Azed No 2144 ‘Spoonerisms’ (7 Jul 2013)

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

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NCLUDING the Christmas specials of 1979 and 2006, this is the fourteenth competition puzzle to feature Spoonerisms. For as long as Dr Watson can remember these puzzles have been prefaced by what he terms ‘the perpetual instructions’, quoted on this website here, with links to Azeds slips and prize-winning clues for all previous puzzles of this type. For brevity’s sake, the two types of clue described are referred to as types A and B. It is notable that all puzzles to date have required competitors to submit ‘type B’ clues - in which the Spoonerism employed must be accommodated within the clue. They are easier to solve, but harder to compose for that reason.

Notes to the clues:


3.       Bounder on the periphery deviously let port gas fish. CATTLE PROD (Type A; prattle cod; anag. in cad)  A few solvers beguiled by ‘Bounder on the periphery’ may have wasted a few minutes in trying to make this clue fit ‘cattle grid’, as did Watson.

10.     Light crest was still turning gold, seized by dog. PLAYROOM (A; ray plume; lay, or (rev.), all in pom2) Regular solvers enjoyed a quick return of ‘was still’ to indicate ‘lay’ in this readily solved clue …

11.     Airs of bold Tyrolean singer will be seen to contain this. EANS (B; bears of old … ;hidden)  … followed by an immediately recognized Spoonerism and hidden solution.

12.     Holding college rite ruined college grass. RECTI (A; Tech rye; c in anag.) Perhaps a bunch of anatomists showing off their ‘pronounced’ muscles were the miscreants. Watson was certainly put out for a while before finding the long ‘i’ in RECTI, thus giving ‘rye’ in the Spoonerism, and not ree2 - not quite meaning ‘grass’ but close enough to tease.

13.     Charles with part of fishing gear nearer old islet. CARNET (A; narre cay; Car., net)  The same word was used by Azed in his Spoonerisms competition puzzle No. 1927. The clue then was: Motor attached to fishing aid once near islet. Chambers 11th Ed. (2008) is clear in defining Spenser’s ‘narre’ (adverb) as an old comparative of ‘nigh’. This clue corrects Azed’s former oversight, if such it was, in respect of the comparative. However, both appear to use the word as an adjective. Regarding the pronunciation of CARNET, solvers who keep a note of their Spoonerisms should have written ‘cay’ ( or ), and not key3 (), strictly according to Chambers.

15.     Brown fur hat crowning round head of Russian etc loosely. ATTERCOP (A; otter cap; anag. inc. R, all in atop)  The slightly questionable surface here may have suggested another Spoonerism for one or two.

18.     The woman’s vessel to bake joint. HERSHIP (A; shirr hip; her, ship)  Dr Watson had heard ‘shirr’ used in speech, but it took a long trawl through Chambers to find its spelling, and thus to confirm its meaning as dimly remembered.

19.     Sources of wine full as ship put on power. PASHMS (B; … fine wool; P, as, HMS)  This clue may have caused warm glows among some of our number, but wry smiles among yachtsmen more wary of other gentlemen in smart white hats.

20.     Tried duck the French coated in juice. SALEP (B; fried tuck; le in sap)  Perhaps the easiest of all the clues to solve, once spotted.

21.     As dams of yore mere’s mixed with tarn so it can form artesian one. ÂINÉE (B; as dames of more years, s.v. dame2; composite anagram)  Our solution, when taken with the phrase: ‘tarn so it’, may be reordered as ‘artesian one’.

23.     Sore foe makes twelve hearts in a jiffy. THRICE (B; four so …; h in trice)  A clue for bridge players in more ways than one - ‘twelve hearts’ ‘bridges’ the gap between the two parts.

25.     INFERNO (The competition word, to be clued as type B)

28.     Fat put in stores − fifty do reast badly. LODESTAR (A; lard stow; L, anag.)  Sailing north might reduce the pong, perhaps?

30.     Cup wretch knocked back − cause to empty Scotch. TARGUM (A; gar2 toom; mug, rat, all rev.) Two Scots words here in the Spoonerism, wittily phrased, to exploit the alternative pronunciation of TARGUM (tärg-oom). The surface may have a particular resonance for one or two competitors - possibly!

31.     Inferior bit of ironstone? Cried ‘Fake!’ POORI (B; fried cake; poor, i)  The only difficulty here is finding a suitable four-letter synonym for ‘inferior’.

32.     Set of steps with line left out where pegs were pinned. STIE (B; where pigs were penned; sti(l)e)  The definition obtained in this ‘type B’ Spoonerism includes a qualification that the solution is an old spelling of sty1.

33.     Describing some of kittens brings container when taking in a function. CAROLEAN (B; … Britain’s kings; role in can)  The surface needs a bit of thought. Watson suggests a helper, Carole, possibly, tip-toeing around kittens with a food container whilst giving directions to delegates at a conference, one on Restoration court painters, perhaps.

34.     Fools trapped in a tangle of reeds witness seizure. REASSESSED (A; see arrest; asses in anag.)  From an episode of The Bloggers, perhaps.


1.       Wages dropping? Beg quietly with very kind person around? SPRAY-PAINT (Type A; pay spraint; pray, p, all in saint)  Otters make a further contribution to our delights.

2.       What becomes evident as e.g. rare pot’s left in punt? BLET (B; … pear rots; l in bet)  The first thought of a good few solvers may have been of punters still in a ‘rare pot’, i.e. those still having a chance of winning an accumulative Tote pool with a large value. Very often it’s a pair of rotters with a pound ticket on every likely winner of the last leg.

3.       A cut deflected in Civil Service − one ’s accustomed to parry darts. CACTUS (B; … arid parts; anag. in CS)  According to the perpetual instructions one should expect a consonantal Spoonerism of ‘parry darts’ to sound like ‘darry parts’. This clue shows that its how the phrase sounds when spoken, rather than how it’s written, that provides the opportunity to be inventive. Dr Watson’s firs t clue solved.

4.       Frost affecting woodland? Experiment with many sheets, we hear. TRIREME (A; tree rime; i.e. ‘try ream’)  In many of the ‘type A’ clues the cryptic part leads to two words (not necessarily connected) in the order indicated, but here, the reverse order is needed in the entry. As there is no entry for ‘tree rime’ in Chambers, acknowledgement of this licence is shown by the question mark.

5.       Heat or charm that hurts after hypnotist’s ending. TOUCH (B; cheat or harm; t, ouch!)  ‘Cheat’ and ‘harm’ are both listed as definitions of ‘touch’.

6.       Digger carried weight, see, teaching boys and girls. LOCOED (A; ko load; lo! co-ed)  For some reason, Watson contrived not to find a homophone of ‘ko’ for the Spoonerism (there are no others) until long after the puzzle was finished. He had ‘coll. owed’ penciled in. That (unsatisfactory) phrase could have been a possible meaning of ‘digger, carried weight’ but was clearly not a Spoonerism. Leaving it like that would have been of no consequence to any solver but one having to write a review.

7.       Reduce intervening space in gardens for some stuff holding father up. PERISARC (A; serry park; sire in crap, all rev.)  Those otters, again.

8.       Where rat’ll comb? Such bran (chesil) stores. RANCH (B; where cattle roam; hidden)  Another clue easily solved, but one providing the reviewer with another opportunity to give a less than pleasing Spoonerism. Dr Watson’s first thought was ‘where cat’ll roam’, puma and the like - true of any ranch, but not the obvious answer.

9.       Love sort of mint glacé with end of flake stuck in? Bairn matter. ONE-PIECE (A; wean pus; 0, nep, e in ice))  A clue for the old-fashioned sort of male, especially in its definition. Pass the humbugs.

14.     Composer called name for d-dish with tell-tale flavour around. TAPPET-RING (A; Tippet rang; P-Petri in tang)  Watson has waited for ages for a proper name to come along, and two come at once. Sir Michael Tippet is standing in for garage duties, and J.R. Petri provides lunch.

16.     Stoop manner in a tread that’s jerky. RAINDATE (A; deign rate; anag.)  That’ll be The Ashes.

17.     Cotton bargain in US, yipee, beginning to sell around England. WHEENGES (A; jean whizz; Eng in whee, s)  Let’s hear it for the Poms.

20.     Woman put on large-scale series of events, vegetable exhibitions. SHEEPOS (A; pea shows; she, epos)  And then there’s The Ashes.

22.     Rampant mange round dog’s middle - sever claws? GNOMAE (B; clever saws; o in anag.)  Know me, know my dog.

24.     One part of Bible with God being sent up, having street fête? By no means. IN-TOED (B; having straight feet? By no means; 1, NT, Deo (rev.))  Walk ye in the way of the Lord or else, perhaps.

26.     I’m toff in Rome - that’s some titfer I adopt. FERIA (B; time off in Rome; hidden)  Azed’s note that our solution appears as an etymology only is doubly true. It is given at the entries for ‘ferial’ and ‘fair’. The surface of Azed’s clue is a delight.

27.     More than one stiff from the weights finish up with horse? Not he. ODORS (B; … whiff from the States; do (rev.) (h)ors(e))  The surface here seems somewhat odd. Perhaps it is intended that the ‘he’ is the exception amongst a number of visitors to the gym in which case the ‘he’ might have been better in italics.

29.     Bard who’s one that’s boxed? ARAK (B; hard booze; a in ark) That’s enough flippant comments. (Ed.)


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