Posted by The Trafites on January 1st, 2012
Nick: Quite a lot going on in this Azed christmas special, of which I quite enjoyed completing, and also the challenge to be able to blog it.
This was a sort of compendium of clues that Azed has up his sleeve, with the exception of printer’s devilry (good ).
1. Normal (N)
2. Definition and letter mixture (DLM)
3. Misprints (M)
4. Playfair (PL)
5. Right and left (RL)
6. Wrong number (WN)
The clues below are prepended with the clue type, as was the published puzzle. There was one small mistake in the PDF version I used, although within a few minutes it was obvious WN 21,22 should have been a RL clue – I have corrected that here in the blog.
The way I tackle these types of crossword is to start with the easier types clues, leaving the Playfair clues to last. DLM are usually the easiest, and soon I was up and running with a lot of the misprints solved also. There is a convention, I believe, that due to the coded entries, Playfair clues are normally clued a bit easier than normal, and this proved to be the case.
Now to the Playfair cypher. Azed informed us the code phrase contained three words.
On completion of the all the other clues, I had solved 4 PL clues, which gave me a few matching letters to start messing about on a large sheet of paper. I thought it had to be a Christmas themed code phrase, so I tried a few ideas (Xmas…, Azed… etc.). My starter was noticing that MZ=PW fitted nicely in the bottom right hand corner area somehow if Z was last. Slowly, I began to see IN(G) appear (IF=NE), and X didn’t seem to be at the bottom…. so BOXING DAY sprang to mind (I confirmed with Chambers that this was two words), so one more word of the keyword to get if my hunch was right. What could it be?
An incorrect hunch (lucky guess?).
Ah, BOXING DAY REST, I thought (thinking there would be no Azed next week, but this inspiration WAS wrong, as Boxing Day is Monday!), and was quite surprised this nearly worked! But then I found the S and T seemed to be wrong, plus CA=GY was wrong. Progressing to get CA=GY, BOXING DAY CUST…, it can’t be custard. By this time my grid was virtually unreadable due to all the annotations
So near, yet so far.
So I then looked at the title, and tried AZED, XMAS… to fit the two four letters words… XM revealed itself in the central word from XM=IL, and from then on getting AS=SL revealed the S and T needed swopping, R fitted in after I saw TURK appear (had to be turkey), so eventually (and I mean eventually – several hours to get this far) ‘BOXING DAY CUTS‘ was revealed which, as Azed stated, is a rough definition of the puzzle’s title:
‘DNKA ILSL STORME‘ = ‘COLD XMAS TURKEY’
Thus the competition word to clue is ‘COLD TURKEY‘ as from the puzzle instructions.
The completed Playfair word square:
Great fun! I managed to get the whole puzzle cracked in about 6 hours.
Below, WN answers are entered in their clue positions with indications of the relocation, and the word entry at the location in parentheses with the relocation definition in the clue in BOLD; RL clues are split // at the break.
|PL 1.||For parents and children, mostly boring in dress (6)|
|KIDULT -> grid entry MOGTKS||DUL(l) in KIT|
|PL 6.||Special corroding process for glue-maker’s leather (6)|
|SPETCH -> grid entry FLFSGP||SP+ETCH|
|M 10.||Hoer worked with difficulty holding in poppy extract (9)|
|RHOEADINO -> misprint in grid entry from RHOEADINE||(HOER*) + (IN in ADO)|
|DLM 11.||Bare rigid strengthener in concrete (5)|
|WN 12.||Nameless man of the cloth put on a pedestal (7)|
|REVERED -> entered at 19dn: (BARACAN)
|N 13.||Boggle, say, with females mostly appearing in drag, queer? The opposite (8)|
|WORDGAME||(DRAG*) in WOME(n)
Boggle is a wordgame that I haven’t seen for a few years
|M 15.||Saint – one such offering a lamb (5)|
|SPAUL -> misprint in definition LAMB/LIMB||pun on S[t]PAUL|
|RL 17,18.||‘The deil’ scribbled on hire // vehicle in second lines showing signs of earlier body damage (6, 6)|
|17ac HORNIE, 18ac SCARRY
||(ON HIRE*) // CAR in (S RY[lines, railway])|
|RL 20,22.||Revolutionary in German party once disseminated // UK title, last secreted somehow in palm (6, 6)|
|22ac SPREDD, 20ac KITTUL||RED in SPD // (UK TITL(e)*)|
|WN 26.||One may have links with Mafia Inc. as wanting change (5)|
|SICAN -> entered at 8dn: (WAVER)
|M 27.||Cordial toper, drunk, admitting wrongdoing (8)|
|PERSINOT -> misprint in grid entry from PERSICOT||SIN in (TOPER*)|
|WN 28.||Fabrication of old weaver, worthless in prohibition (7)|
|BARACAN -> entered at 12ac: (WHANGAM)
||RACA in BAN|
|DLM 29.||Part of countryman’s stubble? It’s growing (5)|
|N 30.||Buddhist scripture: you’ll find it also known as ‘following a single journey’ (9)|
|TRIPITAKA||(IT+AKA) after TRIP|
|PL 31.||Curse wildly, clenching tense muscle (6)|
|RECTUS -> grid entry WTDFTE||T in (CURSE)*|
|PL 32.||Oriental coin at the right place – centre of Macau (6)|
|PATACA -> grid entry LCSDGY||PAT+(m)ACA(u)|
|M 1.||Gentleman rising in ministry making one eager for move (6)|
|MORISH -> misprint in definition MOVE/MORE||(SIR<) in MOH|
|N 2.||Outweigh odd characters in exec. with proviso subtly (9)|
|DLM 3.||User of Scottish canal snarling at barb (7)|
|GABBART||(snarlin)g at barb|
|N 4.||Reverse of well-informed skill, not intricate Italian quilting (8)|
|N 5.||Creeping stem is like this, mostly below ground (6)|
|M 6.||Arab in charges is glittering (6)|
|FEARES -> misprint in grid entry from FLARES||AR in FEES
my last one in the grid, as it took me a while to confirm ‘glittering’ was the definition.
I am still not convinced.
|DLM 7.||Hungry lad, overweight (5)|
|WN 8.||Embroidery nail? One holds head for islander (5)|
|BRAID -> entered at 24dn: (SICAN)
||I in BRAD|
|PL 9.||Cut e.g. sepia from tail up, given to eat (6)|
|KNIFED -> grid entry PONETY||(INK<)+FED|
|N 14.||Eating hungrily at random rider tucked into bean (9)|
|MURDERING||(RIDER*) in MUNG|
|DLM 16.||Russian four-wheeler for a tsar (naturally) (8)|
|TARANTAS||a tsar (nat(urally))|
|WN 19.||Unreal creature, initially worshipped alongside nasty Hagman (7)|
|WHANGAM -> entered at 28ac: (REVERED)
Larry Hagman, from the TV programme ‘Dallas’
|PL 20.||American mother has endless love for love child (6)|
|MOMZER -> grid entry KIPWTW||MOM+ZER(o)
note here the ‘American mother’ – this could also be MAMZER if parsed incorrectly – a gotcha!
|RL 21,22.||Like a croissant swallowed after meal, child ignored // mouth’s chomping almost (6, 6)|
|21dn LUNATE, 22dn STOMAL||ATE after LUN(ch) // (ALMOST*)|
|DLM 23.||E.g. dry garden, or muddy (6)|
|DREGGY||e.g. dry g(ardne)|
|WN 24.||After start of walk, old cattle move to and fro (5)|
|WAVER -> entered at 26ac: (BRAID)
|M 25.||How ageing fans express their appreciation of pop singer? (5)|
|DIGIT -> misprint in definition SINGER/FINGER||Dig it!
Dig it – great clue!