AZED CROSSWORD 2464
1. M. Barker: This country’s losing it – report of impact on the Queen is what gets us all thinking (Br(it)ain + pow + ER).
2. P. L. Stone: E.g. lass with this could be developing prowess in algebra (comp. anag. & lit.).
3. Dr I. S. Fletcher: What’s weak in bear with head in pot or floating? (anag. incl. w, p, & lit.; ref. Winnie the Pooh).
D. & N. Aspland: What’s used to cover up boobs e.g. in Government intelligence (bra in power).
T. C. Borland: ‘Best on Fringe’ comic won with rapier wit (B + anag.).
C. J. Brougham: Minimum of which comes through in P. Bear or Goofy (w in anag. & lit.).
A. Chamberlain: Pie of brawn, or pie that’s not brawn? (anag.; pie2).
D. Clay: Frantic Whip near Boris loses his wits (anag. less his).
M. D. Cooke: For a problem’s answer, I need this and am less perplexed (comp. anag. & lit.).
W. Drever: ‘We’ in Paris, or Belgium possibly, is expressed ‘nous’ (anag. incl. B, less is).
H. Freeman: Lead AZED with ——? Alternatively, it could get you awarded a Nobel Prize! (comp. anag. & lit.).
R. Gilbert: Boris’s initial predominance superseded: ‘A great deal’ requires superior intelligence (B + rain2 + power).
G. I. L. Grafton: Jostling regulars in pubs were a bore, entre nous (anag. of alternate letters).
D. F. Manley: Poor Winnie’s bear getting bothered – is one sadly lacking —— (anag. less anag., & lit.).
P. McKenna: What makes us think it leaves our island with a great deal? (Br(it)ain + power; ref. Brexit).
T. J. Moorey: Seagull’s unerring ability is shown by falling liquid poop’s ending in hat left smothered (rain p in bow(l)er; ref. Bobby S., University Challenge star & Today programme puzzle setter).
W. Ransome: A person now with black chair … can show this, possibly? (comp. anag. incl. w, b, & lit.; ref. Mastermind).
Dr J. B. Reid: Barnier is troubled accommodating heads of political organisations without intellectual ability (p, o, w in anag.).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Without it, Britain starts to perform outside world education rankings (Br(it)ain + first letters, & lit.).
D. P. Shenkin: Energy right below forehead, keeping active during pressure? (a in p in brow + E, r, & lit.).
J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter: Swilling wine (port, mostly) after brandy, getting half cut? It makes the head smart (bra + anag. less t).
K. & J. Wolff: Key to man’s success in boudoir: shower and a dab of perfume (rain p in bower).
A. J. Young: What could prepare one seeking Azed fame – a trial run of cerebra at home might (bra in power; trial2).
A. Antão, D. Appleton, M. Barley, M. Barnes, R. Bowden, A. Brash, Dr J. Burscough, D. Carter, C. A. Clarke, M. Coates, N. Connaughton (Ireland), P. Crossley, Ms S. Curran (France), E. Dawid, A. Fenna, Ms C. M. Gapper, J. Grimes, A. H. Harker, G. Hart, R. J. Heald, G. Johnstone, J. C. Leyland, M. Lloyd-Jones, B. Lovering, P. W. Marlow, Rev Prebendary M. R. Metcalf, K. Milan, C. G. Millin, Dr P. W. Nash, S. J. O’Boyle, K. Parekh, M. L. Perkins, S. Randall, D. Rosendorff (Australia), P. Woodcock & Ms S. Ryder, A. D. Scott, C. Short, J. Smailes, P. A. Stephenson, P. Tharby, J. R. Tozer, Mrs A. M. Walden, Ms S. Wallace, A. J. Wardrop, R. Watson, T. West-Taylor, A. Whittaker, G. H. Willett, Ms S. Wise, Dr E. Young, R. Zara.
189 entries, no detectable mistakes. Favourite clue, of 13 receiving mention, was, by a very long way, ‘Crazy (if not OTT), like Nero – first clue, maybe, ...’ for PYROMANIAC, as the first of two connected clues, the second being for TRIGON. Relating consecutive clues like this can be very satisfying, but they should have a lexical link of some kind. I am much less keen on the use of ellipses to indicate merely that the second clue of the pair continues the wording begun in the first. Since I don’t think I’ve ever asked you to concoct linked clues of this kind, my preferences are largely irrelevant. I just think the device is unnecessarily overused in the puzzles of others.
This month’s clue word yielded a wide range of good ideas. There were distant echoes of BRAINWASH, which I gave you in No. 92, with first prize going to Mr L. May’s ‘Bust down reason?’, often quoted as one of the best clues ever. My clue to YAPSTER drew favourable comments from a few. I’d quite forgotten that it was the clue word in No. 1,165. If I’d remembered, I would probably have reused one of the prizewinners in that competition (with due acknowledgement). Such winners deserve a second showing when the opportunity presents itself.
Some of you (not many) mentioned my recent ‘Jigsaw’ puzzle, querying the fact that I omitted word lengths for the first time. This added to the challenge, of course, but no one complained about that. (Rather the opposite, if anything.) I omitted them without thinking, I confess, probably with ‘Carte Blanche’ puzzles in mind, and I apologize to those who found the puzzle just too difficult. I’ll probably revert to my more usual practice next time (unless I’m feeling in devilish mood!).