AZED CROSSWORD 2250
MILESTONE (with missing O)
1. J. R. Tozer: Azed’s celebrated reaching it with bean very much sound (beano; miles tone).
2. A. J. Wardrop: Principals in La Scala and ENO change with time – something to be celebrated with Met? (Moët; anag. incl L, S).
3. P. L. Stone: Event when cheese is tasted, mildest one lacking depth (toasted; mil(d)est one; cheese2).
M. Barley: What we tasted at Azed lunch is very much high quality (toasted; miles tone).
Dr J. Burscough: On stele, I mark curses (courses; anag. incl. M, & lit.; course = run).
J. & B. Chennells: A significant event to solemnise fully? Not so (foully; anag. less so).
Mrs L. Davis: Roadside assistance time – Len’s broken down (Leon’s; anag.).
W. Drever: Enlist me to ultimately have organised this celebratory pint for Azed (point; anag. incl o).
G. I. L. Grafton: It’s hard belonging to Huguenots, eliminated, travelling westwards for new start? (hoard; hidden rev.).
R. J. Heald: For Azed’s latest Tozer rated and uncovered Ximenes’ lost slips (orated; anag. less X, s; ref. speech by JRT at AZ 2250 lunch).
G. Johnstone: Cryptic ‘lions’ meet raising a celebratory pint for Azed’s output (point; anag.).
E. C. Lance: No hint of dryness in supremely mellow drink – an occasion for tasting? (toasting; mil(d)est one).
J. C. Leyland: Swinging ‘lone male’ site may guide one to gal (goal; anag. incl. m).
D. F. Manley: This pint is for celebrating Azed No. MMCCL – see it unravelling with cricketers getting out? (point; anag. less MCC; ref. Lord’s test).
P. W. Marlow: Time one’s spent tackling foremost character in logodaedaly – pint for celebration (point; l in anag.).
T. J. Moorey: Enlist to fight with heart of stone in M East – may lead to many gals (goals; anag. incl. o in ME; supposed reward for Islamist bombers).
R. J. Palmer: Dozens sit and start to enjoy meal arranged for Azed’s ——: something to be tasted (toasted; comp. anag.).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Object numerically evaluated originally by Roman pen on start of trek (peon; miles + t + first letters; & lit.).
N. G. Shippobotham: Shut away, Hamlet is playing the same significant stage (shout; anag. less ha! + one).
P. Taylor: With endless money, one lets funders indicate significant progress here (founders; anag. less y, incl. I).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Something appropriate for tasting at Azed 2250 lunch: drinks, after starter cleared away, having fine quality (toasting; (s)miles + tone).
L. Ward (USA): Landmark (in delightful setting) Monet reworked when capturing features of local cast (coast; îles in anag.).
A. Whittaker: Stage fund reorganized in Leno’s time (found; anag. ref. Dan L.).
T. Anderson, D. K. Arnott, J. & J. Barnes, M. Bath, J. G. Booth, C. J. Butler, P. Cargill, C. A. Clarke, M. Clarke, M. Coates, C. Daffern, E. Dawid, J. Doylend, C. M. Edmunds, P. Evans, C. D. S. & E. A. Field, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gilbert, Dr C. P. Hales, D. V. Harry, M. Hodgkin, J. R. H. Jones (Mexico), M. Joslin, C. Loving, M. Lunan, M. A. Macdonald-Cooper, L. F. Marzillier (USA), P. McKenna, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, C. J. Morse, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), J. Parke, D. Protheroe, W. Ransome, N. Roper, P. Sant, D. P. Shenkin, D. Stanford, P. A. Stephenson, R. C. Teuton, Mrs A. M. Walden, Ms S. Wallace, R. J. Whale, G. H. Willett, J. & K. Wolff, J. Woodall (France), Dr E. Young.
165 entries, a few with KAYAK/MYOSIN for KAIAK/VIOLIN (which must have been pure guesswork) and a few more offering clues with omission of the wrong letter. For such a ‘milestone’ puzzle I was hoping that the entry would be bigger, but perhaps less experienced solvers were daunted by the theme. This received general approval – just as well since the idea took ages to gestate – and I was much heartened by the many complimentary comments. It was only after completing the grid that I noticed that there were no unchecked letters in the clue word, and that therefore, strictly speaking, it did not require to be ‘deduced’, but I decided, rightly as it turned out, that no one would pick me up on this. (One regular competitor, having got to M_L_STONE, became concerned that it was going to be MY LAST ONE, an Araucaria-style announcement of my imminent retirement!)
Asking you to devise clues that made sense with and without the missing O presented a tough extra challenge, one I had decide to set myself early on in the cluing process. It just seemed more satisfyingly elegant and I certainly don’t regret making this stipulation, though some overlooked it, or perhaps simply gave up the struggle. The most popular ‘doctored’ words were P(O)INT (which I had used myself in the clue to PARAMO, albeit with a different sense of ‘point’), and T(O)ASTED/T(O)ASTING, but you cleverly found plenty of others, many of them featured above. Favourite among my own clues, of no fewer than 20 receiving mention, was ‘Luther might have fashioned this blend of oil in wine’ (VIOLIN). ‘Luthier’ was, I admit, a happy find.
Another milestone reached and passed, then. The celebratory lunch at Wolfson College was a splendid occasion, organized with great efficiency by Will Drever. It was a real pleasure for me to meet and chat to so many old friends. The meal was first-rate, followed by a fascinating speech by John Tozer in which he talked about aspects of the task he’d recently completed of adding all the Ximenes slips to his andlit.org.uk website. I also spoke, mainly to thank everyone who had helped to arrange the celebration. The handover of the silver salver from Jeremy Morse to Mark Barley followed, as mentioned in the previous slip, with both of them speaking about the special nature of the Azed series, and Richard Heald then handed over the monthly cup to Mick Hodgkin. To round off the proceedings I was presented with a framed poem based on MMCCL written and recited by John Burscough, and a recently-published collection of limericks (subtitled A History of the World in 100 Limericks) by Mick Hodgkin, inscribed with one ‘To Azed’. The assembled company then repaired to our house nearby, whereby Mrs AZ (Alison) had laid on a sumptuous tea party. The sun shone throughout – the perfect end to a perfect day. Further details are accessible on the andlit.org.uk website. Onward, then, to No. 2,500.