AZED CROSSWORD 1806
1. R. S. Morse: What’s drunk as ——? A Ribena isn’t! (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. R. J. Whale: What’s in it? Largely what suited Bacchus and co. before (nebri(s) an. in it, & lit.).
3. M. Barley: Is abuse of such big in ‘Binge Britain’? (comp. anag. & lit.).
T. Anderson: This recipe in cocktail renders brain inert (comp. anag. incl. r, & lit.).
E. J. Burge: Causing intoxication at inn with ‘bier’ when abroad (anag.; bier (Ger.) = beer).
N. C. Dexter: Double in the bar, without a modicum of H2O, could be this (anag. less H, & lit.).
V. Dixon: It maybe makes one conk, merry or stoned, maybe doesn’t (I neb riant, & lit.; stoned anag. of doesn’t).
W. Drever: Ghastly —— could give stag labyrinthine troubles (comp. anag. & lit.).
J. Grimes: Fuzz ban niterie doling out Ecstasy that’s mind-blowing (anag. less E).
J. F. Grimshaw: Popular ethyl that’s imbibed bottled in bar? (in + anag. in Et, & lit.; ethyl = ethyl alcohol).
R. J. Heald: Climbing mountain peak in thin air awfully hard going – and awfully exhilarating (ben (rev.) in anag. less H).
P. F. Henderson: What’s provided by bar and tinnie when getting drunk? (anag. & lit.).
R. Hesketh: A tinnie with beer contents poured out being drunk perhaps (anag. incl. b(ee)r, & lit.).
W. Jackson: Stimulant abuse leads to toxic effects in brain (anag. incl. t e).
D. F. Manley: Bein’ awfully merry, dancin’ in rain – bet that could get one soaked! (anag. + riant; anag.).
C. G. Millin: A tinnie abroad containing brown ale for example (br. in anag.).
C. Ogilvie: Source of drunkenness, i.e. bar getting out of hand in pub – time to close (anag. in inn + t).
D. J. R. Ogilvie: Batting first for England, Close clipped it hard (in E Brian ’t; ref. former Yorks & England cricketer).
D. Parfitt: What lush downs may be seen when hibernating, essentially, is done (anag. of (h)ibernatin(g)).
V. Seth: Left a binge – inert, legless, staggering – because of this? (ang. incl. l less leg).
D. A. Simmons: Lack of restraint in Bear Inn? It is going to one’s head (anag.).
I. Simpson: Special Brew in a tin could be this, along with whiskey (comp. anag. incl. W, & lit.; ref. Carlsberg product).
Mrs A. Terrill: Edna often had one in bar? Ten, I suspect (anag.; ref. TV play ‘Edna the Inebriate Woman’).
R. C. Teuton: Deviant orientation of bi trannie? Half-and-half, perhaps (anag.; i.e. bisexual transvestite, mixture of beer and stout).
D. Arthur, M. Barker, L. Barnes, R. Bates, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. Carter, C. A. Clarke, P. Coles, N. Connaughton, E. Cross, G. Cuthbert, R. Dean, C. M. Edmunds, J. Fairclough, P. D. Gaffey, M. Goodliffe, G. I. L. Grafton, Mrs E. Greenaway, R. R. Greenfield, D. Grice, M. J. Hanley, M. Hodgkin, Mrs S. D. Johnson, G. Johnstone, E. C. Lance, J. C. Leyland, W. F. Main, J. McGhee, J. R. C. Michie, K. Milan, T. J. Moorey, A. Morgan-Richards, C. J. Morse, W. Murphy, T. D. Nicholl, F. R. Palmer, R. J. Palmer, M. L. Perkins, W. Ransome, Mrs L. J. Roberts, D. R. Robinson, A. Roth, D. Sargent, D. P. Shenkin, D. Shiell, N. G. Shippobotham, C. M. Steele, P. L. Stone, J. R. Tozer, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, J. Wilkinson, D. C. Williamson, J. S. Witte, R. Zara.
223 entries, no obvious mistakes. Favourite clue (though with one thumbs-down): ‘Spare tyre may come out after this!’ for BLOW-OUT, a little ahead of ‘Speculation? Like results from Italian money when this’ (RISK). Toughest clue: probably ‘M for mooch’ for MIKE, based on the entries for Mike and mike2 in Chambers. As several of you commented, the puzzle included an above-average number of unfamiliar words, including SPANGHEW with its extraordinary definition. In hindsight I agree that I rather overdid the oddities this time: I find it hard to resist the more out-of-way words when they present themselves.
I didn’t think anyone could complain about INEBRIANT as a clue word, and no one did. I’m sometimes ribbed about the frequency with which strong drink and its effects find their way into my clues. The reason is of course (as you surely found) that drinking and drunkenness have a huge vocabulary of their own, much of it very colourful and highly idiomatic. With a nice set of letters, and being in use as both a noun and an adjective, INEBRIANT offered a good opportunity to explore this lexical treasure-trove, which most of you took full advantage of. Anagrams, especially compound ones, were understandably popular, and it was hard for me to pick out the very good from the merely good. All the clues quoted above strike me as very good or better, but special congratulations must go to Mr Morse’s second first prize-winner in a row: so simple, so apt – and that exclamation mark for once so appropriate.
I have received a query about my failure to indicate hyphenation, as many setters do, when giving the number of letters in answers to clues. As I’ve said before, I carried on from the start of the Azed series the practice followed by Ximenes, and have I hope always been consistent in this. Hyphens in compound words come and (more often) go, and I’ve always taken the view that where parts of such compounds are linked by hyphens this makes them effectively single words. I am less certain about the best way of indicating words and phrases that include apostrophes, and my uncertainty may have led to some inconsistency. Is, for example, J’ADOUBE one word or two, KWOK’S DISEASE two words or three? Significantly, the old edition of Chambers Words, which excluded phrasal compounds, included J’ADOUBE among the 7-letter words. If I clue it, should I mark it ‘(7)’, ‘(7, apostrophe)’ or ‘(7, 2 words)’? I am inclined to go for the second of these options, but would welcome comments.
I haven’t forgotten my undertaking to say something about ‘linking words’ in clues, and hope to do that next month (though for reasons that will become apparent that may not be the most appropriate moment for it!).