HREE pieces of French and three proper names feature in this month’s competition puzzle. In both cases two should be familiar and the third maybe less so. But overall it’s at the easy end of Azed’s offerings, with a higher than usual anagram count, amongst which are the & lit. clues, also in a threesome.
1. Mess up wrong raw material for French bread? BUMBLE (bum + blé (Fr.)) This looks like it’s going to be an anagram of ‘mess up’ and the presence of U, M and E in the checked cells only reinforces that. However there’s no feasible anagram, and futher thought and translation are needed to reveal a charade that includes the French word for wheat.
6. Splash pint? Pan’s needed with this all over the place SPILTH (comp. anag. & lit.) Taking an anagram of ‘pan’s’ from the first sentence leaves an anagram of ‘spilth’, and the clue as a whole points to the consequences of a spillage.
13. Villa, maybe one with central heating in the middle of Napoli PANCHO (an CH in (Na)po(li)) Not a Neapolitan villa or even Aston Villa, but the celebrated leader of the Mexican Revolution in the early 20c.
14. In contact with the whole camp, virtually TO ALL INTENTS (i.e. to all in tents) A new take on the old ‘loitering within tent’ gag.
17. Who is fitted out with one? Hoplite was PELTA (comp. anag. & lit.) Pretty much the same as the SPILTH clue in structure, though with the elements reversed. ‘Hoplite was’ anagrams ‘who is pelta’. Chambers gives ‘hoplite’ as a heavily-armed Greek soldier and ‘pelta’ as the shield of a lightly-armed peltate, but the two aren’t incompatible.
27. First character to perform admits stiff dressage manoeuvre PESADE (sad in pee) ‘Sad’ describes a stiff or doughy result of baking, and on this occasion the first character of ‘perform’ needs to be spelt out.
28. A lustiness unbridled, I see – could be this SENSUALISTIC (anag. + I c, & lit.) Azed continues on his & lit. roll with a straighter anagram-based clue.
7. Dolly, say, one in cast performing PARTON (part on) ‘On’ in the sense of ‘on stage’. A link is surely not required.
9. The endless beat (relating to the downbeat) THETIC (the tic(k)) A thesis can mean a downbeat in poetic metre or music, and ‘thetic’ is the adjective describing it.
16. Mechanical spinning machine FILATORY This month’s competition word appears to be a very rare and specific term for a spinning machine in the cloth industry. Even OED struggles to find a first-hand citation for it, relying instead on one taken from Webster.
19. Plan to win nothing is admitted by club MISÈRE (is in mere3) A very nicely-done surface. A mere or meri is a Maori war-club.
24. What means game’s up? Reverse of that for inventor EDISON (no-side, rev.) Rugby followers will be familiar with a no-side that ends a match (as neither side has possession), and most will know of Thomas Edison.
Across: 11. UNEASY (anag. in (p)uny); 13. HEARTPEA (hear + anag.); 15. UPLEAN (up + lean); 18. ANTICS (i.e. anti CS (Civil Service)); 19. MAIMED (aim in Med); 23. OILED (il (Fr.) in OED); 29. EMETICAL (metic in anag.); 30. RETENE (hidden); 31. STEROL (anag.); 32. ENURED (n in EU + red); 33. HYDYNE (‘high’ + anag.).
Down: 1. BUST-UP (put sub, rev.); 2. UNROPE (anag. + ope(n)); 3. METALLIC (anag.); 4. BALLET-MASTER (ball + anag.; i.e. corps de ballet); 5. EYEING (anag. less H); 8. INTERTISSUED (anag. + sued); 10. HOASTS (a in hosts); 20. APEMEN (’em in a pen); 21. EQUINE ((s)equine(d)); 22. SPLASH (2 mngs.); 28. DECKLE (deck + le (Fr.)); 26. LACED (decal, rev.).