Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2085

Posted by duncanshiell on May 27th, 2012


This was a standard plain crossword from Azed.  As usual in an Azed crossword, there were a number of uncommon words, some with Scottish links.  However, I felt that today’s assortment of words were slightly less obscure than has been the case in some previous Azeds that I have blogged.

The clueing left one in no doubt what word or phrase was required.  The obscure entries were presented as fairly well used components in the wordplay.  DIMERISM and AUCEPS come into that category.  

Azed likes his compound anagrams.  Today’s example was the clue to UNCLES at 23 down.  The clue to BARRE was also akin to a compund anagram.  Two other clues were anagrams solved by excluding letters from longer phrases – BABY-SNATCHER and MORGENSTERN.

There were a couple of clues where a knowledge of foreign languages was helpful – MAILLOT and BÄNDE.  There were also allusions to Greek (mythology).  On the other hand, there was also a distinct nod towards more modern usages and leisure activities (cinema – The Graduate, even though it a 45 year old film), slang (roger, shag) and CHAV

Current location – Saint Anna archipelago, South Eastern Sweden.

Clue Wordplay Entry

E.g. Mrs Robinson, played by A. Bancroft we see less of? She! (12)

Anagram of (played) BY A BANCROFT SHE excluding (we see less) OF

BABY-SNATCHER (a person marrying or having as a lover someone who is much younger [usually applied in a derogative way]. In the film ‘The Graduate’, Mrs Robinson, played by A[nn] Bancroft, seduces the young graduate Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman.)


Rich earth featuring regularly in farm soil, distributed (4)

Anagram of (distributed) letters 2, 4, 6 and 8 (featuring regularly) of FARM SOIL

LOAM (a soil consisting of a natural mixture of clay and sand, with animal and vegetable matter; rich earth)


One’s right in centre of power cut – great anger results (7)

R (right) contained in (in the centre of – in this case exactly in the middle of) OUTAGE (power cut) I assume the word ‘one’ is there to provide a good surface to the clue.


OUTRAGE (great anger)

Storage place for emails, flexible bin, neat (5)

Anagram of (flexible) BIN + OX (a general name for the male or female of common domestic cattle; ‘neat’ is a word for ox, cow, bull etc.)


IN-BOX (e-mails arrive in one’s electronic IN-BOX)

Essex man, from Burnham-on-Crouch avowedly (4)

Hidden word in (from) BURNHAM-ON-CROUCH AVOWEDLY

CHAV ([informa]) term for a person of working class origin, esp. one who is poorly educated, aggressive, or perceived to have poor taste or have an inferior lifestyle [usually derogatory].  For some reason CHAVs are particularly associated with Essex. Burnham-on-Crouch is in Essex)


Water expanse revealing Scottish bird (8)

PEE (urine; water) + SWEEP (range; expanse) PEESWEEP (Scottish word for peewit [bird])

Dead shag seen in coastal vessel (6)

D (dead) + ROGER (copulate [with] which is also the vulgar meaning of ‘shag’)

DROGER (a W Indian coasting vessel, with long masts and lateen sails)


Box following end of cortège? This may have been said over it (8)

E (final letter of [end of] CORTÈGE) + LOGE (a box in the theatre or opera house)

ÉLOGE (funeral oration, something that may well be said after the cortege has passed)

Bilateral symmetry? Please show me, sir, backward, not clear about it (8)

DIM (not clear) containing (about) (ME + SIR reversed [backward])

DI (ME RIS<) M reverse

DIMERISM (a display of [show] bilateral symmetry)

Opera performance involving amateur, a tiny thing (8)

(TURN [a performer’s act; performance] containing [involving] A [amateur]) + DOT (a very small spot; tiny thing)


TURANDOT (opera by Puccini)

Mostly cut back on a spicy sauce (5)

SLASH (cut) excluding the final letter (mostly) H reversed (back) + A SALSA (spicy sauce)

Great friend identifies this threat to fruit bushes (6)

BIG (great) + BUD (friend)

BIG-BUD (a swelling of currant buds owing to a gall mite; a threat to fruit bushes)


Misdirected, it left a cast ‘resting’ (8)

Anagram of (misdirected) IT and L (left) and A CAST STATICAL (variant of STATIC [stationary; resting])

Market deception (4)

SELL (market – I think many businessmen would tell you there is a difference between marketing and selling, but Chambers is happy with the common meaning) SELL (deception) double definition

Navy caught in meadow swamp (5)

RN (Royal Navy) contained in (caught in) LEA (meadow)


LERNA (in Greek mythology, a swamp near Argos, supposed to be the home of the Hydra killed by Hercules)


Garbled rider protecting alien caught by double jeopardy? (7)

Anagram of (garbled) RIDER containing (protecting) ET (extraterrestrial; alien)


RETRIED (double jeopardy defines a second trial for the same offence)

Girlies? Odd ones only will display such dated fur (4)

Letters 1, 3, 5 and 7 [odd ones] of GIRLIES

GRIS (obsolete [dated] word for grey fur)


Eruptions, tears included? What you’ll get from such kings of the catwalk (12)

RENDS (tears) contained in (included) TETTERS ([skin] eruptions)


TRENDSETTERS (people who help to give a new direction to fashion. Fashion designers new clothes are displayed on the cat-walk)

Clue Wordplay Entry

Brown sauce delivering quite a smack (4)

B (brown) + LIP (cheek; sauce) BLIP (sharp tap or blow; quite a smack)

Tailless monkey, not very clever (5)

BABOON (monkey) excluding the final letter (tailless) N

BABOO (an Indian with a superficial English education [esp  in a historical context]; not very clever)


One of the hours for bedding according to e.g. Kinsey? (7)

SEXT (one of the seven canonical hours of the divine office) containing (bedding) PER (according to)


SEXPERT (an expert in sexual behaviour; reference the Kinsey reports into sexual behavior – of the male [1948] and the female [1953])

What’ll slow progress at sea? Cause to lay up, dropping first of anchors (5)

REASON (cause) reversed (lay up) excluding (dropping) A (first letter of [first of]) ANCHORS


NOSER (a strong headwind; something that will slow progress at sea)

Hawker offering gold mushrooms (6)

AU (chemical symbol for gold) + CEPS (mushrooms) AUCEPS (hawker, from the Latin for bird-catcher)

Lousy drink? It’s one way of dealing with price fluctuation (11, 2 words)

CRAWLING (covered with crawling things, such as lice [plural of louse]; lousy) + PEG (a drink measure)

CRAWLING PEG (a term in economics to describe a system of stabilising prices or exchange rates by allowing a limited amount of rise or fall at predetermined intervals).


Kid requiring love in protective environment (6, 2 words)

O (zero [love score in tennis]) contained in (in) HAVEN (a place of retreat or protection; protective environment)


HAVE ON (deception; kid)

Outlandish rogue is e.g. (9)

Anagram of (outlandish) ROGUE IS E.G. EGREGIOUS (outrageous) – outrageous and outlandish describe somewhat similar opinions.  EGREGIOUS could be considered as the anagram indicator of ROGUE IS EG to form a word meaning outlandish.

Particular dread (awful) where cycling’s involved (7)

SPECTRE (a haunting fear or premonition; awful dread) with with the final two letters RE cycled to the front of the remaining letters to give RESPECT.  Another way of looking at this is if we consider the letters RESPECT arranged in a circle (cycle) we are simpling starting at a different part of the circle. RESPECT (a particular)

Old weapon leaving the flowing water great Norsemen brandished? (11)

Anagram of (brandished) GREAT NORSEMEN excluding (leaving) EA (river, lowing water) MORGENSTERN (morning star – a medieval weapon comprising a spiky ball attached to a handle either directly or by a chain; old weapon)

‘Legal’ buccaneer having power over waterway, consumed inside (9)

P (power) + (RIVER [waterway] containing ATE [consumed]).  This being a down clue, P is placed over the remaining letters.


PRIVATEER (a private vessel commissioned to seize and plunder an enemy’s ships in wartime; a legal buccaneer)


Lump of hair I had swept up (or converse, rarely) (7)

(TRESS [plait or braid of the hair; lump of hair] + I’D)  reversed (swept up)


DISSERT (archaic variant spelling of DISSERTATE, which itself is a rarely used word meaning discourse; converse [rarely])

Jersey: one badly fitting in a word (from Brittany?) (7)

(A [one] + ILL [badly]) contained in (fitting in) MOT (French [Brittany] word for ‘word’)


MAILLOT (jersey; one of the best known MAILLOT is the MAILLOT Jaune [yellow jersey]  worn by the leader of the Tour de France)

Gypsum mostly positioned in the old style (6)

PLASTER (gypsum) excluding the final letter (mostly) R PLASTE (Spenserian [old style] word for placed [positioned])

Uneasy in Muscatel? I’m at these dealers in hock possibly (6)

Compound anagram (uneasy) of UNCLES and I’M AT yields IN MUSCATEL UNCLES (pawnbrokers; one meaning of ‘hock’ is pawn)

Overseas volumes, suggesting bill of exchange? (5)

B AND E represent the letters BE (abbreviation for Bill of Exchange) BÄNDE (German word for volumes of books or journals)

Rail to aid balance a lot? It could be this length (5)

BARRE (the entry for this clue) + L (length) = BARREL (a large quantity)

BARRE (a horizontal rail fixed to the wall at waist level, which ballet-dancers use to balance themselves while exercising)


A small drink in the Barley Mow? (4)

TASS (a small alcoholic drink; a number of spirits [short drink] are made from barley)  Also there are a number of pubs in Britain called The Barley Mow where one can consume a small drink.  I suspect there are fewer and fewer Barley Mows as they get overtaken by the Slug & Lettuce or the Frog & Firkin or equivalent. TASS (heap or mow) double definition and & Lit

14 Responses to “Azed 2085”

  1. sidey says:

    Excellent blog duncan. The usual good exercise from Azed. I always think its a shame so few people seem to be interested in such quality stuff from the man.

  2. Norman Hall says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    Re 1d
    Is there anything in Chambers 2011 that justifies b = brown?
    I can only find b = black.
    In my experience Azed uses abbreviaions freely, but only those in Chambers.
    Perhaps it’s there and I just don’t see it.

  3. Norman L in France says:


    It would indeed be a shame if people weren’t interested but I don’t think that’s the case. If you mean there’s little reaction to this blog it’s more to do with its – necessarily, of course – having to wait for a week before being posted, and people’s memories not going back that far. I’ve had nothing but pleasure from Azed since he started: his jubilees at least are well worth celebrating.

  4. Bertandjoyce says:

    We agree with Norman L in France that the lack of interest is down to having to wait a week for the blog. We kept this one as we were defeated by one clue – looking at the blog we are kicking ourselves as it was actually very easy. Normally we finish the puzzle and it is then consigned to the recycling bin! Always seems a bit of a shame though after the effort put in by setter.

    Thanks Azed – we do appreciate you and thanks Duncan for the blog!

  5. sidey says:

    Norman, b is brown in electric plug wiring.

  6. RCWhiting says:

    George Brown was a live wire (when not too drunk).
    It is a great pleasure on Sundays but perhaps does not appeal to a wide readership.

  7. The Trafites says:

    Reference B = brown. The live wire in plugs is Blue…

    I did not do this Azed, I only really do the competition puzzles and my blog turn, but most of the day I have searched for this B = Brown.

    Sometimes compilers use a ‘lesser’ usage of an abbreviation, like RGB (Red, Green, Blue), so here Blue = B – BUT Chambers doesn’t ever have this listed.

    So somewhere, Chambers does have B = Brown, but where, and under what context, I do not know.

    If it doesn’t, then the usual ‘The Chambers Dictionary (2011) is recommended.’ is a bum steer when Azed uses stuff that isn’t in there.


  8. The Trafites says:

    Ummmph, buggered that up. The live wire in plugs is Br(own), the neutral is B(lue). So I meant to say B = Blue in that context.


  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks for that rapid correction, Nick. Saved me from running round the house rewiring all my plugs.
    When the change from Red/Black/Green happened the GB aide memoir was widely used. I have never understood why the change was necessary, the former seemed very natural (Red = danger, green = earth), why earth should be green/yellow striped I’ve no idea!

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi RCW
    I will have to reprimand myself for going seriously off-topic here but I can answer your implied question. The change from red/black/green for flexible cords occurred for two reasons, firstly European harmony and secondly due to the fact that many people who are colour blind cannot differentiate between red and green. For them, wiring a plug presented a potential safety hazard.

    If my memory serves me correctly, and it may well not after all this time, the earth became green with a yellow stripe for a similar reason, to assist people with colour blindness identify which wire is which, particularly the all important safety earth.

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. A bit of European harmony has always been worth a lot since its absence leads to much worse than a mis-wired plug.

  12. The Trafites says:

    I am still mystified to this day why once upon a time Cheese & Onion crisp packets was green, and salt and vinegar was blue – then they SWAPPED the colours around.

    It still buggers me up today…


  13. RCWhiting says:

    If colour blindness was such a concern when wiring plugs how come we all manage to cope with traffic lights?

  14. keriothe says:

    I was puzzled by b for brown too, and it’s really been annoying. Hope someone can figure it out!
    Thanks for the blog and explanations on a couple of others.
    @RCWhiting: if you’re colour blind the stop light is still the one at the top!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

− five = 3