Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1957

Posted by John on December 6th, 2009


As always with Azed apparently complete soundness in the wordplay of his clues; there are one or two places where I’m not sure how to explain this, but I suspect someone will do so.

1 FOGMEN — it’s always a bit tricky to find out just what Azed’s rules are on composite anagrams, but here is a nice example I think: def. ‘Specialist railway staff'; [in age of steam] … [a seat I fogmen] are the two sets of letters that are equivalent
7 UPCAST — Scottish version of ‘upset’, ‘up’ = ‘well-informed’, ‘cast’ = ‘actors in play’
12 CAM AS I (oops — thanks, Liz)
13 CA(HIE)R — at first I thought something was amiss, but Azed is using the obsolete noun version of ‘hie’
15 DELIRIA — (ai riled)rev.
16 PENTHIA — (thin)* in pea
18 ON(CU)E
19 FEELERS — e in (re self)*
20 LA(W)YER SWIG — a ‘chicken?’ is a layer
22 THUNDER BOX — I had always thought the word was an Evelyn Waugh coinage for Apthorpe in Men at Arms (here‘s someone who doesn’t think much of it), but it seems the term is more widely used
26 SAW GATE — at in (wages)* — a saw gate is the space left by a saw, in other words by the teeth that are on its edge
28 EMOTE — (tome)rev. {resonanc}e
30 METIERS — met (rise)*
33 SAGO IN — not absolutely comfortable here: sago is the cereal and when it has been consumed the sago is in the little monkey — this I suspect isn’t the whole story
34 HADN’T — another composite anagram, similar in construction so far as I can see to 1ac: def. ‘Failed to experience'; [the dawn] … [we hadn’t]
2 OAKENSHAW — o (snake)* haw
3 investigatinG MANslaughter
4 MAN TUAN — ‘man’ = ‘he’ (something that seems strange but is allowed by Chambers — look for the nounal version of ‘he’) and ‘tuan’ = ‘master’. If you look up ‘Mantuan’ you’ll find ‘a native or inhabitant of Mantua (esp Virgil)’, which I suppose explains the ‘e.g. Virgil’ in the clue
6 N(I’D IF)Y — fine if you are happy with ‘if’ = ‘whenever’, and we have to be, because it says so in Chambers
10 {h}AIRY
11 TRANSGRESS — (gran’s)* in tress
14 SPORTS CAST — ref. Test Match Special
17 PRINT RUNS — anagram of odd letters in ‘ReNoIr – No PaRiS sUiTe’
23 DA COIT{us} — I think in Don Manley’s Chambers Crossword Manual he suggests that no clue should be written that is not fit for polite conversation. Clearly Azed is not of this view.
24 filigREED EDging — but I don’t see this: a reed is the wherewithal for a thatcher, but reeded?
25 BETCHA — (the ABC)*, but where is the definition?
27 GIRON — (rig)rev. on — it’s something on a coat of arms
29 EDGE — ‘geed’ seen as ‘ge ed’ and the parts switched
31 suppliES DAta

15 Responses to “Azed 1957”

  1. liz says:

    Thanks, John. I don’t understand your parsing of 5ac, which was the only one I didn’t get. I had -AMAS, but not the first letter. In the blog, you seem to indicate the word was CAMASI, which it can’t be, as it is only five letters.

    I did get FOGMEN, eventually, but could you explain how this clue works? I do struggle with composite anagrams.

    The other one where I didn’t see the wordplay was ANDROID.

  2. Gaufrid says:

    5a was CAMAS – CAM (irregular projection, eg on a camshaft) AS (for instance)
    For 1a, ‘a seat I’ anagrammed (‘arranged with’) the answer (‘them’) gives ‘in age of steam’

  3. Chris says:

    33: I took “that has been consumed by” as a definition of IN.

    24: “supplying material for thatcher” defines REEDED.

  4. bridgesong says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. I liked THUNDERBOX as a clue (“Bolt spar in Portaloo?”), but what about 15 across “Feverish states backward sloth annoyed”? Can anyone extract any sort of sense from that? It reads like a sentence by Chomsky!

  5. sidey says:

    Thank you John. And Gaufrid, I couldn’t see cam as an irregular projection for some reason.

    bridgesong, Feverish states = the definition, backward = instruction to reverse the next bits, sloth = ai (really!), annoyed = riled. Add ai to riled and reverse = deliria. I can’t help you with a surface reading of the clue though.

    liz, composite anagrams are a vile invention! They still make my eyes cross despite doing Azeds for more years than I’m admitting to and even submitting one in a clue competition and getting a HC for it. Perseverance and practice are the answer. My aside the other day was a poor clue to Azed’s origin. His two predecessors took their names from Spanish inquisitors, a third was Deza hence my writing azeD.

  6. jetdoc says:

    At 25d, the (rather tenuous, I think) definition must be ‘non-standard spelling’; Chambers gives ‘a spelling of bet you representing colloquial pronunciation’.

  7. bridgesong says:

    Sidey, I understood the wordplay; it was the surface meaning to which I was referring.

    So far as BETCHA is concerned, I wondered if the definition might be “place”, as in “place a bet”, but if so it’s a poor clue.

  8. Tom_I says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Jetdoc about 25d. I think it’s one of those Azed clues where the two parts overlap, so the definition is “non-standard spelling” (a bit tenuous, I agree), and the subsidiary indication is “spelling out of place in ‘the ABC'” (my extra quotes).

    I did wonder if “ABC” could be thought of as “alphaBET CHAracters”, or something similar, with a hidden solution, but I can’t think up a convincing argument for it.

  9. liz says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid for explaining the ref to ‘cam’.

    Sidey — Thanks for explaining the AZED ref the other day — I did catch up with the replies the next day. Yes, composite anagrams are real stinkers! When I manage to solve them, I’m often not sure why…I can’t imagine constructing one!

  10. John says:

    Liz: ANDROID (32ac): the logic circuit is AND (believe it or not), then it’s I in ROD. The definition is ‘robot’.

    Chris: You say “24: “supplying material for thatcher” defines REEDED.” My point is that I can’t see how it does. My parts of speech are a bit loose, but ‘supplying material for thatcher’ seems to be a finite adjectival clause and ‘reeded’ seems to be an adjective. Not the same thing, so far as I can see.

  11. sidey says:

    The Fens are reeded. The Fens are supplying material for a thatcher.


  12. Chris says:

    John: If a marshy area (say) is reeded then it can be regarded as supplying material for a thatcher. Azed indicates tenuous quasi-definitions of this sort by putting a question mark at the end of the clue, as in this case.

  13. Andrew Kitching says:

    Agree that SAGOIN’s word play is a bit obscure. I got 1a from a ‘thomas the tank engine’ episode from my son’s video collection! Didn’t spot the comp anagram.
    First time I’ve finished an AZED on a Sunday without electronic help. Stopped using Word Wizard in July and usually finished Monday or Tuesday. Have now been doing cryptics exactly 12 months (started whilst hanging around waiting to go into Court for Jury service last year), and it took me until Thursday to do an ‘Everyman’. Encouraged to try doing AZEDs by a friend in March of this year, so making progress I think.

  14. Bob Sharkey says:

    Ref 25 Down, ‘place’ is a bet, i.e. a horse to finish 1st,2nd,or3rd.

  15. Bob Sharkey says:

    On the question whether 25 Down is a poor clue, I rather think it’s a very sweet clue, with extra layers of meaning to delight the old Azed hands. There is, or used to be, a chain called ABC Bookmakers. There’ also an allusion to all the fun to be had from a misspelt or otherwise messed-up betting slip. These delights include the way different punters react to their disappointment.

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