Tuesday, 25 November 2014

No 11249, Tuesday 25 Nov 2014, Gridman

I love to start my day with a Gridman CW, and he doesn't fail to delight in this opener today. 

1   Drunk sans pizazz, having lost head, in elevated region (8) HIGHLAND {HIGH}{bLAND}
6   Block southern revolutionary (4) STOP {S}{TOP}
9   Defiant to accept the backward man, see? (6) BEHOLD {B{EH<=}OLD}
10 They may be just in Sahara and Gobi, for instance (7) DESERTS [CD]
13 A steel application that may be music to your ears (5,4) PIANO WIRE [CD]
14 Best part of engineer in English river (5) CREAM {C{RE}AM}
15 Ritual is correct, we're told (4) RITE (~right)
16 He insists a pro lutist needs to be resettled (10) STIPULATOR*
19 Champion who has no angularities, perhaps (3-7) ALL-ROUNDER [CD]
21 Expert has great many to motivate (4) PROD {PRO}{D}
24 Got to know of a cattle group, by the sound of it (5) HEARD (~herd)
25 Take the place of great progeny, say (9) SUPERCEDE {SUPER}{CEDE}(~seed)
26 Graduates meeting shortly — it may produce a blow (7) BASSOON {BAS}{SOON}
27 Farm worker is boundlessly free mimic (6) REAPER {fREe}{APER}
28 A Roosevelt has no time for little spin (4) EDDY tEDDY
29 Taylor is bent on being alone (8) SOLITARY*

2   I get a piece of note on former legislation lacking precision (7) INEXACT {I}{Note}{EX}{ACT}
3   Who did you say? American poet? That bird? (6) HOOPOE (~who){HOO}{POE}
4   Moreover, pay attention: inland set is acting funny (3,6) AND LISTEN*
5   But you may not want to evade this vehicle (5) DODGE [DD]
7   Abuse fellows involved in wrong (7) TORMENT {TOR{MEN}T}
8   Late in the day, it may be shortened for a chief of government (4,8) POST MERIDIEM {PM}
11 In a tricky situation, forget head of police, take strong hook (6) SICKLE (-p+s)SICKLE
12 You can go near such an official (12) APPROACHABLE [CD]
17 Real, upper disposition relating to childbirth (9) PUERPERAL*
18 English poet getting two ducks — bad luck (6) HOODOO {HOOD}{OO}
20 Ladies I gathered around had close relationships (7) LIAISED*
22 Affectionate advice to boating companion uttered for one buck (3,4) ROE DEER (~row dear)
23 Not completely correct: worker is a shirker (6) ERRANT {ERR}{ANT} (Addendum - TRUANT {TRUe}{ANT} - See comments)
25 Countless, you of old leave on the beach (5) SANDS thouSANDS



  1. Lovely one from Gridman. Reading 3d in close proximity of 18d, reminded me of the recent cyclone HudHud which is another name for 3d and sounds like 18d. Incidentally, both these clues refer to poets (Poe and Hood)

    13a reminded me of Ambrose Bierce’s definition of ‘fiddle’:
    An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat.

    1. From AB's The Devil's Dictionary

    2. Incidentally, in colloquial Kannada, a violin or a fiddle is called a pitil, no doubt a phonetic mutation. Incidentally, today G has quite a few phonetic clues

    3. You are fiddling around!

  2. 23 Not completely correct: worker is a shirker (6) ERRANT {ERR}{ANT}

    I annotated this as : TRU(e) ANT

  3. Vizagites will not forget Hoopoe bird (Omani word for Hudhud) for a long time.

  4. Same pinch regarding ERRANT. Because of that lost samosa. Any way happy! Thnaks Grindman.

  5. Theme! I could find most of the words to be from the famous Wordsworth poem "The Solitary Reaper"

  6. In spite of getting 'Truant', missed samosa. 25A & 17D played truant with me!
    What do you call a typo while writing? I put 'MeridiAm' and it made things difficult to 'supercede'.

  7. We are assured of a good week.


    (BEHOLD) her, single in the field,
    Yon solitary (HIGHLAND) Lass!
    Reaping and singing by herself;
    Stop here, or gently pass!
    Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
    And sings a melancholy strain;
    O listen! for the Vale profound
    Is overflowing with the sound.

    No Nightingale did ever chaunt
    More welcome notes to weary bands
    Of travellers in some shady haunt,
    Among Arabian sands:
    A voice so thrilling ne'er was (HEARD)
    In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
    Breaking the silence of the seas
    Among the farthest Hebrides.

    Will no one tell me what she sings?—
    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago:
    Or is it some more humble lay,
    Familiar matter of to-day?
    Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
    That has been, and may be again?

    Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
    As if her song could have no ending;
    I saw her singing at her work,
    And o'er the sickle bending;—
    I listened, motionless and still;
    And, as I mounted up the hill,
    The music in my heart I bore,
    Long after it was heard no more.

    1. "
      Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
      As if her song could have no ending;"

      If we listen to the maiden and this poem, we will find that listen, which appears in the poem is a part of the answer for 4d and is probably a theme word too

    2. The word 'listen' is in the first stanza.

    3. I saw that, but was enamoured of the words "whate'er the theme", and as we are talking of a theme, I decided to bung in that ref too

  9. How revolutionary = top ?

    1. Because it revolves? But it's a 'revolutionary new' word for 'top'.

  10. I loved the usage of 'Revolutionary' for 'Top'.

  11. 5 But you may not want to evade this vehicle (5) DODGE [DD]

    Wondering how this is a DD?

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge But that violates no use of Brand names policy of THC

    2. A DD if it was just "evade vehicle".
      But: "But you may not want to evade this vehicle "?

      Have seen these vehicles alongwith Chevrolets and Plymouths in marriage 'baraats' in Hyderabad.


  12. top 2 (tp)
    A toy having one end tapered to a point, allowing it to be spun, as by suddenly pulling a string wound around it.
    [Middle English, from Old English.]

  13. Evade= dodge and Dodge is a car brand from I think Ford.

    1. I got that. But the clue is "you may 'not' want to avoid this vehicle". So the confusion. It's not a straightforward DD.

    2. Chrysler is now part of FIAT

  14. There was a famous Tamil film song in which a man is said to have received 'sangathi' (news) from 'bambarakkann' of a woman!
    This term I would translate as 'roving eyes'.
    A careless translator might say 'top eyes'.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O3aYl8HpPA ?

  15. I must relate a happening!

    Some months ago I set a crossword with words from WW's 'Daffodils'. And just at that time there was a THC from Lightning with exactly the same theme - words from the same WW poem.

    But, luckily, of all the terms in L's poem only one or two were in my grid and so I went ahead in clueing (I may have removed the duplicates or not, I don't remember) and completing the crossword.

    Both have been published by TH.

  16. People interested in quantum entanglement/ spooky action in the distance, kindly read Mukul Sharma's piece in ET today

  17. 25A should be SUPERSEDE

  18. K
    You only have colour blindness. Nice work to have got hold of an informative article tucked nicely in a corner. Alternative thinking about same particle (or part thereof) Not so easy to disprove Einstein. Thank you.

    1. Paddy, I've been reading MS's MS for its entire run of 25 years and later his column in ET.

    2. Is that article just those four paragraphs or is my browser somehow not displaying more?

      In this case, Einstein's (and couple of his colleagues') argument was shown not to hold water.

  19. A few comments/questions: What is the cryptic role of the question mark in 9A?

    I would also like to know what others think of using this punctuation mark (as opposed to commas, hyphens etc.) in the surface alone, as it could potentially affect the interpretation of the clue unlike the others.

    12D - Why 'official'? It could be any person or even a thing, in general, no?

    1. Without a question mark 9A is an incomplete sentence.

    2. Naturally. However, speaking for myself, in such a case I would consider constructing the clue differently.

    3. If a QM is there at the end of a clue, it cannot or should not be assumed that something unusual is going on.
      The QM at the end of 9a is in its own right, as the one at the end of your second sentence in the Comment above.
      See? - do you understand?
      In 12d I don't think official is totally out of place. In our country most officials, be it the sub-registrar or the collector, are pompous, self-important and distant and it is not easy to approach them.

  20. I know that. Does he write regularly on ET? I read it on the net, but have not noticed it so far. I have followed his MS off and on.Thank you for the info.

    1. Yes, this column on the edit page top right is written by various contributers including Vithal Nadkarni, Navtej Sarna etc. MS appears once a week.

  21. I am going out to address a meeting in which I will be reviewing a recently published Tamil novel. I will respond to Navneeth later - unless someone does so in the meantime.

  22. Gridman made my day! Excellent crossie, and ' The Solitary Reaper' as the theme. Had this poem as part of my Senior Cambridge course!! Seems like a different era!
    Thank you Gridman.