◀  No. 22723 Jan 2016 Clue list No. 2279  ▶



1.  I. Simpson: Clue at head of slip – I. Simpson? Not unless awfully, awfully pleasing (anag. incl. s less anag.).

2.  G. I. L. Grafton: MPs in cabinet shuffled round, leaving Benn treated kindly (anag. incl. O less anag.; ref. recent Labour reshuffle).

3.  M. Barley: Here’s entry to Azed comp – is it crafted with winning appeal? (anag. incl. A).


T. Anderson: Is comic turn delivering constant well-timed cracks in tune with audience? (pat in anag. less c).

D. K. Arnott: In Scoop, needing work I’m ready and heading for Ishmaelia as foreign correspondent (I’m pat + I all in Sco(op); ref. William Boot in Evelyn Waugh novel).

T. C. Borland: Emperor being taken in by new ‘coat’ is charming (Imp. in anag.).

W. Drever: ‘Compassionate’ – as one expressed around Italy, possibly? (I in anag. less as one, & lit.).

R. J. Heald: Hand in glove manipulated most of action by muppet (simp + anag. less n).

M. Hodgkin: It’s a comp, for a change, I can enter – that’s nice (I in anag.).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Devilishly clever, I’d dismissed diplomatic service – not exactly congenial (anag. less anag.).

D. F. Manley: It. companions bickering may be ‘non ——’ (comp. anag. & lit.; It. = Italian; bicker = quiver).

T. J. Moorey: ‘Friendly’ new politics leads to more animosity and Labour’s leader disregarded (anag. incl. m, a less L).

R. J. Palmer: Spanish/Italian originally, I’m apt to make good company (S, I + anag., & lit.).

A. Plumb: Rattle impact is getting opera’s overture in harmony (anag. + o; ref. Simon R.).

Mrs L. J. Roberts: Copious amity may make you so? (comp. anag. & lit.).

P. Sant: Enduring Irishman penned the content of his comic Plays Pleasant (Pat in anag. less h, c; ref. G. B. Shaw).

Dr S. J. Shaw: From roots in Grecian lingo this may translate to ‘of a common spirit’ (comp. anag. incl. n, o, & lit.).

C. M. Steele: Is atomic power shortly to be scrapped? This would be agreeable to some (anag. incl. P).

R. C. Teuton: Misanthropic? Contrariwise – lacking any vestiges of nastiness, hatred or rancour (anag. less n, h, r, & lit.).

Mrs A. M. Walden: Friendly postman introducing himself thus on round (I’m Pat in sic o’).

Ms S. Wallace: Pietro Mascagni is struggling without a singer performing in tune (anag. less anag.).

A. J. Wardrop: Matic plays with a lot of poise in friendly in Italy (anag. less e; ref. Chelsea footballer).

A. Whittaker: Ill-disposed amici stop being this (anag. & lit.).


P. B. Alldred, D. & N. Aspland, M. Barker, J. & J. Barnes, J. G. Booth, J. M. Brown, Dr J. Burscough, C. J. Butler, A. & J. Calder, G. Carey, D. Carter, B. Cheesman, M. Coates, P. Cole, Mrs L. Davis, V. Dixon (Ireland), C. M. Edmunds, P. Evans, Dr I. S. Fletcher, E. French, G. Gostling, J. Grimes, P. Halse, K. L. Harrison, D. V. Harry, R. J. Hooper, Mrs D. B. Jenkinson, G. Johnstone, T. King, E. C. Lance, E. Looby, B. Lovering, C. Loving, D. Lythall, G. Maker, P. W. Marlow, L. F. Marzillier (USA), P. McKenna, C. G. Millin, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), W. Ransome, G. Raven, J. M. Sharman, C. Short, K. Thomas, J. R. Tozer, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, L. Ward (USA), T. West-Taylor, R. J. Whale, G. H. Willett, D. Wilyman, A. J. Young, Dr E. Young.

205 entries, no mistakes that I could see. Favourite clue by far, of 20 receiving mention: ‘Fine instruments? Composer must have died for us’ for STRADS. I have a nagging feeling that this might not have been an original idea, though I can’t actually recall coming across it before. My clue to KNELT (‘Herd drunk? Not I, I deferred maybe’) received a couple of votes for and one against. No masterpiece, I admit, but fair enough I think, if you accept that kneeling to somebody can indicate deference.
Most who commented said they found this a relatively straightforward plain (though as usual a few expressed the opposite view). In every puzzle I produce there always seem to be one or two words that appear extra-intransigent when it comes to cluing them. As a non-scientist I often find it hard to clue scientific terms accurately but simply, without being too long-winded in the definition. A prime example this time was PSI PHENOMENA, whose meaning I’m still hazy about. The scientifically literate among you usually point out my errors if I oversimplify or otherwise misdefine such tricky customers.
SIMPATICO, by contrast, lived up to its meaning by being a clearly congenial word to clue, and you rose to the challenge splendidly. I don’t always go for self-referential clues, which would be meaningless outside the context of the Azed series or a particular puzzle in it, but I simply couldn’t resist Mr Simpson’s delightful offering. Such opportunities rarely occur, of course, but in this instance his clue had just the right degree of tentative optimism. Of other quoted clues, I should mention Mr Arnott’s, which requires specialized knowledge to be understood but is very neatly constructed and concerns a favourite novel by a favourite author of mine. And in case there are any doubts about Dr Shaw’s ‘Grecian’, since Chambers mentions only Italian and Spanish in its etymology, I am quite sure as an ex-classicist that SIMPATICO, being related to ‘sympathy’, has Greek origins. And on the subject of classics, some of you may be interested in the new(ish) series of Latin crosswords appearing in The Times each Saturday. Set by Auctor (Paul McKenna, of this parish), they aim, in his own words, ‘to tease (or perhaps, flatter) some solvers’ knowledge of Latin and introduce others to the beauty of the literature which is available to us’. Quite challenging, I’ve found.


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

All online Azed puzzles

Dr Watson reviews Azed 2547

From the archive

This house does have royal use being the home of a queen (7)

Third prize winner by T. E. Sanders in competition 1013