AZED CROSSWORD 2010
A COMING OF AGE
1. C. G. Millin: It could spell the start of adulthood and of magic gone (anag. incl. a, & lit.).
2. N. G. Shippobotham: Experience of majority – one struggling among fog and ice (a + anag.).
3. P. D. Martin: What may close Salad Days? A theatrical exit with lead characters in final song tripping away (a coming off stage less f, s, t).
T. Anderson: What does imago face, embracing new life? (n go in anag., & lit.).
D. K. Arnott: One freshman’s term spent cavorting with Monica Fagg? (anag. incl. one less n, & lit.).
C. J. Brougham: What leads to eighteenth rout? Misplaced ego of golf maniac (anag. incl. g (IRC); rout = party).
C. A. Clarke: Point round about first of occasions male lit trial cigarette? (o, m, in go, fag all in ace; & lit.).
P. Coles: Breaking of German Enigma by one early pair of computers gives something to celebrate! (a + co + anag. incl. G; ref. Bletchley Park).
N. C. Dexter: Love a jar? Love a ciggy? When one may embrace both (0 Ming, 0 fag all in ace, & lit.).
V. Dixon: Active, athletic lord about to marry old drudge: one step toward senility? (a + ming o fag in Coe).
W. Drever: After childhood primarily, one stops me goofing about? (A c + a in anag., & lit.).
Dr I. S. Fletcher: Start of franchise, adult cinema and go-go dancing? (anag. incl f, A, & lit.).
J. Grimes: What’s represented if little adult can e.g. go with ring to bag maiden? (m in anag. incl. O).
D. V. Harry: Magi once gathered round with precious metal – an occasion folk will always celebrate (of Ag in anag.).
G. Johnstone: Facing 0-0, game is to be replayed – that’ll sort the men from the boys (anag. incl. o, o).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Reason for party gathering? Necessary to protect Lib Dem leader, once involved in a stir (Ming (Campbell) in oof all in a cage (= prison)).
P. W. Marlow: Amateur with one magic golf shot having taken out new driver – a feat becoming a major? (A + anag. less L).
J. R. C. Michie: Entry into adulthood from metamorphic change of imago losing last vestige of youth (anag. less h).
T. J. Moorey: An accomplished majority go with initials in clues from one Across and enigma’s cracked (anag. incl. c, f, o, A; ref. puzzle theme).
C. J. Morse: A ‘21’ event? Nothing before and after one would match Azed’s (i.e. 2(0)1(0)).
T. Railton: At home, face going out without the key of the door (anag. less the).
P. L. Stone: Cue to start indulging in foaming ale – chap’s first litre vanishing vigorously (go! in anag. incl. c less l; & lit.).
N. R. Walker: Initially, adulthood commences on making it – no gambling’s outlawed forthwith as gentleman’s eighteen (first letters & lit.).
A. J. Wardrop: A GOC foaming, close to insane, represented defining experience for major (anag. incl. e).
D. C. Williamson: Details of —— could be logged at office in Samoa (comp. anag. & lit.; ref. Margaret Mead’s anthropological classic,‘Coming of Age in Samoa’).
R. D. Anderson, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, M. Barley, M. Barnes, J. G. Booth, T. C. Borland, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. & M. P. Butler, D. A. Campbell, P. Cargill, G. P. Conway, E. Cross, T. Crowther, A. J. Dorn, A. G. Fleming, D. D. Freund (USA), M. Goodliffe, G. I. L. Grafton, Mrs E. Greenaway, R. J. Heald, M. Hodgkin, R. J. Hooper, E. C. Lance, J. C. Leyland, M. Lunan, Ms R. MacGillivray, D. F. Manley, R. A. Norton, A. Powell Eddy, W. Ransome, Dr S. J. Shaw, D. P. Shenkin, D. H. Tompsett, J. R. Tozer, A. J. Varney, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, A. J. Watkins, R. J. Whale, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.
207 entries, with a fair number failing to get SOJA (a jos(s) (rev.)), most having SOYA but a few with SOLA and even one SOMA. Do beware of these unexpected unchecked letters (aka unches) and look carefully at the alternatives before resorting to guesswork. Favourite clue (of 15 mentioned at least once): ‘In the past, a test when there were no women?’ (PREEVE).
I saw this milestone coming some months ago and since it was to be a competition puzzle it seemed a shame not to mark it in some way. It wasn’t really a special, though a surprising number of competitors admitted that they had failed to spot the theme. One even surmised that it had something to do with The Simpsons in a way that was beyond me as a dogged non-Simpsonite. On such occasions I am sometimes suspected of a degree of fiendish complexity that I would never normally contemplate (not, at least, without quite a lot of extra help towards unravelling the theme). This time I thought that the puzzle’s title and the acrostic formed by the initial letters of clues would soon give the game away. Clearly it didn’t for everyone.
What of A COMING OF AGE? It’s not a standard dictionary phrase, admittedly (as I warned you), though not particularly obscure, even if its meaning is a little fuzzy. I take it to signify any occasion when one attains a degree of maturity or adulthood, e.g. a bar mitzvah, or more generally a rite of passage (such as dalliance with Mr Arnott’s alluring Ms Fagg!). In my case, of course, it implies an altogether vaguer concept, but that hardly mattered. There were some lovely clues for a tricky phrase and I congratulate you on your creativity. Thank you too for all the generous comments and for the Christmas greetings and cards that have found their way to me through the appalling recent weather. I wish you all the very best for the festive season and the coming year.
As a footnote, John Tozer tells me that the WordStats feature is back on his estimable andlit.org.uk website as a ‘Christmas special’, and that it will become a permanent fixture in January.