I have the Azed Cup on the desk beside me as I type, and I have its box on the other side as I await confirmation of the address of the winner. The PDF of the Azed puzzle that goes up on the Observer site each Sunday is rather unreliable as to the details of prizewinners. For many a week, Namey Namey won all three prizes, while recently the focus has been on Narberth in Pembrokeshire.
I did say I would try and replicate the picture of Wellington visible from Petone that we took in 2009, but instead we headed north, over the Remutaka hills into the Wairarapa. Here we are at the remote Oystershell Road outside Martinborough.
It’s not very clear why somewhere so definitely inland should be called Oystershell – fossils, perhaps. Then we went on into Martinborough itself:
Excellent range of gin at the hotel, by the way.
It’s probably best to concentrate on the cup in the pictures. You aren’t seeing my best side (that is, the outside). One final picture from last night of the cup where it has perched on a shelf in my office, menaced by some sort of Lego Aztec (Mayan? Incan?):
The puzzle this time round is a Church Times puzzle from 2019. When I said last time that I’d had two sets of Christmas crossword proofs to work through, the Church Times puzzle was the other one, appearing just a couple of days before Christmas. A reminder nearer the time, of course.
Forthcoming puzzles are demanding a bulleted list again, though the latter half of November is quieter:
- 1 November: Pangakupu in The Guardian
- 1 November: Pedro in The Times Quick Cryptic
- 2 November: Kcit in The Telegraph Toughie
- 3 November: Phi in The Independent
- 6 November: a Pangakupu Guardian Genius
- 10 November: Phi in The Independent
I think that might be the first definite logjam of my pseudonyms. There have been some throughput issues at The Guardian which explain the re-emergence of Pangakupu in the Genius slot quite so immediately – there should now be a decent respite (if nothing else, I haven’t written the clues for the next one yet…)
And just as I finish, Marjorie has sent through one last image of the trophy, in front of a clock kit I put together a couple of weeks ago: