AZED CROSSWORD 2209
1. L. Ward: When insurgent left-wingers in Russia (explicitly Bolsheviks) took control? (first letters rev., & lit.; ref. October Revolution).
2. M. Barley: It’s when in the year leaves turn and drop ((a)ct + be(a)r, & lit.; a = anno, drop = give birth to).
3. N. G. Shippobotham: Strong ale can be cloudy and bitter when brewed without that special ingredient (c + anag. less it).
D. K. Arnott: Suspect this ale (not cloudy) could be a belter (comp. anag. incl. c, & lit.).
J. A. Butler: This month, the leaders of Communism, the Bolsheviks, engineered revolution (first letters).
D. V. Harry: Peculiar to English, ale drawn specially to celebrate a month (anag. less anag. incl. E, & lit.).
R. J. Heald: Time around which we’ll see tree that’s cast first of autumn leaves (t in c(a)ber, & lit.).
R. Hesketh: This month’s strong ale consumption breaks flipping record! (TB in rec. (rev.)).
R. J. Hooper: Time cases of exotic bier will be drunk (t in anag. of outer letters, & lit; ref. Oktoberfest).
M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Old ale bottled between Pontefract and Berwick (hidden).
D. F. Manley: What may suggest the number eight, Roman originally – time for university’s start? (t for U in cube + R, & lit.).
P. W. Marlow: Instant crisis with Isis unleashed having captured territory beside Euphrates principally (first letters in cr).
P. McKenna: It is consumed by those leading CAMRA but ends in possible hangover (’t in first letters and last letters, & lit.).
G. McStravick: One finds this time evoked by Dowson’s poem (recitable, getting odd bits wrong) (anag. of alternate letters).
C. J. Morse: When a tree reddens, it’s caught by last of light, not morning amber (c + t + (am)ber).
C. Short: Coming up, openings for retailers – expect busy trading conditions for days leading up to Hallowe’en (first letters (rev.)).
R. C. Teuton: Such strong beer? You could get awful roughness with this (comp. anag. & lit.).
J. R. Tozer: Time associated with rebel uprising under lead of communists (c + t + reb (rev.), & lit.).
Ms S. Wallace: First signs of Christmas trade beginning early ruin this month (first letters).
A. J. Wardrop: Brecht, lacking a touch of humour, turned out historically powerful stuff (anag. less h; stuff = liquor).
Ms B. Widger: This month sees the start of Christmas toys being energetically retailed (first letters).
D. Appleton, M. Barker, M. Barnes, C. J. Brougham, C. J. Butler, C. A. Clarke, M. D. Cooke, E. Dawid, V. Dixon (Ireland), J. Fairclough, J. Glassonbury, J. Goll (or Croll?, from Bartley Green), Dr C. P. Hales, Ms S. Hart, J. R. Howlett, L. M. Inman, B. Jones, C. Loving, M. Lunan, Ms R. MacGillivray, W. F. Main, K. Manley, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, T. J. Moorey, D. R. Ogilvie (USA), K. Parekh (USA), Ms M. Pedler, M. L. Perkins, T. Rudd, D. P. Shenkin, P. A. Stephenson, P. L. Stone, Mrs A. Terrill, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Mrs A. M. Walden, K. Ward Bailey, A. Whittaker, R. Zara.
219 entries, almost no mistakes. Favourite clue, of 13 mentioned at least once, was ‘One uttering shrill cry (animal by the sound of it)’ for (S)CREECHER. LL ‘words’ don’t usually lend themselves to homonym-type clues, of course, but in this case I felt that the non-word entry could hardly be pronounced in any other way, and your votes justified my decision. From your comments the puzzle was generally much enjoyed. It was the fifteenth ‘Letters Latent’ I’ve given you over the years, though LL has featured in quite a number of other specials. I don’t know who first dreamt it up – Ximenes, I guess, from the punning title. There were a few mildly disgruntled comments on the fact that my chosen quotation is not to be found in the ODQ, but I’m unrepentant. It did mean that you could rely less than usual on identifying it in order to discover the latent letters, and it introduced many to an unfamiliar poem, traceable on the Internet (rather a fine one, I think, by a somewhat neglected poet whose sad life was brought to a premature end by alcoholism).
October ale, pace Chambers, is apparently still brewed, by Naylor’s of Keighley. The fact that OCTOBER was, and is, the name of a strong beer as well as a month persuaded me to choose it as the clue word, but you still found plenty of other ways to indicate it (revolution, German beer festival, Eisenstein film, clocks going back, Hallowe’en, etc), all valid ideas demonstrating how lateral thinking can open all sorts of possibilities for even the most unpromising words. I didn’t care for ‘10’ on its own as a definition, on the basis of the way dates are rendered numerically. This suggested to me floodgates I’d rather not open. A number of clues submitted also suggested that October is the time for blackberrying, but the season is surely over by the end of September at the latest. The RHS website suggests so anyway.
A date for your diaries or forward planners: to mark Azed No. 2,250, which is due to be published on the following day, a get-together is being planned for Saturday 18 July 2015, probably in Oxford. Will Drever has generously agreed to take on the task of organizing the event, further details of which will be announced in various places in due course. I do hope as many of you as possible will be able to come. We’re particularly keen to attract guests, especially younger ones, who may not (yet) be familiar with the Azed series, so please spread the word.