Monday, 19 May 2014

No.11088, Monday 19 May 2014, Exa



Cakes and melons for Breakfast at Exa’s welcome party. Marie Antoinette’s subjects would have loved it ...  To cut them, you  can use 27a
Some of the clues were direct,
Some others clues were indirect,
Fruits and cakes,
Is all it takes,
To give you that nice Exa effect.

Welcome Exa! (A graduate from the Colonel's THCC academy) 
Stumped by 28a

ACROSS
1 Ball observed in later part of day? (4) MOON CD
          Though sometimes it looks like stale cake having fungus ...
3 Ordered odd bits of ribs with fine steak as morning meals (10) BREAKFASTS (RiBs F STEAK AS)*
10 What’s used to provide water to nourish dogs with 'em say? (4,5) FEED PUMPS (FEED PUPS around 'M)
11 Take it so that docs mind their own business (5) APPLE (from the saw An Apple a Day keeps the Doc away)
12 Daughter of Spanish king’s an early child (7) INFANTA (INFANT A) A from An? Rearrangment indicator?
           Instead of washing down our cakes with ale, a la Somerset Maugham, we can drown them in Fanta
13 Nick receives tip-off to be deeply critical (3-4) NIT PICK (TIP* in NICK)

14 Musical score’s out of print with time (5) OPERA (OP ERA)
15 Cleans plastic covering one plant (7) SANICLE (CLEANS* covering 1) Did not know this one
18 You mumbled wrong answer — take back your words! (7) UNSWEAR (U~you ANSWER*)
21 Melon cultivation brings yellow fruit (5) LEMON (MELON)*
24 Reacted badly, yet provided what is required (7) CATERED (REACTED*)
26 When returning, car crashes with same odds — that’s the irony (7) SARCASM (AS< CAR* with SaMe)
27 A grand box provided with new key for weapon? (5) KNIFE (K N(IF) E=key)
28 What’s light 'round bats and English golf clubs? (9) ANGEL FOOD (O AND E GOLF)* Enu should have been 5,4 See comments
29 Curiously it’s long … and is a lot like the longest day! (10) SOLSTITIAL (ITS L IS A LOT)*
         Reminded me of my collection of books by Cornelius Ryan ...
30 James Potter carries this mark (4) SPOT (T)
          And in the next generation, it mutated into a bolt of lightning

DOWN
1 Greek character gets females at home to make cake (6) MUFFIN (MU FF IN)
2 Swamps restored for wolves (9) OVERFLOWS (FOR WOLVES)*
4 Strange sea-men return for cake (3,4) RUM BABA (RUM (AB AB)<)
5 Sailor deviously nets snake and stays away (7) ABSENTS (AB NETS* S)
          What many MPs do ...
6 Get lift up apartment’s first level? (7) FLATTEN (FLAT NET<)
7 Very hip (modern) title for Persian monarchs (5) SOPHI  (SO HIP*)
          Was fishing around with Shahi, and as it did not tie up with the Apple, I had to look in Chambers
8 Knight spoke fluently before English king to get cake (8) SPEKKOEK ((K SPOKE)* E K) Had to look up list of cakes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cakes
9 Tuning pegs around one? Nearly a piece of cake! (6) SPONGE (PEGS* around ONe)
16 Worker takes a look inside bowl to find melon (9) CANTALOUP (ANT A LO inside CUP)
17 Caught up with accountant to get keys, but the young left for snacks (8) CUPCAKES (C UP CA KEyS)
19 The dedicated are sent to work (7) EARNEST (ARE SENT)*
          Reminded me of the Wilde play The Importance of being Earnest
20 Shiny fresh 'n green leaves are grated in salad (7) RADIANT (N ARE GRATED IN-GREEN)*
21 Sang a high note before making pasta (7) LASAGNA (LA before (SANG A)*)
22 Cold and endless preamble exercised (6) MARBLE (pREAMBLe)*
23 Maid swept road in between (6) AMIDST (MAID* ST)
25 Biting wit for fool ends in turn (5) TWIRL (WIT* R L)

79 comments:

  1. Welcome Exa. What a mouthful of cakes, specially the one at 8D

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    Replies
    1. How come the Knight in 8d spoke fluently with his mouth full of cake/s?

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    2. Because they were light!

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  2. Re 17d: Cupcake also means a sexually attractive young woman - a meaning that could be exploited only in a crossword in a men's magazine. I am recording it here in a very, very detached manner and I forbid any reader from writing a clue with that def
    Meanwhile, ...

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    1. Pretty girl shows behind in Common Entrance Test (7)

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    2. The answer also gels with today's theme

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    3. Only one cup, Richard?

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  3. 28 What’s light 'round bats and English golf clubs? (9)

    The enum should have been 5,4 ? ANGEL FOOD - another cake.

    (O + AND + E + GOLF)*

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    Replies
    1. I suddenly realised it must be Angel food and was trying to parse it. Thanks, Bhavan.

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    2. The definition in that case is too obscure

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    3. Wholly agree! What's light? Feather, colour, a beam of photons, ...

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  4. Haven't checked Chambers, but is there a word SOPHI? The online free dictionary says it's a variant of SUFI

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    Replies
    1. C has Sophi as a variant of sophy which is defined as (obsolete) the shah of Persia ...

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    2. Pg 1487 of 12th Ed 2011

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    3. Found 'Sophy' online as well

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  5. 28 What’s light 'round bats and English golf clubs? (9) ANGELFOOD ??
    O (AND E GOLF)*

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  6. Welcome Exa. Interesting crossie. Without taking anything away from the setter, I am not comfortable with anagrams that have fodder scattered around. In my mind it is better if they are sequential. Unless they are separate anagrams arranged to get the answer. For example, yday's TOI clue. 'Wonders if phone is out of order and name is wrong' .

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    1. Enum not given. I guess it is (9) - PHENOMENA (plural form of phenomenon) PHONE*+NAME*

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    2. Is she related to Philomena?

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  7. 22d * to be added (exercised - AnagrInd)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing out the typo

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  8. Moon(cake) is also part of the theme, like marble(cake).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooncake

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    Replies
    1. also OPERA cake
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_cake

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    2. Thanks, NR. My experience with variety of cakes is limited to eatable, latherable, etc.

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    3. Kishore may add oil cake also to the list- which is given as a rich diet for milch cows.

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    4. Coconut oil cake is quite tasty!

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  9. I am sure, for many like me, it was not a cakewalk....Sigh!

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    Replies
    1. Too many cakes spoilt your walk?

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    2. Richard @ 9:07

      Certainly it was not a walk in the park....sigh!

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  10. It is not (ex)a, but (in)a !!

    Very nice enjoyable CW with excellent surfaces. Should I add a good sweet breakfast?

    Surprisingly I had only a very few left, probably due to familiarity (while in U.S.) with words like lasagna,Cantaloup etc. which we rarely come across here.

    I was toying with 'Angel wood' due to club,golf etc., but could not quite fit it in.

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  11. A tough one alright, even though I love baking *and* eating cakes! :)

    Not clear about the parsing in two cases:
    - 27a: Grand = K, new = n, provided = if, note = e. Where does "box" fit in?
    - 21d: What is the anagram indicator for changing (SANG A) to (SAGN A) after LA? 'Making' seems too far removed from the fodder. I thought "note coming before" might indicate G moving one place up, but then LA hangs with just "high" defining it.

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    Replies
    1. 27 A grand = K
      box provided(IF) with new(N) key(E) N(IF)E
      (box=surround - containment indicator)
      Defn: weapon? KNIFE (K N(IF) E=key)

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    2. Though I filled in,iIt is clear now. Thank you NR. Kishore's parsing was too high level for me!

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  12. Just realised that this seems to be Exa's first published crossword (going by the comments). Congratulations, Exa - hope to see more from you!

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  13. Congratulations to EXA on a sweet debut.

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  14. Didn't try cw today, being out of town. Doing a bit of 15a. 18 anagrams full and partial. Clues seemed difficult.
    Felt Exa's debut THCC cw was very smooth with good surfaces in comparison.

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    Replies
    1. Should have read 'doing a bit of 13a'

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  15. Forgot to add: Welcome Exa to the fold.

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  16. For the first time that I can remember, I completed the Guardian crossword in half the time I took for the Hindu crossword. I guess the Exa workout primed the grey cells to deal with Logodaedalus! :)

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  17. Hearty welcome to Aakash Sridhar aka EXA, the new entrant to the stable of THC setters. He has made an indelible statement with his themed opening bid. We look forward eagerly to his future offerings.

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    Replies
    1. Inedible too! Either they were only on paper or virtual goodies ...

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    2. Exa hails from Bangalore (though currently based in Dubai). He may respond to your complaint and provide a real-time treat.

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    3. Why does he hail? Doesn't he have a phone?

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    4. Because he wants to hail the CW world!

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    5. Venkatesh, I'm curious. Do you previously know the people whose personal details you divulge here - birthdays/anniversaries/original names/native places etc? If not, don't you think you need to first check with them if it is all right to make such information public or repeat information that is available elsewhere?

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  18. Does anyone know why the electronic version isn't loading? I keep getting a message saying "Unable to create puzzle UI. Grid issue?" This happened once last week too, and the puzzle on Saturday (17th) wouldn't download till late in the day. Any idea how the people concerned can be reached?

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    Replies
    1. Electronic version will not load if there is a problem with the grid in the online version of the paper from where it is picked up. In today's case if you see the online edition at Hindu.com you will find that the first row of the grid is missing

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    2. Thank you for clarifying this. I haven't been to the crossword page on their site earlier, so this hadn't registered.

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    3. About this problem I have written many times to the Readers' Editor (whose address is in the Corrections and Clarifications column of the paper).
      I have also spoken often to someone or the other over the phone.
      Today too I spoke to someone.
      I was told it is automated; I told the lady yes, I know that, but the question is won't some human check if it is OK.
      She told me if it was brought to their attention they would set it right. I told her that I had indeed done so via email or phone but subsequently when I checked it had not been repaired.
      * * *
      The web edition is for free. We are not paying any subscription. Maybe we should not protest too much. Imagine our having to pay something and endure these hassles!

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    4. Thank you for adding this information, CV. I agree completely that when one is not paying for something (although I do buy the paper every day!) one cannot demand service, but it is still annoying when something doesn't work as it should!

      When the Guardian brought out a paid app for doing their crossword on Android devices, I paid for it quite happily. Then, despite it being a service for which they were charging month on month, the problems continued, and reached a point where the Guardian decided that it wasn't worth their while to offer it even as a paid service. So the problem doesn't seem to be with paid or free - it seems to lie either in lack of expertise or (more probably) in indifference.

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  19. Just pitching in to clarify on some annos:

    1A is not intended as a CD but an &lit: Ball (O) in later part of day (MON). Later indicating towards the end of MON.
    28A agreed about the enum and the definition being obscure. Anyway, anno is intended as ANGEL F(O)OD*. ie the anagram of
    andegolf goes around (clubs) O (round)
    21D high is the anagram indicator

    I personally do not like this puzzle.. sorry for giving every one a hard time :D

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    Replies
    1. Surprising that you have sent in your first puzzle as one that you do not like yourself!

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    2. Sorry for getting back late,
      I only did not like it because of the obscure words and difficulty..
      Otherwise, I enjoyed the cluing aspects and theme of the puzzle enough to have sent it. :)
      Also forgot to thank Kishore sir for the wonderful cartoon :)

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  20. also many thanks for the kind welcome :)

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  21. ORKUT gone Kaput again ! So can't do today's new entrant EXA. Welcome on board Akash Sridhar ! More the merrier!
    What does EXA stand for? Is it a must that every compiler must have a pseudonym? Why? What's the background behind this hiding behind a pseudonym? At least, through this blog, we get to know the real names. Why can't the compilers take pride in using their own names ? At least The Hindu can introduce the new comers?

    Phenomenon-Phenomena, criterion -criteria words that are always misused by everyone, failing to distinguish the singular from the plural.

    Any more similar words> Nadathur, our nadakkum-pedia?

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    1. You have rightly referred to mistaken use of words, such as criteria, phenomena, memoranda, tetrahedra and media, as singular while these are plural. Their singular forms are criterion, phenomenon, memorandum, tetrahedron and medium respectively. In English, we retain the singular and plural spellings of many Greek and Latin words.

      The word 'data' is technically plural, but its singular form, datum, is rare in English. So, many tolerate use of data as singular, though this is not precisely correct. It is better to say "piece of data", "data point" or "item of data" for the singular if datum sounds too affected.

      There are some nouns, which originally pluralized with an -a, are now acceptable either way:
      - agendum - agenda or agendas
      - curriculum - curricula or curriculums
      - memorandum - memoranda or memorandums
      - referendum - referenda or referendums
      - stadium - stadia or stadiums
      - millennium - millennia or millenniums

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    2. Nadathur has left out a notable example. I shall not mention it.

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    3. Is it a must that every compiler must have a pseudonym? Why? No it is not. Exhibit A : Nita Jaggi.

      What's the background behind this hiding behind a pseudonym? Probably in the hope that people will play the ball instead of the bowler? I mean if 'Exa' called himself 'Hacksaw' would the puzzle/clues have been any different? So what's in a name? The output is what matters. Unless of course you want to pre-judge a puzzle by looking at the name of the setter before the clues.

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  22. Raju
    We have mentioned here several times that the problem is nothing to do with Orkut.
    Yes, say the CWD doesn't load unto the app provided kindly and freely by Mahesh and Chitra.
    Then blame automation and neglect in checking by webmasters (if that is the term)..

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    Replies
    1. I wasn't blaming anyone, least of all the kind souls who provide us the daily bread. . Just expressing my woes !! It is so frustrating and makes me feel like a user who has been denied his daily shot ! As deprived as that !!

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    2. You don't like doing it on paper? Easiest solution! No one can take away this pleasure from you- except of course, the newsboy who delivers the paper!

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  23. Raju

    I appreciate your asking often why setters do not use their names.

    Please permit me to express my thoughts.

    It is a question of the practice that obtains in newspapers or the personal preferences of the setters themselves.
    The Times (of the UK) does not use real names of setters. Their argument (I think) is that the crossword editor ensures a certain standard and uniformity and as he edits someone's work it can go w/o any particular credit.
    Other UK papers have crossword editors but still the puzzles carry bylines. But again real names are rarely published.
    TH in early decades did not have any byline.
    That practice started when Nita Jaggi came in and said if you use my cwd it must have my name. The paper conceded - others too had to provide byline but, dear Raju, none of them wanted to use their own name.
    So here it's the personal preference at work. One setter wanted to use theoir real name and they did.
    From the Seventies my crosswords have appeared in different publications but never did I want my name to be used. Why?
    Speaking for myself it is just that while I am proud of my work and I am happy if it elates any solvers, I won't get puffed up even by one cm to see my name - real name - along with the CWD.
    Even as a letter-writer in my college days I did not use my real name - if it was there I would have wanted it to be published w/o any errors. Imagine my name under a letter where poor editing had just killed the argument. Once it happened in The Mail and I wrote as trong letter of protest to the Editor by his name.
    Nor would I collect the puzzles with my real name and try to derive some advantage somewhere by displaying them.
    Setting gives me pleasure. That is undeniable. If it gives some pleasure to the solvers, fine. But my name is only for my relatives and friends and Aadhaar, PAN, electoral roll, LPG, electricity card, property registration and such other necessities. Will and testament is under consideration!
    Please note this is my feeling, my thought. I have nothing against setters who use their names.

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  24. Don't know why, but the way I see it, going by a pseudonym is more classy than having your real name on top of your work - especially in case of a crossword.

    It's a mystery that NJ wanted to make her name known to the crossword world. Not a wise move, methinks.

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  25. In India where are the avenues for original crossword publication?

    In the UK there are papers and papers that publish them.

    The same setter compiles puzzles for two or more papers.

    As papers would like to have some exclusivity, the same setter uses different pseudonyms for different papers.

    But the real name of the setter is not a secret! And the different pseudonyms that a single setter uses too are known!

    Gridman was setting children's crosswords for a Madras-based magazine. The pseudonym that he used was - can you guess? - Gridboy!

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  26. How come no one - Kishore among all - remembered that Rubik's Cube completed 40 years today?

    To mark the occasion, Google has placed a doodle on its search page, which I believe can be played with by using the cursor. Has anyone tried?

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    Replies
    1. Makes me feel oooooold!

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    2. Perhaps the Rubicon has been crossed...

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