Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1884/AE AE AE

Posted by ilancaron on July 13th, 2008


At first I found this fairly easy going – in particular, several rather obvious anagrams (34, 28, 20…) were my way in, so that I swiftly filled in the bottom half. I was then pulled up short by some very obscure vocabulary and wordplay (e.g. 24, 22, 10…).

The last Azed triggered a discussion about lowering standards in Azed surfaces.  Same applies here — not all surfaces are equally coherent.  DHM’s comment was that one couldn’t expect uniformly high quality week in and week out.  I think it’s interesting to note if there’s a trend however…

1 AB(SORB,ED DO)SE – SORB (ref. ‘service’ tree), EDDO (‘tuber’) in base*. I cheated a bit on this — at some point, I noticed that I had DOS? at the end, guessed a 2-word phrase with DOSE, and went to Chambers since the preamble indicated that the term was to be found under the 2nd word.
10 SO(KAI)YA – well, it’s a Japanese ‘extortioner’ and KAI is a Maori ‘food’.
12 P(OE)T
13 ONE-ACTER=carotene*
14 A,HEN,T – it’s Scots for AHINT which is Scots for AHENT which is Scots for AHINT which is Scots for ‘after’.
15 ANK(O)LE – a kind of Ugandan steer.
16 TI(MET,AB)LE – many kinds of TIMETABLE in our world, and so is a ‘tide chart’. Ref. TILE hat (Scots top hat), MET is “experienced” and AB is our able-bodied seaman.
17 NIFF – hidden in “biN IF Festing”, Brit smell.
19 S(END)AL[e] – it’s a thin silk.
21 B,ARRET – it’s a biretta (clerical square cap) and ARRET is a “tribunal’s judgement”.
23 TODO – Spanish for ‘everything’ and shemozzle is a mess in Yiddish thus a TO DO.
25 REPECHAGE – (preach e.g., [lif]e)* — it’s a way to let losers compete to regain a place in a competition.
28 IMPELS=simple*
30 A,BO(R)D – means “gone astray” to our poet Spenser.
31 CURS,ITOR=rev(roti) – archaic term for vagrant, thus “old tramp”.
32 [g]OOSE – Scots for fluff, thus down.
33 MODUL(A)R – A in (old rum)* and def is “in standard units”.
34 HEPATOMEGALY – (at my age? O help)*, sounds unpleasant (distention of the liver).


2 BOO[r],HAI[r] – tough clue: obscure word and complex misleading wordplay. Def is “backwoods” (in some parts of NZ!) and I guess “uniformly cut” is telling us to remove the same thing from each wordplay component.
3 SKEER=”skier” – it’s a dialect form (in NZ??) of scare, i.e. ‘shock’.
4 RIOT(I)SE – I in sortie* — archaic noun for ‘extravagance’.
5 BY,N,EMPT[y] – another tough clue (obscure, complex). The definition is archaic ‘mentioned’.
6 D(RAN)T – means drone and def is ‘hum’. RAN (‘was current’) in DT=Data Transmission.
7 DUC(K,AN)T – K for ‘grand’ (1000) and it’s a kind of Jamaican termite.
8 OTTO[man] – alt. attar (‘perfumed stuff’) and ottoman is also a ‘corded silk’.
9 STELLA – At first I thought Sheila (ref. oz) but couldn’t make it work. At some point, it was clear that only STELLA fit, but I needed an email friend for the explanation (PB): it’s TELL (‘order’) in SA (sex appeal==’it’) and ref. Sir Phillip Sidney (aka Sydney) who wrote “Astrophel and Stella”.
10 S(PAWN,BR)ICK – PAWN (‘pop’), BR[other) in SICK ('mortified'): fertiliser for growing mushrooms.
11 FREELOADER - it's the competition word...
18 FREESIA=faeries* - my first clue
19 SEA(ROO)M - ROO's our 'jumper' in SEAM.
20 EN GARDE=grenade*
22 AE,MULE - AE! another obscure tough clue: it means emulate according to Spenser (thus "lost") which is 'match'. AE is Scots 'very' and a 'mule' is a hybrid thus a 'cross'.
24 D(OR)SAL - same as dossal which is an altar cloth OR ('gold tincture') in (lad[ie]s)*
26 CLINT[on] – it’s a ‘rocky outcrop’.
27 MOOL=rev(loom),A – slang for money as is ‘dust’.
29 P,REP[echage] – it’s homework: P for ‘page’ and then the first 3 letters of 25A (REPECHAGE).

5 Responses to “Azed 1884/AE AE AE”

  1. bridgesong says:

    I found this one tough as well, and am grateful for some of the explanations. 3 down was impossible to solve without the checking letters as there are two other spellings (skere, skear) which would fit.

    It’s annoying that this week’s Azed isn’t yet on the website (although today’s Everyman is, for some reason). Has it appeared in the paper, can anyone tell me?

  2. Andrew says:

    Bridgesong, that must have been a temporary glitch with today’s Azed – it was on the website this morning and I can still see it there now.

  3. bridgesong says:

    Andrew, well, on my computer it still shows as the July 6 puzzle on the index page, and it’s 1884 on the interactive and the pdf, not 1885, so I’m puzzled, to put it mildly.

  4. bridgesong says:

    Sorry, Andrew, found it now: it’s the index page which hasn’t been updated which misled me.

  5. Robin Gilbert says:

    9 down. It’s true that a search for “Sydney” with a ‘y’ in the web version of the Oxford DNB throws up all the Sidneys (except, strangely, Sir Philip) with a statement in brackets, in each case, that he or she is “also known as [x or y] Sydney”, but the articles themselves (including that on Sir Philip) make no mention of this and, where at least Sir Philip is concerned, the standard spelling is, surely, Sidney with an ‘i’. (At such a date, one can’t, of course, talk sensibly about a CORRECT spelling of anything.) It seems to me to a bit naughty of Azed to use the non-standard spelling with a ‘y’, simply in order, presumably, to mislead solvers into chasing an Australian hare. (Can we perhaps expect Dun for Donne on the ground that some Elizabethan Donnes also used the alternative spelling?) Personally, I can’t in fact claim that it misled me, since, as soon as I read the clue, Astrophel & Stella popped into my head, without at first my even noticing the spelling of Sydney. However, I didn’t write it in for ages, because it took those ages for the penny to drop why STELLA had anything to do with “It’s out of order”!

    22 dn may have been difficult, but, in my book, it was also superb. No complaints about the surface there!

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