12. Episcopal style, to cut reversed collar (old-fashioned) ABER (reba(to) (rev.); s.v. Aberdeen) This solution, with its unchecked fourth letter, is not immediately found by a scan of Chambers’ headwords beginning ‘abe..’, but that list extends to only 17 in number and so there is no excuse for failing to find the correct entry. The surface is apt and witty - one imagines the wagging finger from the pulpit for those who merely guessed.
13. It was peevish and unfriendly of us to break slate. SOUR-COLD (our in scold) It is hardly surprising that Chambers does not attempt a definition of SOUR-COLD since its only occurrence in Shakespeare’s canon is in Timon of Athens, Act IV, scene III, (line 239 in The Globe Edition 1864). It is rendered as ‘sowre cold’ in the First Folio, so Azed’s definitions seem to be perfectly appropriate.
18. Late snack with wine left page with plan as in cuisine. VOIDEE (vo + idée) Azed has rung the changes here by indicating a French word for ‘plan’ with ‘as in cuisine’.
19. My language is international − it involves complete lives. IDOIST (do + is, all in it) ‘To complete’ is listed among several meanings of ‘to do’.
21. Hospitalized? ‘Medium’, quack penned. IN DOCK (doc in ink) The parsing here has an aptness all its own, a bonus pleasure for solvers. The use of ‘medium’ to indicate ‘ink’ may be understood as referring to drawing in pen and ink.
30. Fraternity’s doorman, rebel long ago. TYLER (2 meanings; s.v. tile) A reference to Wat Tyler fixes the spelling here.
34. Sound guided fish swinging to and fro. DINGLE-DANGLE (ding1 + led + angle) A crisp charade-type clue.
1. Swarthy baron being without power, very old. BLACK-VISAGED (B + lack + vis + aged) This charade includes the very pleasing ‘being without’ to indicate ‘lack’. Crisp again, and very fine.
2. Automaton bringing oil tanker into port (not river) ROBOT (obo in (Po)rt) A case of ‘spot the river’ - not the expected ‘r’, but the Po.
3. Protoplasmic unit that’s reigned with evolution? ENERGID (anag; s.v. energy) Dr Watson’s concern with this clue is whether the use of ‘with evolution?’ to indicate the anagram is intended to render the whole clue as an apt description of an energid. Solvers with a better understanding of biological science will know, no doubt.
4. Rock-dweller, fool occupying pass. DASSIE (ass in die) The dassie is a South African term for the hyrax.
5. Lively Scottish booze-up − a second should be avoided. CROUSE (c(a)rouse) The first of two clues (with 8 Down) to feature indication of an excluded letter by reference to its position in a word.
8. Indian tree in (Raj-style) Maharashtra city? Last one’s gone. POON (Poon(a)) ‘Raj-style’ is used to indicate the spelling of ‘Pune’ during the British administration of India before her independence. Poon is the common name for trees of the Calophyllum genus in India.
11. Jock’s sort of black, not exactly sable. BLAES (anag. & lit, s.v. sable2) Chambers has ‘blae’ as meaning ‘blackish’ amongst others. In a section containing alternative forms (including our solution) the definition ‘..., often blae (also red) in colour’ is given.
16. A pet allowed round river inn fouled decking. ADORNING (R + anag., all in ‘a dog’) It is disappointing to find a redundant word ‘allowed’ in an Azed clue. Perhaps that’s the joke, and it’s on us as per usual. ‘Decking’, as in ‘bedecking’, is cleverly disguised here.
23. E.g. Cicero, at one time opposed to Roman dictator (indeed dismissed) CONSUL (con + Sul(la); s.v. la2) Solvers may decide for themselves whether the surface is intended to refer to Cicero’s opposition to Mark Antony (which led to his denunciation and death) or to his early political opposition to Sulla.
29. A failure, love-lorn, soon nameless. ANON (i.e. ‘a no-n(o)’; 2 definitions) Where a solution is marked in Chambers as not being in current usage, Azed may be relied upon to hint at that by some means, even if not directly. The first definition here is marked ‘archaic or literary’, and the indication part: ‘A failure, love-lorn’ appropriately evokes such a suggestion.
Across: 1. BREAD-CHIPPER (anag. + chipper1) 14. CORDS ((Ac)cords) .15. XOANA (anag. less s, + a) 17. STARKEN (anag.) 26. SAPROBE (sap + robe) 28. WANNA (wanna(be)) 31. GANISTER (anag.) 32. VIVA (v in via) 33. HAIRNET (air in anag. inc. N)
Down: 6. INROAD (inro + ad) 7. PICAROON (The competition word) 9. REDINTEGRATE (red + anag. in irate) 20. INKLING (ink + ling) 22. NAWAB (a in bawn (rev.)) 24. BEHEAD (he + a, all in bed) 25. LATRIA (L + atria; s.v. dulia & atrium) 27. REVEL (lever (rev.))