For the benefit of solvers new to the rigours of the Advanced Cryptic, Dr Watson provides a monthly review of the Observer’s Azed competition puzzle. Dr Watson is a regular Azed competitor. Please post any comments on this review to the Crossword Centre’s message board.
An unusual grid with thirty-eight lights, and many two-word phrases. It’s not clear whether Azed was deliberate in clueing the three letter words in the same way (by removing half of a six letter word).
Notes to the clues:
12a: Reveille catches relative in part of Bronx terrace? ROW HOUSE (who in rouse). Defining ‘who’ as ‘relative’ is at least safer than indicating, say, ‘dog’ by ‘noun’.
21a: One with estates in Assam, possibly styled Patel, having to pay rupees. TEA PLANTER (anag. + ante + R). A long clue, but its elements all fit the theme.
29a: Chaos always surrounding historical lot? ATAXY (tax in ay). Azed is less punctilious these days about indicating the obsolescence of words, and avoids it in the definition. In Watson’s view a lot is more of an historical tax than vice versa (though one could argue the clue indicates ‘lot’ historically meant a tax).
30a: One such as Sappho in writing appears thus? MANLESS (an les in Ms, & lit.). Sappho (rather than a more contemporary example) keeps the clue on the right side of the PC fence..
31a: One the sea tides tossed under? ANAESTHETISED (an + anag.). Thirteen letters very concisely clued, with an excellent choice of definition.
8d: Does it mask head of hierarch in holy place. CURCH (c(h)urch, & lit.). Sometimes a subtraction indicator can be made to look like a container and contents, as in this neat ‘& lit.’ clue..
15d: 40 winks, 60 unusually (a type of vocal development). ANAPTYXIS (a nap + anag. of sixty). This doesn’t quite count as an indirect anagram.
28d: Yogi, Indian style? Some careful about standing on head. BALU (hidden rev.). The surface is so attractive that the solver is distracted from the misleading definition.
1a: GATECRASH (anag.); 8a: CAR (car(boy)); 11a: BLAG (B lag); 13a: RABBINS (snib bar, all rev.); 14a: SPIRT (r in spit); 17a: GENNEL (anag. + el(l)); 18a: MACHER (ma cher); 19a: FALSE SHAME (anag. in fame); 23a: SULTAN ((in)sult an); 26a: SESTON (hidden); 29a: ATAXY (tax in ay); 31d: RIDICULE (lucid, rev. in anag.); 32d: EMES (seme, rev.); 33a: KEY ((don)key); 34a: SUSURRATE (susu r rate); 2d: A LATERE (later in a, e); 3d: TABUN (tab un); 4d: CRIBELLAR (rib in cellar); 5d: RONG ((w)rong); 6d: AWSOME (a + s in anag); 7d: HOPE CHEST (anag. + hest); 9d: ASIDE (s moved in aides); 10d: RETIREDNESS (ret I redness); 11d: BRIGHT SPARK (rights p in bark); 16d: EASTERNER (astern in e’er); 20d: MOONSET (MO onset); 22d: ANIMUS; 24d: UPTIE (anag. + i.e.); 25d: LEADY (E in lady); 27d: THEMA (M in the, a).