◀  No. 21092 Dec 2012 Clue list No. 2116  ▶



1.  W. Ransome: Is he con or pirate? ——’s either possibly (comp. anag. & lit.).

2.  D. F. Manley: Roguish Captain Hook sort – that’s me, OK? (comp. anag. & lit.).

3.  J. Guiver: Jack stealing pies queen of hearts removed from oven (Pica + R + o’ + o(ve)n).


M. Barley: Picture one lifting gold having boarded ship, perhaps? (pic + a + or (rev.) + on, & lit.).

Rev Canon C. M. Broun: Silver perhaps and gold stored up by magpies continuously (or (rev.) in Pica on; ref. Long John S.).

R. Fentem: Rogue gold trader’s tip leaving corporation in turmoil (anag. less or t).

G. I. L. Grafton: Working on this fraud, Fed gets rid of Capone somehow (comp. anag.).

J. Grimes: One lifting what’s good from freight inspired by nip o’ rum? (car(g)o in anag., & lit.).

D. V. Harry: Rogue performing piracy – noose could get him? Yes (comp. anag. & lit.).

R. J. Heald: Bounder involved in piracy making spirited escape with booty? (roo in pi(racy) can, & lit.; booty2).

R. Hesketh: Ford’s second Capri modelled on a Corsair (anag. incl. o + on).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: ——, or one tangling with Pan & Co? (anag. incl. I, & lit.; ref. Peter P.).

P. W. Marlow: Teach, perhaps, piano or dancing around college (c in anag.; ref. Edward T., aka ‘Blackbeard’).

L. F. Marzillier (USA): Play with Pacino or Morgan? (anag.; ref. Capt. M., M. Freeman).

C. J. Morse: Thieving sort – an abandoned character, by the sound of it (Pica + ‘rune’, & lit.).

R. J. Palmer: One noted for stealing gold hoisted aboard (Pica + or (rev.) + on, & lit.).

Dr S. J. Shaw: Someone pursuing organized piracy in the main (excluding Smee!) (anag.less y + (s)o(me)on(e), & lit.).

P. A. Stephenson: This searat may show up as pirate or a con (comp. anag. & lit.).

P. L. Stone: E.g. Rover or Corsair or Pontiac declining with the passage of time (anag. less t; decline = deviate).

N. Warne: The cause of skipper in panic at sea? (roo in anag., & lit.).

Dr E. Young: Hook could be ’Enry’s No. 1 left in a Cooper special (anag. less E; ref. boxing).


S. Baker, R. E. Boot, T. C. Borland, J. M. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, D. Carter, C. A. Clarke, P. Coles, N. Connaughton, M. Davies, N. C. Dexter, R. Gilbert, Mrs E. Greenaway, Dr C. P. Hales, D. Harris, R. J. Hooper, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, E. C. Lance, J. C. Leyland, T. Locke, G. Longbottom, C. Loving, W. F. Main, I. D. McDonald, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, R. B. Norton, C. Ogilvie, J. Pearce, A. Plumb, A. M. Price, R. H. Rooke, N. Roper, I. Simpson, P. Taylor, J. R. Tozer, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, T. West-Taylor, R. J. Whale, A. Whittaker, Ms B. Widger, G. H. Willett, A. J. Young, R. Zara.

201 entries, more than a few reaching me well past the deadline. Given our patchy and unpredictable postal service (despite protestations to the contrary), I do urge competitors to send off their entries as early as possible, and always to use a first-class stamp. There were a few mistakes, mainly through failure to spot ABER, a new entry in the current edition of Chambers. Eighteen of my clues received one nomination or more as clue of the month, the winner by a very long way being ‘Top male, ace between the sheets!’ for BEHEAD (second was ‘Light breeze in the north worried lock-keeper’ for HAIRNET). Was that exclamation mark justified (indicating a faintly racy clue)? Maybe (in the context of the current debate) a question mark would have been better, since one is not necessarily between the sheets when in bed, especially if in the throes of passionate love-making! No one mentioned it, however.
Regarding other clues, one or two queried ‘as in cuisine’ in the clue to VOIDEE (a curious word): ‘Late snack with wine left page with plan as in cuisine’. This was simply my attempt to indicate that ‘idée’ is a French word, like ‘cuisine’, in the context of the overall reading of the clue. I was also asked whether I had considered reusing a prize-winning clue for DINGLE-DANGLE, which I gave you as the clue word back in 1994 (No. 1,174). The simple answer is that I hadn’t because I’d quite forgotten, but that when my memory doesn’t let me down I do like to give such gems from the past a second airing.
PICAROON proved very popular, I’m pleased to say, and many of you predictably opted for ‘& lit.’ clues, the best of which are on display above. The range of ideas exploited was admirable, and made the job of picking the winners and runners-up more than usually pleasurable.
And what of that very strange word SOUR-COLD, whose definition I had to guess at? Having included it in the grid as a Chambers entry, I only found that it has no definition there when I came to clue it. Further research revealed that it appears only once in Shakespeare (in Timon of Athens). I consulted the chief editor of the OED (an old friend), who more or less solved the problem: ‘Shakespeare has ‘sowre cold habit’ (First Folio) – two words: sour and cold. Later (early) editors introduced the hyphen as if it were a compound. Modern editors revert to two words/no compound. So I think Chambers picked it up when it was editorially traditional to regard ‘sour cold’ as a compound. But things have moved on.’ So there we have it, but why on earth did/does Chambers regard it as worth including in the first place?


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

 NEW   AZED  No. 2,549  18th Apr

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Dr Watson reviews Azed 2547

From the archive

Mule’s male part is out of order – when used for covering it’s sterile (10)

Third prize winner by R. J. Palmer in competition 1113