Friday, 18 September 2015

No 11503, Friday 18 Sep 2015, Anon

1   Melon for clan leaving Moroccan port city (6) CASABA CASABlancA
4   Tamil Nadu town began to dry,  was destroyed (6) ERODED {ERODE}{Dry}
9   Suspicious of hostilities by Yemen leader (4) WARY {WAR}{Ye..n}
10 Irritates heartless lady unnecessarily (10) NEEDLESSLY {NEEDLES}S{LadY} Anon has forgotten about the second S
11 Banker edges away from offshore revolt (6) SHROFF oFFSHORe*
12 Across clue partly targets praises (8) ACCLAIMS {AC}{CLue}{AIMS}
13 Show off round meshes around London gallery (9) OSTENTATE {O}{STEN<=}{TATE}
15 Choke heads of Supreme Court with old towel (5) SCRAG {SC}{RAG}
16 Worth of girl replacing lady is unclear (5) VAGUE VA(-l+g)GUE
18 Leader reports when returning from Vietnam (9) STATESMAN {STATES}{NAM<=}
22 Request for the most small particle (8) PETITION {PETITe}{ION}
23 Son leaves Russian region for European peninsula (6) IBERIA sIBERIA
25 Real fat pig cunning at blackjack (6,4) PIRATE FLAG {REAL+FAT+PIG}* I don't think this definition is correct See comments
26 Letters from Iranian queen… (4) RANI [T]
27 …at newly formed secret building (6) ERECTS*
28 Paste notice at this place (6) ADHERE {AD}{HERE}

1   Pain withheld by firm’s instructors… (7) COACHES {CO{ACHE}'S}
2   …but authority utters nothing? (3-2) SAY-SO {SAY-S}{O}
3   Is new England leader in shape to gain? (7) BENEFIT {BE}{N}{E}{FIT}
5   Duplicates father removed are mementos (6) RELICS REpLICaS
6   Withdraws from two positions (9) DISTANCES {DI}{STANCES}
7   In a predicament, confused middleman loses disheartened Dalmatian (7) DILEMMA MIDdLEMAn*
8   Stitched giant lady vest dreadfully (13) DEVASTATINGLY*
14 Sheds light on surprisingly delicate head of union (9) ELUCIDATE {EL{Un..n}CIDATE*} Sheds or Shed?
17 Fish, beer for spouse (7) ALEWIFE {ALE}{WIFE}
19 Sorted three of the elderly (7) TRIAGED {TRI}{AGED}
20 Man leaving surroundings has tendency to withdraw (7) ALIENEE Anno pending (Addendum - ABIENCE AmBIENCE - See comments)
21 Is returning from the French borders of Nantucket speechless (6) SILENT {SI<=}{LE}{Na...eT}
24 Spooky Eastern American lake (5) EERIE {E}{ERIE}



  1. 20Dn A[-m]BIENCE - (psychology) an urge to withdraw or avoid a situation or an object

  2. A pirate's black flag or standard or ensign is indeed called 'blackjack'. It is also called Jolly Roger.

  3. Finished the puzzle in a jiffy. A Few doubts: one of them was the missing s in NEEDLESSLY. The others are:
    1.shouldnt there be an anind for clan in 1a?
    2.erects means building.(couldnt find both)

    1. 1. Yes.
      2. Either it's 'builds' or ' erecting'

  4. 10 Irritates heartless lady unnecessarily (10) NEEDLESSLY {NEEDLES}S{LadY} Anon has forgotten about the second S
    Needless to say the missing S is in 14a) Sheds light on surprisingly delicate head of union (9) ELUCIDATE {EL{Un..n}CIDATE*} Sheds or Shed? :-)

    1. Yes, it was cofusing for a while for me also. It has to be shed- unless you find a way of transferring S to 10A.

  5. Abience & Triage were new words for me

  6. Kozhukkattai a day late. Thank you Anon. Enjoyed completing it, though with a little help for Triage & Abience.

  7. Replies
    1. +1. Had to draw the grid and work on it. A laborious procedure! Yet an enjoyable solve worth 80%.

    2. Why not try in excel.A lot easier

  8. Thank you for the puzzle, Anon. The crossword took a while today. I came across ABIENCE after ages - I wouldn't have remembered the word but for the unerring wordplay. The longer anagrams (DEVASTATINGLY, PIRATE FLAG) are very well clued.

    A lot of niggles and doubts today:
    - 1a: No anind for the deletion of CLAN (the letters to be deleted don't appear in that order in the word)
    - 10a: Wordplay doesn't account for the second S
    - 27a: Definition doesn't fit solution
    - 3d: Is "is = BE" kosher?
    - 14d: The definition needs to have just "shed", not "sheds".

    Thanks to DG for the blog.

    1. From Chambers:"is" = be, verb.

    2. Of course the dictionary (not just Chambers!) lists "is" as a conjugation of "to be" when used in the third person singular. My question was whether "is" by itself could lead us to "be". It would be the equivalent, for instance, of saying that "has" = "have" or that "does" = "do".

  9. 17 Fish, beer for spouse (7) ALEWIFE {ALE}{WIFE}
    Is 'for' intrusive in WP or can we assume it as WIFE is 'for spouse'?

    19 Sorted three of the elderly (7) TRIAGED {TRI}{AGED}.
    Similarly isn't 'of the' intrusive?

  10. I live in Bangalore and didn't get the paper delivered today. I found the crossword online but is there any way to download or enter the answers directly on to the screen? Sorry, this is the first time I am without the paper but wanting to do this somehow. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

  11. Sujatha:as i live in a very remote village in up..i dont have access to print edition at all.
    What I do is copy the clue from The Hub(link given on the left hand side).The clues are nowadays posted very early.copy the clues & grid(which is also posted in The Hub) & paste it in excel.Prepare grid in excel & solve. As grids r repeated u have to work hard once to make grids. Alternatively Col had suggested a software for preparing a grid a few weeks back..u can try that

    1. Thanks a lot. This is excellent. When I travel, I usually am grumpy not being able to do my crosswords and I work on them when I come back and they pile up! This is so much better.
      This morning I recreated the grid in excel, had the clues from the Hindu online on the side and then finished it. Thanks again for the help.

    2. Please save empty XL grids under each setter's name.
      The setters almost always use the same grids repeatedly.
      A setter who usually contributes a single puzzle might use one of the same four grids.
      Gridman uses six grids for six puzzles which usually appear in a cyclic order.

  12. When I am travelling outside The Hindu's distribution area and have the time to solve the puzzle, I download the grid and clues from the Hub* and then turn it into an Across Lite puzzle - the grid definition takes a little time, but the clues can just be copied and pasted. Takes about 5-7 minutes, but allows me to solve the puzzle on the computer. Hope this helps!

    *One has to be careful to go to the first post for the day, though - if one copies the clues from later posts, one also gets spoilers in the form of answers already submitted!

    1. Abhay:thats the part i have not been able to do: convert into across lite..the help section in acrosslite doesnt help at all...can u give the actual steps..if possibly mail at the following id:

    2. I thought I had posted a Comment earlier. But what I wrote didn't get through. So onec again:
      Please click on the page 'Solving a THC interactively: a suggestion' - see topic on top i underneath the THCC header/graphic on top.

  13. Nice xword today from Anon. But missed samosa coz of putting down say no for 2d. Google helped out with casaba and abience. New words . Shroff too didnt know was banker ... lucky Jacky :)

  14. I think Anon's work can benefit a lot by paying attention to cryptic grammar and by polishing the surfaces; otherwise what's the point of setting... I was left underwhelmed by this one.

  15. @Vasant

    1. Thanks.Did receive the same from Abhay.

  16. Setting a crossword is one thing.
    Scrupulously checking every clue once or twice to see if the WP is correct, another thing.
    How to do the checking - I have written on this before.
    If you manage to have a test solver, it is nice.
    But test solvers may not always be available.
    The question also arises if test solving is to be rewarded or treated just as a friendly gesture by the person who does it.

    1. See

  17. To prepare a file in AcrossLite txt you must have the solution.
    But there is a way to get around it.
    First please look at the required format which is in the AcrossLite help files.
    For a blank we must use a letter, for a block we must use a full stop.
    Since we don't know the solution, if in the first line it is seven blanks, a block and seven blanks.
    We write
    Thus it goes on for the other lines.
    Then you copy paste the clues.
    Save it as a .txt file.
    Open .txt file in AL file, taking care that you open it as .txt file and not .puz file.
    After opening it, you can proceed to solve it on your machine.
    You must prepare the .txt file closely on the model of the format.
    The format is easy as long as you understand what is needed.
    Please note that AcrossLite is not for setting crosswords. It is for solving set crosswords.
    The above is a workaround for us to solve a crossword w/o using paper and pen.
    While you can check your answer in an AcrossLite file (if it is not restricted, that is), now this way you can't. For instead of the solution you have used A or X or whatever.
    An AL file is usually prepared when the crossword is all ready and the solution is available.
    It is ususal to set a crossword in a program and then saved/exported as AcrossLite format.
    What we are doing is work around it.

    1. Thanks a lot I understood why u loved being a teacher..very lucidly explained

  18. There is a software called conspire, available free for IPad. It lets you take pictures or screenshots of any grid and also clues and converts it to an interactive puzzle that you can solve, I have been using it for some time now and it works ok - though sometimes there are minor niggles. If you can't photograph the grid properly, you can still create the grid quite easily - in a few minutes

    1. No idea about Windows but it's available for Android devices !

    2. I have used Conspire on my iPad.
      But I am not too fond of it.
      If you have iPad/iPhone and Windows -
      You can buy the iPad/iPhone app Crossword Maker for Cruciverbalists (Rs 300 when I got this; first it was free)).
      You can easily create the required grid.
      With the clues on Windows, you can enter answers in CMFL.
      After having made the grid in CMFL, youc an easily export it as .txt.
      Import this in AcrossLite.
      Still you will have to look at the clues in Windows.
      For you can't import clue text in CMFL.
      Even though you can't import clues into CMFL, the exported .txt file has some useless txt and adheres to AL format so you can open it with AcrossLite.

    3. One neat thing about Conspire that is not available with another software is this..once a person creates the grid, then a group of people can solve it together in real time, entering answers in their own devices which then gets updated on the server. Tried it once with Lakshmi, it was great:)

    4. Yes I noted that ability but I haven't tried it.

      But I have solved crosswords with other persons in other cities by exchanging answers via a flurry of emails.

      But I can never forget my postcard exchanges of answers of THC with a Loyola College Prof of Statistics decades ago, each solving separately and sending answers to the other.

  19. Every day is a learning experience !! Today, ANON has taken us through some known words rarely used. One has heard of Ostentation and ostentatious -- but not OSTENTATE ! Ambience but not amience TRIAGED-- ALIENEE -- It is not fair to blame the setter for minor flaws but look at the overall grid and clues and feel good and get that EUREKA moment !!. It is quite another matter that these words are never found in use !

    It is sufficient enough that we get an eclectic fare each day from individual setters with their own own genre' !
    To be honest, in all my years of solving, I rarely get such a variety .

    As for solving on line, I would request one of the bloggers to devise a system for regular use by solvers-- especially on those days when the printed copy is not available. Surely, this is a possibility that should be made a reality. This was my grief on many days when I was holidaying in NY., though I feel comfortable solving on paper. Today, strangely, CBE had its edition of Hindu and Express; otherwise, I'd have spent time reading a Wodehouse-title-- WODEHOUSE WEEKENDS published by Arrow Books. It is gratifying to see a newly opened Library Just Books Clc here--on a rent read and return basis. Hope , it remains alive , since one can choose one's books on line and have them delivered at home ! We are lucky to live in this digital era !!

    Thank you ANON for a refreshingly new crossie !!

  20. One more method:

    Visit (remember net)

    Register for free.

    There in your account you can easily set up grid(s) and save and store it/them online. Need not proceed to set crosswords, which is the intended aim and purpose.

    Have clues of the day's THC in a window. Enter your answers in the set up grid in another window. All in Windows environment, Vasant.