⏴ Slip No. 1818 View the clue list Slip No. 1827 ⏵



1.  C. J. Morse: X in ‘billet-doux’ and the ilk is silent (i.e. sign for kiss in love-letter, hidden).

2.  C. A. Clarke: Dropping centre of scrum risks broken neck (anag. less r; ref. rugby football).

3.  M. Hodgkin: X marks spoil disposed of round island (Is in (mar)ks).


D. Appleton: Might one wake a sleeping princess? If so it would make king sing (i.e. k is s).

D. Arthur: X mark is showing hoard (hidden).

M. Barker: Sign of affection absent in Saki’s stories? On the contrary (hidden).

C. J. Brougham: Wax (closing letter) (double mng.; i.e. X).

R. Dean: To some extent, ‘neck’ is synonym for this (hidden & lit.).

A. S. Everest: Dick’s last is Shilpa’s first (k is S, & lit.; ref. R. Gere and S. Shetty kissing publicly in India).

A. Gascoigne: What usually starts (and ends) sex? (2 mngs.; i.e. last letter).

A. Hodgson: A cross indicates the result of a very close encounter (2 mngs.; i.e. X; ref. football pools).

Mrs D. B. Jenkinson: Heavy metal band fixed skis (anag.; ref. rock group).

B. Jones: Conclusion of sex? More likely the opposite! (2 mngs.; i.e. last letter).

J. C. Leyland: Eskimos? Give ’em one with end of boko, vigorously (comp. anag. incl o, & lit.; ref. Inuit custom).

C. Loving: Kirov’s opening is special – it revives ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ (K is s).

D. F. Manley: Act with loving intent – except for conclusive touch of villain with contrary aim (kindness less n + end (rev.)).

P. W. Marlow: Stash of crack is smuggled – and smack? (hidden).

T. J. Moorey: Deception with Lord finally outed, leads to supremo seeming a plonker? (ki(D) + s, s; ref. Lord Browne scandal).

T. D. Nicholl: Some of Saki’s stories smack of life or death (hidden; k. of life / death).

R. J. Palmer: Smack children (sons, not daughters) (kids with s for d).

D. Parfitt: What’s planted on a couple of parishioners giving pax? (i.e. pa + x = pax (k. of peace), & lit.).

J. Pearce: An expression of love ending in sex? (i.e. last letter, & lit.).

P. L. Stone: Buss and smack make contact in search of catch (3 defs.; fishing vessels).

J. R. Tozer: Heavy metal outfit knight put on in elite corps (k + i’ SS; ref. rock group).

Ms S. Wallace: Symbolically it brings adieux to an end (i.e. last letter, & lit.).

A. J. Wardrop: Is caught between Sarkozy’s heart and Ségolène’s head? Voter’s mark might signify this (is in k S; i.e. X = kiss; ref. Nicolas S., S. Royal).


T. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barley, J. G. Booth, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, J. M. Brown, E. J. Burge, Dr J. Burscough, D. A. Campbell, R. M. S. Cork, G. Cuthbert, N. C. Dexter, V. Dixon, W. Drever, C. M. Edmunds, W. P. Field, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, J. F. Grimshaw, A. & R. Haden, M. J. Hanley, D. V. Harry, R. J. Heald, P. F. Henderson, L. M. Inman, Mrs S. D. Johnson, Mrs S. G. Johnson, C. J. Lancaster, W. F. Main, C. G. Millin, R. S. Morse, D. J. R. Ogilvie, S. Parry, G. S. Parsons, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, M. Sanderson, D. Shiell, N. G. Shippobotham, K. Taylor, R. C. Teuton, C. W. Thomas, K. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, Ms C. van Starkenburg, A. Wallace, L. Ward, G. H. Willett, D. C. Williamson, J. Woodall, M. J. Wright.

229 entries, no mistakes. Favourite clue by a long way (of 18 mentioned) was ‘Sea cow maybe identified by homo sapiens?’ for LAMANTIN, and for once I must admit that this one gave me special pleasure when the idea struck me. (The clues to ATTRAHENS and DIALLING TONE came second equal.) By contrast I must apologize for describing multiple sclerosis (MS) as a chronic bone disease in my clue for MITRES, especially to those who have had experience of this debilitating condition. Several of you pointed out my inexcusable error. There was also a fair amount of head-scratching over my clue to SHALOM (‘There’s glamour in one asked for late-night kiss or valediction!’), especially among younger competitors. OK, it was a bit naughty (hence the exclamation mark), but I couldn’t resist it. It referred to a WW2 song (first recorded, I think in 1939 by one Don Pelosi) called ‘Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant-Major’, which ends with the deathless line: ‘Sergeant-Major, be a mother to me’.
Was it a harder puzzle than usual, as some of you felt? There was certainly an above-average quota of unusual or obscure words, but I always assume, perhaps wrongly, that you rather relish these. You were due a short clue word, and this one offered quite a lot of possible approaches. Most of you realized that a bit of extra creativity would be called for and duly obliged. I was much impressed by the degree of inventiveness on display and congratulate you for this. Hidden clues were often, and understandably, resorted to, and I hope that those which made the lists demonstrate that this device need not be as obvious as it sometimes is. CJM’s first prizewinner caught my eye as a beautifully multi-layered clue. (In case anyone wonders, I accept that the definite article can be included to introduce the ‘container’ in a hidden clue without being regarded as part of it.)
Those of you with access to the Internet will be interested to know of a splendid new website created by John Tozer (www.andlit.org.uk) to record every Azed slip since the start of the series in 1972, with many cross-referring links and other features to encourage the browser. John has not yet completed the daunting task of loading every single slip (well over 400 to date) but there is much to savour here. He welcomes any comments and other feedback from users of the website, which includes details on how to do this.


The Azed Cup

R. C. Teuton wins First Prize in competition 2532.

POTLA(TSUGA)TCH (Presents Round the Tree)

Narrow chimney top (and a fat belly!) can lead to Santa getting caught out

This year’s honours table

The next Azed competition puzzle will be on Sunday 7th February

 NEW   AZED  No. 2,536  17th Jan

All online Azed puzzles

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2534

From the archive

Doctor acting thus to get priority GMC panel (10)

Second prize winner by Dr S. J. Shaw in competition 2296