Tuesday, 12 July 2016

No 11749, Tuesday 12 Jul 2016, xChequer


Tough as expected. Had to do a lot of dictionary reference.

ACROSS
7   Slight hesitation to return, a tiny bit (6) REMOTE {RE}{MOTE}
8   Shepherd to follow blindly? (5,3) GUIDE DOG {GUIDE} {DOG} &lit
9   Morally corrupt, refined circles extremely afraid (8) DECADENT  {DECENT} over {Af..iD}
10 Amplify without bringing in new stuff (6) EXPAND {EX}{PA{N}D}
11 Representative of jealousy in love? On the contrary (5) ENVOY {O} in {ENVY}
12 Again match fixing? (6) REPAIR {RE}{PAIR} Fixing or Fix? See comments
14 Lords and ladies kept in jail, putsch violently uprooting society (4-2-3-6) JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT {KEPT+IN+JAIL+PUTsCH}*
17 Haughty parrot maintaining empty drivel (6) LORDLY {Dr..eL} in {LORY}
18 Saw broad agenda enclosed (5) ADAGE [T]
22 Annoyed, runs inside cave (6) GROTTO {R} in {GOT TO}
23 If this shakes about scarily at the sides, it's wobbly (5,3) HISSY FIT {IF+THIS}* around {Sc...lY} Wobbly and Hissy Fit? See comments
24 Intensely biting cold, expecting crowded motorway (8) CHOMPING {C}{HO{M}PING}
25 6 can be 12 in this (6) OUNCES [CD]

DOWN
1   Endless toll gates turning inward (9) PERENNIAL {INNER<=} in {PEAL}
2   King Edward setting an example for Murphy (6) POTATO [Def by example]
3   No chance of excitement when fellow's normal (5) NEVER (-f+n)NEVER
4   Shot a politician revealing explosive stuff (8) FIREDAMP {FIRED}{A}{MP}
5   Edited material avoiding bias, essentially without retracting work in material (8) TEMPORAL {MATERiaL}* around {OP<=}
6   Buffet's pen (5) POUND [DD]
8   Show full commitment, try hard, turn up on time, cut inconsistency (2,3,5,3) GO THE WHOLE HOG {GO} {T}{HE W}{HOLE} {H}{OG<=}
13 Foolish and smug, in short, died suffering (9) MISGUIDED {SMUG+In+DIED}*
15 Back to back misfortune, mite stupid to hang around (4,4) KILL TIME {bacK}{ILL} {MITE}*
16 Heaped scorn as one introduced stupid condition (8) NARCOSIS {{1} in {SCORN+AS}*
19 The most prominent party sure to keep neutral (6) DOYENS {DO}{YE{N}S}
20 Instrument brought up on U-boat (5) PRAHU {HARP<=}{U}
21 Tie when it finally keeps firm (5) ASCOT {AS}{CO}{iT}

GRID

38 comments:

  1. With the help of interactive version of the HC and with the 100% references, could complete this. Phew...ugh...

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    1. Phew... okay, but why the ugh...

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    2. Maybe he likes those easy setters' easy and quick crosswords. Maybe he is famished and yearns for samosas

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    3. So ugh... because this wasn't as tasty as a Samosa

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    4. Rombavey kaduppaiduthu my lord...seeing my inability to solve even one without reference. That ugh is self-inflicted one on myself.

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    5. Don't worry Ram! Every cloud has a silver lining!!

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  2. Extremely hard....If there were no online dictionaries, I would have kept it aside, never to pick up again.

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  3. Re 12ac, I think 'fixing' too works.
    My electric shaver was in disuse for a long time. It doesn't work now and needs fixing.
    My electric shaver was in disuse for a long time. It doesn't work now and needs repair.

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  4. Throw a wobbly: To suddenly become very upset or intensely angry and make a big display of it. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. [TFD]

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    1. I am generally calm, quiet and understanding. But occasionally I have thrown a wobbly. After my heart surgery, my fervent prayer is that such an occasion doesn't come again. But it did recently at Bangalore City railway station. There was pressure in my chest as I walked all the long, tiring way to S12 of Kaveri.

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  5. I wonder if xChequer sets clues with the Dictionary/Thesaurus beside him or are all these words just from his memory?

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    1. This is difficult to answer.
      As a setter I might use a regular, special dictionary or word list to select and place the initial words in the grid (usu. the long one or the ones in the perimeter) before the checking restrict choices.
      These phrases will usually be known to me. Sometimes they may be new to me and I might have looked up a dictionary to learn its exact meaning.
      While writing clues a careful and conscientious setter may use a thesaurus to get those 'remote' syns.
      Many setters may use one of the most relevant syns. that pop up in his head. (Yes, as of now there is no 'her' for THC.)
      As for words from my memory, I keep my purse somewhere safely and within five minutes I completely forget where. And when I look for it the next time, I look everywhere and get into jitters.

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    2. I feel he depends heavily on these gadgets, only to make us aware of the new words. If we see the answers, very few of them are not used regularly. But he uses new words in setting the clues.

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    3. I think he generally fills in the long ones first..these may be from memory or he may have written them down during reading for later use..for shorter words..probably he takes the help of thesaurus or dictionary

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    4. Whatever way he fills in, I think, he constructs the clues in such a way that they are NOT Easily solved!

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  6. Extremely tough...managed just about to get over the line..potato..prahu..narcosis..hissy fit...all took a lot of time

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  7. Phew.. Tat was one bumpy ride 😄 lots of new words and references..go go the whole hog parsing hats off to this blog.. Cd only Guess partly..

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  8. Well, the toughness of today's puzzle reminds me of a joke.

    Three rats are sitting at the bar talking bragging about their bravery and toughness.

    The first says, "I'm so tough, once I ate a whole bagful of rat poison!"

    The second says, "Well I'm so tough, once I was caught in a rat trap and I bit it apart!"

    Then the third rat gets up and says, "Later guys, I'm off home to harass the cat."

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    Replies
    1. He he
      Reminded me of the song "Jahan char yaar miljaye wahi raat ho gulzaar"..the interlude of which had that rat incident..

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  9. Playing a cat & mouse game?!

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  10. Unholier than Saturday. Just done.
    Thanks for the Ounce link, Deepak. Never got me tired.

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  11. The true test will be A: If any one has been able to solve the entire puzzle, no matter how much time taken with or without the recourse to a reference aid. B: whether any one has been able to solve partially, with the same proviso as above and if so, how many clues were cracked? C: If no one can solve at all with the same provisos-- Which is rather unlikely, given the fact that there would be some clues easily cracked and the tougher ones remain intractable D: What is the percentge of solved or partially cracked solvers ? D : If there is a majority number who are on the 'solved' side, well the setter shpuld be happy that he had crated a new set of ideas words and phrases and the minority can wait to get their minds trained to the setter's thinking and hope for the day when the setter has to go a further step up in creating more difficult ones .

    I have experienced this situation when I used to look forward to a setter of a very tough puzzle that appeared in the Sunday Nation in Nairobi.-- I had spent many agonizing days to solve those puzzles and did ultimately catch up with the 'signature' of the setter- a vey old English settler in Kenya who went back to the UK but still send his efforts to Kenya for the Nation newspaper. He used to liberally spatter typically Kenyan phrases in his puzzles but crackable and enjoyable.

    Hence, we should thank these ''outre '' setters like Exchequer ( and even NJ !) for their creative efforts. CV and otherTHC setters will agree with me that setting puzzles that are always ever changing and challenging is itsellf a Herculean effort. Solving is an easier effort as there is a set menu on the table !

    Lastlly , we should thank the Col's HCC for fscilitating the blog for all of us ungrudgingly every day and more so, punctually.

    Lets thank God for small mercies and no more UGHs - face the challenge smilingly and willingly.

    PS: I haven't yet had a go at this challenging crossie !

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    Replies
    1. Agree with Raju, :)ly and willingly!

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    2. Except for a few words, I did this crossie in less than 35 minutes without any UGH moment ! So I wonder what was all the UGHs about ! This was certainly much easier than yesterday's !

      So there ! ye-all ! Thank you Xchequer ! Give em' all a rain cheque !

      I'd be keen to know what are the areas where some of you got UgHed ?

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    3. You have said except a few. May we know how many are those few and which ones were they?

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  12. For a beginner like me, today's is a horror. I have much to learn.

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    1. Yes. These days the CWs are set as a war between the setter and the solver. Even after seeing the cracked puzzle with explanations I could not able to understand many. Any CW should contain 20% to be solved without much effort. Another 20 to 30% with some hard work. Balance may be much harder. Setting such CW is watching a tennis match where both the players serving aces all the way without an opportunity to see rallies. A match should contain both aces and rallies so that the spectators will enjoy.

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    2. I fully agree. It should not be a battle between unequals ! He should have enjoyed compiling and the solvers should have the pleasure of meetinghim at least half-way

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  13. I am not a beginner but it was still a horror for me.....

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    1. Agreed..The same is my case. I have cuttings of fully solved CWs for more than ten years. Occasionally I used to go through them. CWs of these days are changed completely. If I could not able to crack 10 clues at first sight, then I will not try for it.

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  14. Col: To answer you: 14 AND 23 ACROSS

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    1. Except for a few words, I did this crossie in less than 35 minutes without any UGH moment ! So I wonder what was all the UGHs about ! This was certainly much easier than yesterday's ! - Quite amazing. I solved yesterday's puzzle fully except one square because of the S confusion. But you say this is much easier than yesterday's. What to say?

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    2. One man's meat is another man's poison !!!

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  15. Managed to barely get through half today... too hard. :-(

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