Never knowingly undersolved.

Azed 2127 / Plain

Posted by duncanshiell on March 17th, 2013


Another 6 weeks has gone by and Azed falls to me to blog again.  It’s always a pleasure to do battle with Azed’s precise clues




Having said that, there did seem to be one clue that wasn’t quite right to me – the one that led to the entry VISION MIX at 24 across.  I have commented in more detail in the body of the blog. Of course, it is quite likely that I have totally misunderstood some aspect of the clue. Afternote: Perhaps not surprisingly, the general consensus is that I haven’t gone far enough with the interpretation of MINX which Chambers gives as an old version of cheeky playful girl or flirt. Thanks to Andrew, colin and Brian-with-an-eye’ at comments 1 to 3. At least everyone agrees that the entry is 2 words. 

That clue aside, I thought  the rest of the clues were fine and led to entries that were all representative of Azed’s comprehensive command of the English language and the dictionaries that reference it.  There were certainly some non-standard spellings, but they were all well supoorted by the wordplay (TIFT, 14 across,  HOOTNANNIE, 20 across  and BORTSCH, 1 down are three that come to mind)

I liked the double use of book in the clue and entry to 1 across, BOSCHBOK

There were two clues, side by side (29 and 30 across) that both used the concept of ‘opposite’, but I suppose if they had appeared as 1 across and 25 down I wouldn’t have noticed.

I noticed two &Lit clues , both in the down clues – KORERO (6 down) and CORSAGE (20 down).  I thought the one for CORSAGE was the best.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry



Schoolbook kept in reserve showing antelope (8)


(SCH [school] + B [book]) contained in (kept in) BOOK (reserve)


BOSCHBOK (variant spelling of BUSHBUCK [small South African antelope])




Musician, not flat in two parts, yet producing awful old racket (4)


FLAUTIST (musician) excluding (not) (FLA + T [the letters of FLAT drawn from two parts of FLAUTIST)


UTIS (Shakesperean [old] word for din [awful racket])




Creation? Old artist introduces three about love (8)


O (old) + RA (Royal Academician [artist]) + (TRIO [three] containing [about] O [love])


ORATORIO (Joseph Haydn’s ‘Creation’ is an example of an ORATORIO)




New in post, unpleasantly wet (4)


N (new) contained in (in) DAK (in India the mail-post)

DA (N) K

DANK (unpleasantly wet)




Notoriety‘ marker attached to bar (9)


FLAG (marker) + RANCE (bar)


FLAGRANCE (notoriety)




Pet dram? Supposing that’s swallowed by one who shouldn’t (4)


IF (supposing) contained in TT (teetotaler [one who shouldn’t partake of a dram {of whisky}])

T (IF) T

TIFT (variant spelling of TIFF [slight quarrel; pet])




Card game – game secured when king’s captured (4)


BAG (the quantity of fish or game secured) containing (captured) R (Rex; king)

B (R) AG

BRAG (card game like poker)




Those at uni (valued male intake) (9)


STUD (sexually potent stallion valued for breeding purposes; valued male) + ENTRY (intake)


STUDENTRY (collectively describing people learning at university [or college, school etc])




Company repaired old china showing type of fracture (10)

CO (company) + an anagram of (repaired) OLD CHINA


CONCHOIDAL (shell-like, applied to a fracture like that seen in glass)




Crazily hot on girl displaying thingamy (10)


Anagram of (crazy) HOT ON + ANNIE (girl’s name)


HOOTNANNIE (one of many spellings of HOOTENANNY [thingummy in US dialect])




TV camera technician beautiful girl, name-dropping old flirt (9)


I’m not sure what’s going on here; it looks to me as if we have bits of two clues for different versions of the same idea.

We have VISION (could just about be a definition for ‘beautiful’ alone, but could also be a definition for ‘beautiful girl’) + (MINX [cheeky or playful young girl] excluding [dropping] N [name])

The ‘old flirt’ is a bit of a problem.  MASHER is a word meaning ‘flirt’, so ther may been some thought about replacing ASH with IX to lead to MIXER.

You will see that I am clutching at straws here.  Probably I have missed something very basic and look forward to be told what it is I have missed.

VISION MIX (the definition ‘TV camera technician’ refers to a VISION MIXER [two words].  Chambers also gives VISION MIX [two words] as a separate entry, but doesn’t define it)




Scotsman’s down and out, taking pound at head? (5)

LOOSE (free; at large; out) excluding (taking) L (pound [weight])


OOSE (Scottish word for fluff; nap; down)




See palm for biographical summary (4)


V (vide, Latin for see) + ITA (the miriti palm)


VITA (curriculum vitae; biographical summary)




Mum in grip of drastic trembling, emoting wildly (9)


MA (mother; mum) contained in (in grip of) an anagram of (trembling) DRASTIC


DRAMATICS (a show of excessive, exaggerated emotion; emoting wildly)




Climb down – come, quite the opposite (4)


UP (opposite of down) + GO (opposite of come) giving ‘quite the opposite of ‘down – come’


UPGO (climb)




Scriptural critic touchy about companion?  The opposite (8)


MATE (companion) containing (about) SORE (touchy) giving the opposite of ‘touchy about companion ‘


MASORETE (a compiler of the MASORA [a collection of critical notes on the text of the Old Testament]; scriptural critic)




Nut tree, red leaves clipped (4)


SHEARED (clipped) excluding (leaving) RED


SHEA (an African nut tree)




Called up one’s mum, distraught with dad (no notice given)

Anagram of (distraught) (ONE’S MUM and [DAD excluding [no] AD [advertisement; notice])


SUMMONED (called up)





Rough diamond’s brought to court-house in the soup (7)


BORTS (coarse [rough] diamonds) + CH (court house)


BORTSCH (variant spelling of BORSCH or BORSCHT [Russian and Polish beetroot soup)




Man in battered RR, not hip, bird-like figure (12)


HOMO (man generically) contained in (in) an anagram of (battered) RR NOT HIP


ORNITHOMORPH (a figure in the shape of a bird)




American female in matching outfit without it? This is more appropriate for Chinese woman (5)


(AM [American] + F [female]) contained in (in) (SUIT [matching {trousers or skirt} and jacket] excluding [without] IT)

S (AM F) U

SAMFU (an outfit worn by Chinese women, consisting of a jacket and trousers.)




Concoction of phenol that’s given relief in former days (6)


Anagram of (concoction of) PHENOL


HOLPEN (archaic [in former days] past tense of HELP [give relief])




Pan or pair of cups as a precaution (9)


BRA (brasierre; pair of cups) + IN CASE (in order to make safe; as a precaution)


BRAINCASE  (pan can be defined as a shallow container, such as the upper part of the skull [BRAINPAN])




What’ll start Kiwis off, ranting eternally re Oz? (6)


KORERO (first letters of [what”ll start] KIWIS OFF RANKING ETERNALLY RE OZ)


KORERO (New Zealand word for a talk or discussion)  My experience of listening to a few antipodeans is that Australians and New Zealanders enjoy denigrating the other’s nation in general terms.  &Lit clue  




Ran amok with flood enveloping race track (7, 2 words)


TIDE (flood) containing (enveloping) an anagram of (amok) RAN


TAN RIDE (a riding track laid with tan)




Cripple a panic disturbed, name receiving cheers (12)


Anagram of (disturbed) A PANIC + (CITE [name] containing [receiving] TA [thankyou; cheers])


INCAPACITATE (disable; cripple)




Essential in case of risk, e.g. getting stabilizer of a kind (5)


SKEGG (hidden word in [essential in case of] RISK E.G. GETTING)


SKEGG (a stabilizing fin projecting from the underside at the rear of a surfboard or sailboard)




Gentile’s faith of old hidden in mini-chest (9)


Anagram of (hidden in) MINI-CHEST


ETHNICISM (gentile religion)




Graces bust – cache for love-letter (7)


Anagram of (bust) GRACES containing (cache for) O


CORSAGE (a small bouquet to be worn on the bodice or waist of a woman’s dress or elsewhere; the bodice or waist of a woman’s dress)  Something will indeed grace a bust and provide a cache for love-letters.  &Lit




Lord cuddling wife, irritated, put out of joint (7)


LD (Lord) containing (cuddling) (UX [wife] + ATE [irritated])


LUXATED (put out of joint)




Rear peeled off confusing upcoming special Turkish troops (6)


(MAZING [confusing] excluding [peeled off] the final letter [rear] G) all reversed (upcoming; down clue) + S (special)


NIZAMS (Turkish soldiers)




Corporal maybe making name at head of highlanders’ attack, dishing English (6)


N (name) + ONCOME (Scottish word ‘a coming on'; highlanders’ attack) excluding (dishing) E (English)


NONCOM (non-commissioned officer; a Cor[oral is an example of a NONCOM)




The way tot takes in party, from the bottom up (5)


(SUM [tot] containing [takes in] DO [party]) all reversed (from the bottom up; down clue)

(M (OD) US)<

MODUS (the way in which anything works)




Chaps imbibing one over the eight in malodorous heap (5)


MEN (chaps) containing (imbibing) (IX [roman numerals for 9 [one over the eight])


MIXEN (dunghill; malodorous heap)


4 Responses to “Azed 2127 / Plain”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks Duncan. For “minx”, Chambers gives “(old) a cheeky or playful young girl”, which I think gives the “old flirt”, preceded by VISION for “beautiful girl”.

  2. colin says:

    Thanks Duncan and Azed.

    I agree with Andrew’s interpretation. “Minx” used to be a fairly common term for a so-called “loose woman”. I suppose “slut” would be the modern equivalent. David Hume famously used it in his rhetorical question about the virgin birth: “Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?”

    I had trouble justifying “corsage” having missed the double meaning of “graces” so thanks for your explanation.

  3. Brian-with-an-eye says:

    Not much to add – I agree with Andrew and Colin on 24a (which should have been clued as “2 words”, surely) – but wanted to thank you, Duncan, for the clear and detailed explanations you always give. I find them particularly helpful with Azed as it’s been a week since the crossword appeared and it’s useful to have a reminder of the clues.

  4. duncanshiell says:

    Thanks to everyone for helping me out on the parsing of 24 across

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