Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2018

Posted by John on February 6th, 2011


Azed’s Plains are usually done at one sitting, even though that sitting can be very long indeed. This time. however, there were several clues that gave me trouble, both in getting them in the first place and then in parsing them. There are still one or two about which I’m not quite comfortable, but at least the list is shorter than it once was. Apart from an apparent example of Homer nodding in one clue (and even then I’m quite likely to be wrong: in such Azedian cases I usually am) the wordplay is consistently excellent and fair, as one of course expects from Azed.

1 B(ABEL DO)M — the BM is the British Museum and Abel was murdered by Cain
7 broaD AISle
10 OLEOPHILIC — (Holi Police)* — had never heard the word Holi, but it’s a Hindu spring festival; not quite sure what the surface is all about
11 ROUX — 2 defs — there are several chefs whose surname is Roux
12 CO SEC H — a mathematical function, a hyperbolic cosecant, as everyone knows
14 PU({thin}G {finishin}G)REE
15 U{tmos}T E{ndeavou}R I — for Milton a side was a womb
16 FRANCO — I took ages trying to see why this was the answer, which it surely was, then discovered that the word ‘franco’ is an Italian word meaning post-free or franked
18 GROO{m}-GROO{m}
19 WA SHROOM — shroom is a colloquial word for mushroom and office is a colloquial word for lavatory, which in North America is called a washroom
22 IN WARD — in ward and inward
24 CORE REligieux — or ere is a poetic way of saying before the evening — in Chambers we are told that this is the result of confusion with or e’er, hence the bracketed bit
26 FLOTSAM — (mast of {vesse}l)*, here the clue has an &lit. property: Azed would I think call the clue an &lit. but some I know wouldn’t since an &lit. requires the whole clue to be both wordplay and definition
28 DEMISE — another one that I agonised over for ages before remembering that a demy (plural demies) is a holder of certain scholarships in Magdalen College Oxford — this is demies with its last two letters reversed
29 PIP A — never knew pip = pluck, but it’s there
30 O (PINION IS) T — a rare word for an opinionated person
31 {far}MING
32 TIGER EYE — I can’t get this to work: the wordplay suggests that it is t (grey i.e.)* but if this is it then there’s a letter short
1 BARP — a barp is certainly the opposite of a pit (a barp is a Scottish (indicated by ‘Och nae’) word for a mound or caim), but I’m sure there’s more to it than that: there’s an exclam, which suggests that something rather clever is going on, something I just can’t see
2 A LOUT RANCE — à l’outrance means to the bitter end, and a rance is a chiefly Scottish word for a bar
3 BOUGET — a Spenserian form of budget — (eg)rev. in bout
4 LEA-RIG — i (in other words 50% of ‘is’) in (large)*
5 DOWEL-ROD — (old rowed)* — a thole is a peg
6 TourisM HORRibly
8 ALE-W{a shed} — ale-washed is a Shakespearean word for affected by drinking beer
9 SCHMOOSE — a Yiddish word, perhaps more commonly schmooze — moo in (Chess)*
13 CACOGRAPHY — bad handwriting, something popularly associated with doctors — (a GP chary)* around c/o
15 U N. WISDOM — referring to Norman Wisdom, who could (could) be argued to be Charlie Chaplin’s cinematic heir
16 FOOTLING — 2 defs. one of them for ‘foot-ling’, which one might assume to be a small foot
17 CHA RING — a way of spelling the more usual charring
20 M(O)ONIE{s}
21 RESITE — (Is tree)*
23 RESIT — for once the ellipsis really means something and it’s either resit{e} or (Is tre{e})*
25 EMIN(ent}
27 MASE — m as e, in other words you take the m from warm and make it an e — the sort of device Azed often uses and, as here, it can be very successful

4 Responses to “Azed 2018”

  1. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks John for your beautiful blog. Agree with your reading of 32ac – it does seem to be missing a letter. Possibly someone will have the answer. Thanks for your explanation of 16d. I got it correct but was unaware of Mr. Wisdom. Have now read all about him.


  2. Phi says:

    BARP took me a while to see: I can’t remember the exact clue, but it boils down to ‘it’ being ‘pit’ bar P.

  3. AJK says:

    The first ‘Plain’ that I have failed to finish for a while. I didn’t get the BARP, ROUX intersection.

    I agree that there is an ‘E’ missing in the clue for 32ac. I think in 15a, it is the 19th(!) definition of ‘SIDE’

  4. bridgesong says:

    John, thanks for the blog. I think that Homer nodded in 9 down as well; SCHMOOSE is not one of the several variants of the word listed in Chambers (although SHMOOSE and SCHMOOZE both are). I can’t understand 1 down either; why does Azed say “it’s pit”, when pit is not an adjective?

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