Thursday, 27 August 2015

No 11484, Thursday 27 Aug 2015, Mac


I'll say it again. Sankalak reborn.

ACROSS
6   Burette’s starting to drip ethanol (5) BOOZE {Bu...e}{OOZE}
7   Paternal worry during pregnancy (8) PRENATAL*
10 Country established on 4th of April, before midday (7) ESTONIA {EST}{ON}{aprIl}{dAy}
11 Looking back, Los Angeles, USA captivated us, like one would have expected (2,5) AS USUAL {AS {US}U}AL} <=
12 Hamburger served up without sides lead to resentment (7) UMBRAGE hAMBURGEr*
13 Inexpert team at Euros owned (7) AMATEUR [T]
14 Siren for one not secured by shackle lock (11) ENCHANTRESS {ENCHAiN}{TRESS}
19 Setter’s innate simplicity (7) NAIVETE Anno left for any solver (Addendum - {NA{I'VE}TE} - See comments)
21 Case involving Islamic leader losing an eye, reportedly to cataract (7) CASCADE {CAS{CADi(~eye)}E}
23 Mostly large ice formation (7) GLACIER {LARGe+ICE}* &lit
25 Person’s half female (or male)? Operate! (7) PERFORM {PERson}{F}{OR}{M}
26 Confine wild critters (8) RESTRICT*
27 Open on time (5) OVERT {OVER}{T}

DOWN
1   Mobile, laptop or tablet features (8) PORTABLE [T]
2   Pain rehabilitation helping to counter agonising medical condition (6) HERNIA [T<=]
3   Be mortified as the place is in shambles (10) SPHACELATE* New word for me
4   That woman’s a goddess! (4) HERA {HER}{A}
5   Fertilizer made from initially melted and then processed urea infused with Nitrogen (6) MANURE {Me...d}{A{N}URE*}
6   Strengthen by overturning charge to enter pub (4,2) BEEF UP {B{EEF} UP} <=
8   Excessively praise / perversely laud / frequently and inordinately exalt (7) ADULATE {LAUD*}{ExAlT}*
9   Territorial army filled with dread (5) ALARM [T]
13 Expect a patient involved in an accident to get intensive care, to begin with (10) ANTICIPATE {A+PATIENT+In...e+Care}*
15 Male involved in breach of ethics is a drug dealer (7) CHEMIST {M} in {ETHICS}* They'll be up in arms with this definition!
16 Mature sperm carries a potential offspring (8) SEASONED {SE{A}{SON}ED}
17 A lake on east Georgia’s borders (5) ONEGA {ON}{E}{Ge...iA}
18 Agent backed to get prestigious university grant (6) PERMIT {PER<=}{MIT}
20 Hospice for travellers — one with free meat having partridge stuffing! (6) IMARET {1}{MA{partRidge}ET*}
22 Lecture son about sex, with hesitation at first (6) SERMON {S{ER}{M}ON} Nice one
24 Dishonest person upset by censure (4) RAIL <=

GRID

57 comments:

  1. 19 Setter’s innate simplicity (7) NAIVETE Anno left for any solver
    Setter’s - setter has - I've - IVE
    innate - taking this as in nate - insertion ind to put IN in NATE
    simplicity - def
    Note: 's is possessive in surface reading as well as wordplay.
    Qn: Similar to indeed/in deed. Deed is a word in itself. But 'nate' does not seem to mean anything. Or does it? Nate is a surname. Also, there is the slang term 'the nate' (see wikipedia)

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  2. Totally agree with Col's comment...loved solving the puzzle
    Could solve in 15 min all clues except 3 d which took 30 minutes more..
    How do others solve the clue for which you have all the letters..u know the def..but the word is new...i am consciously trying avoid using the net

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    1. Suppose you don't want to use an anagram solver but try and find the unknown word by jumbling the letters yourself...
      Write all consonants in one line.
      All vowels in another line.
      S TH PL C (hyphens denote space)
      A E A E

      Look for possible vowel/combination

      SP should suggest itself. After this you can expect a vowel.
      Try SPA or SPE
      Look for letters in position as crossers.
      This way it shouldn't take too long.

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    2. Thanks CV sir..this is how it was done..instead of writing vowels & consonants..i write the letters in a circle...the subsequent process is very much the same as u described...

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    3. Silly as it may sound, this is what I do: if a known word doesn't emerge from the fodder and the crossing letters, I try to come up with words that sound like they may be real words, and then check them to see if they are actually words in the dictionary. That's what I did today with SPHACELATE - once the checked letters were in place (P,A,E,A,E), there were no vowels remaining; of the consonants that remained, only S could come before P; after P, it could only be H or L (neither C nor T would fit). That left me with SPHACELATE, SPHACETALE and SPLACEHATE as plausible-sounding words, and the dictionary did the rest!

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    4. That's not silly, it's what I do as well

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    5. Did the same as Abhay. I would think it is a standard way of getting to unknown words

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    6. Whatever it is. Come IXL, not resorting to 'net' in such cases will land one in.....!?

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    7. Thanks Abhay..Ramesh..Col..tips from ace solvers are what accelerate one's solving ability
      MB: I find that not using net actually increases my solving abilities
      Anyway will IXL have such words

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    8. I fully agree with you, Vasanth. Of course, no such words are to be found in IXL.

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    9. Second Vasant's point. Not using the net as a crutch seems to speed up solving abilities in the long run.Treat the minutes & hours spent on cracking a clue as an investment for the future. Even when you resort to the net, use it for say for one clue & try and solve the rest without the net

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    10. Point noted, Ramesh. Thank you. :)

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  3. Simple, neat clues. +1 to Col's comment.

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  4. Thank you for a brilliant puzzle, Mac! That was a great set of clues. I loved the clues for NAIVETE and GLACIER especially.

    Shouldn't HERA be marked as &lit? The whole clue can be taken as the definition too.

    Thanks to DG for the blog.

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  5. Lovely set of clues. Most enjoyable. Keep up the good work.
    I messed up by putting in 'parental' 7 'Eritrea'. And of course did not have the patience to get the new word 'Sphecelate'. I agree with Vasanth in not using the net. I am amzed he tried for 30 minutes. Hats off!

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    1. Do setters compose puzzles just out of their head?
      I daresay they use the Internet and computer aids in setting crosswords.
      That being the case, when a solver has just one word to go, why should they not use resort to the same devices?
      Put the letters in a prog and get the answer. Look up the dict to get to the root of the word, the precise meaning, synonyms, antonyms and so on.
      You've spent 29 minutes in a useful way instead of frittering them away in writing, scratching, rewriting.

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    2. Fully agree. But 8.30 is too tempting to resist! Reading the comments is icing on the cake.

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    3. I personally feel Sanakalak's CWs were just out of his head. As far as I remember he never or very rarely used a word which was uncommon and almost all of them were words of day to day usage

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    4. CV Sir:it is the use of one's time..i used to take net aid often...i found that it simply stops me from thinking...
      The ace solvers here would have invested a fair amount of time to make them ace solvers

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    5. Uncommon words are subjective . What uncommon words are to Colonel uncle might not be uncommon words to me and vice-versa. If a solver in 10th standard says he hasn't heard of the word 'quintessence', the setter can't take blame for not using 'common' words, though I agree that the wordplay must allow for the clue to be revealed with more ease.

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  6. Nice one. Missed out just two...21Ac CASCADE and 16Dn SEASONED. Thanks Mac for an enjoyable puzzle.

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  7. Better placement of CW in TH continues today. Has spinner got it?

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  8. I meant to add: I spent a few minutes struggling to fit MAM (iMAM) into 21a, before asking myself what other 4-letter "Islamic leader" might have an "eye" to give up and not finding one. The definition, the checked letters, and CASE provided the answer, and I then had to work backwards to figure out whether the Islamic leader was CAID for CADI - again, choosing the most likely words and then referring to the dictionary!

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  9. Glacier is so simple and neat. I wonder if this is the root of the word.

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    1. Sorry, it can't be the root of the word. I don't think words were created that way..
      Anyway, Spinner quite recent had
      Endlessly large ice formation (7)

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  10. Super one, Mac! Gave up on 3d and peeked here

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    1. Yes. It is also a word I cannot pronounce and will not remember

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  11. Brilliant set of clues. I remember reading Mac's interview where he said that he would prioritize cryptic grammar over surface (rightly so), but when both of them fall in place, it makes a wonderful puzzle.. BTW, what's the role of Potential in 16D ? It makes better surface and of course can be read along with offspring, yet..

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    1. I think it adds to the surface reading, since a son is a potential result from a sperm! Also, just "offspring" would require to be preceded by "AN" rather than "A"; putting in "potential" allows use of the "A" that is required for the wordplay. Indeed, I think this illustrates perfectly your take on the ideal marriage of cryptic grammar and surface!

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    2. Hi... enjoyed the puzzle today. Had to recourse to tech for sphecelate and double check on imaret .tks mac for nee words. However a q on 12a... is served up an agi? More like a reversal indicator to me.. esp for a solid thing like a burger

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    3. @abhay
      'An offspring' can be substituted with 'a son' . So 'potential' is not necessary for having 'a' as you pointed out. It just adds to the surface and not the wordplay, which is the case here.

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    4. Making it "a son" means giving away half the word!

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    5. I think you misunderstood me. I meant the 'potential' isn't there for the sake of fitting 'a' like you pointed out and that the clue would very well work if it were 'an offspring' instead of 'a potential offspring'. As 'an offspring' can equally lead to 'a son' too

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    6. Ah well, let's see if Mac chimes in to clarify his intention.

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    7. Aakash is right in that I didn't add "potential" to accommodate the 'a'. It is for the surface.
      While it is redundant, the question is not whether the wordplay could do without 'potential', but whether 'potential offspring' reasonably points to son. I feel that it does. Others may not agree.

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  12. If fairy joins the goddess in 4D, what would it add up to?

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  13. Nice CW Mac :) Didn't get 3D - New word for me !

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    1. LV
      Now that you have come to know a new word, you must use it in conversation with anyone within the next 12 hours. You may, if you like, do it here in a Comment.

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  14. It has to cross the language barrier too!

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  15. My11.54 was in response to Richard's 11.44. Beech me thoda hera fairy ho gaya.

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  16. Lovely crossword, Mohsin! Liked 16D the best :)

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  17. I made a resolution that I will use "sphacelate" in a sentence today. (Oh, didn't realise that I already used it in one!!)

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    1. I'm sphacelated to know that you used sphacelate in a sentence!!!

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  18. Reference my nephew Aakash's comment at 3:38 above regarding uncommon words. Let's take a poll.

    How many here have heard of SPHACELATE before?

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  19. I found SPHACELATE in Roget,s Thesaurus.Never heard the term before.

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  20. Your comment on 15D about was truly witty...

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  21. I found SPHACELATE as a very rare word and Mac has dived deep into the ocean to cull this pearl !!

    I have no shame in confessing that I have never come across this word in any crossword before nor while searching for words in the dictionary or Thesaurus ever !! I was quite sphacelated !!

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