Wednesday, 23 July 2014

No 11144, Wednesday 23 Jul 2014, xChequer

Excellent as usual from xChequer.
Got bogged down after a blazing start in the NW corner but finally prevailed, unlike the last time around. 12A was last to fall after cheating!

1   Features etc. contorted with snakes coiling around (7) ASPECTS {ASP{ETC*}S}
5   Uncertainty of obligation overcoming one in nine (7) DUBIETY {DU{B{1}E}TY} Be from 9
9   Be prepared: Rule by mother-in-law (9) BERYLLIUM {RULE+BY+M-I-L}*
10 Additional article in gold (5) OTHER {O{THE}R}
11 Name dropping in this language? Polish maybe (6) FINISH FINnISH
12 Musical instrument is held by thumb, a stringed instrument perhaps (7) SISTRUM {S{IS}TRUM} Very devious construction by xChequer as this is a percussion instrument
14 Green light is beyond line of sight (4) LOOK {L}{O}{OK}
15 Feelings conveyed by son over essentially painful occasion (10) SENTIMENTS {SEN{TIME}{paiNful}T}{S} (Correction - {SE{paiNful}{TIME}NT}{S})
19 Ignoring son's bedtime in general (10) BOYCOTTING {BOY}{COT}{T}{IN}{G}
20 Correct time to repent (4) TRUE {T}{RUE}
22 Visible understanding? (7) INSIGHT {IN}{SIGHT}
25 Account with money to cover outstanding operation (6) ACTION {AC}{TI{O}N}
27 Further sex trade curbed (5) EXTRA [T]
28 Army officer in prison having a rough ride (9) BRIGADIER {BRIG}{A}{RIDE*}
29 Alarm from empty resort installed in flat (7) STARTLE {STA{ResorT}LE}
30 Marched on England, primarily an error by Germany (7) ELAPSED {E}{LAPSE}{D}

1   Sailor, bachelor, a father (4) ABBA {AB}{B}{A}
 "Bachelor Boy"

When I was young, my father said,
"Son, I've got something to say."
And what he told me I'll never forget until my dying day.

[Chorus 1:]
He said, "Son, you'll be a bachelor boy
And that's the way to stay.
Son, you'll be a bachelor boy until your dying day."
                       Cartoon by Bhargav
2   Prison may spread a streak of meanness (9) PARSIMONY*

Cartoon by Rishi

3   Company, extremely loyal, that's a dog (6) COLLIE {CO}{LoyaL}{IE}
4   Tricky exam to say the least? (9) SLIGHTEST (~sleight test) (Addendum - (~sly test) - See comments)
5   Barriers broken by oriental women (5) DAMES {DAM{E}S}
6   Small section in buds and flowers (8) BLOSSOMS {BLO{S}{S}OMS}
7   Underground, nitrogen missing in air (5) ETHER nETHER
8   Railway official may arrest criminal carrying diamonds (10) YARDMASTER {YAR{D}MASTER*}
13 Bureau head hides dog with obesity (10) FLABBINESS {F{LAB}BI}{NESS}
16 Gallery filled by four past ten? Not sure (9) TENTATIVE {TEN}{TAT{IV}E}
17 Clients regularly drifting around former princely state for illegal drugs (9) NARCOTICS {N{ARCOT}ICSlet*}
18 Long to embrace, almost going crazy touching (8) POIGNANT {P{GOINg*}ANT}
21 Levels achieved by soprano above A-sharp while ascending (6) STRATA {S}{TRAT<=}{A}
23 Literary truths in Sanskrit from Dasaratha's wife, I'm left uplifted (5) SUTRA SUmiTRA
24 Finally appoint competent board (5) TABLE {appoinT}{ABLE}
26 Brought up food — through the mouth? (4) BRED (~bread)


  1. +1 for the opening comment.

  2. 15 Feelings conveyed by son over essentially painful occasion (10) SENTIMENTS {SEN{TIME}{paiNful}T}{S}

    Can it be annotated as:
    By = through
    Conveyed by son: SENT through S Through is to carry: TIME + N<- (Over).

    1. SEN{(TIME)(...N...)<-}T + S

    2. Other than the <- that you have introduced which makes 'over' on double duty there is no difference with my anno?

    3. My anno is wrong, it should be as under


    4. That's it.
      I was trying to figure it out and enter when I had to attend to a call from the U.S.

    5. Yes. That's why I was trying to figure out the correct anno.

    6. Replying to Col's post.

  3. Brilliant as usual. Gets better at each outing for me with xChequer.

  4. Really enjoyed solving this one from xChequer & this time I managed to finish it :)

  5. Finish? :-)
    Can never think of it.

  6. Couple of doubts-
    23D- Sutra What does 'Uplifted' convey? I was wondering if there was any reversal?
    30A- D for Germany?

    1. In Sumitra, it's MI. Uplifted means to reverse I'M leading to MI. Left: Delete.

      30 A. D is Germany.(2 IVR: Deutschland (German), Germany)


    When you consider the ASPECTS of this crossword, you will notice that there is no DUBIETY in any clue.
    Experienced solvers could be in their BERYLLIUM , sorry, I meant could be in their elements.
    OTHER than that, many could FINISH it before 8.30 AM.
    No horns, no SISTRUM, just one needed to clap their hands.
    LOOK and think of the SENTIMENTS of a seasoned solver had he been boycotting solving this excellent crossword for some reason or other.
    TRUE - some INSIGHT, some ACTION, infact something EXTRA was needed to decipher the anno for 15 across.
    But then the BRIGADIER, sorry again, the COL. wasn’t STARTLEd.
    He gave the anno before any time ELAPSED.

  8. Does Me!'s toon talk about a former army chief turned minister?

    1. You hit the nail on the head!!

    2. Partially, though he was very sure finally!

  9. I now get 23A- deletion of MI or IM uplifted.

  10. I had not seen your earlier comment. Thank you Raghu.

  11. 23: Sutra is an aphorism or a number of aphorisms.
    Kama Sutra, e.g., gives you a set of rules, I think. (I haven't read it!).
    In maths we have a sutra, which is just a single rule.
    What I am getting at is:
    Should the def have been
    Literary truth
    or A set of literary truths
    Does "truths" lead you to think of a term in plural form?
    BTW, Sanskrit plays have a character called Sutradhar (I think). What is the origin and what does he do? Have there been female sutradhars?

    1. Sutra is singular, sutras plural; except in the said book, which I too have not read and I suppose will not give just one rule or whatever!!
      Let us also not go to the extent of saying that it should have been one among Dasaratha's wives, since he had three...

    2. Apte's Sanskrit dictionary defines "sūtra" as a verb meaning '1. To tie, bind, thread, string together', '2. To write or compose in the form of a Sūtra or short rule', '3. To plan, arrange, systematize'. (The noun form is 'sūtram', but Apte himself makes it 'Sūtra' when referring to the noun in the second definition of the verb.)

      xChequer, of course, has used the second definition, and (as you say) has perhaps gone by its usage in titles like the "Kama Sutra" to call it "rules" rather than "rule", but the most common use is indeed as a rule (singular).

      The term 'Sutradhar' is based on the definition of 'sūtram' as a thread or string, and literally means 'the holder of the strings', like a puppeteer. He narrates the play and, at least in theory, controls the entry and exit of the actors while intermittently appearing on stage himself to carry the tale forward. At least in Marathi theatre (and, as far as I know, in Sanskrit theatre too), the 'sutradhar' is always a man, although he does at times have a woman (referred to as "naTi" or actress) accompanying him in a supporting role.

    3. Thank you Abhay for that explanation.
      I don't visit FB or Twitter as I do not want to get entangled in those vast networks.It is pleasant to be here among friends and share knowledge and fun.

    4. Please note that people may not read certain books but they may practise what those books may contain. Also, perhaps people may form their own sutras.

    5. I used to wonder about the word sutra in relation to making kites- it is supposed to be a tricky,professions affair to do it properly and only very few can do it properly and this is a must for the kite to fly properly without zigzagging.The first def. makes it clear.
      Sutram as a singular with sutra as plural seems to be correct.

  12. Nice puzzle
    General =g
    soprano=s ?

    1. Thanks Col. Guess others also are standard abbreviations

  13. Thank you for a great time, xChequer! Tricky in parts, I must say, but that added to the enjoyment.

    Good work by DG on the blog - this can't have been an easy puzzle to annotate!

  14. Tough going,however, I could solve all but two, namely, 11A FINISH and 26D BRED. Here and there had problems in parsing some of the clues/answers. On the whole, an absorbing and entertaining puzzle. Enjoyed solving it. Thank you, xChequer.

    1. Good show! I was nowhere near that.

    2. Thanks, but I took more than two hours in spite of NET help for a couple of answers like 'Beryllium', 'Flabbiness' etc !! :)

  15. Some nice clues there....

    Awesome pic for BLOSSOMS... So beautiful...

  16. Where have all our Doctors gone? Pankajam, Sumitra, Jaggu, Gayathri ...

    1. I log in everyday thogh very late. since most of the discussion is over by the time I log in , i have nothing useful to contribute.

  17. SUTRADHAAR: I'd loosely term it as a raconteur or may be even an MC at a function? Nowadays in the COLOURS TV, there are episodes based on actual crimes all over in India and initially , in between and at the end a man or a lady ( Sushant Singh or Hitesh Tejwani or a lady by name Gaur can be called sutradhhars. I think it is not gender specific . This program is worth watching as it depicts human psyche at its worst in the villages and towns..

    Sometimes in the theater world also., they use sutradhars. Its origin is of course Sanskrit. Sitting in Tamil Nadu, I'm afraid, I'll be going against the grain as the Sanskrit week is being
    opposed. wagging tongues and tongue in cheek eh?

  18. A few notches down from the usual level of the xChequer, I thought. (Was it perhaps composed after the S&B? ;-)) Not that I have anything against it being so, it was still enjoyable to solve the clues and read the nice surfaces.

    Colonel, shouldn't the anno. for 4D be ~(SLY TEST), as 'tricky' is an adjective?

    Abhay, thank you for the information on 'sutra' (and to Chaturvasi for initiating the discussion). Etymology is fun!

  19. 16 Gallery filled by four past ten? Not sure (9) TENTATIVE {TEN}{TAT{IV}E}

    It took me a while to link "Gallery" with "Tate"! The Tate Modern Gallery in London. :)

  20. 13 Bureau head hides dog with obesity (10)

    This clue might bear some criticism.
    It seems to suggest that the bureau head hid two - dog and obesity.
    We might speak of a man or dog of obesity
    or of
    a man or dog with a lot of fat on his/its body.
    Do you agree?

    1. Clue could have been better (or could have turned out worse!), so not commenting on that per se. But the construct (and therefore interpretation) can be different depending on how one reads it. I believe though that to apply to both the nouns there must be some relationship, otherwise there's no logic. You could look at some examples below with a similar pattern:

      - He ate potatoes with meat (yes, he ate both)
      - He ate potatoes with John (no, he didn't eat John)
      - He ate potatoes with relish (could be with satisfaction, or could be with a sauce)

      English for sure is a funny language, it was exemplified by a sentence doing the rounds on the internet:
      "I never said she stole my money"
      Depending on which word you stress, you get a different meaning, so seven possible interpretations! Sure there must be other examples

  21. Logging in late.

    CGB's toon is nice. But I could not connect the song When I was young with ABBA since it was by Cliff Richard.

    1. It is indeed a Cliff Richard number. It was mentioned just to draw attention to the Bachelor part of the clue. And Abba of course is the clue answer. I wanted to draw Bjorn sailing in a ship, but could not!

  22. I must say that I did not notice the issues suggested by you, CV. But sure, the surface reading is not so good.

  23. 13 Bureau head hides dog with obesity (10)

    I did not mean to be nitpicking, but I felt that 'with' in the clue is superfluous and misleading.

    Also the 'nine' instead of 9 in the 5 A, is it fair?

  24. However, must add that Exchequer hardly ever uses superfluous words.

    Does this work:

    13 Bureau head hides dog's obesity (10)

    1. Apropos your 6:25 and 6:30. Don't understand why superfluous or misleading. Without it, sentence will be ungrammatical, and basically just used as a connector.

      Your suggested wording above would not be OK with me, I would consider it ungrammatical (in the cryptic reading). If I should have clued it without a connector, it would probably read as "Bureau head hiding dog's obesity" (which, on second thoughts is perhaps better anyway)

    2. There's still a connector, sorry, just a different one, but perhaps works a bit better

    3. Re: WITH. I feel it does not point in the direction of the answer like say :

      Wordplay - is/ for/ in/ leading to /offering - solution. Maybe if it was Solution - with - wordplay it would be fine.

    4. As I see it, the clue is fine as is.

      Well, Definition with Wordplay and Wordplay with Definition are both acceptable. The clue takes one of the above standard forms and so the clue is okay, technically. If cryptic reading works well in a particular clue, a little bit of misdirection here and there is all right I'd say.

    5. I guess there will always be some discussion on this, and some personal preferences. Opinions will also differ. There is an interesting (but rather brief) piece on this, refer

  25. Very much around and enjoying the blog as much as time permits, thank you!