Notes for Azed 2,551

There are usually one or two points of interest in an Azed puzzle, and here we pick them out for comment. Please feel free to add your own questions or observations on any aspect of the puzzle (including clues not listed below) either by using the comment form at the bottom of the page or, if would prefer that your question/comment is not publicly visible, by email.

Azed 2,551 ‘Spoonerisms’

Difficulty rating: 5 out of 10 stars (5 / 10)

‘Spoonerisms’ is undoubtedly one of my favourite variations, giving Azed full rein to exercise both his skills and his wit. This was an excellent example of the genre, with many smiles raised. Incidentally, I counted three proper names not given by Chambers in the grid (at 1a, 31a and 27d) rather than the two indicated by Azed.

For those who haven’t encountered a Spoonerisms puzzle before, a few suggestions:

  1. Identify as many of the ‘type B’ clues as possible (the ones where the definition contains a spoonerism), work out the definitions, and then solve them as ‘normal’ clues
  2. When tackling ‘type A’ clues, start with the shorter entries
  3. Remember that with type A clues the word to be entered in the grid remains undefined – only its spoonerism is indicated

Working through a clue of each type:

Type A – 33a “Company saturation to heed once, in spin, e.g. when struggling (12)”. Here the wordplay involves TO REKE (‘to heed once’, ‘reke’ being a Spenserian form of ‘reck’, to heed) being put inside an anagram (‘when struggling’) of EG SPIN. The definition part, ‘Company saturation’, leads to CORPS STEEPING, and therefore the grid entry is  STOREKEEPING.

Type B – 11a “War that tips monarch’s end, in grip of secret society (5)”. The spoonerism is of ‘Taw that whips’, so the pre-processed clue is “Taw that whips monarch’s end, in grip of secret society”; the last letter of ‘monarch’ (“monarch’s end”) is in the grip of a TONG, producing THONG, ‘a taw that whips’.

A few notes on individual clues follow, after which there is a list of clues showing clue types and the elements featured in the spoonerisms.

18a Date with bog’s long delayed after start of storm (5)
The wordplay here is straightforward (a familiar four-letter word for ‘long delayed’ following the first letter of ‘storm’), but (like me) you will probably need Chambers to confirm the ‘bait with dogs’ definition (note the change of punctuation, the apostrophe disappearing in the despoonerized version).

29a I’m in business as a magistrate (very old) (5)
This is the only ‘type A’ where the ‘definition’ part indicates a single word – AEDILE, ‘a magistrate (very old)’ – which must be ‘internally’ spoonerized.

30a Cosmologist following celestial body – kindly follow instruction (4)
The ‘cosmologist’ here is Martin REES, Baron Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal since 1995.

31a Tarty popper, a feature of purple pendant (5, 2 words)
The person who ‘tops her party’ is Marine of that ilk, President of the National Rally in France since succeeding her father in 2011.

32a Genuine when exchanging bits, giving my man (contemptuously) coin in Tokyo (7)
This is one of four vocalic spoonerisms (the BUNTING/BIN TONGUE sort) in the puzzle (the others being 25a, 29a and 2d); here a seven-letter word meaning ‘genuine’ has its first three letters moved to the end (‘when exchanging bits’) to produce a spoonerism of SIR A SEN.

2d Primate food put out with headless fish (6)
An anagram (‘out’) of PUT, followed by the four-letter name of a fish resembling a cod, with its first letter removed (‘headless fish’). The spoonerism is a vocalic one, with vowel sounds being exchanged between the two words indicated by ‘Primate food’.

6d Jean’s to mock such as Dixie going topless (6)
Here there is a change of punctuation in the type B spoonerism, with “Jean’s to mock” becoming “Means to Jock” (ie a Scottish word for ‘means’ or ‘intends’). The Dixies with the deceptive capitalization are “military cooking-pails or camp-kettles”.

15d The Scots learn to cheat English with British money around (9)
I’m not sure why Azed put a ‘The’ at the start of this clue – it can safely be ignored, the type A spoonerism comprising a Scottish word for ‘learn’ (‘Scots learn’) and a word meaning ‘to cheat’. The ‘learn’ sense of the word isn’t in fact Scottish, simply archaic – I suspect that Azed may have misread the Chambers entry for ‘lear’. In any event, ‘Scots learning to cheat English with British money around’ would have been more accurate.

22d Cass including garb an Andalusian’s seen in continental summer (6)
Azed has been a bit naughty here – ‘Andalusian’ (“a breed of laying poultry with blue plumage”) is very much a definition by example of a three-letter word which must be put inside a three-letter word which means ‘summer’ in French. The  spoonerism includes a space which must be removed in order to produce the type B definition of the entry.

26d Settlement to cultivate river entering forest often flooded (5)
The R for ‘river’ enters a four-letter word for “an area of riverside forest that is periodically flooded” to produce a spoonerism of ‘PA (or PAH) GROW’, ie ‘[Maori] settlement to cultivate’.

27d He’s gassed moles I found under unpleasant clutter (4)
The footballer in question has certainly ‘massed goals’ for Barcelona and Argentina, over 700 to date

Clue types and locations of spoonerisms

1a: type A – ‘Famous result for Sitting Bull’ indicates the spoonerism of the entry; 10a: type B – ‘Pear batch’ is itself a spoonerism of the definition; 11a: B – ‘War that tips’; 12a: A – ‘discolour gutters’; 14a: B – ‘made of shoal’; 16a: A – ‘Goan booze supported’; 17a: B – ‘Age of sold’; 18a: B – “Date with bog’s”; 20a: B – ‘pig bunch’; 23a: B – “its chime never ranges”; 25a: A – ‘Tuck into a Scotch’; 29a: A- ‘a magistrate (very old)’; 30a: A – ‘kindly follow instruction’; 31a: B – ‘Tarty popper’; 32a: A – ‘my man (contemptuously) coin in Tokyo’; 33a: A – ‘Company saturation’.

1d: A – ‘Sailor pub crawl’; 2d: A – ‘Primate food’; 3d: B – ‘Racing brod’; 4d: A – ‘water drinks’; 5d: A – ‘fixed stoppage’; 6d: B – “Jean’s to mock”; 7d: B – ‘ball to coat’; 8d: B – ‘Call Indian smart’; 9d: B – ‘Suggesting Pliny may’; 13d: A – ‘Curtain rod look’; 15d: A – ‘The Scots learn to cheat’; 19d: A – ‘Sloping jump’; 21d: B – ‘Coal for horde once’; 22d: B – ‘Cass including garb an’; 26d: A – ‘Settlement to cultivate’; 27: B – “He’s gassed moles”; 28d: B – ‘topping whale’.

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6 Responses

  1. Johnie says:

    1 across must count as one of the cleverest examples of this type that I have come across.

    • Doctor Clue says:

      Hi Johnie

      I wouldn’t disagree with that. Safe to assume, I think, that it was Azed’s ‘first one in’ when constructing the puzzle.

      I avoided mention of that clue when I wrote the notes because I didn’t want to spoil it for anyone who hadn’t already solved it.

  2. Orange says:

    Thanks as usual!
    Was stumped on the western edge (Offa’s dyke?) for ages until 1D made me laugh out loud.
    Also liked 21D as that’s how the modern version sounds in my native accent! 😉

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