AZED CROSSWORD 1845
1. R. Gilbert: Bounce? At an end. Help! … Brown’s bottled (br. in up aid; ref. Gordon B.’s election U-turn; see bounce).
2. J. C. Leyland: Posh pine boards refurbished after removing one’s worn-out carpet (U + anag. less anag.).
3. R. C. Teuton: Twit in wacky pair with Bud? (anag.; ref. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello).
M. Barley: Censure is universal, with Brown under pressure having declared poll off (U + P + br. + (s)aid; ref. Gordon B.).
Rev Canon C. M. Broun: In court, Hair’s binding could lead to rebuke (up + braid; ref. test umpire Darrell H., in lawsuit re ball-tampering scandal).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Top form dreads results in school no more (up + braid; dreads = dreadlocks; school (obs.) = admonish).
M. Goodliffe: Having taken off underwear, I would dress down (up bra I’d).
R. B. Harling: D-cup bra ideally displays what knockers may do (hidden).
R. J. Heald: Reprimand hubby, regularly and abusively? (anag. of alternate letters, & lit.).
M. Hodgkin: Dress down Friday: discard outer wear, put on louder underwear (up bra + Friday less fray).
L. M. Inman: Relief after explosive burp brings the old shame (anag. + aid).
B. Jones: Dress revealing underwear I’d exposed after getting in a state of excitement! (up + bra I’d).
D. F. Manley: ‘—— bad umpire, not me!’ – delivered in ‘Hairy’ fashion? (anag. less me, & lit.; ref. Darrell H.).
P. W. Marlow: Dress down? I put on drab wear ignoring fashion (anag. less ton2).
G. McStravick: Regulars in fun pub are a find for twit (alternate letters).
T. J. Moorey: United, with lead over Gunners, one did rate (U + Pb + RA I ’d).
R. Murdoch: Past reproof, disorderly pub gets an invasion by the police (anag. + raid).
D. Parfitt: Twit, drinking place dry, starts falling down (pub + arid with initial letters dropping down a place).
C. W. Thomas: USA score! Supporter’s in euphoric state (bra in up ID (Idaho)).
D. H. Tompsett: South’s heart lead and a coup produces slam (u Pb raid; ref. bridge).
J. R. Tozer: Rate book ‘in between revolting and offensive’ (b in up raid).
Dr M. C. Whelan: Chide topless sex symbol, hiding underwear (bra in (c)upid).
G. H. Willett: Not the first American tart to espouse underwear and wig (bra in (c)upid).
R. D. Anderson, D. Appleton, W. G. Arnott, D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, R. Bates, C. J. Brougham, J. M. Brown, E. J. Burge, P. Cargill, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, S. Coxall, E. Cross, C. Daffern, N. C. Dexter, V. Dixon, C. M. Edmunds, J. Fairclough, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, A. G. Fleming, A. Gascoigne, J. F. Grimshaw, D. Harris, R. Hesketh, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, E. C. Lance, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, W. Murphy, R. A. Norton, A. Plumb, T. G. Powell, D. Price Jones, M. Surguy, Dr A. J. Varney, Ms S. Wallace, R. J. Whale, W. Wynne Willson.
191 entries, some mistakes, mainly in connection with ANOXIC and PIGWEEDS. With all the disruption to the postal service this month I extended the deadline more or less indefinitely. I can only hope that every entry mailed was actually received. Favourite clue was (fittingly) ‘Is Latin ‘in fair round belly’ one?’ for PODESTA, not one of mine at all but the first prize-winner by Mr P. D. Gaffey back in 1978 (No. 319). After that came ‘Dodgy old doctor, mercurial, I twice replaced with amateur’ (QUACKSALVER). Twenty-nine clues received at least one mention, so I must be doing something right. Several of you expressed puzzlement over ‘Sort of hunch? It may require some searching in Chambers entry’ for SIXTH SENSE, perhaps looking for more cryptic deviousness than was actually there. The main part of a dictionary entry is made up of the various ‘senses’ of the headword, and since Chambers separates these merely by semicolons the sixth sense of a word might take a bit of finding. That’s all.
A good competition, on the whole. UPBRAID, being both a transitive and an intransitive verb and also a noun (albeit obsolete), with a wide range of possible synonyms, gave you plenty to play with, and you took full advantage. A few specific comments. (a) For some reason ‘for’ as a linking word from the definition to the cryptic treatment came up a lot this month (e.g. ‘What knockers do for uninitiated love when their support breaks!’). As I mentioned in a recent slip where I discussed linking words generally, I’m not keen on this. The natural progression, it seems to me, involves the cryptic part leading to (i.e. ‘standing for’) the definition part (the target word). (b) Is a coup a raid (see Mr Tompsett’s VHC above)? I hesitated more than somewhat before accepting that this is possible, under the stock exchange sense of ‘raid’, but only just (the rest of the clue being particularly good). (c) ‘Elevated airborne ride out East: flying carpet’. Looks promising (a/b = airborne), but how does the grammar of ‘out’ work? It can only be as an imperative, but this puts altogether too much of a strain on the syntax of the clue as a whole. (d) ‘After rising, scrambled eggs and toast’. At first sight a very neat clue (see scrambled eggs), but on closer inspection I could find no evidence for ‘toast’ as a synonym of ‘upbraid’. Did the writer have ‘roast’ in mind?
More sad news. I learn of the recent deaths of Mrs Janet Critchley (at 90) and Will (W. J. M.) Scotland, both friends and long-time Azed solvers and competitors, and regular attenders at Azed get-togethers. Janet made a speech at the very first AZ dinner and was there at the most recent lunch in Balliol College, Oxford. A charming lady. Will, who also set crosswords under the pseudonym Alban and for many years sent his crossword friends a Christmas puzzle of his own devising, became wheelchair-bound after contracting MS but remained wonderfully cheerful in the face of this most debilitating disease, lovingly cared for by his wife Carol.