AZED CROSSWORD 146
1. Dr G. B. Greer: They may be made up by dear Azed each Xmas (deduction of first and second parts required) (ar, ed, ch, as anag. & lit.).
2. J. R. Kirby: ‘Amateur Dramatics’, leads from which are used in sporting search for required word (A, D in anag.).
3. D. A. Nicholls: Freeze? No, no place for that, but unions must help our problems (char Ades; ref. miners’ strike).
VHC (extra prizes)
R. B. Adcock: What might transport vulgar party? – acts with nothing censored! (chara, d(o)es & lit.).
Col P. S. Baines: Techniques, said Torquemada, without question quite mad, can literally compose these playful puzzles (anag. less anag.).
E. A. Beaulah: Seasonal offering from arch-Sade! (anag.).
E. Chalkley: What solver could do on Sunday after absorbing the original and latest of Azed’s puzzles (A, d in chare + S).
J. Coleby: Puzzles that may involve a search, including the opening of a dictionary (anag. incl. d).
R. Dean: Word puzzles from the dailies left one lost! (char(l)ad(i)es).
Cdr H. H. L. Dickson: Hostess might suggest these, having had races disastrously (anag.).
B. Franco: With diversification, this strict pastime could produce capers at Christmas-tide (comp. anag. & lit.).
N. Gambier: Party games turn House of Commons upside down – rioting as a red succeeds (HC (rev.) + anag.).
W. F. Goodman: Initially Chambers’s has ‘acted riddles’ as definition – enough said! (first letters).
D. V. Harry: An intellectual game almost, in which unit follows unit sequentially (a rad in ches(s) & lit.).
R. Jacks: In which to find tea and sin’s result in teasin’s (char, Ades & lit.; teasings).
A. H. Jones: Party contest read about in Dickens, perhaps. At Eatanswill? More likely Dingley Dell (anag. in Chas.; ref ‘Pickwick Papers’, trial and Xmas party).
Miss R. M. Kettlewell: Seasonal entertainment (?) provided by Arch-Sade (anag.).
A. Lawrie: Bomb scare had to cause diversions (anag.).
J. P. Lester: Sporting a card he’s acting at party level (anag.).
D. F. Manley: Drama in tea commercial – apes dropping a piano (char ad (ap)es; ref. PG Tips TV commercial).
Miss G. M. May: Here’s something ‘To Mum at Christmas’. Guess what. Cash, dear, well wrapped up (anag.).
D. P. M. Michael: Azed heartlessly in tortuous search for word plays (A(ze)d in anag.).
W. L. Miron: May be riddles as heard after start of cracker-pulling (c + anag. & lit.; riddle vt.).
C. J. Morse: With puzzles like these Azed heartlessly interrupts the housework (A(ze)d in chares, & lit.).
R. J. Palmer: In which a word, finally, is to be found in merry search (anag. incl. a, d & lit.).
D. A. Smith: Initially concealed herein, answers reappear after defining each syllable (first letters & lit.).
L. H. Stewart: Developers, merging small plots into bigger ones for the purpose of speculation, had acres for reconstruction (anag.).
Rev C. D. Westbrook: After tea one has some in the salon, perhaps, about the end of December (r in cha, a, des (Fr.) & lit.).
C. E. Williams: Party games after tea – Boston tea parties we hear (cha + raids, U.S. pronunciation).
D. C. Williamson: Riddles are to be found in crashed crackers (a in anag.).
C. Allen Baker, W. G. Arnott, J. C. Barnes, T. E. Bell, Mrs K. Bissett, Miss M. P. Blackburn, E. J. Burge, C. O. Butcher, R. S. Caffyn, K. D. Campbell, A. E. Crow, G. Cuthbert, W/Cdr D. C. Dawes, A. L. Dennis, H. F. Dixon, J. A. Fincken, P. D. Gaffey, D. A. Ginger, J. J. Goulstone, N. L. Hindley, S. Holgate, P. Hunter, G. Johnstone, C. L. Jones, R. W. Killick, J. H. C. Leach, Mrs S. M. Macpherson, L. K. Maltby, L. May, B. L. Meek, T. N. Nesbitt, F. E. Newlove, W. H. Pegram, M. L. Perkins, N. A. Perkins, H. L. Rhodes, W. Rodgers, L. G. D. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, D. H. Smith, M. D. Speigel, T. A. J. Spencer, J. R. Stocks, Brig R. F. E. Stoney, F. B. Stubbs, J. G. Stubbs, J. B. Sweeting, D. J. Thorpe, R. H. Tillcock, Mrs M. P. Webber, J. F. N. Wedge, A. J. Young.
About 530 entries, with few mistakes in the diagram. Not everyone deduced CHARADES from BURN/HELL and I had a few clues to GLOW-WORM and SUN-SHADE among other even less likely alternatives. One competitor also suggested TAN-PIT, TOAST-RACK and GILLRAVAGE as possibles, though as none of these has eight letters they could safely be ruled out. As an innovation this new special seems to have been very popular even though my extra assistance in the form of ‘helpful hints’ and unchecked letters made it possible to complete the diagram without solving all the charades. I think I was in an extra-generous mood, it being Christmas. Certainly the size of entry was gratifying.
By contrast I was disappointed that more of you didn’t produce clues incorporating the format of a game of charades in some way, like Mr. Jacks’s above. I confess that I haven’t tried it myself and perhaps it was too difficult. What did emerge was a rich crop of ‘multiple anagram’ clues, such as those of Col Baines and Mr. Franco. I don’t know why this should be, unless it has anything to do with a rather bad-tempered article by Don Putnam in the latest issue of Games and Puzzles on what he calls the ‘Quarrelsome Whale’ type of clue, quoting an early example by Afrit: ‘You could make this whale seem quarrelsome, but hold it up by its tail and it begins to laugh.’ Mr. Putnam proceeds to belabour an unnamed group of crusty dyed-in-the-wool crossword setters who are not imaginative enough to accept such an innovation. For my part I find Afrit’s clue quite acceptable, except for the last twelve words, which strike me as superfluous. I would make only two general comments by way of proviso. The anagrams formed should not be too long, resulting almost inevitably in loss of neatness. And clear indication should be given that additions and subtractions are in jumbled form when, as usual, this is the case. Oh, and if you’re still at a loss, it’s RORQUAL.
I can’t promise a CHARADES puzzle every Christmas, despite Dr Greer’s (very good) clue. It took even longer to construct than most specials. But it can clearly take its place in the repertoire.
Finally. warmest congratulations to Mr (now Sir) C. J. Morse for his knighthood in the New Year Honours. He has over the years been a most regular and successful competitor in Ximenes and Azed puzzles and how he finds time to do this while battling with the problems of international currency is a puzzle in itself. Dare I suggest that the two are complementary?