Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1974: the man from Walsall

Posted by bridgesong on April 4th, 2010

bridgesong.

After last week’s offering, which Jetdoc found easy, but which defeated me, I found this special very much easier than a normal Azed, doing much of it on the train without the aid of Chambers. For those who haven’t encountered the DLM formula before it may at first seem a daunting prospect, but as ever the generous checking in an Azed grid makes it easy once you get started. I find the key to making a start is to concentrate on the shorter words, where it’s easier to find the anagrams, and as it happens I solved 1 down very soon.

You have to admire Azed’s skill in coming up with surface readings that make some sort of sense, despite three clues being run into one. However, it has to be said that this does involve a fair number of words that have been inserted just to help the surface reading and which are not otherwise essential to the clues. Of course, if they weren’t there, solving such a puzzle would be even easier. The fact that the three clues are clued strictly in numerical order is also a great help; I seem to remember competition puzzles where the clues could be in any order.

Why “Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow”? It’s the title of a book by Jerome K Jerome: perhaps the triple name is relevant.

Across
1 FOULMART It’s a type of polecat, which makes a stink.
7 SOLO
10 PRELECTION Arguably a weak clue, as it shares a root with the definition “lecturing etc”.
11 SEBUM A fatty secretion of the skin.
12 FELIS The cat genus.
14 TREMOLO
15 AMENT A psychiatric term.
16 ACARIASIS Infestation by mites.
18 PIROGUE A dug-out canoe.
19 SLEEKIT
23 GASCONISM I’m not sure why people from Gascony should have acquired a reputation for boasting.
25 STOOP
26 CHRONIC
28 SERRY The verb from which we get “serried”.
29 DEATH
30 INTERNMENT
31 NEED
32 TAPSTERS
Down
1 FIST It can mean handwriting.
2 OPERCULATE Almost the last word I inserted, having been misled into expecting a word beginning “over…”. This word means “covered”.
3 UPBEAT
4 MEMOIR
5 ALULA Feathers on what would be a bird’s thumb.
6 REPOSIT
7 STEMSON A curved timber on a ship.
8 OILER
9 ONSTREAM
13 INQUISITOR
16 ASSASSIN
17 BEGORED
18 PISCINA Can mean a fish pond, as well as a basin in a church.
20 HORDES
21 BINATE
22 PORTE The Porte was the Turkish Imperial Government.
24 CHUMP
27 CHIS Chi is Greek for X.

9 Responses to “Azed 1974: the man from Walsall”

  1. Bob Sharkey says:

    A tour de force for the setter, a tedious bore for at least this solver, nothing but hidden anagrams. Thank heavens for today’s plain old competition puzzle where every clue type must be determined. At least here one has the expectation of finding a novel construction, or an exquisite or subtle conceit. One today could be parsed ‘hidden in C & lit’ – both novel and a joy.

  2. Jake says:

    This was very easy, the only hassle I had was getting a start. Once started though, it all fell into place rather quickly.

    Good fun though. I believe this should be added to Azed ‘for beginners’ where Peter Biddlecombe put puzzle 1919.

    This was without doubt at the easiest end of Azed spectrum. Nice one!

  3. The trafites says:

    I agree, there was too many superfluous words for my liking, some seemingly being inserted to deliberately mis-lead the solver – but I suppose making one ‘clue’ to three words read sensible without these would be impossible.

    I also agree that although hard to get going (3dn UPBEAT was my entry point), once started it all fell into place relatively quickly.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I think in this type of puzzle, uniquely perhaps, superfluous words are allowable, the aim I guess being to mislead the solver which I think is quite a valid aim if one thinks of crosswords generally…

    I did not think this was particularly easy, UPBEAT was also my starting point.

  5. Andrew Kitching says:

    This looked too much like the ‘Christmas parcels’ nightmare. What is DLM by the way?
    I avoided it and did ‘The Spectator’ puzzle instead!

  6. bridgesong says:

    Andrew

    DLM stands for “Definition + Letter Mixture”.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Only guessing, but if that title is from Jerome K Jerome as Bridgesong has explained, maybe the idea is to refer to his most famous book ‘Three Men in a Boat’ with the clues having three parts.

  8. liz says:

    Thanks, bridgesong. I quite enjoyed this and finished without making any silly mistakes, which is always a bonus! At first I thought I wasn’t going to get into it at all, but it was pretty straightforward when I got going. Not worse than other Azeds, just different.

  9. sidey says:

    I think the form of the clues follows the way many of the “Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow” are written, it’s available online should you wish to check.

    I think the ‘beginning at the start of a word etc’ stricture actually makes the clues quite brilliant.

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