Azed No 2490 Plain (1 Mar 2020)

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

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ACK to normal for competitors with the friendly DREAMSCAPE to clue after the the travails of VOX POP and BRUHAHA. Can we expect an abundance of melting timepieces in the next Slip? Azed’s clues are probably a little on the difficult side this time, though their references remain largely within Chambers. One Elizabethan writer who clearly isn’t Shakespeare or Spenser features, along with a familiar chanteuse, and a little German comes in handy for one of the acrosses. Azed also spots an amusing way to clue ANIME.

Notes to the clues:


7.      Starting with piece of drawing room furniture, back to front  AS OF (sofa with a to start)  Neither the definition nor the wordplay is obvious (even to those who have a drawing room), and the unchecked third latter might tempt the solver towards ‘as if’.

11.    Daughter backing Indian city as place for cremation  DARGA (d + Agra, rev.)  ‘Indian city’ in a crossword clue is most likely to be Goa, Agra or Delhi, though Ooti is also a convenient one.

12.    Mysterious, or fish-y?  SHADY (i.e. shad-y)  It’s nice to see Azed indulging in a simpler wordplay like this one, even if Dr Watson’s heart sank briefly at the prospect of identifying the four-letter fish.

18.    It’s no good with any old wrapping that’s waxy  ANGRY (ng in ary)  The wrapper isn’t ‘any’ but its obsolete alternative ‘ary’. The definition refers to wax3 meaning a fit of anger.

22.    Form of cinema requiring no head of casting?  ANIME (anag. less c, & lit.)  A brilliantly spotted & lit., whose penny drops with a satisfying clink. Let’s not argue whether the voice talents in an anime film need to be cast.

32.    Enduring performer beloved of Parisians  CHER (2 mngs.)  It’s obvious once you spot it of course, and Azed provides a kind definition for the now 73-year-old trouper.



2.      Oxford table talk on appropriate habitat for salmon  OUANANICHE (OU ana niche)  A much less well-known fish than our earlier shad. ‘Oxford’ often refers to the gown as well as the town. Regular solvers will have come across ana, meaning gossip, before.

6.      Among the fallen at Ypres? Certainly not including lively OAP   NAPOO (anag. in no)  Even the survivors of Ypres are sadly all gone now, so a lively OAP wouldn’t be among them. ‘Napoo’ is a soldiers’ corruption of ‘il n’y a plus’.

7.      Walking stick and hat’s adjusted, with OS map pocketed?  ASHPLANT (plan in anag.)  Nothing too difficult, but why an OS map? Azed seems to intend OS for ‘outsize’ rather than Ordnance Survey, a plan being defined in Chambers as a ‘large scale map’.

9.      Part of intersection? Swat’s aimed to get —— the head  FLY-UNDER (i.e. get fly under the head)  A rare use of the missing word dash to complete a sentence. The ‘head’ is that of the swat rather than the fly.

19.    Squares cut up into two small ones?  SCARVES (carve in S S)  A neat double use of ‘square’ as definition and abbreviation.

28.    Note penned by (contemporary) playwright, Spenser’s sort  KYND (n in Kyd)  A reference to Thomas Kyd, an almost exact comtemporary of our favourite Edmund.


Other solutions:

Across: 1. WOBEGONE (OB + anag.);  10. AIR MARSHAL (anag.);  14. INOSITOL (anag.);  17. TOLLMEN (m in toll en);  19. SPAYAD (pay in sad);  20. MIDAIR (anag. in mir1);  24. SCOPULA (copulas with s to start);  27. FOREDECK (cede, rev., in fork);  29. REALS (hidden; real4);  30. APPAY (appa(rent l)y);  31. INTERREGNA (anag.); 33. LESSENED (essen (Ger.) in led). 

Down: 1. WADI (I d(R)aw, rev.);  3. BARONG (baron + g(lass));  4. GRAIP (a in grip);  5. OMITTER (anag.);  8. SHAMMY (sham my!);  13. DREAMSCAPE;  15. SAMSARIC (anag.);  16. GRAPPLER (Gr apple r);  21. DOGATE (dog ate);  23. ICE PAN (‘I span’);  25. LOURE (0 in lure);  26. PEAGS (Ag in pes).


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