Posted by tilsit on June 29th, 2008
This was probably Azed at his toughest and I am grateful to Peter B and the Cryptonuts for helping fill-in my gaps.
First things first. As with all out-of-the ordinary puzzles, read and understand the preamble, it will give you all the information you need. One thing which sets apart Azed’s specials from the Listeners and suchlike is that the preamble always does say what it means – I have yet to meet one that is oblique or vague.
The first words: “All clues are normal” – that sends a frisson of relief down my spine. Then comes the rubric about the intersecting answers. I think for the purposes of this puzzle, we can leave that until after everything has been solved.
Armed with my trusty clutch pencil and rubber, I set off cold solving and whenever I find a clash, both letters are entered with a slash.
10 across seems a good place to start with an anagram and it comes out as OLIGOCLASE. The next clue looks good as well – a hidden answer – and CERRIS, which I knew to be a type of oak, was added to the grid.
A glance back at 6 across shows that is obviously an anagram too – SATYR.
21 across is a nice simple clue GENERATOR. Another hidden answer at 26 across. 34 across is a straightforward anagram as well.
After the initial inspection of the acrosses I have about eight or nine answers so time for a look at the downs. These clues don’t seem as obvious as the Acrosses, though 3 and 12 look good for starters.
It’s time for Chambers and Bradford’s to be wheeled out. Of course the difficulty here is that some interesting answers clash, so you can’t always assume that what you have willbe of help with the answer in the other direction. Anyway, here are the answers;-
ACROSS (*) = Anagram (R) = Reversal (CD) = Cryptic def
1 NACARAT N/A = not available A in CART
6 SATYR STRAY (*)
10 OLIGOCLASE e.g. COAL OILS (*)
11 CERRIS Hidden between fenCER RISkily
13 AZTEC AZ = 50% of me TEC (short for detective)
14 AL PASTO This threw me for a while but is in effect a nice simple clue. Azed often uses a bit of polysyllabic grandiloquence to spice up a definition and this is no exception. Trat = trattoria = restaurant in Italy. A L = One Lira PAST = ended Duck = O
16 BISH BISH(OP)
17 TRIED DIRT (R) with E (the ultimate in tolerance!)
19 LEGER LINE LEG + IN REEL (*)
21 GENERATOR GEN (Lowdown) + ERATO (The Muse of lyric poetry) + R
24 AREAR ARAR = The sandarach tree with E (back from glare) inside
26 MEOW Another favourite clue. Hidden between Romeo weeping.
29 OROPESA POROSE (*) + A
30 ARTEX This clue caused me a few problems. The solution seemed OK to me, but the indications are a bit odd. I presume it means “Is former husband” in the second person, as in ART + EX. Where the “in church” fits in, I’m not sure.
31 STATAL TA TA in SL (The heart of CzechoSLovakia – usually in hackneyed crossword clues OSLO is usually defined as found in the middle of Czecholslovakia, but not this time)
32 GUILLOTINE Not sure why “maiden” is in this clue. LOT + IN inside GUILE.. Nice clue if the maiden can be justified.
33 AUNTY A + UNT(ID)Y
34 DRY BEER RYE BREAD less A (*)
1 NICAD AND (*) with I C inside. Azed uses the C = SEE device twice in this puzzle (at 20 down as well). However, I am left wondering whether there should be a homophone indicator or is there an abbreviation for C equalling SEE? Couldn’t see one in Chambers.
2 CHELICERA LICE in REACH(*)
3 CORPSE R in COPSE
4 ROISTER I inside ROSTER
5 TONOMETERS REMOTE (*) inside TONS
6 SCANT S + CANT
7 ALBE ABLE with centre reversed. I had ARTY here for a while, so was held up with intersecting clashes.
8 TATAMI TATAMI when reversed reads I’M A TAT which is also the definition. Very clever clue.
9 RECEDED Can reindeer be defined as DEER? DEC inside DEER (R)
12 STEGANOPOD SEAN GOT(*) + POD I knew that dolphins come in pods but not seals, I thought they came in rookeries, like penguins.
15 PENTOSANE P.E. + NOT SANE(*)
18 AGA SAGA Not Anthony but Joanna Trollope – the “Queen of the Aga Saga”. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGA_saga . A GAS + AGA. Another fine clue.
20 ROBOTIC B inside O C (see again) RIOT (*)
22 LECTIN C inside LET IN
23 TEEPEE Tp = Troop
24 REDLY D inside RELY
27 WALER A Rissaldar was a hussar in India who often rode a horse called a WALER, imported from New Zealand.
28 WEFT F inside WET
You can now see there are ten clashes.
A/C 1/2 B
I/O 10/4 L
B/Z 13/7 A
B/D 16/1 C
I/M 17/8 K
N/L 21/22 M
X/D 30/25 A
T/P 31/23 R
L/F 32/28 I
Y/C 34/20 A
So “la Femme” is Black Maria!
Very enjoyable, very tough and thanks to Azed.
I shall see you all in seven weeks.