Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2067 / 15 January 2012

Posted by duncanshiell on January 22nd, 2012


This was a fairly typical plain Azed where the parsing is clear after a little bit of thought.  I normally find the surfaces of Azed’s clues to be very smooth, but I did wonder about the surface of some the early Across clues in this puzzle.  




For example, 11 across – Minced dish is missing in haikus arranged for flute – I have found reference to one or two pieces for flute called Haiku, but what is the ‘minced dish’ all about in terms of the surface meaning?

I thought the Down clues all had excellent surfaces.

Azed seems to be a fan of compund anagrams with 19 down DASHPOT (and LINE) being an example in this puzzle.

AS ever, there were a number of Scottish words – ROOP, NEUK, and SIVER.  I’ve always wondered about the derivation of the ‘East Neuk of Fife’ as a geographical location, so this puzzle stimulated me to go off at a tangent and find it comes from the meaning of NEUK as ‘corner’.

I started off with the wrong answer to 28 Down where I plumped for the wrong airline initially – see below – but one of the crossing letters soon forced me to change.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Some foreign money e.g. Christ Church fellow advanced I pocketed (8)

(OU [Oxford University; Christ Church is a College at Oxford University] + GUY [fellow] + A [advanced]) containing (pocketed) I


OUGUIYA (the standard monetary unit of Mauritania; some foreign money)
6 Open courtyard, one enveloped in dam potentially (5)

A (one) contained in (enveloped in) MARE (female horse, which has the potential to become a dam [mother of a horse])


MARAE (a Maori meeting palce, tradiitonally an open courtyard)
10 Electrical appliance that offers backing round about flat (7)

ROTA (round [of duty]) containing (about) PAD (home; flat) all reversed (backing).  I think offers is simply a link word describing the shape of the answer.


ADAPTOR (an appliance for connecting two electrical devices, or allowing more than one electrical item to be connected to a single power outlet)
11 File freeing prisoner (not a whopper) (4)

Anagram of (freeing) PRISONER excluding (not) ONER (a big lie; a whopper)


RISP (a rasp or coarse file)
12 Minced dish is missing in haikus arranged for flute (10)

HACHIS [dish of meat and vegetables in small pieces {minced dish} excluding [missing] IS) contained in (in) an anagram of (arranged) HAIKUS


SHAKUHACHI (a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute)
14 Tinge once distorted by threatening appearance (8)

Anagram of (distorted) ONCE + LOUR (threatening appearance)


ENCOLOUR (to colour or tinge)
15 Sorry about result of Jock’s sore throat (4)

POOR (sorry) reversed (about)


ROOP (Scottish [Jock] word for hoarseness which may result from a sore throat)
18 Layer of sediment runs, not left in e.g sluice? (5)

VALVE (a structure or device that regulates flow or passage; a sluice works like a valve) with L (left) excluded (not) and replaced by R (runs)


VARVE (a seasonal layer of sediment deposited in still water)
21 Staggered under splitting mattress with much to carry (8)

Anagram of (staggered) UNDER contained in (splitting) BED (mattress)


BURDENED (with much to carry)
22 Bell-bird making a hum in a trap’s middle (8)

A PONG ( a smell; a hum) contained in (in) ( A + RA, the middle two letters of (middle of) TRAP)


ARAPONGA (the campanero or South American bell-bird)
23 Drink? Sounds like it – one’s certainly partial (5) Sounds like CIDER (a drink) SIDER (one who is partial to a particular side in a game or argument)
25 Depression about unionist resulting in Holyrood recess (4)

NEK (col; depression) containing (about) U (Unionist)

NE (U) K

NEUK (Scots [Holyrood] form of nook [recess])
27 Unruly sort heading class with a beak (8)

Anagram of (unruly) SORT + RATE (class)


ROSTRATE (beaked)
29 Long stretch almost complete? Then nick makes you toughly fibrous (10)

PERIOD (long stretch [of time]) excluding the final letter (almost complete) D + STEAL (nick)


PERIOSTEAL (toughly fibrous)
30 Token, round pieces (4)

O (circle; round) + MEN (pieces [in a chess set for example])


OMEN (token [Chambers Thesaurus])
31 Anti revolutionary title for archdeacon, cathedral dignitary (7)

VEN (venerable; an honorific prefix to the name of an archdeacon) + DEAN (cathedral dignitary)


VENDEAN (an inhabitant of La Vendée, in France; one of those who there resisted the French Revolutio).

32 Aim completely confused? Losing quit round (5)

QUITE LOST (completely confused) excluding (losing) QUIT that is round TELOS


TELOS (aim; purpose)
33 Divine lady leaving a first course unfinished (7)

A STARTER ( a first course) excluding the final letter (unfinished) R


ASTARTE (the Phoenician goddess of love; divine lady)
No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Row about team losing second half – what Wayne’s often involved in? (5)

OAR (row, as in a rowing eight) containing (about) TEAM excluding letters 3 and 4 (second half) AM


OATER (a Wild West film, the kind of film that John Wayne often starred in.  Nothing to do with Wayne Rooney and the teams he has played for)
2 Japanese noodle – cook stuffs one (4)

DO (cook) contained in (stuffs) UN (a dialect form of one)

U (DO) N

UDON (a thick noodle in Japanese cookery, made from wheat flour.  Udon noodles are commonly available in Britain now.  Try eating at Wagamama and similar establishments)
3 Braggart disturbed arcade with song (10)

Anagram of (disturbed) ARCADE and SONG


GASCONADER (one who boasts extravagantly; a braggart)
4 Early version of scripture hidden in Palatine turned up (5)

Reversed (turned up – down clue) hidden word in (in) PALATINE


ITALA (reference ITALA Version, a translation of the Bible into Latin, based on the Old Latin version, and made probably in the time of Augustine)

5 Grand champ? That one goes round zouk dancing (8)

(YON [that] + A) containing (goes round) an anagram of (dancing) ZOUK


YOKOZUNA (a grand champion in sumo wrestling)
6 Antelope yielding silky coat (not AI) (4)

MOHAIR (fine silken hair; silky coat) excluding (not) AI


MOHR (a West African gazelle; antelope)
7 Ancient language from an area that’s ill-defined, including Morocco (8)

Anagram of (that’s ill-defined) AN AREA  containing (including) MA (International Vehicle Registration for Morocco)


ARAMAEAN (language of Aram [roughly moden Syria])
8 A Glaswegian drain that’s hot inside … or very cold? (7)

A + (H [hot] contained in [inside] SIVER (Scots [Glasgow] drain)


ASHIVER (in a shivering or quivering state; very cold)
9 Formality inherent in wretched deep threnody (7)

ICE (reserve; formality) contained in (inherent in) an anagram of (wretched) DEEP


EPICEDE (a funeral ode; threnody [ode or song of lamentation])
13 Grain merchant keeping a large quantitiy in secret place (10)

DEAL (a large quantity) contained in (keeping  … in) CORNER (secret place)


CORNDEALER (grain merchant)
16 Rock from volcano on fire rising without force, life at the top (8)

PEP (life) [this comes first from the instruction ‘life at the top’] + ON FIRE excluding (without) F (force) reversed (rising – down clue)


PEPERINO (a dark tuff [a rock composed of  fine volcanic fragments and dust])
17 Wind in Arabian romances of old (8)

AR (Arab) + GESTES (tales of adventure; romances)


ARGESTES (the North West wind personified by Milton in Paradise Lost)
19 A piston held vibrating? This line may show that (7)

An anagram of (vibrating) A PISTON HELD forms DASHPOT LINE, ie the answer and the word LINE, so by reverse engineering, an anagram of DASHPOT [this answer] LINE forms A PISTON HELD.  I am sure there is a more elegant way of explaining that, but I hope you understand what I mean.

DASHPOT (a device for damping vibration by a piston moving in a cylinder containing liquid)

20 Those honourably discharged mostly hoisted with queen aboard old warship (7)

EMERITI (people who have been honourably discharged from public service) excluding the last letter (mostly) I, containing (with … aboard) R (Regina; queen).  The online version of this puzzle has 9 letters as the length of the answe, which was clearly just a simple misprint; I don’t know about the paper version.


TRIREME (ancient Greek war galley; old warship)
24 Temporary splint, a feature of most entrenchments (5) Hidden word in (a feature of) MOST ENTRENCHMENTS

STENT (a device used as a temporary splint inside a bodily vessel to keep it open; one of these made the front pages of the newspapers over Christmas)

26 Old peasant from Somerset location, abandoning crew (5) CREWKERNE (Somerset town) excluding (abandoning) CREW KERNE (an obsolete [old] word fro ‘peasant’)
27 Very good squaddies got up as e.g. foresters? (4) (SO [very good] + OR [other ranks; squaddies]) reversed (got up – down clue) ROOS (kangaroos; foresters are large kangaroos)
28 Airline on time? Strike effectively does for that (4)

TWA (Trans-World  Airlines, an independent American airline from 1925 – 2001, when it was bought out and merged with Amercian Airlines) + T (time)


TWAT (to strike viciously)  My original answer to this clue was BEAT using BEA [British European Airways, 1946 – 1974, but now long merged with BOAC into British Airways])

3 Responses to “Azed 2067 / 15 January 2012”

  1. sidey says:

    Thanks Duncan. I have a feeling Azed may have invented the composite anagram, or at least formalised the construction. They still cause me pain at times and your explanation of dashpot is far clearer than the example in one famous crossword manual.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for the usual excellent puzzle and Duncan for the blog. I too had BEAT originally at 28dn.

    sidey @1 re composite anagrams: See Azed Slip 146

    for some history here – and I had a lot of enjoyable reading while hunting for this.

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Pretty routine (which includes being enjoyable!)
    On the daily Guardian blogs a lot of posters attach great importance to surfaces; I am not one of them. Nevertheless I would say that Azed is definitely second division for surfaces.
    I too tried ‘beat’ first.
    I am a great fan of compound anagrams whoever invented them, nothing more satisfying than to see a solution appear, after the subtraction, as if by magic.

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