Wednesday, 13 May 2015

No 11393, Wednesday 13 May 2015, Aspartame

Found wanting again.

1   Appealing starters — calamari and tuna croquettes. How yummy! (6) CATCHY Acrostic
4   Constrains armies (6) FORCES [DD]
9   Go through Nathula, for example (4) PASS [DD]
10 Close to hundred devastated nannies try wine after losing wars (6,4) NINETY NINE {NaNNIEs+TrY+wINE}*
11 Two pecs flexed to show muscles (6) BICEPS {BI}{PECS*}
12 Flexible relatives being flexible (8) D?A?O?I? DIALOGIC ? [CD]
13 Endowed with many skills (9) VERSATILE [E]
15 Cover is important, by the sound of it (4) (Addendum MANE (~main) - See comments)
16 Move in mysterious ways (4) SWAY*
17 Suspension of tax movement about to go away (9) CESSATION {CESS}{AcTION}
21 Mr India needs network of thousand chief advisors to end up in neighbouring country (3,5) SRI LANKA {SRI} {LAN}{K}{Ad...s}
22 Plain auditor cried out (6) BAWLED (~bald)
24 Raceme tips used to make wax (10) SPERMACETI*
25 Precipitation is somewhat less nowadays (4) SNOW [T]
26 Doubts regarding alphabet lacking ‘o’ are false (6) ERSATZ {ERS}ATZ Anno not clear (Addendum (ERS}{A To Z} - See comments)
27 Losing best returns during depression caused suspension from work (6) RECESS Anno pending (Addendum - RECESS1on - See comments)

1   Holder of tea, port on the rocks (7) CHALICE {CHA}{L}{ICE}
2   Sample tea and Italian wine finally procured by Asian (5) TASTE {T}{AST(-i+e)E}
3   Give team a telephone (7) HANDSET {HAND}{SET} This is only part of a telephone
5   Cost of driving large auto is unknown (6) O?T??? (Addendum - OUTLAY {L+AUTO}*{Y} - See comments)
6   A constituent of rhythm (9) CONSONANT [CD]
7   Dawn in Singaporean university? (7) SUNRISE ? Anno pending (Addendum - NUS<= - See comments)
8   One French man had pot valued to be pure (13) UNADULTERATED {UN}{ADULT}{E}{RATED} E and pot? See comments
14 Weapons that babies have (5,4) SMALL ARMS [DD]
16 Hesitate to crush burning piece of manuscript (7) S?R?P?E (Addendum SCRUPLE {SCRUmPLE - See comments)
18 Editor is aboard vehicle going back to settle down (7) SUBSIDE {SUB}{SI}{DE}<=
19 Our son buying ecstasy is becoming stressful (7) ONEROUS {OUR+SON}* around E
20 Kid in pain? Fantastic! (6) INFANT [T]
23 Misuse junk (5) WASTE [DD]



  1. 15 MANE ~ Main

    26a: ERS + A T(-o) Z (Doubts = ERs. Don't agree)

    1. That should have been Alphabets then

    2. Yes. There are too many assumptions today. L= Port in 1d?

    3. 26 AALPHABET is fine - we say the English alphabet, or the letters of the alphabet.

    4. Alphabet has the letters of a language arranged in the customary order.
      The usage here is fine.
      What Col probably means is the letters of the alphabet.

  2. 8 One French man had pot valued to be pure (13) UNADULTERATED {UN}{ADULT}{E}{RATED} E and pot?


  3. 5 Cost of driving large auto is unknown (6) O?T??? (OUTLA*) + Y

  4. 27 Losing best returns during depression caused suspension from work (6) RECESS

    RECESS(- 1 ON<-)

  5. 16 Hesitate to crush burning piece of manuscript (7) SCRUPLE

    1. SCRU(-m)PLE, m= piece of manu...

  6. 7 Dawn in Singaporean university? (7) SUNRISE

    National University of Singapore = NUS<-

    1. Grammatically it should be rises/ raised/ has risen for the clue to work, I think. That's if 'SUN' is singular. It works if SUN is considered as a group of letters

    2. Dawn=Sunrise
      SUNrise = SUN<-=NUS (Singaporean University)
      The clue works OK.
      'Rise' is there in the solution and cannot be given away in the clue.

    3. I feel this is somewhat indirect .. A substitution and reverse anagram (not exactly anagram, yet indicator is the input of the solver )

    4. @NR, What I meant was the answer should be SUNRISEN or SUNRAISED and not SUNRISE.

  7. Like you said, SUN to be considered as an acronym or group of letters.

  8. Too many gaps to enjoy. Doubts even in the blog.

  9. Some good clues here. Quite enjoyable. A few holes, though.

    1A: should be { ...starters OF ...}

    12A/13A: There seems to be some sort of a mix-up. While VERSATILE for 'endowed with many skills' might work, it definitely works as an answer for 'flexible relatives being flexible' (anag of relatives, def = versatile).

    21A: again, should be { ... chief OF advisors ...}

    7D: I think it works, with 'rise' as a noun. Although, not particularly fond of a reverse clue, where the fodder isn't explicitly given.

    8D: E is for ecstasy, which isn't the same as pot. "E = drug = pot" logic doesn't work. That's like cluing 'N' as 'south', because "N = direction = south"

    1. And 5D: The "is" is quite intrusive.

    2. Great points all, Mohsin! I really like the analogy for explaining why E=pot doesn't work. And great work spotting the fact that the clue for 12a actually works to give the answer for 13a - my guess is that the setter wanted to replace the clue for 13a and ended up replacing the clue for 12a instead, which has left D?A?O?I? without a proper clue!

      Sadly, the mix-ups draw attention away from what *are* very good clues: e.g., 4a, 9a, 16a, 25a, and (the seemingly sadistic!) 20d!

      Thanks to Aspartame and DG.

  10. Good puzzle.4A & 14D Excellent wordplay.17A thoughtprovoking.26A &27A Though I could crack I could not do proper parsing.Anyway anice puzzle overall. Thanks Aspartame.