Azed No 2347 Plain (4 Jun 2017)

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

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HIS month’s competition puzzle took Dr Watson a little longer than usual to get started, as there wasn’t anything obvious in the across clues on first reading. But 7 down rang an immediate bell, taking your reviewer back sixteen years, to the days when ’blogs sported an apostrophe, and to a memorable hidden & lit. clue. Thereafter things fell quite quickly into place.

Notes to the clues:


1.       Fancy brief hot pants, arty, tight  PHANTASTRY (anag. incl. H)  Not a great deal of rearrangement of the letters required, but the solver needs to take a guess at which of ‘fancy’ and ‘tight’ is the definition and which the anagram indicator.

18.     Clan leader following son as anti-establishment type  SKINHEAD  (s + kin head)  The definition comes from Chambers ‘a young person with closely cropped hair, … displaying aggressive anti-establishment behaviour’.

19.     Monetary unit, risen in rank, king struck  RUPEE (up in ree(K))  Dr Watson couldn’t find enough evidence that ‘rank’ and ‘reek’ are the same part of speech, though this appears to be the intention of the wordplay. Update – It’s been pointed out elsewhere that the intended wordplay is probably ‘ree(king)’.

20.     Tiny element of genetic change, one of pair removed from sheep  MUTON (m(o)uton)  One of the pair of o’s in ‘mouton’ must be removed.

24.     Ray maybe doffing cap, one of pair flanking doorway  ANTA ((m)anta)  Solvers looking for a well-known person called Ray will search in vain.

29.     Dye, fashionable, worked out, I extend for lining  INDIGOID (in + I go in did)  There are a few uncommon synonyms to piece together in this clue.

30.     Star swallows cocktail – it’s gone down fast!  SKI RUN (kir in sun)  One of Azed’s trademark punning definitions.


3.       First of wines included in bill, that is e.g. Beaujolais Nouveau  NEWBIE  (w in neb + i.e.)  ‘Newbie’ might not be a word you’d naturally associate with the wine trade, but Azed picks up on the Chambers definition ‘a new arrival’.

6.       A racket I’ll yield to in sound commercial practice  TRADING (a din for I in trig)  The key to the clue is finding trig2, meaning ‘sound’ in the same sense it’s used in the surface reading.

7.       Royal cubit used in measurements  REMEN (hidden)  The neat wordplay looked familiar, and a quick search revealed that Dr Watson’s very first review for Azed 1502 in 2001 included praise for the even briefer ‘A unit of measurement’, also at 7 down. In his comments on the puzzle, Azed noted the clue was “one of those ‘it-has-to-be’ windfalls that very occasionally fall into one’s lap and one that may perhaps have been used before, though I don’t recall seeing it.”

10.     Gas valve? Bell-end pipe needs adjusting  BLEED-NIPPLE (anag.)  Somehow the setter manages to steer clear of all the potential double entendre in both clue and solution.

21.     Hauls in warps? Not I, free from such?  UNLASH (anag. less I)  Very much a semi-& lit. clue with the definition referring back to ‘warps’, meaning a type of rope or thread, in the wordplay.

26.     Linked compilation, as present in court  SEGUE (e.g. in sue)  ‘As’ is a slightly unusual indicator for ‘e.g.’, but it may be used to mean ‘such as’.


Other solutions:

Across:  11. HAVEREL (have + rel(y));  12. RETAIL (I in later, rev.);  14. DIAMANTE (a man in dite);  15. TURBOT (b(one) in anag.);  16. ECHE (hidden);  17. POIS (2 mngs.);  22. EVENSONG (ven(I)son in e.g.);  25. SIRI (iris, rev.; pan3);  27. ASLEEP;  31. DEISEAL (E in anag.);  21. MESENCHYME (M + anag.).

Down:  1. PHOTORESIST (hot in pores + anag.);  2. HAPU (ha’ + up, rev.);  4. TRIOSE (I in anag.);  5. SLICKENSIDE (kens id in slice; ken2);  8. DANCETTES (dance + anag.);  9. LITH (lit + H; lit = drunk);  13. PROPERDIN (proper din);  18. STOLONS (hidden);  20. MASTIC (Asti in MC);  26. INKY ((K)inky);  28. EXAM (hidden).


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