Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1988

Posted by bridgesong on July 11th, 2010


I found this puzzle considerably harder than usual, partly as a result of my failure early
on to solve any of the four long clues which form the border to the puzzle. I am still
struggling for explanations to 23 across and 4 down.

I have as usual attached a link to the pdf of the puzzle, so that you can refer to the
clues. What I don’t know, since I failed to buy the paper, is whether any of the clues
appeared in a different form in the printed version: this does happen sometimes with Azed
puzzles, as a result of late amendments.

1 ORNITHOMORPH *(HRH + PROMOTION). It means a figure
or design in the form of a bird, like the Lib Dems’ logo, which was also compared (by their
opponents) to a snake in the grass.
10 BOUVIER VIE in BOUR(don). A bourdon is an old word
for a club. I spent some time trying to think of words for old golf clubs which had a don
in. I’ve only come across bouvier before as part of the name of Jacqueline
13 RESH Hidden in pure shmaltz.
14 RIGLIN An easy clue for an obscure word, found in
Chambers under ridgel.
17 ABUT TABU with the first letter moved to the end.
One of the meanings of tabu is a ban.
20 MALL RATS ALL RAT in MS. It’s a delightful
23 POET I find myself unable to explain this. If it’s
a quote, I can’t find it. I’m sure someone will have the answer.
24 CHANCRE R(emedy) in CHANCE.
27 NADENE AD in NENE. A nene is a rare Hawaiian goose;
Na-Dene is a group of native American languages, including Tlingit.
29 TAEL TAE(Scots for also) + L.
30 DRAGONISE DRAG ON + S in IE. Apparently it means to
keep watch like a dragon.
2 RONEO ONE in R(un) 0(ut). I think that “batting” in
the clue simply means “in”. Younger readers may need to be told that a Roneo was an early
duplicating machine.
3 NUMSKULL *MUSK in NULL. A subtle clue, using
“bottles” to mean “contains”. You also need to know that “flat” can mean a
4 TICAL Another clue for which I can provide no
analysis. It’s an old Siamese coin of course, but can anyone explain the
5 HERMAE MA in HERE. Busts of (originally)
7 OROGEN E in NGORO (rev). Ngorongoro is a famous
crater in Tanzania.
8 ROIL Sounds like “royal”.
9 PERIQUE The competition word. I wonder if Gerard
Pique of Spain will feature in some of the submissions?
10 BARRAMUNDI BAR + R A + *IN MUD. The name covers
several species of fish.
11 FENESTELLA F + ENE + STELLA. Ene is another poetic
version of “evening”, like “e’en”. I’m not sure why the word “Italian” is in the clue;
there’s nothing in Chambers to suggest that this feature is confined to Italian
16 TEOCALLI O + CALL + I under si(TE).
19 PRONOTA A pronatum is the back of an insects
prothorax. I think the word play is *(AR(e) + ON TOP). I don’t particularly like “flying”
as an anagram indicator.
21 LIEGER EG in LIER. It’s an old form of “ledger”.
To lie can mean to press.
22 THRICE H in TRICE. The reference of course is to
Lewis Carroll’s parody of Robert Southey’s poem in Alice’s Adventures in
25 ASSAD A S(tate) + SAD. I don’t think that the clue
has any satirical or political intent, but of course it refers to President Assad of
26 RECIT Hidden and reversed in “anachronistic
28 DAFT (Reynar)D + AFT. “Daft as a brush” was a
catchphrase of a now forgotten comedian, Ken Platt. Like me, Azed is old enough to
remember hearing him on the wireless in the 1950s.

11 Responses to “Azed 1988”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, Bridgesong, for the blog. Re 4D: HERE from 5D + TICAL = Unconventional?


  2. AJK says:

    Yes, 4d was explained to me that way by another AZED solver (I’d got the word from C, but couldn’t work it out). 23 is a line from a Shakespeare play or sonnet I think.

    I liked MALL RATS.

    It took me most of the week to think of a clue for 9d. I think it is astonishing to realise that AZED keeps turning out such excellent puzzles week after week (since 1972?). I’d like to see AZED no.1, but ‘&lit’ doesn’t seem to have it.

  3. Richard Heald says:

    23Ac is one of those self-referential clues that Azed likes, where you need to know the answer before you can understand the wordplay: in this case it’s POE (a poet) + TO less O (love).

    In 11Dn, ‘Italian’ indicates that stella is the Latin word for star, and the wordplay in 2Dn is actually RO + ONE*, with ‘batting’ the (slightly dubious?) anagrind.

  4. Gaufrid says:

    Hi bridgesong
    As indicated indirectly above, 5dn is [here]TICAL (unconventional not present).

    23ac is POE (one such {ie poet, Edgar Allan}) T[o] (to love denied).

  5. Bryan says:

    Funny – I had always thought that Azed was an Observer puzzle.

    What next?

  6. AJK says:

    Could one ‘batting’ mean that ‘one’ is in the middle of RO (runouts)?

  7. Gaufrid says:

    I think there is an error in the definition for 21dn. According to Chambers, the reference for this puzzle, the ‘old’ version of ledger (record) is ‘lidger’. LIEGER is only given as an alternative to ledger when it’s meaning is ‘resident’, quote “(also leidger, lieger or leiger) a resident, esp an ambassador (obs)”.

    I can only assume that Azed looked up LIEGER, found “see ledger” and then failed to check the entry for ledger.

  8. bridgesong says:

    Thanks all for the explanations. And sorry for wrongly categorising this as a Guardian puzzle; I’ve corrected that now.

  9. Bob Sharkey says:

    I think Gaufrid is probably right about 21D, my only issue with this puzzle, but the question-mark raises the possibility of an intention to compound the subsidiary part ‘… in one pressing’ as part of the definition, that is ‘one pressing suit’ in the court of a sovereign, as would an ambassador or resident.
    This would make the clue a type of &lit, strange to many, but an ‘old song’ to the great tormentor.

  10. The Trafites says:

    2dn I parsed as RO (run out) + (ONE*), ‘batting’ being the anagram ind., as ‘bat’ also means ‘a drunken spree’.

  11. Myrvin says:

    For 8d, I don’t see that ‘roil’ sounds like ‘royal’. I don’t think this is just the SE versus the rest of the UK. Chambers has the pronunciation as ‘roi’el’ (upside down e) for royal and, straightforward ‘roil’ for the other. I put it in, thinking it was some variant on ‘rule’.
    I thought about Jacky O too. 2d was beyond me – but I remember the machine. As for 25d. If I were AZED, I wouldn’t visit Syria any time soon.

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