AZED CROSSWORD 2325
1. Dr I. S. Fletcher: Murray’s first since old number one Perry associated with court (M + as + o + n; ref. Fred P., Perry Mason).
2. M. Barley: I’ve work to do, cutting stone put on after topping Christmas ((X)mas + on; topping = excellent).
3. J. C. Leyland: With year out, see many leading characters on showbiz obit list, e.g. Perry, James (anag. incl. s, o less y; ref. Jimmy Perry, scriptwriter, Perry M., James M.).
D. Appleton: Stoneworker starts to maintain ancient structure on Naxos – ends in media storm when portico collapses in ruins (first letters, anag. of last letters).
T. C. Borland: Cutting individual, as engaged by Solomon? (as in (Solo)mon, & lit.; ref. building of S’s temple).
C. J. Brougham: Chiseller accumulating money by crime runs away (m + a(r)son).
Dr J. Burscough: Mansion crumbling? Get me in (comp. anag. & lit.).
W. Drever: I’m a stone ‘master’, when item needs to be cut (I’m a stone M less item, & lit.).
D. V. Harry: Builder’s bum, top parts of nates showing over man’s attire (anag. of first letters).
R. J. Heald: Among leading characters of Moore is a ‘Saint’ by name Templar? (a S in Mo(ore) + n; ref. Simon T., played by Roger M. in TV series).
M. Hodgkin: Fellow entering special order (SO in man & lit.).
P. W. Marlow: This artisan could construct mansion as art (comp. anag. & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Morse, primarily one unfulfilled, comes across like a father to Lewis (as in M on(e); see lewis).
A. Morgan-Richards: American lineman? ‘Man of stone’ is often confused with him (comp. anag.; ref. M.-Dixon Line).
R. J. Palmer: A male turned up bottom of trousers over leg to become this? (a m (rev.) + s + on; ref. initiation ceremony forMasons).
R. Perry: Babycham as one might describe it. Perry by another name (hidden; Perry M.).
A. Plumb: Much stone at new builds the —— cut (comp. anag. & lit.).
T. Rudd: Old man’s pulled no Xmas crackers, making cross exit – who’ll work carving set? (anag. incl. o; anag. less x; set = block of stone).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Originally medieval artisan sculpting symmetrically cut stones (first letters + on, & lit.).
C. Short: Jackie comic has very penetrating piece (so in man; ref. Jackie M., US comedian, Jackie, girls’ comic).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Lewis is his heir, a disciple under Morse’s leadership (M + a son; see lewis).
A. J. Wardrop: Who’ll make mark when working? (m + as + on, & lit.; ref. mason’s marks).
T. Anderson, P. Bartlam, M. Bath, J. G. Booth, C. J. Butler, J. A. Butler, A. & J. Calder, A. Chamberlain, C. A. Clarke, S. L. Claughton, E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Ireland), C. M. Edmunds, J. Fairclough, S. C. Ford, H. Freeman, R. Gilbert, J. Grimes, A. & R. Haden, J. P. B. Hall, R. J. Hooper, L. M. Inman, G. Johnstone, B. Jones, J. R. & M. Leete, J. P. Lester, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, A. MacMillan, D. F. Manley, J. R. C. Michie, C. G. Millin, Dr P. W. Nash, T. D. Nicholl, M. L. Perkins, Ms F. Plumb, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Dr T. G. Powell, J. & A. Price, S. Randall, D. P. Shenkin, I. Simpson, Dr G. Simpson (Australia), J. Sloper, J. Smailes, P. A. Stephenson, P. L. Stone, M. Taylor, P. Taylor, P. Tharby, K. Thomas, J. R. Tozer, T. West-Taylor, R. J. Whale, A. Whittaker, Dr E. Young.
201 entries, a small handful with TAGINE for TAJINE, another of those alternative spellings that Chambers annoyingly fails to give a dummy entry of its own with an appropriate cross-reference. There are far too many of these in C. for my liking. Favourite clue, of 14 mentioned, was ‘Err with maid getting knocked up? Did the honest thing maybe’ (MARRIED), which just pipped ‘Teacher flipped about producer of bad spelling, bursting blood vessel?’ (RHEXIS), in what was very much a two-horse contest. My MARRIED clue was variously described as ‘one of Azed’s naughties’ and ‘more Private Eye than Observer’. I hope no one was too shocked by it.
No doubt MASON has been clued many times, by others as well as by me, but I can’t recall seeing any of the clues quoted above before. I expected, and got, quite a few variations on the ‘mother and child’ approach, some referring to the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘Mother and child reunion’ though the idea of their being reunited seemed inappropriate and irrelevant here. I know little about the bizarre rituals observed by Freemasons beyond the oft-told tales of trouser-legs and funny handshakes, but although they belong to lodges I don’t think they are ever referred to as ‘lodgers’, are they? And can anyone explain to me why being ‘on the square’ (new to me before this competition) refers to membership of Freemasonry? Some floor design perhaps.
I’m grateful to the two regulars who tracked down the Ximenes puzzle I referred to in the last slip but one, in which alcoholic drinks had to be replaced by non-alcoholic ones. X entitled it ‘On the Wagon’ and it was reproduced in The Penguin Book of Ximenes Crossword Puzzles (1972) though when it first appeared in The Observer (during Lent, one surmises) is unclear. X died in 1971.