Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2024

Posted by John on March 20th, 2011


As always of course, a very good crossword from Azed. Some of the clues (1ac and 1dn particularly) are marvellous and everything is sound and well-signposted. My solving performance is rather feeble: I can imagine that people will 10ac to this site in the hope of clarification, something I don’t always provide. But I’m sure that people sharper than I am will do what I have failed to do.

1 CHEVAL-DE-FRISE — a lovely &lit. clue: (chef are devils)* and the definition is ‘on horseback something to be avoided': a cheval-de-frise is a defensive structure of iron spikes used to stop cavalry
10 LOG-ON — (no-go L)rev.
13 LENT 1 — a lento (plural lenti) is a slow movement
14 OUREBIS — (euro)* bis — ourebi is an unusual spelling of the more familiar oribi
15 A OU DAD — a = one, ou = African male (S African informal), dad = father = male sire
17 CERUSITE — (sure)rev. in cite
18 SESSIONS — ref John Sessions, the sessions are quarter-sessions, courts suspended in favour of Crown Courts in 1972
20 SALAMI TACTICS — {c}alamit{y} in (act is)* CS — a policy of cutting away gradually
23 TABERDAR — (beard)* in tar (= egg (on)) — a taberdar is a scholar of Queen’s College Oxford (a mistake in Chambers? The Queen’s is its name, not to be confused with simply Queens’ College Cambridge; to call the Oxford College The Queen’s would be rather pedantic in speech, but it’s surely appropriate to a dictionary?)
25 C(ONST)ANT — onst is a dialect form of once — but is it obsolete, as ‘no longer’ suggests? Certainly Chambers doesn’t say so.
28 ANETIC — (tea nice – e)*
30 LASSO — a comp. anag. &lit., where [reliant lasso] = [stallions are]
31 U(H{orse} L{ed} A{ttack})N — uhlan historically are light cavalrymen or Prussian lancers
32 DISINTERESTED — disinter (steed)* — one sense of disinterested is generous (I notice that Chambers gives another as  ‘(revived from obsolescence), uninterested’)
1 CLOD — very nice clue, where ‘the’ leaves (ie is omitted from) ‘clothed’
2 HO(U)SE — 1dn and 2dn are rare Azed clues that don’t require Chambers
3 VOETSAK — but this certainly does — it’s voe (= creek) (task)* and the whole word is in South Africa an informal and impolite form of dismissal
4 L(A)IC{it}
5 DISENTANGLE — (it’s E England)* — I have only ever in Azed seen these clues where there is a blank space to be filled
6 FLOUNCES — suggesting fl. ounces, or fluid ounces
8 STATIC I think [Stable of a similar kind in Scotland houses Indian pony] — it’s a sense of ‘stable’, it fits, and it looks like tat in sic (which is a Scottish way of saying ‘such’); the only problem is that I can’t see what the Indian pony is doing, for Chambers doesn’t give this as one of the several senses of tat
9 EIDER again I think [See target of destructive bouncer, one in, duck!] — an eider is a duck and it’s EIDE_, but I can’t parse this I’m afraid
11 GRIS LINES S — gris = grey (obsolete)
12 JARS — 2 defs, jars of bitter and to quarrel is one sense of to jar
16 HIMATION — animation with h replacing an
19 STRATHS — st. (trash)*, with ‘hidden’ as the anagram indicator (well I certainly wouldn’t have dared to venture this in one of Azed’s clue-writing competitions)
22 SCALD I think [Burns, singularly?] — it’s _CALD, it means ‘Burns, singularly’, but …
23 TACK — 3 defs, food, course, distinctive flavour
24 elegANT AEsthetically — a rarity for Azed, the only hidden in this crossword: usually he has more than this
26 {artis}T E’ER
27 WEND — one of the obsolete senses of ‘wend’ is ‘change’, and it’s (new)rev. d, referring to old pence, which are obsolete change. Azed (and often also those whose clues are successful in his clue-writing competitions) has a habit of putting certain words in italics (the clue is ‘Obsolete change? Reverse of modern, that!) and I can never quite understand why certain words are singled out for this treatment.

5 Responses to “Azed 2024”

  1. Jan says:

    Well done, John and thank you – I found this one fairly straighforward – my old Chambers coped this week!

    re 9 EIDER – The EDER dam (with the Mohne) was a target of the Dam Busters’ bouncing bombs.

    I’m still struggling a little to justify the cluing in 30 and I wondered about the significance of the italicised words in 24 and 27.

  2. Jan says:

    I forgot to mention that I share your delight with 1a and 1d and 9 has a chuckleworthy surface.

  3. Richard Heald says:

    For 8Dn, see tat(4), which cross-refers you to tattoo(3), “a native-bred Indian pony”.

    22Dn is what Brian Greer in his book How To Solve The Times Crossword terms a ‘lit. & lit.’ where two different readings of the same clue give rise to two completely different definitions of the answer. Here one reading suggests scald(1), meaning a burn (i.e. the singular of ‘burns’), while the second reading refers to Robert Burns who was singularly (i.e. pre-eminently) a poet, or scald(2) (= skald). Very clever really.

  4. Richard Heald says:

    The italicised ‘that’ in 27Dn is Azed’s way of alerting the solver to the self-referentiality of the clue, i.e. the fact that it refers directly to something already mentioned. (Similarly, the exclamation mark is there to highlight the fact that something slightly unusual is going on.)

    In 24Dn, I think the italicised word is unnecessary, and simply there to slightly enhance the surface reading of the clue (with no detriment, it should be noted, to the cryptic reading).

  5. AJK says:

    A lot tougher than previous week. 1d and 5d very good. Whereas this week’s puzzle? I might have to go to the newsagent.

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