Azed No 2360 Plain (3 Sep 2017)

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

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 NEW competition year opens with a fairly straightforward Plain from Azed. Solvers will need to know their SE Asian states, their tennis stars and their former Italian carmakers. Pretty much everything else can be found in Chambers, though it’s less than helpful in pinning down the context in which you might see the competition word VIDENDA used.

Notes to the clues:


20.     Lime tree? It grows wild in this mere  TEIL (comp. anag.)  It’s hard to classify this comp. anag. clue as & lit. or not. ‘Lime tree’ is the definition, but also provides the anagram material. Yet ‘It grows live in this mere’ is just wordplay. Lime trees don’t generally grow in meres and which is ‘this’ mere anyway? Perfectly solvable, but semi-&lit. at best in Dr Watson’s view.

21.     Successes ending in party, old-fashioned booze-up  UPSY (ups + y)  An interesting word, ‘upsy’, whose meaning has shifted over time from ‘in the manner of’ to a description of a way of carousing, to a carousal, to a cry made during a carousal..

30.     Car I found in canal, wrecked  LANCIA (I in anag.)  Lancia cars, now sold only in Italy, were notorious rust-buckets, as Dr Watson recalls, when exposed to the British climate. More than one probably ended its life dumped in a canal by its embittered owner.

32.     Things to be seen  VIDENDA  Chambers provides this frustratingly vague definition for the competition word. OED is more helpful, giving “Things worth seeing or that should be seen” and citing some pre-20c guidebooks for examples of use. It appears to have been used in English principally for ‘sights’ in the touristic sense, rather than, say, sports events or shows.

34.     Outstanding court performer, not one given holiday from hearing …  NOVAK (no + ‘vac’)  A reference of course to tennis player Novak Djokovic, whose excellent form has been dogged by injury recently. The ellipsis at the end of the clue is simply a link to the surface reading of the next one. No cryptic elements are carried over.



2.       Vaguely laid-back? Will of iron conceals it  LO-FI (hidden)  The definition and unusual form of the solution serve to make this hidden clue a little more tricky.

4.       Malay state to manage in British Empire latterly, then independent  BRUNEI (run in B e + I)  Azed could have gone fully & lit. with this clue to nation of Brunei Darussalam, but chose instead to allow the wordplay to accurately enhance the definition.

7.       Shuffling feet, a don’s no good with a tune  TONE-DEAF (anag.)  Where a solution has previously been used as a competition word, Azed often reuses a favourite clue from the competition entry. He hasn’t taken the opportunity here to share something from the Azed 895 competition of 1989.

8.       Camp you’ll rarely find top in stories?  OUTLIE (i.e. out-lie)  A nice head-scratcher of a clue. The solution calls for an imaginative construction along the lines of ‘outplay’, ‘outlast’ etc.

10.     Only in Afghan language, name for ‘knob’  PUSH-BUTTON (but in Pushto + n)  The ‘name’ at the end is crucial to distinguishing Pushto, the language, from one of the various spellings of Pushtun, the speaker of Pushto.

16.     Goats etc jumping apace round Scottish track  CAPRINAE (rin in anag.)  With the sixth letter unchecked, solvers need to make sure they trace ‘rin’, a Scots spelling found in the heading of the Chambers entry for ‘run’, and don’t assume the answer must be the more likely-looking ‘Capridae’, which is apparently an older classification of goats.


Other solutions:

Across:  1. ALPHABET SOUP (anag.);  10. PORAL (p oral);  11. DUNT (dun + t);  13. ANGUINE ((s)anguine);  14. SIX-GUN (X in anag.);  15. CELLAR (hidden); 18. ADDICT (anag. in act);  19. BASQUINE (quin in base);  23. SEPALINE (pal in Seine);  26. TRACTS (tr. + Acts);  29. TIMBRE (Br(itten) in time);  33. NAOS (a (ante) in son, rev.);  35 PENDENTE LITE (pen dent elite).

Down:  3. PRAXIS (pr. + axis);  4. HANGI (ng in hai(l));  6. ERICA (eric a);  9. UNLACING (anag. + in G.);  12. TURTLEBACK (anag. in tack);  17. LUSTRINE (in in anag.);  22. SAMSON (anag. + on);  24. PALEST (Palest(inians));  25. INCAVI (Inca VI);  27. SEDAN (hidden);   28. INDOL (N in idol);  31. IKAT (taki, rev.).


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