AZED CROSSWORD 2187
1. R. J. Heald: How one usually leaves Bath to go round centre of Bristol? (adv.; s in wet, & lit.).
2. M. Owen: Dandy out ——? Could be a towny dude’s time off (comp. anag. incl. t, & lit.; see dude).
3. T. Rudd: With sun’s last rays it could be freely strewn, say (comp. anag. incl. n, & lit.).
T. Anderson: E.g. Adam and partner, dressed in finest underwear leaves ((bra)west; ref. Adam W., film actor, & bridge).
M. Barley: Those heading this way evening sun will dazzle (anag. of first letters, & lit.).
T. C. Borland: It’s reddest when the sun goes down ((Ra)west, & lit.).
C. J. Brougham: Wife is from Beaujolais: go there to be completely dissipated (w + est (Fr.)).
D. Carter: Woe embraces Shakespearean tragedy’s leading characters creating theatrical end (first letters; ref. W. End).
Ms U. Carter: Bridge player wins the trick – not in hearts (anag. less in H).
S. Claughton: Welsh fly-half reversed direction (W + tse(tse) (rev.)).
W. Drever: Leading characters from this ‘End’ would star in play (anag. of first letters, & lit.).
R. Gilbert: Methodist preacher recanting line on First Letter to Thessalonians – or one of the Timothys? (Wes(ley) + T; ref. T. W., actor).
G. I. L. Grafton: Surprisingly, Eton was missing on a circulated recommendation for young man’s destination (anag. less on a; ref. ‘Go w., young man’).
D. V. Harry: Where we’ll find the road out of Lowestoft (we St., hidden, & lit.).
R. Hesketh: Left turn, not right – be lost after going here? (w(r)est).
G. Johnstone: Where has Eastern Standard Time? Not here (w(here) + EST, & lit.).
C. J. Morse: The States and Europe world’s leaders? That’s over (first letters (rev.) & lit.).
D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA): The only direction one can take from Lowestoft (hidden & lit.).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Cyclically, sun heads for this whenever evening’s beginning (s, t, w, e cycling, & lit.).
P. L. Stone: One going for grand slam, maybe, won converting set point (w + anag.; ref. bridge, tennis).
Ms S. Wallace: Point primarily where evening sun travels – last traces of glow imbue clouds aloft (first letters, last letters).
F. J. B. Wheen: Where to go when you’re completely dissipated and held in low esteem (hidden).
A. J. Young: In terms of show attendance and Charles Cruft this is where you may see red setter regularly (last letters).
D. Appleton, D. K. Arnott, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, P. Bartlam, Rev Canon C. M. Broun, D. A. Campbell, R. M. Carson, P. D. Chamberlain, C. A. Clarke, S. Collins, E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Ireland), Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. J. Gostling, D. Harris, E. Looby, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, J. R. C. Michie, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, T. D. Nicholl, A. Plumb, D. Price Jones, D. Protheroe, S. Randall, W. Ransome, N. G. Shippobotham, Mrs A. Terrill, R. C. Teuton, J. R. Tozer, Mrs A. M. Walden, A. J. Wardrop, T. West-Taylor, R. J. Whale, A. Whittaker, K. J. Williams, Dr E. Young.
Only 179 entries, but no mistakes. Favourite clue, by a very long way, was ‘Of bone’ for OSTEAL (o’ steal). I don’t remember having seen this before, and was, as I’m sure you can imagine, rather pleased when the idea for such a concise ‘& lit.’ occurred to me. For many the penny took some time to drop, but there were others who just assumed that I’d overlooked the need for a cryptic element to the clue, or that I’d somehow got my asterisks muddled up, or even that the Observer sub-editors had let me down. All quite amusing, really.
Another clue that found favour with some but puzzled others, was ‘Gently (G) – who’s playing that early instrument?’ for SHAWM, a reference to Martin Shaw, the actor who plays the police detective George Gently in the eponymous television series of some years’ standing, not perhaps quite up there with Morse in the popularity stakes, but sufficiently well known (I thought) to exploit as I did. Specialized areas of knowledge like this are always a bit risky, but I remain unrepentant.
WEST has, no doubt, appeared in crosswords often enough over the years, but I thought it would be worth letting you have a go at it, and I was very agreeably surprised by the range of good ideas you came up with. I should have trusted to your endless invention, though I have a sneaking feeling that the exploitation of Lowestoft (the most easterly town in Britain, apparently) has been resorted to before. Never mind, Azed competitors can always be relied upon to come up with superior forms of wording, even when reworking an old idea.
John Tozer reports that the Ximenes archive, which I mentioned last month, is progressing well, and that he has had help from several sources in tracking down all the slips in the X series. For more information on how the work is going, do consult John’s website. And on the subject of the slips, more specifically the Azed ones, Eddie (Dr E.) Young has sent me a splendidly comprehensive essay he has written on the ‘composite anagram’, assembling all my pronouncements in the slips on this clue type over the years and many examples culled from Azed competitions. I now have this as a computer file and, with Eddie’s approval, am happy to send it, preferably as an email attachment, to anyone who would like to read it. Your comments would also be welcome.