Azed No 2222 Plain (3 Jan 2015)

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

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ZED starts off the New Year with a puzzle generously sprinkled with witty & lit. clues in the acrosses. It’s not the easy solve that regulars might have come to expect in January, but there are no serious traps, and even with solutions such as ACTORS and DEXTER, Azed resists the temptation to stray from what can be verified in Chambers. The competition phrase OBJECT LESSON offers great scope for a creative definition.

Notes to the clues:


10.     Sketch Queen among unruly corgis? Not good  CROQUIS (Qu in anag. less g)  Solvers who, like Dr Watson, searched for a solution that would fit ER or HM inside the anagram should note this abbreviation for future reference.

14.     ‘Amber tincture’ getting a solicitor half cut?  ANATTO (an + atto(rney))  One of five possible spellings of ‘annatto’, this one doesn’t have its own headword in Chambers, but appears under ‘anatta’. Note the wordplay doesn’t lead to half of ‘an attorney’, but ‘an’ (= a) and half of ‘attorney’.

15.     Men in cast possibly  ACTORS (OR in anag., & lit.)  The second (after 12a) and most concise of the & lit. clues. ‘OR’ (other ranks) for ‘men’ is a widely used crossword convention.

17.     Who’ll render France lawful when it strays?  FLIC (F lic(it), & lit.)  Another & lit., and the best clue of the puzzle in Dr Watson’s opinion.

19.     In Mideast one duly made to suffer barbaric punishment  STONED (hidden)  The linking of ‘Mideast’ to the definition makes the clue an unusually strong comment for Azed.

21.     If with mean scraps … you may have got this  FAMINE (anag. & lit.)  A fourth & lit. in short order. Azed seems to be on a roll.

24.     Small portion in Scotland? South denied something similar  TATE (ta(S)te)  A tricky clue with the first letter unchecked. The ‘something similar’ refers back to the definition, and you need to work out what’s denied and where.

26.     At least four cups once cursed that’ll need polishing  BRASSWARE (bras sware)  There’s nothing new about indicating ‘bra’ with ‘cups’, but Dr Watson enjoyed the numerical precision of the clue and the lateral definition.



9.       Recover from being pale, entering form of therapy  OVERGET (verge in OT)  ‘Being’ here is merely a connecting word, and ‘pale’ is used in the sense of ‘boundary’.

10.     Irritation for old poet – he’s taken in by clown using dialect words  CHAUFF (a2 in chuff2)  Both ‘a’ and ‘chuff’ are used in their dialect meanings.

11.     Being so makes car drive off, instinctively  IN SE (i.e. car in se = scare)  Azed seems to be using ‘reverse cryptic’ clues more frequently these days. In this clue type the solution is treated as though it was a cryptic indicator.

20.     Spectator’s left entranced by grand exterior  DEXTER (hidden)  This is the heraldic meaning of ‘dexter’, which refers to the right-hand side of a shield from the bearer’s point of view.

26.     Spiritual father, last to take lead in a hostelry  BAPU (b moved to start in a pub)  Another tricky clue, with PAPA or PAPE looking promising before the B is confirmed.


Other solutions:

Across:  1. OBJECT LESSON;  12. HOWK (how2 + (pic)k, & lit.);  13. FREEMEN (meer (= mere2), rev., in fen);   16. PASTURAGE (as tur(nip) in page);  28. AVIDIN (diva, rev. + in);  30. USENET (US + tene, rev.);  31. PALADIN (lad in pain);  32. FAVE (f ave);  33. STILTER (anag. in stir);  34. CENTROSPHERE (anag.).

Down:  2. BROND (n in brod);  3. JOWARI (war in joi(n));  4. CURTAIN-SIDER (curt A insider);  5. TIFOSI (is of it, all rev.);  6. EXECUTORSHIP (anag. in Exe ship);  7. SHET (H in set);  8. SAMOAN (0 in saman);  18. LARVATE (A in anag.);  22. MAIL-IN (L I in main);  23. HAUNTS (U in Hants);  25. ADNATE (DNA in ate);  27. BEVER (b + ever);  29. DAFT (d + aft).


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