AZED CROSSWORD 2014
1. R. J. Heald: Take the lead in Cinderella, playing girl who works in rags (ang. incl. C).
2. R. Hesketh: Daily woman runs in out of kitchen with tea freshly made (anag. less in).
3. Dr J. Burscough: Sort editing Heat, OK, etc (not Observer’s head)? (anag. less O; magazines with female editors).
D. K. Arnott: Coat not opening – secured by the careless squeeze of a press stud, perhaps ((j)acket in anag.).
E. Dawid: She might produce endless cheeky tat in rags (anag. less y, & lit.).
N. C. Dexter: E.g. Whitehorn? Kath involved with the most frequent feature in The Observer, etc (anag. incl. e, & lit.).
R. Gilbert: Edit Heat, OK, etc? If out of ordinary, she might (anag. less o).
J. Guiver: Press female cheek at tango dance (anag. incl. t).
Dr C. P. Hales: Take the carbon out – she can file copy (anag. incl. C).
D. V. Harry: E.g. K. Adie (Kate), a watcher getting broadcast when a war breaks out (anag. less a war).
M. Hodgkin: Woman reporting husband getting Man’s Prize in ‘fruit’ from WI (h + TT in ackee; ref. IOM race).
J. C. Leyland: Starts off cub, hopes to rank with Kate Adie ultimately? (anag. incl. c, h, t, e, & lit.).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: She performs organ work, the fugal parts containing a lot of notes not to be played softly ((p)acket in anag.).
D. F. Manley: Wily —— could be Watt, cheekily dissembling (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. Holly W. pretending to be constituent of V. Cable).
P. D. Martin: Chick lacking style etc. possibly contributing to edition of Heat? (anag. less chic, & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Job for which Rook’s no longer first in the running ((r)acket in anag., & lit.; ref. Jean R., former ‘first lady of Fleet Street’).
R. J. Palmer: Take the coalition’s leading character with artifice? One did (anag. incl. c; take = cheat, deceive; ref. V. Cable).
A. Plumb: Take the tattered clothing around for rag-woman? (c. in anag.).
D. Price Jones: Rook perhaps has carrion nabbed by feral he-cat (ket in anag.; ref. Jean R.).
P. L. Stone: Filly on paper is the pick, punter ignoring outsiders (hack + (b)ette(r)).
P. Taylor: Take the scrap of cloth out for rag woman? (anag. incl. c).
J. R. Tozer: Wade, perhaps, having abandoned ketch at shore’s edge (anag. + e; ref. Rebekah W., former editor of the ‘Sun’).
L. Ward (USA): Done with what’s left of creases, take the skirt from the press (anag. incl. c; skirt = woman).
T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barley, J. Biggin, J. G. Booth, C. Boyd, A. W. Brooke, C. J. Brougham, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, A. & J. Calder, D. A. Campbell, C. A. Clarke, E. Cross, Mrs P. Diamond, V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, D. D. Freund (USA), P. D. Gaffey (Ireland), J. Glassonbury, M. Goodliffe, G. I. L. Grafton, Mrs E. Greenaway, J. Grimes, P. F. Henderson (New Zealand), J. P. Lester, M. Livesey, K. Manley, P. W. Marlow, L. Marzillier (USA), P. McKenna, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, R. S. Morse, C. Ogilvie, F. R. Palmer, D. Parfitt, M. L. Perkins, Dr T. G. Powell, J. T. Price, D. Raine, Mrs L. J. Roberts, B. Roe, Dr S. J. Shaw, A. J. Shields, N. G. Shippobotham, K. Thomas, A. Vick, J. Vincent, P. P. Voogt, A. J. Wardrop, N. Warne, A. Whittaker.
264 entries, no mistakes. Favourite clue (of 18 receiving one mention or more) was ‘What nobleman may have – land (one might suppose) round Britain?’ for DUKESHIP. (The fact that my slightly off-colour clue to SA-SA was your second favourite says something about the broad-mindedness of Azed solvers!). And I must add a correction to Mr Henderson’s VHC clue to BLOATING in the Christmas slip, which should have read ‘Complaint of sheep, say, with energy going to zero’. One regular protested quite strongly about PBUH, on the grounds that it is an abbreviation and should have been described as such. Well yes, though I did indicate this to some extent in the clue, which began ‘Characters following the Prophet …’. Since Chambers integrated its abbreviations appendix into the main body of the dictionary some time ago, I have taken the liberty of occasionally including them (and not just acronyms) as puzzle entries, and fail to see anything particularly heinous in this.
A good and lively entry, marred only by an unaccountable proliferation of over-complex clues. Such offerings were usually quite sound but the fact that I had to read them several times to understand their structure was a sure indication that they would present an unfairly tough challenge to the solver. (I’m sorry I can’t quote examples, but the authors will probably know which I mean.) HACKETTE appears to have been coined in the 1970s by Private Eye (50 years old this year), their archetype in ‘the Street of Shame’ being Glenda Slagg, ‘famously changeable and excitable’ according to Francis Wheen, who should know, being deputy editor of that esteemed organ. It was important in cluing the word, I felt, to indicate that it denotes a woman and, if an actual female journalist was used, to make it clear that she was an example of a hackette, not the only one. I should add that a number of you who opted for Kate Adie misspelt her as Adey.
At this time of year I breathe a sigh of relief after judging three competitions in quick succession. With nothing further to add this time I’ll leave it there, enjoy the break before the February comp, and press ahead with setting puzzles further into the new year. In conclusion I must acknowledge my continuing gratitude to Brian Head who so promptly and efficiently deals with the printing and mailing of the slip to subscribers.