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15 Responses

  1. Viresh Ratnakar says:

    Hi, I would like to provide a link to your excellent list in my crossword construction web app ( It would be great if I can get a URL that directly shows *all* the entries (something like instead of the first 100.


    • Viresh Ratnakar says:

      Ah, I had only looked at the anagrams list earlier, but I now see all the other excellent lists as well (containers, letter-picking, etc.). Same request for *all* of them, please—URLs that lead to full lists. Thanks!

  2. Richard says:

    Hello. Your lists of indicators are invaluable for compilers and solvers alike. May I suggest that you consider creating an additional list – this would be for letter replacement indicators? For example “stands in for”, “assumes the role of” etc.

    • Doctor Clue says:

      Hi Richard, and thank you for your comments.

      As it happens, I already have a list with around 30 entries which I set up a little while ago but haven’t yet published. It includes your first example but not the second, which I actually used myself in a recent puzzle, so I would have benefited from the list being available too.

      Once the list is published I hope that, as always, readers will contribute their own suggestions in order that I can make the list as comprehensive as possible. Watch this space!

      • Richard says:

        Excellent – looking forward to seeing it. As it happens, I used the second example I gave in a clue I devised yesterday, which is why I had it in mind.

        • Doctor Clue says:

          It is now available for perusal! All corrections and suggestions for improvement will be gratefully received.

  3. Daron Fincham says:

    Just finished AZED 200. Very enjoyable ! Hard to believe I was only 15 when this was published, a pupil at a “bog standard” comprehensive school and can honestly say, that of the 15 guests – apart from the team – I would only have been familiar with 2 of the names – and one of them we didn’t study (not a classical education!)

    On which note , is there a possible typo for 6D ? My Chambers doesn’t have tellet – is it teller ?

    Being a Patrick Leigh Fermor fan and lover of Crete, the best clue was definitely 7D !

    • Doctor Clue says:

      I recall tackling this one before I put it on the site (unlike Azed 1 it hadn’t been filled in by the book’s previous owner), and I thought it was very tricky indeed – certainly harder than quite a few Listener puzzles of recent times. I don’t think it would have been any easier back in 1976, since the ‘guests’ were not figures contemporary with the puzzle.

      I can’t blame the book for ‘tale-tellet’ – that was my transcription error, which I will fix when I remember how to upload the puzzles to the site!

  4. Daron Fincham says:

    I thought I’d have a go at AZED number 1. I found it hard going. 2D and 3D took a while to crack. I failed on 32D – I had wrap, I knew in my gut it was wrong. I only have 2014 Chambers which doesn’t have 38A ?? And I can’t parse 18A. Also, is there a misprint for 7D? I can make it work with a Scottish Slipper, but not clipper. Anyway it was fun. Best clue for me was 28D – very 1970s !

    • Doctor Clue says:

      Hi Daron

      if this puzzle appeared next week, I would probably rate it as 5/5 for difficulty – the earlier puzzles were quite a bit trickier than the more recent ones, and I can’t remember anything like the 2d/3d combo in recent times.

      I think IZZET must have been omitted from Chambers some considerable time ago – OED gives it, along with ‘izzart’ and ‘uzzard’ as alternative spellings of ‘izzard’ (the only version which Chambers still gives).

      18A is tough, and I don’t think Azed would write a clue like that these days. ‘Gammer’ is an archaic/dialect term for an old woman, but it isn’t an agent noun (it’s probably a corruption of grandmother) and therefore the idea that gammers would have gammed is both whimsical and obscure.

      I’m certain you are right about 7D – I took the puzzle from ‘The Best of Azed Crosswords’, which has ‘clipper’, but it’s clearly an error. I’ll put that right – thanks for pointing it out.

      28D is both concise and deceptive, very neat.

  5. Matthew Hudson says:

    Ahead of your notes on Azed 2,615 could I query 16A? The answer is plain to see but nowhere in Chambers can I find this idiom, nor in the OED, nor in the text of Faerie Queene. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    • Doctor Clue says:

      Hi Matthew

      The notes are now published – I’ve picked that clue out for comment in “Setters’ Corner” and I think that what I’ve written there should answer your question, but please come back if not.


  6. David Harry says:

    Best of luck with the site. It looks good and I’m hoping its clinical data section will enable me to put my 12th edition Chambers away for good.

    • Doctor Clue says:

      Thanks, David – much appreciated. All contributions to the site will be very gratefully received, as will suggestions for content…I feel there’s more that could usefully be added to the Clinical Data section, but I’m not sure what it is…

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