Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1954

Posted by petebiddlecombe on November 15th, 2009


I’m hoping that this puzzle from last Sunday does not have a similar deadline extension to last week’s prize puzzle. If you know that it does, please let me know with a comment, and I’ll get this taken down again ASAP.

Solving time: 57 minutes, with Chambers used for about 50% of the answers. These seemed quite a tough Azed but it was my frst one for about a month.

1 PEPPERS = “does for”, G = grand, HOST = army – “to do for” is listed with other verbal meanings of “pepper” in C
10 KITT(E.N.)Y – EN = enrolled nurse
12 BR.,ICOLE = (E coli)* – “recovering quickly” is a tricky definition – to “recover” is to return to a position quickly, matching bricole = rebound
13 NAT(i)O(n) – a nice illustration of the slipperiness of “in” in clues – here not a link word, nor container indicator, nor part of the def., but the material to be omitted in the wordplay.
14 (c)LOSEL(y) – losels are fairly familiar in barred puzzles
15 MAN=boy,GAL=girl – a mangal is a Turkish brazier – new word for me
16 INHAUL – a rope or line for hauling in – (he’s nautical)* – (as, etc.)*
19 COAX – 2 defs – to pet here is presumably to pamper or indulge
20 PEART = lively, REE = female bird – beginners note that “pear-tree” counts as an 8 in Azed puzzles trahter than (4-4)
21 STRAGGLE – R in (last egg)* – C has a noun meaning of straggle
24 SA(G)Y – sage being a popular stuffing component
27 T(EMS)ED – the Ems is probably as popular as the Oder for wordplay purposes in barred grid puzzles. Temse = sive and ted = dry (hay in the sun) will be familiar to old hands too
29 CEYLO = coley*,N = Norway
31 PUT TO = “connect with”, and a putto is a cupid
32 TOLA = (a lot) rev. – a tola is an Indian unit of weight. I was expecting it to be Japanese but I think that’s from confusion with tosa.
33 DAY-COAL = CO in (a lady)* – day-coal is “the upper stratum of coal”
34 V(E)INO,US – E = earl, and “claret” in the clue is blood
35 R((p)ETROGRAD)ELY – C has rely = to rally (obs.). I got this in a rather perverse way, getting the “grad” from (Lenin)grad, with a different interpretation of “leaderless” which I felt quite proud of spotting! “retro-” had to be there from checking letters and the def., and then C provided the right ending and the penny dropped
1 PUBLIC SECTOR – (corpuscle, I, TB)* – a nice clue but also a relatively easy one
2 PO(I)SH,A – poisha is a variant of paisa, and “superb” is one meaning of “posh”. From last weekend, I can report that at least one tour guide on the Queen Mary at Long Beach was still peddling that old story about “Port Out, Starboard Home”. He didn’t seem pleased to hear my scepticism after the tour finished.
3 PICEA – the Spruce genus, hidden word
4 R,ILL – possibly the easiest clue in this puzzle
5 STEMMA = (Mamet’s)* – a stemma is a family tree among other things. David Mamet is an American playwright, though not one I knew about
6 HENNA = rev. of “Anne H.” – as long as clues about people like “Will S.” use well-known people, the required task is pretty easy to see
7 ONAGER – a catapult for which stones are the natural projectiles – (great stone)* – (set, St.)*
8 TROLLEY = fancy lace, DOLLY = complimentary sweets etc., in Hindi – which makes me wonder about the origin of “Dolly mixture” in confectionery
9 PRONATA – (ar(e), on top)*
11 TEAT = tit,REE = sandpipier (female) – a second appearance in this puzzle, in a rather similar clue – tea-tree and pear-tree both use the old “move the gap by one letter” trick. I suspect Azed tried to avoid this but struggled to find alternative clues
17 UPGRO = (group)*, W(he)N
18 VE(GET)AL – vegetal can be a noun – a second reference to stuffing, but not in a disappointing way
22 RAYLET = (try, ale)* – I assume a raylet is a small ray (light-beam, not type of fish)
23 G,UNDO(in)G
25 AS = antique copper (Roman coin),TONE = colour – astone is an old relative of “astound”
26 MUCID = (MO)dicum rev.
28 WAUR = a Scots version of “worse” – (how are you)* – (hooey)* – with “unco” as an appropriately Scots anagram indicator

9 Responses to “Azed 1954”

  1. liz says:

    Thanks, Peter. I’m glad you found this hard, as this was the first Plain for a while that I didn’t complete. I missed 2dn, 16ac, 27ac 28dn and 25dn, sometimes, infuriatingly, only by a letter.

    I must remember Ems and ‘ted’ in the sense of ‘dry’ for future reference.

    How does the compound anagram at 16ac work exactly? I knew that it was a compound anagram, but I couldn’t identify which words to play with..

  2. petebiddlecombe says:


    The clue is: He’s nautical? As playing with this rope, etc. “playing” is the anagram indicator for “as, (this rope – i.e. inhaul), etc.”. The fact that an inhaul is a specifically nautical rope means that there’s a bit of extra definition in the “he’s nautical” anagram fodder (or anagram result, depending how you look at things).

  3. Andrew Kitching says:

    Tough for me too. Rather too many comp anagrams for my liking. Needed help with the Scottish one at 28.
    16 is (HE’S NAUTICAL minus AS and ETC)*
    I thought SAGY and VEINOUS very good!

  4. liz says:

    Thanks, Peter. I see now that what flummoxed me was the definition in the middle.

  5. Harris says:

    I found this tough going, but did finish it in the end, albeit with some help from Ms Bradford. Not sure I’ll ever manage to finish one of these in anything like Peter’s time, but I was heartened last night to recognise a dialect word for ‘scramble’ from some time ago. Sometimes I fear that all the words I look up one week are forgotten by the following week!

  6. Tom_I says:

    I haven’t done an Azed for a while, and found this a struggle, but finished it eventually.

    Perhaps I’m being thick, but I don’t see how the word ‘securing’ fits in the clue to 19a (‘Cable securing pet?’). I’m happy with ‘coax’ = ‘pet’ (it’s in Chambers), and ‘coax’ or ‘co-ax’ = ‘cable’, but how does ‘securing’ scan? You don’t use co-axial cable for securing things (at least I don’t). :)

  7. Jake says:

    A rather odd puzzle-for me. May-be some found this easier than me ???

    However Azed baffles us all [I assume], leading us all to think out of the box.

    Thank-you Mr Biddlecombe.

  8. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Tom_I: I think “securing” is just a link-word – if you solve one of the definitions, you have secured = got hold of = obtained the answer to the other one. I can be picky about link-words, but this one doesn’t bother me, and I’m sure I’ve seen it a few times before.

  9. Tom_I says:

    Thanks, Peter.

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