◀  No. 19536 Dec 2009 Clue list No. 1960  ▶



1.  R. J. Hooper: It’s looking like a wet weekend with chill to follow (hang + dog).

2.  D. F. Manley: Dicky had no gee-gee – losing leader of England totally downcast (anag. less all E’s; ref. Richard III).

3.  J. C. Leyland: How nagged husband possibly appears after wife he upset’s let fly? (anag. incl. h less anag. incl. w, & lit.).


D. K. Arnott: Gough and Hoggard not playing, missing fantastic tour, could become two such miserable specimens (double anag. less anag. of tour; ref. cricketers).

D. Arthur: Get so frustrated with Inland Revenue – it’s hard going (comp. anag. incl. IR).

M. Barley: Going with head bowed, i.e. abject (anag. less i.e., & lit.; abject = cast aside).

T. Crowther: Seemingly depressed, Van Gogh died not very subtly (anag. incl. d, less v).

J. A. Elliott: With leftmost extremity severed, Van Gogh died troubled and downcast (anag. incl. d less V).

J. Fairclough: Lopped Van Gogh died tragically downcast (anag. incl. d less V; lop = cut head off).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Rats? Just one alternative to damn and bother (hang + dog; rats adj., dog = worry).

J. Glassonbury: Primarily hateful, a worthless son of a bitch (h + a ng dog, & lit.).

G. I. L. Grafton: Poor departed Van Gogh, his left extremity removed, presenting an unhappy face (anag. incl d less V).

D. Harris: Poor Van Gogh died very forlorn and dejected (anag. incl. d less v).

R. J. Heald: Downcast in pit being inadequate leads to disaster of Gresford (hang(i) + first letters; ref. 1934 mining disaster caused by poor ventilation).

R. Hesketh: Damn – an expression of anger when upset or downcast (hang + God (rev.)).

G. Johnstone: Van Gogh and Freud could portray such an expression (anag.; van4 = winnow; ref. Lucien and Clement F.).

L. Marzillier: Ding Dong! The witch is … around – manifesting the opposite of jubilation (anag. in hag; ref. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ song).

T. J. Moorey: Toad, selfish beast landing term in prison with a case of driving recklessly (anag. of n a d, g in hog; toad = contemptible person).

C. J. Morse: Exhibit in gallery with towering deity looking down (hang + god (rev.)).

Mrs A. Terrill: The sort of look one might have having put up with Gordon’s leadership stifling party? (do in hang G; ref. G. Brown).

G. H. Willett: Fallen idol? Hydrant and endless gossip overshadow golf’s top star (H + an(a) + g + Dog; ref. T. Woods, Sirius).


D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, K. Bolton, C. J. Brougham, J. M. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. & M. P. Butler, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, E. Cross, Ms S. Curran, R. Dean, N. C. Dexter, V. Dixon, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, A. S. Everest, R. Gilbert, B. Grabowski, J. Grimes, S. B. Hart, P. F. Henderson, M. Hodgkin, J. Hoggart, J. Hood, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, Mrs S. D. Johnson, M. D. Laws, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, P. W. Marlow, M. L. Perkins, Dr T. G. Powell, W. Ransome, R. J. Sharkey, I. Simpson, J. Sloper, P. L. Stone, J. R. Tozer, A. Varney, A. J. Wallace, Ms S. Wallace, R. J. Whale, P. O. G. White, J. S. Witte, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.

216 entries, no mistakes. The general consensus seemed to be that that this was an easier-than-average competition puzzle, and some mentioned in this context that there were more hidden clues than usual. I have a feeling that the Christmas comp will prove a stiffer challenge. Your favourite clue (of 21 mentioned) was ‘Beer that’s cold, a Guinness?’ for ALEC (a clue that I can’t help feeling might have been used elsewhere before, though I don’t remember seeing it) by a whisker from ‘Grated nuts for running bird’ (GROUND-CUCKOO). The colourful AMBER-GAMBLER also drew appreciative comments, not so much for its clue as for its very coinage. Any ideas as to its provenance? It seems to have passed under the radar of the Oxfords. There were a few disgruntled mutterings about YORATH, though Terry Y. was a very distinguished footballer in his day (and later manager of Wales and Lebanon). His daughter Gabby, who married the Scottish rugby union international Kenny Logan, appears regularly on television as a sports commentator. And Roy of the Rovers? He was Roy Race, the clean-cut footballing hero of a comic strip which ran for decades from the 1950s and appeared in annuals, etc throughout his heyday. No problem for older solvers, I’m sure. ARYTENOID puzzled some too. The wording of the clue was a bit convoluted, I concede, but was based on the saying ‘Little pitchers have big ears’ (see pitcher in Chambers).
HANGDOG wasn’t easy to deal with creatively, though as usual there were enough outstanding ideas to help me in making my judgement. Van Gogh proved popular because of his constituent letters. A few otherwise promising clues submitted made the mistake of defining the ‘dog’ part by means of the name of a breed of dog (e.g. ‘What to do with a painting by Landseer that’s looking like a Freud’, which must have an ‘e.g.’ or a ‘perhaps’ to indicate that ‘Landseer’ is an example of a dog, not a word synonymous with ‘dog’).
I must mention WordStats, a splendid new feature that John Tozer has added to the andlit.org.uk website (for a limited period initially, though it will eventually become a permanent facility). It gives fascinating information on the frequency of words used in clues that have appeared in Azed slips and other statistics emerging from an analysis of these.
My thanks to all who responded to my request for some idea of how many might attend the Azed 2,000 lunch in September 2010 (now probably to be held at Wadham College, Oxford). Over 50 have registered interest already. My sincere thanks too for all the Christmas cards and greetings I have received. Happy solving to you all in the coming year.


The Azed Cup

P. Jenkinson wins First Prize in competition 2539.

TORSE (Printer’s Devilry)

When repairing frayed tapestry, I kno/w the snapped threads

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 7th March

Latest  AZED  No. 2,542  28th Feb

All online Azed puzzles

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2539

From the archive

Poor man’s bogey (9)

Second prize winner by J. R. H. Jones in competition 1724