Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 1999

Posted by John on September 26th, 2010


With the exception of one or two answers that are still beyond me, I found this very much the usual Azed, with good sound wordplay. Much wading through Chambers: Azed always seems to choose a word which when you painstakingly look it up then redirects you to some other spelling. But if you’re going to attempt one of these you’ve got to put up with that. It’s par for the course.

1 CHATTA I think because a chatta is a Hindi word for an umbrella — chat = associate with and somehow we get ‘ta’: but how? By removing the first letter of the three-letter word _ta? But I can’t think what word. And it can’t be the first letters of two words because then it would be ‘leads’. And there’s no word lead = laspir. So help…
7 PET(S)IT — the little foreign is ‘petit’
12 HO NOR ARIA — to my surprise under the nounal sense of ‘ho’ is ‘moderation’
13 MANDORLA — (Lord)* in mana — mana is a Maori word for prestige, and a mandorla is amongst other things the vesica piscis, which is a halo in the form of …
14 NULLITY — (y till un)rev.
15 CheRUBINo — a rubin is a Spenserian word for a ruby
16 SMOG — mogs with the s moved round to the front
18 SUS(PEN)S — I think because suss = suspect = mistrust and pen = author, def ‘formerly held back’: suspens is a Miltonian word for ‘held back’
20 PERICL(I TAT)E{s} — periclitate is an archaic word for endanger
22 NAPHTHA — “naff” (hat)*
24 WASE — well that’s the wispy bit of e.g. straw, but the rest of it? I suspect it is somehow a comp. anag. where g = few (literally), g appearing early in the alphabet so being only equivalent to 7. But this is rather a thin explanation and I suspect it’s wrong. However if it really is a comp. anag. we’ll only get something like ‘comp. anag. including g’: Azed never tells us what the exact letters are and we have to work it out for ourselves.
27 NUALA — if you go to ‘Some First Names’ at the back of Chambers, you’ll discover that Fenella and Nuala are the same name: Nola is short for Fenella and this becomes Nuala. Google tells us that it is something Gaelic or Irish.
29 STAPLER — st (pearl)* — I’d always thought that a stapler was a stationery item but it’s also a supplier of staples in the food sense
31 IN CUERPO — fairly obvious anagram, but I had to scour Chambers to find out that this is a variant of en cuerpo, which amongst other things means without a cloak
33 calabRESE DArker — this word means amongst other things pale green
34 RETENE — a comp. anag., where [put retene thin]* = [the turpentine]
1 CHANSONNIER — (name Corinna she)*
3 ANGLO — the letters n and l are interspersed regularly in (Goa)*
4 TOLL — 2 defs, a due = a toll and Tom is a word for a clocktower, which tolls the hours
5 TRAIKIT — a Scottish word meaning worn-out, apparently (although I may well be corrected) raik in tit: a raik is a journey (Scot.) and a tit is amongst other things a worn-out horse
6 FRAYS — “phrase”
7 PI N. GUIN{ea} — a macedoine is a mixture or medley, as is a pi or pie
8 THOU — thousand and ‘thou art’
9 SORBET — orb in set, the opposite of set in orb
10 INLINE — in line and also an IT word for being an integral part
11 TRANSFERASE — ran in (feasters)* — in both the long down words Azed uses long anagrams, in one case complete
17 ACHARYA — a Hindu teacher and achar (a spicy pickle) (ay)rev. where ay = aye
19 S TEAM I.E. — a steamie is a Scottish word for a public laundry
20 PA UNC(l)E — a paunce is a Spenserian etc word for a pansy
21 EPACTS — (space t)*
23 A SPEN{t}
25 ALICE — Alice (in Wonderland) had a headband in the illustrations by Tenniel, and {m}alice
26 SE(W)EN — a sewen is the Welsh and Irish name for a sea-trout grilse
28 L UKE — referring to George Formby and his ukulele, and luke means half-hearted (obviously related to lukewarm) — we so often see ‘half-hearted’ as an instruction to remove one of the middle letters that there is a nice mislead (if such a word were a noun, which Chambers doesn’t allow) here
30 PYET — (type)* and a pyet is a Scottish word for a magpie, which steals things

4 Responses to “Azed 1999”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John
    Sorry, I can’t help you with 24ac because I too am unable to parse this one. However, 1ac is ATTACH (associate) with the last two letters moved to the front.

  2. Bob Sharkey says:

    Hello, John. I think we’ve been here before. You cracked JASPERS (1996). I then resolved to look for any similar parsing when when faced with a seemingly intractable puzzler. 24A is FEW with W as E (=FEE).

  3. Brian (with an eye) says:

    24a seems to be a new type of clue, whether or not we like it. (I don’t much). I suppose we now have to look out for lights that contain AS, and similarly FOR (with comfort, trade becomes comrade, for example) and probably others.

  4. Bob Sharkey says:

    Brian, these clues are not new at all, they pop up frequently in Azed’s puzzles, but are difficult to spot. When, as happened with ‘jaspers’ in 1996, the possibility of a printing error steers you that way, the thought that you should check for this type of clue may pass by. If, however, you’re stuck at the end of a puzzle with an obvious solution, but no explanation, the trick is to see if it (the solution) may be read somehow differently. I now call these clues ‘parsnips’ because a word or phrase from a true parsing is needed to complete the subsidiary indication, and also because they are a species of clue not to everyone’s taste. I love ‘em.

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