AZED CROSSWORD 2521
1. R. J. Whale: After puzzling becomes hard, get this alongside OED? (comp. anag. & lit.).
2. R. J. Heald: Scrabble’s hard for learner? This is what’s required! (clamber’s with H for L, & lit.).
3. T. J. Moorey: Mrs Beach composed a suite for recorders? (anag.; ref. Amy Beach, composer, 1867-1944).
T. Anderson: What’s leading manual, book essential to cryptic search? (m, b in anag. & lit.).
D. & N. Aspland: Master book at heart of search when there’s clueing to be done? (M, b in anag. & lit.).
M. Barley: Chief source for solvers in which light will be found (amber in Ch. + s, & lit.).
H. Freeman: Child training bares bottom on them (ch + anag. incl. m, & lit. [see comments]).
J. C. Leyland: Brash Rumpole’s No. 3 Equity Court of which leaders merely appear inept? (anag. incl. m, E, C; ref. address of R. of the Bailey).
M. Lloyd-Jones: Cavities? For an end to toothache take Beechams Powders (anag. with r for e; powder v intr.).
D. F. Manley: Literature’s Great Johnson? Ungainly fellow’s not a name in current lexicography (Cham + be(a)r’s; ref. Smollett’s epithet for Dr Samuel J.).
P. W. Marlow: First signs of baffling clues? Azed entrants might readily search here when perplexed (anag. of first letters, & lit.).
C. G. Millin: When confused search me, the foremost of books for English (anag, with b for E, & lit.).
R. J. Palmer: Burns has penned book that’s boring me – it has many Scottish words (b in me in chars).
Dr S. J. Shaw: Consultation herein principally leads to answer’s meaning being etymologically ‘hollowed out rooms’ (first letters + r, s, & lit.).
N. G. Shippobotham: Brahms overtures for concerts etc. may be played in these (anag. incl. c, e, & lit.).
I. Simpson: Red book – in short, my no. 1 for reference each Sabbath (anag. incl. b, m’, r + S, & lit.; red v tr).
J. R. Tozer: In dialect terms, I am well-nigh supreme, holding what solver needs to finish (cham + r in bes(t), & lit.; see ch in C.).
Mrs A. M. Walden: Architect once capable of producing HMRC base (anag.; ref. William C., architect of Somerset House, former Inland Revenue HQ).
Ms S. Wallace: Chemise fitted with bra that is superfluous for bedroom quarters (anag. less i.e.).
G. H. Willett: Where a judge may go quietly potty? More than one (2 meanings).
P. Bartlam, Ms K. Bolton, T. C. Borland, A. Brash, C. J. Brougham, J. A. Butler, D. Carter, N. Connaughton (Ireland), J. Doylend, W. Drever, Dr I. S. Fletcher, G. I. L. Grafton, J. Grimes, T. Jacobs, J. P. Lester, A. MacDougall, P. McKenna, C. Ogilvie, D. J. R. Ogilvie (USA), R. Perry, A. Plumb, J. Vincent & Ms R. Porter, J. & A. Price, D. Price Jones, S. Randall, W. Ransome, Dr J. B. Reid, A. D. Scott, R. C. Teuton, A. J. Varney, A. Whittaker.
144 entries, no mistakes, and no problems with postal deliveries this month. Favourite clue, of 17 voted for at least once: ‘What’s uprooting wort from historic field? Rats!’ for BOSH, well ahead of ‘Make love amid dissolute routs, alfresco’ (OUTDOORS) in second place.
It’s perhaps surprising that CHAMBERS hasn’t come up before as a word to clue. I don’t remember having clued it myself either. It took me no time at all to choose it for you. (Making a suitable choice, which I do before writing any of my own clues, sometimes takes a little while and involves balancing various factors including a vague feeling about what would present a fair challenge. Contrary to what you may sometimes suspect, I never go out of my way to pick a word which I can predict will be a real brute.) The temptation this time to go for a clue to ‘our book’, was understandably very strong, and none the worse for that. The main problem with this approach was to avoid a clue which was just too easy to solve, something best avoided in such a competitive arena.
The range of good ideas you came up with was most impressive, making the competition a pleasure to judge. I had certain misgivings about Mr Freeman’s otherwise charming VHC, specifically his use of ‘bottom’ to mean ‘end’ for what was an across word in the grid. It can (probably will) be argued that the clue word may be seen as independent of its orientation in the puzzle grid, and therefore clued as either an across or a down word. I remain uneasy about this, given my oft-repeated objection to ‘back’ to indicate reversal in a down clue. Is it really OK to interpret ‘bottom of them’ in a clue reading left to right as indicating a final letter? I don’t think so. (An easy way out of the dilemma might be to replace ‘bottom’ with e.g. ‘rear end’.)