AZED CROSSWORD 2390
1. C. A. Clarke: Perhaps spaghetti trees or ravioli ponds should be treated with a pinch of salt (anag. incl s; ref. famous 1957 ‘Panorama’ hoax).
2. R. J. Heald: This month’s goof could be reviewed on ‘SlipAdvisor’! (anag.; fanciful variant of ‘TripAdvisor’; ref. earlier appearance of clue word in AZ ‘Letters Latent’ comp.).
3. D. F. Manley: Toxin around Salisbury’s centre has Vladimir deviously ignoring Military Intelligence – who’s been taken in? (s in poison + anag. less MI; ref. Putin).
D. Appleton: In spring one had reordered provisions at deli regularly (anag. incl. alternate letters).
M. Barley: See sly —— end with solvers in a spin, oddly perplexed? (comp. anag. & lit.).
Ms K. Bolton: Canard à la française cooked in very little lard (previously a Seine swimmer?) (poisson + anag. incl. i’ v).
T. C. Borland: A silver spoon I’d collected, not bearing English mark of this date, seemingly French (anag. less E; mark = victim of trick).
C. J. Brougham: Provisions sprinkled with dal and occasional dill (anag.; Collins gives dill = fool).
E. Dawid: Ravioli’s new pods rattled one falling for spaghetti trees (anag. incl. n).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Rig no Paris gull ultimately avoids with one being exposed (anag. incl. l less a, & lit.; rig2).
H. Freeman: Early season pull to leg, short of a length … Lord’s Pavilion’s buzzing! (anag. less l; leg-pull).
J. Grimes: For which cod on old Paris div’s back is required? (anag. incl. v; see div4; origin of French expression).
J. Liddle: French deception involving Paris v. London is not new! (anag. less n).
B. Lovering: Solving almost over with all but the last to parse, I managed to grasp Azed’s latest ruse (d in anag. incl. o, less g, e).
T. J. Moorey: One who’s had rivals poisoned rarely not first in elections (anag. less e; ref. e.g. Putin).
S. J. O’Boyle: Vladimir P. is soon to be implicated, I’m checking out victim of sneaky trick (anag. less I’m; ref. Salisbury episode).
I. Simpson: Eccentric Boris taking the lead in Brexit? No, Davis is in place – he’s not May’s fall guy (anag. less B in Pl.).
P. L. Stone: Prank victim primarily is Paris noodle not seeing his derriere (anag. incl. v less e, & lit.; prank = set in order).
R. C. Teuton: Reviviscent spoof failed? A variation renders this effective (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. earlier appearance of clue word in AZ ‘Letters Latent’ comp.).
J. R. Tozer: Arrange pails against doors in a prank (anag. incl. v).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: For a joke, one was hung on another’s back in old Paris, so very bizarrely (anag. incl. v; ref. original French custom).
Mrs A. M. Walden: An old pissoir, very dodgy, in which Frenchman might be led astray (anag. incl. v).
A. J. Wardrop: One who’s had up avoids prison, with a bit of luck (anag. incl. l; up = in an excited state).
P. B. Alldred, T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, P. Bamber, M. Barker, Ms P. Blakemore, H. J. Bradbury, J. M. Brown, Mrs S. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, D. Carter, M. Coates, N. Connaughton (Ireland), Ms L. Davis, V. Dixon (Ireland), C. M. Edmunds, P. Finan, R. Gilbert, G. I. L. Grafton, M. Hodgkin, G. Johnstone, E. C. Lance, J. C. Leyland, M. Lloyd-Jones, A. MacDougall, P. W. Marlow, L. F. Marzillier (USA), P. McKenna, Rev Prebendary M. R. Metcalf, C. G. Millin, T. D. Nicholl, M. L. Perkins, R. Perry, A. Plumb, J. & A. Price, D. Price Jones, S. Randall, W. Ransome, Dr J. B. Reid, C. Reid Dick (Germany), T. Rudd, A. D. Scott, J. M. Sharman, Dr S. J. Shaw, Dr G. Simpson (Australia), P. A. Stephenson, P. P. Voogt, J. D. Walsh, T. West-Taylor, G. H. Willett, K. J. Williams, K. & J. Wolff.
155 entries, no mistakes in the grid that I spotted, though a few inexplicably submitted a clue for APRIL FOOL’S DAY. Eighteen clues in the puzzle received one or more votes as favourite, the clear winner being ‘What stirs Othello with drama? This handkerchief, loathed maybe’ for ROMAL (a word I always associate in my mind with the Indian thugs, who are said to have used a romal/rumal to garotte their victims, having tied a stone in one corner of the cloth). The clue to PERICOPE was runner-up,
Dreaming up new hoaxes whenever 1 April occurs on a Sunday becomes ever-more challenging. Keener solvers are on the look-out for a leg-pull from the start. The main thing is to hope that the penny drops without too much head-scratching, and this time I think I got it about right, many generously conceding that they were fooled for a time. One or two regulars grumbled a bit that I gave no indication that the four ‘dummy’ clues did not lead to the actual entries, and a further handful failed completely to spot that they led to two anagrams of APRIL FOOL. In the overall context of the spoof I feel that what I presented you with was legitimate if devious. And I could see no way of adding an Easter reference to the mix. Mr (not Dr) Simpson tells me that this was the first Easter Sunday April Fool’s Day since 1956, and that the next time 1 April falls on a Sunday (in 2029) will also be Easter. If I’m preserved I’ll then be 86, so I’ve got a bit of time to devise yet another seasonal joke! And while we’re on the subject of dates, John Tozer (the Bill Frindall of the Azed series?) kindly informs me that this was the 600th Azed competition puzzle. Onward and upward.
There was a fine crop of good clues for me to judge, even if the size of the entry was a bit smaller than average. I’d forgotten that I asked you to clue POISSON D’AVRIL once before (in 2007), though on that occasion a ‘Letters Latent’ clue was required so something different was called for this time, even if an earlier idea might have been reworked. Mr Heald managed very cleverly to make oblique reference to this repetition of the clue word (and what a lovely anagram!). The first prizewinner won overall for me on the strength of its deceptive simplicity of wording. Why is it, I wonder, that everyone remembers Richard Dimbleby’s spaghetti trees as the archetypal April Fool’s joke, despite the many other equally good ones devised since, especially in the press?
And finally, a very belated apology to Mr Barley for omitting his VHC clue for STRIPE (HARLOT) from the slip for Azed No. 2,382: ‘Rotten starts off the punk rock era singing in band’. It has been duly included in the records for the current honours list.