Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2089

Posted by John on June 24th, 2012


A rare special on a non-competition day, which was a very pleasant exercise — I don’t remember seeing this type of crossword before and I found solving tricky, not for all the usual reasons but because I kept on having to read the preamble to remind myself of the difference between the Acrosses and the Downs. Much easier to blog than to solve, with all the moving between the two types.

In all the acrosses the answer which comes from the definition always has two consecutive similar letters and one has to enter the word with only a single letter there, as indicated by the cryptic part (as Azed calls it: some call it the wordplay or the subsidiary indication). In the down clues one has to double one of the letters, again according to the same rules.

I suspect Azed originally intended the special letters to spell out some message, because there are some successive letters that might originally have been parts of words, but he seems to have given up on this idea: it must have been hard enough just to fill the grid with the constraints he set himself. Unless there is something in SLSRLELTENSLWMELEACAREBEEAEOTTVOMA.

1 MA(SS)ICOT — (somatic)*
6 PA(LL)AS — p{erdition} alas
11 CARCA(SS) MEAT — c {s}arcasm eat
13 SCA(RR)E — 2 defs
14 PAE(LL)A — (leap)rev. a
15 TARGET(EE)R — tar (greet)*
17 BESTI(LL) — best il
18 RISO(TT)O — so in (roti)*
19 BR(EE)SE — coB RESEnts
21 CA(NN)EL — hurriCANE Lamps
23 E(SS)ENCE — {pr}esence
25 CAVA(LL)I — Ca vali{d}
28 SCRE(W-W)ORM — (cows err m)*
29 O(MM)ATA — Omaha with h instead of t
30 MENT(EE) — men te{aching}
31 CO(LL)ABORATE — 0 in (able actor)*
32 KR(EE)SE — ({W}esker)* — kreese = kris, used here in its even rarer verbal sense
33 SE(A A)STER — s Easter
1 MASTER(CC)LOCK — CCL in (mates rock)
2 ALC(AA)IC — (ac)rev. in laic — used here as a noun
3 SCA(RR)S — carr in SS
4 CR(EE)M — (Merc)rev. round E
5 TALE-(BB)EARER — (ebb ear) in (alert)*
7 AMASS(EE)D — am as seed
8 L(EE)ATS — (steel)rev. around a
9 (AA)LDI — A1 around (lad)*
10 STAHLHELM(EE)R — (halts)* helm eer
12 CATHOLIC(OO)S — (casco)* around (tholi C) — this seems the most extraordinary clue: to have the word ‘Catholic’ in the clue when the answer is so similar seems very odd; and it looks to me that there is a mistake here (although usually whenever I suspect this of Azed it’s me who is wrong, not Azed): it seems that he has (caoos) as an anagram of ‘casco’ — please tell me what I’ve missed
16 SONA(TT)AS — Nat in (sot as)
20 ECAR(TT)E — E (etc)* around art
22 A(VV)ALE — v{olcano} in (lava)rev. e
24 N(OO)NET — one in not, where one = me (near the end of the entry in Chambers)
26 A(MM)OR — ammo r — this is the familiar Latin word to which Azed refers at the end of the clues: amor is the Latin for love, and love conquers all
27 BEM(AA) — be Ma [be mother] a

14 Responses to “Azed 2089”

  1. sidey says:

    Thanks John. I kow what you mean about having to re-read the rubric. I caused myself dreadful trouble with 32a as a result.

    12d seems to be a clue Azed never quite finished. Perhaps we’ve both missed something.

  2. Matthew says:

    Thanks for the blog, John.

    I agree it would have been pretty hard to make the special letters spell out a message, but I think it would have been even harder to make there be no succesive letters that look like they could be parts of words.

    I think 12dn is supposed to be CATHOLI(CC)OS.

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Agree tricky but enjoyable.
    I wrote,in large capitals, across the River Cruise Ad.: CRYP = MODIFIED.
    I failed to get the CCL correct in 1d and therefore spent a long time unsuccessfully looking for LAVA?I for 25ac. Ah well.
    I agree with Matthew re: 12d but also with John that it was a very strange clue.

  4. Matthew says:

    I forgot to say that I took much longer to solve 1dn that I probably should have. Before I owned a copy of Chambers it would have been pretty obvious to me that 250 meant CCL, but now I know that 250 can mean E or K.

  5. claire says:

    Really enjoyed this, but can anyone explain 29a? I solved it fairly easily, but then had doubts because ‘Omaha’ is not an American State. Have I missed something?

  6. Norman Hall says:

    I also had 12d as catholiCCos.
    The first of the consecutive Cs is from Catholic, the second from *(casco)

  7. Norman Hall says:

    I missed Claire’s point about Omaha.

    Omaha is no more a State in America than Navan is a county in Ireland (ref. Azed 2082 26dn)

    Omaha in Nebraska.

    Well spotted.

  8. Norman Hall says:

    Why does Matthew say “now I know that 250 can mean E or K”?

  9. claire says:

    Norman – re E and K – both are given in Chambers as the notation for 250 in Medieval Roman numerals – I never knew that before. Aren’t dictionaries wonderful?

  10. sidey says:

    There was a bit of a run on those Medieval numerals a few years ago. I think most setters avoid them, thankfully.

  11. Nick says:

    I too was surprised I didn’t think about ‘Omaha’ not being a state… as when I solved the clue, no second thought at all.

    8dn took some time to parse correctly, as ‘leats’ and ‘leets’ are the same.


  12. Paul B says:

    Azed’s not the first to have made that error (slopes off in shame).

  13. John says:

    Yes of course it’s CATHOLI(CC)OS. I knew all along that Azed would prove to be correct. But it does seem that a mistake has been found, one that escaped me but shouldn’t have: Omaha is indeed not a state.

    As G.L. Heard points out in his Mephisto blog on Times for the Times, everyone involved with the Mephisto either as a setter or as a blogger is mentioned in the slip this month. So look out for ROCKET as a Mephisto answer some time soon. In my opinion Don Manley’s ‘Carpet here is beginning to look grotty? You could get cork tiles’ (comp. anag. less l) is as good as any of the quoted clues.

  14. Pelham Barton says:

    I only got round to this one today. A nice idea, so thanks Azed and John.

    1dn: This is either CCL in [(mates)* rock] or (mates)* + CCL in rock: I prefer the latter but there is not much to choose between them.

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=""> <strike> <strong>

eight − 1 =