AZED CROSSWORD 1437
1. N. C. Dexter: Attachment to branches – uncommonly to ilex stem – yielding a kiss (anag. less x, & lit.).
2. D. F. Manley: New Morse title, Dexter’s last to emerge – get it for Christmas for a few smackers (anag. less r; smacker = kiss/pound).
3. E. A. Beaulah: Changing times allow none within what was sacred to Druidism (let 0 in anag.; ref Stonehenge).
C. J. Brougham: Snatching smacker, set to, bursting with energy … under me! (mi + L (pound) in anag. incl. E, & lit.).
E. J. Burge: Moët? It’s the French bottled stuff attracting Christmas smackers (anag. incl. le).
C. J. & M. P. Butler: What may generate some smackers? Refurbished semi to let (anag.).
C. A. Clarke: A seasonal excuse for ‘Brief Encounter’? A film on old-fashioned restraint, love and the essential character of the English (mist + let2 + 0 + E).
D. J. Dare-Plumpton: Wanting a bit of a plonker? This could help make lips to meet (anag. less p, & lit.).
E. Dawid: Kiss under this could unite bird with former boyfriend (mistle to e(x), & lit.).
H. Freeman: Hemi-parasite to elm when entwined (anag. incl. (para)site, & lit.).
Mrs S. D. Johnson: Settle? Moi? Better, I sponge off hosts and hang around for the season (anag.).
M. Jones: Item lots drunkenly start to embrace under? (anag. + e, & lit.).
F. P. N. Lake: It’s what puts the ‘X’ in Xmas – so let it work when yours truly’s around! (anag. in me).
J. R. C. Michie: Fix this up top and you could find lips pout to meet! (comp. anag., & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Labour most elite: bussing’s sometimes beneath it (anag.; ref J. Prescott).
J. Mortleman: A touch of embracing under spray of it melts amour’s heart (o in anag. + e, & lit.).
W. Murphy: Exceptional semi to let – this should draw some smackers (anag.).
F. R. Palmer: It’s no longer needed to pull a bird? Sounds like bird’ll do the pulling! (‘miss’ll tow’).
R. G. Smith: Omelette is being whisked, but bit of eggshell needing removal: try a spoon under it (anag. less e).
Dr I. Torbe: Parasitic growth got from foul toilets in Middle East (anag. in ME).
A. J. Wardrop: Diminutive spray, perhaps, seen over Noel with outer bits removed (i.e. mist-let + (N)oe(l), & lit.).
W. Anderson, M. Barley, J. R. Beresford, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, J. M. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, B. Butler, D. A. Campbell, P. Cargill, K. J. Crook, E. Cross, G. Cuthbert, V. Dixon, A. J. Dorn, C. M. Edmunds, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, Dr I. S. Fletcher, M. Freeman, P. D. Gaffey, Ms R. Gardiner, B. Grabowski, R. R. Greenfield, C. R. Gumbrell, R. J. Hannam, R. J. Heald, Mrs B. E. Henderson, T. Jacobs, G. Johnstone, M. D. Laws, C. J. Lowe, R. K. Lumsdon, D. W. Mackie, Mrs J. Mackie, P. W. Marlow, Mrs C. M. McGraw, Dr E. J. Miller, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, R. A. Robinson, J. H. Russell, M. Sanderson, D. P. Shenkin, N. G. Shippobotham, D. A. Simmons, R. Stocks, P. L. Stone, J. Tebbutt, K. Thomas, J. R. Tozer, L. Ward, R. J. Whale, Ms B. Widger, G. H. Willett, D. C. Williamson, R. Zara.
357 entries, and no mistakes except for a few failures to complete the diagram. As I’ve said before, it is worth spending a couple of minutes checking your grid to make sure that you’ve solved every clue and not inadvertently misspelt any of your answers. There were no special problems with any of my clues this month, the consensus being that it was a relatively easy puzzle. MISTLETOE also proved quite a friendly word. The main problem seemed to be to produce a clue whose definition wasn’t too obvious, especially with reference to the use of mistletoe as Christmas decoration and for kissing under. Those who perceived this and made the effort to disguise their definition accordingly scored extra points with the judge. I must be brief this month, having two further competitions to judge in quick succession (both specials). I am grateful to those of you who wrote to the editor of the Observer about the positioning of the puzzle. He sent me a pleasantly reassuring reply to mine, stressing the value he placed on AZED as a regular feature of the paper, and explaining his intention to give it a permanent slot on the back page of the Business section and at the foot of the page for easy folding. He doesn’t favour having it near Everyman in case there are families in which different members want to solve the two puzzles separately. As I write we have still not been given our new home, so my fingers remain crossed. At least we have a sizeable amount of space. My wife joins me in thanking you for the many cards and messages of greeting we’ve received from Azed solvers in the run-up to Christmas and the new year. Our best wishes to you all, and happy solving in 2000 and beyond!