Fifteensquared

Azed 1921 – Eightsome Reels

Posted by Andrew on March 29th, 2009

The scheduled blogger is unavailable, so I’m acting as sub with this rather brief effort. The “Eightsome Reels” idea was invented by Azed and pops up from time to time. Peter has again given some excellent advice in a previous post, this time specifically on how to fit the words into the grid. Of course, you first have to solve some adjacent clues, and my first success came in the 8/9/14/15 block. Once you get a few answers in the puzzle becomes distinctly easier, with the generous checking. However, it’s noticeable that the answers tend to use the more common letters – I did a little analysis and found the ten letters EILASNTMRO provide over 80% of the 288 letters of the answers, and H, J, K. X and Z aren’t used at all. This tends to make solving the clues harder as there are fewer unusual patterns to catch on to.

* = anagram, < = reverse

 Across 1. FUTILELY UTILE in FLY 2. LIQUABLE QUA in BILL* + E. The first of a group of four -ABLE words in this region of the grid. 3. ARGUABLE AR + BLAGUE* 4. ARGININE GIN in (m)ARINE 5. FEMININE MINI in FENE(stra) 6. FESSWISE SWISS* in FEE 7. GURGOYLE OY in GURGLE 8. GULLABLE BALL< in GULE. Reminds me of the old joke where you say to someone “did you know the word ‘gullible’ isn’t in the dictionary?” Of course it is really, as is this archaic version. 9. WILLABLE (LIBEL LAW)* 10. WIRE LINE IREL(and) in WINE. I assumed this was something to do with newspapers getting reports over the “wire”, but in fact it’s the name of the fine lines printed on some types of paper to help the eye in lining up text. 11. SIDELINE DELI in SINE – referring to the trigonometric sine function 12. SURMISES (MISS SURE)* 13. GRUMMETS RUM + M in GETS 14. MACALLUM A CALL in MUM. 8 and 9 were the first answers I got, and when trying to decide how to fit them into the grid I was tempted by the ELB in 8, thinking it was part of (peach) MELBA. Lucky coincidence or deliberate misdirection? 15. TEOCALLI (I COLLATE)* 16. LATERITE LATE + RITE 17. ITERATED RATE in TIDE* 18. MARMITES MAR MITES 19. METER MEN ME TERM (m)E(a)N(t) 20. AMNESIAC (MAIN SCALE less L)* 21. COENOBIA ONCE* + OBIA 22. LAPSTONE POLENTA’S* 23. PARELLAS ALL< in PEARS* 24. MAMSELLE AM SELL in ME(d) 25. MEDIATOR (ARID TOME)* “Not so” seems an unusually imprecise anagram indicator for Azed to use. 26. DIVINISE VIN IS in DIE. The euphemism “Pass” = DIE is a usage I associate with so-called psychics and spiritualists. 27. ROBINIAS ROBIN + A in IS 28. TORSIONS (TO NO IS R(owdines)S)* 29. SALPICON PIC in SALON 30. MANCIPLE C in MANIPLE 31. VISTAING VG “circles”, i.e. includes, I STAIN 32. RELIVING V in RELIGI(o)N* 33. AILETTES LET in (SEAT I) 34. NOISETTE TEOSINTE* Teosinte is a type of tall grass, giving the surface some sense for those who are familiar with the word. 35. EMOTICON (d)EMOTIC + ON (=”beside”). The name (a portmanteau of “emotion” and “icon”) for “smileys” such as that may be used emails 36. NECROTIC NEC(k) ROT I C

5 Responses to “Azed 1921 – Eightsome Reels”

1. liz says:

It was entirely thanks to Peter that I got this one out. 12, 18, 24 and 28 were my starting points, with 28 the first clue I solved. Got them the wrong way round at first, but after that I moved from right to left across the grid. 6 was the last to go in.

Thanks for the blog. I knew the letters for 15 were in the right order, but I never managed to see the word.

2. Peter Biddlecombe says:

Good to see that we got a few more people through this kind of special. I think I started with 9, 10, 11 and 17 as a central clump, and 30, 35, 36 in the SE corner. Wasted some time at the end by garbling the order of 2 slightly, delaying 1 which was my last answer. Didn’t see TEOCALLI either.

3. Colin Blackburn says:

My core as 15, 16 and 22—yes I got TEOCALLI first. I then filled in around and ended with the last two columns. I had FESSWISE and SURMISES but didn’t know how to fit them in until I remembered he unchecked letters in the corners. With only 6 left that gave me that corner and everything else fell in quickly.

4. Sidey says:

Azed must be scraping the newest Chambers, at least four of the words aren’t in the OED.

5. Mike Laws says:

All the words are in Chambers 1998. My seriously battered copy lives on a shelf behind my favourite spot in my local!

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