George vs the Azed Clueing Competition – a two parter, BENNET and RECOLLET

An occasional (yet perversely popular) series about entering clueing competitions.  There were two very strange Azed competition puzzles in a row, the one themed around “Forty Years On”, and the April Fool’s Day puzzles with the clashing letters (I put in APRIL FOOL – I have no problem with being one).

Azed mentioned in the slip that BENNET was “not the most exciting word to clue”. In my note to Azed I echoed that – “A dry grass stalk?  There’s not much promising there”.  Most of the clues that made their way into the slip used literary references that didn’t come to be at all, so I went with the dry grass stalk…

Knight bit into twisted dry grass stalk (6)

Wordplay:  N(knight), E(bit) in BENT(twisted)

I didn’t think it was all that bad, but probably not the most inspiring clue in the world.

I seem to do best in Azed clueing competitions when I have no idea about the word beforehand.  I wouldn’t know what a RECOLLET was if he waved tracts at me telling me to detach from creatures and recollect in God.  So a complete blank slate.  TELLER reversed sounded like a good start, since it could be tied in to the definition.  Have to get a C and an O in there.  C can be Catholic which keeps with the definition and lots of things can be O – so here’s a HC-worthy clue

Narrator of catholic inside, in retrospect he aims for detachment (8)

Wordplay:  O(of), C(catholic) in TELLER(narrator) all reversed

Finally back in the world of HCs!  Woohoo – and in grand company with the Youngs, a Morse and four other USA based people.  USA! USA! USA!

Feel free to share other failed or unfailed clues, and remember next week should be the new competition puzzle!


6 Responses

  1. Here’s my similar clue for RECOLLET, which also bagged an HC (I won’t sully the comments thread with my godawful BENNET clue):

    Observant bank employee catches overcharge in review

    Sadly some joker called “J R Tozer” had a slightly more nicely-worded version with “one from the Abbey” as the definition. Should really be “one from Santander” these days though…

    PS: how does bit = E work?

  2. Fellow HCer! I saw Tozers and thought the wordplay was better but the definition was lacking. I thought RECOLLET would have to be defined a little more specifically.

    No idea where e = bit comes from (maybe computing?) but it was in Chambers so I figured it was fair game.

  3. I am sure that e=bit comes from a misreading of the Chambers entry for E, which says “..commonly indicating a preceding long vowel or diphthong: cf not,note; bit,bite..” – the semicolon separating the two examples, rather than introducing a new definition.

    • Really? Not in my WordWeb version (and I got away with it)

      • Are you sure? – In some older editions the part of the definition I quoted from the hard copy was in brackets, making it quite clear that ‘bit, bite‘ was another example.

  4. Yep – I can see it now in the hardcover version, but here’s how it looks in the WordWeb version:

    1. The fifth letter in the modern English alphabet as in the Roman, with various sounds, as in me, get, England, her, prey, and often mute, commonly indicating a preceding long vowel or diphthong: cf not, note
    2. Bit, bite
    3. The third note of the diatonic scale of C major (music)
    4. The key or scale having that note for its tonic (music)

    I see the problem has come from taking a semicolon and automatically parsing it as a new part of the definition.

    Anyhoo, I won’t use it again as part of wordplay!

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