Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1920 – tough one

Posted by Andrew on March 22nd, 2009

Andrew.

An Azed of above-average difficulty this time, with I think what must be a higher-than-usual proportion of rare and obscure words, though in many cases the woprdplay was helpful in leading to the answer. I hope anyone who was encouraged to try Azed by Peter’s excellent “how-to” blog last week isn’t too discouraged by this one.

Key:
dd = double definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

Across
1. SUBGLOBOSE (BULB GOES SO)*. Not a word I’ve come across, but fairly easy to work out from the anagram, and it’s always nice to get 1 across in place.
11. KOEL K + LEO< – Leo=Lion=Ling of beasts. The Koel is a cuckoo found in Asia and Australasia.
12. BRUILZIE (RULE I BIZ)*. Scots form of “broil”, meaning a disturbance. From French, and not related to “brawl”, as I suspected it might have been.
14. YEZIDEE Y (unknown) + EZ(ekiel) + IDEE (French “idea”). A member of an Armenian sect that believes the devil has been reinstated as chief angel.
15. VENN Hidden in uneVENNess. John Venn, famous for the diagrams of intersecting circles that bear his name.
17. SEWER RAT ERR in WASTE*
18. SOLTI T in SOLI. An aria is usually a solo. Sir Georg Solti, Hungarian-born conductor.
19. ICTIC T in I CIC (Commander-In-Chief). I thought this word was familiar when I saw it, and indeed it appeared in Azed 1917, where it was hidden in “neuralgic ticker”. See 5dn for a similar coincidence.
21. PLECTOGNATHIC (ELPING TO CATCH)*. Like 1ac, this was an unfamiliar word, but quite easy to work out from the anagram when I had a few crossing letters. The unusual combinations of consonants are a help.
24. LABEL L ABEL. Abel, second son of Adam and Eve, is killed by his older brother Cain in Genesis 4:8.
27. PLUTO P L OUT*. The “manes” here are “the spirits of the dead”, and Pluto is the ruler of the underworld.
28. RISALDAR R + RADIALS* Leader of a troop of Indian Cavalry.
31. IWIS (k)IWIS
32. SEPIOST I + OS in PET’S*. A cuttle-bone (cf “sepia”), as often hung in budgies’ cages.
33. NODULOSE LOUD* in NOSE
34. SUPE Not sure about this one – a SUPE is a “supernumerary actor”, so an “extra, promoted”; and “above”= SUP + E (“central part in scEne”). Or maybe SUP is “promoted”. In either case, it seems a bit weak as the SUP part comes from the same root in both parts of the clue, so maybe I’ve missed something.
35. COMPRESSOR COM (Commander) + PRESS (iron) + OR, and it’s a type of muscle.
 
Down
1. SKY-ASPIRING SKY + ASPIRIN + G. The word occurs in Richard II, I:iii – “And for we think the eagle-winged pride/Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,/With rival-hating envy, set on you/To wake our peace, which in our country’s cradle/Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;”
2. BEZZLE Homophone of BEZEL, which, I learn, is an indicator light on a dashboard. To BEZZLE is “to drink hard”, which is to “hit the bumpers, often”, a bumper being a drinking vessel.
3. GLIB dd – the obscurer definition being a Shakespearean word for “castrate”.
4. LUDDITE DID* in LUTE (a waterproof seal). The Luddites sometimes destroyed mechanical looms etc.
5. OBESE t(O BE SE)en. “Shedding X” = “with TEN removed from the outside”
6. OUTWIN OU (Oxford University=dark blue) + TWIN (suit, vb). Spenserian for “get out of”.
7. SIKE Hidden in (trEK I Staggered)< This word came up as part of the wordplay in the Azed 1919 – see the blog for some discussion of it.
8. AZERI REZA< I. The former Shah or Iran was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
9. MINACITY “M(illions) IN A CITY”
10. PENTECONTER PEN (write) + TEC (detective = “busy”) + (NET OR)*. A ancient Greek ship with 50 oars.
13. REEDGRASS (SEDGES RAR(e))*
16. POLLIWOG WILL in GOOP, all reversed
20. CAP-A-PIE PAPA< in CIE (French abbreviation of “Compagnie”)
22. OLD TOM DOLT* + MO<. Chambers says Old Tom is a sweetened gin, and describes it as “archaic”, but apparently you can still get it.
23. HUMOUS OU(t) (“almost in bloom”) in MUSH*. The definition is “composted”, giving an excellent, almost &lit, surface reading.
25. ASIDE A + DIES*
26. FREER I got this from the definition (“less constrained”) and crossing letters, but it took me ages to see the wordplay. It’s REFER (=”direct”) with “centre as header”, i.e. move the middle letter to the front.
29. LILO As well as the well-known inflatable bed, it’s an abbreviation of “Last In, Last Out”, which might be used as a method of choosing people for redundancy (though it’s probably more likely to be LIFO..)
30. DISS Three definitions: Abbreviation of DISSERTATION, a ready grass (as in 13dn) and slang for “disrespect”.

6 Responses to “Azed 1920 – tough one”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    34 Ac: the defn is just ‘Extra’, and the wordplay is UP (= promoted) replacing the CEN of SCENE. Perhaps ‘central parts’ would have made the construction clearer.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Richard, that makes it a very nice clue after all. “Central part” is fine with me, and gives a better surface reading.

  3. PaulD says:

    Thanks for the explanation of 26d

    A minor point, but I believe that EZ in 14ac is Ezra.

  4. Andrew says:

    Paul, thanks, you’re right – Chambers gives Ez=Ezra, Ezek=Ezekiel.

  5. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    I should have been careful enough to record the time for this one as a comparison to 1919, but didn’t. Maybe 90 minutes, with Chambers used from pretty early on.

    1921 is easier than it might look.

  6. Andrew says:

    Thanks Peter, I’m glad it wasn’t just me that found it hard. I haven’t started 1921 yet (it was late appearing on the website) – in the past I’ve found the Eightsome Reels type to be relatively easy once you’ve managed to get a few answers in, though sometimes it’s hard to get started.

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