Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2073

Posted by duncanshiell on March 4th, 2012


As ever with Azed, the puzzle gave the solver an opportunity to wander far and wide through the pages of Chambers.  Some of the solutions and parts of wordplay were words that I was familiar with, but I also learnt a number of new words.

Azed’s clues always say what they mean in terms of wordplay, but, of course, they rarely mean what they say on surface reading.  

Solvers required knowledge of a number of subjects including ladies named Dawn, cricket, Billy Bunter [but see comment below], basic French (although I must admit that my French didn’t immediately stretch to SINGE) and cars.  There is no doubt that solving crosswords improves one’s general knowledge.  I think, some of it sticks in my mind for future use, but certainly not all of it.

I liked the clues to FRENCH MUSTARD,  CARDINALS, MID-ON and CUTE, but I do have slight quibbles on LEVERAGE and OSTIUM. However that may be due to my lack of understanding of all the nuances of the clues.

Finally, I note that Azed 2074, published today, marks Azed’s 40 year anniversary. His first puzzle was published on 5 March 1972. This is a very impressive achievement – congratulations to Azed!

No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Dawn maybe, with crowd-puller enmired in Dijon? (13, 2 words)

FRENCH (reference Dawn FRENCH, actress and comedienne) + (STAR [crowd-puller] contained in MUD [mire], giving STAR enmired)


FRENCH MUSTARD (Dijon MUSTARD is a well known style of FRENCH MUSTARD)
10 Rope, look, securing your setter? (4)

LO (look) containing (securing) AZ (prounced AZED, your crossword setter)

L (AZ) O

LAZO (variant spelling of LASSO, a long rope with a running noose for catching wild horses, etc.)

11 Back in the pavilion, sounds dejected, he hear? Not how you’d describe slips (7)

OUT (back in the pavilion – cricketing reference.  Once a batsman is out he/she returns to the pavilion) + SIZE (sounds like [we hear] SIGHS [dejection can be expressed by SIGHING)  I assume that there is a simple typo in the on-line version of the clue with ‘we’ shown as ‘he’.


OUTSIZE (slips are petticoats which are worn on the inside, and may not be very big [?])  I think it is OUTSIZE rather than OUTSIDE [SIGHED] to get the right tense for ‘sounds dejected’
13 Son welcomes therapy for US bum (5)

BOY (son) contains (welcomes) OT (occupational therapy)


BOOTY (a person’s bottom [bum] in North American slang)
14 Exclamation about ‘itch – one typical of Bunter? (6)

CRY (exclamation) containing (about) ‘IKE (hike [hitch] dropping the initial H to match ‘itch)


CRIKEY (Billy Bunter, hero of the books by Frank Richards, pen name of Charles Hamilton [1876-1961] )  The first Bunter story appeared in The Magnet in 1908 with the last book / story published in 1972, 11 years after Hamilton’s death.  There were a number of television adaptations of Bunter stories. I wonder though how many of today’s younger solvers have heard of Billy Bunter?
15 Char maybe in Le Petit Magot? (5) SINGE (French for monkey.  A magot is a barbary ape, a type of macaque, a true monkey rather than an ape.  Barbary apes grow to a maximum size of just over 75 centimetres, so are quite small [petit]) SINGE (char)
16 Arrange heavy rings back to back, as before (7)

DO (arrange) + SAD (heavy [obsolete usage]) + OS (more than one O [ring]; rings)


DOS-À-DOS (back to back [archaic usage; as before])
17 Handle paper money in bank (8)

RAG (paper money [derogatory or jocular according to Chambers]) contained in (in) LEVEE (natural or artificial embankment, especially on the Lower MIssissippi; bank)


LEVERAGE (handle [?]) I can see that a handle can be a LEVER, but I struggle a bit equating LEVERAGE with handle.  The use of a handle can provide LEVERAGE, but I’m not convinced the words are interchangeable.

19 Nattery one, —?  Not ‘er — that’s wrong (5) NATTERY ONE is a compund anagram of YENTA and NOT ‘ER.  Azed regularly uses compound anagrams in his clues. YENTA (gossip, shrewish woman)  The clue is an &Lit as a saying a Nattery one is not a gossip is contradictory [that’s wrong]
24 Revolt, as one hears, goes astray historically (5) WRIES (sounds like [as one hears] RISE [revolt]) WRIES (goes astray [archaic; historically])
25 Member of college fancily clad in a robe (but lacking final honour) (8) Anagram of (fancily) CLAD IN A ROBE excluding (lacking) the OBE (Order of the British Empire; honour) at the end (final)

CARDINAL (reference to members of the College of CARDINALS, the whole body of CARDINALS, electors of and advisors to the Pope)

27 Poet’s distinctive form since spread about a page (7)

Anagram of (spread) SINCE containing (about) (A + P [page])


INSCAPE (in poetry, literature, etc. the essential inner nature or distinctive form of a person, object, etc.)

28 Young dandies were offensive going round (5)

STUNK (gave out a strong offensive smell) reversed (going round)


KNUTS (young bloods; young dandies)
29 Is mouth endlessly swilling old port? (6) Anagram of (swilling) IS MOUTH excluding the final letter (endlessly) H OSTIUM (mouth of a river, often the site of a port [?].  There must also be a reference here to OSTIA, the harbour/port of Ancient Rome)  My Latin is not remotely good enough to explain the correspondence between OSTIUM and OSTIA.  My Latin dictionary simply says that OSTIUM is the mouth of a river, and OSTIAORUM is a port at the mouth of the Tiber)
30 Fielder, certainly not stupid, retreating (5)

NO DIM (not stupid) reversed (retreating)


MID-ON (fielding position in cricket; the person who fields at that position; fielder)
31 One of several feet occupies position in varied metre (7)

IS (occupies position) contained in (in) an anagram of (varied) METRE


TRISEME (a trisemic foot, the tribrach, iamb or trochee; one of several feet)
32 Lotus? Not what you’d expect from partakers thereof? (4) ELAN (reference the car Lotus Elan, one of three convertible cars or fixed head coupés produced by Lotus between 1962 and 1975) ÉLAN (vigour and style, impetuosity.  Compare these characteristics to those displayed by people who eat the lotus fruit.  People who ate lotus fruit dsiplayed blissful indolence and forgetfulness – certainly not vigour and impetuosity)
33 Overture rates ‘fantastic’ in prized collection (13) Anagram of (fantastic) OVERTURE RATES TREASURE-TROVE (prized collection)
No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Lumbering once airborne? Dubious folly’s undone with weight (7) Anagram of (dubious) FOLLY’S + W (weight) FLY-SLOW (slow-flying; lumbering when airborne – Shakesperean word, qualified by Chambers with the phrase ‘doubtful  reading and sense’)
2 Disease causing end of older fir trees (6) R (last letter of [end of]) OLDER + ABIES (the genus of true firs) RABIES (disease)
3 Disjointed noises around kibbutz (fruity!) showing how mind evolves (10)

Anagram of (disjointed) NOISES containing (around) OGEN (reference OGEN melon [fruity] which is named after the kibbutz on which it was first grown)


NOOGENESIS (evolution of mind)
4 How to make mean man fanciable? (4) CUT E (if you cut an E from MEAN you will be left with MAN) CUTE (fanciable)
5 Dey romping in stack maybe develops such a flush (6)

Anagram of (romping) DEY contained in (in) HAY (a large built up pile of HAY is a stack)


HEYDAY (flush or full bloom)
6 Paper writer slammed gramophone record (first only) (11)

Anagram of (slammed) GRAMOPHONE + R (first letter of [first only] RECORD)


MONOGRAPHER (a treatise, book or paper written on one particular subject or any branch of it; paper writer)
7 Standard with gap year abroad fills, wandering (7)

STD (standard) containing (with gap fills – is this a typ,o should it be’ filled’?)  an anagram of (abroad) YEAR


STRAYED (wandering)
8 Object of veneration in volcanic rock – it is not African (6)

IKON (object of veneration, alternative spelling to ICON) contained in AA (volcanic rock)


AIKONA (Bantu [African] word for ‘it is not’)
9 Maids are stunning? So we hear (4) DEYS (sounds like [so we hear] DAZE [are stunning]) DEYS (dairymaids)
12 Hornblower follows channel in lateral buffeting (10) SIDE ([television] channel – slang / informal) + WINDER (someone who plays a wind instrument, for example a horn blower) SIDEWINDER (a hard blow struck from the side [American usage]; lateral buffeting)
18 Salvages old thing with écus scattered in hold (7)

Anagram of (scattered) ÉCUS contained in (in) RES (reserve; hold)


RESCUES (‘salvage’ is the raising of sunken or wrecked ships; salvages old thing)
20 What’s available in hall son eats – it makes no difference (7, 2 words, apostrophe) Hidden words in (what’s available in) HALL SON EATS ALL’S ONE (it is just the same; it makes no difference)
21 Wee bird raised love knot (6)

NIL (zero; love) reversed (raised; down clue) + TIE (knot)


LINTIE (linnet; small bird)
22 E.g. pub in need of special (near the end), requiring early delivery (6) PREMISE (a building and its adjuncts, especially a public house) excluding (wanting) S (special) PREMIE (premature baby; one requiring early delivery)
23 What’s Santa struggling against – hi-tech destination finder? (6)

Anagram of (struggling) SANTA + V (versus; against)


SATNAV (satellite navigation device; hi-tech destination finder)  I prefer a map.
26 Trifling, slightly reduced size of paper (4) POTTY (trifling) excluding the last letter (slightly reduced) Y POTT (variant spelling of POT, especially as a paper size)
28 Archaeological tomb found in Pakistan (4) Hidden word in (found in) PAKISTAN

KIST (archaeological term for a tomb consisting of a stone chest covered with stone slabs)

6 Responses to “Azed 2073”

  1. AJK says:

    I thought this was the most difficult plain puzzle for a long time. Needed some help to explain quite a few clues.

  2. claire says:

    Thanks Duncan.

    Re: 11 across I took the ‘slips’ in the clue to have the meaning of ‘ a slip of a lass’ ie of slight build and therefore not ‘outsize’.

  3. Don Manley says:

    Be sure to solve Azed’s 40th anniversary puzzle today

  4. Jan says:

    Thank you, Duncan.

    Unlike AJK, I found this one fairly straighforward. I couldn’t parse 16a, being thrown by the word, ‘heavy’, but 15a is one of my favourite clues this year: simple, elegant and cunning (once I’d looked up, Magot – I did know the French, singe).

  5. AJK says:

    Its been a bit uneven with AZED lately for me. Some easy; some difficult. Struggling with today’s effort. Mind you, I only got started in March 2009 with ‘PALAMPORE’, so I just need to keep practising!

  6. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A medium difficulty I thought.
    I am still not totally decided between outsize/outside.
    The leg side (cricket) is ‘on’ so in theory the slips side could be in ??? Therefore you wouldn’t call it ‘outside’- nevermind, I give up.
    I thought 1ac was lovely.
    Don @3, this very late posting is because I have been thoroughly enjoying and admiring today’s – brilliant!

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