◀  No. 18064 Feb 2007 Clue list No. 1814  ▶



1.  J. F. Grimshaw: Hasten to donate heart after death for affected person to use, or perhaps as organ for training (were there to be interest).

2.  J. C. Leyland: Attend rehabilitation group to cut down on booze which has affected one aspect of marriage that may lead to our separation, i.e. it’s (entre nous) a little ‘organ’ problem.

3.  R. J. Whale: Help run a rehab centre, soup kitchen or medical charity – I want to be seen to encourage interest in organ donation.


D. & N. Aspland: Make haste to get teacher, a person who’d impress the need for pure sound on me, after I acquire interest in learning organ.

M. Barley: Extend further a winning streak that’ll ensure I’ll be showing off again the Azed salver; so, up to me to keep pleasing the setter in Sunday’s most instructive organ.

T. C. Borland: I’ll discard papers if their crosswords are hideous, just some show-off or pseud overdoing contrivance to grind solvers down – I’ll stick to a setter I enjoy!

C. J. Brougham: As one formerly into resurrection of his virtue, rehashing vows yearly, I’ll pretend no longer: I hereby give up resolutions, being more interested in acid rock and the musical larks it could engender. (resurrection = body-snatching).

Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Be a better preacher, a sensible one – move quickly to conclusion, then shut up – or sermons will seem a show-off of theology and congregations lose interest, glad to substitute hymns and organ for teaching.

D. A. Campbell: Attract more wildlife with rush beds for a heron or two, a sham quacker to make sure pochards come and a birdsong organ set in trees to draw in warblers etc.

N. C. Dexter: Rise at dawn – no longer dash around for rehashed breakfasts, no further fake diarising (‘Rose punctually’, e.g.) – when in trees etc songbirds follow my arrangement.

V. Dixon: Make a Herculean effort each month to dash off the grid, then compose a super-original (not too smartass) clue of genuine interest – not a mechanical contrivance that’s ‘for the birds’.

R. J. Heald: To abandon rather a dead-end career as a musical play-actor and turn my pure soprano to better use as teacher of song to anyone with a passionate interest.

Mrs S. G. Johnson: Good resolutions are hubris run mad, making one look a pseud; nonetheless, renouncing booze-ups or blow-outs may give the hepatic organ the rest it needs.

I. D. McDonald: Get up to speed at gym – heard our PE supreme’s a bit of a showman, so I’m interested in a personal trainer – for a lark!

Rev M. R. Metcalf: Engage in animal welfare and become a hero or super eco-warrior because I need to impress and raise interest in organ transplants.

C. J. Morse: I mustn’t run down pop music again, having heard a pretentious fellow claim that some obscure opus for barrel organ was of more interest than Presley.

R. S. Morse: I will rehabilitate my singing career and, since I aim to impress others, I will use professional help (if I can find a singing trainer who is interested).

D. Parfitt: Try to rehabilitate my career – I want to impress others by having a super occupation that will generate interest, such as ‘music producer’.

J. M. Sharman: Give Celebrity Big Brother a miss. Why rush home for such a pretentious type of programme. Jade is so puerile; I could teach the bird how to behave if I were interested (which I’m not).

D. J. Short: Hasten to get heart treated – it’s sure operation’s needed for one wanting much attention, being vital organ that medics are interested in putting right.

P. Voogt: Attend a rehabilitation clinic to curb my dependency on speed and address my drug use problem, which has turned me into an exhibitionist who flashes his organ in street eagerly.

Ms S. Wallace: Hasten back to the gym for body rehab, though the instructor (or pseudo instructor) is one who ponces about, interested only in demonstrating apparatus to get the birds to sing his praises.

G. H. Willett: Hurry along to the rehab clinic to pep up resolve not to be a pretentious ass with undue interest in what may stimulate larks etc.


T. Anderson, A. Barker, D. Bates, R. E. Boot, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. Carter, C. A. Clarke, N. Connaughton, M. Cooper, Mrs P. Diamond, T. J. Donnelly, C. M. Edmunds, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gilbert, M. Goodliffe, B. Grabowski, R. R. Greenfield, R. Haddock, R. J. Hannam, D. V. Harry, R. Hesketh, C. & C. Hinton, M. Hodgkin, L. M. Inman, Ms M. Janssen, G. Johnstone, J. P. Lester, Ms R. MacGillivray, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, L. F. Marzillier, G. McStravick, T. J. Moorey, A. O’Brien, D. O’Connor, D. Price Jones, D. R. Robinson, M. Sanderson, D. Sargent, I. Simpson, P. L. Stone, R. C. Teuton, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, Ms C. van Starkenburg, A. Varney, L. Ward, A. J. Wardrop, A. J. Young.

195 entries, no mistakes that I spotted. I was surprised how many competitors said they’d never met this type of special before. Ximenes used it regularly (and may have invented it), and I have given you fifteen such puzzles over the years, though this was only the second to feature as a competition puzzle, the previous one being No. 1.084 in 1993 (also February). They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (‘boring to solve, boring to clue’ was one comment) but they do make a change and afford the opportunity for a different kind of inventiveness from the standard cryptic clue. Your favourite clue of mine was the one for TRACT/SET-UP/SHOD, about getting the cat doctored. This was pure fiction, of course: Mimi, our much-loved 17-year-old female ginger, lost interest in sex a long time ago.
IBADAH was unfortunate. Those of you who (like me) have the most recent edition of Chambers (where it’s given as the singular of ibadat) won’t have been worried by this, but those who don’t were understandably puzzled, suspecting an error on my part. I queried the dictionary’s editor and got the following response: ‘We first encountered this word in English as “ibadat” used with a singular meaning, and this term was added to the 2003 edition. At the time we did not have any evidence from our reading programme for “ibadah” in English.. Further investigation led to us revising the entry for the 2006 edition. The two words seem to be used pretty much synonymously in many English contexts, although “ibadat” is the plural form in Arabic.’ Interestingly, the Oxfords don’t have the word at all.
Judging DLM clues is of course quite different from the usual process. I began by disqualifying all those (quite a number) which failed to observe the rule about beginning and/or ending letter mixtures at the beginnings or ends of words. I then discarded impossibly long clues (40 words and over) and those which didn’t read like resolutions one would ever be likely to make. From there on it was largely a matter of picking those which were most economical and/or which amused me most. In the end it proved not too arduous, and quite a lot of fun. Thank you all for entering into the spirit of the thing. SERINETTE was clearly the most difficult member of the trio to deal with effectively.
I’ll hold over my comments on linking words until next month (as I warned you I might) to deal with another issue that arose from the previous slip, in connection with Mr Seth’s VHC clue to INEBRIANT: ‘Left a binge — inert, legless, staggering — because of this?’ I have on several occasions stated my view that in such ‘subtractive’ compound anagrams the letters of the word to be subtracted should be in their correct order unless the clue writer indicates that they are not. In this case there is no such indication for the letters l, e, and g, so in selecting the clue for special mention I have not been true to my principles, which I still hold. It was simply a mistake on my part, which came from inadvertently reading ‘left’ as part of the anagram instead of representing ‘l’. My apologies for this if it caused any confusion in solvers’ minds. Mr Seth’s VHC stands, of course, and I’m grateful to those who drew my attention to this lapse.


The Azed Cup

Dr S. J. Shaw wins First Prize in competition 2543.


Skins of Argentine ruminant, processed with currying after being tanned initially

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 2nd May

 NEW   AZED  No. 2,549  18th Apr

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Dr Watson reviews Azed 2547

From the archive

Off daily on a Horlicks (7)

Third prize winner by J. R. Tozer in competition 2161