Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2068

Posted by bridgesong on January 29th, 2012

bridgesong.

I found this puzzle distinctly tougher than usual for a plain Azed.  I didn’t help myself by my error at 26, especially when it seemed to be confirmed by the crossing letter from 9 down.  Two clues, 33 and 23, have completely baffled me, although I think the answers I give must be correct (with only one unchecked letter each, there’s not much room for doubt).

Here’s a link to the pdf of the puzzle.

Across
1 CHUKAR Hidden in “such UK areas”.
6 SUBACT C in TABUS(rev).
11 ON ICE 0 NICE.
12 HOUDAH HOU(r), HAD(rev). It means the seat on top of an elephant; I guessed it immediately from the definition, but couldn’t remember the word.
13 PRANKSTER RANKS for A in PATER.
14 MEIONITE *(ONE I) in MITE.
15 THONG Hidden in “mirth on Guernsey”.
17 MOORE O in MORE; O is the second (an even number, thus “regular”) letter in “work”; MORE is Latin for “in the manner”. The reference is of course to the sculptor Henry Moore, whose sculptures famously include large circular holes.
18 MUCKRAKE Spoonerism of “make ruck”.
21 BACKSETS BACK, SETS. I didn’t know that a back can be a large tub.
24 RAMMY (G)RAMMY.
26 ABBOT A(ccepted), BB(ooks), O(ld) T(estament). I had confidently entered CANON, thinking the clue was a triple definition.
28 THIAZOLE A ZO in *LITHE. Zo is in Chambers under Zho; it’s perhaps surprising that Azed didn’t make use of the fact that the letters AZ form part of the solution.
30 TELEPOINT *(POTEEN LIT).
31 ULTIMA Hidden in “fault, I mangled”. “list for journalist, say” is the definition; it means the final syllable of a word. A lovely clue.
32 THANA H in TANA.
33 MASKER I have no idea about the wordplay here. Any suggestions?
34 SITARS 1 in STARS. The reference is to the famous sitar player Ravi Shankar; I question if “stars” means the same thing as “firmament”; perhaps that explains the question-mark in the clue.
Down
1 CAPUT MORTUUM PUT *TUMOUR in CAM.
2 HORA (C)HORA(l).
3 UNA VOCE (G)UN AVOCE(t).
4 KININ K, IN IN.
5 RESEDA *(RED SEA).
6 SHTICK SH, TICK.
7 BURNOUS U in BURN US.
8 ADDIO DI in ADO.
9 CASTRATO AS TART(rev) in CO.
10 THREE ESTATES *(RESET THESE AT).
16 HULA-HULA HUL(k)A, HUL(k)A.
19 KOMATIK KIT AMOK (all rev).
20 ZEBRINA. IN in ZEBRA
22 APOLAR Compound anagram; remove the letters of “I first” from “airport falls” and rearrange them.
23 CULETS Another one which completely eludes me.
25 MINTS This meaning of mint is given as a dialect usage in Chambers, although there is nothing in the clue to warn of this.
27 BLOAT L in BOAT.
29 GNAR GNA(she)R. Dennis the Menace’s dog.

6 Responses to “Azed 2068”

  1. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the blog, bridgesong.

    17a: I think “regular feature of his work” indicates O not because it is the second letter of “work” but because, as you mention, his sculptures famously include large circular holes.

    33a: I think the point is that BEAM with M as KER is BEAKER. I’m sure I promised last time that I wouldn’t let Azed fool me with a clue like this again. Maybe next time.

    23d: I think this is just LE(g) in CUTS.

  2. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for a good puzzle which I too found more difficult than most plains and thanks bridgesong for the blog. I got stuck for some time on the right hand side with only a few clues solved.

    I remember working out 17ac and 23dn the same way as Matthew@1. For 33ac I think I just put it in as the only word that would fit with the definition, but again Matthew’s explanation is convincing.

  3. bridgesong says:

    Matthew and Pelham, you’re both absolutely right on 33a and 23d and I’m kicking myself for allowing myself to be fooled yet again by a word including the letters AS. In 23d it was “sword thrusts” that confused me, but I suppose that “cuts” could be defined this way.

  4. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Nice to see consistency here. My last in was 33 and I didn’t see the quite brilliant explanation (thanks matthew).
    Penultimate was ‘apolar’ which I did parse – I do enjoy compound anagrams.
    I thought 31a was very clever.

  5. Thomas99 says:

    I also thought this was harder than most plains. Apolar/backsets were last in for me – I had to redo that bit of the grid after guessing that “isolar” might be the answer. It was pretty cunning having such a hard clue – a very well-hidden comp. anag. – for the non-Chambers word. I imagine isolar doesn’t exist and can’t remember how I parsed (or defined!) it now. He seems to be making comp. anagrams harder these days. They can be rather easy to spot, but he’s put the definition in the middle twice in a row now and this one certainly fooled me for quite a while. You still sometimes see submissions to the competitions with the giveaway blanks (“_________”), but I don’t think azed would do that now.

    I also had “palets” for 23d to begin with – a palet being “a scale on the receptacle of a flower head”, which I persuaded myself was close enough to armour, and “pat” being an archaic euphemism for a hit with a fencing foil – this definition alas existing only in my imagination. The realisation that the clue was actually more straightforward was of course all the more pleasurable for the fact that I’d gone so badly wrong.

  6. bridgesong says:

    Thomas@5, you are right to point out that the compound anagram at 22down is unusual in having the definition in the middle of the clue; I had meant to mention this in the blog.

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