AZED CROSSWORD 2000
1. C. J. Morse: Out now, Azed’s latest – hats off! (anag. incl. d, & lit.).
2. D. F. Manley: Wadham reunion’s toast? Name a sir with —— crackers (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. AZ 2,000 lunch at W. College, Oxford).
3. Dr S. J. Shaw: Yes, setter with this number (Z) could make Azed-ers shout ‘Twenty tons!’ (comp. anag. incl. n, & lit.; Z = 2,000).
M. Barley: Cruciverbalist’s latest number (what O.U. do’s organised around) (t + n in anag., & lit.; ref. Oxford University).
C. A. Clarke: Who stands out with no end of sexiness? That’s fantastic MM (anag. less s; ref. Marilyn Monroe).
T. Crowther: I am missing out on it: Wadham’s planned a significant number for lunch (anag. less I am; ref. lunch at W. College).
N. C. Dexter: Work out what’s Azed’s latest no. (anag. incl. d, & lit.).
W. Drever: No. —— ‘not out’, Azed ultimately has now compiled? (comp. anag. incl. d, & lit.).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Number of a classic, Azed’s latest, now out – hats off to that (anag. incl. d, & lit.; ref. 2,000 Guineas).
H. Freeman: 2% of lac stains don’t wash out (anag.; lac = 100,000; stain = sully, mar).
D. V. Harry: ——th saw Don out working, running that do with nous (anag., anag. incl. w, & lit; ref. AZ lunch, D. Manley).
R. J. Heald: To date, Crowther’s astounding puzzling equals —— – a setting record? (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. Hesketh: Who batted with standout score a hundred times? Originally saw Hutton do this too (anag., anag.; 20 x 100; ref. Len H.).
J. R. H. Jones: Out now, hats off to Azed’s latest (anag. + d, & lit.).
J. C. Leyland: Who sang to us? Those opening the do, merrily belting out G & S number (special one) (anag. incl. t d less G S; ref. musical tribute at AZ 2,000 lunch).
B. MacReamoinn: Manley and Morse put their heads together for Azed milestone: find out what Don’s organised here (i.e. MM, anag.).
P. W. Marlow: Cook was not out around close of fourth day getting a hundred score (h in anag. + d; 20 x 100; ref. Alastair C.).
J. R. C. Michie: Hot donut was disastrous for Azed’s stupendous figure (anag.).
T. J. Moorey: Dozens at our do and then what fine torture for the Azed number —— (comp. anag. incl. f, n, & lit.).
Dr T. G. Powell: What’d conspire to haunt T. Woods? A ‘100’ score … carded this week (anag.; 100 x 20; ref. golfer).
W. Ransome: Special number puzzle wasn’t too hard: usually difficult to begin with (anag. incl. H u d).
I. Simpson: Newly out, what’s Azed’s latest no.? (anag. incl. d, & lit.).
A. J. Wardrop: In sum, Azed’s puzzles do stand out – and how! (anag.).
T. Anderson, D. Arthur, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, R. E. Boot, C. Boyd, C. J. Brougham, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, M. Coates, P. Coles, N. Connaughton (Republic of Ireland), Mrs S. Curran (France), E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Republic of Ireland), T. Donnelly, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, R. Gilbert, M. Goodliffe, R. Haddock, D. Harrison, Dr W. L. Hawley, P. F. Henderson (New Zealand), J. Hood, G. Johnstone, E. C. Lance, J. P. Lester, P. Lloyd, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, W. F. Main, K. Manley, G. McStravick, C. G. Millin, C. Ogilvie, M. Oshin (USA), R. J. Palmer, R. Perry, P. Pridmore, P. E. Radburn, D. P. Shenkin, N. G. Shippobotham, A. Smith (USA), R. Stocks, A. W. Taylor, P. Taylor, J. R. Tozer, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), R. J. Whale.
241 entries, no noticeable mistakes. Of 23 clues (including the peripheral one!) receiving one or more votes, co-favourites were ‘One put in to block uppish bowlers’ (POT(H)A(T)S) and ‘Instinctive aptness at play you’ll see child, male, in’ (SE(A)T-O(F)-THE-PANTS). THE TAIN was a little obscure, I admit, though not to the Irish, I’m sure. It tells the saga of the legendary hero Cúchulainn, a statue of whom in his death throes may be seen in Dublin’s main post office in O’Connell Street (or could when I was last there).
Well, another milestone passed. I dare say the clue phrase was pretty obvious from the start, but that didn’t bother me. The puzzle still had to be solved, and the peripheral clue, as it became apparent, should have helped in fixing the treated grid entries. That, at least, was my intention, and your comments largely bore it out. And talking of comments, I am deeply grateful for all the kind things so many of you wrote about me in your entries. As I’ve said before, the knowledge that my weekly offerings give so much pleasure is immensely gratifying and encourages me to continue as long as I can. I hope I will be forgiven for including in the list above many clues that are distinctly flattering to myself, as was a large percentage of the total entry. (A few failed by leading to MM rather than TWO THOUSAND.)
The 2,000 lunch at Wadham College, Oxford, on 25 September was a splendid affair, brilliantly masterminded by Don Manley. About 130 guests, old friends and new, sat down to an excellent meal from the Wadham kitchens (and cellars), but not before a reception in the college antechapel during which we were treated to a musical entertainment organized by Andrew Taylor: a well-rehearsed choir of regular solvers, with violin and keyboard accompaniment, singing various familiar tunes, mainly from G & S operettas, with new words written for the occasion by George McLean, Victor Dixon, David Shenkin and Chris Edmunds. At the end of the meal there were speeches from Richard Stilgoe, Vanessa Thorpe (from The Observer), Mark Barley and myself, the last two of which (among other memorabilia) are now posted on Derek Harrison’s Crossword Centre website. Guests then emerged into the late summer sunlight for a group photograph, before gradually taking their leave for other venues or to make their way home. It was a truly memorable occasion for me and my family (wife, both sons, both parents, sister and brother-in-law). I must, in conclusion, again thank my dear wife Alison for picking and arranging all the many flowers that graced the college tables, and all those who contributed to the extraordinarily generous cheque presented to me, along with a magnificent framed ‘word cloud’ of every one of the first 500 Azed competition clue words, designed by John Tozer, which now hangs on my study wall.