Azed No 2118 (6 Jan 2013)

reviewed by Dr Watson for & lit. – The Azed Slip Archive

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GENTLE and fairly easy opening to a new year of delights for Azed fans. All cryptic indications bar one (SWIG) are simply constructed and immediately apparent for the most part. Experienced solvers may have noticed a number of clues having surfaces close to being definitions of their solutions, the most convincing being that for TRIDENT, although a whole clue indication it is not. Others on which opinions may be divided include those for AMAKOSI, INGATE and SEGNO. Dr Watson takes the view that in each case the surface does not amount to an adequate definition.

Notes to the clues:


7.       Cure (by the sound of it?) displaying devotional headgear. KIPPA (“kipper”)  A reference to the Kippah, the cap, also known as the yamulka, required to be worn by Jewish men whilst at prayer. It is notable that Wikipedia’s article advises browsers not to confuse the Kippah with a kipper, as bizarre a circumstance as the surface of Azed’s clue.

13.     Article about regime’s extremes did, when shortened, with added depth? THREE-D (r,e in the, ’d)  This is one of the more complex of this puzzle’s clues. It has a definition that looks more like part of the subsidiary indication, and if one had the ‘d’ in place, ‘with added depth’ would seem to be a reasonable indicator. The shortened ‘did’ is worth a mention, indicating what is more familiar as a shortened ‘had’.      

15.     Stick around thorny plant. WAIT-A-BIT (i.e ‘wait a bit’, s.v. wait1)  Not quite a clue based on two definitions or meanings, in the usual sense. Azed has chosen ‘8’ as the numeration, and not ‘8, 3 words’ (in his customary style), so our solution must be the South African thorny plant.

17.     One side in legendary encounter hit out in circuits. LAPITHS (anag. in laps)  The reference for this transparent clue is the wedding feast of Pirithous at which the oft-depicted Battle of Centaurs and Lapiths took place.

22.     Card game for gamblers specifically addressed to holding queen? FARO (R in fao)  If there is a link between the rules of Faro and the surface of this clue, Watson cannot find it. Azed may have had Pushkin’s short story The Queen of Spades in mind.

23.     Slimy sediment: it appears alongside drive. SAPROPEL (SA, propel)  A return of ‘it’ as meaning ‘sex appeal’ in this quickly solved clue for an unfamiliar word: SAPROPEL.

26.     Clan chiefs having decisive clout among Masai? Wrong. AMAKOSI (k.o. in anag.)  Our solution is the plural of Inkosi or Inkhosi, which is a chief of a Zulu clan. The whole clue is a true statement about such clan chiefs in that they have no clout among Masai.

32.     Cry, ‘O for a bit of peace in gaol!’ ORISON (‘o’ for ‘p’ in prison; s.v. cry)  At the entry for ‘cry’ one finds ‘prayer’ among the list of meanings as a noun.

33.     Foundry channel essential for casting a template. INGATE (hidden)  Our solution is the duct by which molten metal or other plastic material is poured into a mould.


1.       Good throw that’s undone fine player - it influences development. GROWTH FACTOR (g, anag, f, actor)  More than a plain charade, with an anagram inserted, but also capable of more than one surface reading. The sporting reference is obvious but other interpretations seem possible.

3.       Levelling material I refuse once stuffed with force. INFILL (f in I, nill)  The main interest here is in the use of the word: nill, or n’ill (q.v.). For the surface, one may imagine a bodger (does he mean blogger?) angrily packing substandard material into a void.

8.       Fury over new symbol in opening of Greek liturgy. IRENICON (ire, n, icon; s.v. eirenicon)  At its entry for ‘eirenicon’ Chambers includes the definition: ‘the deacon’s litany at the beginning of the Greek liturgy, from its opening petitions for peace’.

10.     Navigation mark maybe forming part of paper chase. PERCH (hidden, s.v. perch1)  This solution refers to channel marks in some small estuaries. They may be painted red or green for starboard- and port-hand limits (of navigable water), or, in some remoter parts, left completely bare. For the latter, visiting sailors have to rely on their experience, especially at sharp bends and where channels converge.

11.     A girl brought round tart, note, for shepherd’s club. ADAM’S FLANNEL (flan, n, all in ‘a damsel’)  A clue, racily linking two fanciful common names for mullein: ‘shepherd’s club’ and our solution, ‘Adam’s Flannel’. Other names listed by Chambers at its entry for ‘mullein’ (tellingly following that for ‘mullarky’) are ‘hag-taper’ and ‘Aaron’s Rod’. Azed has swung into appropriate mode for this witty clue.

21.     A target at sea for which yachts may compete. REGATTA (anag.)  One for the diary, perhaps or the weather mark, say, the buoy furthest towards the wind on a marked sailing course and always the most hotly contested point. Dr Watson was first at this clue, a stand-out anagram.

28.     Score marker as soprano I found round end of repetition. SEGNO (S + n in ego)  It might have been embarrassing for our soprano had she not noticed the mark! The task for solvers was to spot the ‘ego’.

29.     Pin brought out, nicking a mouthful? SWIG (swi(pin)g)  The most testing clue in this puzzle for inexperienced solvers and those who are not just content to know the solution. How is it indicated, is it a swig (mouthful) or can a pin be a twig? One twigs it eventually, either way.


Other solutions:

Across: 1. GLIFT (l in gift; s.v. gliff) 12. RANDIE (anag.) 14. STERNEBRA (stern, anag; s.v. sternum) 18. HILLIEST (lies in hilt) 20. CORF (cor! f) 30. HERDSMAN (DSM in ‘he ran’) 31. TOWING NET (anag.) 34. RIGHT (2 meanings) 35. TOTAL (to, tal(k))    

Down:  2. LATAKIA (kata in ail (all rev.)) 4. TITANIS (ani in tits) 5. FEEBLE (beef (rev.) le) 6. STRIA (anag. less w) 9. PEBA (b in pea) 16. BLOKEISH (The competition word) 19. TRIDENT (ride in TNT) 24. PIRNIT (tin, rip, all rev.) 25. PAMYAT (Mya in pat) 27. MAORI (roam (rev.) + I)


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