Posted by ilancaron on 4th December 2011
Archive for the 'Azed' Category
Posted by John on 27th November 2011
Azed produces these specials on non-competition days from time to time. This is one of his regulars, none the worse for that.
Posted by Andrew on 20th November 2011
This was a fairly typical Azed for me, in that I solved about three-quarters of it fairly quickly and without aids (though with plenty of educated guesswork) but took a bit longer on the last few clues. I think there’s a mistake in 4dn.
Posted by The Trafites on 13th November 2011
Nick: Typical Azed competition crossword this week, being a tad more difficult than normal plain puzzles; 7½/10 on the Azedian hardness scale for me.
Posted by bridgesong on 6th November 2011
A very enjoyable puzzle this week, which I polished off on Sunday afternoon. There are two splendid & lit clues, as well as two hidden answers, both for rather longer words than usual. I am looking for suggestions at 4 down, where I can’t quite understand part of the clue. In case you’ve forgotten the puzzle, here’s a link to the pdf. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by duncanshiell on 30th October 2011
AZED has been compiling the Sunday barred crossword in The Observer for nearly 40 years and he continues to create a consistently challenging standard of puzzle.
Posted by ilancaron on 23rd October 2011
Posted by John on 16th October 2011
The usual thing: utterly sound clues and much struggling with words that one suspects will not for ever be retained by the Chambers Dictionary. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Andrew on 9th October 2011
“Wrong Number” is one of the older types of “special”, dating back at least to Ximenes. These puzzles can be hard to get started on, because you have to solve a lot of clues “cold” before the crossing letters start to be any help at all. My strategy, in combination with the advice given in the preamble, is to start by separating the clues according to the lengths of the answers. In this puzzle this reveals that there are six clues each with answers of lengths 4 to 9, meaning that the grid is rather unusual too: normally the distribution is less even.
Posted by The Trafites on 2nd October 2011
Nick: I found this quite a toughy this week, giving my rating of 8/10 on the Azedian hardness scale.
Posted by bridgesong on 25th September 2011
An exceptionally tough Azed this week, with a very high proportion of unfamiliar and downright obscure words. A knowledge of French was required for a couple of clues as well. I confess to not understanding the wordplay a couple of times, so your contributions are more than usually welcome. I made things more difficult for myself by failing to keep a copy of my completed grid, only realising afterwards that I was due to blog this puzzle. I attach a link to the pdf of the puzzle. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by duncanshiell on 18th September 2011
It seemed to me that this puzzle had more than the usual helping of everyday words, or words I have met in crosswords before such that I was able to solve a good deal of it without recourse to Chambers to check the meaning of entries.
Posted by ilancaron on 11th September 2011
Posted by John on 4th September 2011
As always an utterly satisfactory crossword from Azed. In several of these clues there is very neat wordplay, with words doing duty as different parts of speech according to whether they are in the definition or the subsidiary indication. It as usual took me plenty of time, but no more than usual, and there wasn’t that feeling of panic: I knew that sooner or later all would be done. And so far as I can see that was so. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Andrew on 28th August 2011
Azed last (and I think first) set a special of this kind in June 2008. Tilsit reported finding it very difficult (and I see from the comments that I did too), and I would say the same about this one. I think this is at least partly because of the very high proportion of relatively obscure words – I’d say getting on for two-thirds of the answers – though some of them were guessable from experience or (eventually) deducible from the wordplay and crossing letters. Ten pairs of mismatching intersections may not seem much out of a grid of 144 squares, but the stipulation that “no across or down word in the diagram is affected more than once” means that ten across and ten down answers have to be changed – more than half of both. My technique was to pencil in answers as I (quite slowly, and over several sessions) got them, and ink in the unaffected letters as I identified the mismatches. Because of the ambiguity of what the replacement letter should be (e.g. A/M could give either G or, by “treating the alphabet as cyclical”, T), I didn’t spot the “female forename” until I’d found almost all the intersections.