AZED CROSSWORD 1797
1. D. Parfitt: The location of love within you? (i.e. position of 0 in you, & lit.).
2. A. J. Wardrop: Try a drop of Theakstons – it beats Courage! (hear + t, 2 defs.).
3. J. R. Tozer: One of a pair Hatter and Hare confuse? (half of anag., & lit.; ref. K & Q of Hearts in courtroom scene in ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’).
D. Appleton: Health Education Authority’s right. Breast – it beats bottle (HEA + rt, 3 defs.).
D. Arthur: ‘Dear’ sounds like ‘deer’ (‘hart’).
M. Barley: Earth moves when passion engulfs that of amoroso? (anag., r in heat, & lit.).
C. Boyd: Gripped by passion, Romeo expresses innermost feelings (R in heat).
C. A. Clarke: Meat balls (2 mngs.).
M. Coates: The part away from the heads? ((t)he (p)art, & lit.).
R. Dean: What demands attention in a case of high tension? (ear in HT, & lit.).
N. C. Dexter: Eros’s target? I’m getting carried away when he takes aim right here! (he a(I’m) rt, & lit.).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Is that of smoker ok? (position of ok, & lit.).
M. Goodliffe: Part of the artichoke (hidden & lit.).
J. Grimes: What may be stolen if love supersedes sense? (ear for 0 in hot, & lit.).
R. Hamlin: Try the ultimate in uplift for bosom (hear + t).
R. J. Heald: In fantastic form, Atherton strikes 100 – it sure gets the blood pumping (anag. less ton; ref. Michael A.).
R. J. Hooper: What beats having cockles? It’s tucking right into hot chop (h + r in eat, 2 defs.).
P. McKenna: Bosom is what’s inside bra hidden by something exciting (r in heat).
S. J. O’Boyle: Century knocked off by Atherton batting in the middle (anag. less ton; ref. Michael A.).
F. R. Palmer: Expression of courage by ‘a weak and feeble woman’ in a male profession (he art; ref. Elizabeth I).
R. J. Palmer: ‘Try a little tenderness’ comes from it (hear + t, & lit.; ref. Otis Redding song).
L. Ward: This failure, tragically, might create a tearful heir (comp. anag. & lit.).
P. Bartlam, C. J. Brougham, Dr J. Burscough, B. Burton, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, R. M. S. Cork, S. Coxall, E. Cross, A. & B. Currie, D. J. Dare-Plumpton, V. Dixon, H. Freeman, C. George, M. Hanley, D. V. Harry, P. Heffernan, P. F. Henderson, J. P. Lester, J. C. Leyland, P. Lloyd, C. Loving, N. Lusted, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, I. & G. Macniven, W. F. Main, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, R. J. Mathers, A. J. Moore, T. J. Moorey, W. Murphy, T. D. Nicholl, D. J. R. Ogilvie, M. L. Perkins, D. Reed, D. R. Robinson, N. G. Shippobotham, D. A. Simmons, I. Simpson, B. Solomons, A. Streatfield, N. Talbott, P. Thacker, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs J. E. Townsend, A. Varney, Ms S. Wallace, R. J. Whale, G. H. Willett, Ms M. Williams, D. C. Williamson, A. L. Willson, J. S. Witte, D. Young, R. Zara.
214 entries, some mistakes (see below). Favourite clue (and also the one that gave the most trouble) was ‘One confined to study as of old?’ for COIN, followed by ‘Love-crazed German offensively grabbing a foolish colleen?’ (OMADHAUN), and 23 clues receiving at least one mention. The definition in the COIN clue was admittedly somewhat sneakily disguised, and those who failed to spot it were driven to desperate lengths to justify CONN or, in one learnedly argued case, COAN, but it was perfectly fair and I’m sure fallers at this hurdle will be kicking themselves. As to OMADHAUN, I felt that the Chambers definition allowed of a female referent to aid the surface reading of the clue, but more knowledgeable folk than I (or than the editors at Chambers) assure me that omadhauns are exclusively male, their female counterparts being óinseachs (pronounced owen-shucks). I’ll know better next time.
Despite the aforementioned stumbling-block, this was generally thought to be an easier-than-average competition puzzle, with a generous clue word (especially when compared with last month’s double tester). The reference to ‘wanker’ in my clue to WATER-DRINKER raise a few eyebrows, though I hardly paused before deciding to use it, regarding Azed solvers as a broad-minded lot and considering it relatively mild as coarse expressions go these days. The brook Kidron, referred to about eight times in the Old Testament according to Cruden (see e.g. 2 Samuel 15, 23), troubled some, but was verifiable on Google for those with access to this amazing resource. One competitor informs me that in a UN report on water supply to the Occupied Territories it is described as ‘little more than an open sewer running into the Dead Sea’. The name Kidron, again according to Cruden, apparently means ‘obscurity, obscure’.
Many of you commented favourably and flatteringly on my A-Z of Crosswords, having acquired a copy. Comments included one plea for further guidance on ‘link words’ in clues, about which I say little or nothing in the book. A good point. I’ll order my thoughts and treat this subject more fully in a future slip. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy No. 1,800 (not a competition puzzle) and wish you all well in the run-up to the Christmas period.
In conclusion, yet another apology, for a misprint in last month’s slip (though I think it was correct in the announcement of results in the paper). Mr Lusted’s second prizewinning clue should have read: ‘Matins, tee off, bar, horse race: Father John has a pleasant Sunday afternoon all round.’ The bar was of course crucial for FJ’s PSA.