Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2079

Posted by duncanshiell on April 15th, 2012


It’s often said that you know you are right when you complete the last stage of a Listener puzzle properly.  I think the same can be said of the parsing Azed’s clues.  If you have doubts about the parsing then you have probably haven’t solved the clue properly.



I think therefore that I have solved this puzzle satisfactorily as all the parsing seems sound.

Having said that, there are always plenty of learning points in Azed puzzles, both generally and crossword related.   As ever, there were many words in the solutions that are not used in everyday language, but the cluing of the obscure words is very precise and the actual entries are built from more well known constituent parts., e.g. QUAESITUM, ODONATA and DIAPIR

I have never come across ROSELAND as a reference to the South East of England before.  If someone mentions ROSELAND to me I tend to think of the ROSELAND peninsula in Cornwall.  Even with Google you have to try very hard to find a ROSELAND reference to the South East in general.  [Yes, I do realise ROSELAND is defined in Chambers [but not in Collins or the Shorter Oxford] as the areas of South East England outside London].

In 30 down I doubt if I was the only solver who looked first at the odd letters of FLAUTIST and came up with FATS [Domino] as the pianist.  That was an excellent bit of misdirection by Azed, if he meant it [I suspect he did].  For 7 Down my first thought was FINDS but I couldn’t work out how ‘to listeners’ worked in that case.

There was a good balance between the classical material in this puzzle (e.g. LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE and  LILL) and the scientific or colloqial material (e.g. PUNK and ODONATA)

I blogged a Phi in the Independent on Friday last.  It had a number of French allusions so I took SUR LE TAPIS in my stride in this puzzle.  There seems to be an increasing need for a basic knowledge of foreign languages to solve crosswords these days.  Nothing wrong with that in my book if the words are not too obscure.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Frantic scare is about useless tavern – form of electric injection required (12)

Anagram of (frantic) SCARE IS containing (about) (TAPHOUSE [tavern] excluding [less] USE)


CATAPHORESIS (electrophoresis; the introduction into the body of medicinal substances by means of an electric current)

9 Dad breaks a law causing fit of fury as of old (7)

POP (short form of POPPA [pappa; father; dad]) contained in (breaks) (A + LEX [law])


APOPLEX (archaic [as of old] variant of APOLEXY [such a fit of infuriation that one might seem about to burst a blood vessel]; fit of fury)

12 True value, as it were with energy in belly (9)

(QUASI [as it were] containing [with … in] E [energy]) + TUM (belly)


QUAESITUM (something sought for; the true value)
13 Lust maybe exhausted, first to last (4)

SHOT (exhausted) with first letter S moved to end [first to last])


HOTS (reference have the HOTS for; be sexually attracted; lust)
14 Rested poorly – checks needed (6) Anagram of (poorly) RESTED DETERS (hinders; prevents; checks)
15 Demoiselles love information about one in Paris (7)

(O [zero; love [score in tennis]) + DATA [information]) containing (about) ON (‘one’ in French [Paris])


ODONATA (the dragonfly order; a ‘demoiselle’ is a dragonly)
17 Description of Innisfree, part shortened in yarn? (5)

LAKE ISLE (reference the LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE a poem by William Butler Yeats written in 1888) with LAKE abbreviated (part shortened) to L


LISLE (a long-stapled, hard-twisted cotton yarn) I am not sure why there is a question mark in this clue.  Is the clue also describing the poem as a yarn [story]?

18 Fan denied a form of rock music (4)

PUNKA (a fan; a palm-leaf fan; a large mechanical fan for cooling a room) excluding (denied) A


PUNK (a style of popular music of the late 1970s, fast and aggressive, with violent, often obscene or subversive lyrics; form of rock music)

19 Particular rock stratum in Woomera, the Mesolithic (7) Hidden word in (in) WOOMERA THE MESOLITHIC

ERATHEM (the stratigraphical unit of rock strata corresponding to a geological era)

21 Scientific, lifeless name for tiny flying insect (7) SCI (scientific) + ARID (lifeless)

SCIARID (a minute, dark-coloured, two-winged fly of the family Sciaridae; tiny flying insect)

23 Tawdry clothes to make by knotting lace (4)

TATT (tawdry or shabby articles esp clothes)

TATT (to make by knotting lace)  double definition
25 Merman e.g. once easily spotted by end of tail (5) ETHE (Spenserian [old usage; once] term for ‘easily’) + L (last letter of [end of] TAIL)

ETHEL (reference ETHEL Merman, (1908 – 1984) an American actress and singer)

27 SA solicitors, crookedly biased when given rand (7)

Anagram of (crookedly) BIASED + R (rand; South African unit of currency)


SIDE-BAR ([in South Africa] solicitors, as opposed to barristers [who belong to the bar]).

28 Saw auxiliary folds in anticlinal feature (6)

RIP [ripsaw; saw] + AID [auxiliary]) all reversed (folds)


DIAPIR (an anticlinal fold in which the overlying rock has been pierced by material from beneath) Although ‘fold’ is part of Chamber’s definition of DIAPIR I think it is being used in the clue as the reversal indicator.

31 Small bird, tailless, in Brazilian shrub (4)

PIPIT (any member of a lark-like genus (Anthus) of birds related to wagtails; small bird) excluding the final letter (tailless) T


PIPI (Brazilian Caesalpinia; Brazilian shrub)

32 Lacking pigmentation I put in cobalt in mixing (9)

I contained in (put in) anagram of (mixing) COBALT IN


ALBINOTIC (lacking pigmentation)
33 Scottish suspect, a contemptible creature given lead by judge (7) J (judge) + A + LOUSE (contemptible creature) JALOUSE (Scottish word for ‘suspect’)
34 Slavery (especially in America) then RN punished, the whole world with time following (12)

(Anagram of [punished] THE RN) + ALL MEN [the whole world, where men is referring to human beings in general]) + T (time)


ENTHRALLMENT (American spelling of a word meaning to bring into or hold in bondage or slavery)

No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1 Drive-in waitress serving fish, with local tart thrown in? (6)

HO (prostitute; tart) contained in (thrown in) CARP (fish)


CARHOP (American term for a waiter or waitress at a drive-in restaurant)
2 Rich ice cream, wrong just after Ivy’s starter (7) TORT (wrong) + ON (just after) + I (first letter of [starter] IVY)

TORTONI (a rich ice cream flavoured with dessert or fortified wine and containing chopped fruit, nuts, etc.)

3 Filling for puff (4)

PLUG (filling [for a tooth])

PLUG (to force into familiarity by persistent repetition, esp for advertising purposes; [adverising] puff) double definition

4 Command to old poet: ‘Hurry penning English’ (6)

HASTE (hurry) containing (penning) E (English)


HEASTE (Spenserean [poet] word for ‘command’)
5 Run over exceptionally large deer in Kent area? (8) R (run) + OS (outsize; exceptionally large) + ELAND (South African antelope, resembling the elk in having a protuberance on the larynx; deer) ROSELAND (the areas of South East England outside London, which includes Kent)
6 Censor part of overheated item (4) Hidden word in (part of) OVERHEATED ITEM EDIT (censor or bowdlerize)
7 Locates objects of special interest to listeners (5) SITES (sounds like [to listeners] SIGHTS [objects of special interest]) SITES ([as a verb] locates)
8 Alternative name for that of famous street in script?  Look around (6)

SEEM (appear; look) containing (around) MS (manuscript; script)


SEMSEM (sesame; reference SESAME STREET a long running children television series, now regularly broadcast worldwide)
10 Coiled up ends of tether, knotted, that can be extended (10) Anagram of (knotted) COILED UP and TR (the first and last letters of [ends of] TETHER) PRODUCTILE (capable of being drawn out in length; can be extended)
11 Rule broken in Scottish stuff is being discussed (10, 3 words)

Anagram of (broken) RULE contained in (in) (STAP [Scottish word for ‘stuff’] + IS)


SUR LE TAPIS (literally, on the carpet (as a table cover), hence, under discussion, the subject of talk)

16 Irish in Ireland mostly disturbed regular visitor to Knock? (8) Anagram of (disturbed) IR (Irish) + IRELAND excluding the last letter (mostly) D

AIRLINER (reference to planes landing at Ireland West Airport Knock [originally called simply Knock Airport].   The airport was opened following a long campaign by Monsignor James Horan to bring employment to what Wikipedie describes as “an impoverished corner of Ireland”, as well as allowing pilgrims to visit the nearby Knock Shrine which commemorates an apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1879) 

20 Regular possibly, slightly inhibited by colour (7)

(A BIT [slightly]) contained in (inhibited by) HUE (colour)


HABITUÉ (a customary frequenter; regular)
21 Dignified duke rising before halfway point in sitting (6) SEATED (sitting) with the D (duke) rising (down clue) from the last position in SEATED to the third position in SEDATE SEDATE (dignified)
22 Street in ring maybe that’s farthest from the centre (6) ST (street) contained in (in) DIAL (ring, as in to use a DIAL to ring a telephone number) DISTAL (farthest from the centre)
24 Low stand, dry, about to split (6)

TT (teetotal; dry) containing (about) RIVE (split)


TRIVET (a low stand, originally with three legs, often used for keeping hot pans off kitchen surfaces)
26 One gets into bath unnaturally bent (5) Anagram of (unnaturally) BATH containing I (one) HABIT (tendency [to perform certain actions]; bent)
29 It’s hard at bottom of mine – vigour’s needed (4) PIT (mine) + H (hard)  The H is at the bottom as this is a down clue PITH (vigour)
30 Scots flautist regularly covers this opening for pianist (4) LILL (a Scottish word for the fingerholes of a wind instrument, such as a flute; Scots flautists regularly cover this) LILL (reference John LILL [born 1944], English classical pianist)

3 Responses to “Azed 2079”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Azed for the usual enjoyment and Duncan for your excellent blog.

    16dn: I know I have been going on a lot about this issue recently, but here I can only accept this as IR contained in anagram of IRELAN(d). I cannot account for the word “in” second in the clue except as a containment indicator.

  2. duncanshiell says:

    Pelham Barton @ 1

    Yes, I agree that your interpretation of the parsing for 16d is better than my suggestion that it is all an anagram, especially as IR appears as two consecutive letters in the answer.

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I usually settle down with a Chambers within reach to solve Azed.
    Last weekend I was at the coast in a caravan with no copy in sight.
    I expected to get very little done before returning home.
    I really surprised myself by solving all but three or four and maybe as many more which I needed to check before writing in.
    I didn’t know ‘lill’ as an instrument hole or ‘semsem’ as an alternative to sesame but I was chuffed that I guesssed ‘cataphoresis’.
    It really is a delightful mental challenge to tackle Azed each week (and it keeps the dementia away, I hope).

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