Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed No 2074 “Forty Years On”

Posted by bridgesong on March 11th, 2012

bridgesong.

This puzzle marked the fortieth anniversary of the Azed series, a remarkable milestone.  It did not disappoint.  At first glance it looked formidable, with a 13 by 13 grid allowing rather more clues than usual, and several apparently being completely unclued.   However, a read through the clues showed that each of the four theme words had two unclued variations which accounted for all the missing clues.

It was then just a question of solving enough of the clues that were given to allow the solver to deduce the four theme words.  For me I did enough in the north eastern quadrant to get 12 down as .ENN…, from which I was easily able to guess that I was looking for Alan Bennett and his three colleagues from Beyond the Fringe, whose surnames being of 4, 5 and 6 letters respectively neatly fitted the lengths of the four theme words.  Then it was just a question of working out the variations.  For Bennett, we had two other famous Bennetts; for Moore  we had sculptors (presumably because of the coincidence of surname with Henry Moore); for Cook we had synonyms and for Miller we had types of fish with Miller as a prefix.

The competition word will be bennet, Alan Bennet(t) being the author of Forty Years On.

A word about the grid, which is larger than usual.  One feature is that some of the five letter words (ERASE and SALEP) are wholly checked, although the same is not true of all the four letter ones.  Azed is very generous in his grid construction.  As a result, with judicious use of Chambers, it can be easier to solve his puzzles than a blocked cryptic such as the Guardian.  I have still to finish Bonxie’s prize puzzle from the previous day, but solved this puzzle at a sitting, although I have yet to fully understand the apparent reference at 29 across.

Across
1 FRICASSEE A loose synonym of COOK, it can be a verb as well as a noun.
8 DOG MILLER’s dog is a name of a small shark.
10 ARNOLD Arnold BENNETT was a novelist whose name is also remembered for the omelette made for him.
12 BRAISE Another synonym of COOK.
13 GORDON Gordon BENNETT was an American journalist, whose name somehow became an exclamation.
14 REARMS REAR, MS.
15 WRENS W, RE(i)NS.
16 COOK The late Peter Cook, the comedian, comic writer and financial backer of Private Eye.
17 TINWARE *(IN WATER): a reference to the Masefield poem, Cargoes.
19 NEARLY N, EARLY.
20 INFO IN F(oreign) O(ffice).
22 APPAL PA(rev), PAL.
25 NEGRO G in NERO.
27 AIT Hidden in Caithness. It’s a Scottish term for an oat.
28 MAHWA A WHAM (rev).
29 GLADE GLAD E. An old word for “lawn” is “laund”, which  means “glade”.  Perhaps “land” is an alternative spelling of “laund”?
30 DAMN DAM, N. One of several meanings of the word DAM is an obsolete Indian copper coin.
32 THRUST H in TRUST.
35 GOAT-GOD *GOT in GOAD.
36 HAIT HA(b)IT.
37 ALTOS SOLTA(rev).
40 BAILEE AIL in BEE.
41 PHEERE HE in PERE.
42 MILLER Sir Jonathan Miller, polymath now most famous as an opera director.
43 TEE-TEE Sounds like TT (tuberculin-tested).
44 BUS BUS(k it).
45 PATISSIER *(IS, IS) in PATER.
Down
1 FAGOTING GOT IN in FAG.
2 IN RE REIN with the parts reversed.
3 CODEWORD ROWED(rev) in COD.
4 ALOW A LOW. It’s a Scottish term meaning “ablaze”.
5 SCREENING TEST SCREEN, *SETTING.
6 ERASE RAS in (sp)EE(ch).
7 BARCA BAR CA.  A bar is a name for a fish, the maigre.
8 DIMORPH DIM, PRO(rev), H.
9 GEEKY GEE, KY. One meaning of GEE is to get on well, and KY is a Scottish term for cattle, such as Galloways. Nothing to do with George!
11 RODIN The famous sculptor.
12 BENNETT Alan Bennett, author and playwright and all round national treasure.
18 ALOE O(ver) in ALE.
21 PANTLER P(ower), ANTLER. A Shakespearian term for a steward.
22 AMLA ALMA(rev).
23 PAD-TREES *PEDERAST.
24 LANDSEER Sir Edwin Landseer, painter and sculptor.
26 GARIALS AIR(rev) in GALS.
31 MOORE The late Dudley Moore, jazz pianist and actor, but no relation to the sculptor Henry MOORE.
32 THUMB A MILLER’s thumb is a small fish.
33 UTILE f(UTILE).
34 SALEP SALEP(rice).
38 SHES Hidden in “Spanish espadrilles”.
39 YETI Anagram of the first and last letters of “the icy”.

11 Responses to “Azed No 2074 “Forty Years On””

  1. Wil Ransome says:

    Why did Azed have ‘rare kidneys’ in 15ac? According to Chambers the word is ‘rare or obs in sing’. Which means I suppose that in the plural it isn’t rare, so shouldn’t it just be ‘kidneys’? But very odd.

    It took a while to work out 29ac and at first it looked as if Azed had made a slip, ho-ho, but under land (2) in Chambers it says it’s obs, same as laund.

  2. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to bridgesong for the blog. This took most of the week for me to complete. Had to come here to see the derivation of YETI. Well done, sir!

    Cheers…

  3. chris says:

    ERASE and SALEP are not the only answers with no unchecked letters. I also noticed DIMORPH, GARIALS and AIT.

  4. David Mansell says:

    17ac. To be utterly pedantic, the last line of Masefield’s poem is:

    “Firewood, iron-ware and cheap tin trays”

    so “tinware” is not strictly accurate.

  5. Bob Sharkey says:

    Regarding ‘reins’ in Wil’s comment, I read the entry in C. as possibly meaning that it is rare in its present use as a plural noun, but also obsolete as a singular noun.

  6. The Trafites says:

    Oh dear… I really messed this up. I misread the preamble and took ALL the last letters of the four ‘theme words’ to make ‘TREK’ (of which I thought indicated the 40 year journey).

    So my brilliant ( :) ) clue to TREK will vanish forever :(

    Nick

  7. Bob Sharkey says:

    Bad luck, Nick. Couldn’t we have an alternative best clue comp. here (for TREK), or is that against the rules?

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I was really struggling here when I remembered previous examples where I failed to take proper note of the title.
    Then,like bridgesong I was able to finish Bennett and the rest fell out pretty easily.
    Nevertheless a good workout and the four different connections added a little fun to the puzzle.

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for a challenging puzzle that was highly satisfying to complete and bridgesong for the blog. I spent more than my usual solving time on the Sunday, getting stuck about half way through and with no idea of the theme. I woke up in the middle of the night with the theme in my head, and it was then fairly easy to complete the puzzle on the Monday evening.

    David@4 re 17ac: Chambers 2011 gives tinware n articles made of tin. This certainly includes the “cheap tin trays” from Masefield’s peom, so to me the clue is completely accurate.

  10. Jan says:

    Thanks for the blog, bridgesong. I couldn’t parse ALOE because I was taken in by the word bitter, thinking it was part of the definition (as, no doubt, Azed intended!).

    It took me far too long to spot all 4 theme words. I became fixed on Arnold Bennett and Henry Moore. And I sang through the words of the Harrow School song (it was also our school song). It was only when Dudley M came to mind that the penny dropped.

    I found it hard and it took a while but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you, Azed.

  11. sidey says:

    Really enjoyable stuff. I doubt we’ll get another forty years but here’s to many more.

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