< Slip No. 757 View the clue list Slip No. 764 >



1.  D. F. Manley: OED’s ‘boist’ ’owler? Abandoned words to —— (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. word obelised in OED).

2.  J. D. D. Blaikie: Boil, seethe, hotly denying the label ‘bastard’ (anag. less the).

3.  H. J. Bradbury: To make one ‘see below’, do we ——? (comp. anag. incl. I, & lit.).


W. G. Arnott: Allege corruption against a BBC TV programme made in Libya? End of these blasted lies (OB + e + anag.; ref. reporting of US attack on Tripoli).

C. J. Brougham: Slang we this … modifying ‘see below’ signal? (comp. anag. & lit.).

E. Chalkley: To —— word? Bowdlerise too, in a way! (comp. anag. & lit.).

N. C. Dexter: Thus mark Loeb’s translation that’s without first sign of sense (anag. + s in i.e., & lit.; ref. Loeb Classical Library, etc.).

N. C. Goddard: Put the dagger in? Do back off – I see blood being spilt (anag. less do (rev.)).

O. Greenwood: Selection doubt to put in order? Don’t cut, —— (comp. anag. & lit.).

P. F. Henderson: Mark, showing doubt? ‘Second of gospels with insufficient faith’ admits Saint (S in o + belie(f)).

A. W. Hill: Cast doubt on whether German’s dedicatee of popular piano piece (ob (Ger.) + Elise; ref. E. German and ‘Für Elise’).

R. J. Hooper: ‘Tell … how it alters’? (Honour is briefly put down in Raleigh poem) (OBE + ’s in (The) Lie; ref. Sir Walter R.’s poem).

Mrs D. B. Jenkinson: So bowdlerise novel as to expunge naughty words? (comp. anag. & lit.).

A. H. Jones: See slip in book? OK, ——, snip out (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. E. Kimmons: Old letter contains first indication of love one’s to reject as untrue (o + l I’s in bee).

C. W. Laxton: Bowdlerise nothing! There’s corrupt word? ——! (comp. anag. incl. 0 & lit.).

H. W. Massingham: Bowdlerise so, bent on removing crude words (comp. anag. & lit.).

D. S. Nagle: Indicate unacceptability of old vinegar with peculiar smell on the turn (esile BO (rev.)).

C. P. Rea: Mark thus – so lie be confounded (anag.).

T. E. Sanders: Affix – in old English book to flag a suspicion of error (b in OE + lis e).

D. P. Shenkin: Mark the corruption of national honour surrounding the Olympic venue (Elis in OBE; ref. region containing Olympia).

F. B. Stubbs: Brand having less than half the limit in fat (li(mit) in obese).

M. R. Whiteoak: Reprobate, overweight, about fifty-one (LI in obese).


R. B. Allnutt, Mrs G. M. Barker, P. F. Bauchop, Mrs K. Bissett, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, J. M. Brown, E. J. Burge, K. S. Burton, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, W. H. C. Cobb, Capt D. A. Craddock, Mrs M. P. Craine, R. G. Crosland, D. A. Crossland, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, E. David, R. V. Dearden, J. Dromey, Mrs P. Edwards, O. M. Ellis, C. E. Faulkner-King, Dr I. S. Fletcher, M. Freeman, F. D. Gardiner, J. F. Grimshaw, Mrs S. Hewitt, E. Hornby, R. H. F. Isham, J. I. & B. C. James, G. Johnstone, F. P. N. Lake, R. K. Lumsdon, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, H. S. Mason, H. J. McClarron, Rev M. R. Metcalf, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, T. W. Mortimer, J. J. Murtha, F. E. Newlove, S. J. O’Boyle, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, D. Price Jones, Rev E. H. Pyle, R. F. Ray, A. J. Redstone, D. R. Robinson, B. Roe, J. H. Russell, L. G. D. Sanders, W. J. M. Scotland, A. D. Scott, W. K. M. Slimmings, Mrs I. G. Smith, D. M. Stanford, J. B. Sweeting, K. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs J. Waldren, P. H. Watkin, Mrs M. P. Webber, J. F. N. Wedge, M. G. Wilson, M. Woolf.

304 entries, no mistakes. There were a few comments to the effect that it was quite a hard puzzle to solve, though no real complaints. For some reason by ABELE clue irritated some while amusing others, and there was one polite objection to my use of pig = policeman in the clue to GIPSEN. In retrospect I agree that this is somewhat gratuitously offensive as a term, but then so are a fair number of the stock expressions and stereotypes we tend (in crossword clues as elsewhere) to take for granted, such as the supposed stinginess of Scotsmen. Once or twice in my nearly sixteen years as Azed I have provoked outraged letters by injudicious or insensitive choice of words in clues or diagram, and I do accept that it is wrong to ride rough-shod over people’s susceptibilities. I would merely plead in extenuation that the use of potentially offensive words, either directly or indirectly, implies no approval of them, simply the acknowledgement that they exist.
Back to OBELISE. I was a little disappointed, in view of my recent comments (see slip for No. 735), that so many failed to indicate the transitivity of the verb, or even that it is a verb at all. That said, I do think it was a tricky word to define effectively. Reference to daggers tended to obscure the literal meaning of the word to an unfair degree, despite the commendability of the attempt to create a more colourful clue for an essentially rather drab word. Composite anagrams were much in evidence, as often happens when an ‘& lit.’ clue for a dullish word seems the most profitable avenue to explore. DFM’s must have taken a fair bit of thumbing through the pages of the OED to concoct and is undeniably neat. I hope that confirmed opponents of this clue-type, of which there are a fair number despite its impeccable lineage, will concede as much.
Before I pass to the Christmas competition, you may be interested in the following statistics kindly compiled by Mr Dearden. In the first 5 months of the current year’s competitions (i.e. since May 1986), 1,427 people have entered AZ comps. There have been 377 prize-winners, VHCs and HCs in the same period and a total number of 200 names listed. The September list included 35 new names. So although the average entry per month is lower than I would hope for (300-400 being a healthier norm, I reckon), an encouragingly high number of newcomers are entering the lists.


The Azed Cup

R. J. Heald wins First Prize in competition 2486.


Baron Hardup merrily gives away daughter, Prince becoming husband by end of Cinderella pantomime

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 1st March

Latest  AZED  No. 2,489  23rd Feb

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2486

From the archive

Version of Athos’s piece that is rifled? (9)

First prize winner by R. J. Hannam in competition 1406