Thursday, 4 June 2015

No 11412, Thursday 04 Jun 2015, Skulldugger

Some annos left for the readers.

1   A viable alternative without the French is within reach (9) AVAILABLE {A}{VAI{LA}BLE*}
6   Thin on the ground and far from well done (4) RARE [DD]
8   Essential map lost, impractical to move around (8) CRITICAL ImpRaTICAL
9   Crocus, rosier regularly trimmed to create passage (6) COURSE {CrOcUs RoSiEr}
10 Ambassadors monstrous priest venerates (15) REPRESENTATIVES*
11 Extras I deleted contained off-topic message (5) ASIDE [T]
13 Flustered gent in complicated mess compartments (8) SEGMENTS {GENT+MESS}*
15 Champions drink alcohol before penultimate contest (8) SUPPORTS {SUP}{PORT}{conteSt}
18 Cruel Frenchman, inherently progressive, in black suit (5) SPADE Anno pending (Addendum - {S{P}ADE} - See comments)
20 Chap's a jerk with primarily sickening traits (15) CHARACTERISTICS {CHARACTER}{IS}{TIC}{Si...g}
23 Motley daredevils jettisoning sled, go nuts (6) VARIED {DAREdeVIls}*
24 Half the office wags collared Bert endlessly for shipping hazards (8) ICEBERGS {offICE}{BERt}{waGS}
25 Inability to concentrate on small sums (4) ADDS {ADD}{S}
26 Pluto revelled in spread (9) DISPLAYED {DIS}{PLAYED}

1   Eager, excited to say “Aye” (5) AGREE*
2   Shifted and beat around the bush powerlessly (7) ALTERED Anno pending (Addendum - pALTERED - See comments)
3   Tresses found in Scottish lakes reportedly (5) LOCKS (~lochs)
4   First off, sensibly tweaked authorial credits in newspaper (2-5) BY-LINES sENSIBLY*
5   Conversation about getting a new old flame? (8) EXCHANGE {EX}{CHANGE}
6   Defeat in League final not unexpected (7) ROUTINE {ROUT}{IN}{l...gE}
7   Highly regarded precedents broken after nationalist's exile (9) RESPECTED {PRECEDEnTS}
12 Moving towards, uh...Antarctica? (9) SOUTHWARD* &lit
14 Led law enforcement agency that apprehended shrink (8) PRECEDED {P{RECEDE}D}
16 Traipse, do the tango at these? (7) PARTIES* Semi&lit
17 Type of coin: shilling (7) SPECIES [DD] (Addendum - {SPECIE}{S} - See comments)
19 Remarkable, pretty old earthenware (7) POTTERY {PRETTY+O}*
21 Perfect croupier's assertion? (5) IDEAL {I}{DEAL}
22 Cooped up clan leader getting on in years (5) CAGED {Clan}{AGED}



  1. 2 Shifted and beat around the bush powerlessly (7) ALTERED


    1. Thanks Sandhya. never heard this word before.

  2. Replies
    1. Sade from the Marquis P from progressive

  3. Some very good clues here.
    I have no hesitation in saying that the quality of THC is better than some in regional/county/syndicated crosswords in the UK.
    I am not talking of quality, nationwide newspapers of the UK. Their standard is higher and the British cultural flavour is something that is inherent in them. But the clueing technique in THC is in no way inferior.
    What do others think?.

  4. As a postscript...
    Setters of those quality UK crosswords are UK naionals or AUS residents, I think.
    Only recently a UK newspaper included a Malaysian who was a long-time resident in UK.
    There are lakhs of Indians in the UK but so far no setter from this community has emerged.
    Points to ponder.

  5. I had 17D Type of coin: shilling (7) as Type= Defn, Of=Link word, Coin=Specie, Shilling=S

  6. My mind goes back to the Seventies when i was just out of college and in my first job.
    From Day One of THC, I had respect for it. Yes, i was quit critical and whenever i noticed a mistake or found an inconsistency, I shot off letters to the Editor and often I got private responses.
    Even then I was solving UK crosswords but i was proud of the offshoot Indian puzzle.
    And the first setter was no mean one and quite unlike a couple of his successors who were all not that brilliant as the originator.
    Whenever I visited a friend of mine, his father used to express utter contempt for THC.
    I was irked but helpless.
    I can tolerate criticism but not this outright nonacceptance of the Indian school.

  7. Nice puzzle today!

    12D Moving towards, uh...Antarctica? (9)

    Doesn't it require a "perhaps/say/for example" after Antarctica? Also, I think the clue is semi-&lit. and not &lit. Am I right in saying that?

    1. The question mark says it all

    2. CV: I fully agree with you that the quality of the Indian setters in the THCC is heads and shoulders above those of the British and or Australian setters. THCC setters tend to be maverick while the others are more conventional, keeping to the strict rules of the word-building, with plenty of the cultural redolence of their lives, wit and humour. However, the Indian setters do go overboard and tend to be a bit outre' while using the deletions and additions method, bordering on NJ's class. But then, there lies the challenge and hence I'm not complaining. Incidentally, I have just completed a whole sheaf of clippings from the Telegraph of London , published in 2007-2008 era , a few from a book published in the 70's . I do marvel at the eclectic choice of words and phrases, if one pardons the use of too much of location and places clues that one needs to look up in the Google. All in all, THCC still takes the cake with plenty of icing,

      I have yet to see any THEME-based crossies from the UK -bed of crosswords ! Here, our setters in THCC excel ! , probably because of the electronic facility available.