Azed No 2300 Plain (3 Jul 2016)

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

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 NOTHER century up is notched up by Azed. There seem to be more anagrams than usual amongst the clues in this competition puzzle, but it may be just be the luck of the draw that has provided several solutions amenable to straight anagrams. There are many fine surface readings as usual, and but no traps, and very little that needs to be found outside of Chambers.

Notes to the clues:


9.       African imprisoned, denied special surrounding  HUTU (sp. taken from shut up)  A well-taken opportunity. The solver gets plenty of information about what to remove from what and where..

11.     Party to duck, held in the local?  IN ON  (0 in inn)  Azed carefully conceals the definition ‘party to’.

14.     Rabbit? What one may be when brought before HM?  PETER (pet + ER)  A reference to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. The ‘when’ in the wordplay is a nice misdirection, making it look as though there’s some causal connection between the parts of the solution.

18.     Toxic substance that’s ruined dinner  ENDRIN (anag.)  Here’s a clue that practically writes itself.

22.     What’ll help you get a grip? As things are, tea, among group of seven?  SNOW CHAINS (now cha in sins)  A lovely misleading surface that hangs together very well. The ‘group of seven’ is the Deadly Sins.

30.     Mouldings in warehouse, front to back  TORES (s to end in store)  With T, O and E in place, Dr Watson spent some time looking for a variation of DEPOT to no avail. ‘Tores’ here is the plural of ‘tore’, which can be found in Chambers under the entry for ‘torus’ but doesn’t appear to be cross-referenced.

31.     One practising turns in front of the author produces CV  RESUMÉ (user, rev. + me)  Azed might like to recheck the sense of the cryptic reading, which really needs to have ‘turning’ or ‘producing’ to work grammatically. Not a clue for the resumé?

32.     Mosque officer? Don’t give —— for ’is supper!  IMAM (i.e. don’t give (h)im (h)am)  A rather cheeky clue, but it stays just about on the right side of the PC boundary.

33.     Ides possibly? Character ending life enters underworld  DIES (anag., e in Dis, & lit.)  This double wordplay & lit. is effectively two clues. ‘Ides possibly’ leads to ‘dies’, the Latin for ‘day’. The second part is more semi-& lit., with ‘enters underworld’ as the definition. Perhaps rather too rich a clue.


1.       Tempo Bach varied when involving River Jordan  CHAMBERPOT  (R in anag.)  Regular solvers will have come across this meaning of ‘Jordan’ before. The anagram looks new, though..

3.       Church reformer dominating north window  LUTHERN (Luther + N)  An interesting cryptic use of ‘dominating’ to mean ‘standing over’.

5.       Classical country group – hempen homespun?  RUSSET (rus set)  Rus is Latin for ‘country’, and can be found in the etymology of  ‘rural’ in Chambers. Rus is also another name for the region covering a large part of the Near East and known in classical times as Ruthenia. Either explanation works.

11.     Façade of temple flanked by wings recently (but no longer)  ALATE (t in alae)  ‘Recently (but no longer)’ cleverly disguises the definition as part of the wordplay.

24.     Revolutionary group around active Red  CADRE (ca. + anag.)  Although the wordplay is simple to resolve, you need to find it first, and work out what’s required. That’s not so easy, as the each of the words could be used in a number of different cryptic ways. CADRE was set by Ximenes as the competition word for puzzle no. 179 back in 1951. X admonished competitors who defined the word indirectly through its alternative meanings of ‘skeleton’ and ‘nucleus’.


Other solutions:

Across:  1. CHILD-CROWING (child + crowing);  10. RAUN (a in run);  13. AMYTAL (y, t in a mal);  16. MISHMASH;  29. ENERGETICS (anag.);  25. PUTTIE (put tie);  29. MEDUSOID (anag. less o in Med);  34. OWER (initial letters);  35. MALAPERTNESS (anag. in mess).

Down:  2. HUMIC (c to end in chum I);  4. DRAMA (dram a);  6. WIELD (I in weld);  7. INTARSIA (I in anag.);  8. NOETIAN (anag.);  15. RINGSIDERS (ings in riders);  17. VESTURAL (u, r in vestal);  20. NEUROMA (euro in anag.);  21. CAISSON (a is so for lea in clean);  23. WEENIE (wee + n + i.e.);  26. THEMA (hem in ta);  27. QUEST (hidden);  28. LIMES (2 mngs.).


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