HIS is the eighteenth Azed puzzle to feature the ‘Right & Left’ type of clue, although seven of them have been of the ‘Up & Down’ variety, first used in Azed puzzle 744. The linking lights in those seven are mentioned in the Slips and are, in order: Helter-skelter, Trampolinists, Between Maid, Roller-coaster, Stock Markets, Middle Passage, and Pressure Gauge. The linking lights in the most recent ‘Right and Left’ puzzles are known to Dr Watson, and are Right-and-left in 1264, Here and there (1342), The Go-between (1633), Counterparts (1792) and Double whammy in 2019. The thematic character of these links is continued in the present puzzle with TWO-WAY MIRROR.
Solutions and parsings are given below in the order in which they have been clued. In all ‘R&L’ clues the divide is marked by a forward slash.
1. What could make tiro marry, bagging real knockout? It’s effective from both sides. TWO-WAY MIRROR (wow in anag.) A two-way mirror is certainly effective from both sides, but not in ways that are equivalent or complementary as one might expect in a linking light. Dr Watson suspected that this might be the solution at an early stage, but chose to press on with solving the ‘right and left’ clues without its assistance for that reason, but failing to notice until the grid was complete that it could be taken quite aptly as two separate headings for the two halves of the puzzle. Nonetheless it is a splendid clue with the teasing question as to quite what the intended bride thought of her groom in the light of the asymmetrical character of its solution.
6. Gum chewing man, i.e. / help (once) in embroidering fine, elegant cloaks. ANIMÉ / NEELE (anag. / hidden) The first of several clues including a hint that a solution may be antique or obsolete. The hidden solution is ‘cloaked’ in ‘fine, elegant’.
7. Bowl remained, by the sound of it, / smooth for Jock stooping around start of roll. STADE / BRENT (i.e. “stayed” / r in bent) Quickly solved.
8. Small area inside right and left of the spleen once / called ‘intermediary’, i.e. lacking outer parts. LIENAL / TERMED (A in lien1, l; s.v. lien3 / hidden) Azed has worked ‘right and left’ into this clue’s surface, baffling though it might seem to many on reading it through.
10. Three-horse vehicle quickly passed market and has left / City area − described circuits as ‘become less’ no longer. RANDEM / DECREW (ran, dem(and); s.v. market / EC in drew) The origin of RANDEM is not attempted in Chambers, curiously. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary essays: ‘Prob. alt. of RANDOM after TANDEM’, and gives for RANDOM (as noun) the primary definition: ‘1. Great speed, force, or violence in riding, running, striking, etc’. Chambers has similar meanings listed at its own entry. The indication of DECREW, the first of three words of Edmund Spenser featured in this puzzle, turns on understanding ‘circuits’ as a verb and ‘to describe’ as meaning ‘to draw’ as in (say) ‘describe an arc of radius ...’.
11. Such latex is dangerous: no pro, amateur opening in Royal / Court’s capers, trap for actors. ANTIAR / SCRUTO (anti, A, R(oyal) / anag.) The Royal Court Theatre has given Azed a very convenient combination here, providing the ‘r’ in ANTIAR, the anagram of SCRUTO, and bridging the divide between the two parts.
14. Formerly savage knight yielding to gentlemen in empty / tomb: use empty inside for frequent potter? IMMANE / CUEIST (MM for N in inane / u(s)e in cist) In this tale of chivalry, Azed has indicated ‘mm’ not as Military Medal, as he might well have done, but with the abbreviation for ‘gentlemen’, after that for Messieurs. This context has led conveniently to the latter part where one of the gallant captors has taken a mind to visit his empty tomb more often. Taking a frequent potter wittily clues a billiards or snooker player, our CUEIST.
15. Taking time aboard yawl at sea that’s inclined to roll / I have to replace coat’s lining, fur. WALTY / CIVET (t in anag / I’ve for oa in coat) Not quite the easiest clue in this puzzle, with both parts simply and transparently indicated, but a close second to STADE/BRENT at 7 Across.
16. Dogs, some pets in a circus performing turn, / small group such as foolhardy acrobat uses? CANIS / NONET (hidden (rev.) / i.e. ‘no net’) Whenever Azed uses a plural noun meaning certain animals or plants in a place likely to be that for a clue’s definition, it is always worth looking for a Latin word for the relevant genus, as here.
17. The old suppose good German writer / drug-addicted? He gets zonked with OD having injected certainly. GHESSE / HOOKED (g, Hesse / OK in anag.) The reference is presumed to be to Hermann Hesse, who lived his life on a much higher plane than that achieved by most others, with or without the aid of drugs. GHESSE is the second of the Spenser words.
1. Teachers fascinate major power controller, bangled antic upsetting sexy club feature. MASTER-SWITCH / TABLE-DANCING (masters, witch / anag.) Two very fine clues in one, a crisp charade and an hilarious anagram suggesting the perfect tone of disdain.
2. Create chemistry in course that includes bit of experiment / with art, one chaps entered showing traditional caution. INTERACT / WARIMENT (e in ‘in tract’ / i, men, all in w, art) The third of Spenser’s contributions is the delightful WARIMENT, craftily indicated and defined, as of old.
3. Major blow in love: not once losing heart / takes up John (at Harrow?) ONE-ER / REARS (0, ne(v)er / 2 meanings, s.v. rear2 & 1) Here, ‘not once’ is not an indication that an obsolete word meaning ‘not’ is needed somehow. It serves instead as a definition of ‘never’.
4. Dame seen staggering in short highway, unco gyte / wife hit near middle, first to finish. RED-MAD / WINNER (anag. in Rd / w, inner) Two Scots words are used here to define a third: RED-MAD. This was amongst the trickiest clues to solve, particularly in view of the two listed meanings of ‘gyte’.
5. With plenty of cash, my dear, on Crazy Spotted / Cock’s-comb − well, early tot must be drunk. READY-MONEYED / YELLOW RATTLE (anag, eyed / anag.) One assumes that Crazy Spotted Cock’s-comb must be a rather expensive choice of tipple - strong bottled ale, perhaps. YELLOW RATTLE is a name for Rhinanthus minor, also known as Cockscomb, but not to be confused with various plants in the genus Celosia.
9. Cans: flyers e.g. opening these wildly / rock barrel in steep manoeuvring. HEADSETS / PETUNTSE (ads in anag. / tun in anag.) Dr Watson wonders if pilots may expect to be breathalysed! It would be difficult to ‘pull one over’ in the middle of a barrel roll. Petuntse is our rock.
12. Cheese fellow wrapped inside jumper / he put in part of fork as something to ingest with a cuppa? ROMANO / THEINE (man in roo / he in tine1) Chambers’ entry for ‘fork’ includes many and varied definitions. Watson favours the fork of a tree as giving the best surface reading.
Down: 13. DIVES / MALIK (The Competition pairing)