Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1960 Christmas parcels – hard to unwrap!

Posted by bridgesong on January 3rd, 2010

bridgesong.

This was one of the hardest Azeds that I can remember. I was certainly in need of the additional time allowed, even during a holiday period. I found that I needed to make constant reference to Chambers, but with one small exception, all the clues were perfectly fair. Compiling them is not easy, as I found with my attempt at the competition clue. Getting a sensible surface reading is almost impossible. I think that this is a variation on a puzzle type that Azed has used before at Christmas: certainly “parcels” comes up as having been used before if you search for it on the (excellent) & lit website.

For the across clues (CONTENTS), where there is always an anagram, I have simply shown the word to be entered (the middle one of the three), followed by the two outer words. For the down clues (WRAPPINGS), I have given a very brief indication of the wordplay that leads to the letters to be entered, as well as the three words themselves. I have not attempted to explain all the obscure words: there are simply too many. They are all, as promised, to be found in Chambers (2008).
Across
1 ATHANOR PATHAN/ORDER
6 DACHA ODA/CHAP
11 OROBANCHES SOROBAN/CHESS
12 TERGA DETER/GAME
14 INTIME RAIN/TIMELY
15 RAGU ORA/GUST
16 ONDATRA FONDA/TRADE
17 IMIDES SIMI/DESERT
19 ORATORIAL INAMORATO/RIALTO
22 ETHERCAPS TETHER/CAPSID
28 REGEST PURE/GESTALT
29 ISEGRIM RAISE/GRIMACE
30 PYET SPY/ETON
31 STORED PRESTO/REDACT
32 NGANA The competition word
33 MONOVALENT KIMONO/VALENTINE
34 INEPT FINE/PTISAN
35 LOTTERY PILOT/TERYLENE

Down
1 ASTRINE ASTRINGE, INGENER, NERINE. The only clue with which I take issue. I don’t think you can clue “Strine” as a “fellow from Oz”, since Chambers defines Strine as meaning Australian English, not as an Australian.
2 TREAMIT TREASON, SONDELI, DELIMIT. REAM in TIT.
3 HORGIC HORRENT, RENTALLER, ALLERGIC. CHOIR* round G.
4 NOABERRY NURI, RITE, TEABERRY. ER in BARONY*.
5 RAINATARMS RAINBAND, BANDMASTER, MASTER-AT-ARMS. RAMS round IN A TAR.
7 ACTAL ACHAR, HARDEN, DENTAL. Hidden in “extract a line”.
8 CHITTI CHICON, CONCAVE, CAVETTI. CHIT + IT (rev).
9 HEMRY HEMPEN, PENCHANT, CHANTRY. HEM + (Ma)RY.
10 ASEAL ASPERSE, PERSEID, IDEAL. A SEA + L.
13 ROSACOIDAL ROSACEA, EASTER, STEROIDAL. COLD SOR*(e) + AIA.
18 COPEANET COPEPOD, PODCAST, CASTANET. A seine is a kind of net.
20 ASSENER ASSEVER, VERDIN, DINNER. (So)RENESS + A (rev)
21 LITTATY LITTLIN, LINGO, GOATY. *TATTILY
23 HYEONE HYETAL, TALBOT, BOTONE. HYE + ONE.
24 BEYATE BEYOND, ONDING, INGATE. BEY + ATE.
25 BISMI BISMAR, MARSALA, SALAMI. BIS (twice) + I’m (rev).
26 ESTON ESTOVER, OVERGALL, GALLON. NOTES*.
27 AGROP AGRIN, INTRO, TROOP. A + GROP(e).

12 Responses to “Azed 1960 Christmas parcels – hard to unwrap!”

  1. The Trafites says:

    I too found this very hard, and it took me hours over 7 days. 1dn was the last one I solved too for exactly the same ‘strine’ issue.
    20dn took me a while to work out as it could also be hidden: some soRENESS After one’s thrown up.

    I look forward to see the competition clues :)

    Nick

  2. bridgesong says:

    Nick

    I think that you’re right: your explanation makes better sense than mine for 20 dn.

  3. IanN14 says:

    Did anyone else try to do this online?
    There were a couple of mistakes in the clueing.
    22ac. had too many letters for the anagram, and the enumeration for 15ac. was wrong.
    This held me up for a while, and I only noticed when I came to fill in the paper version that the clue for 22ac. was totally different…

  4. Jerb says:

    I loved this puzzle – it took me ages.

    Yes Ian, there seem to be some mistakes in the online Java version, but they’re correct in the pdf.

    I was thrown by 28a for some time because the anagram of PUREGESTALT starts at the “u” in “pup” (“Clean record formerly, pup later gets form”), Azed having promised that the consecutive jumble starts at the beginning or end of a word in the clue… though I suppose a puzzle like this would be no fun if he kept to his own rules!

    Bravo to everyone who finished it.
    Jerb

  5. IanN14 says:

    Jerb,
    I think the anagram in 28ac. ends at the end of “gets”.

  6. Jerb says:

    Oh, and thank you bridgesong for putting my mind at rest with the correct parsing of 19a: I mistakenly made it
    M[ORATORIA.L]ATINO (a perfect anagram of INAM[ORATO.RIAL]TO),
    with LATINO as “He’s loved” (tenuous, but something to do with Latin lovers, I thought). That meant I was at a complete loss as to how the hell I should force MORATORIA to mean “bridge”. But I jammed ORATORIAL in anyway…

  7. Jerb says:

    Hi Ian – you’re right again. For all the time I spent staring at the instructions I missed the crucial words “at the end”…

    Oops.

  8. Mick H says:

    A mark of just how hard this was: I solved it over a couple of days before Christmas, then left the Escape section of the paper lying around, where it inevitably found its way into the post-Christmas recycling purge. So having written my own clue, I had to print out another copy (from the helpful link on the Crossword Centre noticeboard) and re-solve it. This New Year resolution took the best part of an hour, as I found I’d already forgotten half the words I’d learnt in the course of doing it first time round. So much for the brain-improving power of Crosswords!

  9. Bob Sharkey says:

    Regarding the different clue versions, I find it’s helpful to check for these before starting. In a hard puzzle such as this one the discarded version provides pointers to how the final version is to be read.

  10. dr b says:

    OED defines STRINE as: A. adj. Australian. B. n. a. An Australian. b. The English language as (allegedly) spoken by Australians.

    So 1d seemed OK to me, being Chambers-less.

    Was also held up far too long by the mistakes in the online clues!

  11. liz says:

    Thanks, bridgesong. This utterly defeated me and I take my hat off to those who finished. I managed to get RAGU, without seeing any of the wordplay, and ground to a halt. Really fiendish!

  12. Don Manley says:

    I found this pretty tough and resorted to solving aids much more than normal. A number of regular solvers gave up, I know. Although I enjoyed the struggle for the most part, I am worried that Azed might have underestimated the level of difficulty.

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