Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2121

Posted by duncanshiell on February 3rd, 2013


This was a a fairly standard plain Azed puzzle with his usual high quality cluing.




I was pleasantly surprised by how many clues I solved on the first run through without reference to the dictionary. The first across entry (SWING THE LEAD) and the last down one (TASS) showed Azed at his more whimsical where a bit of lateral thinking was required to unravel the wordplay.  

There was good mix of clue types with the fairly standard additive wordplay joined by ‘regular letters’, container and contents, compound anagrams and combinations of devices within a single clue.

The etymology at 22 down referred to in the preamble, related to the third entry for HOST in Chambers.

To me, the strangest word in today’s puzzle was HISN at 32 across

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



What smart shirker’ll do – do this and you may find he dealt (12, 3 words)


SWING THE LEAD (if you treat SWING as an anagram indicator and THE LEAD as the anagram fodder you can re-arrange the fodder to get HE DEALT)


SWING THE LEAD (to invent specious excuses to evade duties. What a smart shirker will do)




Language occurring regularly within our radius (4)


URDU (letters 2, 4, 6 and 8 [regularly] of OUR RADIUS)


URDU (the official literary language of Pakistan)




Pole skirts Austria, travelling (4)


ROD (pole, 5.5 yards) containing (skirts) A (International Vehicle Registration for Austria)

RO (A) D

ROAD (travelling – this is a definition under ROAD as a noun)




Inherently a wash-out, head being dismissed? (4,2 words)


RINSE (wash in clean water to remove traces of soap; wash-out) excluding the first letter (head being dismissed) R


IN SE (in itself; inherently)




Fag, thin, small and bright-eyed by the sound of it (5)


BEEDI (sounds like [by the sound of it] BEADY [small and bright {as eyes}; bright-eyed])


BEEDI (a cheap thin Indian cigarette, sometimes fruit-flavoured; fag,thin and small)




Gold-beaters’ requirement in footwear presented to HM (6)


SHOD (in footwear) + ER (Elizabeth Regina; Her Majesty)


SHODER ( set of skins in which gold leaf is beaten the second time)




Gable-end masonry somebody framed in ominous goblins (11)


ONE (somebody) contained in (framed in) BARGESTS (dog-like goblins portending death; ominous goblins)


BARGE-STONES (boards along the edge of a gable to cover the rafters and keep out rain)




Scotsman’s inner room mostly vacant?  It’s mentioned no longer (7)


BEN (Scottish word for the inner or better room of a house) + EMPTY (vacant) excluding the final letter (mostly) Y


BENEMPT (archaic [no longer] form of BENAMED [mentioned])




Isotope, abnormally hot and not regressive (6)

Anagram of (abnormally) HOT + (NOR [and not] reversed [regressive])


THORON (the radioactive isotope of radon given off by the decomposition of thorium)




A section of chestnut gardens in Jotunheim (6)


UTGARD (hidden word in [section of] CHESTNUT GARDENS)


UTGARD (Jotunheim, the home of the giants, is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology. Jotunheim is also known as UTGARD)




Senior corgi may be trained as this, ergo it bites (7)


SENIOR CORGI is a compound anagram (may be trained as) of INCISOR (this, in terms of the entry) and ERGO


INCISOR (a cutting tooth; it bites)




Yuletide symbol for kids, tin sleigh entangled with bits of coloured ribbon (11)


Anagram of (entangled) TIN SLEIGH and CR (first letters of [bits of] COLOURED and RIBBON)


CHRISTINGLE (a Christmas symbol for children, usually consisting of an orange containing a candle, with fruit and nuts and red paper or ribbon, representing Christ as the light of the world, its creation and His passion)




Got to know sailors in channel (6)


RN (Royal Navy; sailors) contained in (in) LEAT (a trench for bringing water to a millwheel, etc; channel)


LEARNT (got to know)




Small dwelling in varied set showing distinctive character (5)

HO (house; abbreviation for [small] HOUSE [dwelling]) contained in (in) an anagram of (varied) SET

ET (HO) S*

ETHOS (the distinctive habitual character and disposition of an individual, group, race, etc)




Court going round in yesteryear (4)


EYRE (reversed [going round] hidden word in YESTERYEAR)


EYRE (a journey or circuit; a court of itinerant justices in the late 12c and 13c)   This is a an &Lit clue.




Male hern? Its head tucked inside lower part of leg (4)


SHIN (forepart of the leg below the knee; lower part of leg) with S (first letter [head of]) positioned within the remaining letters [tucked inside])


HISN (the male form of HERN [both are dialectal form of his/hers, thine, mine)




Over in South Africa for flowers (4)


O (over; used in scoring notation in cricket) contained in (in) RSA (Republic of South Africa)

R (O) SA

ROSA (the rose genus; flowers)



Porticoes to knock in Scotland, unknown in English mansions (12)


DOD (Scottish word meaning ‘to knock’) + (Y [a letter commonly used to denote an unknown value in mathematics] contained in (in) [E {English} + CASTLES {large country mansions}] )


DODECASTYLES (porticoes built with twelve columns in front)





He’s employed by main contractor busy at work housing British (5)


Anagram of (at work) BUSY containing (housing) B (British)

SUB (B) Y  either B could be the one contained.

SUBBY (a subcontractor, especially one working for a main contractor in the construction industry)




A couple of articles penned by famous architect, once intertwined (8)


(A [indefinite article] + THE [definite article] giving a couple of articles) contained in (penned by) WREN (reference Sir Christopher WREN, architect of St Paul’s Cathedral in London)


WREATHEN (archaic [once] word meaning ‘intertwined’)




Commuting underground, about getting off, one uses one’s elbow (6)


Anagram of (commuting) UNDERGROUND excluding (getting off) ROUND (about)


NUDGER (one who gently pokes or pushes with the elbows)




Very serious complaint, endless, that is against being allowed in (8)


(IE [id est; that is] + V [versus; against]) contained in (being allowed in) (GROUSE [complaint] excluding the final letter [endless] E)


GRIEVOUS (very serious)




Sot’s turning to drink (4)


Anagram of (turning to) SOTS


TOSS (drink)




Dispatch which a stenographer is holding? (6)


HASTEN (hidden word in [is holding] WHICH A STENOGRAPHER)


HASTEN (hurry; dispatch)




Heraldic bearing, half-cut fleurs-de-lis surrounding one?

(LILIES [fleurs-de-lis] excluding the last three letters of six [half cut]) containing (surrounding) ONE


LIONEL (small lion used as a heraldic bearing)




‘Confined to a particular area’, denoting half within single stream moving upward (8)


DEMI (denoting half) contained in (within) (LANE [a division of a road for a single stream of traffic] reversed [moving upward; down clue])


ENDEMIAL (confined to a particular area)




Dead tree (except for stump) chopped up free of local charge (7)


Anagram of (chopped up) DEAD TREE excluding (except for) the final letter (stump; this is a down clue so DEAD TREE written vertically downward would have the last E acting as the stunp)


DERATED (relieved from paying local rates; free of local charge)




Spy having to skulk about for head of Met’s main office (informally) (8)


MOUCH (variant spelling of MOOCH [skulk about] replacing (for) Y (first letter of [head of] YARD (informal reference to Scotland YARD, headquarters of the Metropolitan Police [Met])


MOUCHARD (police spy)




Fruit with duck à la Francaise, a bit of tuck that’s nourishing (8)


NUT (any fruit with an edible seed in a hard shell) + RIEN (French for nothing [a duck is a zero score in cricket]; duck à la Francaise + T (first letter of [a bit of] TUCK)


NUTRIENT (any nourishing substance)




Standard narrow church screen (8)


PAR (standard) + CLOSE (narrow)


PARCLOSE (a screen or railing in a church enclosing an altar or tomb, or separating a chapel or other portion from the main body of the church)




Heard holding lines vibrato (7)


TRIED (heard [in a court of law]) containing (holding) LL (lines)


TRILLED (a sound produced by vibration; vibrato)




What makes ‘yes’ or ‘no’ emphatic in the US, putting one bishop in his place (6)


SEE (diocese, the circuit or extent of a bishop’s jurisdiction; also the bishop’s office; bishop’s place) containing (putting … in) (I [one] + RR [Right Reverend, the form of address for a bishop])


SIRREE (in the United States, a form of sir or sirrah used for emphasis, esp with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – YES SIRREE!)




Victim of Roman army on borders of Iberia (6)


HOST (army) + IA (first and last letters of [borders of] IBERIA)


HOSTIA (from the Latin, HOSTIA [a victim]; Roman victim)




Grand contestants, showing old-fashioned decorum (6)


G (grand) + ENTRY (people entered for a competition; contestants)


GENTRY (Shakesperean [old-fashioned] usage for good manners and courtesy; decorum)




‘Flat-tops’, as displayed by American in GIs’ dining hall (5)

A (American) contained in (in) MESS (a place where a group, often armed forces [possibly GIs] take their meals)


MESAS (flat-topped hills with steep sides, especially in the southwestern United States))




Country pile?  It’ll make guest think (4)


T AS S (replacing T with [as] S changes GUEST into GUESS [think])


TASS (dialect [rural; country] word for heap; country pile)


One Response to “Azed 2121”

  1. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I read 1ac and thought it looked solvable, a quick solve of 1d gave S and 1ac fell and we were off.
    It was somewhat easier than average but I was held up by ‘hisn’ and ‘tass’, the latter I could not parse, so thanks.
    Now I know I think I would rate 28d as a cclever clue.

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