Saturday, 21 February 2015

No. 11324, Saturday, 21 Feb 2015, Incognito

An accessible crossword with samosas flying off the plate.

The solved grid

    9  Place to grow fruit or fish (7) ORCHARD - OR CHARD (fish)
  10  Kingdom's monthly payment tariff (7) EMIRATE - EMI (monthly payment) RATE (tariff)
  11  Compound for ammunition of National Investigation Agency (7)  AMMONIA -AMMO (ammunition) NIA 
*The first of three-letter acronym/abbr as a component in wordplay. Look for other such components elsewhere.
  12  Interactive demon in copper vehicle (7) INCUBUS - IN (in) CU (copper) BUS (vehicle)
  13  I checked a flying bird (9) CHICKADEE - Anag. of ICHECKEDA
  15  Extinct birds -B8B8? (5) DODOS - Anno to be provided by any reader
*Birds are flocking together, it seems.
  16  Take one and three fourth of a south Indian pancake on a back to back sofa (3,1,3) DOS-À-DOS[a]
 *Sometimes I ask my wife to give me half a dosa for a subsequent serving. Have you ever tried three-fourths of a dosa? In self-service hotels, the dosa is always folded unevenly and is served in such a way that the bigger side is on top: never double it in imagination of the size!
**BTW, should the term be three-fourths?
***This is a seat on which the users sit back to back. This French phrase literally 'means back to back'. 
**** Ignoring SA, those dead birds are here!
For a nice pic visit
  19  Bloodsuckers mutilated testes around beginning of summer (7) TSETSES -  S (beginning of summer) inserted in TSETES Anag. of TESTES 
*Whose we don't know. 
***The positioning of two lights with two three-letter strings in them in the same row must have been deliberate on the part of the setter.
  20  Interpret: Long distance is a little short (5) PARSE - Anno to be provided by any reader
  21  Bird has temperature? That's surprising (9) STARTLING - T (temperature) in STARLING (bird)
*Three birds on hand are worth six in the bush.
  25  X can be sound (7) TENABLE - TEN (X) ABLE (can)
  26  Charges a lot for pelts (7) FLEECES - Two meanings :: Charges a lot / pelts
  28  Hurt girl with a sword (7) CUTLASS - CUT (hurt) LASS (girl)
  29  Note: Craft is in front of performer (7) ARTISTE - ART (craft) IS (is) TE (musical note)
*Art and craft, they say. What is art? What is craft? Is an arty person crafty too?

    1  Design of shredded chamois without heat (6) MOSAIC - Anag of CAMOIS after deleting H (heat) from CHAMOIS
    2  Set up tent in South India and get seafood (6) SCAMPI - CAMP (tent) in SI (South India)
    3  Thank Royal Navy for the lake (4) TARN - TA (thank) RN (Royal Navy)
*'Ta' is an exclamation that means 'Thank you' or 'Thanks'. Not sure if mere 'thank' (v.) can give Ta.
    4  Setter and priest have transport document (2,4) ID CARD - CAR (transport) in I (setter) and DD (priest)
*Is the definition quite apt? ID cards are not always for transport.
    5  Sorry, write "one encampment" (8) PENITENT - PEN (write) I (one) TENT (encampment)
*Setter seems to be out picnicking a lot, pitching camp here and there.
    6  Mate ground beef, for example (6,4) MINCED MEAT -This will give 'MATE". 
*I think this is a reverse anagram.
    7  Slithering boas encircle bachelor in the grip of retired doctor in island (8) BARBADOS - Insertion of BA (bachelor) in DR (reversal of DR(doctor) which is inserted in BAOS (anag, of BOAS)
*Double container-content with a good anag signal. :: It can't be Ireland.
    8  Indian Star-trekker takes saint back and continues (8) PERSISTS - PERSIS (Indian star-trekker) TS (reversal of ST (saint))
*The reference is to Persis Khambatta, model, actor and author. She had a role in the film Star Trek.
  14  Rajma, for instance, baked in Eastern New York, maybe (6,4) KIDNEY BEAN - Anag of BAKEDINENY
*Does it taste differently there?
  16  Instrument immerses insect (8) DIPSTICK - DIPS (immerses) TICK (insect)
  17  Power to rebuild primary Government High School in Trent (8) - STRENGTH - Anag. of GHSTRENT
  18  Doubt South American enclosure's source of energy (8) SUSPENSE - S (South) US (American) PENS (enclosure's) E (source of energy)
  22  A couple of females, with light, fight (6) AFFRAY - A FF(a couple of females) RAY (light)
*Thank God, they didn't use beams.
  23  Nicest sort of crime committed by close relatives (6) INCEST - Anag. of NICEST

*Actually, it is most horrific crime.
  24  Rubber ring in Muruga's kettle (6) GASKET - Hidden in MuruGAS KETtle
*Gaskets are not always of rubber; they could be of metal or plastic.
  27  Newts initially excited fish tank shark (4) EFTS - Stringing together first letters of "excited fish tank shark"

An analysis of clue types

Key: Cha - charade, Anag - anagam, CC - container-content, DD - double definition - Rev - reverse

9          Cha 1          Anag
10          Cha 2          Cha
11          Cha 3          Cha
12          Cha 4          C/C
13          Anag 5          Cha
15          Not classified 6          Rev Anag
16          Cha 7          Double CC
19          CC 8          CC
20          Not classified 14          Anag
21          CC 16          Cha
25          Cha 17          Anag
26          DD 18          Cha
28          Cha 22          Cha
29          Cha 23          Anag

24          Telescopic

27         Acrostic
No. of Instances

14 Cha
 5 Anag
 4 CC
 2 Not classified
 1 Telescopic
 1 Rev anag
 1 Double CC
 1 DD
 1 Acrostic

The puzzle appears to be balanced in the use of clue types. In any puzzle, charades are apt to be preponderant. Acrostic, DD, Telescopic are not overdone. Anagrams too are well within the limit.



  1. After a long break, thought of trying out Incognito today for some adventure since he always has bouncers in his quiver.

    With Google's help for 12A and 13A, had 100% success. What a word, this CHICKADEE!

    Liked many clues. Not sure of the anno for 15A. DOS-A-DOS was quite filling - the grid, that is - and DODOS - dead sure of it - was interesting.

    19A - Ahem... Incognito can get away with murder. 25A was well clued. So were 29A, 1D, 5D, 7D, 14D, 24D and many others.

    8D - Setter's tribute to Miss India 1965, the Khambatta girl who went on to bag a role in Startrek.

  2. 20A Interpret: Long distance is a little short (5) PARSE(-c)

  3. Exa: Congrats on your podium place in the latest DIY COW contest.

    1. Congrats Exa. Birthday present?

    2. Congratulations and many happy returns, Aakash

    3. Congrtas Exa. Blog participants continue to make waves.Great!

    4. Thanks CV Sir , Kishore, Sandhya, Col and Paddy... I guess I got lucky after a long while .. : P

  4. Replies
    1. Somebody, please crack this sooooon!

    2. Somebody other than the setter.

    3. Sandy, I was hoping you would crack it! I know that at least one member of our ensemble knows it, though I have not shared the clue with that person.

    4. Certainly,CV. May be a hint around 10.30 but not the answer

    5. If Sandy has not been able to crack it, then it must the ultimate...

    6. I thought this was far fetched:

      B as II pos in Across and 8th pos in the column covers D O. Repeating that however becomes DO DO. Doesn't give the S.

    7. I can also deduce, though I have not shared the anno with him, that CV knows what's cooking ...

    8. The GenX uses the SMSese like 'gr8' for 'great'. Hence is B8 is a 'bait' we are all ready with gaping mouths...

    9. The second sentence should read, 'Hence if B8 is a 'bait'...'

  5. 8D - Setter's tribute to Miss India 1965, the Khambatta girl who went on to bag a role in Startrek.

    That reminds me, Richard, that recently I came across some photos of Ms Jennifer Webb, who had won the Miss Angel Face title in Bangalore in 1966 and had occasion to electronically interact with her. She was one of the contestants sent for the Miss India title that year, which was won by Rita Faria.

  6. Persist=DO (8D). That makes it 'dodo'. maybe in plural-'dodos'. But B? 'B'eyond me!

  7. I am not able to decide which is more enjoyable- the CW or the in-depth analysis. In any case both are priceless.
    In addition to samosa there were dosas too (For a long time I was struggling to fit in idli) making it a sumptuous breakfast!
    16A & Dn.were the last to fall along with B8.

  8. Take B8B8
    Lunge a sword through the above horizontally midway..
    You get
    These are extinct birds.
    Idhu eppadi irukku?

    1. If it indeed the answer, it is ingenious. Credit to you too, CV.

      It was only recently that I sent Alia Bhatt jokes to a few friends. Once of them mentions her answering the question, 'What to you get when you divide 8 into two?'. Her reply was number 3 vertically and 0 horizontally. Wonder how I missed it when relating it here.

    2. Typo: What do you get...

    3. That looks like the Hara-Kiri action from yesterday. How in heavens do we indicate the annotation for that?

    4. That, indeed, is the answer. Kudos to CV! His remark when blogging made it clear that he knew what was happening. This clue is based on a puzzle by Lloyd King and the idea is used with his permission.

    5. Col.
      Call it DD. Solution doubled in clue!!

    6. Only because I had solved some of Lloyd King's puzzles (though I may not have completed any set and submitted any entry) and only because I have seen many wordgame puzzle books, this idea struck me. But, quite honestly, I had no idea of the anno when I left it to the readers (of course, not always do I invite readers because I am stumped).
      I am glad I got it!
      However, I would have expected B8B8 halved (or some such indication) for the operation of division.
      As it is my classification "Not classified" seems to be apt for this clue! For, it's not a typical crossword clue.
      But I have no problem with such occasional forays.

    7. When one stares at B8B8 long enough, it looks like one DODO written upon/under another. That's two of them DODOS

  9. Imagination at its best. Maybe this IS the solution?

  10. Looking at the completed grid put up by CZ, I see Richard, who has no ego, In the first row across

    1. Reading between the lines...

  11. I'm much elated. Very entertaining & easy-to-crack type of puzzle.Really a week end bonanza for people like us.Thank you Incog.

  12. It would have been a sad day if the setter himself had to come to provide the anno for a clue.
    I am happy that I was able to get it - it was only because I stared hard at B8B8 I got the idea of one bird mounting another, though both are dead.
    But I must admit that before that I was trying to connect with Column/Row in the grid (as Raghunath did).
    I was also looking at DOSADOS for long. If you remove 'it' (SA) from that term, you get DODOS.

    1. Indeed, that would have been sad. Suresh is a regular at Lloyd King's site and, no doubt, might remember his puzzle, but presently he (Suresh) is involved in matrimonial affairs (not what you think). One DODO may be mounted on another in a taxidermic way too ...

    2. Is the date you mentioned somewhere else to do with what Suresh is involved in now?

  13. If I had been unable to get that anno, I might have said, O Richard, one is lost!

  14. Uff - was beginning to feel the lack of samosas! Thank Heavens for this most enjoyable CW! Samosas, dosas, the lot!
    Still don't get the anno for 20A, though.

    1. Interpret = Definition = PARSE
      Long distance = PARSEC
      is a little short = PARSE(-c)

  15. 20A Interpret//: Long distance is a little short (5)
    PARSEC is a unit of length used to measure the astronomically large distances to objects outside the Solar System
    Defn: Interpret PARSE(-c)

  16. A samosa day sure! What with Richard opening the batting after a long time & a superb blog by the maestro.

  17. After a long time, got samosas. Thank you Incognito.

  18. CV Sir's remark on half-dosa (16 ac) - In my home, when I ask for half dosa, I get a small dosa - almost with half-radius of normal dosa

  19. Probably what is served as part of what they call here mini- tiffin.(3/4 items with a sweet trown in)
    Talking of dosas, I am reminded of a joke-
    Once someone mentioned 'continental dosa'. I became curious thinking of continental variation of our own dosa. Finally it turned out to be dosa made by a beginner- not round or oval, but of odd shapes!

  20. Thanks for your comments, folks. Good night...

    1. Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

  21. B8B8: DODO-- Can this be classified in parsing with two other clues that had been seen earlier in this blog, as SYMBOLIC --" One is : ! (exclamation mark) and --- .( full stop ) which were so short and pithy? Com[piers can comeup with many more?

    Why dosas are called roast in Coimbatore when they are oil-pan fried?

    Is Uthapam a condensed form of Ulundu appam?