Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1980: Jigsaw

Posted by jetdoc on May 15th, 2010


I usually enjoy a jigsaw, because I like the way that progress accelerates once you crack a critical step.

In this case, that step was the realisation that, of the two 11-letter solutions, ESCARMOUCHE was the only one that would fit down the left-hand side to give me valid checking letters. After that, it was pretty much plain sailing (though admittedly it took me a while fully to understand the wordplay in some clues).

I always prefer to complete crosswords using a pencil, and I would certainly recommend that to anyone completing a jigsaw — for example, I originally wrote CASANOVA where COOLAMON should be, and needed to erase it.

Favourite clue this week: 32, SLAUGHTEROUS.

1 AGHA AGHA[st] = ‘staggered’ minus ‘st’ (stone). A Turkish commander or chief officer.
2 ALL-ROUND A; ROUND = routine; LL = lines. Sorry for earlier confusion — I originally attempted to blog the wrong answer.
3 ARAR Moroccan name for the sandarac tree. Mount Ararat was where Noah’s ark was supposed to have landed, after its Middle Eastern voyage.
4 BAMPOT TOP MAB, reversed. Both bampot and gowk are words describing fools, idiots.
5 BEGETS EG = for example; BETS = flutters. ‘Parents’ as a verb.
6 BUSONI BUS = vehicle; ON = to; I = Italy. Ferruccio Busoni
7 CASANOVA *(a son); CAVA = bubbly.
8 CENTO Hidden in ‘recent opus’
9 CLASH CL = Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon); ASH = a light silvery-grey; and let us not forget The Clash!
10 COOLAMON COOL = chilled; MO = twinkling (moment); AN = one. An indigenous Australian carrying vessel
11 EARBASH EH = ‘What’s that?’; ARBAS (also arabas) = Central Asian wheeled carriages. Australian word for ‘nag or scold’.
12 ELECTRO ELECT = chosen; RO = ‘or’ reversed.
13 ESCARMOUCHE *(secure macho). A skirmish, as tirailleurs took part in.
14 EXAMEN EX = direct from; AMEN = end of prayers.
15 GASMAN ‘Mangas’ (Japanese illustrated magazines) with the two syllables switched
16 GOLEM GO = work; LEM = lunar excursion model.
17 I-AND-I *(India). ‘Us’, in Rastafarian-speak.
18 MANENT M = marks; ANENT = in a line with. A stage direction meaning ‘they remain’.
19 MEGASTAR *(art games)
20 MOSSO MOSS gathers on stones that have zero movement, as they aren’t rolling; O = nothing. ‘With movement, animatedly’
21 MUSING SIN = wrong; in MUG = ‘a sap or swot; an exam’
22 ONAGRA ON = covering; AGRA[rian] = half ‘of the land’. The onagra is the evening primrose, originally from America, though now a flourishing native of my garden.
23 OVER-AND-UNDER *(devour a d[i]nner). A double-barrelled gun having the barrels one on top of the other rather than side by side
24 PUTAMINA PUT = place; ‘anima’ reversed. Fruit-stones, also called ‘pits’.
25 RARE Double definition
26 RIPTIDE TID = mood; RIPE = search (both Scottish). A disturbed state of the sea.
27 ROANOKE ROAN = bay (colour of horse); OKE = ‘a clipped form of OK’, apparently. Roanoke, Virginia
28 SAMITI *(is Tami)
29 SATIATED *(aid taste), with ‘bananas’ as the anagram indicator
30 SCUP C in SUP. The northern porgy, a common marine fish of Atlantic coastal waters of N America.
31 SHMEK SHARK with ME for AR
32 SLAUGHTEROUS LAUGHTER as in ‘gales of laughter’; O = nothing; S US = southern States. I like the use of ‘gales’ here.
33 TERPSICHORE *(priest); CHORE. The muse of dance and the dramatic chorus
34 THOMAS *(has MOT)
35 TITANIC TIT = tug (entry no. 4 in Chambers); AN = one; IC = “I see”

13 Responses to “Azed 1980: Jigsaw”

  1. MadLogician says:

    All-right for 2 doesn’t fit the diagram. I had all-round.

  2. sidey says:

    Agreed. I presume SHMEK is slang for heroin? It’s not in my Chambers or any online dictionary I can find.

    Nice blog btw jetdoc.

  3. Matthew says:

    SHMEK is given as an alternative spelling of SCHMECK in Chambers. It would be more helpful if SHMEK had its own entry that informed the reader of this.

  4. Don Manley says:

    Yes, Matthew, it would — but remember that one-volume dictionary-makers have space constraints. Enjoyable puzzle.

  5. jetdoc says:

    Apologies for not checking — I have ALL-ROUND in the grid, but for some reason looked only at my list of clues. I will edit it now.

  6. sidey says:

    Thank you Matthew. Chambers is rather good at hiding entries.

  7. Bob Sharkey says:

    My thanks to Matthew and Don for pointing me in the right direction on SHMECK – horse, as a slang word for heroin, is new to me. I have a doubt that ‘landing craft’ may be taken as a definition of ‘lunar excursion module’ in 16. I echo appreciation of both puzzle and blog.

  8. Jake says:

    i-and-i. and thomas the anag ones! I got held up on these two answers and couldn’t complete the grid. I didn’t know ‘doubting thomas’. And i-and-i with two hyphens fooled me into thinking it was 3 words! D’oh.

    Well, thanks for the cluing info Jetdoc. Have a good week.

  9. Jake says:

    I just noticed you had cavanova. I too in pencil had ???A?OV. I couldn’t see why it would be him so I carried on solving in case any other letters took me to the answer.

    I wonder if SHMEK is a slang Scot term. It sounds like it?

  10. Gaufrid says:

    “I wonder if SHMEK is a slang Scot term. It sounds like it?”

    According to Chambers it is US slang, with the origin being Yiddish.

  11. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    I enjoyed the puzzle but found it very hard – ESCARMOUCHE was the only inked-in entry for quite a while, and Chambers got plenty of use. My fault I think – the other 11 and 12-letter answers should have been easier than I found them, and duff square-counting led to a vain search for a 6/7 pairing instead of 6/6 for the BAMPOT/BEGETS pair.

    I wonder how Azed chooses puzzles for this treatment – any Azed could be presented this way. I guess it may have been the fact that TITANIC was the last in the alphabetic sequence, which may be unusual. It din’t make much difference though, as the THOMAS and TITANIC clues were pretty solvable.

  12. Handel says:

    Really enjoyed this one, which we found very tough but ultimately rewarding as everything fell into place. Swapping from our customary pen to pencil was the key – lots of guessed locations made it possible to make progress.

    As usual we enjoyed learning a few new words, and as usual we remarked that we’d probably never have any use for any of them ever again. But not this time – ‘Terpsichore’ turned up on the pub quiz machine just after we’d finished the puzzle. Still didn’t win the quid though.

  13. bridgesong says:

    I enjoyed this one as well; the additional difficulty of not knowing where to place the answers is balanced by the fact that the answers are in alphabetical order, so helping to identify that crucial first letter.

    One useless bit of information: TERPSICHOREAN was a prize clue word for Azed in 1994. I remember it because I got a VHC for my entry, something I haven’t repeated very often (or at all) since!

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