Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2026: Plain

Posted by jetdoc on April 3rd, 2011


An Azed of mixed difficulty this week — I managed most of it on a train, but needed the help of Chambers for some of the more obscure words.

1 CRAB-YAWS Skin disease the old endure in the throat? More than one
ABY = endure (archaic); CRAWS = throats. Yaws on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands
7 ELAN Dash in Morse language
Hidden in ‘Morse language’
10 HOWL Cry that accompanies end of recital
HOW = that (one definition in Chambers); L = end of recital
11 ARRASENE Lupin maybe bordering artist’s embroidery material
ARSENE = Arsène_Lupin, a fictional character who appears in a series of detective/crime fiction novels by the French writer Maurice Leblanc, as well as a number of non-canonical sequels and numerous film, television (such as Night Hood), stage play and comic book adaptations (no, I’d never heard of him either); RAS = artist’s. An embroidery material, of wool and silk
12 LUTETIAN Lieu tant varié relatif à Paris
*(Lieu tant), with ‘varié’ as the anagram indicator. Lutetia Parisiorum was the town from which Paris developed, so the adjective is still used. An easy enough clue for Francophones (of which I am one) but tricky for others.
13 KAKA Kirkpatrick with the sobriquet Polly?
Well, the kaka is a New Zealand parrot; and AKA = ‘with the sobriquet’ (also known as); but I’m not sure how ‘Kirkpatrick’ officially gives K. Explained by Chris, below.
15 TOPSIDES Beef cuts I had put in posset, pickled
*(I’d possets)
17 MBIRA Star (not always brilliant?) holding bass plucked instrument
MIRA, an oscillating variable star; B = bass. A musical instrument
19 SCRIPTORIA Where monks write, dross getting shredded once penned
SCORIA = dross or slag from metal-smelting; RIPT = old form of ‘ripped’; ‘penned’ indicates that it’s contained (as well as implying ‘written’ in the surface reading). Scriptoria
21 DISINCLOSE Discs on line, number put out, distributed free of restrictions
Anagram of ‘Discs on line’ minus N = number; ‘distributed’ is the anagram indicator; ‘free of restrictions’ (verb) is the definition (though I’d have said the verb would more usually be ‘free from restrictions’)
25 DONEE One possibly fearing ancient Greek worked at English?
DONE = worked at; E = English. A reference to Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, because they might just be offering you a dodgy wooden horse.
27 SEMOLINA It’s used to thicken laminose plastic
*(laminose). Semolina
29 VAIL Ski resort making profit as of old
Double definition — Ski resort and old spelling of ‘avail’
30 AMUSETTE Field gun advanced, silent, ready loaded
A = advanced; MUTE = silent; SET = ready. A light field gun invented by Marshal Saxe, whoever he was
31 ALL IN ALL Considering everything, overly obsessive about ailing back before 50
ANAL = overly obsessive; ILL, reversed; L = 50
32 SOUS Get drunk endlessly — very small amounts
SOUS[e]. Tiny amounts of money
33 PEEN Part of hammer to go on head of nail
PEE = ‘go’; N = head of nail. The end of a hammer head opposite the hammering face
34 EXEGESIS Opener for England smashed e.g. sixes, for which apparatus helps
E = Opener for England; *(e.g. sixes). A critical examination of text such as the Bible. Apparatus can mean materials (such as variant readings) for the critical study of a document (in full apparatus criticus). I like the cricket-related surface reading (though when did an England opener last hit a six?).
1 CHLAMYDES Ancient cloaks in a form of lacy mesh set with diamonds
*(lacy mesh D)
2 ROUL Reference library containing leading university register from way back
RL = reference library; OU — leading university?? As we should know, Oxford’s a complete dump!. But ‘roul’ is indeed an old form of ‘roll’.
3 BLEAR Hazel, singularly dim?
A reference to the (adjectives refrained from on grounds of taste) Labour MP Hazel Blears
4 ARIOSI Part of Lothario’s inducements?
Hidden in ‘Lothario’s inducements’. The Chambers entry implies that ‘parts’ is an OK definition, so I will leave any nit-picking to the more musically ept.
5 WRAP UP Can it settle completely?
Double definition — this can mean ‘stop talking!’
6 SANSA Q: Where’s it played? A: In South Africa (and elsewhere to the north thereof)
ANS = answer; in SA = South Africa. This takes us back to the Mbira, mentioned above and played in Zimbabwe and other African countries.
7 ESKIMOS No strangers to snow — a few turned up holding something of use to them
SOME, reversed; SKI
8 LEADERENE E.g. Mrs T earned wildly when ‘put out to grass’?
*(earned); LEE = grass (alternative spelling of lea). A female leader, especially an autocratic one. Origin: 1980s (originally a humorous or ironic name for Margaret Thatcher): from leader + -ene, on the pattern of female given names such as Marlene
9 ANKERITE Worried about drinker’s heart being damaged? Mineral offered
ATE = worried; *(inker). Ankerite. I would have thought that ‘drinker’s heart being damaged’ gave *(inke) or *(ink), so maybe I have missed an indication for R or ER. Duh! It’s ATE; *(rinke) — see below.
14 DISSIMILE Girl one sent up, lied dreadfully about in comparison by contrast
MISS I reversed (sent up); *(lied)
16 STATELESS Stone put on, dieted maybe without ceremony
ST = stone; ATE LESS = dieted
18 BRIDE-ALE What old wedding guests indulged in, board with cheese going round
DEAL =board (wood); BRIE = cheese
20 CIPOLIN Policeman’s bust (name roughly hewn) in marble
Anagram of POLIC[eman] (minus the letters of ‘name’); IN. A kind of Marble
22 CLIMAX High point 151 tops
CLI = 151; MAX = tops
23 LUNULE Lunch rule: cut out filling for small croissant?
LU[nchr]ULE. Anything shaped like a small crescent. I am underwhelmed by this clue; but maybe I have missed some brilliantly subtle wordplay.
24 SLANE Section short prescribed course: turf-cutter required
S = Section short; LANE = prescribed course. A turf-cutting spade
26 OBESE Is clothing not right? End of range for XXL?
[r]OBES; E = end of range
28 ETUI Embroidery case, originally French, housed in the Tuilleries
Hidden in ‘the Tuilleries’. One of those words that occurs rather more in crosswords than elsewhere.

10 Responses to “Azed 2026: Plain”

  1. Chris says:

    13. D Scarlatti’s works (like Mozart’s) are catalogued with a prefix K. In Scarlatti’s case (but not Mozart’s) the K stands for Kirkpatrick.

  2. jetdoc says:

    Thanks, Chris.

  3. bridgesong says:

    Jetdoc, thanks for the blog; I have to confess to not understanding ANKERITE either. I found this an easier than usual puzzle, although it was made harder by a typo which gave 19 and 21 across as 9 letter words, whereas in fact they both have 10 letters.

  4. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks jetdoc for the blog and Chris for the K explanation. There was also a typo in the enumeration for 14d. Regarding ANKERITE: can one consider RINKE

  5. grandpuzzler says:

    As I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself: Regarding ANKERITE – can one consider RINKE the heart of drinker and disregard the possessive s? I’m not a setter so I don’t know the conventions.


  6. jetdoc says:

    Yes — hadn’t thought of it like that. Double blogging duty this week coincided with lots of other commitments, so everything was done in a huryy. I didn’t even notice the erroneous enumerations!

  7. Pelham Barton says:

    Further to grandpuzzler (#5) re ANKERITE:

    I took it as

    drinker’s heart = heart of drinker = RINKE

    This uses the possessive and accounts for the whole of the clue and answer.

  8. Bob Sharkey says:

    The last posted explanation of 9d does not account for ‘about’ in the subsidiary part. Chambers defines ‘eat’ (transitive) as ‘to worry’, not ‘to worry about’. ‘Stop eating me!’ is a common instance of this use. I reluctantly then parsed this clue as: anag. of {re + (dr)ink(er)} in ate. Jetdoc is right to be cautious, as her final words show.

  9. Richard Heald says:

    Bob, ‘about’ is simply the containment indicator. The wordplay is: (d)RINKE(r)* in ATE.

  10. Bob Sharkey says:

    It’s all simple when one’s sober, Richard. My notes show ‘anag. in ate’ and not the concoction I dreamed up yesterday. Thanks for putting us all out of our misery. Bah!

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