AZED CROSSWORD 2330
BRAZEN / MOPISH
1. T. J. Moorey: Unenthusiastic May’s foremost work is to secure hard Brexit’s introduction and take a process needing deep thought forward (M op is H; B r a Zen).
2. S. Randall: Dejected politician hedges over his flawed ‘audacious level entering Britain’s borders’ (o in MP + anag.; raze in bn).
3. D. K. Arnott: Entering Wipers hospital, I limp forward, overwhelmed by battalion’s ruin (I in mops H; raze in bn; ref. WW1).
M. Barley: Uninspired leadership of President, his MO horribly shameless, starts with border restrictions affecting a certain religion (anag. incl. P; b, r, a + Zen; ref. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’).
Ms K. Bolton: I cut rampant zebrina, bold blue mess appearing after short time, bits of shrubbery to come later (anag. less I; mo + pi + sh).
P. Cargill: Boring work is replacing filling in mouth, leads to bothersome numbness receiving tear down face (op is in m, h; raze in b, n ).
A. H. Harker: More old rubbish: dull brassy basin, empty, with scrape inside (mo pish; raze in b, n).
R. J. Heald: Mosh pit almost goes berserk for heavy metal band’s opening number when Slash is introduced (anag. less t; raze in b, n; ref. Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist).
J. C. Leyland: Forward gun sacks setter cowed in shock by his shot (AZ in Bren; mop + anag.; ref. e.g. grouse shooting).
B. Lovering: Bold supporter of Eastern philosophy lacking spirit, Hindu’s sacred utterance turns to expression of contempt (bra Zen; Om (rev.) + pish).
D. F. Manley: Depressed a bit by nonsense showing ‘Trumpish’ audacity, Britain must stand against old-fashioned race discrimination ultimately (mo + pish; B + raze + n; ref. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’).
P. W. Marlow: Insipid shop I’m altering having front replaced near entrance to business zone (anag.; anag. incl. b, z).
C. G. Millin: Forward British crossword setter, not quite knight, his comp’s not cloudy, confused or dull (Br Aze(d) n; anag. less c).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Support by Azed’s core number is unashamed whilst without entries this comp could be construed as dull (bra + ze + n; anag. less first letters).
C. Short: Penny brought up to date in fashionable blue, flaunting underwear – and contemplating what’s within (modish with p for d; bra Zen).
P. L. Stone: Out of brass? Give barrel scrape ’n once more make light of being poor (b raze ’n; mo pish).
J. R. Tozer: ‘Trumped-up’ sophism hasn’t succeeded: it’s plain blatant support’s attached to one religion (anag. less s; bra Zen; ref. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ ).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Mooning maiden, one in awfully posh saucy undergarment, starts to zestfully expose nates (m + 1 in anag.; bra + first letters).
Ms S. Wallace: Spiritless hush follows second sanctimonious talk, primarily because rhetoric attacked Buddhist doctrine unabashed (mo + pi + sh; first letters + Zen).
A. J. Wardrop: Bold battalion about to destroy second ship abandoned in the doldrums (raze in bn; mo + anag.).
R. J. Whale: Opener lacking oomph is out of sorts, listless NZ are bowled out – recalling resources of Charlie Parker? (anag. less o; anag. incl. b; ref. C. Parker, former England bowler and C. Parker, jazz saxophonist).
D. & N. Aspland, J. G. Booth, T. C. Borland, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, E. Bushell, C. J. Butler, D. Carter, P. A. Cash, C. A. Clarke, S. L. Claughton, M. Coates, Ms L. Davis, V. Dixon (Ireland), J. Doylend, W. Drever, Dr M. Ewart, J. Fairclough, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, G. I. L. Grafton, J. P. B. Hall, P. Halse, D. V. Harry, C. & C. Hinton, L. M. Inman, G. Johnstone, J. Liddle, M. Lloyd-Jones, D. Lythall, P. McKenna, K. Milan, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), S. J. O’Boyle, J. Patterson, M. L. Perkins, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, T. Rudd, A. D. Scott, N. G. Shippobotham, P. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, S. J. J. Tiffin, L. Ward (USA), G. H. Willett, J. Woodall (France), Dr E. Young.
170 entries, no mistakes. I’m really very sorry about the wrong numbering throughout the puzzle grid. Regulars clearly realized what had happened, and how. It was all OK on the proof I checked and passed, before some agency, human or (more likely) electronic, intervened to change it to something more ‘logically’ correct. Less experienced solvers must have been bemused until the correct grid was shown the following week, albeit far too small. All this was going on while I was abroad on holiday, gnashing my teeth in helpless frustration. I’m very grateful to those who did what they could to tidy up the mess in my absence (especially DFM). I should add that most of you did not mention the fiasco at all, and those that did did so with great forbearance and good humour.
Favourite clue by far, of 12 nominated at least once, was ‘I’ll have a large one, with a dash of Dubonnet, like the rest here’ for DOUBLE-FORMED; of the double clues, joint favourites were ‘Ivy delivering song that includes a line writer set in cunning bit of old France’ (ARALIA/ARPENT) and ‘Strong gents maybe with a special style play ace after a tipple’ (FLAVA/DRAMA).
Most of you coped well with the special problems double clues present, but it’s worth mentioning again the main things to bear in mind when constructing one (in no special order): (i) the whole clue should make some sort of coherent sense; (ii) the join between the two separate component clues should be well disguised, ideally without intervening punctuation; (iii) there should be no superfluous words between the two parts added solely to improve the verbal flow; (iv) each clue of the pair should be complete in itself (even if it may not make complete syntactical sense individually) without any reference from one to the other which would be meaningless when each is viewed in isolation; (v) the division between component clues should not occur in the middle of a word in the clue as a whole; (vi) double clues should be as short as possible within these general guidelines. (Spare a thought for the judge!)
A final word of caution and one I’ve mentioned before, though the message has still not got home completely. I don’t accept that ‘extremely’ can be used in a clue to indicate the first and last letters of the relevant word or phrase. This does not seem to me to come within any of the normal senses of the word.