Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1903

Posted by Colin Blackburn on November 23rd, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

A relatively easy Azed for me this time around. That means I did it easily in one evening after dinner, I suspect Peter B could have polished this one off within 30 minutes. There was a lot of computing and science in here, which might have helped me a little along the way—1dn for instance came in an instant and opened up half the grid. I did think I had caught out Azed with one erroneous definition but it turned out to be me not reading Chambers well enough.

(XYZ)* anagram
[XYZ] insertion
[xyz] deletion
ZYX< reversal
vwXYZab hidden
X.Y.Z. initial letters
“xyz” homophone

2 PARISH TOP PARIS H[T]OP easy word play for a key across answer but a very strange concept. I’m sure the PARISH TOP was more than just one of those little wooden things I used to play with as a child.
10 X-AXIS X[A]X IS XX = a score. The X-AXIS is usually the horizontal one used by someone plotting a graph.
12 GITE G[IT]E Ge is another name for Gaia or Gaea which can is the earth seen as a living entity. It is what one is after in a game such as tag. A gite is an ancient resting place although most people probably now know the word from its use to define a class of French holiday cottages and apartments.
13 PLISSE (SLIP’S)* E PLISSE is a puckered fabric. Although accents aren’t usually entered in crossword grids, Azed here has been very correct about his use of accents, adding the accented E to the end.
14 PROPEL P[ROPE]L (Andrew) Motion is very cleverly hidden at the start of the clue here as the uppercase M is needed. He is the current Poet Laureate (PL). A rope is a measure of 20 feet.
15 PROTO-ORE PRO[TOO]RE prore is a poetic term for a ship or a ship’s prow, extremely = too.
16 ROLE MODEL (LED ROMEO)* L fairly easily spotted anagram but an excellent surface.
19 TRAM ulTRAMarine a yarn of two strands. Hidden words are sometimes harder to spot than they should be when completely within a word, this one wasn’t too bad.
20 ELUTOR ROTUL[a]E< rotula is a knee-cap in anatomy. I’m surprised Azed wasn’t tempted by the other definition, ‘a radial piece of Aristotle’s lantern in sea-urchins’.
21 SIGHED “side” I’m not sure how British it is to use side to mean TV channel.
23 ACME A[C]ME ame is a French for the soul (or spirit).
27 SHOE NAIL (ASHEN OIL)* clinker has some great definitions, SHOE NAIL is one of them. Another is a glassy residue formed in the ash of a forge. As someone who has done a bit of blacksmithing I enjoyed the surface, though clicker is a real annoyance to a blacksmith.
30 TANNIC C[INN]AT< I initially had the man’s name, Nat(thaniel) giving tannin before I saw the more obvious slang term cat which gave the right part of the speech for the answer.
32 EL AL EL A.L. an el is a wing of a house. El Al, the Israeli national airline, means ‘going skyward’.
33 FRANC F RANC[our] although no longer used in France or Belgium, there are still several countries with a currency called the Franc.
34 TUNGSTATE TUN G[ST]ATE a tun is a barrel, salt is the definition.
1 EXPERT SYSTEM (PRETEXT MESSY)* excellent anagram.
2 PALY PA[L]Y vertical lines in heraldry.
4 RISP RI(PS)< tears as in rips.
5 STEROID RO in DIETS< superb surface reading.
6 TORTELLI TORTE ILL< a torte is a cake, originally from Austria.
7 PIP OUT (I TOPUP)* it took me ages to confirm the definition and I almost credited Azed with an error. I knew the term ‘peg out’ from cribbage and that it also means ‘to die’. I then found the only explicit reference to PIP OUT in Chambers under pip[4] where ‘a pip out’ is from a card game, it does not mean ‘to die’ but does mean ‘tipsy’. I could find no other PIP OUT and so I was convinced Azed had confused the term with peg out. I then noticed under pip[3] that pip means ‘to die’ and, on reading the entry properly, it has (esp with out) following it. These extra terms in Chambers can be tricky to find!
9 TELEPRESCENCE TE[(SLEEPER N)*]C E a second computing term to balance up the grid. A ‘tec is a detective, ie a busy.
11 APOD A POD a snake could be said to be an APOD.
17 ORICHALC RICH in COAL* another excellent surface.
18 MAEONIAN M[AEON I]AN MAEONIAN = Lydian and Homer was supposedly from Lydia. A man is a ship, as in man-of-war.
24 CRAVAT CR A V AT A CRAVAT is a tie (named after the country of Croatia indirectly) much like an Ascot.
26 RACH RACH[itis] rachitis = rickets. A RACH is a bloodhound.
28 SORA SO[p]RA mixing up my Italian and Latin I was trying to work with supra until I checked that sopra was a similar term. The SORA is the short-billed rail.
29 NENE NE[sting] x2 a second bird to end with. theft = sting.

8 Responses to “Azed 1903”

  1. Harris says:

    Re 21ac: “This is rubbish. Have a look and see what’s on the other side.” Typical usage, at least in my household!

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Yes, but are you from Britain? I know I use the term in Britain but does side mean TV channel in the US, say?

  3. Andrew says:

    I’m from (and in) Britain, and “the other side” is very familiar to me as meaning “another channel.” I suppose it made more sense when there weren’t so many other sides to choose from..

  4. Andrew says:

    .. still, even having two channels was probably more exciting than going out to watch the Parish Top on a cold winter evening.

  5. Max says:

    Well, this was my first attempt at a barred-grid puzzle, and I was quite pleased to have managed to finish it (albeit with a couple of errors), in maybe four hours. A bit gutted therefore to see this one described as ‘relatively easy’! I wonder how I’ll cope with one that’s a bit harder? Onto this week’s!

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    Max, certainly feel gutted on account of my comment. Azed maintains a very high standard and a good level of consistency. His puzzles don’t vary from very easy to very difficult, they vary a small amount around a mean not too far off this one. His competition puzzles (where you are invited to submit a clue with your entry) tend to be on the slightly hard side. The thematic puzzles tend to be the hardest of Azed’s puzzles (for me).

    This puzzle was easy for me because of 1dn. A good long anagram like that can really open up a puzzle quickly. More often, for me, breaking in to the puzzle involves struggling with several non-anagram clues.

    Once you get a few Azed’s under your belt you’ll get used to how his mind works and you will find that some of each puzzle comes easier each time.

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    Doh, I was meant to say Max, certainly don’t feel gutted on account of my comment.

  8. Max says:

    Colin – Cheers! I’m looking forward to the next one. It gives my copy of Chambers a good outing, anyway!

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