Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2055/all’s fair

Posted by ilancaron on October 23rd, 2011

A fairly straightforward Azed — relatively speaking.  The usual frequent excursions to the BRB.  But must be said, Azed is rarely if ever unfair and this is no exception.


1 S(LACK IN [g], S)TAYS – slow to turn (if you’re a boat).
9 CAPE HYACINTH – (each in patchy)* but surprised this wasn’t enumerated as (4, 8).
10 HULL – two meanings
11 A,R(V)O – MCG as in Melbourne Cricket Ground I suppose since arvo is afternoon in Australia (at first I thought this was a typo for MCC).
13 M[umb]O,J[umb]O
14 OR(V)AL – obsolete sage
16 RE(A,DAB)LE – a,dab in reel*.  And do people still use holidays for catching up on their reading? I thought holidays were desperate searches for a wireless internet connection to connect to your work email.
19 COMIC,E – a kind of pear
21 [di]STANCE – rev(I’d) removed from distance
27 IS,LES – where les[bian] is a dyke.  Not sure what the song reference is though? “End of the road in song is dyke?”
28 TIER – US apron (apropos mom and cookies).
29 BON[din]G
30 TOPS – rev(spot=performance)
31 ENTER,OMORP,HA – seaweed genus.  rev(promo=advertising video)
32 SYSTEMATISES– (messiest stay)*


1 SCHORL – R for O in school=drill.  And SCHORL is a black tourmaline.
2 L,AUREATE – aureate=gilded
3 C(ELAD)ON – rev(dale) in con.  It’s glazed Chinese pottery.
4 K(HA[t])LAT – rev(talk=pompous speech)
5 NAVAL CR,OWN – (Roman) award.  (carn[i]val)* and OWN=”having to concede” (own up).
6 TI(M)BO – a natural insecticide (from bark of SA plant).  M in rev(obit = date of death)
7 ANO(E)TIC – E in action*.  Noetic is “purely intellectual”, so ANOETIC is its opposite (“felt but not understood”).
8 S(HOT)TE – hot=violent in set*.  Variant of shoat=young pig.
12 RUB,B(ER R)OOM – boring job (in the US apparently — new to me and I’m American).
17 AC(ALEPH)E – jellyfish.  Aleph precedes beth in the (Hebrew) alphabet.
18 TAP,PETS“a projection that transmits motion from one part of a machine to another by tapping” which I suppose are “regularly trodden on”. Yikes — got that wrong.  It’s actually CAR,PETS as noted below.  And indeed a very clever and amusing clue.   I feel like I should be put on the carpet for this mistake.
20 MAESTRI – (a term is)*
21 SORT(E)S – “divination by chance opening of the Bible, Homer, Virgil, etc.” – wish I could report that I found this definition in Chambers self-referentially.
23 N,YSSAS – rev(sassy=rude).  Small Asiatic trees.
24 M(P)RET – P in rev(term=end).  Albanian ruler.

10 Responses to “Azed 2055/all’s fair”

  1. sidey says:

    18d Nodding dogs? They’re regularly trodden on. The answer is carpets, and I really like the clue, a neighbour of mine had a tiny car with thirty four nodding-dogs in it. Treading was too good.

    The song in 27a I suspect.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for another excellent crossword and ilancaron for the blog.

    18dn: I agree with sidey both about the answer and the excellence of the clue: CAR PETS (wordplay for nodding dogs) CARPETS (definition: regularly trodden on)

  3. ilancaron says:

    Indeed. Mea culpa.

  4. Bob Sharkey says:

    Do I detect a neat ‘swerve’ regarding R?PPER at 26 across?

  5. Chris says:

    @Bob Sharkey
    I had RAPPER at 26ac. – 2 mngs: (i) one who raises spirits at a seance, (ii) a big lie (“great romance”).

  6. Bob Sharkey says:

    Agreed. I had hoped that Ilancaron might be moved to correct his ommission, but perhaps he has simply moved on. I thought it a very good ‘uncher’ suggesting a ‘ripper’, i.e. a rip-roaring yarn, a real trap for the solver in a hurry to get finished.

  7. ilancaron says:

    I have indeed moved on. And this week’s Listener has all but wiped out any memory of last week’s Azed — I honestly don’t remember this clue. Not sure why I skipped it in the blog. But I have a distinct memory of my grid being full so I must have answered it and understood it otherwise I would have remarked on it (do I really believe that?)

    How’s that for “the dog ate my homework”?

  8. sidey says:

    Very good excuse, please show your working to gain full marks.

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    I have been away from home, so unable to check CAPE HYACINTH (9ac)in Chambers until today. It is indeed given as two words, so I agree that it should have been marked as such. (Azed would not of course give the lengths of the individual words.)

  10. Jack Cook says:

    SO pleased that rapper and sortes gave most of the reasons for comments, and my thanks to Chris for clarifications. I was on a roll with Azed going back months and months and months until those damn two defeated me and I settled for waiting on the Observer site to reveal all. Frustrating when the other clues had been Ok, although by no means a breeze.
    Wikipedia has: “The Road to the Isles” is a famous Scottish traditional song. It is part of the Kennedy-Fraser collection and it appeared in a book entitled ‘Songs of the Hebrides’ published in 1917, with the eponymous title by the Celtic poet Kenneth Macleod.”
    Oh well, time to try getting the new run to three.

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