AZED CROSSWORD 1750
1. R. P. C. Forman: One going up-along, him, shattered. (anag. less I, & lit.; ref. Gray’s Elegy).
2. M. Barley: See one galumph after labouring? Not how elegy begins (anag. less e, & lit.).
3. R. C. Teuton: Ham, a slice of Granary, plus a couple of onions (pickled)? Could be ——’s (anag. incl. G, on, & lit.).
D. Appleton: Chap with share in field wending up holm with nag (anag.).
D. & N. Aspland: Dash of pickle and half of loaf, united with hint of Gruyere and cured ham: the essence of lunch for me! (p lo(af) U G + anag. + n, & lit.).
E. J. Burge: Needing vessel to round lake, master the tiller (lough M in pan).
M. Coates: Stellar group with expression of admiration for one responsible for many furrowed brows? (Plough + man!; ref. AZ lunch).
R. Dean: He plodded along, with hump turned over (anag.).
W. Duffin: Fail in degree and, shortly, find yourself just a weary plodder (plough MA ’n’).
J. Fairclough: Person associated with a lunch recipe including boned ham and a large chunk of Gouda in a pickle (anag. of h(a)m Gou(da), all in plan, & lit.).
H. Freeman: Zonked, hump along? Worn out, galumph? No – I plod wearily (anag., anag.).
R. B. Harling: Millions for Australian Paul Hogan: I could use a share (anag. with m for A; ref. film actor).
R. Heald: Characters foremost among puzzlers love Oxford University get-togethers with regular doses of champagne (my lunches are far less extravagant!) (first letters + alternate letters; ref. AZ lunch).
P. F. Henderson: Hang-up with loam would do for a working —— (comp. anag. & lit.).
Mrs D. B. Jenkinson: Seven stars to Jeeves one’s lunch is served! (Plough man).
E. C. Lance: Foremost in pillage, with no turning aside, a Mongol Hun incorrectly styled ‘A tiller’ (p + anag. less no (rev.); ref. Attila).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Crew bound to fail, one trailing after pulling punches? (plough + man; punch draft horse).
D. F. Manley: ‘Say, cheer that fellow having special lunch!’ – excited luncher pays homage? (comp. anag.; ref. AZ lunch).
C. G. Millin: Field worker with a lunch strategy, covering almost anything with a bit of mustard (ough(t) m in plan).
R. S. Morse: Hum along furrows following Piers’ lead? That’s what I do (P + anag.; ref. P. Plowman).
J. T. Price: In life – and in dissolution – he could produce a long hump (anag.).
A. J. Wardrop: A group of stars provide backing for one cutting groovy tracks (Plough man).
R. J. Whale: He benefited from shares (the sod took a cut) it’s no laugh, MP thrown out (anag.).
D. C. Williamson: Spam I got for luncheon could be ——’s refection, possibly? (comp. anag. (?) & lit.).
A. J. Young: A long hump may be my undoing but the earth still moves for me! (anag.).
T. Anderson, M. Barker, J. R. Beresford, P. Berridge, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, N. Connaughton, E. Cross, N. C. Dexter, V. Dixon, T. J. Donnelly, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, Dr I. S. Fletcher, D. Fricker, N. C. Goddard, R. R. Greenfield, J. P. Guiver, D. Harrison, D. Harrison, D. V. Harry, M. Hodgkin, R. J. Hooper, S. James, Mrs S. G. Johnson, J. R. H. Jones, J. C. Leyland, C. Loving, Mrs J. Mackie, W. F. Main, P. W. Marlow, P. McKenna, J. R. C. Michie, T. J. Moorey, M. Moran, C. J. Morse, D. J. R. Ogilvie, G. S. Parsons, M. L. Perkins, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, W. Ransome, M. Sanderson, D. Sargent, N. G. Shippobotham, C. M. Steele, P. L. Stone, C. W. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs J. E. Townsend, J. R. Tozer, M. Wainwright, G. H. Willett, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.
249 entries, very few mistakes (mostly to do with the final unchecked letter of WING). Favourite clue: ‘Formal attire: when it’s beaten, dust rises’ for DRESS SUIT, with ‘Wager we got back after what roulette produces’ for CURLEW (CURFEW’) a close second, and 17 receiving at least one mention. If not the most difficult special I’ve ever set, this one was clearly much enjoyed, reminding many of what a truly great poem Gray’s Elegy is. As a few pointed out, some early collections have winds’ (as I myself initially thought I remembered it) and ‘plowman’, but I stuck to the forms in the current editions of both the Oxford Book of English Verse (edited by. Helen Gardner) and the ODQ. It may not be possible to establish just what Gray wrote (though the Thomas Gray Archive indicates that ‘wind’ was Gray’s own choice); the poem was actually published in February 1751 (according the old DNB), though Gray starting writing it in 1742 and completed it in Stoke Poges in 1750, whereupon he sent it to Horace Walpole, who recognized a masterpiece when he saw one and urged that it be published immediately. For any Latinists among you. NCD was moved to submit the following Virgilian version of line 3: ‘Tecta petens contendit iter defessus arator.’ Could come straight out of the Georgics!
Believe it or not, I completely failed, when setting the puzzle, to spot the appropriate link between ‘ploughman’ and ‘lunch’ in the context of the celebratory meal many of us enjoyed at Balliol College to mark Azed No. 1,750. This was a very happy occasion, with about 120 guests, delicious food, and excellent speeches from Richard Heald and Francis Wheen. Don Manley compered the whole show with calm authority and occasional witty interpolations to keep us all amused. It was a very great pleasure for me and all my immediate family (wife, parents, sons) to meet old and new friends, and I’m extremely grateful for the generous sum donated to me by solvers to mark the passing of this milestone in the Azed series. As I said in my own speech, this is being spent on a variety of fruit trees for our garden, which will be an enduring reminder of the occasion, My thanks for this, and for the many kind comments and greetings sent by those who couldn’t come to the party. I value such gestures of good will enormously, and press on towards No. 2,000 with undiminished vigour.
Two final footnotes to last month’s CENOBIA controversy. Mr Brian Cheesman has sent me a copy of the relevant page of the British Academy Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, fascicle 2, 1981 (OUP) to prove that CANONIA does (or did) exist, as a feminine noun meaning ‘the office of a canon’ or ‘a house of secular canons’, the first quote being from William of Malmesbury in 1095. Secondly, and mysteriously, CENOBIA appears in earlier editions of Chambers Words but not in the current one. Since I use the current edition on a regular basis, I can only assume that I found it in Back- Words for Crosswords, which of course matches the old Chambers Words, not the new one. I wish I’d never used the wretched word at all!
Happy Christmas to you all.