Never knowingly undersolved.

AZED No. 2,040 ‘Printer’s Devilry’ COMPETITION PUZZLE

Posted by The Trafites on July 10th, 2011

The Trafites.

Nick:  Total failure this week; if this was a boxing match, Azed KO’ed me early in the fight (4th round?)

I hate PD clues – hate them, and cannot ever recall completing a PD type puzzle.

To recap the rules:
Each clue, except 5, is a passage from which the printer has removed a hidden answer, closing the gap and sometimes taking liberties with the punctuation, but not disturbing the order of the remaining letters.
Example: Vaulting above tunnel entrance appears inane, scary.
Answer: PESTO.
Undevilled version: Vaulting above tunnel entrance appears in an escape story.
Every passage, when complete, makes sense.

I think the reason I cannot do these is that my mind sub-consciously reads the clue as some indication of the definition of the solution, and I find myself continueously adjusting my thoughts to stop doing this, which of course could induce madness pretty quickly.

Hats off to all those that completed this, and over to you, the readers, to put me out of my misery!

1. On my plough, cut chunks of bread and cheese (7)
ATELIER On my plATE LIE Rough cut chunks of bread and cheese
7. It’s important to game that we quicken the pace (4)
INTI It’s important to gaIN TIme that we quicken the pace
10. Can you afford to resand a second car? (9)
UNAMERCED Can you afford to rUN A MERCEDes and a second car?
11. Using old methods a doctor studies specimens – his luck’s out (5)
-E— ?
12. Is our local, Pat, to close with dwindling support for hops? (6)
LAISSE Is our local PaLAIS SEt to close with dwindling support for hops?
clever clue – had me trying to fit ‘pUB … AT’ in here
14. I haven’t seen the whole group but there was OK show last night (8)
NEONATAL I haven’t seen the whole group but there was ONE ON A TALK show last night
15. It’s most important which back to play with (4)
—- ?
17. Memories of earlier mistakes return to give the repast sense of shame (7)
ENTERAL Memories of earlier mistakes return to give the repENTER A Last sense of shame
I think…
18. I often read through the sport’s past performance (9)
PERSONATE I often read through the sport’s paPERS ON A TEst performance
21. Ales getting drunk after exams but school turns a blind eye (9)
—-R—- ?
23. Does the pithiest poet make the most of the fees? (7)
——- ?
25. As mystics go I’d place him well up in the swanking! (4)
MIRA As mystics go I’d place him well up in the swaMI RAnking!
I had ‘swAMI Ranking’ here for ages, which, of course, got me stuck for 8dn, trying to fit such words as ‘tandoori’ in
27. A billy found in Dutch waters (8)
——– ?
29. Katharina is that feisty, lamed by Petruchio (6)
—— ?
30. Striving for an audience, an orator in the middle of the fowls (5)
—– ?
31. The angry captain cautioned his first man dressing down (9, 2 words)
TEA TASTER The angry captain cautioned his first maTE AT A STERn dressing down
I think…
32. His voice may be heard in English homily (4)
—- ?
33. The last in the series filtered group of academics at work (7)
——- ?
1. Unmoved by alms, Tony faced withholding charity (7)
A–N— ? – this could be: ‘Unmoved by a lAX IN ITEm sTony-faced withholding charity’, but what it all means I do not know, and also it would make my 2dn wrong (which I think it is)
2. Could others make a better fist of things than the selected? (4)
THEE Could others make a better fist of things than these THE Elected?
I’ve got a feeling this is totally wrong
3. In face of angry mobs I’ve never set urge to wield a baton (10)
E–O—— ?
4. Trivial malfunctioning in a computer pad, maybe (7)
INSANER Trivial malfunctioning in a computer paINS A NERd, maybe
*5. Christian festival (6)
EASTER The competition word – I would have loved to be able to enter this
6. Why is the Brie ring her ensemble for the ceremony? (5)
DEALT Why is the BriDE ALTering her ensemble for the ceremony?
7. I love knitting, especially gloves – this paid for my wife’s birthday (4)
IRID I love knitting, especially gloves – this paIR I Did for my wife’s birthday
8. Earlier elections gave us Labour MPs but after the layman prevailed (8)
TESTATOR Earlier elections gave us Labour MPs but after the laTEST A TORy man prevailed
9. A poor recent record has meant my supporting the sot less (5)
IDEAL A poor recent record has meant my supporting the sIDE A Lot less
13. In India after the bet is in plentiful supply (10)
S-RA-I—- ? I think this is: ‘In India after the beST RATIO TESt is in plentiful supply’
16. ‘In’ latex was clearly a subject far from taboo in Rome (8)
——E- ?
19. Might Oscar ever have preferred his image of brawn? (7)
O—-E- ?
20. For an obliquity may reveal his title’s origins (7)
E-A—- ?
22. You have a dog, do you? Mating whatever it fancies? (6)
—-T- ?
23. You’ll find many lionized in life nod lower (5)
—T- ?
24. It can be unbearably painful to pull out (5)
—A- ?
26. Before a banquet host’s listing wines to be served (4)
–T- ?
28. If it’s there on offer, you’l always see a hat free of charge (4)
—- ?

15 Responses to “AZED No. 2,040 ‘Printer’s Devilry’ COMPETITION PUZZLE”

  1. Bob Sharkey says:

    My sympathies, Nick. This was a hard challenge, but I think you have hit upon the better of two valid solutions of 18A. Gaufrid has the other – PERFORATE – ( – paper for a test performance).

  2. Norman L in France says:

    This was a lot of fun. Interesting that there are two valid answers for 18A – I only spotted PERFORATE – and that AMIR was a possibility in isolation from the rest. Having solved this over a couple of days, and mindful of my disparaging comments here and in the Guardian on Araucaria’s Genius offerrring I tried desperately, over several days, to find my own clue for EASTER and although I came up with a couple of possibilities I didn’t think them anywhere good enough to warrant submission. Much harder than I thought. I unreservedly withdraw and apologise to the reverend gentleman for those comments.

  3. bridgesong says:

    Commiserations, Nick. PD puzzles are a bit like Marmite: I happen to enjoy them. My only thought was that EASTER was a bit similar to TEA TASTER, so presumably Azed will mark down clues that use the same “a stern” wording. Hope so as I went to some trouble to find a different way to include it.

  4. Don Manley says:

    It’s a pity not to like PDs. The first one I solved (from Ximenes) took me over six hours and I made a mistake. Finding the awkwardness in a clue is for me great fun and often a great challenge. This puzzle was quite a toughie and Back Words helped me with a couple, certainly.

    I hope Azed will allow both PERSONATE and PERFORATE — also both TREE and TWEE (and possibly THEE although I’m not sure an individual can do the electing.

  5. The Trafites says:

    I used the wrong word really, ‘hate’ is too fierce – perhaps ‘not my favourite’ type clue (as I cannot do them).

    Reading Gaufrid’s full solution, I don’t think I would have ever completed it…

    13dn I looked at STRABISMAL, but misread the word, and cast it aside as I though what is a Rabbi doing in India? 33ac is so indirect – what does it mean? Why are academics filmed at work? 21ac ‘A leaver roists’ – when would one use that phrase? And 22dn I knew it was ‘something’ Eating, but just couldn’t find the right M-word to fit.

    Oh well, roll on the next PD and I will see if I get any better.


  6. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Nick,
    I’m with you on this,I seem to struggle with PD type clues.I managed to complete about half of an Azed PD a few years ago(took me 3 or 4 hours)and decided that it actually gave me no pleasure or any feeling of satisfaction.I don’t even bother looking at them now.
    Pleased to see that others get enjoyment from them.

  7. Thomas99 says:

    I honestly can’t decide which is the better of PERSONATE and PERFORATE. I lean towards personate but that might be because it’s what I put. I think both sentences make sense. Do we know yet which was intended? I’m glad Don Manley has suggested both should be allowed; I hope that’s what happens.

    Together with the Araucaria Genius it’s been a bit of a crash course in Printer’s Devilry for me, but I’ve enjoyed trying to acquire this new skill – in the end…

  8. Bob Sharkey says:

    As a betting man I’d put money on PERFORATE despite my preference for PERSONATE. It’s ‘through the paper’.

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Bridgesong is right and I love Marmite.
    PDs are my favourite specials, great feeling when that undevilled version appears.
    I opted for ‘perforate’ and ‘twee’.
    I have got a bete noir among specials, I have never completed a Playfair Square.

  10. Robin Gilbert says:

    I don’t understand Don’s stated reason for thinking THEE doubtful as a solution to 2dn. “Could others make a better fist of things than the/se, THE Elected?” seems to me to make perfectly good sense and to carry no implication of an individual’s doing the electing. I put TWEE and hadn’t noticed either THEE or TREE as a possible alternative, but I think it would be grossly arbitrary to disallow any one of them and can hardly believe that Azed will do so – whichever of them he actually had in mind himself! The same goes for PERFORATE and PERSONATE, though again I didn’t spot PERSONATE as an option. Had the crosschecking letters worked, both MENE and TENE would also have been valid answers to 2dn, and the fact that I had originally thought of MENE held me up for ages on the top left-hand corner.

  11. dialrib says:

    My first go at an Azed and I was reassured by having similar success to The Trafites, having been quite disappointed when I gave up.

    Would someone please point me to Gaufrid’s full solution refered to above.

  12. Pelham Barton says:

    dialrib @11: Look for “Azed 2040 – Take Two”. There is a link at the top right of this page or from the home or Azed pages.

    This crossword took me about double my average time for a plain Azed and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

    I had PERFORATE for 18ac and TWEE for 2dn. Along with others, I would expect Azed to accept PERSONATE and TREE respectively. He may also accept THEE for 2dn, but I do not think it can be the intended solution, because the break before the removal does not occur in the middle of a word.

  13. Bob Sharkey says:

    The problem with Robin’s alternative reading for THEE:-

    {… than the se/lected. becoming: … than these, THE Elected.}

    is that THEE begins at the beginning of a word in the undevilled version. Whilst the rules for competitors allow entries made in this way, but under risk of not being peferred, Azed’s own clues are presumed never to be devised in this way.

  14. Bob Sharkey says:

    Regarding Don’s comment, Robin, I should have mentioned that he was considering the reading:
    … than the se/lected. becoming … than the seT HE Elected.

    That’s perfectly OK, but improbable, as he implied.

  15. Bannsider says:

    This was the first AZED PD puzzle I’d attempted for years. For me PD clues are a fascination and I very much share Don’s enthusiasm for them. I think were it not for AZED though I would probably think a lot less of them. His PD puzzles are masterful and fabulously clever.
    I went with PERFORATE, never having considered PERSONATE.I reckon the latter is the better answer as the undevilled version reads rather oddly otherwise. I also went with TWEE rather than TREE but either seems equally valid. THEE seems highly implausible to me. And I also went with AMIR initially too.
    I was a little surprised to discover another answer ending in the same 5 letters as the word to be clued, and consequently, like bridgesong, decided to avoid the “A STERN” treatment. One thing I AM sure of tho’ is that my clue will win no prizes!

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