Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1945: Are you looking at my bird?

Posted by jetdoc on September 13th, 2009

jetdoc.

An Azed with some nicely challenging clues this week. I managed to complete it without a dictionary, while watching England lose the first ODI at Lord’s — though I did need to double-check a few solutions once I got home to Chambers. I am completing this blog in the aftermath of watching an even more abject, and ultimately tedious, ODI defeat (though Brett Lee was formidable). Never mind, I was there when we won the Ashes!

I’ll go for 10d as my favourite clue in this one, partly because I think ‘pratincole’ is such a magnificent word.

Across
1 AGROFORESTRY *(Goof rears), with ‘nuts’ the anagram indicator; TRY = strain. Agroforestry is ‘an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock’.
10 PRISON To be clued by contestants. Strangely, it took me ages to get this, even with three of the checking letters — it seemed a far-from-obvious definition.
11 FLEAS A = they (dialect pronoun); in SELF reversed. Quite tricky wordplay.
13 RITZ Sounds like ‘writs’.
14 SCIOLTO *(colt is) ‘carrying’ O. A musical term meaning ‘in a free manner’.
15 AQUAFIT QUAF[f] = endless drink; AIT = little island. A type of aerobic exercise performed in water.
17 TUAN NAUT (abbreviation of nautical = ‘briefly applied to sailors’) reversed. A title of respect in the Malay Archipelago and Indonesia.
18 ARAGON ARGON = gas; A = small area. Catherine of Aragon was Princess of Wales as the wife of Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Queen of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England.
19 SCELERATE CELER[y]; in SATE. Old word meaning wicked.
20 NIKAU PALM AKIN reversed; *(a plum). Rhopalostylis sapida, known as the Nikau Palm, is the only palm native to mainland New Zealand.
26 CHICLE C = cocaine; in CHILE. Chicle is the natural gum from Manilkara chicle, a tropical evergreen tree native to Central America.
28 APSE Anagram of ‘praetor’s seat’ minus ‘roster at’. A semicircular or polygonal recess, especially at the east end of a church choir, and where, in the Roman basilica, the praetor’s chair stood. Good &lit.
30 NOTABLE ON reversed; TABLE. Mensa is one of the southern constellations, the Table; also an international organization, founded in the UK in 1946, open to people with a high IQ rating. I have made snide remarks about Mensa in a previous blog, so won’t bother repeating them.
31 LOUSE UP USE = practice; LOUP = Scottish word meaning to leap, dance, flee or burst.
32 BOAR BO = ‘boy’ minus Y; AR = annual return. A barrow (old dialect word) was a castrated boar.
33 EOLIC I = half of ‘is’; *(Cleo). Eolic, or Aeolic, is/was the Greek dialect of the Aeolians.
34 TRAIKS A = one; in SKIRT reversed. To traik is to make one’s way wearily or with effort in Scotland.
35 FOSSET-SELLER FELLER = bloke; OS = outsize; SETS = collections. A Shakespearean word, apparently meaning a person who sells faucets.
Down
2 GRIQUA QUA = as; GRI = George the First. The Griqua are people mainly from Griqualand, in South Africa; a mixed Khoikhoi and European race.
3 RITUAL Anagram of ‘Playfair out’ minus ‘pay of’.
4 FORFICULA FOR = in favour of; F = a spot of feeding; *(cauli). Forficula is the largest genus of earwigs, so named because their pincers supposedly resemble scissors.
5 ON-SITE SIT = fit; inside ONE = single.
6 RICTAL *(clarit); or ‘clarity almost’.
7 SLOE Sounds like ‘slow’.
8 TELEGA LEG = part of journey; in TEA (China is a form of tea). A four-wheeled Russian wagon, without springs.
9 RATIO OAR = row; about IT; all reversed (or ‘raised’ when it’s a down clue). In law, the reason or principle which underlies a decision and which is the basis for using that decision as a precedent in future cases (also ratio decidendi).
10 PRATINCOLE PRATE = chat (also a bird); *(colin). The pratincoles are a group of birds which together with the coursers and Egyptian plover make up the family Glareolidae. They have short legs, very long pointed wings and long forked tails. This clue is rich in birds: in addition to the plover, there’s the chat, any small songbird of a subfamily (Turdinae) of thrushes, including the stonechat and the whinchat; any of various Australian wrens; and the colin, the Virginian quail.
12 SONNETEERS SEERS = those with prescience; TENNO (the formal title of the emperor of Japan, especially in his former capacity as a divine leader) reversed.
16 PRELATURE *(alter); in PURE = chaste.
21 KITULS KIT = uniform; L = line; in US = the States.  I couldn’t remember how this worked when I blogged it this morning; thanks, Gaufrid and Bridgesong, for the clarification. The kitul is the jaggery palm (Caryota urens).
22 PENULT PET = darling; NUL = no, none, in French. And ‘man’ is the penultimate (last but one) syllable in ‘romancing’
23 ADOPTS AD = notice; *(post).
24 UPBOIL *(poilu); B = Boney’s lead.
25 ASLAKE AS = when; LAKE = stretch of water.
27 HOO-OO H = hearts; O = the minimum score. A Shakespearean interjection expressing boisterous emotion (given under hoo in Chambers). This was easy enough from the wordplay, but I had to ask my companion at Lord’s (also an Azed solver): “Is there really a word that’s an H then four Os?”
29 AS IS [b]ASIS.

8 Responses to “Azed 1945: Are you looking at my bird?”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi jetdoc
    22a KIT (uniform) L (line) in US (the States)

  2. bridgesong says:

    22 down: I think kit is uniform, and S = States.

  3. jetdoc says:

    So it is, and it was obvious enough to me when I solved it. My brain is (understandably) a bit addled this morning!

  4. The trafites says:

    I also took ages to convince myself that ‘custody’ can mean ‘prison’, and only entered it when no other word could possibly fit.

    Other than that, I thought this was an fairly easy prize crossword this week.

    Nick

  5. liz says:

    Thanks, Jetdoc. I found this easier than some Azeds recently, but still needed my Chambers! Didn’t see the wordplay of 31ac or 12dn, but I figured out the rest.

    Agree that ‘custody’ didn’t immediately suggest ‘prison’, but it couldn’t be anything else. I liked 22dn very much.

  6. liz says:

    I’m sorry, I meant that I liked PENULT v much (you have two 22dns in your blog and I haven’t got the puzzle in front of me).

  7. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Liz — I try to check the important bits, but it’s easy to miss trivial details like clue numbers!

  8. bobvl says:

    I think the word “tree” in 26 ac. is wrong..chicle is a gum, not a gum tree..
    The sapodilla tree supplies the chicle..

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