Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1959: A bitter-sweet refrain

Posted by jetdoc on December 20th, 2009


An Azed of average difficulty this week, I think; I needed a dictionary to check several answers. The words ‘whample’ and ‘sprangle’ were both delightful discoveries. No clue stands out as favourite of the week, but I’ll give my vote to 10a.

I wish you all a brilliant Christmas and New Year, and a cruciverbally fulfilling 2010.

1 GASTHOF GAS = garrulity; THO = even if (though); F = loud (forte). A German hotel or guest-house.
6 IMBAR A mimbar is a mosque pulpit; remove M (mass) from the beginning, and you get this archaic word meaning ‘shut in’.
10 AIGRE-DOUCE *(Die courage), with ‘in the wars’ as an anagram indicator; ‘for the wife’ indicates that this is the feminine form of the French adjective. There’s a music link here.
11 STUMPAGE TUMP = mound; in SAGE = wise old fellow. In the US, standing timber, its monetary value, or money paid for it.
13 SIDER RED IS, reversed. Someone who takes a side.
14 VAISYA *(Siva), with ‘incarnation of’ as an apt anagram indicator; AY = alas, reversed. A member of the third caste of Hinduism. The Sudras, or Shudras, are the fourth caste.
17 HALLANS ALL = entirely; HANS = a German. A hallan is a partition or screen between the door and fireplace in a Scottish cottage, or bothy.
18 CHEAPEN *(ache); PEN = author
19 SKAT K = king; SAT = was fitting. A three-handed card game using 32 cards.
20 RONG Sounds like ‘wrong’ = defective; an obsolete past tense of ‘ring’.
21 WHAMPLE MP = commoner (a member of the House of Commons); WHALE = big un. A lovely Scottish word, meaning a stroke or blow.
23 ANATASE A = one; former tennis player Ilie Nastase (with an accent over the first a which needs a font with an extended character set), minus his third letter. Anatase is one of the three mineral forms of titanium dioxide.
26 GEMONY ‘Hegemony’ minus ‘he’. An obsolete word expressing surprise, defined in Chambers in the entry for geminate, possibly related to the word ‘geminy’, a pair of eyes.
28 STREP ‘Perts’ (impudent people) reversed. Streptococcus, a genus of spherical Gram-positive bacteria, with a name derived from the Greek meaning ‘easily bent or twisted, like a chain’.
30 GRIPTAPE GRIPE = complaint; TAP = a metal piece attached to the sole and heel of a shoe for tap-dancing. A rough adhesive tape, as used on skateboarding equipment to provide extra grip.
31 NIBELUNGEN *(linen begun). The Nibelungen, in Wagner’s opera Der Ring des Nibelungen, were dwarves, the guardians of a magic ring that granted the power to rule the world.
32 DISME Hidden in ‘yield is measured’. A tenth or tithe.
33 BALNEAL NEA[r] = almost; in BALL. Of baths or bathing.
1 GOSS S-SOG, reversed. An informal short form of ‘gossip’, in Chambers (2008) but not in the earlier version on my computer.
2 ANTIPHONER *(then piano r). A book of antiphons or of anthems (also called ‘antiphonary’ and ‘antiphonal’).
3 SAUDI ‘S = has; AUDI[t]
4 TIME LAG *(Get mail)
5 ORACHE Hidden in ‘sailor a cheap’. Atriplex hortensis, the garden orache, also called red orach, mountain spinach, or french spinach, is an annual leaf vegetable with a salty, spinach-like taste. There’s also an oblique reference to Popeye, who gained his strength from eating spinach.
6 IDEAL GAS IDES = fish; ALGA = seaweed. An ideal gas is a theoretical gas composed of a set of randomly-moving, non-interacting point particles.
7 MOBIL MIL = military; OB[o], a vessel designed to carry oil and bulk ore, together or separately. Mobil is a major American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil.
8 BUSS Frances Mary Buss (16 August 1827 – 24 December 1894) was a headmistress and an English pioneer of women’s education. ‘Buss’ is also a rude or playful kiss, a smacker.
Miss Buss was associated with Dorothea Beale, headmistress of The Cheltenham Ladies’ College, in a (rather sexist) satirical rhyme:
Miss Buss and Miss Beale,
Cupid’s darts do not feel.
How different from us,
Miss Beale and Miss Buss.

… so maybe rude or playful kisses were out of the question.
9 REMASTER REM = an American rock band; ASTER = the Michaelmas daisy
12 SYNALOEPHA *(Elsa aphony). The melting of a final vowel or diphthong into the initial vowel or diphthong of the next word.
15 SCRAG-END RAG = a scrap of cloth; SCEND = to pitch into the trough of the sea (given in Chambers in the entry for send). A joint of mutton from the neck of the sheep.
16 SPRANGLE SPANGLE = glitter; R = middle of array. In the US, a straggling line or group.
19 SMITTEN SEN[t] = ecstatic; MITT = hand
22 HEMINA HA = expression of scepticism; EMIN = Tracey Karima Emin, whom I can’t help admiring, even if I don’t rate her art much. A hemina is a measure for corn, of varying amount.
24 TOTEM Hidden in ‘some to treasure’, reversed (‘erected’ works for reversal when it’s a down clue)
25 CRANE Double definition — the demoiselle, Anthropoides virgo, a graceful variety of crane; and ‘to stretch out the neck, usually in order to see better’.
27 MOBS First letters of ‘make overtures by soliciting’. Loose women (unlike Miss Buss and Miss Beale).
29 PEEL P = phosphorus; EEL. John Peel was a Cumbrian huntsman, the subject of the 19th-century song D’ye ken John Peel?, and he wore a grey coat.

3 Responses to “Azed 1959: A bitter-sweet refrain”

  1. Andrew K says:

    One mistake threw me: I had the ??MON? of 26a, and put in LAMONT (Norman). Clearly wrong, this mucked up the left had side for a long time!

  2. liz says:

    Thanks, Jetdoc. I was pleased to finish this. WHAMPLE was the last one I got. Although I got PEEL I’d forgotten the reference to John Peel’s ‘coat all grey’, so thanks for enlightening me. MOBIL and IMBAR were the other ones where I didn’t see the wordplay.

  3. Andrew says:

    I’m sure we used to sing about John Peel and his coat so GAY when I were a lad (long before “gay” had its current meaning, of course), and there does seem to be some dispute about which version is correct.

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