AZED CROSSWORD 2512
1. C. M. Edmunds: Signal need of a nap – crack Ascot tip that doesn’t finish last in race (anag. less p + e).
2. P. W. Marlow: Scott and those fronting ill-fated Antarctic expedition after struggling show exhaustion? (anag. incl. first letters).
3. P. McKenna: Gape as graves do – as cited to change yielding dead (anag. less d; ref. ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ 5.3.19).
T. Anderson: Do I, comatose taking a moment rising, start to tiredly ——? (anag. less mo (rev.) incl. t, & lit.).
D. Appleton: At Cosi teen half-stifled perplexed yawn (anag. less en).
D. & N. Aspland: Ring’s beginning in comfort – I bet that audience ultimately will be stifling a yawn (O’s + c + I + a in last letters).
M. Barley: Possibly act so, with it getting close to bedtime (anag. + e, & lit.).
T. C. Borland: Act so struggling over Parade’s End, finding it boring (it in anag. + e; ref. Ford Madox Ford novels).
Mrs S. Brown: Expressing liberal energy, coal tits acrobatically catch flies perhaps (anag. less L incl. E).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Intimacy in kiss, heart going to signify need for bed? (it in osc(ul)ate).
R. J. Heald: Ignoring the odds, big city store wants desperately to be fully open (anag. of alternate letters).
M. Lloyd-Jones: Show you’re ready for bed? It’s ace to get frisky (anag.).
A. Plumb: Toastiest cot prepared – it could make tots —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
W. Ransome: Act One’s lively, but not new – it’s boring, making you this? (it in anag. less n).
T. Rudd: Floppy tom cat, not a little motheaten, is first of Emily’s characters to exhibit sleepiness (anag. less m + E; ref. Bagpuss).
Dr S. J. Shaw: It’s intrinsic to act so, possibly with ennui’s onset (it in anag. + e, & lit.).
D. P. Shenkin: Might tedious raconteuse make rude one (us) ——? (comp. anag. & lit.).
P. Tharby: A Scottie awfy gaunt (anag.; gaunt2).
J. R. Tozer: —— colourfully? With a bit of embellishment, ‘to cat’ is (anag. incl. e, & lit.; ref. ‘technicolour yawn’).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Extermination initially after very large attic infested – one tends to do this when boring creatures are present (os + anag. + e).
R. J. Whale: Craftily act so tired, tip for each of newly-wed pair missing out? (anag. less d, r, & lit.; ref. honeymooners’ bedtime excuse).
A. Whittaker: Broadcast sitcom repeat, over and over? That would make poor me —— (comp. anag. incl. o o, & lit.).
J. G. Booth, R. Bowden, A. Brash, C. J. Brougham, D. Carter, A. G. Chamberlain, C. A. Clarke, T. Clement, M. Coates, Dr P. Coles, N. Connaughton (Ireland), E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Ireland), W. Drever, H. Freeman, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, A. H. Harker, M. Hodgkin, J. C. Leyland, M. Lunan, D. F. Manley, J. R. C. Michie, C. Ogilvie, S. J. O’Boyle, R. J. Palmer, N. G. Shippobotham, C. M. Steele, P. L. Stone, R. C. Teuton, T. Valsamidis, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), A. J. Wardrop, G. H. Willett, K. & J. Wolff.
ANNUAL HONOURS LIST
1. R. J. Heald (2 prizes, 10 VHCs); 2. Dr S. J. Shaw (1, 10); 3 (equal). D. F. Manley (2, 7), T. J. Moorey (2, 7); 5. J. C. Leyland (2, 6); 6 (equal). M. Barley (0, 9), T. C. Borland (1, 7), Dr I. S. Fletcher (2, 5), J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter (1, 7); 10 (equal). S. Randall (2, 4), A. J. Wardrop (3, 2), R. J. Whale (1, 6); 13 (equal). A. Plumb (0, 7), P. L. Stone (1, 5), J. R. Tozer (1, 5), A. Whittaker (0, 7); 17 (equal). P. W. Marlow (1, 4), Ms S. Wallace (1, 4); 19 (equal). C. J. Brougham (0, 5), A. G. Chamberlain (1, 3), W. Drever (0, 5), J. Grimes (1, 3), C. M. Lloyd-Jones (1, 3), P. McKenna (1, 3), C. Short (1, 3), T. Rudd (0, 5), R. C. Teuton (1, 3), Mrs A. M. Walden (0, 5), G. H. Willett (1, 3); 30 (equal). T. Anderson (1, 2), D. & N. Aspland (0, 4), Dr J. Burscough (1, 2), C. A. Clarke (1, 2), N. Connaughton (1, 2), H. Freeman (1, 2), M. Hodgkin (0, 4), S. J. O’Boyle (0, 4), R. J. Palmer (1, 2), D. P. Shenkin (1, 2), I. Simpson (0, 4); P. Tharby (0, 4).
BEST RUNNERS-UP M. Barley, A. Plumb, A. Whittaker, C. J. Brougham, W. Drever, T. Rudd, Mrs A. M. Walden, M. Hodgkin, S. J. O’Boyle, I. Simpson, D. & N. Aspland, P. Tharby.
151 entries, very few mistakes. This seems to be the size of the average postbag these days, though I’d love to see it up around 200. Favourite clue of the month, of 14 mentioned at least once, was the mildly saucy ‘Succeeded beside fireplace with loosening bras in pick-up joint!’ for SINGLES BAR. The only clues that caused real trouble appear to have been ‘Does it suggest a coin from ancient times, and where one may be found’ (ATHENS, i.e. a then s = as3) and ‘What’s posh about money? It’s given out for distribution’ (METING, i.e. tin in meg1). The wording of the definition part of the latter clue was, I think, meant to indicate a gerund of mete but it’s not very elegant and certainly no prize-winner.
The puzzle as a whole was appreciated especially for containing an above-average number of obscure words. Without its being my deliberate intention, it also contained more anagrams than usual. One fault that occurred surprisingly often in clues submitted was defining it as a noun. While it is of course true that ‘yawn’ can be a noun as well as an intransitive verb, the same is certainly not the case with ‘oscitate’.
Like many of you, I’m very sorry the Azed 2,500 lunch has had to be put off again, but the organizers really had no choice. I’m sorry their sterling efforts have been so frustrated, and remain hopeful that the event can still be held, in easier times. I’m also sorry that the practice of awarding prizes has had to be suspended for the time being. In addition to many lay-offs at The Observer, most of the remaining staff are having to work from home. It’s a very tough time for the industry.
Another year of competitions completed. Congratulations to all those featuring in the lists above, especially to Richard Heald for regaining the top spot. He really is a model of consistently fine clue-writing and a very tough man to beat. Many thanks too, as always, to Martin Perkins, for his invaluable recording of the results as the months go by.