AZED CROSSWORD 2369
1. J. Grimes: What wags feature in acts? Turns with ——, possibly (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. R. J. Heald: Find early evidence of Allen’s in ‘The Front’ and ‘Sleeper’ (A in face tie, & lit.; ref. early Woody A. films).
3. L. F. Marzillier: Hole in one, stroke secured by iron, clever stuff! (ace TIA in Fe).
T. Anderson: Front covers of these absorb the focus of deviants! (face + ia in t, e, & lit.).
M. Barley: Lewd stories collectively surface – even members of cabinet are involved (facet + anag. of even letters).
T. C. Borland: Cracks in decrepit Fiat, one close to scrappage (ace in anag. + e).
Dr J. Burscough: Video app acting as mobile pornography? (FaceTime® with a for m).
C. A. Clarke: Female, not being embarrassed, ignored affectionate off-colour quips (anag. less anag. incl. f).
N. Connaughton: Foyles and company’s expression to indicate anything erotic, primarily (first letters & lit.).
W. Drever: Primarily funny adages? Cruder examples typically include adult erotica (first letters & lit.).
C. Loving: Tart deliveries perhaps – busy cafeteria has run out (anag. less r).
P. McKenna: What may be cutting edge, bordering on terse, fetching glimpses of ingenious acuity? (face + I, a in t, e, & lit.).
C. G. Millin: Heartless buffoonery and regressive term for literature about sex (fa(r)ce + e a it (rev.), 2 defs, & lit.).
S. J. O’Boyle: Facetime’s ace for mobile banter (a for m).
R. J. Palmer: Getting a fee I act out lines worthy of Oscar (anag.; ref. O. Wilde).
P. Taylor: Smartphone app lifting threshold for messages, space filled with amateur witticisms (FaceTime® with a for m; ref. also Twitter).
R. C. Teuton: Term for literature in truth that is filled with adult content (e in fact + a in i.e., & lit.).
P. Tharby: In these you’ll find brazen sex turning up and a bit of erotica (face + it (rev.) + a, e, & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: Deface a toilet door? Could be drôle to do with —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Offer opposition to Scots espousing independence – they make you laugh (face + I in tae).
Ms S. Wallace: A state office has messed up after concealing woeful stash of porn material (anag. less anag.).
A. J. Wardrop: Newspaper contains outstanding leaders of impressive authority and excellent humorous pieces (ace in FT + I, a, e).
A. Whittaker: Porn star engaged in feat I found perverted (ace in anag.).
D. & N. Aspland, M. Auton (France), A. Brash, J. A. Butler, P. Cargill, S. L. Claughton, M. Coates, V. Dixon (Ireland), J. Doylend, G. I. L. Grafton, G. Johnstone, J. C. Leyland, J. Liddle, J. M. Lindsay, G. Macdonald, Dr R. MacGillivray, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, J. R. C. Michie, T. J. Moorey, S. Naysmith, R. A. Norton, D. J. R. Ogilvie, R. Perry, J. & A. Price, M. Price, S. Randall, W. Ransome, A. Roberts (New Zealand), R. J. Sharkey, J. M. Sharman, Dr S. J. Shaw, P. L. Stone, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, L. Ward (USA), R. J. Whale, K. J. Williams, J. Woodall (France), R. Zara.
A tough challenge, clearly, only 129 entries but with no mistakes. Favourite clue, of 18 mentioned: ‘Most misguided about wealthy lives, refusing to face reality’ for the delightful word OSTRICHISM. ‘Jigsaw’ puzzles place extra demands on the solver, of course, while involving no additional effort on the part of the setter, in that a fair amount of blind solving is required before any solution can be confidently entered, and this time the difficulty was compounded by the pattern (90-degree symmetry and no linking of the 10-letter entries). I borrowed the idea originally from Araucaria (who used it a lot) and have now given you 13 of them in all, 5 of them as competitions. Other setters now regularly use the Jigsaw format, including the brilliant Antico in The Oldie. Though this puzzle may have been harder than most, it was much enjoyed. Azed solvers generally like to be stretched. (One regular, who shall be nameless, said he found it quite easy!) Two competitors surprised me by querying the validity of ‘pilots’ in my clue to IDLER (‘Wheel not operating riled pilots’), in which, for the cryptic reading, ‘which’ or ‘that’ has to be understood after ‘operating’, and ‘pilots’ has to be read as a transitive verb. Not too far-fetched, surely?
Of many good ideas among clues to FACETIAE submitted, the near-anagram CAFETERIA was much the most popular, though tricky to link to either of the two main definitions (but see Mr Loving’s clever approach above). Oscar Wilde also turned up quite a lot. And several of you with disarming honesty confessed that they had made life difficult for themselves by jumping to the conclusion that the clue word would be EPIGRAMS.
I feel I must mention that The Observer forwarded to me a (politely worded) complaint about the swastika pattern of bars which occurred (four times) in this puzzle, as it does from time to time, though not more than a couple of times a year, as a careful check reveals. No regular solvers have ever picked me up on this, and I am reluctant to commit myself to a total ban on this disposition of bars, but I welcome any comments you feel moved to make. The last thing I want is to cause offence unwittingly.