Friday, 29 January 2010

No 9752, Friday 29 Jan 10, Gridman

ACROSS
 1  - Zigzags like the road up the Nilgiris, say (11) - SWITCHBACKS [E] More popularly known as Hairpinbends in India. You can see switchbacks on the Railway line to Darjeeling also.

 9  - The commercial side of Bollywood, perhaps (4,3) - SHOW BIZ [CD]
10 - By which you fold a paper (7) - ORIGAMI [CD]
11 - Leaders of cultural entourage going out of significance in German city (5) - ESSEN(-c-e)
12 - Things going thus are not under control (3,2,4) - OUT OF HAND [CD]
13 - One good small room in northern dwelling (5) - {I}{G}{LOO}

15 - One to hold the standard high (9) - FLAGSTAFF [E]
18 - Rob messes horribly with design carvers (9) - EMBOSSERS*
21 - Think and work in the middle of bed (5) - {OP}{IN}{E}
22 - With phone out of order, mean to work wonders (9) - {PHENO*}{MENA*}
24 - Grate ace built around right kutir to begin with (5) - C{R}EA*{K}
26 - Open out by turns? (7) - UNTWIST [CD]
27 - Severe purgative given by medical officer to a staff unendingly (7) - {DR}{A}{STIC(-k)}
28 - Vessel taken around old throng dispersed in fortresses (11) - S{TRONGHOLD*}S
DOWN
 1  - Yet misses exercises in regiment (9) - SYSTEMISE*
 2  - They are admired in Hindi constituencies (5) - ICONS [T]
 3  - They serve aboard (5,4) - CABIN BOYS [CD]
 4  - Go away like a flying bee? (4,3) - BUZZ OFF [CD]
 5  - Cairo at odds with this country (7) - CROATIA*
 6  - Almost cut fellows in scorn (5) - {SNI(-p)}{FF}
 7  - I shove a large sum of money back for Italian dish (8) - {CAL}{A}{MAR}{I}<- )
 8  - Tie up container to donkey’s head (4) - {BIN}{D}
14 - Book for an opera? (8) - LIBRETTO [DD]
16 - Gents in a school that’s reconstructed for one who lags behind (9) - SLO{WC}OACH* Gents & WC? What is the connection there?
17 - Excitement for which you don’t pay? Not exactly! (4,5) - FREE KICKS [CD]
19 - Role tec devised for voter (7) - ELECTOR*
20 - Sit out? On the contrary, deputise (5,2) - STAND IN [CD]
22 - Serve a beverage to party leader for three-quarters of sixty minutes (4) - {P}{(-h)OUR}
23 - Fails to use most scatterings around India’s capital (5) - OM{I}TS*
25 - Praise text oldster brought out (5) - EXTOL [T]


55 comments:

  1. Good morning Colonel.

    Gents & WC? What is the connection there?
    The loo connection!

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  2. Good morning everyone.

    A good crossword today also.

    The ones I liked: 15A, 22A, 24A, 7D, 16D, 17D etc.

    16D - Gents in a school that’s reconstructed for one who lags behind (9) - SLO{WC}OACH* Gents & WC? What is the connection there?

    WC is also called 'gents' room', 'gentlemen's room', 'gentlemens' conveniences' etc. if I am not mistaken. (At the risk of being accused of gender bias ?)

    Comments, anyone?


    Richard

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  3. It's not in the notorious long list of abbreviations but when I was a young lad and living in IAF quarters in Begumpet, Sec'bad (with semi-attached bathrooms, pantry, scullery, servant's quarters), I must have learnt the word that WC expands to.
    In 1950s it was Western toilets and bathtubs for us. In the 1960s in Madras it was a palatial home on four grounds all right but abysmally under-appointed bathrooms and toilets.
    Equally happy in any circumstances!

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  4. 7D  - I shove a large sum of money back for Italian dish (8) - {CAL}{A}{MAR}{I}<- )

    I-RAM-A-LAC read backwards. Simply superb!

    Richard

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  5. gents in my vintage, tattered Chambers is listed as mens' public toilet.
    And of course, WC is short for Water Closet.
    No long lists needed here. We need to look at that list only after about 20 days

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  6. Well after all those comments on the WC, someone please tell me, don't ladies use the WC, since when was it the exclusive preserve of gents??

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  7. Colonel

    That is why I commented on the likely charge of gender bias in my earlier post.

    Richard

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  8. While on WC:

    I remember reading somewhere that Sir Winston Churchill was unhappy when his official chamber was marked with the initials W.C. Quite justifiably so, because it could afford anyone a free access into the room.

    It is also said that he used to sign all memos and notes as W.C. initially - literally too - and when he realized the variant implication, he started using the initials W.S.C., although his middle name was lesser known.


    Richard

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  9. Gridman may have unabashed gender bias; for all we know, he may have great partiality towards women.

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  10. And what is the middle name?

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  11. WC may be GENTS or LADIES.
    But GENTS = WC.

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  12. @Chaturvasi,

    My COD gives 'the Ladies' as a women's public toilet and 'the Gents' as a men's public toilet, so your explanation does not hold water, unlike the WC!!

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  13. So happens that under the word ladies in the aforesaid Chambers is given Ladies public toilet.
    Maybe Gridman thought it more polite to use the word gents instead of ladies.
    Ladies may not want to go to something as crass as a WC but would prefer to go to a cloakroom instead

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  14. Or Ladies room to be more refined

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  15. The refinement found here is flattering! In my civil engineer husband's plan books I've seen WC used to mark toilet meaning Water Closet.

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  16. A digression: is it true that Churchill was born in a cloakroom or powder room or Ladies room, whatever it is?

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  17. C was born in "a small bedroom just off the Great Hall in Blenheim Palace, 2 weeks prematurely. It was the former bedroom of Dean Jones, the 1st Duke's chaplain." So it goes somewhere on WWW, 'whole wide world' as my niece's son at age 5 used to say.

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  18. Complicated analyses - I saw GENTS, and filled in SLOW COACHES ;-)

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  19. I know, that's why a woman is often called "avasara kudukkai" in Tamil. Don't know the English equivalent.
    Also, I don't know the etymology of this expression. But I do know that 'kudukkai' is a a hollowed-out pumpkin that children learning swimming tie to their body.
    Ah, I suddenly remember using this when a bunch of children were taken by a mirasdar relative to his village near CBE decades ago.
    Probably 'avasara kudukkai' is one who takes the plunge rashly...

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  20. @Chaturvasi - why do I feel that that last post was aimed at me, huh?!

    Today's Quote -lustre does not equal the shine on the nose of a luster.

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  21. To counter Gita's post I must post this, it was sent to me by Richard

    Nine words / phrases women use

    (1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

    (2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. 'Five minutes' is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

    (3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in 'Fine'.

    (4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

    (5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of 'nothing'.)

    (6) That's OK: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. 'That's OK' means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

    (7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you; do not question, or faint. Just say 'You're welcome'. (I want to add in a clause here. This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'You're welcome'. That will bring on a 'whatever').

    (8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying 'GET LOST'!

    (9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?'. For the woman's response refer to # 3

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  22. LOL! Most women are OK - but, if you have a wife called Gita ....

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  23. Not only Deepak's wife but my wife too is Gita -spelt the same way.

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  24. A rib-tickling list indeed! It is immensely heartening to see the other sex at last cultivating profound wisdom and clairvoyance!!!LOL! I find a nice resemblance to Wodehouse who has a knack of expressing such 'profound' truths! One such I liked very much:'Hell has no fury like a woman who wants her tea and can't have it'!May men maintain- or improve- this deep insight into woman's vocabulary. Let me also quoote an old Tamil song sung by A.M.Raja:arththamellaam vERuthaan, agaraathiyE vERuthaan, vanjiyarin vaarththaiyilE arththamE vERuthaan'
    What can please a woman than have her man on tenterhooks?LOL!

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  25. Holy Ravioli! Has an innocuous WC led to another WC - War in Cyberland ?

    Richard

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  26. Knowing Gita's views of men and knowing also her hatred for anagrams, well may she say...

    A man? Gr... A 'loose' (7)

    That is an &lit clue.

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  27. Or, I might say - Rag a man - for they are so mixed up!

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  28. Got it, Chaturvasi. I won't say it aloud.

    Richard

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  29. While on this topic, here are some rib-tickling examples of non-living objects that are either male or female:

    FREEZER BAGS: Male - They hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

    PHOTOCOPIERS: Female - Once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong ones are pushed.

    TYRES: Male - They bald easily, and are often over inflated.

    HOT AIR BALLOONS: Also male - To get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butts.

    SPONGES: Female - Soft, squeezable and retain water.

    WEB PAGES: Female - Constantly being looked at, and frequently getting hit on.

    TRAINS: Definitely male - Use the same old lines for picking up people.

    HOURGLASS: Female - Over time, the weight shifts to the bottom.

    HAMMERS: Male - In the last 5,000 years, they have hardly changed, and are handy to have around.

    REMOTE CONTROL: Female - Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure,he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't know which buttons to push, he keeps on trying.

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  30. @S - great list.

    @C, et al - it's refreshing to see 'spelt' spelt as it should be. American has worn me down over the years. It's not just the apartment/flat, cookie/biscuit, eraser/rubber, or the meter/theater/center but the spelt, and the learnt too. I was shocked when my presentation to Hewlett & Packard (yes, the H & P, and yes, I am that old) as a newbie at HP was corrected for these spelling 'mistakes'! That was when culture shock hit hardest! My son, who reads as much old British (Wodehouse, Blyton, Christie) as he does modern American ( Crichton, etc.) has a long list of such if anyone is interested.

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  31. @Gita: A couple of years back, when I was a book-reviewer for a an American company, I inadvertently used the word "learnt" in one of the reviews. The author promptly returned my review for editing because she insisted such a word did not exist!

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  32. Missed this one.

    9A  - The commercial side of Bollywood, perhaps (4,3) - SHOW BIZ [CD]

    All along I have come across it as a single word. Just seeking a clarification. I have no access to any reference source right now.


    Richard

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  33. Ten years ago when even at work I had only MS DOS and Pegasus mail, I was a member of an international group called Wordplay-L (since defunct, for various reasons). We exchanged mails on aspects of the English language. While members in US used American English, others did theirs.

    Later, as a lone Indian member of US-based forums I used UK English while others - mostly Americans - wrote US English. I did not think it necessary to use US English and I was a respected member.

    Of course, recently when I wrote a letter of recommendation to a US University department, I used US English.

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  34. Chambers has both showbiz and show biz. I have known Gridman to be usually punctilious. He must be doing a lot of homework - don't know whether he ever leaves home.

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  35. @Richard: According to Cambridge Dic: show biz

    Word Web and The Free Dictionary: showbiz

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  36. I for one would not use US English, irrespective of to whom I was writing, why should I stoop to their wishes, let them accept the way we use english rather than us trying to bend backwards to please them.

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  37. Col, couldn't have agreed with you any better.

    Richard

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  38. Thanks, Sandhya and Chaturvasi on showbiz / show biz.


    Richard

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  39. Posting messages in US-based forums where readers are Americans is one thing and writing an official letter to a US University is another. If I submit a crossword puzzle to NYT, it will be in US English. Discretion where it is necessary.

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  40. @ PP

    Hope you will not mind my asking this. I am familiar with many Tamil names but your first name is a rare one. I guess it means 'coral', obviously owing its origin to Sanskrit 'Pravala'. Since I keenly follow different languages, I thought of checking with you.

    Richard

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  41. I can speak for Mrs PP.
    Yes, 'pavala' or 'pavazha' is 'coral' and 'mani' is 'bead'.
    What is there to mind? It is, after all, a question on language.

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  42. Richard, 'pavala' does mean coral and 'mani' can mean many things beside 'bead', like 'jewel', 'light' etc. Actually it is my family name. Our clan's name is 'pavalakkaarar'. The first-born-irrespective of the sex- is named 'pavalam' and derivatives. In my father's native town, in my grandfather's and his relatives' families there are any number of cousins, aunts and uncles with my name and its derivatives! When my paternal grandmother came to me see me after my birth in my maternal grandmother's house she presented me with a gold chain with a pendant bearing my name! A foregone conclusion, a default feature. But now the times have changed.

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  43. Mrs PP:
    Are 'pavalakkarar' mentioned in a Kalki's novel? I have some vague memory.

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  44. Does WC stand for Western Commode?

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  45. Indian/US English - I was in an unfortunate predicament with the publisher of my book American Curry. One chapter heading is Snacks & Tiffin; they insisted I change Tiffin to Tiffin(s). I went to war on this one and refused to budge.

    They don't even know what Tiffin means, let alone its plural or singular form.

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  46. @Sembhayya,

    WC stands for Water Closet

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  47. @Chaturvasi,

    Do you think that an american will ever write in British English whenever he writes to the Government or University in India? I don't think they ever will, so why should we?

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  48. Why British English, and not Indian English?

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  49. The comment tally has crossed 50 with this. Are we going on until tomorrow morning when the newsboy would drop the paper at our doors?
    :-)

    Richard

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  50. C-Vasi, I don't think Kalki could have mentioned our clan's name!

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  51. Good night folks it's been a long commentful day today

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  52. Fantastic! This is what I'd call an intellectual discussion. @Gita - If Tiffin is unknown in the US, so is Jaggery in the UK. I once went to a shop to buy some jaggery in order to make 'sakkara pongal'. But the shop keeper insisted that he doesn't know what jaggery is until another keeper came to my rescue.

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  53. 'jaggery' is in Chambers but an English grocer in the UK is unlikely to have known it. A north Indian grocer would know it 'gur' and a south Indian one as 'vellam'.

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