Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2051

Posted by bridgesong on September 25th, 2011


An exceptionally tough Azed this week, with a very high proportion of unfamiliar and downright obscure words.   A knowledge of French was required for a couple of clues as well.  I confess to not understanding the wordplay a couple of times,  so your contributions are more than usually welcome.  I made things more difficult for myself by failing to keep a copy of my completed grid, only realising afterwards that I was due to blog this puzzle.  I attach a link to the pdf of the puzzle.

1 BOUGHPOT *(BOOTH PUG). An archaic term for a bunch of flowers; an obvious anagram which may be why Azed has not indicated that the word is obsolete.
7 LUSK L(out), USK. There are a lot of three letter names for British rivers, so it helped to have 9 down solved for the crossing letter (although that left LESK as a theoretical possibility).
10 APATHATON A PATH A TON; a simple charade for an obscure Shakespearean word.
11 AZURINE AZ, URINE. The fish in question is the blue roach, hence the name.
14 BORROW Double definition: the reference is to golf.
16 SHIPTIRE *(THIS PIER); it’s another Shakespearean term (“once”) for a “shiplike headress” or tower.
17 SUPE Sounds like “soup”.
18 CHAGAN HAG in CAN; a form of the word “khan”.
20 SMILAX *MIS(s), LAX; a plant of the lily family.
21 MENE Hidden in grim enemy; yet another Shakespearean (but also Scottish) word meaning “lament”.
22 SPELDRIN ELD R in SPIN; a speldrin is a dried haddock. Eld is an archaic word for old age.
24 PINGOS GO in PINS. An Inuit word for a cone-shaped mound with a core of ice.
26 GRIDE GRID, (trephin)E. It means a harsh grating sound; I’m not sure that “grating” is an adequate definition (it’s not an adjective).
28 BALANUS ALAN in SUB( all rev).
29 SAUTERNES *(AUTRE SENS). An easy anagram for anyone with a smattering of French. The first solution to go in the grid for me.
30 MNAS Central letters of gymnasium. I was dubious about this, but it is in Chambers as a variant spelling. It’s an old Greek weight.
31 DIERESES ERES in DIES, or perhaps RESE in DIES. Either way I can’t fully explain it. The word itself is to be found in Chambers under Diaeresis.
1 BRALESS Hidden in “algebra lessons”.
2 ORZO A reference to bORZOi.
3 USUCAPIENT *(CAUSE PUTIN). A term from Roman and Scottish law.
4 GARUM R(avioli) in GAUM
5 PANCHAX PAN CHA X. Can “pan” mean “cake”, I wondered, but Chambers gives it as a synonym when the word is used as a verb.
6 THIOPHEN *HOPE in THIN. I’m not happy about using “diet” to mean “thin”,but I suppose the “maybe” in the clue just about justifies it.
7 LAER *EARL. It’s a variant of laager.
8 SONORANT SON ORANT. An orant is a worshipping figure in ancient art; sonorant is a term in phonetics.
9 KNOWE KNOW E(nglish). A variant of knoll.
12 TRIGEMINUS TRIG E MINUS. A facial nerve.
15 SUMPITAN MP I TA in SUN. A Malay blowpipe.
18 CHICANE CHIC ANE. I can’t explain ANE; any suggestions?
22 SPASM This looks like a compound anagram, but I haven’t been able to work it out.
25 GATS STAG(rev); dog is used here as a verb.
27 DUDE DU DE. The reference is to the character played by Jeff Bridges in the film The Big Lebowski.

7 Responses to “Azed 2051”

  1. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the blog, bridgesong.

    For 31d you need to know that ‘or’ and ‘ere’ can both mean before.

    For 18d ‘style’ ends in AN E.

    The trick for 22d is that with sp as m ‘spell’ becomes ‘mell’. It took me a long time to work out this clue, even though I have seen the trick quite a few times.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for the puzzle and bridgesong for the blog. I agree with Matthew on the three missing explanations.

    I had no problem with 6dn: to diet is one way (hence “maybe” in the clue) to thin, in the sense of “grow thinner”.

  3. bridgesong says:

    Matthew @1, thanks for the explanations. I’m kicking myself over CHICANE; should have spotted that, and as you say the treatment at 22d is one that Azed uses regularly. In 31a I missed the significance of the “or”.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    One more small point re 30ac: MNAS is not formed from the central letters of gymnasium, but of gymnasts (“those using gymnasium”). As I understand it, Azed is not averse to two-step indications of this kind, but does use “central letters” precisely.

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Clarification of 4 re 30ac:

    On re-reading it, I have used a form of words which suggests that my interpretation is established fact. It is of course only an opinion, which will be shown to be right or wrong when the official notes are published in two weeks’ time.

    Azed could have clued the word simply as “Weights once found in gymnasium”: I believe that my interpretation is necessary to account for the words “central to those using” in the clue.

  6. bridgesong says:

    Pelham, I think you’re right on both counts.

  7. Iqbal says:

    17a SUPT is an abbreviation for Superintendent and sounds like supped also fits. But I like your SUPE answer better.

    Thanks for blog

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