AZED CROSSWORD 100
1. D. F. Manley: An ancient the Queen may get excited (anag. incl. ER, & lit.; ref. Royal telegram).
2. R. H. Adey: Am able to receive that letter from the Queen at last, aren’t I excited! (en + anag. in can, & lit.; ref. Royal telegram).
3. F. D. H. Atkinson: You deserve congratulations, old man. You’ll hardly find an ancienter (anag.).
W. G. Arnott: What Azed has become, by squaring X? (2 mngs.; 100 = 102; X = Ximenes).
E. A. Beaulah: Despatched a creature of the air, we hear: the Ancient Mariner? (‘sent an airy ’un’).
F. L. Boot: Devil reincarnate right away given name – Azed? Yes, because of his puzzles (anag. less r + n).
Rev C. M. Broun: This man’s 100 puzzles entrance at least one Scot (anag. + Ian).
C. O. Butcher: With what puzzles I entrance – one, Azed, about no. 3,700? (anag. + an; i.e. puzzle no. by time of Azed’s centenary).
Mrs M. P. Craine: ‘Letters latent’ within earn ancient epithet for Azed prematurely (anag.).
A. J. Crow: Some will greet him, wrinkled, ancient – Queen Elizabeth, one (anag. incl. ER + an; ref. Royal telegram).
R. R. Greenfield: Inane canter upset e.g. the one-hoss shay (anag.; ref. O. W. Holmes, ‘The Deacon’s Masterpiece’).
D. V. Harry: An ancient who’s received Her Majesty’s blessing (anag. incl. ER; ref. Royal telegram; bless3 = beat, wound).
A. Hodgson: Ancient near his Maker? (anag. & lit.).
E. M. Hornby: My landmark is due to innate care and never, not ever, getting ruffled (anag. incl. n(ever)).
C. H. Hudson: Labuntur anni, involving disintegration of an erect old chap (anag. in anag.; ‘the years glide by’ (Horace: Odes 2.14)).
P. Hurst: I canter with Anne, newly dressed – with ‘three up’ I have the Queen’s congratulations (anag.; ref. Capt. M. Phillips, 3 pips or figures).
F. G. Illingworth: I’m probably playing my last part – witness an entrance I muffed (anag.; ref. AYLI, Seven Ages of Man).
Dr P. D. King: Amiss can entertain, once Trinidad’s opener’s off: he’s started on second hundred already (anag. less T; ref. Dennis A., cricketer).
J. R. Kirby: Ancient mortal, inherently born in a different era (n in anag. in anag., & lit.; mortal = very drunk).
C. G. Millin: I can learn, though no beginner, to do without X – and I’m a very old stager (ten in anag. less l; X = Ximenes).
F. R. Palmer: One to make an entrance, I – in the last scene of all? (anag.; ref. AYLI, Seven Ages of Man).
J. B. Sweeting: I receive the royal greeting; in a whirl, I canter with Anne (anag.; ref. Royal telegram, Princess A.).
Mrs M. P. Webber: Ancient extraordinary – parting could be near (anag. in anag., & lit.).
M. Adams, C. Allen Baker, T. Anderson, Dr G. B. Arrowsmith, M. J. Balfour, Dr J. G. Booth, J. A. Bulley, E. J. Burge, D. A. H. Byatt, R. S. Caffyn, A. H. P. Carden, B. J. R. Carey, Mrs J. M. Critchley, A. L. Dennis, A. L. Freeman, Mrs J. O. Fuller, F. D. Gardiner, Dr B. Greer, A. J. Hill, Mrs N. Jarman, Miss R. M. Kettlewell, A. D. Legge, C. J. Lowe, B. Manvell, H. S. Mason, D. P. M. Michael, C. J. Morse, W. G. H. Myles, D. S. Nagle, M. Newman, Mrs P. K. M. Oakeshott, Miss M. J. Patrick, W. H. Pegram, M. L. Perkins, F. H. W. Peters, C. J. B. Powell, T. L. Price, Mrs G. Rajkowska, K. Reed, W. Rodgers, H. R. Sanders, A. D. Scott, P. R. Scott, N. E. Sharp, Mrs B. Simmonds, M. D. Speigel, J. R. Stocks, J. G. Stubbs, L. E. Thomas, G. A. Tomlinson, M. J. Venning, Rev C. D. Westbrook, A. R. Wheatley, B. C. Wilcox, Mrs M. K. R. Wood, S. E. Woods, Dr R. L. Wynne, W. J. Youngson.
About 475 entries, very few mistakes. Your enthusiastic comments would seem to indicate that this special celebration of the ton-up was suitably diverting. I suspect the penny dropped pretty soon for most of you, but I was too intrigued to see whether it could be done, once I’d had the idea, to worry too much about that. Strictly speaking, of course, I’m not a centenarian (more a centurion, as someone pointed out), and nowhere in the preamble did I actually say that I was, but in judging clues I was lenient to those who said or suggested that I was. My apologies to perplexed purists.
Many unsuccessful contenders for a place in the lists ask for more guidance on how to get there. I still think the best way is to study the successful clues and to note their accuracy, wit and economy, but perhaps it will be useful if I quote, completely at random, a selection of entries which did not make the grade, with a few comments on why. They are not necessarily the worst submitted by any means. ‘Upset can tire Anne when she receives the Queen’s telegram.’ The ‘when’ is superfluous and misleading in that it obscures the fact that the word clued is a noun. ‘Azed achieves his ton when he drives around Muswell Hill chased by two.’ (EN TEN (N.10) in CAR + 1 + AN (1 + 1 = 2)). Dreadfully unsound, I’m afraid, and virtually unsolvable. There is no indication of the part of speech required; ‘when he drives’ will never do for ‘car’; Muswell Hill is only one part of London N.10; and ‘two’ for 1 +AN is surely unacceptable. ‘Brew up nectar, Annie, and we’ll toast this G.O.M.’ Perfectly sound, but uninspired. Who is this Annie? And does one brew nectar? ‘I reach 100 and omit one caret in inane puzzle.’ (Anagram of caret in inane minus one.) The anagram indication is unsound. A noun of this kind appended to the words to be jumbled cannot grammatically mean what the cluer intends. If he intends it to be read as an imperative verb it puts too much strain on the syntax for acceptability. ‘Omit one’ is also an awkward stranded phrase for the function it performs. ‘An ancient c, a letter written by a backward people.’ (cent-en-a-Nair (rev.)). ‘Backward’ won’t do for ‘upwards’ in a down clue. The clue doesn’t mean much, besides. ‘Part-song is a round in French, nice intro – one of the oldies.’ Competitor’s notes add ‘part = cent’, which I don’t understand, ‘a round = around’, which it doesn’t, ‘nice intro = N’, which it can’t – that would be ‘nice’s intro’, which is nonsense. I hope the foregoing comments are useful. A further selection next month.
Two other small points. I’m asked whether I accept definitions or meanings not in Chambers but given in other dictionaries. This is a tricky one to answer, but in general I do. I can hardly ignore the authority of O.E.D. and the like, and whereas we all use Chambers most frequently (since I recommend it) I don’t feel I would be justified in automatically disqualifying a competitor who looked elsewhere for the meaning he sought. As often therefore it’s a matter of discretion.
Finally a correction. It’s been pointed out to me that the Playfair code is featured in ‘Have His Carcase’, not ‘The Nine Tailors’ as I said last time. X always said: ‘Check everything, even if you think you know it.’ How right he was!