◀  No. 91724 Dec 1989 Clue list No. 922  ▶



1.  R. J. Hooper: Lord King detains staff with pained expression: “I’ll have BA back in front, well ahead of KLM” (cross in Christ R + ow; ref. British Airways chairman).

2.  C. J. Morse: There’s something basic to be learnt about Romania in this extraordinarily angry disturbance (c. + R in anag. + cross row; ref. revolution in R.).

3.  J. C. Leyland: Facing consequence of mulish union dispute we’ve got someone to deliver all our letters (Christ + cross row; ref. postal dispute).

VHC (extra prizes)

M. Barley: Out of this Crowther crossword come the word and its letters (comp. anag. & lit.).

C. J. Brougham: Little child, take one to mark (as an illiterate) in developing two R’s (ch. r I + cross in anag., & lit.).

Mrs D. Colley: What puts small child right about I’s — or C’s or W’s when in a muddle? (ch. + I’s in rt + anag., & lit.).

E. Dawid: Jonathan, perhaps in triumph, succeeded ‘X’ in A-zed series (Christ + Ross in crow; ref. TV presenter; J. Crowther = Azed).

N. C. Dexter: The alphabet so cows chits struggling with 3 R’s (anag. incl. r r r).

M. Earle: Series of letters X mean rude words exchanged (Christ cross row; mean = bad-tempered).

C. J. Feetenby: A to Z’s rich in detail, with street intersecting street (anag. + St cross row; ref. street atlas; cross adj.).

B. Greer: In composition that’s drolly Crowtherish, he omitted X… (all the letters) (cross in anag. less he; Crowther = AZ).

V. G. Henderson: School was strict one, 3 R’s laboured — you’d have to learn this! (comp. anag. incl. r r r, & lit.).

R. E. Kimmons: Advocate bridge course: beginners only: elementary system taught (Christ cross row; first letters = A b c).

F. P. N. Lake: Child swots three R’s, so I see work for me! (ch. + anag. incl. r r r c, & lit.).

A. Lawrie: A-Z is Crowther in disguise and ’e’s out to thwart filling it in (cross in anag. less e; ref. puzzle).

R. K. Lumsdon: AZ at full stretch doing his (’cos end of year) heartless compiler worst (anag. incl. r c, r).

C. G. Millin: What a book – child’s first – may give: Yuletide without mother’s angry chiding (Christ(ma’s) cross row; i.e. a b c).

R. S. Morse: A full series of ‘Neighbours’ literally requires a double X rating (Christ cross row; X = Christ, cross; ref. TV soap).

G. & J. Parsons: The order of all characters: ‘Throw RSC’s Osric out!’ (anag.; ref. Hamlet).

D. R. Robinson: The alphabet students had to learn, ’cos switch so inappropriate when instilling three R’s (anag. incl. r r r).

W. J. M. Scotland: In Chinese, stir cooking with, say, saltier recipe — it’s got to contain ghi (anag. + cross r, all in Chow; i.e. g h i; saltier = saltire).

Mrs E. J. Shields: Child’s endless chance, the old trust, to circumvent sign of illiteracy (ch. ris(k) + cross in trow, & lit.).

A. J. Wardrop: Something of which AZ might be representative: X-words after X (Christ + cross row; X = Ximenes).

A. J. Whittaker: Take in X, and round X scatter every letter in order (r in chi + cross in strow).


K. Aaronovich, W. G. Arnott, D. W. Arthur, D. Ashcroft, Dr F. B. Atkins, M. Barnes, E. A. Beaulah, R. C. Bell, Dr P. M. J. Bennett, H. J. Bradbury, A. Brash, E. J. Burge, C. J. & M. P. Butler, E. Chalkley, G. P. Conway, F. H. Cripps, R. Dean, R. V. Dearden, P. Dendy, V. Dixon, P. S. Elliott, M. B. Fisher, H. Freeman, P. D. Gaffey, O. Greenwood, J. F. Grimshaw, G. B. Higgins, Miss S. R. Hill, P. D. Hinchliffe, S. Holgate, C. Hopkins, J. Horwood, Dr J. M. Hutchinson, E. C. Lance, C. W. Laxton, C. J. Lowe, A. N. MacDougall, D. F. Manley, H. W. Massingham, G. McStravick, Dr R. Moore, T. J. Moorey, A. Morgan-Richards, R. F. Naish, B. Noble, S. L. Paton, Mrs E. M. Phair, D. Price Jones, Miss I. M. Raab, A. J. Redstone, H. R. Sanders, T. E. Sanders, J. M. Sharman, N. E. Sharp, A. J. Shields, D. J. Short, P. Simmons, P. A. Stephenson, P. L. Stone, R. V. Tasker, K. Thomas, G. A. Tomlinson, D. H. Tompsett, Dr I. Torbe, R. D. Vaughan-Davies, J. D. Walsh, Mrs M. P. Webber, M. G. Wilson, Dr E. Young, R. F. Zobel.

462 entries, with virtually no mistakes, for what seems to have been an enjoyable, if toughish, Christmas special. The idea for this development of the standard Letters Latent type of puzzle came to me when solving a crossword called Alphabetical Deletion in The Atlantic Monthly Puzzler Book kindly sent to me by the authors. the American duo Henry Rathvon and Emily Cox (Hex). It only occurred to me just before I embarked on constructing the diagram that it would be a nice extra touch to build in a Playfair element, with the letters omitted not being entirely random. CHRIST-CROSSROW was pure serendipity of the most satisfying kind since up until the moment I stumbled on it in Chambers I was worried that there was nothing very Christmassy about the puzzle except the first word of the code phrase. But here was a word that related to the theme of the puzzle and was at the same time replete with echoes of Christmas crosswords and my own pseudonym. What’s more it had an even number of letters with no pair of letters being identical, a sine qua non in Playfair. The only slight drawback was that (as I could plainly foresee) it would be a brute to clue well, but then such considerations never deter the determined Azed competitor!
Constructing the diagram was hard, I admit, and though I disliked having to resort to THUNDERPUMP and HOBBEMA I was extremely glad of their existence for without them I’d have been in deep trouble. (H. I actually knew from his much-reproduced picture called, I think, ‘The Avenue’). I made their clues relatively easier to compensate for their obscurity.
One interesting by-product of the puzzle was that it helped convert a few (including my father!) to an understanding of the Playfair code. since here the usual process (finding the code word from encoded forms) was reversed. Anyway thank you for all the appreciative comments, which more than justified all the extra work at my end.
Despite a tricky clue word there were plenty of good ideas, the best of which are quoted above. Those who were unaware of my real name may feel a bit aggrieved on the grounds that those who did enjoyed an unfair advantage, but on this occasion I felt unable to exclude clues for this reason alone. I was a little worried by Mr Feetenby’s ‘intersecting’ = ‘cross’ and Mr Kimmons’s ‘Advocate’ = ‘Christ’ (different Persons in the Trinity?) but let them scrape in on the overall quality of the clues. Congratulations to everyone on a thoroughly enjoyable entry.
One solver reports sighting a car sticker bearing the (unpunctuated) legend DO AZ I DO. It’s the first I’ve heard of such a thing – are there any other witnesses?


The Azed Cup

Dr S. J. Shaw wins First Prize in competition 2603.

TERAS def. PRATT (Wrong Number)

After dismissing jolly, Starmer’s ordered to reveal what could lie behind dreadful Labour experience

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 4th September

Latest  AZED  No. 2,618  14th Aug

All online Azed puzzles

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2603

From the archive

I reckon small gifts expressing the essence of Xmas can constitute these (15, 2 words)

First prize winner by Dr S. J. Shaw in competition 2480