Azed

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This article is about the puzzle. For its composer see Jonathan Crowther


The Azed crossword appears every Sunday in The Observer newspaper and has a small but devoted following. Since it first appeared in March 1972, every puzzle has been composed by Jonathan Crowther who also judges the monthly clue-writing competition.Jonathan Crowther (2006) A-Z of Crosswords p. 44, Collins ISBN 978-0-00-722923-9, ISBN 0-00-722923-2 The pseudonym Azed is a reversal of (Fray Diego de) Deza, a Spanish inquisitor general. This combines the inquisitorial tradition of Torquemada and Ximenes (the two previous composers of the "advanced" Observer crossword) with the wordplay element of a British cryptic crossword.

The 2000th Azed puzzle was published on 26 September 2010. The 500th competition puzzle was published on 1 August 2010.

The puzzle

The puzzle's barred grid signals a more extensive vocabulary than that of the usual cryptic crossword.Alec Robins (1975) Crosswords p. 34, Teach Yourself Books, Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340-05978-8 Up to half of the answers may be "dictionary words" and its standard reference, The Chambers Dictionary, is an essential aid for most solvers.D S MacNutt with A Robins (1966). Ximenes on the art of the crossword p. 136, p. 107, p. 131, p. 136, Methuen & Co Ltd, London; reissued 2001 by Swallowtail Books However, a much lower...
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