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Azed 2014: Competition puzzle

Posted by jetdoc on January 9th, 2011


An Azed of average difficulty — most answers were pretty straighforward to work out from the wordplay, but I needed Chambers to check that some of the words really existed. Skelder, fratch and lubbard are all good words. Also, I was not familiar with Bunter as a valet, so had to check it.

1 PITCH-AND-TOSS Set up stand so arranged for game involving money
pitch = SET UP; *(stand so). A game in which coins are thrown at a mark, the player who throws nearest having the right of tossing all, and keeping those that come down heads up.
10 BOREEN Lane: there’s unpleasant smell alongside ditch
BO = body odour (an unpleasant smell that occurs quite often in crosswords); REEN = ditch
13 HACKETTE Female journalist
To be clued by competitors
14 HECAT Mysterious goddess in Shakespeare showing passion, but cold within
HEAT = passion; C = cold. Shakespeare’s spelling of Hecate, a mysterious goddess, in Hesiod having power over earth, heaven and sea, and afterwards identified with Artemis, Persephone and other goddesses; in Shakespeare, etc, the chief or goddess of witches
15 SKELDER Account stopped, sack senior cheat
S[ac]K = ‘sack’ without ‘ac’ (account); ELDER. To beg or obtain (money) by begging; to swindle, cheat
16 FRATCHES Violent arguments spoiling chef’s art
*(chef’s art)
18 WIPE Strike (informal) starts off with industry paying exiguously
Initial letters of ‘with industry paying exiguously’. Chambers says this is an informal usage.
20 RELIT Some scoundrel I thumped got going again
Hidden in ‘scoundrel I thumped’
21 HYDRO ‘Dry’ house no use for treatment — this is what you need
(*Dry ho) — ‘ho’ = ‘house no use’. A place that provides hydrotherapy.
22 ULTRA Quality read? Odd bits omitted as OTT!
Alternate letters of ‘Quality read’
24 ALICK Smart guy, one to beat
A = one; LICK = beat
27 BAAL Imitate sheep joining line for pagan god
BAA = imitate sheep; L = line. Baal
28 RUM PUNCH Liquor-based cocktail and bit of beef replacing meal’s starter
RUMP (= bit of beef), replacing L in LUNCH
29 BURSERA American trees yielding seed-cases with age
BURS = seed-cases (more usually spelt ‘burrs’); ERA = age. Bursera
31 ARAKS King has a prince round for drinks
K = king; A RAS = a prince. Arak
36 AGRONOMY Not quite mature, moron mishandled year managing rural affairs
AG[e] = not quite mature; *(moron); Y = year
35 VALETS Bunter etc, very last when running round end of race?
*(v last); E = end of race. Mervyn Bunter, valet to Lord Peter Wimsey
36 DYSAESTHESIA Eye’s had it as sight’s beginning to deteriorate — this results?
*(Eyes had it as s)
1 PBUH Characters following the Prophet lead united hearts
PB = lead (Pb); U = united; H = hearts. Peace be upon him, always used by Muslims when mentioning the name of Mohammed
2 TROCAR Boring instrument in contact with motor, right inside
TO = in contact with; CAR = motor; R = right. A surgical perforator with a three-sided cutting point used for inserting a cannula, to drain off or introduce liquid, etc; sometimes, a cannula
3 CERATE Box containing eastern ointment, waxy
CRATE = box; E = eastern
4 HEH Letter among those of the Hebrews
Hidden in ‘the Hebrews’. The fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet
5 NOCKET Light lunch and bubbly to neck
*(to neck)
6 DUKESHIP What nobleman may have — land (one might suppose) round Britain?
DESHIP (as in ‘detrain’) = ‘land’; UK = Britain.
7 TEEL Source of cooking oil the Lancastrian put on fish?
T = Lancastrian ‘the’ (groan!!); EEL = fish. Sesame
8 OUTDID Excelled once as in climbing caper in the Adirondacks?
UT = Latin for ‘as’; in DIDO (= in the US, an antic, caper; a frivolous or mischievous act) reversed (‘climbing’). Quite tricky wordplay
9 STEREOS Some players misread toss, before going into the middle
*(toss); ERE = before. Deceptive cricket reference (possibly to the Australian team)
11 OVERSLAUGH Yank’s to pass on love poetry of Rimbaud, a giggle?
O = love; VERS = French for ‘verse’; LAUGH = giggle. In the US, to pass over in favour of another.
12 STEP ROCKET Pert flexing in shank? One discards parts in course of climbing
*(pert); in SOCKET. A multistage rocket
17 CLARENCE Nun, new, coming to Church in carriage
CLARE = nun of the order of Poor Clares; N = new; CE = Church of England. A four-wheeled carriage, having interior seating for two or more persons
19 LUBBARD ‘Read French books’? ’Arsh for clumsy oaf
LU = ‘read’ (past participle) in French; BB = books; [h]ARD. An awkward, big, clumsy person; a lazy, sturdy person
23 TARRAS Tapestry: you’ll find tons at the top in old gallery
T = tons; ARRAS = tapestry. Spenserian for terrace
24 AUROUS Endless stir about uranium containing gold of a kind
AROUS[e] = endless stir; UR = uranium. Containing univalent gold
25 CURDLE Clot scoundrel led astray
CUR = scoundrel; *(led)
26 KNAVES Boss in Kyrgyzstan requiring pack members
KS = Kyrgyzstan (IVR); NAVE = boss, the hub or central part of a wheel, through which the axle passes. Playing cards.
30 SOLA Hot dusty wind? No leaves for Indian plant
SOLA[no] (the Solano is a south to south-easterly wind in the southern sector of Spain. In the spring and summer, from June to September, it carries unbearably hot, dry, suffocating weather over La Mancha and the Andalusian plain with the cities of Sevilla and Cádiz. It causes exhaustion and dizziness). Spongewood, an Indian papilionaceous plant (Aeschynomene aspera or indica; also known as the hat-plant); its pithlike stems used in making lightweight hats.
32 SA-SA What’s attractive in sex, repeated cry when thrusting!
SA = sex appeal, these days confined to crosswords. A fencer’s exclamation on thrusting (“Fnarr! Fnarr!”)
34 YAH Hooray Henry? Youngster losing out to adult
Y[out]H; A = adult

5 Responses to “Azed 2014: Competition puzzle”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks,jetdoc, for your excellent blog. I needed your help to understand 1D. I believe there is an inadvertent typo in your explanation of 34A.


  2. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Grandpuzzler — typo corrected.

  3. The Trafites says:

    Ref. 35ac – although the word play can only be ‘valets’, I took ages to convince myself ‘Bunter etc.’ leads to a plural solution.


  4. bridgesong says:

    Fratch may be a good word, but what do you think of fratches? The OED gives no example of a plural form, although if there is one, I suppose there would be no other way of spelling it.

  5. jetdoc says:

    I don’t have a problem with ‘fratches’, given that it’s a regular plural.

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