Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2097 / Terse Verse – 12 August 2012

Posted by duncanshiell on August 19th, 2012

duncanshiell.

The preamble stated:  "Each couplet contains both a definition (one or more words) and a mixture of the letters (beginning at the beginning or ending at the end of a word in the clue) of the two words indicated by the clue numbers (in the correct order).  Both indications of the first word precede both indications of the second.  In each case either definition or letter-mixture may come first"

Definition and letter mixture clues always strike me as being more difficult for the compiler to write than for the solver to solve.  Often odd words leap out of the clues to help the solver.  Also, as solving progresses, the crossing letters in the grid help the solver locate the likely letters for the letter-mixtures within the clues.   Having said that, Azed produces fairly smooth surfaces where the anagram fodder does not always leap out of the clue.

The words that leapt out at me were GARISH REDS in 15a, IS COULIS GREASY in 22a, UNHOLY GOO in 26a, SADDER STY in 30a, UGLY SINDH in 4d, COOL UNMUSICAL in 13d and DOCILE CAT in 19d.  Solving the anagrams in these clues and confirming them with the definitions gave me a good foothold in the grid, and the solve then progressed fairly steadily to the end.

For me, this puzzle was not as challenging or satisfying as a standard Azed puzzle, or as difficult as some of his other non-standard puzzles.  I am sure though that many solvers will have enjoyed this very much, and I reiterate my admiration of the ability to compile clues of this nature.

Across      
No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1, 7

‘Pop music’s palm? That Abba’s surely won’

In chunk of text a rapturous paper’s run? (7,4)

‘Pop music’s palm? That ABBA’S SUrely won’

In chunk of text A RAPturous paper’s run? (7,4)

BABASSU (a Brazilian palm)

PARA (paragraph; chunk of text)

10, 11

I see a sharp truncation of a word

E.g. snips off whence snaps appear, some blurred (10,4)

I SEE A SHARP truncation of a word

E. G SNips off whence snaps appear, some blurred (10,4)

APHAERESIS (the taking away of a sound or syllable at the beginning of a word; truncation of a word)

NEGS (photographic negatives; whence snaps appear)

12, 14

The spinner bowls – a major skill to praise

Informed the duel puckish Swann displays (6,7)

The spinner bowls – a MAJOR Skill to praise

Informed the DUEL PUCkish Swann displays (6,7)

JORAMS (large drinking bowls)

CLUED-UP ([well-]informed)

15, 18

Work in a salon garish reds inspire;

The critics flap – while in the salon, ire (12,7)

Work in a salon GARISH REDS INspire;

The critics flap – while in the sALON, IRE (12,7)

HAIRDRESSING (the occupation of a hairdresser; work in a salon)

AILERON (a flap on an aeroplane wing tip for lateral balancing;

20,22

The recipe should airy be, yet plain;

Is coulis greasy? That would be profane (7,12)

THE RECIpe should airy be, yet plain;

IS COULIS GREAsy? That would be profane (7,12)

ETHERIC (ethereal; airy)

SACRILEGIOUS (profane)

24, 26

We search (loss feared of stones with blackish hue)

Where eggers are at home – unholy goo! (7,6)

We seaRCH (LOSS feared of stones with blackish hue)

Where eggers are at home – unhOLY GOO! (7,6)

SCHORLS (black tourmaline[a beautiful mineral of complex and varying composition]; stones with blackish hue)

OOLOGY (the science or study of birds’ eggs; where eggers are at home)

27, 28

A book on ethics needs a quiet spot -

Read Russell set that no completion got? (4,10)

A boOK ON ethics needs a quiet spot

Read RUSSELL SET that no completion got? (4,10)

NOOK (a secluded retreat; a quiet spot)

RESULTLESS (without an outcome; no completion got)

29, 30

This set of piggies, squelching by and by,

Came here direct from yonder sadder sty (4,7)

This SET Of piggies, squelching by and by,

Came here direct from yonder SADDER Sty (4,7)

TOES (piggies is a child’s word for TOES)

ADDRESS (direct, as a verb)

Down      
No. Clue Wordplay Entry
1, 2

A judge’s seat most lucrative can be -

He made a lot and ended a grandee (4,10)

A judge’s seat most lucrative CAN Be -

He mADE A LOT AND ended a grandee (4,10)

BANC (the judges’ bench; judge’s seat)

ADELANTADO (grandee)

3, 4

The bougainvillaeas dread this fearsome wind

That’s oft, atremble, battered ugly Sindh (6,12)

The BOUGAInvillaeas dread this fearsome wind

That’s oft, atremble, batteRED UGLY SINDH (6,12)

BAGUIO (hurricane; wind or even fearsome wind)

SHUDDERINGLY (shiveringly; atremble)

5, 6

Auras impress this man in martial kit;

In best gold riches he’s obliquely lit (7,12)

AURAS IMpress this man in martial kit;

In beST GOLD RICHES he’s obliquely lit (7,12)

SAMURAI (a military retainer of a feudal Japanese nobleman; man in martial kit)

CROSS-LIGHTED ( lit from a direction that makes an angle with that of another light, and which illuminates additional parts or regions; obliquely lit)

7, 8

This book, dear reader, is a super read,

As dear as rubies, fit for banks indeed! (7,4)

This book, dear reader, is a SUPER REad,

As deAR AS rubies, fit for banks indeed! (7,4)

PERUSER (reader)

ÅSAR (kames; eskers; banks)

9, 13

The lady sings a song, refers to pal:

‘So cyclopic, so cool, unmusical’ (7,10)

The lady SINGS A Song, refers to pal:

‘So cyclopic, SO COOL, UNMUsical’ (7,10)

ASSIGNS (refers)

MONOCULOUS (one-eyed; cyclopic [related to the one-eyed monster Cyclops])

16, 17

The best prose should both challenge and amuse;

What’s risky offers little help or use (7,7)

The BEST PROse should both challenge and amuse;

What’s risky offers little heLP OR USE (7,7)

BESPORT (disport; amuse)

PERLOUS (perilous; risky)

19, 21

My docile cat lay on the freezing ground,

More somnolent than moody, I soon found (7,6)

My DOCILE Cat lay on the freezing ground,

MORE SOmnolent than moody, I soon found (7,6)

ICE-COLD (freezing)

MOROSE (sullen; moody)

23, 25

Selected athletes weep and more besides -

They kiss their fellow runners just like brides (4,4)

SELEcted athletes weep and more besides -

They KISS their fellow runners just like brides (4,4)

ELSE (besides)

SKIS (runners)

3 Responses to “Azed 2097 / Terse Verse – 12 August 2012”

  1. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    “Definition and letter mixture clues always strike me as being more difficult for the compiler to write than for the solver to solve. ”

    I agree with every word you have written,Duncan.In fact I had mentally composed my contribution before coming here and I then found your comments quite uncanny to read.
    I think our view applies even more to the rhymes which add nothing whatsoever to the solving but presumable make an extra challenge for the setter.
    Like any Azed this provided a pleasant interlude on a Sunday but I would prefer a plain puzzle anytime.

  2. Norman L in France says:

    Thanks, Duncan.
    I agree with you and RCW on this. They must be difficult to set, but are at the (very) easy end of the scale for solving. None leapt out at me, but all the four-letter solutions went in first, and then it was plain sailing (as plain as it can be with some of the words used, of course). I did have SIDE in 23 for a while, though, with Selected athletes as the definition and the last 4 letters of Besides as the mix.

  3. RCWhiting says:

    Just as an illustration of how much easier these are: before I had sipped my coffee I saw ‘work in a salon’ which with the obvious letter mix gave me an enormous starting boost.

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