Thursday, 12 June 2014

No.11109, Thursday 12 Jun 2014, Skulldugger

Long ones nicely handled. Skulldugger seems to have thrown in some 'doubles' (Imago, Alterego;  Liquorice, Sweetmeat; and an antonym or two (inbound, radiate; blase, animated), and may be more in the saucepangram...

ACROSS
1 Reportedly have power over a disease (9) INFLUENZA (~INFLUENCE A)
6 Father’s got temperature and is tense (4) PAST (PA'S T)
8 Cantaloupes (not a lot) cooking in a pot (8) SAUCEPAN (CANTALOUPES-LOT)*
                                                                                              Cartoon by Rishi
 9 Hammer-wielding immortal finds tool in region between head and abdomen (6) THORAX (THOR AX) American spelling of Axe
10 Flaxen, fetching four-legged friend? (6,9) GOLDEN RETRIEVER
11 In a panic, able to keep steady head and be phlegmatic (5) BLASE (ABLE* keeping S)
13 Worthless weapon from the East African capital given to someone opposed to labour? (8) NUGATORY (GUN< A TORY)
15 Animal to hide away in a safe place (8) SQUIRREL (2)
18 Muscular strength and lack of panic’s essential before starting to learn to fight (5) BRAWL (BRAWN-N+L)
20 Rude teen blondes’ naughty puns (6,9) DOUBLE ENTENDRES (RUDE TEEN BLONDES)*
23 Neglect princess’s employment (6) DISUSE (DI'S USE)
24 Lively, like Pixar offerings (8) ANIMATED (2)
25 Be a diviner, bringing forth small droplet of moisture (4) BEAD (T)
26 Sugared confection or honey-glazed chicken? (9) SWEETMEAT (SWEET MEAT)

DOWN
1 Moor initially taken in by Shakespeare’s villain in an idealized version (5) IMAGO (M in IAGO)
2 Deceptive appearances employed by rogue to break safe deviously (7) FACADES (CAD in SAFE)*
3 Free a French prisoner in Nantes, for starters (5) UNPEN (UN P EN) UNPIN (UN P I N) See comments

4 Grandmother to weep into yellow-coloured cloth (7) NANKEEN (NAN KEEN)
5 New way to regale bosom friend (5,3) ALTER EGO (TO REGALE)*
6 Throw out proposal (7) PROJECT (2)
7 He might be outstanding in his field (9) SCARECROW (CD)
                                                                                              Cartoon by Rishi
12 Candy or whisky on the rocks (9) LIQUORICE (LIQUOR ICE)

14 Plants that move stealthily? (8)  CREEPERS (CD,DD)
16 Popular blackguard, without hesitation, headed this way (7)  INBOUND (IN BOUNDer)
17 Regularly argue after alliance? Oddly lacking in descendants (7) LINEAGE (ArGuE after aLlIaNcE)
       One clue description of the life of many couples!
19 Alternate air date for broadcast (7) RADIATE (AIR DATE)*
21 Rule found in the dictionary (5) EDICT (T)
22 Kick out Juliet for Labour leader in vote (5) ELECT (EJECT-J+L) EJECT (ELECT-L+J) See comments


67 comments:

  1. To borrow others' phrase, it's 'Centum' today for me, a rare experience on a Skulldugger day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liked the puzzle. The 15-character anagrams were awesome.

      INFLUENZA would have fitted better in a DOWN clue.
      In THORAX, AXE is the generally accepted spelling. Opinions may differ.
      18A was tricky. Took time to decide between BRAWN and BRAWL.
      LIQUORICE, CREEPERS and many others were enjoyable.

      My COD - SCARECROW. Rishi's cartoon is quite graphic in every sense.

      Delete
    2. There is only one 15 letter anagram. The other one is a charade.

      Delete
    3. I beg your pardon. It was an oversight.

      Delete
    4. The Americans have what they call an "Oversight committee"

      Delete
    5. No more committees in 'Namo'land!

      Delete
    6. Shouldn't there be a committee to discuss abolition of committees...

      Delete
    7. They might keep minutes but waste hours...

      Delete
    8. Yes , Sir. I second it

      Delete
  2. For me too and that's because his puzzle today has excellent surfaces, albeit a bit long. But no complaints.

    Just wonder whether 25 a anno is right? Is it BE A D?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I first keyed in, then realised D for diviner may not be an accepted abbr. Bringing forth can be container indicator

      Delete
    2. I said it because it's not strictly an embedded clue as the LHS is open.

      Delete
    3. And small indicates D for diviner. It has no role in the def.

      Delete
    4. Or could you classify it as semi- [T], being half that definition?

      Delete
    5. I find the above discussion interesting.
      If I may intervene -
      Be a diviner, bringing forth small droplet of moisture (4) BEAD (T)
      I see it only as a telescopic.
      Be a diviner - fodder
      bringing forth - tel ind
      small droplet of moisture - def
      If we take the anno to be BE A D (yes, it's very tempting, with the phrasing "diviner, bringing forth small") the rest of the clue doesn't work quite well. We needn't go into it.
      Altogether it is a clue that provokes thought and discussion.
      Ah for a wine glass,with beaded bubbles winking at the brim...

      Delete
    6. But that diviner does not have a great future in his profession!

      Delete
  3. 3 Dn should it not be unpin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too had it as UNPIN

      Delete
    2. Your anno is more convincing. Thanks

      Delete
    3. Same here. {UN}{P}{I}{N} - the last two being starters of In and Nantes.

      Delete
    4. Venkat has beaten me by two minutes down here.

      Delete
  4. Could 3 ac) possibly be UNPIN?
    Free a French (p)risoner (i)n (N)antes, for starters.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 26A - Can someone please enlighten me as to how 'meat' managed to sneak into a strictly vegetarian item? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank heavens it is not sweat-meat

      Delete
  6. There were some comments from CV, Raghu etc. about 22d being EJECT and not ELECT. I do not know how,but these comments seem to have disappeared. My correction was made in response to those comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too wondered where they'd vanished to?

      Delete
    2. When I updated the blog for UNPIN and EJECT, and changed the solution grid and updated it, I found these comments missing.

      Delete
    3. It is possible that CV was logged in as admin. and deleted his leading comment, in which case the whole thread disappears.

      Delete
    4. Friends
      EJECT is the answer.
      The clue, as written, leads to it.
      As the answer given first was ELECT, I thought my earlier Comment was on a wrong premise and meaningless. So I removed it.
      But in actual fact - now I realise - what I was saying was correct and K has since revised the ans to EJECT.
      All is well.
      Please excuse my hastiness.

      Delete
    5. For some time, the disappearance had me perplexed, till I figured out who had penned the first comment

      Delete
    6. What about Romans and Countrymen ? ;-)

      Delete
    7. Somehow nobody says "Lend me your years..."

      Delete
    8. Romans and countrymen were avoided lest they should be mistaken for Romanov and Country.

      Delete
  7. Re: AX, Chambers gives the US version too, so there's no problem about it's use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, but should it be indicated?

      Delete
    2. I was aware that AX is the US spelling. That is why I mentioned AXE is the generally accepted spelling.

      In Indian media, Brit spelling is the generally accepted form, as CV would agree with me. I had just made a point. No sweat.

      Delete
    3. That was mentioned in the blog itself, right after the clue. My question is, should it be indicated?

      Delete
    4. IMO if it's in Chambers then there's no need.

      Delete
  8. Did extremely well for a Skulldugger CW. Of course, I had to dig deep into my skull and enjoyed it too.
    Reversal of a gun was a little tricky for me, but I am happy to have got eject alright though after a struggle. Same for Brawn- Brawl.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rishi's cartoon for 8A:

    I was reminded of the waiter's response to a diner in a restaurant

    When the latter complained that he could not find any aloo in aloo paratha, he asked him politely, 'Sir, have you ever come across Mysore in Mysore pak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Careful, our neighbour might claim a geographical indicator property on that sweet

      Delete
    2. They have already usurped the Alphonso market and trying Mango Diplomacy with us.

      Delete
  10. Refer Venkat's comment @ 8:40

    I have never been able to understand the expression 'My bad'. Is it used worldwide or is it a Hinglish coinage. I feel it is something like the latest 'Anyways' something that I hate to hear, all our Hindi TV actors use it when speaking in English

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like 'anyways' 'my bad' is also American slang. Illogically I find both expressions grating.

      Delete
    2. Like, absolutely ! (both expressions belong to the same category as my bad, anyways)

      B, what is your opinion on indication for Ax?

      Delete
    3. Agree wtih B. Language discipline appears to be disintegrating.

      Most people using such expressions justify by saying, 'It is accepted these days', but, pray, by who / whom?

      Delete
    4. Does the expression 'My Bad' have any connection with the Bollywood dialogue Main barbaad ho gaya / gayi ?

      Delete
    5. I think anywayz is better than anyways. It reads better IMO

      Delete
    6. B, what is your opinion on indication for Ax?

      I have no Ax to grid with that. American English is ... well ... still English. If Ax was French for Axe, I'd expect it to be indicated.

      Delete
  11. No skullduggery today. Easily done and dusted in cycling time

    ReplyDelete
  12. I understand that, if they do speak Hindi in TN, prople can now say " humne aap ka namak khaaya hai"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone was called namak haraam for using TATA salt and using a Reliance SIM...

      Delete
    2. "Humne Amma ka namak khaaya hai"

      Amma salt was launched in TN yesterday. A kilo of Amma double fortified salt will be sold at Rs 14 per kg, low sodium salt at Rs 21 and free flow iodised salt at Rs 10.

      Delete
  13. 8 Cantaloupes (not a lot) cooking in a pot (8) SAUCEPAN (CANTALOUPES-A LOT)*

    (CANTALOUPES-LOT)*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time for some nitpicking? I also parsed it as what Kishore has shown not counting the letters (12- 4). Will A form part of the del fodder, or is it to be ignored as 'a lot' is a phrase?

      Delete
    2. Skulldugger may quite possibly have intended the anno as: (CANTALOUPES - A LOT)* with A inside, i.e. 'pot' as the def with no extraneous or connect words ( "in a" )

      Delete
  14. Deepak: ANYWAYS use by Hindi Soaps is as annoying as thpose using " LIKE:" I was going there or LIKE I was wondering or LIKE it shocked me etc. My wife ois also a culprit here and I often chide her for this . Another annoying abbreviation used by some is " Why get senti? " and I get frozen when someone uses "" CHILL"" ! though it is welcome now here in CBE!!
    Again, American English pronunciation is given to elide certain consonants-- Twenny for twenty and as opposed to the British Either as aIther or Neither as Naither, they say eether or neether . English is so democratic. Indians follwo British English mostly duwe to their colonial background.

    Today's crossie is very educative for those who have a desire to do cryptic puzzles. Well done: Skulldugger.

    CV: BEAD was a plain giveaway as bringing forth was the indicator of a container element for droplets of moisture. It would have been a better braintease if the container element was split in two lines one below the other, as is the ploy used usually, provided the printer and proof=reader or Editor are conscientious. :But then here, the words are right in the front staring at one and hence the betrayal of the intention of the compiler.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Rishi's cartoon of a scarecrow is very authentic. There was a time when some boys used to sport spiky hair facing skywards and they used to be called as scarecrows ! In the 60s, the hindi filmi heroines used to sport a well done bouffon on their tops and they were called chidiya Ghars or Pura koodus ? Am I right? That style is coming a full circle again in fashion. Those ladies were so well groomed and tidy in their heads. Nowadays, the ladies sport long hair falling over one eye or on one side of their front , usually right and they keep tossing the hair back so annoyingly. Loss to the hair clip makers? and I miss those dainty colored satin ribbons so carefully knotted in a bow style . and why have they stopped wearing a bindi or it is placed as stick-on askew most times in the middle of the eyebrows on the bridge of the nose? See below my article sent to the press here.




    This forehead decoration called bindi, from the Sanskrit word, Bindu, a dot or a small particle , a typically Indian religious or fashion statement has regressed over the years. It alters the look of any female's face instantly and has always fascinated me . Over the years, this has reduced itself to a small dot, applied insignificantly or imperceptibly, thus reducing its importance.I read that this dot enhances the brain power as one site of a kundli. To me, it symbolizes femininity at its best. in the earlier days, One can only think of this as a round coin-sized red mark on the foreheads, dead centre , of actresses of yore like V-Mala, Meena Kumari, Rekha and Mumtaz, Mala Sinha , with an instant announcement of a married and happy housewife. It lent that extra grace and charm to their visages. It is very difficult to say at what stage it started descending towards the nose from its central forehead, to in between the eyebrows and nowadays even in the bridge of the nose. It may soon descend to the tip of the nose, I'm afraid ! A bindi evokes a symbol of prosperity . It is a warning sign to men to keep off married women or invitation by maidens on the wings to be married. This dot has degraded itself into a comma, semi-colon and colon exclamation marks. It has now taken all shapes and sizes and forms, like glittery snakes and stars, and as ornamental adjuncts, fully colour co-ordinated. Imagine having to look at an image of Brinda Karat or Sushma Swaraj or or the inimitable glitter-bling pop queen Usha Uthup, without their ubiquitous sovereign sized bindis. One wouldn't be able to recognize them.


    When the bindi made its entry into the US three decades ago, it became a sine qua non amongst the comely jeans- T-shirt clad maidens, so much so the so-called dot-buster gangs set upon them. It became popular in South Asia amongst the Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and Nepalis, Sri Lankans etc.

    Today, the bindi has almost disappeared from the faces of dot-com teenagers and, middle aged matrons , who prefer the bare-foreheaded looks. They don't know how much of glamour they can add to their faces by merely placing a simple dot, of any colour of their choice , right in the center of the forehead.One can only see the bindi amongst the over forty housewives who proudly continue to sport it, as a mark of their tradition.It lends to their faces an aura of divinity, as it was originally intended.The blazing bindi on the forehead of Goddess Durga spits fire and brimstone.

    Lyricists have gone dotty coining phrases like their bindiya re, and bindiya chamkegi etc, binding one to permanent imageries of Mumtaz and Jaya Bhadhuri.

    Fashionistas are well-advised to revive the bindi as an Indian symbol of tradition and an essential addition to good looks of Indian models at Beauty pageants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice article on BINDI. Makes an interesting read. Wish some of our lady bloggers/viewers too would have read it.

      I personally like Bindi the forehead decoration and Bindi the vegetable too !!

      Delete
  16. Nice xie.captivating clues.1,18a exemplary.7,16&17 d equally nice. East African capital nicely
    handled.Quite an appealing &entertaining puzzle.Ironically no
    skullduggery from skulldugger.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Raju
    It is a good piece that you have written. Wonder if 'by press' you mean a regional paper in CBE such as those that we have in Chennai. They will welcome pieces - columns - except that the articles will be buried in columns and columns and pages and pages of cheap ads. And the paper may still be lying in the porch without anyone having picked it up.

    ReplyDelete