◀  No. 19406 Sep 2009 Clue list No. 1949  ▶



1.  I. Simpson: Centre for keeping crooked characters in irons? (p + anag., & lit.).

2.  J. C. Leyland: Taste of Pinot Noir’s ruined in cooler (P + anag.).

3.  M. Barley: Place one’s in for term of incarceration (I’s in pro + n, & lit.).


J. G. Booth: Getting choky, off-colour pro starts to shank into no-man’s-land (anag. incl s i n).

Mrs M. J. Cansfield: Can leaders in parliament really imagine such overheads necessary? (first letters; ref. MPs’ expenses).

V. Dixon: The French seized one in their capital, all going forward (pris on (Fr.), P(a)ris + on, & lit.; ref. storming of the Bastille).

C. M. Edmunds: Where ‘Society’ bungs rogue element? (S in prion2, & lit.).

R. Gilbert: Where internment begins to eat into a man’s soul, the essence of liberty lost (i in person less (lib)e(rty), & lit.).

J. Grimes: Place right for ring involved in corruption (poison with r for o, & lit.).

D. V. Harry: Brig refitted in southern port after losing end of mast (anag. incl. S less t).

E. C. Lance: Bastille taken in French revolutionary initiations of New Order (pris + N O (rev.)).

E. Looby: Prayer has Pastor driving out Old Nick (orison with P for o).

D. F. Manley: There’s power in prayer to oust Old Nick (orison with P for o).

P. W. Marlow: Pound is prone to slide with first sign of economy failing (anag. less e).

C. J. Morse: You’ll find no reformed rips returning here (no + anag. (all rev.), & lit.).

R. J. Palmer: Spoil iron bar to make slick break out here? (anag. less oil, & lit.).

D. P. Shenkin: No saint in this jail? A pathological rogue (i.e. prison less S = prion).

P. L. Stone: Cells getting ‘religious instruction’ well inside Pakistan’s borders (RI so in P, n).

J. R. Tozer: Bird’s served primarily in it (s in prion1, & lit.).

A. Varney: Wherein, for character facing purgatory, ordinary would have supplied prayer (orison with p for o, & lit.; see ordinary (n)).

A. Vick: Enclose half of this in half of these and those, perhaps ((th)is in pron(ouns)).

L. Ward: For taking lives, one’s inside…here? (is in pro + (o)n(e), & lit.).

A. Whittaker: For porridge, put its two central ingredients, a little salt and oatmeal, in an empty pan (ri s o, all in p(a)n).

A. J. Young: Bird’s done at one – parson’s nose is turning into this season’s fancy (comp. anag.).

Dr E. Young: Reading for Oscar, put away? (poison (vb) with r(eading) for o, & lit.; put away = kill, imprison; ref. O. Wilde, ‘Reading Gaol’).


D. Appleton, D. K. Arnott, D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, P. J. Ball, M. Barker, D. J. Bexson, J. Biggin, R. E. Boot, C. Boyd, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, Dr M. Bullivant, D. A. Campbell, H. Casson, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, P. Coles, E. Cross, Ms S. Curran, Ms B. Currie, P. A. Davies, N. C. Dexter, W. Drever, W. P. Field, A. G. Fleming, Dr I. S. Fletcher, P. A. I. George, B. Grabowski, R. J. Heald, P. F. Henderson, R. Hesketh, J. Hood, G. Johnstone, Dr A. Kitching, D. Lythall, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, W. F. Main, Ms J. Meek, J. R. C. Michie, T. J. Moorey, M. Oshin, F. R. Palmer, K. Parekh, R. Perry, A. Plumb, Miss E. A. Powell, W. Ransome, S. Reszetniak, Mrs L. J. Roberts, G. L. Scullard, N. G. Shippobotham, P. Shipton, D. J. Short, D. A. Simmons, C. M. Steele, K. Taylor, D. H. Tompsett, C. J. A. Underhill, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, G. J. Wenman, J. West, R. J. Whale, P. O. G. White, G. H. Willett, K. J. Williams, D. C. Williamson, P. Wilson.

257 entries, almost no mistakes. Favourite clue by a long way (of 22 cited) was ‘E. g. man in romancing darling admits love in Paris’ for PENULT (though, strictly speaking, ‘nul’ in French is an adjective and therefore not quite synonymous with ‘zero’). None of my other clues presented any special problems, it seems.
This month’s clue word offered a wealth of possibilities, not least because of its many synonyms, especially slang or informal ones (but see below). Here are some examples of nearly-excellent clues submitted which were to me nevertheless flawed in various different ways. (a) ‘Old Kitty can stir cooler porridge inside jug’. Here the writer has impressively linked no fewer than seven different definitions of PRISON in a sentence that has a sound surface reading. The trouble is that it could lead to any other six-letter definition of ‘prison’ as well as to PRISON itself. I strongly believe that a good clue should lead to a unique solution. A minor additional point here is that (in Chambers, at any rate) ‘can’ means ‘prison’ only when preceded by ‘the’. This was overlooked by many competitors, and with some reluctance I decided to be lenient in accepting ‘can’ on its own as a definition. (b) ‘In what could entrants meet the deadline? The nick of time!’ (see deadline in C.). A similar problem to the one in (a), though this time the writer has (cleverly, I admit) used possibly misleading periphrases suggesting Azed comps in place of one-word definitions. (c) ‘“De Profundis”, on suffering in —— founded?’ A most promising attempt at a ‘comp. anag. & lit.’ but one which, for me, just fails syntactically to say what it means, i.e. that DE PROFUNDIS ON is an anagram of IN PRISON FOUNDED. The (for cryptic purposes) present participle ‘suffering’ is inadequate on its own for the purpose intended for it. Further tinkering with the wording is called for to make it all work as required. (d) ‘Petrel’s sea (not river) bird’ (s(ea) in prion). I’m afraid I don’t like ‘has’, still less ‘’s’, in the sense of ‘contains’, which I regard as stretching semantics too far. Others may disagree, and I’ve a feeling I’ve come across it in other crosswords. Comments on this, and all the above, are welcomed.
Finally, a ‘minor query’ (his own words) from a regular: is it essential to submit clues etc on a separate sheet when one is sending an entry on a web-based sheet where there is plenty of room? Not really, I suppose. My main concern, as always, is that I don’t end up with a good clue without an author and address for it, since I usually detach and discard the completed grid part of the entry once I’ve checked that it is correct. When everything is on one sheet this problem doesn’t arise. For those (the great majority) who submit entries consisting of two pieces of paper, the ‘securely attached’ requirement is important (and surprisingly often ignored).


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

Latest  AZED  No. 2,549  18th Apr

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Dr Watson reviews Azed 2547

From the archive

Urinal stained – evidence of this (Latin) being spent (8)

Second prize winner by W. Anderson in competition 1190