Monday, 28 July 2014

No.11148, Monday 28 Jul 2014, Aspartame


I wonder what's on the cards* today ... Let us 'focus' on 10a and 8d for a sub-theme

Setter's note: Starred clues have no definition but belong to the same category

ACROSS
6 Practical person is alert and active (7) REALIST (IS ALERT)*
                                                    Cartoon by Rishi
7 Cool to get lad in for long-lasting effect (7) CHRONIC (CHIC with RON in)
          Though commonly used by setters, I personally do not like a random name poking into the word play, where we need to work backwards after getting the definition. Clueing Ron as Weasley, as a setter did a few days back, or Ronald is more fair, imo ...
9 Herded a herd (5) DROVE (2)
10 Focus on erotic movements when surrounded by noise (9) DIRECTION (EROTIC* in DIN)
                                                   Cartoon by Rishi
11 Moving often to snatch her goo (2,3,2) ON THE GO Anno not clear (alternate letter) See comments
13 Outstanding drink has a dash of lemon and turmeric (6) BELTER (BEER with L T)
15, 19 Ride bare pony that’s hopeless? (7,6,6) DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR (Rev.Anag. of RIDE BARE PONY with DAMAGED as Anind) My CoD
20 Dance is a person’s favourite retirement (3-4) ONE STEP (ONES PET<)
*23 Drape work design (4,5) DRAW POKER (DRAPE WORK)*
24 Fired? (5) CASED Did not get it ...
26 Supporter said “I have to run” (3,4) EYE BOLT (~I BOLT)
27 Anxious over sun burns (7) NERVOUS (OVER SUN)*

DOWN
*1 Ancient king on the radio (4) FARO (~PHARAOH)
          Recently appeared in THC
*2 Odd seed found in marsh land (6) MISERE (SE in MIRE)
*3 Player who makes great jabs? (4,5) STUD POKER (CD)
4 Attempt to grab haystack using a bit of espionage and deceit (8) TRICKERY (TRY around RICK E)
5 Anomalous tint in disc cannot be identified (10) INDISTINCT (TINT IN DISC)*
6* Animal kills Asian and heads north, chased by another animal (3,3) RED DOG FOX (DeER<  DOG FOX) See comments
7 Part of a cauliflower that’s used to make cheese (4) CURD (2)
8 Multinational company’s accountant retires — basically cut off from focus (6) CENTRE (ac<CENTuRE)
12 Is such a member caring or inconsiderate toward the group? (4,6) TEAM PLAYER (CD)
                                                    Cartoon by Rishi
14 Loathsome sailor to rush and make Henry the leader (9) ABHORRENT (AB H tORRENT)
16 Political play on a soldier receives ton of support (8) AGITPROP (A GI T PROP)
          For example, Mukhyamantri
17* Be free and good at heart (6) BRIDGE (BE with RID and G inside)
           
18* Ship needs cushion on second deck (6) SPADES (SS with PAD E)
21* Leaders of European Union converse heatedly regarding euthanasia (6) EUCHRE (Acrostic)
22* Half the cadbury chocolate is eaten by son (4) SKAT (S kitKAT) Shouldn't Cadbury have a capital C? And if I remember right KitKat is from Nestle, not Cadbury
25 Ban on containers recalled (4) STOP (POTS<)

GRID :

61 comments:

  1. Major goof-up in 22D threw me off

    ReplyDelete
  2. 11 Moving often to snatch her goo (2,3,2) ON THE GO Anno not clear
    Alternate letters .o .n.t.h .e. g.o

    ...where we need to work backwards after getting the definition....
    Out of curiosity, for how many answers in this puzzle did you have to do it? I found myself doing for nearly half of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite a few ...

      Thanks, for the anno for 11a

      Delete
  3. 6d, I didn't get what is the connection between 'red fox' and playing cards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tongue in cheek answer:

      I remember that Red Fox was one of the cabaret joints (in Hyderabad), just like Three Aces was in Bangalore. So Red Fox=cabaret joint= 3 Aces= cards!

      I could locate no other connection, but it is starred ...

      Delete
    2. Whaddya know? I am colour blind even when it is spelt out. It turns out the Hyderabad joint was Blue Fox, not red

      Delete
    3. Actually "Three Aces" was a very popular cabaret joint in Abids in Hyderabad.

      Delete
    4. Apologies for goofing up on Red Dog. I Googled for Red Fox cards and ended up with some cards with a red fox on it and thought it belonged to the theme. After 22d, I was game to believe anything ...

      Delete
    5. Raghu, you are correct. My wires seem to be badly crossed today. Monday morning reds ...

      Delete
    6. And the Blue Fox is in Bangalore!

      Delete
    7. The Blue Fox in Hyderabad is a Bar & Restaurant.

      Delete
    8. In Bangalore, the Blue Fox was (and maybe still is) on MG Road, quite close to the movie theatres Blu Moon and Blu Diamond ...

      Delete
  4. Apologies to the Ranger for pulling his leg in the cartoon ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it must have been one of Ranger's pastimes when aboard

      Delete
    2. You mean 'leg pulling'? ;-)

      Delete
  5. Basically cut off...will it not lead to c? Similarly good at heart ...will 'oo'? Confusing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basically CUT: U. And off is to remove U.
      It could also mean to remove T or C also. It's certainly confusing.
      From Chambers:
      fundamental, elementary, primary, radical, root, underlying, key, central, inherent, intrinsic, essential, indispensable, vital, necessary, important, first, preparatory

      Delete
  6. Found the going not smooth and gave up.

    6 Practical person is alert and active (7) REALIST (IS ALERT)*

    'and' is misleading, (making it part of the anagram fodder.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. 14 Loathsome sailor to rush and make Henry the leader (9) ABHORRENT (AB H tORRENT)

    Again 'to rush' is misleading. Torrent is a noun and 'to rush' makes it a verb?

    ReplyDelete
  8. 8D- Specific name of a company? Kosher?
    I was wondering why I could not do well today in spite of getting the theme and then Bhavan hit the nail on its head. Could not go into reverse gear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here again, other than the question of fairness raised by you, the reverse gear is essential. If any of our friends got multinational company=Accenture first and then worked out the wordplay, I would certainly be surprised ...

      Delete
  9. A gem received through facebook

    A tongue twister

    Nine Pipe Pour Bun Pipe Pour Pipe Bun Pipe Pour.

    It's not a tongue twister it's just one of our ex Rly Ministers giving out his mobile number.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    9541545154

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reminds me of a Cockney spelling out his name over the phone:

      'e says, " 'arrison, a haitch, a hay, two hars, a high, a hess, a hoe and a hen"

      Delete
    2. But why a hay? Both are a.

      Delete
  10. Another gem.

    A serious warning to all my friends. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous.

    Last evening while driving, my friend put his arm out of the window to indicate that he was turning right and someone took his beer !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He would have said " 'Ale' vidu Swami? "

      Delete
    2. Ha, ha!

      Reminded me of a friend who was in receipt of literature asking him to give up drinking. He has now stopped reading.

      Delete
    3. I'd heard that auto drivers in Surat stick their leg out to show direction!

      Delete
    4. Because it is in a dry state

      Delete
    5. :-) and because they are barefoot, probably

      Delete
  11. Far far away with all arms and legs from today's CW!
    But that telephone no. is not only a gem but very correct too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Colonel Sir's comment @ 10:27 reg 'Drinking and Driving' reminds me of a joke (Lifted of course) and here it is...

    Jim’s car is swerving all over the road so a cop pulls him over, “Step out of the car” says the cop, “I am going to need you to take a breathalyzer test.” “I can’t”, Jim responds “You see I have very bad asthma, that can set off an attack.” “Alright,” says the cop, “then you’re going to have to take a blood test.” “Can’t do that either,” Jim responds, “I am a hemophiliac, if a wound is opened, I won’t stop bleeding, and I could bleed to death.” “Ok,” the cop answers “then I will need a urine sample.” “Sorry,” says Jim “I also have diabetes, that could push my sugar count really low.” “Fine, so just come on out, and walk a straight line for me.” “Can’t do that either” responds Jim. “Why not?” Demanded the exasperated cop. “Well, because I’m drunk!”

    ReplyDelete
  13. MB- "Lifted of course"!
    Nahi moolam, Rishi moolam... Joke moolam should not be searched. Just laugh & enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think this CW is treading into Sowmya's domain! (Kit Kat, Cadburys, Accenture....)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! My first thought (on seeing Cadbury and the reference to Accenture) was that the theme was perhaps brands, but then saw that the clue referencing Accenture wasn't starred.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha Paddy, looks like I've been branded by you:) I reckon I have now clued over 650 brands in 27 crosswords:), so yes, I guess it is my domain:):)

      Delete
  15. +1 for Kishore's comment that appears just below 7 Across clue.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The moment I saw the 'Starred Clues' warning, I thought I was dead. But fared better than I thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am also bowled if I see a *ed CW- esp. Neyartha. Yes, today was not bad.

      Delete
    2. I was Caught & Bowled by Aspartame! Starred clues - not my cup of tea!!! Could get only three - Bridge, Spades and Stud Poker. :(

      Delete
    3. My peeve with these starred clues is either you know them all straightaway once you get the first one or you google to get them always. IMO, any clue that can be solved with pure wordplay is much fairer. like xChequer or Buzzer ( I am not comparing here, I may be guilty of the same too, so pls pardon me Aspartame) .. they are devious yet if I slog and slog I know I will get there. BUt today's crossie doesnt warrant such a preaching :) It was very enjoyable...

      Delete
  17. On solving crosswords:

    Let us take poker. When you DRAW POKER it is better to go ONE STEP at a time,
    to keep the suspense. So also in solving crosswords. No need to be NERVOUS.
    When the day’s paper has arrived and you have pen/pencil in one hand and
    Maybe a cup of coffee in the other, you are ON THE GO. Next, what you need is
    DIRECTION. Be a REALIST. Let not your EYE BOLT from one clue to another.
    You would be BETTER off to start with the anagrams and the hidden clues first.
    If a nice looking clue DROVE you to solve it and you are stuck for a long time,
    Then your mood may be DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR. That clue may be CASED in
    Cryptic language. Leave it for some time. Your friends in THCC DROVE you into
    this CHRONIC itch to solve 100%. Don’t worry, one day you will succeed and then
    there is no looking back.

    ReplyDelete
  18. No CW in TH- no Quickie in Metroplus also! One step back rather than forward!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bang print ed does have quickie

      Delete
    2. Sorry. I did not mean the print edition.

      Delete
  19. Once the theme became clear through my fourth word in (EUCHRE - the clueing was very simple), I almost gave up, because what I know about card games would fit on the back of a picture postcard, with half of it left over for the addressee's details! But the clues were interesting enough to keep me going.

    Overall, liked it a lot, although the mix-up of chocolate-making companies in 22d was a bit of a downer (I see that Col has pointed this out in the very first comment). Another small niggle: in 26, the homophone would be "I bolt" = "I run"; "I have to run" doesn't quite fit the bill. (IMO, of course!)

    Thanks to setter, blogger, and cartoonists!

    ReplyDelete
  20. To lurking THC setters

    The TH crossword specs sheet that may have been sent to compilers has this sentence:

    Caution must be exercised in the use of brand names / trade marks. It is better to eschew them.

    Any setter who has not received it, please request the paper's crossword section to send a copy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. CGB: On solving crosswords: I fully agree. One may be solving crosswords for ages but there is always a sawa seer for a seer ! This is what happened to me yesterday in the Sunday Special of Da Vinci. I was too pre-occupied and thought I could do multi-tasking watching a movie Bhaag Milka Bhaag which I had missed many times. I remembered GET SET AND GO, and put it in GET SET without having solved the whole crossword, wanting to beat the dead line for the last three. I got badly DELETED , by ALT_ DEL, which I could have got with a bit of connecting side-clues.

    This is why I like solving cryptics because there is always some compiler mocking at you, waiting in the grid to burst your ego- bubble ! ONe can never be a wholesome solver , especially
    in the HCC ! There too many tricks and subterfuges and landmines to explo(r)de your mind !!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sometime back someone had indicated, that, setters are putting extra pressure on themselves, in starred clues. My contention is, for lack of proper definition words - they use it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is not true.
      I don't think setters are stumped for definitions.
      You must see the starred clue device just as one where words of a category are given mere wordplay without explicit definition so you may in the course of solving find it yourself.

      Delete
  23. Hi All,

    Extremely sorry for the goof up on 22D. It was a shocker for me too! I always thought Kit-Kat was a Carbury product.
    CV sir - Point duly noted. Will avoid using these references in future editions.
    22 A - Was supposed to be in Caps - "FIRED?" to be read as FIR'ed and hence cased. Long shot?
    Abhay - 26 A- IMO, Have behaves like with/by/on - connecting word.
    Raghunath - Perfectly valid brickbats. The comment on 6 A was something I had thought about while setting the Crossie, but decided to keep it for the surface.
    Only goes to show further fine-tuning is required. Thanks all for the comments!

    Happy solving!
    AB

    ReplyDelete
  24. Needed the help of big brother for some of the * clues :)

    In 18D: is "needs" a strong containment indicator ?

    ReplyDelete
  25. 26A: One of "have", "to" seems fine as a connect, but both together results in redundancy.

    Re: ABHORRENT - I think it works (with "rush" taken as a noun in the cryptic reading, and "to", a connector). So, sailor to rush = AB to TORRENT = ABTORRENT

    ReplyDelete