Notes for Azed 2,615
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 2,615 Plain
Difficulty rating: (3 / 5)
This struck me as being a little above average difficulty, although I was somewhat distracted by having discovered during breakfast an ‘unfastened’ Cheerio – I’ve eaten a lot of Cheerios but never before have I encountered a straight one. I would preserve this potentially unique specimen (a ‘Cheeri’?) for posterity, but unfortunately I’d already put the milk on before I spotted it. I’m drying it out, but I suspect it may be beyond conservation. Anyway, this was an enjoyable puzzle, even if it did suggest a preoccupation with the word UP.
Setters’ Corner: This week I’m going to take a look at clue 16a, “Spenserian isn’t perfect (one featured in bulletin)? (5, 2 words)”. Nothing very interesting about the wordplay, a single-letter word for ‘one’ inside a four-letter word for information on recent events producing the (2,3) solution, but the definition poses a problem for the setter. How do you define a (Spenserian) phrase meaning ‘was not’ that itself contains the word ‘was’? ‘With difficulty’ is the answer. But you can rely on Azed to find an answer, and he has used ‘perfect’ in its grammatical sense of ‘ denoting completed action’ to indicate that “isn’t” should be interpreted in its perfect form, ie ‘was not’. Job’s a good ‘un!
1a System aiding ships, one tar’s deployed after direction-finder showing south not mobile (12)
A single-letter word for ‘one’ and an anagram (‘deployed’) of TARS follow a seven-letter word for a direction-finder in which the usual abbreviation for ‘mobile’ has been replaced by the standard abbreviation for ‘south’. As stated in the footnotes, the paper version of Chambers lists the (6-6) solution under the entry for its second half.
12a Durable skin turned up on annoying fly found round Arabia (8)
‘Up’ makes its first appearance, being reversed (‘turned’) and followed by the four-letter name of ‘a small but very troublesome Brazilian biting fly’ which contains the usual two-letter abbreviation for ‘Arabia’.
13a Chatterbox such as Violet? (6)
When appended to the solution, Violet produces the title of a 1945 satirical novel by Christopher Isherwood describing the making of a film of the same name, a melodrama set in nineteenth-century Vienna (home of the park sharing its name with the chatterbox). The book draws on Isherwood’s experience as a screenwriter on the film Little Friend (1934), directed by Berthold Viertel.
16a Spenserian isn’t perfect (one featured in bulletin)? (5, 2 words)
See “Setter’s Corner” above.
20a Avoid bypass, missing junction (4)
A five-letter word meaning ‘[to] bypass’ or ‘[to] sidetrack’ loses the single letter representing a type of road junction in order to produce the solution.
23a Before start of November reach for thick coat (5)
A neat clue, but one of those where both the answer and an element of the wordplay are relatively obscure. The four-letter word which must be put before the first letter (‘start’) of ‘November’ may not be unfamiliar in the sense of a vein of metallic ore, but I don’t remember coming across the meaning of ‘a reach of water’ before.
29a Angular unit, excellent, stylish, one installed (6)
A three-letter slang term of North American origin with a meaning very similar to ‘cool’ (ie ‘excellent’) is followed by a two-letter word for ‘stylish’ or ‘fashionable’ into which a single-letter word for ‘one’ is inserted (‘installed’).
30a Cattle in large area of land showing paralysis (8)
A four-letter biblical term for cattle is contained within a four-letter proper name applied to a specific, and very large indeed, land mass.
32a Scottish well, one with fish (5)
A (1,1,3) charade, the fish being the sort that could easily find itself being jellied.
1d It was used in drawing blood, raising gallons in lesson (12)
A six-letter word for ‘raising’ (based on that two-letter word we’re starting to see a lot of) and the single-letter abbreviation for ‘gallons’ are contained by a five-letter word for a lesson or lecture, the outcome being a (7-5) hyphenated term for a vessel with an open mouth used in the operation of ‘cupping’; apparently where there was insufficient space for such a vessel to be used, the leeches would be summoned instead.
3d Left a meal in lifting up ornamental tray (7)
The usual abbreviation for ‘left’, A (from the clue) and a three-letter meal are all contained by a reversal (‘lifting’) of…yes, you guessed it, UP.
4d Sensation to do with possible misprint in Shakespeare (6)
A charade of a four-letter word for a sensation or commotion and that oft-sighted bit of commercial jargon meaning ‘to do with’ results in a word that appears in the Prologue of Troilus and Cressida (followed, of course, by ‘up’) and is now usually rendered as ‘sperre up’, ‘sperr up’, or ‘spar up’ (all in the sense of ‘lock up’).
5d Wound piercing surface part of Roman shield (6)
Be careful here – the combination of the wound and the Roman shield might lead you to a word ending in ‘-um’, but that won’t fit the rest of the clue. The three-letter ‘wound’ is entering (‘piercing’) a word (more commonly seen in a four-letter form) applied to the lighter upper part of the continental crust (of the earth, nothing to do with baguettes), and the ‘of’ is part of the definition.
9d Gulf offering grand drive (5)
The usual abbreviation for ‘grand’ is followed by a word meaning ‘drive’ (noun or verb, your choice) to produce a term given by Chambers as ‘literary’ for something which ‘gulf’ is shown as signifying poetically.
19d Small ungulate, briefly on edge found shivering in hunter’s periphery (7)
A shortened form of (‘small’) ‘on’ and an anagram (‘found shivering’) of EDGE are contained by the first and last letters (‘periphery’) of ‘hunter’, the answer being a (3-4) ungulate which is not some strange hybrid, although its Latin name is Axis porcinus.
22d Worthless type, monkey turning up in courts (6)
A three-letter word for a ‘useless type [of person, invariably a chap, I think]’ is followed by a reversal (‘turning up’) of a three-letter capuchin monkey, producing the English plural form of a word for a court of justice.
26d Shortened aperçu, possibly (5)
A nice &lit, the whole clue serving as an indication of the answer produced from an anagram (‘possibly’) of APERCU without its last letter (‘shortened’). Whether the solution here is likely to be shorter than an aperçu is something that need not trouble us.
(definitions are underlined)