the noun, but the

adjectival form is hyphenated, which is why it is shown as one word in the clue.

2 PLEROMA – anagram of RO(OM) + AMPLE.

3 LOCI – hidden in BelLOC Incunabula. A locus can be a passage as well as a place.

4 NALAS – N is final bit of IRRIGATION, + ALAS. We had NALAS (in a slightly different

form) in 1876 a couple of weeks ago.

5 TAWNIER – AWN (a beard of barley) in TIER.

6 SELFSEEKING – ELF in S(tephen) KING.

7 URINARY – YOUR RAIN* less the O.

8 MIAUL – I in MAUL. A variant of MIAOW, I suppose.

9 PECKE – c in PEKE. A Shakespearean spelling of PECK, in its third meaning.

10 HUDIBRASTIC – from Hudibras, by Samuel Butler.

17 TITLING – TIT is of course a bird, and LING a fish. I wasn’t happy with “requiring”

which seemed to suggest a slightly different meaning.

19 GODROON – GO ON round ROD*. It’s a variant of GADROON, and is defined as an

embossed decoration on silverware.

20 ICARIAN – well hidden in supersonIC ARIANe. The reference is to Icarus, whose waxen

wings melted when he flew too near the sun.

21 CORSNED – S in CORNED. A very old word, relating to trial by ordeal.

23 MILOR – OIL* in MR.

24 UMAMI – hidden (reversed) in “raviolI MA MUcked”.

25 SPIEL – I in (GO)SPEL.

28 EYNE – Y (the ultimate letter in heresy) in EYE; it’s an old spelling of EYES.

3 Responses to “Azed 1878: the Irish question”

  1. jetdoc says:

    15a is TOPIC (in Chambers: ‘a head under which a rhetorician might look up matter for discourse’) minus C (‘no tail’).

    I too really like 33a.

  2. Andrew says:

    7ac – Chambers gives “to hurry” as one of the meanings of HUMP, and then you drop the H.

  3. nmsindy says:

    I may be wrong but I think the Azed practice, if a place name is included, is not to mention specifically that it is not in Chambers. Though Kinsale might have been especially tricky as it’s not in Collins, which does include place names.

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