Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1922

Posted by John on April 5th, 2009


Azed is on good form in this crossword, and some of the clues have excellent surfaces.

1 DOWLAS — owl in (sad)rev.
6 PHRASY — p{oseur} (syrah)*, nice [something]&lit.
10 HONEYCARTS — (nasty chore)*, another nice [something]&lit.
12 A V(I)AN — yet another good clue
13 BLOUSON — “blues” on
15 ROBE — (ebor)rev.
16 ODD LOT — (told do)rev. — there is I suspect a misprint in the paper, which gives “reversed” not “reverse”
18 GRANIVORE — or in (vinegar)*, good clue
22 GRAPPA — Gr (pa)rev. pa
25 MELL{owing}
28 LAM PREY — the definition bewildered me until my friend Robin Gilbert’s Requiescat reminded me what it was all about:
See Henry One, Beauclerc, a martyr
To indigestion, but thought it worth it.
Lampreys he loved and was prepared to barter
Life itself for pleasure of a surfeit.
29 SCORE — 2 defs, and the number of runs is likely to be more than 20, if it’s a record
30 RED SEA — (deares{t})*
1 DURBRIDGE — (burger did)* — ref. Francis Durbridge
2 OVOLO — v l with o placed regularly
3 WHOOBUB — who (bubo)rev.
4 AN ASTROPH{ysicist} E
5 SEROW — {chamoi}s (wore)rev. — is ‘wore’ (not ‘worn’) equivalent to ‘shown’?
6 PYCNON — comp. anag. — the letters of [oh play pycnon] are the same as the letters of [polyphony can] — nice clue, but is Azed sticking to his own precepts? In his Slip for March 2008 Azed criticised what seemed to me to be rather a good clue for BINGE (‘Dreadfully bottled on this? Get to be blind drunk’) as follows: “Here we have two anagram indicators where only one is strictly needed. ‘Bottled on this? Get to be blind drunk’ would be better.” yet in Azed’s clue here there seem to me to be two anagram indicators, ‘subtly’ and ‘maybe’. Perhaps ‘maybe’ isn’t actually an anagram indicator (Azed has stated that ‘possibly’ is but ‘perhaps’ isn’t, and where in the spectrum does ‘maybe’ lie?) but if it isn’t an anagram indicator, then what is it doing here?
7 RAVE — 2 defs I think, saying that the rave on a wagon is unlikely to be taking part in a rave of the party type. Seems a bit loose and perhaps I’m missing something.
8 A RIEL — definitions at each end
9 STATORS — (s t roast)*
12 ADDITAMENT — (a team did)* n{o}t
17 C(UR)ACAO — is the wordplay I think, but cacao isn’t according to Chambers a source of coffee, but of cocoa or chocolate. So is this a slip, or have I got it wrong?
23 A BO(M)B
24 PARIS — nice clue: the relevant part can be read cryptically as ‘is below par’, which means ‘at a discount’
26 LEEZE — “lees” — one might complain that ‘leeze’ isn’t in Chambers (‘leeze me’ is under the entry for ‘lief’) but arguably it is, in that it is an entry on its own
27 TREF{oil}

6 Responses to “Azed 1922”

  1. Paul B says:

    I don’t understand why either of the BINGE clues is considered good.

    What, pray, is the ‘on’ doing? The ‘bottled’ section of the first fodder grouping is in no sense ‘on’ the remainder (‘binge’) in the making of the second (get/to/be/blind) as far as I can see. And although I may have had an extremely exciting night out featuring pints of Guinness and a Smiths tribute band, I am sure that I would indeed have seen (rather than through blind inebriation missed) some familiar construction for a compound anagram or other.

  2. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Thanks for the blog, John.

    I was left with 6dn as PYKNON and no explanation, so I was barking up the wrong tree trying to make that spelling work.

    I concur about 17dn, very strange that Azed would make such a big slip, presumably it’s a mix up of CACAO and COCOA.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks John. In 7d, I think the idea is that someone “on the wagon” (i.e. a non-drinker) would be unlikely to attend a rave. Though, in my limited knowledge of such events, I believe alcohol is not the drug of choice..

  4. Robin Gilbert says:

    There are indeed some excellent clues in this one (esp. 30), but, if John’s explanation of 5dn is correct – and it is, as far as I can see, the only plausible one – then that clue, in my view, is a real stinker. John, rather tentatively, asks “is ‘wore’ (not ‘worn’) equivalent to ’shown’?”. To which the answer is, surely, “No, ‘wore’ emphatically is NOT equivalent to ‘shown’”; the former is the past tense of “wear”, to which the equivalent is ‘showED’, while the latter is a past participle, to which the equivalent, as John suggests, is ‘worN’. That Azed of all people, who publicly sets such store by grammatical accuracy, should perpetrate such a howler is astonishing, and the only charitable explanation is that ‘shown’ was a typo for ‘showed’ (cf 16). This would admittedly produce a pretty forced and unconvincing surface, but hardly more so than what was printed. Nor do I think much of “from below” to indicate “reverse the preceding word”.

  5. Richard Heald says:

    According to the latest edition of Chambers Crossword Manual (p.109), neither ‘maybe’ nor ‘perhaps’ is regarded by Ximeaneans as a valid anagrind, so the PYCNON clue would seem to have the correct number of indicators. However, compare this to the third-placed clue in the recent BARPERSON competition – “Silly ass pouring beers could be tipsy _____ I guess” – which very definitely does have two anagrinds and therefore seems to directly contradict Azed’s criticism of the BINGE clue quoted above!

    Agree with Robin that 5 Dn appears to be faulty, but apart from that I enjoyed the puzzle enormously.

  6. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog. I didn’t get LEEZE, although I had all the checking letters.

    Got PYCNON from the checking letters and a hunt through Chambers. The two anagram indicators might be there to help people like me who are not that familiar with compound anagrams, or perhaps to make a better surface.

    I liked 30 and 10 very much.

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