Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1906: Morse coda

Posted by bridgesong on December 17th, 2008


Apologies for the late publication of this blog. I’m a last minute substitute and pressure of work prevented me from filing it yesterday as I had intended. The puzzle itself was an elegant tribute to a man whose name has become famous for reasons which have little to do with his skill in setting crossword clues, although I believe that it was his Azed connections which inspired Colin Dexter to name his eponymous detective after him. The fact that the clues were all prizewinners made this an easier crossword than usual to solve, as I found that I remembered quite a few of them. Of course it’s a competition crossword, so the winners will be determined by those whose attempts at finding a cryptic clue to Morse are deemed to be most successful. Should be interesting.

1 ATTITUDINISE a + *test + i + din +i. A cleverly misleading definition (“strike poses”)
10 GRUM r in gum (apparently US slang for “to cheat”)
11 ON END A simple anagram
14 POSTHASTE *stop + ha(s)te, and *heatspots
15 ENARM ran in me, all reversed. An old word with an old meaning
16 EPHAS *shape. An even older word
17 SIPOREX composite anagram: subtract the letters of “mind” from the opening quote and rearrange them to obtain a material used by artists
21 TRIPY I(ndia) p(laying) in try; not sure that I understand the significance of the phrase “(not imposing)” in the clue, which seems to work just as well without it
22 STEP-IN ste(p)in; a delightfully misleading surface reading
23 AIDEST A + id est
26 NABOB nab + ob; nab is old slang for the head, or for a hat
28 GALLATE all in gate; it’s found in Chambers under the second meaning of gall
29 TIROL tirl is a Scottish word meaning to turn or whirl
30 DINKS *kid sn; older editions of Chambers give dinkies as the plural form
32 RAMILLIES a + mill in (victo)ries; a very clever clue
33 PEARL I’m afraid that the wordplay for this clue eluded me; no doubt someone will explain it
34 ESSE A clever homophone
35 DISSENTERISM A brilliant anagram
1 AGRESTAL A gal round rest
2 TRIN r in tin
3 IMPROPER I’m pro PE + r(uns)
4 TOOM moot (rev.)
5 UNSPENT *punnets
6 DETOX ted(rev.) + ox
7 IN HEAT Apart from the obvious partial anagram, I’m not sure that I understand this clue. The grammatical error (“suggest” for “suggests”) makes me wonder if there was a proof-reading issue
8 INSHIP Another obvious anagram; the suggestion of a homophone(” small drink as drunk might say”) was not wholly convincing
9 EXES Presumably a reference to the Australian beer brand XXXX
12 ITALIOT talio(n) in it; talion apparently means an eye for an eye as a punishment, and an Italiot was a Greek of ancient Italy
13 CAPI capi(tally); capi is the plural form of the more familiar term capo
18 IRIDIAN IR + *India
19 REALISER *lies in rear
20 UNBESEEM *been + muse
22 SEA-GIRT a gir(l) in set
24 DERMIS red (rev.) on mis; I can’t now remember why “mis” means an artery section
25 SALLEE s + allee
27 BANG Two meanings: very clever clue, with a thoroughly misleading surface reading
28 GOLAN go + lan(d); refers to the Golan Heights, seized by Israel from Syria in 1967
29 TROD Hidden in Hart/Rodgers; it’s an old word for a track
30 DELE dele(gable)
31 KISS Hidden in “the ilk is silent”

5 Responses to “Azed 1906: Morse coda”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    33 Ac is to do with anniversaries. A coral anniversary is 35 years, which is 5 years (or a “lustre”, according to C) more than pearl. Very clever, but little more than a cryptic defn to my mind.

    7 Dn had me stumped for a while too, but I think the reasoning behind it is that IN HE, AT becomes HATE. “Suggest” does indeed seem to be a misprint.

  2. Andrew says:

    24dn – I think the MIS part is M1 (motorway=artery) + S(section)

  3. bridgesong says:

    Richard and Andrew, thank you both for those comments. One other point I forgot to include in the blog was the unusual grid structure, with the five letter words at 23 and 30 across being wholly checked, while four letter words elsewhere in the grid had one unchecked letter each (which is normal).

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    21a To impose = to lay (on) so ‘not imposing’ gives the removal of ‘laying’ from ‘playing’. ‘Opener’ is singular and therefore only indicates the initial letter of ‘India’

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    21ac: I couldn’t see why he didn’t just clue it as “Worthless openers for India playing in test”, which seems to me to be much neater and avoids the clunky bit in brackets. But Azed will know why he did it.

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