Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2060 — Eightsome Reels

Posted by John on November 27th, 2011


Azed produces these specials on non-competition days from time to time. This is one of his regulars, none the worse for that.

I found that it was possible to get started by solving enough clues cold to be able to see how they fitted in (in fact the three that enabled me to get started were 17, 23 and 22). It may be my imagination but it seemed that there were a few ‘easy’ clues that enabled one to make this start: not easy in the sense of having simple words in them, but easy because their structure was fairly plain to see.

Let’s hope this works: I have never posted a graphic before and Gaufrid has kindly told me how to do so. I look forward to trying to follow his instructions.

1 SANITISE — (dirtiness a – Dr)*
2 TEA-ROSES — arose in (set)rev. — for a while it seemed to be a mistake, as it looked like rose in (seat)rev., which isn’t quite right
3 fEAR USE ACtual — hidden reversed
5 ELENCHUS — n in (clue he’s)*
6 INCHASES — a modernised word for graves is engraves (or enchases, or inchases, another spelling) — inch(as)es
7 TREATISE — “tree tizz”
9 DI(SPA)CED — the definition is “explored in range once” — dispace is a Spenserian word for range about
10 SPÄTLESE — spat(les)e
11 SELENIAN — e in (inn ales)* — ‘selenian’ means ‘relating to the moon’, as does ‘moony’ to my surprise
12 {saw}YERS INIA
13 P{ostern} OR TRESS
14 RESORTED — 2 defs, ‘applied’ and ‘with fresh arrangement’
15 DISINTER — t in (insider)*
16 SIR {D}ENISE — Denise, as you will see if you look in the names at the back of Chambers, is a medieval contraction of Dionysius, meaning of Dionysus or Bacchus
17 TRANSIRE — (restrain)*
18 S({las}T {chapte}R)AYERS — ref Dorothy L. Sayers
19 POD-ARGUS — darg in (up so)*
20 MEGADOSE — os in (eg made)*
21 EMERGENT — emerald with its last three letters — (lad)* — exchanged for gent — this refers to the fact that debutantes used to ‘come out’
22 GENERALE — ene in (Elgar)*
23 URETERAL — (ule at RR {car}e)*
24 SAKE RETS — male falcons
25 ROT-GRASS — ‘rodent fat’ is ‘rat gross’, and with one switch this becomes ‘rot grass’
26 AGEDNESS — ((send eg) in SA)rev.
27 G ROUNDER — a rounder is a ball because it is a thing that is round, nothing I think to do with the game rounders
28 ALLEGROS — (leg r) in (also)*
29 ALLURING — (Alun girl)*
30 POKE RING — Azed invites us to check in the SOED for the verbal sense of this word, which is not in Chambers
31 HORSEMAN — hors (name)rev.
32 ENDGAMES — gam in (dense)*
33 GO-AROUND — 0 in (guard on)*
35 AGNOSTIC — (coasting)*
36 PART-SONGS — p(arts)ongs

15 Responses to “Azed 2060 — Eightsome Reels”

  1. AJK says:

    I cold solved about half of this, then because I was spending a lot of ‘wife miles’, switched to ‘Mephisto’ for a change. Looking at the ‘&lit’ site, I don’t think he has ever done one of these in a competition. Nice blog to explain it John

  2. Don Manley says:

    I think Eightsome Reels has been used for a comp, but you wouldn’t know from the slip. I suspect TRANSIRE was from such a puzzle.

    I’m told by someone else that my recent Mephisto was quite a bit harder than Eightsome Reels. I am still feeling my way and would like to be in the Azed zone of difficulty.

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Amongst Azed’s oddities the Playfair square is my least favourite and least understood. On the other hand ‘eightsome reels’is always a pleasure and easily within my capability.
    This was no exception and gave me a good work-out on Sunday.

  4. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for the usual enjoyable puzzle and John for the blog. My solving time for this was just at the upper end of my normal range for a plain Azed.

    Don @2: If you mean TRANSIRE in Azed 259, the Azed slip refers to three other clues whose answers were not eight letters long, so I do not think that one can have been an “Eightsome Reels” – although that does not of course rule out the possibility that there has been as “Eightsome Reels” competition at some time.

  5. RCWhiting says:

    John, I do not disagree with your point about ‘easy’ starters although, having just finished off today’s, it has strengthened my view that an Azed always contains two or three easy ones.
    Since the concept of ‘easy’ is so subjective I do not believe this is deliberate.
    On many occasions I have failed to parse just one clue and when the ‘notes’ are published that one has been omitted entirely, obviously considered too easy to bother explaining – very frustrating.

  6. AJK says:

    I thought last week’s ‘Mephisto’ was a medium to difficult AZED. Today’s AZED on the other hand is proving difficult (after a quick start)- at least in my hands.
    Andrew Kitching

  7. RCWhiting says:

    I found today’s rather easy after a very slow start.
    This shows how grading crosswords for difficulty is a pointless activity.
    Last in was 21ac which I still cannot explain.

  8. AJK says:

    Nearly finished it- after having had a break. 21ac is explainable, but we’ll have to wait until next week!



  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks AJK,I have explained it, I forgot to look in Chambers and had jumped to conclusions – a fatal mistake with Azed.

  10. Don Manley says:

    Ah — I’ve tracked it down — No 36 CRUSADER ( as you’ll see from the slip).

  11. AJK says:

    Can’t open comments on iPhone. Has this happened before?

  12. Pelham Barton says:

    Don @10: Glad you found it.

  13. Matthew says:

    It appears from the comments on the corresponding slips that No 530 PROMETAL and No 1030 PASTILLE were also Eightsome Reels puzzles.

  14. Don Manley says:

    Ah yes, PASTILLE — a 1st prize posted on the Sunday I seem to remember!

  15. Pelham Barton says:

    Matthew @13: Thanks for that. 530 PROMETAL in particular contains some interesting insights into Azed’s approach to this type of puzzle – at least as it was nearly 30 years ago.

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