Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2006 — ‘Spoonerisms’

Posted by John on November 14th, 2010


Azed’s last competition puzzle was (of course, 2000) a special and I’d been expecting a little run of plains, but his specials, although they always take a bit longer than usual, are well worth doing and masterpieces of construction. Here there were many very nice clues and as you would expect from Azed virtually nothing that even approaches being unsound.

He divides the clues into two types: those where the definitions lead to a spoonerism (funny, he capitalises the s, something that his dictionary, Chambers, doesn’t do) of the answer (I shall call these type A) and those where the definition in the clue itself is a spoonerism that you have to solve before getting the answer (type B). In both cases the wordplay or subsidiary indication leads to the correct answer that is to be entered into the grid. The clues of type A are themselves of two types, although this isn’t spelled out: those where there is a definition of the answer (as in 19ac) and more commonly those where there is no definition. I find these latter clues a bit unsatisfactory, but they are no doubt much easier to produce.

1 SLEDGEHAMMER — type A — “hedge slammer” — hedge=low and slammer=prison — s (ma{y}hem)* in ledger
10 PO-MO — type A — “mow po” as in po-faced — (op)rev. MO
11 REALTIME — type A — “teal rhyme” — m in realtie
12 LOWBOY — type A — “bow loy” — a loy is an Irish type of spade — (blow)* o {jemm}y
14 MEAL — type B — “Will’s spot” — meal is a Shakespearean word for to spot — m (ale)*
15 BIPEDAL — type A — “pie beadle” — p in (bailed)*
16 THRANGS — type B — “Jock’s mobs” — a Scottish word for throngs — hr in tangs
17 ISERE — type B — “It flows in Gaul (these days)” — a river in France — SE in ire
19 TENSOR — type A — “centre” — s in tenor
24 TERBIC — type A — “burr tic” — afTER BICycling
26 REFIT — type A — “fee writ” — I in reft
27 HEMIONE — type B — “moke, wild” — a hemione is an Asiatic wild ass — (h{eadache} on me i.e.)*
29 PALAMAE — type B — “We’ll join toes in ducks” — the plural of palama, the webbing of a water bird’s foot — pa{rty} lame about a
31 APOD — type B — “one lacking feet” — a pod
32 RAT-TAT — type B — “rapping sound” — t in (Tatar)rev.
33 NAMESONS — type A — “same nuns” — E in n (Samson)*
34 ANTE — type B — “Cash stake” — n in (tea)*
35 KNEE-TREMBLER — type B — “Rapid sex” — a knee-trembler is a type of sexual intercourse in a standing position, probably rather hurried — (keen)* remble in TR
1 SPLATTERPUNK — type A — “platter spunk” — (apple tart)* in sunk
2 LOOK HERE — type A — “hook Lear” — (OK he) in lore
3 DOBHASH — type A — “beau dash” — h in do bash — I had to check the pronunciation of this word
4 GROAN — type B — the clue word
5 HAMISH — type B — “Scots nipper” — (has him)*
6 ALEPINE — type A — “ai-ly pan” (well that’s what I think anyway, although it seems rather far-fetched; can’t think what else it might be) — E in Alpine
7 MILDEW — type A — “dill mew” — to mew=to shed — mild over (we)rev.
8 EMMA — type B — “letter name” as in ack emma — {Mar{y}}emma
9 RED LEICESTER — type A — “led rester” — red=bloody and a Leicester is a type of sheep
13 WORN — type B — “signs of wear” (since Cers is in France I assume it’s pronounced ‘sare’) — W or N
18 RAINDATE — type A — “deign rate” — (drain)* ate
20 OUTMOST — type A — “Mao toast” — u in (mottos)*
21 TRIMTAB — type A — “tram Tib” — tram as in trammel (which is mechanical I suppose) and Tib is used as a woman’s name in Shakespeare — a tab is a stage curtain
22 AFLAME — type B — “set alight” — a f(l)ame
23 CHADOR — type B — “big burka” — ch ado r
25 BOUT — type B — “big punch” — 0 in but
28 MIASM — type B — “foul air” — m{ouse}, as in I’m
30 AZAN — type B — “Prayer call heard devoutly” — ShirAZ ANonymously

7 Responses to “Azed 2006 — ‘Spoonerisms’”

  1. Handel says:

    We really enjoyed battling through this one, which felt quite a bit tougher than the previous spoonerisms puzzle. ‘Splatterpunk’ ‘sledgehammer’ and ‘kneetrembler’ were evocative of a particularly esoteric branch of cinema. Agree that the ‘type A’ clues are more satisfactory, but it’s enjoyable figuring out the B ones too.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John. I eventually was able to work all the Spoonerisms out as you have them, except ALEPINE, tho the answer has to be right from the wordplay, I thought it might be Apolline, but not sure you could get from ‘fishy dish’ to that.

    These puzzles must be a brute to set.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Andrew
    On checking the pronunciation of ALEPINE in Chambers, I thought the homophone in 6dn was ‘eely pan’ (fishy dish).

  4. bridgesong says:

    Thanks for the blog, Wil. Is it a weakness of this sort of puzzle that with the type A clues it is often possible to come up with a solution from the wordplay without ever working out the spoonerism? I know of course that in a conventional puzzle it is possible to get the answer sometimes without fully understanding the wordplay, but this seems to go a little further.

    Can anyone explain what the sheepdog is doing in 8 down, apart from giving the clue a surface reading?

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Sorry I addressed you as Andrew in my comment @3. I think it must have happened because you both use an old B&W photo as an avatar.

    A maremma is an Italian sheepdog so when you remove (abandoned at first) mar (Mary almost) you are left with EMMA.

  6. MuchPuzzled says:

    I found this puzzle realy hard – especially the top left corner. Marred I think by a couple of dubious ones.

    1d Splatterpunk – I got “platter” ( concealed dish) in “spunk” ( to fire up ) but couldn’t work out the Spoonerism or see the relevance of “cooked apple tart” – which I now understand was an anagram.

    8d Emma – I got the Spoonerised definition “letter name” but the rest is painfully obscure.

    13d Worn – I think “Cers” is pronounced as Serre – so the Spoonerism works fine. “Choice of quarters” presumably refers to W(est) or N(orth) – very clever!

  7. AJK says:

    I got about half of this before giving up. Did ‘Mephisto’ instead!

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