AZED CROSSWORD 2064
1. D. K. Arnott: Boxing Day depression, annual excitement over, essential problem being crackers with no crack? (d in col + rut (rev.) + key).
2. A. Plumb: Duly rock with the shakes after removal of heroin produces withdrawal symptoms (anag. less H).
3. M. Owen: Result you might be suffering with deck use unexpectedly banned? (anag. less anag., & lit.; deck = packet of drugs).
VHC (extra prizes)
T. Anderson: Some leftover tuck you’re cutting for all and sundry Boxing Day? (d in anag. incl. l less U, & lit.).
M. Barley: The plain fact is a large number found cracking code truly tricky (K in anag.).
T. C. Borland: Damaged rocket duly cutting speed? (anag.).
M. Coates: Old tucker dished up before the end of Hogmanay? (anag. + y, & lit.).
N. Connaughton (Ireland): What the truly coked-up might do if withdrawing completely from it (anag. less up, & lit.).
R. & S. Gilbert: Clarkson’s first vintage on-screen fiasco – consequence of sudden loss of speed? (C + old turkey; ref. Jeremy C.).
D. Grice: Tory luck with Ed floundering? It’s the plain truth (anag.; ref. Ed Miliband ).
R. J. Heald: Rehashed Xmas fare? New competitor tackling Azed’s latest must find original clue! (d in colt + ur-key; ref. AZ comp 1180).
R. J. Hooper: Outcome for truly coked-up after crack completely withdrawn? (anag. less up, & lit.).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Distress rocket duly producing sharpish rescue for people on junk? (anag.).
J. R. C. Michie: Old tucker prepared at end of festivity (anag. + y, & lit.).
T. J. Moorey: Tory lucky mostly in clash with Ed, the dope’s quickly dropped in it (anag. less y; ref. Ed Miliband, PMQs).
N. G. Shippobotham: Familiar as an ingredient of New Year Tuck and giving up some addiction (old in anag. incl. y less a, 2 defs., & lit.).
R. C. Teuton: Regulars amongst Yuletide cluers knew of blunder leading to withdrawal of regular fix? (anag. of alternate letters; ref. AZ’s blunder, but see below!).
J. R. Tozer: Pasha astride his mount held on to saddle, coming quickly off horse? (col + Turk in dey; horse = heroin).
Ms S. Wallace: Cokehead’s truly scuppered, floundering as he quits drastic drug treatment (anag. less anag.).
A. J. Wardrop: What leaves one with familiar yen when cocaine, then horse and Ecstasy, are withdrawn? (i.e. cold turkey less c, Turk, E = old Y, & lit.).
R. J. Whale: Old tucker unfortunately served up by X’s successor (anag. + Y, & lit.; ref. AZ comp 1180).
D. Appleton, D. & N. Aspland, J. Bartlett, D. Bolton, J. G. Booth, R. Bowden, Dr J. Burscough, E. Butterworth, J. & B. Chennells, C. A. Clarke, N. C. Dexter, A. J. Dorn, Dr I. S. Fletcher, H. Freeman, G. I. L. Grafton, J. E. Green, J. Grimes, P. Halse, D. Harris, D. V. Harry, Ms S. B. Hart, P. F. Henderson (New Zealand), R. Hesketh, J. Hood, T. Jacobs, M. Jones, R. Kimbell, J. C. Leyland, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, J. May, P. McKenna, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, T. D. Nicholl, R. A. Norton, R. J. Palmer, J. Pearce, Miss E. Powell, D. Price Jones, N. Pritchard, W. Ransome, Mrs L. J. Roberts, B. Roe, Dr S. J. Shaw, A. J. Shields, I. Simpson, P. L. Stone, P. Taylor, K. Thomas, D. H. Tompsett, Mrs A. M. Walden, L. Ward (USA), Dr M. C. Whelan, G. H. Willett, K. J. Williams, Dr E. Young.
Oh dear, what a blunder. And how unknowingly prophetic were clues such as ‘Jonathan’s boob?’ for APPLE-KNOCKER in the previous competition. As newer Azed solvers will still be blissfully unaware but as many if not all older solvers with better memories than mine remembered all too well, I gave you COLD TURKEY to clue in the Christmas competition for 1994. It was stupidly careless of me not to check (as I normally do), so tied up was I in the current puzzle’s complexities. On top of that, the Playfair code proved unusually difficult to crack, which probably accounted for the low number of entries: only 171, but with no mistakes that I spotted. I’d imagined that the larger-than-usual number of Playfair entries would compensate for the fact that there were no same-row or same-column pairings – clearly a wrong assumption. So I take my hat off to all those who persevered. I’m especially grateful to those who said how much they enjoyed the whole gallimaufry and forgave my amnesia so readily. It left me with the difficult decision as to how I should treat the competition as a whole, especially in relation to the fiercely contested annual honours list. After much thought and advice from a number of experienced competitors, I decided to let it stand as normal and assume that most of those who remembered or had a record of the earlier competition 17 years ago would have consciously attempted to come up with a different clue. I myself did not consult that earlier slip and still have not looked at it. A comparison would now be interesting but I won’t make it for a while yet.
Favourite clue in the puzzle (if I dare mention it) was the misprinted one for DIGIT: ‘How aging fans express their appreciation of pop singer’. Only eight clues in all received one or more mentions. You were probably all too exhausted to bother about such things (not to mention the mislabelling of one double RL clue as WN, though I doubt whether this seriously misled anyone). And to complete this catalogue of embarrassing admissions, I must apologize to Mr R. J. Whale and Dr E. Young, whose VHC clues were unaccountably omitted from the last slip. They were, in alphabetical order of their authors, ‘Was ‘yankee plonker’ the non-PC translation of this sawney’ (comp.anag. incl. PC, & lit.) and ‘Jobs can’t have been that simple to find in US’ (ref. Steve J.; simple n).
That had better do for now, with the January competition still to judge. I wish you all a healthy and happy new year.