Azed No 2230 Plain (1 Mar 2015)

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

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HERE’S little in March’s competition puzzle to hold up regular solvers. Clue-writing competitors may, however, feel differently about the competition word. The grid is interesting for containing one 12-letter solution starting with an X and another with a Z, both joining to EXTRAVAGANZA at 1 down. Unusually for Azed there are only 16 down solutions.

Notes to the clues:


13.     Old soak, in avoiding wine etc, missing clubs  WEET (w(in)e + et(c))  A double subtraction, but it looks like ‘wine’ is avoiding ‘in’ rather than vice versa.

14.     Rogue sailor on junk possibly mixing up his port and starboard?  RASCAL (lascar with l and r swapped)  ‘Lascar’ conveniently has l on the left and r on the right, so the wordplay can be interpreted in two ways.

16.     Oxford dreamers heading for renown in MI6?  SPIRES (r in spies)  A clever reference to both Matthew Arnold’s description and Oxford’s history of producing spies (though the notorious Cold War double agents were Cambridge men of course).

18.     Huge ——’s whizzing? ‘See me go with huskies!’  ESKIMO (comp. anag. & lit.)  The explanation is that ‘huge Eskimo’s’ is anagram of ‘me go huskies’. Not Dr Watson’s favourite type of clue, and it’s not really clear why the Eskimo needs to be huge from the definition point of view.

29.     Like M. Antony addressing crowd?  TOGATE (to gate)  Dr Watson spent a while looking for a word that would relate to ear-lending, but a more visual idea of Mark Antony is required. The reduction of Mark to M. doesn’t seem to serve any purpose.

32.     With being gripped by spirit, I instal converted anti-Lutheran? ZWINGLIANIST (w in zing + anag.)  A fine word, offering a rare excursion to the last page of Chambers for those who use the paper version. Huldrych Zwingli’s creed would probably be regarded as more anti-Catholic than anti-Lutheran – he took up arms against the Catholics of Switzerland and died in battle.



7.       R. Blanc’s art goes into exotic bread and potato dish  ROESTI  (es (Fr.) in roti)  Perhaps this abbreviation of names is a space-saver. ‘Es’ for ‘art’, as in ‘thou art’, is a fairly common crossword setters’ trick.


Other solutions:

Across:  2. CUNCTATORY (anag. in anag.);  10. XANTHOCHROIA (X ant + 0 in anag.);  11. TRIG (2 mngs.);   15. TOUSLE (L in to use);  17. VEXT (X in vet);  21. ALDINE (d in a line);  23. GOAF (go af(t));  26. URTICA (a citru(s), rev.);  28. AVOCET ((Viv)a voce + t);  30. NOME (n to start in omen);   31. PLEA (hidden);  33. SCANDALISE (scan Dali + s(auvagism)e).

Down:  1. EXTRAVAGANZA (extra vaga(Bond) NZ a);  2. CARAVEL (a rave in CL);  3. UNISEX (sin, rev. + E, all in ux);  4. CHEAPEN (anag.);  5. TOILINETTE (line in anag.);  6. THROE (hr in toe);  8. YIELD (2 mngs.);  9. GATES OF DEATH;  12. STRELITZIA (St + el in Ritz I a);  19. SECONAL (a in lance’s, rev.);  20. MALTESE (l in anag.);  22. DROMIC (I’m in cord, all rev.);  24. OXALIS (lax, rev., in O is);  25. AVOWS (0 in a VW + s);  27. REIGN (reign(iting)).


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