◀  No. 23007 Aug 2016 Clue list No. 2309  ▶



1.  W. Drever: What’s a largely dull term for ‘fadge’? (a gre(y) e, & lit.; term).

2.  G. I. L. Grafton: Overlooking lively Vienna area, waltzing with evening consort (anag. less anag.; area).

3.  M. Hodgkin: Enjoy view in common area gardened regularly (a + alternate letters; area).


M. Barley: With a step back in time, it’s ‘to reconcile’ (a gree2; time).

Ms K. Bolton: Doctor eager to please elderly (anag.; doctor).

C. J. Brougham: Area growing endless cotton (a gree(n); area).

Dr J. Burscough: Repair relationship – this mends same-gender split? (comp. anag.; repair).

D. Carter: Fit Adam’s record exceeded expectation initially, winning first piece of gold (g in in first letters; piece; ref. A. Peaty’s world record in Rio Olympics).

C. M. Edmunds: Cotton backed NHS dressing leaves skin rather nodular ((sh)agree(n); dressing).

D. V. Harry: Close finishes in omnia producing silver, bronze – and a bit of exasperation (last letters + e; close; ref. Olympic cycling).

R. J. Heald: Greg, defying gravity, takes champion’s spot in long jump (Gre(g) for Ch. in ache; ref. G. Rutherford, Olympic long-jumper; spot).

R. J. Hooper: Reach concert in time to catch group belting out C & W ((c)re(w) in age; time; Country & Western).

E. C. Lance: Scrap in beer garden set back accord (hidden rev.; scrap).

J. C. Leyland: Doctor starts to explore garment related allergens, especially cotton (anag. of first letters; doctor).

M. A. Macdonald-Cooper: Area covered with grass mostly used in match (a gree(n); area).

T. J. Moorey: Jeremy’s focus in mega split, scrap capitalism ultimately, OK? (re in anag. less m; scrap; ref. J. Corbyn).

J. & A. Price: Mend garden seat, ditching rickety stand for old settle (anag. less anag.; mend).

W. Ransome: Getting on in years, eager to resolve suit (re in age & def.; resolve).

Mrs L. Roberts: Square ground area e.g. acre set aside (anag. less a; area).

P. L. Stone: Stokes exhausted from good spell but carrying on in match (re in age(s); spell; ref. Ben S., cricketer).

R. C. Teuton: Are trousers pinching in the rear? Insert a piece of elasticated cotton (e in g in are; piece).

J. R. Tozer: Area BHS’s former owner wants closure in to reach settlement (a + (Sir Philip) Gree(n); area; ref. BHS pensions).

Mrs A. M. Walden: Repair differences on entering maturity (re in age; repair).


T. Anderson, D. K. Arnott, D. & N. Aspland, T. C. Borland, J. M. Brown, C. J. Butler, P. Cargill, C. A. Clarke, C. Daffern, Mrs L. Davis, V. Dixon (Ireland), J. Doylend, J. Fairclough, Dr I. S. Fletcher, R. Gizzi, A. H. Harker, C. & C. Hinton, J. R. Howlett, L. M. Inman, Mrs M. Janssen (Ireland), T. Locke, D. F. Manley, P. W. Marlow, J. R. C. Michie, C. G. Millin, T. D. Nicholl, J. Parke, M. L. Perkins, R. Perry, A. Plumb, T. Rudd, A. D. Scott, R. J. Sharkey, D. P. Shenkin, N. G. Shippobotham, S. Smith, P. Taylor, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, Ms S. Wallace, L. Ward (USA), A. J. Wardrop, R. J. Whale, G. H. Willett, K. & J. Wolff, Dr E. Young.

1 (equal). M. Barley (3 prizes, 8 VHCs), R. J. Heald (2, 10); 3 D. F. Manley (2, 8); 4 (equal). T. Borland (2, 6), J. C. Leyland (1, 8); 6 (equal). M. A. Macdonald-Cooper (1, 7), T. J. Moorey (1, 7), Dr S. J. Shaw (1, 7), A. J. Wardrop (1, 7); 10 (equal). J. R. Tozer (2, 4), Mrs A. M. Walden (1, 6); 12 (equal). D. K. Arnott (1, 5), Dr I. S. Fletcher (1, 5), G. I. L. Grafton (2, 3), M. Hodgkin (2, 3), R. J. Palmer (1, 5), P. L. Stone (1, 5), R. J. Whale (0, 7); 19 (equal). Dr J. Burscough (1, 4), W. Drever (1, 4), E. C. Lance (1, 4), G. H. Willett (2, 2); 23 (equal). T. Anderson (1, 3), D. V. Harry (0, 5), T. Rudd (0, 5), J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter (0, 5),, L. Ward (0, 5); 28 (equal). C. J. Brougham (1, 2), C. A. Clarke (0, 4), R. Gilbert (0, 4), J. Grimes (0, 4), R. J. Hooper (0, 4), P. W. Marlow (0, 4), A. Plumb (0, 4), I. Simpson (1, 2), R. C. Teuton (0, 4), A. J. Whittaker (0, 4).
CONSOLATION PRIZES R. J. Whale, D. V. Harry, T. Rudd, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, L. Ward, R. Gilbert, J. Grimes, R. J. Hooper, P. W. Marlow, A. Plumb, R. C. Teuton, A. J. Whittaker.
143 entries, a few with KANTAR for CANTAR. Favourite clue, of 18 mentioned , was ‘Hill fort, not badly fortified initially, sacked from end to end’ for THRO (RATH), with those for NAYWARD (PSALTER) and ONE-TIME (TOTTIES) coming joint second. Two competitors queried my use of the (sexist) singular ‘skirt’ as the definition for TOTTIES, though Chambers supports this collective usage (cf. ‘crumpet’).
WN puzzles are tricky to handle, certainly for the setter, but also no doubt for the solver, which I guess accounts for the low entry. The complicated preamble probably deters the casual solver from competing, and there were more than a few who picked the wrong word(s) to clue. That said, it presents an interestingly different challenge, which several of you said they greatly enjoyed. Over the years I’ve set 12 WNs as competitions and plenty more as non-competition puzzles. Ximenes (whose idea I think it was originally) set five as competitions, the first being his No. 209. According to JRT, ‘It was a great hit with solvers, and the main fault in clue-writing was not, as expected, cluing the wrong word, but failing to make the locating definition integral to the clue.’ The same fault (which indicates failure to appreciate the main challenge WN poses) still occurs.
My method when cluing a WN puzzle is to group words by length (ideally six groups of six) and to jot down as many one-word definitions for each entry as possible. (Indications of currency, register, etc are naturally not possible unless an exact equivalent can be found.) Clues and ‘imported’ definitions are then paired off one by one. It is of course helpful to fill the grid in the first place with words that have several senses, and I gave you AGREE (PATCH) with this in mind. Possibly the range of choice was too wide, but I felt this was a fault on the right side.
Many congratulations to Messrs Barley and Heald for sharing the top spot in the annual honours list, and to everyone on the list for consistency over the course of the year. Competition at the highest level, as I’ve said before, is still as keen as ever.
And here’s an interesting footnote, from a comment by a competitor. Some Shakespeare scholars have suggested that in the familiar line from Hamlet, ‘I know a hawk from a handsaw’, the bard really meant ‘heronshaw’, which would certainly make more sense, even though Hamlet is feigning madness at the time.


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

Where to pop petite diamond when penniless? (12, 3 words)

Third prize winner by N. G. Shippobotham in competition 2438