◀  No. 18104 Mar 2007 Clue list No. 1818  ▶



1.  R. J. Heald: Chap, beatnik sort, mixing with odd characters having dropped out? (anag. of alternate letters, & lit.).

2.  N. G. Shippobotham: Trimmed pet’s hair, wanting a cool cat (anag. less a).

3.  J. C. Leyland: Cat for the ‘snip’ will knock up no —— female! (comp. anag. incl. f).


D. & N. Aspland: Cat hour: time spent by one having a nap? (h + (t)ipster; ref. catnap, nap3).

M. Barley: Member of a generation now gone, this person espouses unconventionality (anag. less son, & lit.).

M. Cooper: 60’s dropout leading rest astray with joint (hip + anag.).

E. Cross: Monk, among others, sent me ‘Henry and Turbulent Priest’ (h + anag.; ref. Thelonious M., jazz pianist).

N. C. Dexter: Fan of Billie Holiday – still excited with her power, though the 50s are gone (anag. less LL, incl. P; ref. B.H., jazz singer).

V. Dixon: Brahms and Liszt, this person? Not a disciple! (anag. less son, & lit.; ref. rhyming slang).

A. G. Fleming: With it, I embody the spirit that’s unconventional (comp. anag. & lit.).

Dr I. S. Fletcher: Former bohemian No.1 in pop hits put out by Queen (anag. incl. p + ER; ref. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’).

R. Hesketh: This rep worked as someone ‘On The Road’ (anag.; ref. Kerouac novel).

R. J. Hooper: I’ll investigate hot new culture I’d taken from heated Petri dish (anag. less I’d).

B. MacReamoinn: What could be seen swinging in jungle? A glimpse of Tarzan (written by E. R. Burroughs) (hips + T + E(dgar) R(ice); ref. William B.).

D. F. Manley: Cat’s ordained to perish with eighth of remissions gone (anag. less o; ref. cat’s nine lives).

P. W. Marlow: Originator of Tarzan I perhaps misjudged dismissing apparently Burroughs? (anag. of TI perh(ap)s; ref. E. R. and William B.).

R. S. Morse: I love jazz – harpist’s tone gets me not as excited (comp. anag.).

W. Murphy: Free spirit he, exuding independence (anag. less I, & lit.).

J. Pearce: Cat starts to retch – then indisposed pussy spits enormous hair-ball out (anag. of first letters).

Ms S. Wallace: —— on dope (bit of weed) could be one who’s tripped out (comp. anag. incl. w, & lit.).

L. Ward: Chap’s trite playing might ‘get’ this cat? (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. J. Whale: Such as becomes pert-ish bum? (anag. & lit.).

D. C. Williamson: Harry Roy and me? That could be prehistory (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. former jazz bandleader).

Dr E. Young: My generation is from Berry’s time, before Queen (hip’s t + ER, & lit.; ref. Chuck B.).


G. Alderman, D. Appleton, D. Arthur, M. Barker, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, E. J. Burge, D. A. Campbell, Mrs M. J. Cansfield, P. Cargill, C. A. Clarke, D. C. Clenshaw, K. W. Crawford, W. Drever, J. Grimes, J. F. Grimshaw, D. V. Harry, P. Heffernan, M. Hodgkin, A. Hodgson, Mrs S. D. Johnson, G. Johnstone, Ms R. MacGillivray, Ms A. McConnell, I. D. McDonald, Rev M. Metcalf, J. R. C. Michie, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, C. Ogilvie, F. R. Palmer, D. Parfitt, M. L. Perkins, A. Plumb, Ms F. Plumb, D. Price Jones, Mrs L. J. Roberts, D. R. Robinson, S. Saunders, J. R. Tozer, Ms C. van Starkenburg, A. Varney, Mrs C. Velarde, A. J. Wardrop, Dr M. C. Whelan, A. Whittaker, A. J. Young.

235 entries and no mistakes. Favourite clue: ‘Shell plates (pair)’ (EPIPLASTRA) by a wide margin from ‘Queen with what she recommended throwing to the French worker’ (ERGATE), though a number of you pointed out that it was brioche, not gâteau, that Marie Antoinette suggested for her starving subjects (if she said it at all). Mr Perry’s first prizewinner for CRETISM in Azed No. 618 (March 1984) was third. Perhaps Winston Churchill’s ‘terminological inexactitude’ (from a speech made in the House of Commons in 1906) is less well remembered these days. The same might be said, in reference to my ROSAKER clue, about Rosa Kleb (or Klebb, depending on which website you consult), who crossed swords with James Bond in one or more of his adventures and was memorably played by Lotte Lenya in the film version of From Russia with Love.
In asking you to clue HIPSTER, I failed to notice that HEPSTER also fitted the definition, though interestingly (and inexplicably) Chambers labels the latter as slang and not the former. No one actually submitted a clue to HEPSTER alone. A small handful of belt-and-braces competitors offered clues to both. It was a popular clue word, bringing back memories of those (to me, at least) overrated and often sozzled writers like Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs for whom the term was coined He trips was widely used as an anagram, and ‘cat’ as a definition was likewise understandably popular. In such circumstances, a degree of extra creativity was clearly called for, as I think the quoted clues demonstrate.
So now to my views on ‘linking words’ in cryptic clues. Leaving aside ‘& lit.’ clues (to which I shall return, but not this month), I suppose the simplest form of cryptic clue is the one in which the definition (one or more words) and the cryptic indication of it (sometimes called ‘wordplay’) stand side by side, either preceding the other, with no intervening verbiage, i.e. with no linking words. It is however entirely legitimate to indicate by means of such linking words that the wordplay stands for or leads to the definition, i.e. the solution to the clue. I am far less happy about clues based on the reverse process, i.e. those that imply that the definition stands for or leads to the wordplay, which I find counter-intuitive. (I dimly remember a conversation I had with Alec Robins many years ago, during which he told me that a correspondent had persuaded him of the acceptability of this, but I cannot now recall the rationale for it, and remain unconvinced.) What linking words are acceptable, then? I have no intention of attempting a definitive list, but I regard as acceptable anything that clearly and grammatically indicates the process involved. So ‘for’ (meaning ‘in reference to’, etc) and ‘in’ (meaning ‘consisting of’, etc) are clearly acceptable, as well as a wide range of other words and phrases which have the same or similar meanings. As so often in these matters, I urge you to ask yourselves whether the clues you construct include clear (albeit veiled) instructions to the solver how to proceed from the wordplay to the target solution.


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

What might make him till? Call it peonism! (9)

Third prize winner by T. W. Mortimer in competition 783