Friday, 29 April 2016

No 11688, Friday 29 Apr 2016, Scintillator


ACROSS
1   Syrian leader heading out from crisis? That would reap harvest (6) SICKLE {Sy...n}{pICKLE}
4   Angry guards manipulate supply for crop sustenance (8) IRRIGATE {IR{RIG}ATE}
9   Unoccupied office apartment broken in not long ago (2,4) OF LATE {FLAT} in {OfficE}
10 Piece of satin woven as silky nautical sheets (8) SKYSAILS {Sa..n}{AS+SILKY}*
12 In-plant web training involving pithy exercises (8) EPIPHYTE {PITHY}* in {EPE} Anno for EPE not clear (Addendum - {E}{P{PITHY*}E} See comments)
13 Football club respecting enrichment (6) MANURE {MAN U}{RE}
15 Strike in a valley in Pakistan (4) SWAT [DD]
16 Be obsessed with problem, exhausted when taking side (6,4) FIXATE UPON Anno pending (Addendum - {FIX}{ATE UP}{ON} - See comments)
19 Ideologues spell out their stories without retro-appeal (10) THEORISERS {tHEiR+STORIES}*
20 Useless plant, but not so for a user (4) WEED [C&DD]
23 Swallow innards of crabs or beetles (6) ABSORB [T]
25 Finely penned chorus increasing in volume (8) SWELLING {S{WELL}ING}
27 Ultra-thin models jilting husband to run away (4,4)  TURN TAIL {ULTRA+ThIN}*
28 Temple city employs half-Jain priest (6) PUJARI {PU{JAin}RI}
29 Theology's unstable; seldom gives another changeover (8) REMODELS {RE}{SELDOM*}
30 Toss out the outdated from the outset (6) THRESH Anno pending (Addendum - THRESHold - See comments)

DOWN
1   Women's stories where nurse is murdered with garden equipment (7) SHOVELS {SHe}{nOVELS}
2   Religion had four parts to devote attention to (9) CULTIVATE {CULT}{IV}{ATE}
3   Once in a while oldie eats pine fruit (6) LITCHI {ITCH} in {oLdIe}
5   Scrape over fragment of Greek architecture (4) RAKE [T<=]
6   Without doubt I spend a dollar for renewal (2,6) IN SPADES {I+SPEND+A+S}*
7   Say a proper goodbye (5) ADIEU {A}{DIEU}(~ due)
8   Each authoritarian belonging to China? (7) EASTERN {EA}{STERN}
11 Start if planned in the early stages (2,5) AT FIRST*
14 Distresses caused by husband's darts (7) HARROWS {H}{ARROWS}
17 One gives information about the subject premise (9) PREDICATE Anno pending [DD] See comments
18 Pair spoke at length and divided fairly (8) PRORATED {PR}{ORATED}
19 Haul over capsized rubbish vehicle (7) TRACTOR {TRAC<=}{TOR<=}
21 A setter could be so brutal (7) DOG?I?H (Addendum - DOGGISH [C&DD] - See comments)
22 Go up hill, exhausted, in order to turn up soil (6) PLOUGH {GO+UP+HilL}*
24 Turkey outwardly puts up, say, some pluck (5) STRUM {TR} in {SUM}(~ some)
26 Dig into box containing cash (4) TILL [DD]

GRID

60 comments:

  1. 16a fix ateup on
    30a threshold-old

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  2. 16 Be obsessed with problem, exhausted when taking side (6,4) FIXATE UPON Anno pending

    Problem: FIX Exhausted: ATE UP + ON

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  3. 17D One gives information about the subject premise (9) PREDICATE

    Grammar: subject and predicate

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  4. Jai Kisan... May he be saved from drought.

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  5. WEED too may be considered a thematic word.

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  6. 21 should be DOGGISH where 'setter' is that breed of dog.

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  7. 20a is D&CD? weed is what a user smokes, & it is a useless plant

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  8. Ramesh, sorry, didn't see your earlier Comment. The dog could be beastly or brutish, I think, when it attacks someone. The compilers may be mean.

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    Replies
    1. Have plenty of blanks today, so I feel this setter's mean ;-)

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  9. A farmer may use RAKE and he might grow LITCHI ! Deepak, you may have to highlight more !!

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  10. Rake is also a theme word

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  11. Tough going. But brilliant clues. Exactly as a cryptic should be.teasing all the time and when the answer is there, you start feeling why didn't I see it earlier :)

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    Replies
    1. Tough going indeed. Unusually I could solve only six clues. I thought of sorrows for 14D but of course couldn't explain it. Thought of MAN U for 13A but could not go beyond that.

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  12. A doubt in 25A - Penned is the container Ind.so as per wordplay would finely not contain chorus ? That is well around sing !!

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    Replies
    1. Ha-ha. If I did that would be terrible.

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    2. This is not just one clue to provide fodder. There are plenty;-)

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    3. Fodder could be today's theme word :P

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    4. Seriously, if A penned B, B goes into A.
      If A is penned by B, A goes into B.

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    5. A drop of poison will spoil a potful of nectar.

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    6. CV @9:11 A penned B works both ways. Depends on whether you read it as
      A penned, B
      or
      A penned B

      But in 24d I am having some doubt about the construction

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    7. The first part- does it not have to be A penned, by B? Or should it be taken for granted?

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    8. Bhala @9:50 For A in B, I am afraid I can't accept "A penned B" without proper punctuation after 'penned'. For me, without punctuation, "A penned B" is only B in A.

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    9. Re 24D, the anno is as Col has provided. Put up=Display, so TR outwardly displays SUM.

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  13. A smooth run of four days came to a grinding halt today! So tough the puzzle was...yet managed to score 50%...and happy with that...pass marks!

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    Replies
    1. I am really surprised. What makes this puzzle more difficult than any on previous days?
      It seems that setters will alwys be groping over fixing the difficulty level of a puzzle.
      I have said that I can never set out with the aim of making a puzzle 'hard'.
      I make puzzles... solvers find some 'easy', some 'hard'. What some solvers find 'easy' others don't and vice versa.

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    2. It(puzzle's difficulty) is totally dependent upon the solver's ability...the setter always aims at creating good & fair clues I think

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  14. True. But there is also an average or middle, as far as the solvers are concerned. I cannot suddenly become brilliant overnight. But I feel setters have some control over the difficulty level, either in choice of words or clueing. I was about to type +1 for MB when I read your comment. Our opinions are shared be earlier commenters as well.

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    Replies
    1. Number of Anno pendings by Colonel Sir 4 is an indication that it was a tough puzzle!

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    2. Am sure the setter had no intention of making it a tough one but it turned out to be a difficult one to solve all the clues.

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  15. After ploughing my way through, missed out on thresh & doggish...A toughie that was challenging all the way...the theme helped in getting many clues...

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  16. Enjoy these anagrams...from an old post..a few cliched ones, a few new ones:
    "NARENDRA MODI"
    "RARE DIAMOND"

    "SONIA GANDHI"
    DILIP VENGSARKAR A SPARKLING DRIVE
    PRINCESS DIANA:END IS A CAR SPIN
    MONICA LEWINSKY:NICE SILKY WOMAN
    DORMITORY:DIRTY ROOM
    ASTRONOMER:MOON STARER
    DESPERATION:A ROPE ENDS IT
    THE EYES:THEY SEE
    A DECIMAL POINT:I M A DOT IN PLACE
    AND FOR THE GRAND FINALE
    MOTHER-IN-LAW: WOMAN HITLER

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    Replies
    1. Sonia Gandhi..Doshi Nagin(!!!)

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    2. For a grand finale I liked WOMAN HITLER :)

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    3. Narendra Modi and Rare diamond are not anagrams. Check no of letters

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    4. How NARENDRA MODI (12) becomes RARE DIAMOND (11) ?

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    5. With Modi there should always be some exaggeration. :)

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  17. 1D: How did SHE lose her E?

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    Replies
    1. Ramesh, if I may, for the sake of Unknown...:)

      1D : Women's stories where nurse is murdered with garden equipment (7) SHOVELS {SHe}{nOVELS}

      Please click the link underlined nurse...Under the heading Worldwide Australia... you will find that Nurse means Enrolled Nurse i.e EN.
      In the clue she I mean the nurse has been murdered...so delete E & N from SHe nOVELS to get SHOVELS!

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  18. Thanks. I did not know that Nurse is EN (enrolled nurse).

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  19. Put down DOGLIKE at 21D and got chewed up on 30A

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  20. ok.. i found todays xword very very hard to crack.. was very distracted to add to my cup a woes :) missed weed (which is obvious now i see it).. mainly coz i had doggish as anguish .. could not parse shovels and thresh.. thanks for that :) thresh is a very good clue.. but shovels i find it iffy ... too many subsitution and take aways.. skysails, epiphyte would not have got without help, as words i didnt know existed :)in spades meaning without doubt is also new.. always thought it meant uhmm.. in large quantities without discrimination :) so IMO excepting doggish and shovels a pretty fair xword from scintillator :)

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    Replies
    1. 'To call a spade a spade' is the expression which leads to definiteness.

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  21. Read the latest in Crossword Unclued; Nice Clues by Exa too.

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  22. *** Deepak, if I may be allowed a plug...
    Friends,
    Jewels and Other Stories
    by Charukesi
    Translated from Tamil by C. G. Rishikesh
    This book, published privately, was released at a function in Chennai a couple of days ago. Priced at Rs. 120, it can be had at Rs 100 after an applicable discount. All but a few copies of the printed copies were sold out on that day itself. Some stray copies may be available.
    The entire proceeds from book sales go to a charity organisation that trains special children in music.
    Anyone interested, please write to chaturvasi@yahoo.com
    As only few copies remain, availability on a first come, first served basis. Out-of-station (Chennai) orders will have to bear Speedpost charges.
    I will serve the order. Money transfer can be done to me after you receive the book.

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  23. For some amusement read and solve Clue 1 ac in today's THBL Brand crossword 114
    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/catalyst/business-line-catalyst-crossword-114/article8508375.ece

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  24. Re 25A, I believe there are two interesting issues here: 1) appropriate tense of wordplay components and 2) punctuation in wordplay.

    On 1), I see two acceptable scenarios: either use the present tense (simple or progressive) or let the tense be elided. The simple present is quite common, and appropriate, as facts and general truths have to be described in this tense ("Component A covers Component B in answer" is a "general truth"). The present progressive (A covering B) is also used in good measure. Alternatively, the explicit tense could be elided: In (A has to cover B in answer), the clue is a phrase rather than a sentence, and the 'has' must be added in order to complete the sentence. This is also common: we use (A B removed) to actually mean (A, B is removed).

    In contrast, the simple past tense is not appropriate as the tense of wordplay. To quote Richard Rogan, the Times Crossword editor, "The simple past tense merely tells a story, which seems odd in the context of cryptic wordplay." Imagine a line from a chemistry textbook: "The solute dissolved in water to form a solution.", as opposed to "The solute dissolves in water to form a solution." Thus, "SING penned WELL" is not a grammatically correct wordplay for SWELLING.

    Coming to the second issue on punctuation, I believe in general there is a lot of flexibility available in the wordplay with regard to punctuation. In a game where solvers are regularly asked to ignore punctuation in wordplay, what is wrong in accepting an elision of a comma? If one is fine with (A B removed) to mean (A, B is removed), (A penned B) to mean (With A penned, B) should be fine too, no?

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  25. Refer my post at 9:02, I am disappointed :-(

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    Replies
    1. LOL..i really think you are missing the...um.."fodder"

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