Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1952: Pervy gumshoes

Posted by jetdoc on November 1st, 2009


An Azed with a mix of easyish and fairly difficult clues, and a few pretty obscure words, which made it interesting to solve. I think I will go for 17a as my favorite clue this week; 24a is runner-up.

1 GUMSHOE *(mouse gh), where ‘gh’ is ‘galosh’ itself, ‘emptied’. A rubber overshoe.
6 KAYOS SOYA (sauce) and K (bit of ketchup) ‘on a roll’ (backwards). To kayo, or KO, is to knock out.
11 APICIAN A PAN = a face; ICI = Imperial Chemical Industries, which no longer exists as such, having been acquired by AkzoNobel. Apicius is the title of a collection of Roman cookery recipes.
13 DOSH DO = party; SH = mum (quiet). ‘Rowdy’ is an old word for money.
14 ADHARMA HARM = injury; in ADA, Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, and credited as the ‘first computer programmer’. Adharma.
15 JURAT JUT = project; RA = artist. A jurat is a magistrate (beak) in France and the Channel Islands.
16 SIERRAS S = sun; I ERR; AS = so far.
17 DEPRAVEMENT *(a perv); in DEMENT = insane, demented (archaic). An old word for vitiation (itself rather a good word).
18 SEA-PIG *(pages I), the L having been abandoned by ‘plages’ before anagramming.
23 EMBLIC *(Blime C). Phyllanthus emblica, the fruit of which has many uses, including tanning.
24 ANTONOMASIA ANTON = first name of Chekhov; I = one; in OMASA. The use of an epithet, or the name of an office or attributive, for a person’s proper name
27 SKEWING SING = write poems; about KEW, the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.
29 SEVER VER + SE, interchanged
30 TOYLSOM *(mostly) plus O = nothing. An Spenserian word meaning ‘involving toil, laborious; toiling; owing to toil’, so ‘produced by Old Labour’. I’m not sure where the ‘One’s’ fits in here, as toylsom is an adjective.
31 NIPA A PIN backwards. Nypa fruticans, called nipa palm in the Philippines.
32 ICE-CALK *(a click e). A projecting nail in a horseshoe serving to prevent slipping on ice, also called a frost-nail
33 ANTRE Hidden in vagrant refuge
34 DURESSE DRESSE[d]; around U = university
1 GADJE Hidden in strong adjectives. This just means ‘person’ in dialect.
2 MISREAD Miss Read omitting one S.
3 SCHAPPE *(cash); PPE = ‘degree’. A bit Oxford-centric, this one — Philosophy, Politics and Economics is something you can get a degree in at Oxford (and, it seems, a few other places); I’d say it’s not the degree itself. Schappe is a fabric of waste silk, with gum, etc, partly removed by fermentation.
4 ENDIVE IVE = I have; END = certainly not starter.
5 ALARM ALA = à la = in the way of; RM = Royal Marines.
7 YARR R-RAY, backwards. The corn spurrey, Spergula arvensis.
8 OSMANLI *(Islam no). A member of the Osmanli dynasty.
9 SPASTIC Hidden in humorous pastiche. An offensive word implying ‘useless’.
10 SHEEPMASTER SHEER = oblique position; *(ma’s pet)
12 SHASTRA S = special; HAST = art having; RA = artist. Quite tricky wordplay. Shastra is listed under shaster in Chambers.
18 EINKORN KO = knockout; R = recipe; in E (eastern) INN. ‘Khan’ is defined in Chambers as ‘an Eastern inn, a caravanserai’, and the ‘(qv)’ indicates that we need to look there. Einkorn is a one-seeded wheat (Triticum monococcum) native to SW Asia and grown in arid regions. Another one that was tricky to solve.
20 ABSENCE Double definition — a want (lack) that also supposedly makes the heart grow fonder.
21 CLIVIAS LIV = 54; in SAIC, backwards. Clivia is a genus of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa.
22 CONOID *(condo i). Volcanoes are usually cone-shaped.
25 OWLER [H]owler. A ‘floater’ can mean a blunder, or howler. An owler was a smuggler (especially of wool or sheep); I don’t know why.
26 CRAKE C-RAKE. ‘Crake’ is an old dialect and Spenserian word meaning ‘boast’.
28 EYOT TOY = very small, backwards; E = end of upsurge. An eyot, or ait, is a small island.

5 Responses to “Azed 1952: Pervy gumshoes”

  1. liz says:

    Thanks, Jetdoc. I finished this — just. The ones I struggled over were SHASTRA (didn’t see the wordplay), EINKORN, KAYOS and YARR. Thought for a while that YARR must be BIRR, despite no such word being in Chambers, until the penny dropped that it might be a beam of light.

  2. bridgesong says:

    Jetdoc, a superb blog as always. Because of the postal strike I didn’t bother to submit an entry. I wonder if Azed/The Observer will ever allow online entries?

  3. Andrew Kitching says:

    Great blog- very informative.
    From a beginner’s viewpoint, the last 3-4 puzzles have been tough. Today’s exceptionally so, and I’m therefore looking forward to seeing the blog next week.

  4. Don Manley says:

    Today’s is tough, Andrew, but stick at it. Once you’ve solved a few it’s not so bad!

  5. Harris says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog of this excellent puzzle. Ideal difficulty for me, with many elegant, clever clues. This week’s looks very difficult, so I’ll be interested to see how we all fare!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

× 9 = nine