Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2048

Posted by John on September 4th, 2011


As always an utterly satisfactory crossword from Azed. In several of these clues there is very neat wordplay, with words doing duty as different parts of speech according to whether they are in the definition or the subsidiary indication. It as usual took me plenty of time, but no more than usual, and there wasn’t that feeling of panic: I knew that sooner or later all would be done. And so far as I can see that was so.

1 SWELL-MOBSMAN — a well-dressed pickpocket (i.e. diver) (obs sl) — m in (swam bells on)*
10 HAPU — u following (pah)rev. — a hapu is (NZ) a division of a tribe and a pah is a Maori settlement
11 AUTOCADE — aubade with b(ass) replaced by ‘to c(ollege)’
12 ‘ARD RIGH{t} — an ardrigh is (Irish historical) a head-king — I can never explain why Azed so often puts words in italics: he’s the only setter I know who does so, and it seems to me that — at any rate here — they are quite unnecessary [Top monarch, ‘arsh and not wholly sound]
14 S(W)ACK — I have learned that in an Azed crossword (and perhaps in crosswords generally) you don’t put things in on a wing and a prayer: my first thought was ‘swank’ with ‘sank’ a word that somehow meant ‘bed’
15 JO T{herea}T ‘ER
17 EMBASTE — (ET Sabme)rev. — a Spenserian word for embased (= degraded)
18 D(ALE)K — referring to Doctor Who and the daleks’ ‘exterminate, exterminate’ — dk for dock is a rare but perfectly acceptable abbreviation
19 ROOST — roots with the last two letters swapped — a roost is a tide-race in the Orkneys
21 ARSIS — (sir)* in a(fternoon) s(pecial) — an arsis is an upbeat in classical prosody and music — a sort of early AQI
24 S({i}T)EPS — ‘I missed it’ indicates that i is missing from it (no I wouldn’t have dared either) and a seps is a very venomous snake mentioned by classical writers
25 SINOPIA — (Pisano)* around 1 — a sinopia is a preparatory drawing of a fresco
28 LEG M{ail} AN — leg = on
30 EIGNE — (engi{n}e)rev. — eigne is an archaic word meaning first-born
31 NID-NODS — (donnis{h})* around d — keeps nodding
32 MAN(NE)RED — manred is an obsolete word meaning homage, and ne is an obsolete word meaning not
33 {h}E {h}UGE
34 BUTTRESS-ROOT — but tr. (torsoes)*
1 S(HAS)H — ‘sh!’ is ‘not a word!’
3 LURCHER — (r ch) in (rule)* — broken is the anagram indicator, about is the surrounding indicator — good surface
4 SlovAKIA Lady — hidden reversed — Laika was the first dog in space and the Soviets got it from Finland. Or so I assumed, but according to Wikipedia Laika was born in Moscow.
5 MUGGER — 2 defs — a mugger really is someone who sells mugs
6 BON(0)BO{n}
7 SCAT — there are several meanings of this word in Chambers: one of them means to frighten off and another is a spell in Cornish dialect
8 MA(L{if}T)STER — master = season (yes really, quite a way down) and hoist = lift
9 NEGRESS — van less very and active, egress
13 GET-UP-AND-GO — (an egg do put)*, def ‘a spring in your step?’ — pity that the word ‘and’ appears in both clue and answer, even though it isn’t anagrammed
18 DI(SLIM)B — to dislimb is to butcher in the sense of tearing limb to limb — ‘cuts’ is a neat way of getting ‘slim’ contained
20 STAINER — comp. anag. &lit. with [shone stainer]…[one tarnishes]
22 SP. ACER{bic} — I had thought it was the space bar and that spacer didn’t exist in this context, but Chambers tells us that it is an alternative
26 R EDD{ie}S — two clues in a row with i.e. in them. Does this matter?
27 BES(E{uros})T — ‘to outdo rings’ means that ‘best’ rings it, in other words goes around it
29 palM INTerpreted

3 Responses to “Azed 2048”

  1. Rishi says:

    Solvers who have done this puzzle may please read my message in the General Discussion thread, as it flows from a solution here. Any response will be appreciated.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for the puzzle and John for the blog. Solving time for me was right in the middle of my usual range, but these things often depend on a lucky choice of starting point.

    Re 4 dn: I naturally thought first of the dog in space, but went to Chambers and found the relevant meaning of the answer.

  3. AJK says:

    I got SCAT wrong, putting SCAR instead. This meant I didn’t get JOTTER. Nevermind, today’s puzzle seemed easier. Just the thorny issue of coming up with a winning clue!

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